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    PROLOGUE Luke is the writer and Paul the dictator. The hired house in Rome is the place and A.D. 61-63 the time. As Paul does not appear on the stand till the sixth Chapter, doubtless Luke availed himself of his ample opportunities in Palestine during Paul’s two years’ imprisonment in Caesarea, A.D. 58-60, to travel round over the country, visit Jerusalem, and spend much time with Peter, John, James and other apostles, prophets and saints; meanwhile he gathered up materials for this wonderful history of the Apostolic Church which he afterward wrote, pursuant to the dictation of Paul during his Roman imprisonment. Luke accompanied Paul on his long anticipated journey to Jerusalem to bear alms to the saints, having spent the winter of A.D. 57-58 at Corinth, setting out early in the spring and arriving at Jerusalem in the latter part of May. Paul, having been arrested by the roaring mob and dragged out of the temple, was only saved from a cruel death by the opportune intervention of Lysias, the Roman chiliarch, with his army. Having permitted him to stand before the Jewish Sanhedrin, and signally failing to find any charges against him criminal in Roman law, and having discovered a formidable conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, he nobly interposed and sent him away by night protected by an armed escort, and committed him to the custodianship and jurisdiction of Felix, the proconsul, at the same time presenting no criminal allegations whatever against him. Felix, unlike the noble Lysias, was unfortunately a great money lover, a notorious tyrant and a very corrupt man. On the first trial he saw, like Lysias, that the prisoner was utterly innocent; meanwhile, he became awfully convicted by his straight and terrible preaching, so that he trembled from head to foot under a mighty paroxysm of alarm. While it was his imperative office of duty, and Paul’s inalienable right, to release him without further procedure, yet the avaricious tyrant held him in prison two long years, actuated by the vain hope that money would be paid for his release; meanwhile he sat under the powerful preaching of Paul like millions of others, his terrible convictions resisted and the Spirit grieved away till the powerful preaching of Paul could no longer move him to repentance. At the expiration of two years the opportune removal of Felix out of office, his dethronement, degradation and arraignment before the emperor at Rome, providentially secured the release of Paul from his two years’ imprisonment at Caesarea. Festus, the successor of Felix in the governorship, was a hightoned Roman gentleman like Lysias. Finding Paul left in prison by Felix to purchase Jewish favor in his terrible calamities, he immediately brings him to trial, calling down the Jewish magnates from Jerusalem to prefer charges against him. Finding Paul perfectly innocent, astounded and convicted by his preaching, he declares the legal possibility of his immediate release. At this salient epoch, behold! Paul appeals to Caesar, pursuant to the inalienable right of a Roman citizen, thus forcing the governor to send him to Rome, there to stand before the imperial tribunal. Paul had long earnestly desired to visit the world’s capital and preach the Gospel in the great metropolis of all nations. This was a great undertaking in those ages when navigation was in its infancy, the steam engine and mariner’s compass as yet undreamed of. It was as great an undertaking at that time as it is now to travel round the world. In 1895 I traveled the very same route from Jerusalem to Rome in the short space of ten days. As Paul was utterly incompetent financially to make this trip, he availed himself of his right as a Roman citizen to stand at Caesar’s judgment bar, not that he cared anything about the verdicts of earthly tribunals, as our Savior, when He met him on the Damascus road, had already revealed to him a martyr’s destiny. Thus, using his wonderful natural sagacity, illuminated by the Holy Ghost, he avails himself of his right to appeal to Caesar, thus forcing his enemies at their own expense to carry him to Rome that he might preach the Gospel in the world’s metropolis. When Festus found that he had appealed to Caesar, and that Roman law compelled him to send him to the diagnosis of the world’s emperor, he regarded it a sine qua non that he also send the criminal charges against him, as the very novelty and inconsistency of sending a prisoner for trial with no bill of charges would expose his administration to criticism and burlesque at the imperial court. Hence he does his utmost, even availing himself of the co-operation of King Agrippa, an adept in all Jewish law. They both do their best to find criminal allegations against Paul, but signally and hopelessly fail. Hence Festus is forced to meet the issue and actually write a letter to the emperor stating that he had only sent the prisoner pursuant to his own right of appeal as a Roman citizen, there being no criminal allegation whatever against him. The letter of Festus and the exceedingly favorable report of Julius, the Roman centurion who had charge of the prisoners during the voyage, and saw the power of God on Paul during the awful shipwreck and miraculous deliverance, besides the wonderful miracles of healing wrought by him on the island of Melita, gave Paul an exceedingly favorable introduction to the authorities at Rome, at once commanding the unparalleled leniency of the imperial administration, virtually setting him free, making his imprisonment but nominal; meanwhile “unhindered” he proceeds to establish a great mission in the heart of the world’s metropolis. Having sailed from Caesarea in September, after his long and perilous voyage he arrives at Rome late in February, A.D. 61, inaugurates his gospel mission, in which he preaches two years; meanwhile he dictates to Luke this wonderful history of the Apostolic Church, founded on the day of Pentecost, entrusted with the responsible mission of preaching the gospel of the coming kingdom to all nations, thus preparing the world for the return of the glorious King. Why was Paul, at the expiration of two years, ruthlessly dragged out of his gospel mission, and, loaded with chains, brought a prisoner into the barracks of the praetorian army? This resulted from the death of Burrus, the commander-in-chief of the imperial guards, who, in lieu of the emperor, had received the letter of Festus and the report of Julius, and administered in the case of Paul on his arrival as a substitute for the emperor, being completely won over into sympathy with Paul and magnanimously protecting him as long as he lived. Now Paul’s only influential and powerful friend and protector at the imperial court having passed away, there is nothing left for him but the rigors of military despotism. During these memorable two years in his hired house, he not only preaches day and night, but dictates to Luke, his faithful amanuensis, the Acts of the Apostles, the epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon.

    CHAPTER - DEDICATION 1 , 2 . We see that this book is dedicated to Luke’s friend Theophilus, to whom his Gospel is also dedicated. Doubtless this brother Theophilus, who is not elsewhere mentioned, was much beloved by Paul and Luke. While it is more than likely that some eminent saint is here personally addressed, it is pertinent to observe that Theophilus is a cognomen from Theos , God, and philos , a lover. Hence it means a lover of God, and is here to be understood not only as specific, but generic, and applying to all of the lovers of God in all ages. Hence, reader, take notice; if you are a lover of God, this book, as well as Luke’s Gospel, is dedicated to you, since it is dedicated to all the lovers of God of all ages and nations.

    THE KINGDOM OF GOD 3. I am so sorry that nothing has been elaborately revealed appertaining to the precious ministry of our Lord with His apostles during the forty days of His glorified sojourn upon the earth between His resurrection and ascension. It is merely here stated that He spent the time “speaking the things concerning the kingdom of God.” Doubtless this explains the thrilling enthusiasm of apostolic preaching relative to the coming kingdom, and their incessant buoyant expectancy of their Lord’s return on the throne of His Millennial glory during their personal ministry. The kingdom of God is the Divine government. It was predominant in Eden, suffering total eclipse in the Fall. It was partially restored among the antediluvians, received a great impetus in the flood, flashed along the patriarchal ages, thundered out from Sinai, was predicted by the old prophets, preached by John the Baptist, our Savior and His apostles, and, during the Gospel dispensation, is to be heralded to all the nations on the face of the whole earth, calling out the elect and preparing them for the Lord’s glorious coming, when He will be crowned King of all nations and reign from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, “and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT 4 , 5 . One of the puzzles of all Christendom, a problem which none can solve, is why the Christian Church in all ages has not strictly adhered to the positive and unequivocal mandate of her Lord “not to depart from Jerusalem” till the Pentecostal enduement of the Holy Ghost and fire had descended on them. If she had faithfully obeyed this commandment of her ascended Lord she would have conquered the world long ago, preached the Gospel to every nation, and thus brought back her glorious King, restoring to the whole earth the Edenic state. This is the missing key-stone out of the fallen arches of all the great ecclesiasticisms that have ever risen upon the earth. When the Holiness people relax their grip upon this glorious mandate of our Lord, and send out unsanctified preachers like the worldly churches, it will then be pertinent to write Ichabod on our escutcheon.

    KINGDOM OF ISRAEL 6. When Jacob was converted amid the wonderful vision of the ladder, he called the place Bethel, which means “the family of God,” commemorating the fact of his spiritual birth, as then and there he was born into the family of God. After twenty years of terrible conflict with inbred sin, especially assuming the form of that fatal iniquity of covetousness, which has slain its millions, not even sparing the apostles, but consigning poor Judas to the doom of the lost, Jacob, like all others, could only conquer in a second work of grace. Peniel means “the face of God.” He must meet God face to face and receive the wonderful fiery baptism on the bank of the Jabbok.

    There victory came never to depart, and his name was changed from Jacob, which means “rascal,” to Israel, which means one that “prevails with God.”

    In the grand restitution, when Satan is to be taken out of the world and Paradisian glory restored, the government of the world is to be given to the “princes of God,” who shall rule all nations as the subordinates of their glorious King.

    TIMES AND SEASONS 7. Probably a better translation of these Greek words would be “periods and epochs.” You plant out a peach orchard. Then follows a period running over a number of years during which the trees flourish and yield their fruits.

    Eventually they get old and diseased, and the fruit is not only imperfect in quality but much reduced in quantity, so that it no longer pays to perpetuate the enterprise. The fruit bearing period is past and a revolutionary epoch supervenes. You dig the trees up by the roots, make fuel of trunks, roots and branches, plough and harrow the ground as virgin soil and proceed to pitch another crop on an entirely different agricultural line. So, in the Divine administration, we see these periods occupying rolling centuries and wound up by miraculous Divine interventions, developing memorable epochs and superinducing a new order of things. The Eden period terminated in the sad calamity of the Fall; the antediluvian, with the Flood; the patriarchal, with Egyptian slavery, plagues, and destruction in the Red Sea. The Mosaic dispensation, launched amid the thunders and earthquakes of Sinai, adorned with many prophets, saints and martyrs, finally degenerated, like its predecessors, into dead formality and hollow hypocrisy, rushing madly into the bloody scene of Calvary, fast ripening for destruction by the invasion of the Roman armies. The Gospel dispensation, the last of all in the grand preparatory for the coming kingdom, though inaugurated amid the unprecedented glories of Pentecost, pursuant to prophecies has already degenerated into worldly ecclesiasticisms, fast ripening for destruction. “It is not your prerogative to know the periods and epochs, which the Father placed in his own authority.” The appointment of the day of His coming is fanatical, as this is known to the Father only. However, it is our privilege to know the time of the end, the precise time being known only to the Father, from the simple fact that it is probably impossible for any human being to know the exact chronology. Professors Totton and Dimbleby, evidently the greatest chronologists of the present age, define the expiration of the “Gentile times” in the last vernal equinox (1898). The lunar chronology finishes the “Gentile times” seven years ago; the calendar chronology, thirty-five years hence, and the solar chronology, in seventy years. If we take Daniel’s tribulation period, forty five years, to intervene between the rapture of the Bride and the coming of the King, we may certainly be on the constant lookout, because by the majority of chronologists the coming of the Lord to steal away His Bride is over-due. That we are living in the time of the end of the Gentile dispensation and in the Millennial dawn, is certainly indubitable.

    THE HOLY GHOST HIMSELF, THE POWER 8. “But you shall receive power of the Holy Ghost having come on you.” The English version gives this very incorrectly, “you shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you.” You find it beautifully corrected in the Revised version. I have heard and read many sermons from this text exhorting the people to seek power after the Holy Ghost had come on them. All this leads to superstition and fanaticism. The plain revelation is that the Holy Ghost Himself is the power, and there is no other. So never seek power, but seek the Holy Ghost Himself. When you have Him you have all the power you need to do anything that God wants you to do. So you have nothing to do but to get thoroughly sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost, abide in Him, obey, and be true. So long as you thus abide, responsive to the gentle voice of the indwelling Comforter, verifying His will revealed by His Spirit, Word and providence, you will have all the power you need to do your whole duty, because you have Omnipotence to check on at will. After we are filled with the Holy Ghost we grow with paradoxical rapidity, and thus, with spiritual enlargement, become more and more capacious of God. Consequently, we should be always reaching for a more copious enduement of the Holy Ghost, ever seeking Him and depending on Him alone to impart the needed power. The word translated “power” here is not identical with the word “power” in the preceding verse.

    There it is exousia , “authority”; here it is dunamis , “dynamite.” Hence, the literal reading: “You shall receive dynamite of the Holy Ghost having come on you”; i .e ., if you will receive the Holy Ghost as a personal, indwelling Sanctifier and abiding Comforter, He will supply you with all the dynamite you need to blow all sin out of you and to qualify you to blow up the Devil’s kingdom wherever you go, and enjoy an everlasting victory in your heart and life.

    TESTIMONY “And you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost of the earth.” Here we see the beautifully defined and ordinary phenomena of the indwelling Holy Ghost. Such people are saved from false modesty and tormenting cowardice, so they are always ready to testify anywhere and everywhere. They have faith in the Holy Ghost to give them words. So they do not wait to study up something to say, but are always ready to open their mouths and meekly witness to the mighty works of God in their souls. The fallen churches are dumb like graveyards. The Pentecostal churches are vocal like graveyards on the resurrection morn, when tombs are bursting and saints leaping into the air with roaring shouts of victory. Dumb religion is the devil’s counterfeit.

    God’s genuine opens the mouth and keeps it open.

    THE ASCENSION 9-11. This is the grand climacteric fact of this chapter, suitable to impress it on the memory as the Ascension chapter. When I was at Jerusalem I was never satisfied walking over Mount Olivet where Jesus walked so much.

    Whenever I had a leisure hour I would run away to Calvary or to Olivet, or to both. The memorable spot where the feet of my Lord did last tread the earth, how unutterably hallowed! That sacred Spot is left unencumbered with any superstructure to this day. It is free for the weary feet of loving pilgrims from all lands to tread. About ten paces from it a beautiful stone tower two hundred feet high has been erected for the accommodation of the Lord’s pilgrims who are anxious to follow Him just as far as possible in His upward flight. How I was delighted to climb that tower to its summit!

    There I stood gazing up into the blue ethereal firmament of a Palestinian sky through which my Lord did fly away, and leave the world in darkness to mourn His absence and sigh for His return. As I gazed skywardly I imagined that I saw the opening heavens and the glory radiating from the shining presence of my descending King. The trumpet reverberated in my ears, and I saw old Mount Olivet bestudded all over with the tombs of patriarchs, prophets, saints and martyrs, breaking into fragments, thus liberating the long-imprisoned saints, leaping into the air and ascending with tremendous shouts to meet their glorious Lord. I enjoyed climbing that tower; but I did not like to come down. I longed for my wings, to fly away along the shining ethereal track whither my Lord had ascended up to Heaven. 11. “And they said, Galilean men, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven?

    The same Jesus who was taken up from you into Heaven will so come in the manner in which you saw Him going into Heaven.” Such was the testimony of those radiant angels whose effulgent glory flashed out on the astounded multitude standing on the summit of Mount Olivet and witnessing the glorious ascension of our Lord. He went up amid the clouds, bright and glorious (as there are no rain clouds in Jerusalem in the summer time); so He will come again, riding on a brilliant white cloud, bright as the lightning. He went up accompanied by hosts of angels as well as redeemed spirits. So He will return, attended by mighty hosts of unfallen angels and all the disembodied spirits of the Bridehood, returning to the earth to receive their risen and glorified bodies. Zechariah beautifully corroborates the testimony of these angels: “His feet shall stand again upon Mount Olivet.” This is grand and conclusive, assuring us beyond the possibility of cavil that the very same transfigured and glorified body of Jesus which flew up from Mount Olivet is coming back again to put His feet on that mountain summit. The word of the Lord is unmistakable. The same Jesus who rode over Mount Olivet on the donkey is going to ride down on a cloud and put His glorified feet on the spot He evacuated to fly away to heaven. The very same Jesus who hung on the cross is going to sit on the throne.

    THE UPPER CHAMBER 12, 13. The walled city of Jerusalem is a quadrangle about twice as long from east to west as wide from north to south. The population is now estimated at fifty thousand, the city without the wall containing the same, though occupying a much larger territory and growing rapidly, as the space within the wall is all densely filled up, crammed and crowded. The walled city stands on a great mountainous table-land, the four prominences of which are Mount Zion, in the southwest; Mount Moriah, in the southeast; Mount Bazetha, in the northeast, and Mount Akra, in the northwest.

    Jerusalem is by nature the most impregnably fortified city on the globe, the Almighty with His own hand having prepared the site, high up on those great mountains, environed by the deep mountain gorges, designated the valleys of Gihon, Hinnom, Jehoshaphat, and Kidron, completely encompassing the city (really constituting one continuous abyss on all sides except the north). Hence invading armies in all ages have been utterly unable to approach the city except from the north. As it is the city of the Heavenly King, all the kings of the earth in all ages, conscious of the rivalry between this fallen world and heaven, have always held a grudge against Jerusalem and done their utmost to destroy it. Therefore Jerusalem has stood seventeen sieges and been destroyed seven times. After the Romans destroyed it, A.D. 73, the emperors, who were loyal worshipers of Jupiter, Apollo, Venus, Minerva, Diana and other Roman gods, and implacable enemies both to the Jewish and Christian religion, did their utmost to exterminate not only the existence but even the memory of Jerusalem from the annals of the world. Hence the Emperor Adrian in the second century dropped the very name “Jerusalem,” founded a Roman colony on the site, and named it Elia Capitolina, thus obliterating the very memory of God’s holy city. Two hundred years rolled away with no city on the earth called Jerusalem. When the Emperor Constantine, A.D. 325, was converted to Christianity, he and his queenly mother Helena went to Jerusalem and undertook its restoration, restoring the name and doing their utmost to identify the hallowed spots so dear and sacred to every Christian heart. Mount Olivet, east of Jerusalem, across the valleys of Jehoshaphat and Kidron, is the highest in all that region, being two hundred feet higher than Zion, Moriah, Bazenta and Akra on which Jerusalem stands. The city is so densely built as to disqualify the explorer from seeing much of it while within the walls. From the summit of Mount Olivet we enjoy a most capacious and satisfactory view of the whole city. When our Savior ascended into heaven from the summit of this mountain, pursuant to His emphatic mandate, positively prohibiting the disciples from their long cherished privilege of the world’s evangelization till they received the Pentecostal enduement of the Holy Ghost and fire, they returned to Jerusalem, “a Sabbath day’s journey” ; i .e ., three quarters of a mile.

    Entering through the east wall, they travel on through the whole length of the city to that favorite upper chamber on Mt. Zion, in the southwest corner of the city, which memories had already hallowed, because Jesus had there so frequently edified them in His wonderful Bible-school. In this upper chamber not only the twelve apostles, but one hundred and eight disciples, male and female, assembled. Among them, the mother of Jesus and His brothers. 14. Our Lord’s brothers [doubtless the sons of Joseph by a former marriage], James and Judas, the latter in E.V. called Jude to contradistinguish him from Judas Iscariot, who had brought disgrace on the name. These brothers of our Lord are not mentioned in the catalogue of the original twelve ( Matthew 10). There are two named James in that catalogue, but neither of them the Lord’s brother. After our Savior’s inauguration into His official Messiahship by the baptism of John, He immediately began to astonish the world by His mighty works. All classes and nationalities are electrified and bewildered by His miracles, spontaneously clamoring, “Surely this is none other than Messias, the Shiloh of prophecy, the Christ of God, the Redeemer of Israel, and the Savior of the world.” Meanwhile, His elder brothers remained somewhat reticent, soliloquizing, “This is no one but our little brother Jesus, whom we used to rock in the cradle and entertain with flowers, while mother got dinner. He was always the best and sweetest child we ever saw, and so good and industrious to help us do the work, at an early day becoming quite an expert in the carpenter-shop. We do believe that He is a mighty prophet, like Moses, Elijah, and Elisha. They wrought stupendous miracles. But to say that He is the Christ of God, the Shiloh of prophecy, the Redeemer of Israel, and the Savior of the world, is certainly going too far. He is just one of us, and nobody but our own dear little brother.” Therefore His elder brothers, James and Jude, stand aloof and contemplate all the mighty works of their brother Jesus, till He is arrested, nailed to the cross, and they see Him expire. Then they say, “Our precious brother ventured too far; He had great power, to be sure; but He made a mistake in venturing so far as to let His enemies get their hands on him. So now he is dead.” But when they see Him walk out of the sepulcher and fly up to heaven, they utterly break down and fall into line with tremendous shouts of victory, “Glory to God in the highest, the thing is settled forever; after all, our dear brother Jesus is all that His disciples ever claimed for Him. He is none other than the Shiloh of prophecy, the Christ of God, the Redeemer of Israel, and the Savior of the world.” The Apostles hail the Lord’s brothers a happy welcome into the apostleship of their Lord, and honor James, the elder of the two, with the pastorate of the Alma Mater Church at Jerusalem.

    SUICIDE, SUCCESSION AND DOOM OF JUDAS 15-26. Now Peter, in his recognized seniority, proceeds to have the vacuum created by the fall of Judas Iscariot supplied. The prophecies here quoted predicting the treason of Judas, did not necessitate him to perpetrate the atrocious crime. You must bear in mind that God is not tied to the prophecies, but the prophecies to God. The prophecies are in the past tense, from the simple fact that they are histories in anticipation, seen by the Omniscient Eye, with whom all events in all ages are present. Christ came into the world to die, a substitute for fallen humanity. If Judas had never been born, Jesus would have died a ransom for a lost world just the same.

    In verse 17 we learn that Judas received a lot of the apostolic ministry. We can not conclude that our Savior ever sent out a sinner or a devil to preach His holy gospel. John 6:70: “Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” If you will notice the gospel harmony you will find these words were spoken after about two years of the apostolic ministry had passed away. Unfortunately, Judas was the apostolical treasurer and financier, — a very dangerous office. The love of money fought Jacob with desperation twenty years, and would have conquered and sent him to hell if he had not triumphed in the Peniel experience after that memorable night of prayer, when the love of money and all other phases of depravity were sanctified out of him. We doubt not but poor Judas has an alarming ministerial following at the present day. Could you uncap the bottomless pit and look down upon Judas, doubtless you would see him surrounded by multiplied thousands of preachers and church officials who were ruined by the love of money, sold out their Lord for filthy lucre, and made their bed in hell. Jesus condemns the hireling shepherd and says he will play the coward when the wolf comes. No wonder Satan’s wolves at the present day are making awful havoc, slaying, devouring and scattering the Lord’s sheep when a hireling ministry is the established order of all ecclesiasticisms. Judas sold Jesus for fifteen dollars. Many a preacher nowadays sells Him for fifteen hundred, and not a few for fifteen thousand.

    I seriously doubt whether any other apostle has a larger ministerial following than Judas. Reader, beware of filthy lucre; it sent an apostle to hell! There is no disharmony between Matthew and Luke as to the suicide of Judas, and their dissimilarity of phraseology but clinches the argument in favor of the veracity of both, as there is no probability that either had seen the record of the other. The statement in E.V. that Judas repented is not correct. When man repents in the true Bible sense, God always forgives, because a genuine repentance is the work of the Holy Ghost and the infallible antecedent to a free pardon. If Judas had repented, he would have been forgiven and saved. The Greek word does not mean repent, but “flooded with remorse,” an actual prelude of hell torment, so utterly intolerable as to precipitate him into suicide. For the same reason millions besides Judas have hurried to end their misery by suicide, a stratagem of the devil to expedite their damnation. Amid this horrific and unbearable remorse, Judas, seeking in vain to rescind the contract, throws down the money in the temple and runs away off to a rugged precipice beyond the deep valley of Hinnom [pointed out to me by my guide when I was there in 1895] with furious expedition, gets hold of a rope too weak to bear his robust, corpulent, Jewish body, ties it round his neck, swings off from the precipice, the rope breaks, he falls precipitately on the great rocks beneath, bursting in twain, as the Greek says, with a great noise, all of his internal organs gushing out. Thus he dies a most horrible death, weltering in his own blood. The popular superstition recognized the spot on which he fell as polluted, and, in modern parlance, haunted and unfit for human occupancy.

    Hence, they satisfy the proprietor by paying for it with Judas’s money which he had thrown down in the temple, and erect on it a sepulcher for the interment of the homeless and friendless dying at Jerusalem. 20. “His episcopacy let another take.” Here we find that Judas was a bishop, like all the other apostles. The New Testament bishop is simply a pastor of the flock of Christ, the original word being episcopos from epi , “over,” and scopeoo , “see.” Hence it simply means an overseer, and applies legitimately and unequivocally to every class-leader, leader of a Holiness band or pastor in charge of a little bunch of Christians. The modern episcopacy is utterly unknown in the New Testament, and certainly a mistake in church economy, as out of it has developed priestcraft, prelacy, popery and the institutions of Antichrist which have girdled the globe with the abominations of spiritual Babylon. These facts do not necessarily preclude the legitimacy and the expediency of a judicious and Scriptural superintendency. They recognize but one qualification for the apostleship, and that is primitive and persevering discipleship with Jesus throughout His entire ministry. Now they present two candidates, both well qualified, and turn over the election to the Holy Ghost. The casting of lots, customary in that day, innocent, simple and recognized of God, was equivalent to drawing straws, a very simple and common method of decision at the present day. The lot having fallen on Matthias, he is at once recognized as a legal apostle, filling the vacancy created by the fall of Judas. This whole transaction has been severely criticized and condemned by theologians as destitute of divine authority, at the same time alleging that Matthias never served as an apostle, as we never hear of him afterward. This argument breaks down of its own weight, as the same may be said of the majority of the other apostles. Paul, with his vast learning, as a matter of course wrote up his ministry; while, for the very opposite reason, the other apostles wrote nothing, except four, and some of them but little; while we are dependent on secular history for our knowledge of the life, ministry and destiny of the majority. History informs us that Matthias entered courageously upon his great and responsible work. During the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 73, all the apostles, being Jews, with all other Jews and Christians who were nearly all Jews at that time, being driven out of Palestine went in all directions preaching the Word, doubtless like Paul each of them seeking a new field where he would build on no man’s foundation.

    Matthias went on preaching, taking Africa for his field of labor, wandering far away into Abyssinia, where he preached faithfully till he was honored with a martyr’s crown. Mark also went to Africa and finally suffered martyrdom in Alexandria, Egypt, being dragged by a cruel mob through the streets till he expired. Matthew also spent his life preaching in Africa, finally suffering martyrdom in a city of Ethiopia. Luke, the faithful writer of this book, was hung on an olive tree in Greece. Paul was beheaded by order of Nero, about one mile west of the Roman wall. Peter was crucified on the Campus Martins in Rome, with his head downward. Andrew became the apostle of Armenia, where he faithfully preached till they crucified him on a transverse cross. Philip was crucified in Asia Minor.

    Bartholomew preached faithfully in Phrygia till ordered by the king to leave his country forever. Failing to obey the order, the enraged monarch had him skinned alive. Jude, the brother of our Lord, wandered far away into Northwestern Asia, preaching in Tartary and perhaps in China till they put him to death by tying him up to a tree and shooting his body full of arrows.

    James the Greater, the son of Zebedee and brother of John, was beheaded by Herod Antipas. James the Less, the son of Alphaeus, was precipitated from a pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem, and then beaten to death with a fuller’s club. Thomas the doubter, all of his doubts and cowardice having been burned up when he received the fiery baptism, preached his way far out into India, where he faithfully preached and witnessed for Jesus till his enemies ran a cruel iron bar through his body and hung him up between two trees, thus complimenting him with a martyr’s crown. 25. “To receive a place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas departed to go into his own place.” So long as Judas was true to the ministry and apostleship of our Lord, he enjoyed a place in the kingdom of God. Unfortunately, Satan pulls and pulls incessantly on the mighty Archimedian lever of money-love, till he finally maneuvers to tilt him away from the safe anchorage of our Lord’s ministry and apostleship, the divine image evanescing from his heart and the Heavenly Dove retreating away.

    Then Satan comes in and pollutes his spirit through and through, obliterating every trace of heavenly congeniality and fitting him only for hell. Just as Holiness gravitates all its possessors into heaven, their own place, where they meet none but congenial spirits; even so doth sin gravitate its victim hellwardly, till, like a millstone round his neck, it drags him into the bottomless pit, “his own place,” where everything and all the inmates are alike polluted with sin, and where alone in all the realms of eternal worlds, the sinner can find congeniality. The sinner has his own hell in him and carries it with him into hell. If he were to go to heaven he would carry his hell in him into the city of God. With hell in him, though in heaven, he would doubtless be, if possible, more miserable than in hell; so that even in heaven he would be irreconcilably dissatisfied and wretched so that he would long to get away, and, like the fallen apostle, go to “his own place.”

    CHAPTER - PENTECOST 1. The Kairites (so named from the Greek word which means time and occurs in the phrase “times and seasons”) are scholarly critics who make times and seasons a specialty of investigation. These tell us the day of Pentecost was Sunday. Our Savior was crucified on Friday, April 14th.

    This would make Pentecost the first Sunday in June, and the notable epoch on which the dispensation of the Holy Ghost was inaugurated. The celebrated Dr. Gordon denominated Pentecost “the birth of the Holy Ghost.” Though this strikes us as strange phraseology, yet it is not without a degree of plausibility. Of course, such a statement does not ignore the preexistence of the Holy Ghost, as He is none other than the very and eternal God, co-existent with the Almighty from all eternity. The same is equally true of the Son; yet He was born in Bethlehem. The Son of God was as real in the old dispensation as in the new, excarnate in the former and incarnate in the latter; but just as truly a Savior of the antediluvian as of the present generation. Before Pentecost the Holy Ghost was in the world in all ages; but it may be said that He operated on human hearts extrinsically, i .e ., from without. E .g ., while the minstrel played, the Holy Ghost came on the Jewish prophet. When Samson arose and shook himself the Spirit of God came mightily on him. As the Son of God when born in Bethlehem came into a human body, so the Holy Ghost in the day of Pentecost came into the bodies of the disciples, thus incarnating Himself in human bodies and inaugurating His own dispensation, whose crowning glory is the incarnation of the Holy Ghost. When the Holy Ghost radically purifies a human spirit and moves into it, thus incarnating Himself in a human being, a new order of administration and operation at once supervenes, in which the incarnated Holy Spirit operates intrinsically, i .e ., from within upon the external world, using the person thus occupied as a medium, spiritual, intellectual and physical, to transmit His omnipotent heavenly influences to all with whom He comes in contact. Hence you see that the incarnation was an indispensable prerequisite to make the church truly aggressive in the conquest of the world to Christ. Hence our Savior told His disciples that they would do greater works after He had gone to His Father; because He must go up and receive the Father’s approval of His expiation of a guilty world before the divine administration can be magnified by the incarnation of the Holy Ghost in the people of this world. This is really the glorious earnest of the grand restitution. When the Holy Ghost thus incarnates Himself in a human being, He brings in the “age to come” ( Hebrews 6:5), i .e ., the millennium, a prelibation of the glorious millennial reign of our descended Lord. The grand ultimatum of the gospel dispensation is this incarnation of the Holy Ghost, in which we are actually married to Him (because He is none other than the Spirit of Jesus), and this spiritual wedlock verifies the Bridehood of Christ, anticipatory of the glorious celebration of the heavenly nuptials in the presence of the Father and multiplied millions of unfallen angels at the marriage supper of the Lamb in heaven, which shall immediately follow the rapture of the bride, for which we are this day in constant outlook. Our Lord ascended into heaven on Thursday. Flooded with the thrilling anticipations of His glorious prophetical fulfillments in the descension and incarnation of the Holy Ghost, they go away to their mission hall on Mount Zion, thrilled with jubilant expectations. Some think the Lord will honor His ascension day and send the Comforter before the sun goes down. In this they are mistaken, and a night of prayer brings deep illuminations into their hearts.

    Friday, ever memorable for the crucifixion of our Lord and the redemption of the world, brings a new inspiration to the rising tide of faith, intensified by Peter’s fervent exhortation: “Surely this is the glorious day when our Lord will baptize us with the Holy Ghost and fire!” Friday is fled and gone, and Saturday, the good old Jewish Sabbath, ushers in. James and John are eloquent, thrilling all with their inspiring exhortations: “Surely our Lord will honor the good old Sabbath of Moses and the prophets, and augment the hallowed memories of this glorious day by sending down the promised enduement.” Another night of prayer conduces to grander spiritual illuminations. Sunday ushers in. Mary’s eyes sparkle while eloquent inspiration leaps from her lips: “Surely our Lord will honor the glorious day of most hallowed memory when He broke the fetters of the tomb and arose triumphant over sin, death and hell!” These wonderful days, clustered about with the ineffaceable memories of stupendous miracles, unspeakably sacred to every loving disciple, have all flown away, and “hope deferred maketh the heart sad.” Monday ushers in, fraught with no inspiring memories.

    Now prostrate on the floor they cry to God. The Holy Ghost, with the effulgent lamp of His infallible scrutiny, goes down into the profound subterranean regions of their fallen spirits, revealing to Peter his cowardice, to Thomas his doubts, to James and John their ambition, and to all the dark dens of hissing serpents, the dismal lairs of roaring lions, the filthy kennels of snapping dogs and the loathsome bogs of croaking frogs, swelling toads and poisonous scorpions, constituting the dismal debris of inbred sin, the Satanic heredity of Adam the first. Tuesday follows, redeemed by no hallowed memories. So they sink deeper into the dismal subterranean regions of original sin, contemplating with unspeakable mortification the gorgon horrors of hereditary depravity revealed to the quickened spiritual eye by the infallible Heart-Searcher. Wednesday is commemorated by a deeper sinking out of self and still profounder illuminations revealing the horrors of inbred sin. That day is commemorated in the experience of many reaching bottom-rock. Thursday ushers in like a sun-burst from a world of clouds. Many exclaim, “Glory to God, for the triumphant ascension of our Lord on this hallowed day one week ago!” Mary in advance of her dispensation had known the sweet experience of entire sanctification, sitting at the feet of Jesus, felicitously oblivious of all the world; as had Nathanael, an “Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile.” Fortunately, these two disciples stand on the high plane of cloudless sunshine beneath the clear sky of Beulah land, roaring inspiring shouts to their brothers and sisters amid the swellings of Jordan’s terrifying floods. Old Peter is one of the first to heed the inspiring appeals of Mary and Nathanael, and dares to walk out in naked faith and trust the cleansing blood radically and thoroughly to purify his heart from all the vacillations and cowardice which had flooded him with intolerable disgrace ( Acts 15:9). John, with brilliant countenance, swings clear by faith alone. Now they follow in platoons. Finally, doubting Thomas, with faltering tread, dares to set down his foot on Jordan’s stormy billow. Friday floods them all with the ineffaceable memories of Calvary, when the Lord redeemed the world by His flowing blood. Hence, the blood has honored that memorable day from dewy morn till dusky eve. It is significantly a day of victory. Saturday, the good old Jewish Sabbath, literally signifying the perfect rest of the soul in Jesus, is truly a crowning day on the battlefield of faith so memorable the last nine days. Wonderful and glorious is the soul rest into which they sink away. The second Sunday morning of those memorable ten days now gilds the Oriental skies, while the fair-fingered Aurora, the daughter of the dawn, is moving on tip-toe over great Mount Olivet. This is our Lord’s glorious resurrection day. The battle has been fought on the bloody fields of consecration and faith and a ten days’ prayer-meeting without intermission. They have gone down to the bottom-rock of Consecration and prayed up to the triumphant altitudes of Faith. The battle is fought, the victory won and Hope has spread her eagle pinions ready for her celestial flight. They have spent the ten days on their knees and prostrate on the floor. But they are done praying. They have prayed up to the highlands, where heavenly visions, in seraphic splendor, roll in floods of unearthly glory, inundating that memorable mission-room with an electrical panorama of the long-anticipated descending Comforter.

    Hark! the roar of a cyclone fills the firmament. Behold! forked-tongues of flaming fire sit on every brow and flood the room with an unearthly illumination. That mission-room can no longer hold the fire-baptized one hundred and twenty. What a stampede down stairs! all mouths wide open, stentorian voices roaring like lions, arouse the city, and one hundred thousand people rush from all directions to see what is the matter. I visited a great convocation of scholarly clergymen and high-steeple officials with long plug hats, sleek coats, tooth-pick shoes and golden-headed canes, with long faces and lugubrious countenances and deep sighs, consulting either with other, “How to reach the masses.” Here the problem is solved once for all. Get the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire and they will reach you.

    You need no advertisement but the stentorian shout of new-born souls and Spirit-filled pilgrims. Peter’s seniority is recognized in his leadership, complimented with the first gospel sermon on that wonderful occasion. O, that sermon! of which Luke gives us but a brief epitome. It was a clap of thunder from beginning to end, sheet-lightning flooded with dynamite.

    Modesty and cowardice have been burnt up with the fire of the Holy Ghost.

    So the illiterate fisherman faces kings and potentates, the combined authorities of church and state, panoplied by all the persecutionary power of earth and hell, and without a flicker looks them squarely in the face and arraigns them at the judgment bar of God Almighty, charged with the murder of His Son, the Savior of the world. The countless multitude stands appalled, as if the archangel of doom had come down and was blowing his mighty trumpet, waking the dead and gathering the world to the judgmentbar.

    Amid the forked lightnings of this first gospel sermon, preached without preparation, grammar or logic, thousands fall prostrate, as if a battery of a hundred cannons had been simultaneously turned on them.

    They make Jerusalem roar and reverberate, “What must we do?” Now that the lightning of conviction has sent panic to listening myriads, immediately the hundred and twenty-five baptized men and women disperse in all directions, preaching with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. Do you see Mary Magdalene mounted on David’s tomb preaching to the thunderriven multitude falling round her and crying for mercy? Look at Thomas the doubter, his doubts all burned up with Holy Ghost fire, standing on the wall of Jerusalem, with a voice like a lion, preaching to the appalled multitude! O, that wonderful day! never to be forgotten, memorialized by the incarnation of the Holy Ghost. The world had never seen such a day since from Sinai’s melting summit, amid lightning bolts, deafening thunder and heaving earthquakes, Jehovah God came down and launched the Mosaic dispensation. Again He is come in the culminating miracles of fiery Pentecost to inaugurate the last dispensation, destined to prepare the world for the glorious theocracy, never to go into eclipse.

    TONGUES OF FIRE 3. The tongue symbolizes the gospel whose dispensation is here and now inaugurated. God has never given but one definition of His minister, — “a flame of fire” ( Hebrews 1:7). Satan is the great counterfeiter. He counterfeits everything that God does, in that way fooling the people till he can dump them into hell. The world is to-day chock full of the devil’s religion, in which he deceives people by millions, Pagans, Moslems, Papists and Protestants, making them believe he is God. Despite all the chicanery of hell, honest Bible readers, illuminated by the Holy Ghost, have no trouble to detect the devil’s counterfeit. The way to heaven is so plain “that wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein” ( Isaiah 35). God’s gospel is all fire. We need two tongues to preach it, corresponding with the two great works of grace in the plan of salvation.

    As we see here, both these tongues are flames of fire; the one to preach hellfire to alarm them, bring them to repentance and keep them out of hell; and the other to preach heavenly fire to Christians to sanctify them wholly with the real fiery baptism, burning out of them everything that will not do for heaven, and thus sanctifying them wholly to dwell in the glorified presence of God, world without end. The most stupid ignoramus can discriminate between fire and ice. It is equally easy for honest people to distinguish between God’s religion and Satan’s. The former burns up all sin and fills you with heavenly fire, while the latter freezes you into an iceberg. The devil’s religion freezes you here and burns you in hell through all eternity.

    Good Lord, have mercy on the north-pole churches, with their icebergy members and their cultured pastors. Who can contemplate the wholesale delusions of the devil in the icebergy churches and not recognize the awful fulfillment of the latter-day prophecies of our blessed Savior? “Because iniquity doth abound the love of many shall wax cold.

    WITH THE HOLY GHOST 4. In the old dispensation the Holy Ghost operated extrinsically in the people. It is the crowning glory of the gospel dispensation to be filled with the Holy Ghost, in which case He operates on us intrinsically. The law must be satisfied before the glorious Retribution, back to the Edenic state in which God filled Adam and Eve like angels, can take place. The incarnation of the Son defeated the devil and magnified the violated law; thus sweeping every difficulty out of the way and lifting the flood-gate of perfect love to pour its Niagaras of full salvation into the consecrated believing heart.

    Hence the crowning glory of the Pentecostal dispensation is the filling of the heart with the Holy Ghost. We find the gospel standard uniformly recognized throughout the history of the apostolic church. It was not only the indispensable qualification of the gospel herald, but it was a sine qua non in the deacon, entrusted with the temporal interests of the church, as well as the eldership, charged with the graver responsibilities of the immortal soul. At this point Satan long ago maneuvered to derail and thus blast the purity and blight the glory of the Christian Church; seducing the fair Bride of Christ to receive his black hand in wedlock, deck herself in all the ornamentation of the world, and verify the horrific prophecies pertaining to the harlot of Babylon. Revelation, 12th and 17th chapters. If the church had remained true to the Pentecostal doctrines and experiences she would long ago have enjoyed the honor of conquering the world and bringing back her glorified spouse to be crowned King of kings and Lord of lords. The filling is impossible unless preceded by a radical emptying, a complete evacuation of our spiritual being by all evil. This is the negative experience under the cleansing blood, the invariable antecedent of the glorious positive experience, i .e ., the impletion of the Holy Ghost. If you are true to the infallible Monitor, you can always have at your command the needed information relative to this glorious and extraordinary experience, as He is sure to reveal to you an emptiness in your heart, “an aching void” the world can never fill. Spirit filled people alone constitute the Bridehood of Christ ( Matthew 25). Our Lord proposes to rule the world during the coming millennial age through the instrumentality of His Spirit-filled, transfigured Bride ( Revelation 20:6). He is now depending on the Spirit filled members of the Bridehood to preach the gospel of the glorious coming kingdom to all nations, calling out the elect and thus preparing the world for His glorious return to reign in righteousness ( Matthew 24:14). Reader, I abjure you, by the infinite value of your soul and the infinitesimal glories of the coming kingdom, that you get truly filled with the Holy Ghost and by doubtless faith and martyr obedience keep filled, on tiptoe watching and waiting to hail your Lord descending on a cloud ( Revelation 1:7).

    DOUBLE MIRACLE 5-9. On this occasion an unprecedented double miracle was wrought by the Holy Ghost on not only the speakers but all the hearers. This double miracle moved like a span of cyclones through the multitude, bringing the gospel with lightning velocity and unerring intelligibility to all. On the speakers was miraculously conferred the power to speak in all of the languages represented in that vast cosmopolitan assembly. Those “ignorant and unlearned” men and women preached fluently in languages which they knew not. Of course they knew substantially and experimentally what they were preaching, but they did not know the words and sentences they spoke.

    In their dispersions the hundred and twenty men and women, all preaching with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, spoke in the language of the people with whom they were providentially associated. An illiterate disciple happens to encounter a multitude of people speaking the Coptic language, as they were citizens of Egypt. She preaches fluently in Coptic, though she knows not a word of it. Bartholomew happens to encounter a multitude from Rome speaking the Latin language, of which he knows not a word, yet he preaches fluently in Latin. Thus there is a thorough accommodation to all the dialect vicissitudes of that cosmopolitan audience. As Peter was the leading speaker and the Greek not only the vernacular of the apostles, but the great learned language of the world, of course he delivered that memorable introductory sermon in that language. Then the hundred and twenty, dispersing in all directions, preached with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven in the language of the people they providentially met.

    But there is another hemisphere of this wonderful double miracle wrought by the Holy Ghost in unutterable mercy to expedite the inauguration of the gospel dispensation and give it a supernatural impetus at the beginning, a glorious earnest of the coming millennium, as the filling of the heart with the Holy Ghost is really the millennial reign in the soul. Now the second hemisphere of this glorious miracle was wrought on that vast multitude “from every nation under heaven.” The supernatural power of the Holy Ghost wrought with the multitude a qualification in each human spirit, quickening the intellect and enabling every person to hear in his own native language. 8. E .g ., while Peter was preaching in Greek the Parthian heard him in his native Chaldaic tongue, the Median, the Elamite and the Mesopotamian each heard in his own native dialect. And regardless of the language spoken by any One, every auditor heard in his own language. To human apprehension this was miraculous superfluity, as either of these miracles covered all the ground, and to our diagnosis precluded the necessity of the other. But in this double miracle we have a wonderful manifestation of the divine beneficence and the superabundance of redeeming grace ( Romans 5:20).

    This double miracle largely accounts for the paradoxical efficiency of the gospel on that wonderful occasion when the world saw a brilliant prelude, adumbrating the ineffable glories of the coming kingdom.

    THE LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL NOT LOST 9-12. Volumes have been written, and weary eyes amid nocturnal lucubrations have toiled through the intervening ages hunting the lost tribes of Israel. It is rather a joke on the hypercriticism characteristic of modern times. The Bible is the book of all books. When John Wesley got sanctified he says he became “Homo unius libri ,” — a man of one book. All other books must bend to the Bible, and they are only valuable as they corroborate and elucidate the Word of God. You have nothing to do but look at these verses and examine your dictionary, and you will find the socalled lost tribes all gloriously represented in this great national campmeeting, i .e ., the Pentecostal festival commemorative of the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai. The Jews had three great national camp meetings at Jerusalem every year, i .e ., Passover in April, commemorative of the emancipation out of Egyptian bondage, Pentecost in June, celebrious of the wonderful birth of the Mosaic dispensation, and the Feast of Tabernacles in September, reminiscent of their gratitude to God for His abundant harvests.

    The Jews are the people of God’s providence; and consequently always have been and always will be the most enterprising people in the world.

    This day, though long driven from their own country, vagabonds among all nations, persecuted, scathed and pealed, they stand at the front of the world’s finances and rule the great kings of the earth, and through them the nations buy their money power. Only fifty thousand returned out of Babylonian captivity, responsive to the proclamation of Cyrus, under the leadership of Nehemiah. When I was in Palestine three years ago there were a hundred and twenty thousand there, in contrast with only ten thousand ten years previously. Thus we see how rapidly, in fulfillment of the prophecies of the latter days, they are gathering home. You have but to look at this Scripture and you will see that the Jews from every land of their captivity are here represented. In the old dispensation, as well as in modern times, the Jews migrated into all countries, and settled among all nations, pursuant to their industrial enterprises. Bear in mind once for all that this is a Jewish meeting in the metropolis of the Jewish world, and Gentiles have nothing to do with it. In reading your Bible you inadvertently leap to the conclusion that these different nations here mentioned are Gentiles, which is not true; they are “Jews and proselytes” (ver. 10). There is no mention of a Gentile in this vast assembly. The apostles and disciples are all Jews, the natives are all Jews, as are the visitors, as none but Jews came to the great national and ecclesiastical assemblies. Of course, there might have been a few Roman Gentiles incidentally there, but there is no mention of them. Who are the Parthians? They are Jewish delegates, bona fide members of the Mosaic church all the way from far-off Parthia, tenaciously adhering to the covenant of Abraham. Where is Parthia? It is a country in Persia, into which the Jews were carried in the Babylonian captivity. As only a small remnant returned under Nehemiah, the balance being settled and engaged in business so they did not see proper to leave, it does not follow that they repudiated the religion of their fathers; but on the contrary they stuck to it through all these intervening centuries, and now we find their delegates sent by their synagogues in the far-off land of their captivity and their adopted country. 9. Who are the Elamites? They are Jews from Elam, a country in Persia.

    Who are the Medians? They are Jews from Media, a great country bordering on Persia and the Caspian Sea. These are the very countries into which they were carried in their Babylonian captivity. Now you see, instead of being lost, they have perpetuated their fidelity to the religion of their fathers through these seven hundred years since the first Babylonian captivity under Shalmanezer, and here we see their faithful delegates at Jerusalem in their places in the great national camp-meeting away down at the end of the Jewish dispensation. Follow this catalogue of names and you will find, as it says, that the Jews are here from “every nation under heaven” (verse 5). Whereas, the great problem of the lost tribes is poetical rather than real, one thing is true, and that is, that during their captivities they lost their tribehood, so that they did not return in their tribal identities and organizations. Doubtless many of the ten tribes returned with Judah and Benjamin in the exodus of Nehemiah, while countless numbers of Judah and Benjamin remained in the countries of their captivity. You must remember that the period of oppression expired very quickly after their captivity, under the conquest of Cyrus, the Medo-Persian who destroyed the Babylonian Empire, and not only emancipated all the Jews but rebuilt the temple with his own money. Of course, the Jews who remained were no longer in captivity, but bona fide and honored citizens of the Persian Empire. Therefore, while they lost their tribehood they retained their identity as loyal members of the house of Abraham; and the very fact that we see them all represented in this grand religious convocation away down at the end of the Jewish dispensation is demonstrative proof that they had retained their membership and perpetuated their fidelity to the Jewish religion through all of these ages. The Jews, by reason of their enterprise, had settled in all the prominent cities of the known world during the old dispensation, which in that respect is a grand dumbration of the new. The Jews in all ages are God’s peculiar people, whether under the smiles of loving approval or under the awful castigatory rod of His righteous judgments. Just as the Jews at the close of the Mosaic dispensation were dwelling in every country under heaven, and thus representing it, so they are now dwelling beneath every sky, speaking every language and dialect, cultured in the institutions of every nation, and thus under the providential hand of Abraham’s God, they are now in a wonderful though mysterious manner being prepared for the metropolitanship of the globe, when the elect remnant will be gathered from the ends of the earth, rebuild Jerusalem, receive with shouts of welcome their own glorious descending King, and come again as in former days to the front of the world, there to abide during the glorious theocracy which shall girdle the globe with salvation and holiness unto the Lord. Thus in the present age, God in a wonderful manner, in the dispersion and culture of the Jews in every nation under heaven, is preparing them for the millennial metropolitanship of all nations.

    We must remember that the primitive church was all Jews, including apostles, disciples and converts. Here we have a catalogue of the most prominent nations of Asia, Africa and Europe, all represented by their delegates from the Jewish synagogues in their midst. These delegates represent all Israel in their dispersion, throughout the inhabitable globe. The very fact of their presence in this great national and ecclesiastical convocation, which has existed since the days of Moses, is demonstrative of their identity with the Jewish Church and nation during all by-gone centuries, seven hundred years since their first deportation into Babylon.

    Away with the chimera of the “lost tribes.” They were not lost then; neither are they now lost. They simply lost their tribehood, which in no way affected the integrity of Israel. So is their tribehood still lost. We seldom now find a Jew in the Old or New World who knows to what tribe he belongs. In the final gathering into Palestine, only a remnant will come home ( Romans 9:27) but doubtless in that remnant all of the tribes will be represented, though they know it not.

    ALL DRUNKEN 13. The E.V. says, “of new wine.” A mistake. Oinos , “new wine,” the simple grape juice, an innocent, reviving, nutritious drink, does not here occur: but glencos , “fermented wine,” which was a slow intoxicant. Satan had not yet invented alcoholic wine, the intoxicant of the present day. That oinos , “new”, wine, was what Paul recommended to Timothy for his health, as a valuable sanitary drink. The alcoholic wine of the present day would have made them drunk by nine o’clock, which was too early for their fermented wine to take effect, whereas the oinos , the simple expressed juice of the grape, was not an intoxicant.

    LAST DAYS 15-18. Peter proves by Joel the fulfillment of the latter-day prophecies on that notable occasion. The Edenic dispensation has come and gone, winding up with the terrible calamity of the Fall. The Antediluvian dispensation ran its race and went into the dark eclipse of Noah’s flood. The Patriarchal culminated in Egyptian slavery, the awful plagues and the destruction in the Red Sea. The Mosaic launched from Sinai is now tottering like a drunken man and hastening to its awful slaughter by the Roman armies. Even the dispensation of our Savior’s ministry, a wicked world and a fallen church united to obliterate in the bloody tragedy of Calvary. On this notable day, as Peter proves by Joel, the last dispensation is inaugurated. It is the climacteric glory of all, since the plan of salvation emanated from Eden under the preaching of Jehovah, i .e ., the Excarnate Christ. The effulgent glory of this dispensation shines out in the faces of Spirit-filled saints. Man enjoyed the indwelling God before sin entered. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil ( John 3:8). Hence, humanity must get back to the Edenic glory of the indwelling God. Christ must be incarnated an as expiatory Sufferer under the law, before the Holy Ghost can be incarnated as an indwelling Sanctifier. Hence the descension and incarnation of the Holy Ghost is confirmatory proof of the validity of Christ’s atonement, the perfect satisfaction of the violated law and the coronation of Christ, Mediatorial King in heaven. While in the former dispensation a prophet here and there succeeds in looking through the dim lights of type and prophecy, and by a mighty supernatural faith bounding forward into the anticipatory Pentecostal experience, now the types and symbols have all gone into the eclipse of glorious fulfillment. Not only our illiterate boys and girls, but even our servants, both male and female, are to receive the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire, be filled with the Holy Ghost and thus become burning incarnations of the Holy Ghost, before whose martyr heroism and seraphic light, princes and potentates pale and retreat and platoons of devils stampede. Aunt Amanda Smith comes from Southern slavery, by way of the wash-tub, to the front of the gospel ministry, where the princes of America, Europe, Asia and Africa learn wisdom at her feet. Bob Burkes, without a knowledge of the alphabet, gets sanctified, and edifies the multitudes, preaching alternate sermons with Dr. Carradine. Here we see that the Lord still speaks to His saints in dreams and visions; but these simple media of communication are even more prominent than in the former dispensation. In the latter all barriers are swept away. It is the glorious privilege of all God’s children to become the incarnations of the Holy Ghost, thus spiritually entering the glorious millennial theocracy and living anticipatively in the triumphs of the coming kingdom. We are well assured that we are not only living in the last days, which began at Pentecost, but we are in the time of the end. John said he was in the last hour; then we must be in the last moment. Totton and Dimbleby, the greatest chronologists of the age, expire the “Gentile times” with the vernal equinox of 1898. According to Lunar Chronology, used by the Jews and Mohammedans, the “Gentile times” expired seven years ago. The Calendar Chronology, generally used in Europe, runs them out in thirty-five years, and the Solar Chronology, used generally in America, runs them out in seventy years. Daniel’s period of the Tribulation (last chapter) is forty-five years. The Rapture of the Bride takes place before the Tribulation. Hence you see three out of four of these chronologies give us the Rapture overdue.

    Besides, the world is literally flooded with fulfillments of the latter-day prophecies.

    MIRACLES OF THE END 19, 20. These two verses describe the miracles of the end of the present age. You see how Peter couples them right on to the miracles of Pentecost; because he expected the Lord to return to the earth and set up His kingdom in his day. Matthew 16:28: “There are some of those standing here who may not [not “shall not,” as E.V.] pass away until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

    Also, Matthew 24:34: “This generation may not pass [not “shall not,” as E.V.] till all these things are fulfilled.”

    From these and many other Scriptures we see the gracious possibility of our Lord’s return to the earth during the life-time of the apostles and their contemporaries. The Greek in these passages has the contingent tense.

    There are no contingencies with God. The contingency was all on man’s side. As man always fails, so he failed in the Apostolic Age. There was a gracious possibility for man to preach the gospel to every nation during that generation; in which case our Lord would have returned on the throne of His millennial glory before that generation all passed away. All the apostles and saints expected to see the Lord return and “be caught up to meet him in the air,” which would have taken place if that generation had pushed to the ends of the earth and preached the gospel to every nation, as they could and should have done. These verses (19 and 20) describe the momentous miracles of the Tribulation. Luke Chapter 21), in his description of our Savior’s sermon on the judgments, preached on Mt. Olivet the day before He suffered, speaks of oceanic inundations during the Tribulation destroying multitudes. John describes the Armageddon wars deluging the world and heaping the battlefields with mountains of the dead. When the governments all fall ( Daniel 7:9) the rabble will rise, burn, rob and murder indiscriminately. Hence the bloody and fiery phenomena of the 19th verse. The smoke of conflagrations, gun powder and the vapor from the oceanic inundations and bloody battlefields will darken the sun and make the moon look red as blood. We have every reason to look out for these miracles immediately, as they are the next on the prophetic program.

    TIME OF WAITING 21. “And it shall come to pass that whosoever may call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved.” If the Pentecostians had proved true to the wonderful enduement of the Holy Ghost, they might have peregrinated the whole known world and preached the gospel to every nation, in which case the Lord would have returned to the earth before that generation had all passed away ( Matthew 14:24 and 16:28.) But like humanity in all ages, they failed. Man has always been a failure and always will be. He failed in Eden, winding up with the Fall; he failed in antediluvian times, swept away by the righteous judgments of the flood; he failed in the Patriarchal dispensation, landing in Egyptian slavery; he failed in the Mosaic dispensation, culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies and the dispersing of the Jews to the ends of the earth; he also failed in the Savior’s ministry, blindly rejecting and crucifying Him. The prophecies are equally explicit as to his egregious failure in the Gospel dispensation, plunging blindly and precipitately into the horrors of the great Tribulation. Is not this very discouraging? Does it not prove that the plan of salvation is a failure?

    To both of these questions we respond an emphatic negative. The plan of salvation is a glorious success to all who willingly appreciate it. The very fact of man’s failure in all dispensations, and under all environments, is the grandest incentive conceivable, inspiring all truly and intelligently awakened souls to abandon humanity, world without end, and sink into God. Man never was created for independency. Hence whenever he undertakes it, failure and calamity inevitably supervene. When the Pentecostal generation failed to preach the gospel to every nation, a period came on, designated “the time of waiting.” Meanwhile the Son is waiting on the Father to verify His promise, “Sit thou on my right hand until I make thy enemies thy footstool” ( Acts 2:34.) At the same time the Son is waiting on the Church to preach the gospel of the kingdom to every nation ( Matthew 24:14); while the Church at the same time is anxiously watching and waiting the return of her divine Spouse, who flew up to heaven from Mt. Olivet.

    During this period of waiting, in which the Father alone knows the end and the time of our Lord’s return, the commandment is repeated, rigid and explicit: “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of man cometh.” In this twenty first verse, we have a terse, clear and beautiful revelation of the gracious economy during the time of waiting. In our hurried rush to evangelize every nation on the globe, we have no time to bother with human ecclesiasticisms. They are utterly out of harmony with gospel expedition and New Testament simplicity. What do you mean by human ecclesiasticisms? I mean the human appropriation of the divine ecclesia . This word used by the Holy Ghost simply means the souls He has called out from this wicked world and separated unto God.

    The Holy Ghost Himself in regeneration and sanctification brings the New Testament church into existence, Himself organizing the same with bishops, i .e ., pastors, elders, and deacons. The human usurpation of the ecclesia has girdled the world with popery, prelacy, and priestcraft, locking the nations in the Briarian arms of spiritual Babylon and dumping millions into hell. In this verse, oh! how beautifully, simply and unmistakably does the Holy Ghost define the gospel economy and the plan of salvation: “Whosoever may call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” So what are we to do? Why! simply go to the ends of earth and prevail on the people to “call on the name of the Lord,” i .e ., to pray to God. All who fall in line, begin to pray and keep on to the end of probation, fly right up to heaven, as God’s Word is infallible as Himself. Instead of all the Christians on the globe running to the ends of the earth, preaching Jesus and getting all the people to pray, we have the nations humbugged by intriguing priests and tyrannized by ecclesiastical laws unheard of in the Bible. The apostles were “unlearned and ignorant men” ( Acts 4:13). Yet they were fully competent to the great work of the gospel ministry. Instead of wearing out your nerves, eyes and brain by poring over dry-boned theology, get the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, and run like Samson’s foxes, preaching hellfire to sinners till you get them all on their knees praying to God to save them from the burning pit. At the same time preach heavenly fire to Christians till you get them all on their knees crying to God for the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire to sanctify them for heaven.

    CHRIST, DAVID’S SUCCESSOR 22-35. We find in these Scriptures that Christ was predestinated to suffer and die to redeem the world. While this is true, it was perfectly optionary with Judas, the Jews and the Romans to betray and crucify Him pursuant to their own diabolical malice and turpitude. We must remember that God is not tied to the prophecies, but the prophecies to God, who sees the end from the beginning and with whom everything is present. We read in Samuel that when David came to Keilah in his flight from Saul, and the Keilites received him with gusto and enthusiasm, assuring him of their fidelity and support, illuminated by that spiritual gift, denominated in Corinthians 1:12, “discernment of spirits,” he read them like books and saw falsehood and treason in their countenances. Turning the problem over to God on his knees, he inquires of the Lord, “Will Saul come down to Keilah?” The answer comes promptly, “He will come down.” Then David proceeds to inquire, “Will the men of Keilah deliver me up?” The answer comes promptly, “They will deliver thee up.” David was acquainted with God’s method of dealing with man, he understood the perfect compatibility of human contingency with divine providence. Hence he understood “Saul will come and the Keilites will deliver you up if you stay.” Consequently he leaps from his knees, roars a loud bugle blast, orders march at doublequick, till they all precipitately skedaddle away from the traitors who were ready to purchase royal favor with the head of David and his men. From this inspired history we learn that even the divine predictions are compatible with the perfect freedom of the human will. What was the result? Saul, close on David’s track, heard that he had fled away from Keilah, turned his course in the direct pursuit of David and did not come down to Keilah.

    Hence, we see that neither of these predictions ever took place; because David having fled, Saul did not come down, and, of course, the men of Keilah did not deliver up David to Saul. David understood the voice of the Almighty when He responded to him at Keilah, “Saul will come down and the men of Keilah will deliver thee up,” though there is no mention of any possible defalcation; yet David well understood, “He will come down” if you stay, and “they will deliver you up” if they have a chance. Hence, David immediately fled, thus preventing the coming of Saul to Keilah and his own betrayal by the Keilites. From this and innumerable Scriptures we learn the co-existence and compatibility of divine sovereignty and free agency, though our poor little minds may not be able to reconcile them. If Judas, Caiaphas and Pilate had never been born, nevertheless my Lord would have died to redeem the world with His blood. He came for that glorious philanthropy and, regardless of human or Satanic agency, would have verified it. 25. “I foresaw the Lord always before me, because he is my right hand that I may not be shaken.” These words are applied to Christ; like much of David’s testimony this is only applicable to David’s greatest Son. We must bear in mind that the humanity of Christ is our only exemplar. The great importance of sanctification consists in the fact that it saves us from human leadership, which is always uncertain, fraught with peril, conducive to the damnation of millions. Truly sanctified people have no Leader but Jesus and no Guide but the Word, Spirit and Providence. The carnal clergy in all ages have fought sanctification with uncompromising virulence, from the simple fact that it takes the people out of their hands and turns them over to God, thus interrupting their cherished ecclesiastical policy of human leadership. In the fact that the man Jesus is our great and only Exemplar, we are assured in this verse that it is our privilege to enjoy spiritual apprehension of His constant presence. As the advocate in criminal court stood on the right hand of the accused while he defended and delivered him from the hands of his enemies, so it is our privilege to enjoy a constant spiritual apprehension of the inspiring and consolatory presence of the great Deliverer. 27. “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in Hades neither wilt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption.” We have two words used by the Holy Ghost and translated “Hell” in E.V., i .e ., “Hades,” which in R.V. is not translated, but transferred very correctly to our language, while the other word Gehenna in R.V. is constantly and correctly “Hell.” The difference between the two is simply that of genus and species, Hades being a generic word simply meaning the “unseen world,” from Alpha , “not,” and aidoo to “see.” Hence Hades, the unseen, includes both heaven and hell. We have this illustrated in Luke 16, where the rich man and Lazarus are in the same world, actually enjoying conversational proximity. But Dives is tormented by the flame of fire. Hence he is in hell properly so called; while Lazarus is in that intermediate Paradise called Abraham’s bosom, because it was the receptacle of all the spiritual children of Abraham, i .e ., the Old Testament saints, saved in the Abrahamic covenant and there detained in a state of felicitous captivity ( Ephesians 4:8) till the Abrahamic covenant was sealed and ratified by the blood of Christ The dying thief went to this paradise the very day of the crucifixion, ( Luke 23:43), notwithstanding certain wicked heretics have had the audacity to even change the punctuation of the Greek in this passage in order to sustain the most senseless of all heresies which even brutalizes you by taking away your immortal soul. As our Savior assured the women in the garden that He had not yet ascended into heaven, though He had already, pursuant to His prediction on the cross, met the saved thief in paradise, i .e ., in Abraham’s bosom ( Luke 16), the intermediate paradise of the old dispensation, where the saints enjoyed unmingled bliss, awaiting the great redemption on Calvary, and their risen and glorified Lord to lead them all into heaven, throwing wide the pearly portals evermore to stand ajar while angels welcome every saint into the New Jerusalem, the city of God, the home of the angels and glorified saints. 1 Peter 3:19: “Being put to death in the flesh and quickened in the spirit, by which going, he proclaimed to the spirits in prison.”

    This is the pillar of popery and modern theories of a second probation for sinners after they die in sin. It is radically and literally untrue as manipulated by those heretics. The capital S in “Spirit” in E.V. was put there by the translators, because they thought it meant the Holy Spirit, which is incorrect, as this construction would break up the antithesis with “flesh.”

    The simple meaning is that while our Savior’s body was put to death, His human spirit, not the Holy Ghost, was quickened by the Holy Ghost, so that His human spirit leaving His dead body on the cross [poor soulsleepers even deny that Jesus had a soul] went down to the intermediate world and proclaimed to the lost millions of hell. The E.V. erroneously translates ekeeruxen , which simply means “proclaim as a herald,” “preach,” thus leading the people to believe that Jesus preached the gospel to the disembodied sinners in hell. The word which means to preach the gospel is not in this passage, but it simply means to proclaim as a royal herald. What did our Savior proclaim to the inmates of Hades? He proclaimed His own victory, gloriously and eternally won on the cross of Calvary. The devil had been after Him to kill Him all His life, vainly congratulating himself that if he could kill the man Jesus, the final victory would perch on his black banner, and he would have nothing to do but add this world to hell and reign forever without a rival. While the devil is paradoxically intellectual, his spirit is black as the midnight of hell, uncheered by a solitary ray. Hence he leaped to the conclusion that if he could kill the man Jesus, the last battle was fought and the final victory won. Therefore hell roared with shouts over the arrest of Jesus in Gethsemane, cheered and enthused more and more by the successive reports of His condemnation by Caiaphas, Herod and Pilate, meanwhile the black couriers constantly arrive from Calvary, reporting the bloody culmination of their hellish enterprise. Finally, Satan, sitting on his ebon throne in the center of the pandemonium, has ordered ten thousand tall demons to subscribe in glowing capitals, “Victory,” on the black walls all round the palace of damnation. Demoniacal hands have half written the word. Suddenly thunderclaps and lightnings flash from the opening portals of the pandemonium appalling all the inmates of the bottomless pit. Lo! Hark! Who comes there? It is none other than the human soul of Jesus. He has left His dead body on the cross and now walks into hell, the herald of his own victory won on Calvary. He proclaims in the face of all devils hell’s eternal defeat and the redemption of the world. With the tread of a conqueror He walks round the pandemonium, with His Own hands pulling down the trophies of four thousand years of successful warfare and treading them beneath His triumphant feet. The tall peers of the pit wail on all sides, acknowledge Him conqueror and beg Him to depart. He now approaches Satan, the King of Darkness, sitting on his ebon throne in the center of the pandemonium; seizing him by the throat and dragging him down, puts His foot upon his neck, thus verifying the first promise made by Jehovah to Adam and Eve in fallen Paradise: “The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head.”

    Having proclaimed His victory in hell, He now crosses that abyss impassable to finite beings, but not to Him, intervening between the flaming hell of Dives and the Abraham’s bosom of Lazarus ( Luke 16:26), and there, pursuant to His promise on the cross, meets the thief before midnight, while it is yet Friday, the Crucifixion Day. As the thief died under the old dispensation, he went to that intermediate paradise, i .e ., Abraham’s bosom, the jubilant rendezvous of all the souls saved under the Abrahamic covenant in the former dispensation, there in joyful anticipation to await the verification of the covenant by the blood of Calvary. The thief runs to meet Him with a tremendous shout, Father Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, the Hebrew children and all the mighty hosts of Old Testament saints rend the firmament with triumphant shouts congratulating King Jesus on the victory won. Now the good old Jewish Sabbath sets in, the most wonderful they had seen in four thousand years. Oh! what an ovation! Golden harps are impoverished in the attempted proclamation. The first day of the week supervenes at midnight, eternally commemorated by the abolishment of the intermediate paradise, the emancipation of all the captives ( Ephesians 4:8), and the resurrection of our glorious Lord. Here begins that wonderful ascension ( Ephesians 4:9), when our Lord “descended into the lower parts of the earth” [which never did mean the grave], the Savior leading the way with the patriarchs and prophets on His right and on His left, followed by the mighty hosts of Old Testament saints, jubilant and ecstatic, reaching the sepulcher at daydawn, calling His body into life and re-entering it; meanwhile the sacramental host, all invisible because they are disembodied spirits, accompanying our risen Lord the forty days of His abiding with His disciples, and ascending with Him from Mt. Olivet, constituting the mighty trophy of His victory, whom He leads into the heavenly metropolis and presents before the Father. David’s prophetic eye in Psalm 24 caught a glimpse of this wonderful scene, while our Lord, accompanied by the mighty hosts of Old Testament saints, sweeps through trackless ether, passing rolling worlds, glowing suns, wheeling spheres, and flaming comets, finally draws nigh the celestial gates, saluted by seraphic voices: “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and let the King of Glory come in.” “Who is this King of Glory?” “he Lord, mighty to save and strong to deliver.”

    The pearly gates fly high and swing wide, multiplied millions of celestial seraphs shout long and loud, “Welcome home, welcome home, welcome home, O King of Glory, Conqueror of Mt. Calvary. Heaven is stirred with such an ovation as archangels never knew, infinitely eclipsing the tremendous shout of the sons of God at creation’s birth. Amid the jubilant congratulations of angelic millions, the triumphal procession, led by King Jesus, moves through the city and halts before the great white throne, “Father, here am I, and the children thou hast given me.” Now Abraham mounts a celestial pinnacle and testifies, followed by the thrilling witnesses to the wonders of redeeming grace, while multiplied millions of unfallen angels listen spell bound. Since our Lord has led the way, heaven is now accessible to every disembodied saint, nothing to do but die, and sweep with a shout into glory.

    HEAVENLY CORONATION 29-35. When I was in Jerusalem and visiting this spot, on which they were praying when the Holy Ghost fell on them, my guide pointed me out David’s tomb right there in full view. Silly heretics have construed the statement (verse 34), “For David has not yet ascended into the heavens,” as an argument for soul-sleeping, i .e ., that David had no soul to go to heaven.

    It is a humiliating illustration of the perversity of human sectarianism to sacrifice all truth, reason and intelligence to sustain their poor little foolish creed. The obliquity of sectarians is always ready to bend all of the Bible to their creed, instead of bending their creed to the Bible, or throwing it away altogether, as certainly God’s plain Word is all the creed and all the authority His children need or have any business with. The Bible, like all other good books, is in harmony with practical truth and common-sense.

    There is no allusion whatever to the soul of David, which had long ago left the body; but Peter at this point is simply speaking of the resurrection of Christ, simultaneously showing that this prophecy could not refer to David, though spoken by him, because his body had not yet risen, which he proved by pointing out his sepulcher. 30. “Therefore being a prophet and knowing that God swore to him with an oath that one from the fruit of his loins should sit upon his throne.” Peter uses this testimony of David to prove the kingship of Christ. He was born King of the Jews. Paul says ( Romans 2:28,29): “He is not a Jew as one outwardly, neither is circumcision that it is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly and circumcision is that of the heart; in the spirit and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men but of God.”

    Hence, you see that Jesus was born King of Saints. When Pilate wrote this superscription on His cross above His head in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, the language of religion, learning and law for everybody to read, “This is the King of the Jews,” he wrote an eternal truth. That was the reason why he could not change it afterwards at the request of the Jews. The word Inri , which you so frequently see above crosses at Roman Catholic grave-yards and other places, is a combination of initials and stands for Jesus Nazarenus , Rex Ioudiourum , — “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”

    David, the brightest type of Christ in the Bible, powerfully symbolizes Him in His regal capacity. As David had two coronations, — first, he was crowned king of his own tribe at Hebron, and seven and a half years afterward he was crowned king of all the tribes of Israel at Jerusalem, — so Christ in His first advent was crowned King of Saints when He ascended up to heaven, when He comes in His glory He will be crowned King of all the nations upon the face of the earth. David never occupied an earthly throne. His kingdom was the divine theocracy centralized in heaven and overlapping on the earth. God said: “I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all my wills.” The reason why David was a man after God’s own heart was not because he was infallible, for he was not, but because he had one fixed and settled policy and purpose in all his administrations, and that was not to do his own will but the will of God ( Acts 12:22). Much has been said about the perpetuity of David’s throne; great volumes written in an attempt to substitute other dynasties, even of other nations, in lieu of what is regarded as the forfeited throne of David, and thus fulfill the Scriptures. When we undertake to help out the Bible, we always make a mistake and get into trouble. The Bible, like God, does not need any help. If you will throw away your creeds and part company with the devil, the Bible will do its own talking. Here it is positively specified that Jesus, the lineal descendant of David, was born King of the Jews in David’s royal line. To be sure, He never reigned on earth. Instead of crowning Him King they killed Him, but here Peter proves demonstratively that he was crowned in heaven King of the Jews and successor of David to sit upon his throne. The Bible is clear in this succession of David and perpetuity of his kingdom on the mediatorial throne in heaven. As to David’s earthly throne, instead of all these efforts to find it perpetuated among the Gentiles, which is utterly chimerical, turn with me to the Jerusalem council of apostles, elders and brothers, highest authority this side of heaven, and you find the matter fully explained and the problem solved. < 441516> Acts 15:16: “After these things [i.e., the preaching of the gospel to all the Gentiles in the present dispensation] I will return and build again the dynasty of David or the throne which hath fallen down, and will rebuild the ruins of the same and set it up again.” Here we see positively that the temporal wing of David’s throne had an interregnum at the time of Christ and the apostles, which is to continue until the King returns in His glory. Then He is going to rebuild the throne of David, restore his kingdom on the earth, destined, as the same Scripture goes on to say, “to encompass all the nations of the globe.” Hence, we see that David’s kingdom in the earth is to have this interregnum , which obtained in the former dispensation and continued to the end of the gospel age.

    Therefore it is a great mistake to think we have to find David’s kingdom perpetuated in the earth, as this would preclude the interregnum which the Scriptures positively reveal. Hence the conclusion of the problem is the simple fact that Jesus Christ, the lineal Son, royal Heir and Successor of David, was born King, and, though prohibited and crucified on earth, He was crowned King when He ascended into heaven, and actually there sitteth on the throne of David, thus perpetuating his kingdom forever. Since David really had no earthly throne, but as king of the divine theocracy, his throne was in heaven, the capital of his kingdom, while it overlapped down in the earth and gave Israel a prelibation of the blessedness of the heavenly kingdom, of which Jerusalem, in the glory of David and Solomon, proximately symbolize heaven, and David’s earthly throne was but the temporal counterpart of the heavenly. Hence the temporary dilapidation of David’s earthly throne does not invalidate the eternal perpetuity of his kingdom, realized in the mediatorial administration of Christ in heaven and destined in the coming millennial age, adumbrated in the days of David, to reach down and girdle the globe in the glory of the heavenly kingdom. We find interregnum s in many of the time-honored kingdoms of the earth, such as Rome and Britain; but these interregnum s do not invalidate the perpetuity of these kingdoms. Neither does the interregnum of David’s throne on earth invalidate the eternal perpetuity of his kingdom, especially in view of the fact that the heavenly nucleus of that kingdom is literally perpetuated in the glorious reign of King Jesus. The very fact that God said to Jesus on His congratulation and coronation, “Sit thou on my right hand till I make thine enemies thy footstool,” involves the unequivocal promise on the part of the Father to shake down every rival potentate in all the earth, whether political or ecclesiastical. The incarnation of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost was a positive confirmation of the coronation of Christ in heaven, as the law must be fully satisfied before the promised restitution can be consummated in the incarnation of the Holy Ghost, actually restoring the human to full spiritual freedom and ushering in the millennial victory. Of course, Luke here gives us but a brief epitome of Peter’s sermon, i .e ., the salient points. God in the Abrahamic covenant promised the gift of the Holy Ghost. That covenant must be sealed with the blood of Christ before the Holy Ghost, the Restorer and Comforter, can be given. 33. “Therefore, exalted at the right hand of God, having received the promise of the Holy Ghost with the Father, he has poured out this which you see and hear.” You see Peter’s logic. The discussion of the Holy Ghost filling the disciples is demonstrative proof that Christ has satisfied the Father with His atonement, actually been received and ratified in heaven, crowned at the right hand of God Mediatorial King, received the Holy Ghost and sent Him down His own Revelator and Successor whom He had promised to send down.

    THE AWFUL INDICTMENT Now the illiterate fisherman faces the multitude, boldly arraigns hierarchs and politarchs for the awful crime of murdering the Son of God. The mighty logic of the Holy Ghost sweeps away all the human and Satanic refuges of lies. 36. Peter with the boldness of an archangel certifies and proves by David and Jacob that God has received, crowned and sceptered that same Jesus whom they had crucified both Lord and Christ. Thus he charges the mighty men of church and state with the blackest crime that ever cursed humanity.

    Nothing but the supernatural presence of the Holy Ghost in Peter kept them from killing him on the spot. See an illiterate fisherman prove more than a match for all the power of earth and hell.

    CONVICTION The supernatural presence of the Holy Ghost, indisputably manifest in Peter and the one hundred and twenty, despite the combined powers of church and state, earth and hell, settled down on that multitude a superhuman conviction like a nightmare from the eternal world, paralyzing resistance, confounding contradiction, demolishing the impregnable citadels of deepseated prejudice, smashing the mighty bulwarks of tradition and priestcraft, undermining and demolishing mountains of church-pride and ploughing the very foundation of the hierarchy, flooding the multitude with a Niagara of consternation, uncoping hell and unveiling the devil, revealing the Gorgon horrors of the bottomless pit, the matchless altitudes of glorified humanity and the transcendent possibilities of the glorified Christ and the incarnate Holy Ghost. The flashed lightnings of conviction sweep away all decorum, annihilate all sense of propriety and dumfound all the courtesies inspired by an audience of one hundred thousand delegates from all the Jewish synagogues beneath the skies. 37. Peter is shouted down by a swelling tide of mournful wails: “What must we do?” PLAN OF SALVATION 38. Peter interjects uproariously amid the heterogeneous clamor like ten thousand ocean billows breaking against the rock-bound shore. 38. “Repent ye, and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” As Peter’s introductory sermon is broken up by the uproarious wailing of eight thousand penitents, amid whose bitter cries soon mingle the vociferous shouts of three thousand new-born souls, the one hundred and twenty take the work into hand, dashing in all directions, preaching and expounding the way of salvation, the Holy Ghost wonderfully using their joyous instrumentality, utilizing the double miracle, empowering every one to hear in his own language and every disciple to speak fluently in all of the languages of that heterogeneous throng, thus restoring all the confusion at the Tower of Babel. Sad to say, heretic, Catholic and Protestant have woefully perverted this beautiful 38th verse, adroitly turning it to support the Popish dogma of baptismal regeneration, which has deluded and sent multitudes to hell. In the E.V. “repent and be baptized” are grammatically and logically co-ordinated — a bald error. In the Greek, “repent” is second person, plural number and imperative mood, applying to the entire multitude, while “be baptized” is third person, singular, applying only to the subject of “repent.” Hence, none are to be baptized but those who have repented. That simple fact knocks the Popish dogma of baptismal remission beyond the North Pole. “Repent” is metanousate , from meta , “change,” and noos , “the mind.” Hence, it means “change your mind.” You have no right to give this or any other Scripture a more metaphysical interpretation, from the simple fact that the Bible is not a metaphysical, but a spiritual book. Consequently, unspiritual preachers in all ages have run it into heresy and nonsense and made it a passport to hell.

    When God created man He put His mind in him. The devil, in the fall, succeeded in knocking it out and putting his old filthy carnal mind in its place. Hence, change of mind, indicated by the word “repent,” means to get rid of the carnal mind and receive the mind of Christ. The churches abound in people as ignorant of repentance as baboons, — hosts of preachers in the same dilemma. You remember that sermon by John Wesley, which all Methodist preachers are required to study, captioned “The Repentance of Believers”? That is in harmony with the true meaning of the word. You have the carnal mind till you are sanctified wholly. It is conquered and bound in regeneration, but destroyed in sanctification. The repentance of a sinner and the consecration of a Christian are generally identical but specifically different. They are both a giving up. The sinner in repentance gives up all of his bad things to the devil and leaves him forever; the Christian in consecration gives up all of his good things to God to be used for His glory forever. This is what John Wesley meant by the repentance of a believer, i .e ., his entire consecration of all to God for time and eternity.

    Hence, when repentance has finished its work you are not only converted but sanctified wholly. I heard so many sermons preached from this text by unconverted preachers when a boy I do thank God for His mercy which alone protected me from the horrific hell-traps they set to catch poor ignorant people like me. “Misery likes company.” They were in the devil’s trap of water regeneration, and they did their best to catch all they could.

    Although repentance not only invariably secures remission of sins but prepares you to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, the glorious positive side of entire sanctification and the climacteric achievement of the gospel dispensation launched at Pentecost. If the Hydrolators (i .e ., water worshipers, as abominable in the sight of God as any other form of idolatry) would only take the whole verse, press and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost they would come out right after all. But they pervert the first clause and throw away the second. Consequently they have nothing left but the water. “For remission,” E.V., does not necessarily mean “in order to remission,” as the Hydrolators construe it. When I was in California last winter a man was hung for murder. He was not hung in order to commit murder, but because he had already committed it. Hence “for remission,” not in order to get it, but because you have it. The E.V. is right in harmony with the Greek. There we have it, “and be baptized every one of you — unto the remission of your sins,” i .e ., confirmatory of the fact. You can not confirm a thing till you have it. We see from this wonderful verse which rings out the keynote of that salient response to the cries of the panic stricken multitudes, the two distinct marks of grace in the plan of salvation, i .e ., remission of sins as a result of repentance and confirmed by water baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, the glorious hyperbole of the gospel dispensation. Mark the word “gift” here in the singular number. The Holy Ghost confers gifts on the sinner, i .e ., conviction, repentance, regeneration, justification and adoption to bring him into the kingdom. Then when you are truly converted, it is your glorious privilege to receive from the Father and the Son the “gift of the Holy Ghost,” i .e ., the Holy Ghost Himself as an indwelling Sanctifier and Comforter. This was the crowning glory of the Pentecostal experience, consummating full salvation. After you have received the “gift of the Holy Ghost,” and thus been sanctified wholly, it is still your precious privilege to receive the greater gifts of the Spirit, nine in all ( 1 Corinthians 12), by which you are enabled to save others, these gifts of the Spirit constituting your impregnable panoply and preparing you for the Lord’s battle-field.

    FOR ALL AGES AND NATIONS 39. “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to you who are afar off, so many as the Lord our God may call.” This verse is positive, unequivocal and unmistakable, confirmatory of the great New Testament truth that the promise of the personal incarnated Holy Ghost appertains to every human being on the globe whom the Lord may call by His Word, Spirit and Providence to come and participate in the glorious gospel feast, now ready and free to every fallen son or daughter of Adam’s ruined race.

    While the concession of God’s pardoning mercy, extended to all, is generally conceded, ecclesiastical autocrats and theological heretics pertinaciously repudiate the second great work of grace, i .e ., the reception of the personal Holy Ghost as an indwelling Sanctifier and Comforter. Not only is this verse clear and unequivocal, but Peter at the house of Cornelius and in his testimony before the apostles at Jerusalem most unequivocally certifies that the Gentiles received the same identical spiritual enduement which the apostles received on the day of Pentecost. While these Scriptures are so positive, clear and conclusive as to preclude the possibility of misapprehension and leave no conceivable apology for cavil; yet it is a significant fact that bold heretics this day from Dan to Beersheba are persistently and indefatigably laboring to convince the people that no one but the apostles ever did receive the Holy Ghost, whereas a hundred and eight of the original disciples who received Him on the first morning of Pentecost were not apostles, and a number of them were women. Why do these bold heretics labor so hard and so persistently to flatly and positively contradict and refute the plain and unmistakable Word of God? Brother Godbey, what is heresy? And who is a heretic? The original meaning of heresy is to separate; thence a heretic is one who separates himself from God and takes issue with God; while heresy is doctrine dissimilar to God’s Word and out of harmony with it. The martyrs were all stigmatized heretics and burnt for heresy, because they separated from the corrupt clergy and the fallen church. If you will retain in your mind the definition of heresy, i .e ., separation from something, the analysis is plain and easy. When a church becomes corrupt and heretical because it is separated from God, it invariably falls into the hands of carnal ecclesiastical autocrats and despots who are ready to persecute all who dare to separate from them. You must not forget that Satan is the great counterfeiter and counterfeits all truth. He calls evil good and good evil; hell, heaven, and heaven, hell; and calls himself God, and he is the god of this poor fallen world ( 2 Corinthians 4:4). His intelligence so far transcends that of every human being as to enable him to cunningly manipulate the greatest intellectualists and the most profound scholars. He has but one available competitor, and that is God.

    So infinite is the devil’s intellectual perspicacity above that of all human beings that he has no trouble to radically and completely deceive all classes from the simpleton to the philosopher, from the barbarian to the most scholarly theologian on the globe. Hence the only possible availability against his devices is to receive the light, wisdom, word and personal incarnation of the Holy Ghost. So long as He dwells in you, though you be an illiterate Hottentot, you will prove more than a match for an army of devils. If you let God conquer you, capture and move into you, you can then conquer “the world, the flesh and the devil.” If you do not let God conquer you, you can be conquered by most insignificant things, e .g ., a filthy old cigar, the sickening quid or the nauseating old pipe, or almost any other silly and senseless device of the devil. As an independency, man never has stood and never will. The devil puffs him up with egotism and inflates him with the silly delusion of personal independency, merely that he may gouge his eyes out, wrap him around his black fingers, toss him for a foot-ball, the sport of demoniacal millions to kick around the black walls of hell through all eternity. Since the Fall, Satan has been “the god of this world,” and so few people have been acquainted with God that the leaders of church and state, blinded by the fogs of hell and led away by the sophistries of the pit, have literally developed a general tergiversation of the maxims and dogmata of all ages and nations, political and ecclesiastical.

    The devil takes the very phraseology of the Bible, radically perverting and cunningly manipulating it to the damnation of the superstitious votaries of religion. Consequently the devil’s deluded ecclesiastical tyrants in all ages have hounded, persecuted and martyred the children of God under the vociferous and odious imputation of heresy. As heresy means separation, and the saints of God could not be true to Him without separating from the wicked rulers of fallen ecclesiasticisms, of course they were heretics from their standpoint but not in the sight of God and the light of His Word. With the above exposition of Satan’s counterfeit applications and interpretations of heresy and heretics, you are prepared to put your eye on Jesus and His Word and receive the true interpretation of heresy and see who the actual heretic is. God alone is true and right. Hence all spiritual leaders who separate from Him are heretics in the divine estimation and in the light of all Christian intelligence. Since the Bible is the only book of truth in all the world, other books only being true so far as they harmonize with it, therefore all departure from God’s revealed Word is heresy. During the first three centuries, while martyrdom was the order of the day, the expectation of every Christian and the glory of the church, there never was a schism.

    When the Emperor Constantine professed the Christian religion and suddenly elevated the despised, down-trodden, persecuted church from the lion’s mouth and the burning stake to the palace of the Caesars, they immediately assembled in the council at Nice, Bythinia, the Emperor Constantine presiding over the council, sitting in a golden chair. They proceeded to make a human creed, thus formulating the celebrated Nicene Creed, the prolific mother of all the creeds of Christendom, which have multiplied upon the face of the earth like the Grecian warriors springing up from the dragon’s teeth sown by Cadmus. The martyrs were burnt for disharmony with the creed interpreted by the sinister policy of a corrupt clergy. When the holiness people go into creed-making the shroud of the grand movement is ready for her interment. Every deflection from the plain Word of God is heresy. The Old Testament abounds in beautiful and instructive symbolisms, all of which are literalized in the New. Hence the New Testament, in whose dispensation we live and which really contains all the truth of the Old, focalized, literalized, verified and elucidated, is the creed of Christendom. It is plainer and more easily understood than any of the human creeds. Hence there is no apology for their existence. If your creed is in harmony with the Bible you can well afford to drop it and use the Bible. If it is out of harmony with the Bible, throw it away quickly or the devil will get you. A sectarian is the devotee of a human creed, whether written or unwritten. He is a poor, deluded idolater, worshipping a silly, pusillanimous human dogma, hatched in the bottomless pit and propagated on earth for the delusion and damnation of souls. Any man will die for his god, whether he be a Christian martyr, worshipping the true God in heaven and earth, or a bloodthirsty Mussulman, worshipping the false prophet, or the Pagan devotee of Brahma, Buddha, Grand Llama or Foh. The present age is awfully cursed with human heresies. Our Savior describes them, “compassing sea and land to make one proselyte, simultaneously making him two-fold more the child of hell!” Well said, because they have no power to take away his old sins: all they can do is to administer to him the rites and ceremonies of theirs, persuading him that he is a Christian when he is not, thus making him a hypocrite as well as a sinner, and doubling the mess for devils to devour in the barbecues of hell. We would all do well to emulate the zeal and perseverance of the devil. Oh how his preachers run to the ends of the earth, undergo hardships and surmount difficulties to propagate their heresies and make proselytes. Now, reader, I hope henceforth you will know no authority but God’s Word, taking it as it is, zealous least any one explain it away. Paul calls it a two-edged sword. If you give it a chance it will cut the heads off your idols till not one survive, and thus you will have nothing left but God and His sweet precious Word.

    Why do preachers with fine collegiate educations hold on weeks together preaching themselves hoarse to convince the people that they can not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, thus flatly contradicting God’s plain and unmistakable Word? There is but one possible solution, and that is, that these are verifying Paul “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no wonder: for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no surprise if indeed his ministers are transformed as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.” ( 2 Corinthians 11:13,14) The world is thronged with the devil’s preachers, as the Holy Ghost through Paul so faithfully warns us. They tell you you can not receive the Holy Ghost, and that no one has received him since the apostles. Why?

    Because they are personally ignorant of the Holy Ghost in His regenerating and sanctifying power as a personal indwelling Illuminator and Comforter; they judge all others by themselves. They are like the African king who said that all the people in the world were black, from the simple fact that he had never seen a white man. Now, reader, will you be stupid enough to follow Satan’s ignorance instead of the blessed Savior and God’s infallible Word, which, as you see here, positively certifies this promise of God to bestow upon His children the gift of the Holy Ghost, — “is to you and to your children, and to you who are afar off, so many as the Lord our God may call” ? If you are puzzled amid the clamor of contradictory sectarian shibboleths, just get on your knees and ask the blessed Holy Spirit, while you open your Bible and read it, to reveal it to you. If you are truly honest, your creeds and idols all dead, and yourself dead to everything but God and His Word, you will have no trouble, but always receive the needed light.

    The reason why the masses of religious people are so easily manipulated by the devil’s preachers is because they know so little about God’s Word. The blessed Holy Spirit will invariably shed the light on His precious Word, necessary to guide the honest, humble soul in the way of all truth and righteousness. If you are truly walking with God in the light of His Spirit shining on His Word you can detect heretics at once, because they bend the Bible to their creed, thus incurring the awful woe pronounced on the man who “handles the Word of God deceitfully.” It is awfully wicked to tinker with God’s Word and bend it to your creed, whether written or unwritten.

    The Bible, like God, bends to nothing, while everything in all the world is to bend to it. How blessedly consolatory that the way to heaven is so plain, “that wayfaring men though fools may not err therein.”

    THREE THOUSAND CONVERTED 42. To what were they converted? They were all converted to the Christhood of Jesus. Doubtless very many of them knew the God of Abraham in a happy personal experience of His saving power. They are called “devout men” (verse 5). The word translated devout is never applied to a sinner. It is applied to Ananias, the good preacher sent to minister to the penitent Saul. It is translated holiness ( Acts 3:12). Now you must remember that Pentecost was a great annual Jewish camp-meeting, to which the synagogues in “every nation under heaven” sent in their delegates.

    These pious Jews from all the Gentile world had not heard the reports about Jesus. They were staunch worshipers of Abraham’s God and trusting the Christ of prophecy for salvation. Now they are suddenly and unexpectedly inundated with the wonderful news that the Christ of prophecy, anticipated four thousand years, typified by millions of bleeding beasts and birds on Jewish altars slain, has already made His advent into the world, suffered and died to redeem lost humanity, ascended into heaven, received and crowned by the Father on David’s throne King of the Jews, and has received the promise of the Holy Ghost from the Father, whom He has poured out on them in His wonderful fiery baptism and sanctifying power.

    Hence these mighty hosts of pious Jews, who had nothing to do with the crucifixion of Christ, but had come hither from afar to worship the God of their fathers, had nothing to do but hail the glorious tidings of the longexpected Redeemer’s advent, and be converted to the Christhood of Jesus, no longer simply worshipping the Christ of prophecy, but hailing with joy unutterable the Christ of prophecy and proclaiming Him to the world. As we have many zealous professors of religion now who are not real possessors, so doubtless many of the Pentecostian converts actually got religion that day for the first time, having never hitherto personally known the Lord. Meanwhile, doubtless a goodly number of them were Jerusalemites and actually guilty of the blood of the Lord. Of course they must have a bottom-rock regeneration to save them from hell. The Greek says nothing about conversion, but simply says, “Therefore so many as received His Word were baptized, and they were added unto them that day about three thousand souls.” The three thousand were added to the hundred and twenty disciples, who constituted the remnant of old faithful Judaism, the orthodox holding-over members, who, surviving the apostatizing wreck, became the nucleus of the New Testament church, still abiding in the “good olive tree,” while the unbelieving Jews were broken off ( Romans 11). Therefore to these faithful one hundred and twenty now representing the kingdom of God, perpetuated out of Judaism into Christianity, the three thousand were added. Doubtless a large element of the three thousand who had not been contaminated with the rejection of Jesus, as they came from afar and had not heard of Him, and as bona fide members of the Abrahamic covenant, were experimentally acquainted with the God of their fathers, and consequently not sinners, but true Israelites, actually received the Holy Ghost in His sanctifying power on that occasion and were sanctified instead of converted. Meanwhile, doubtless many of the three thousand had never before known the Lord in personal salvation, and not a few of them were those wicked Jerusalemites who had imbued their hands in the innocent blood of Jesus. Of course, all such needed and received a glorious conversion to God in the true gospel sense. In times of corrupt ecclesiasticism religion is always purer as it radiates far away from the corrupt center. Hence, doubtless, the teeming thousands of pious delegates from the myriads of synagogues not only in the remoter parts of Palestine, but throughout the Gentile world, as we see in Asia, Africa and Europe, were well represented there, not by Gentiles but by Jews. Of course, a purer type of piety prevailed in synagogues of these distant regions uncorrupted by the intriguing priesthood so influential at Jerusalem.

    Hence, while some of the three thousand were converted to God, and others were gloriously sanctified, they were all converted to the Christhood of Jesus. 42. “And they were persevering in the teaching of the apostles, and in fellowship, in the breaking of bread and prayers.” The three thousand were suddenly and unexpectedly caught in the whorls of this Pentecostal cyclone, warped in oblivion as to their distant homes and plans of speedy return, thrilled and enraptured with the new teaching of the apostles, revelatory of all the wonderful and paradoxical events connected with the history of Jesus, the Christ of prophecy, who had already in fulfillment of the prophecies come into the world, suffered and died, ascended into heaven, been crowned and sceptered King of the Jews and poured out the Holy Ghost on them, the Omnipotent Successor and Revelator of the ascended Christ, thus inaugurating the glorious gospel dispensation, predicted by inspired seers four thousand years. The three thousand all have the same wonderful experiences of personal salvation. Hence unutterably sweet their fellowship, as they are filled and thrilled with the edifying word; they are constant in prayers and daily partake of the holy eucharist instituted by our Lord to commemorate His vicarious sufferings till He shall ride down on the throne of His millennial glory.

    MANY MIRACLES 43. The occasion is rife with the miraculous manifestations of the Divine presence. The supernatural audience of every man in his own language and equally supernatural utterance of the one hundred and twenty in all the diversified languages spoken by the nations of the globe as the Jews in their dispersions then and now speak the language of the nation whither they sojourn, “and there was a great consternation on all,” regardless of age, sex, rank or nationality, a mighty consternation from God out of heaven overawed the multitudes, all electrified through and through with the realization that God Almighty has Jerusalem in His hand.

    COMMUNITY OF GOODS 44, 45. A number of concurrent events superinduced this community of goods: (a) The suddenness of the Pentecostal revival catching thousands of those delegates from Jewish synagogues in “every nation under heaven,” who had only brought supplies for their expeditious peregrinations, and were consequently dependent on the Jerusalem saints for support; (b) amid the rage of men and devils, the magnates of church and state arrayed against the despised Nazarenes and determined to crush them in blood, obliterating the very memory of Jesus from the earth, there is every probability of forfeiting their estates by confiscation; (c) all the primitive Christians were on the constant outlook for their Lord to return from heaven and take them away, as He had said with His valedictory lips, “Behold! I come quickly.” In that case, of course they would have no use for their estates. Amid these environments and inspirations we do not wonder at the forty-fifth verse, i .e ., “They continued to sell their real estates and private properties and distribute the same to all as any one had need.” Should all Christendom practice the community of goods? It would certainly be very pertinent as well as altogether probable amid the circumstances which peculiarize the Pentecostians. But remember God makes the circumstances; they are His providences, and we have no right to make them.

    HOUSEHOLD PREACHING 46. “And they were daily persevering with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house; they received their food with gladness and purity of heart, praising God and having grace toward all the people.” Here we find that the hundred and twenty, augmented by the mighty force of the three thousand converts, turned loose on the metropolis and the surrounding country, preaching from house to house. This explains the reason why five thousand more were speedily converted, at once swelling the Pentecostal church to eight thousand. The great delinquency of the present age is this original policy of preaching to people in their homes.

    Here we see that they entered family circles indiscriminately, preaching and praying till they convert them to the Christhood of Jesus, the great salient truth and fact of apostolic preaching, then they seal their profession of discipleship by baptism and confirm them by the eucharist. This is the grand open field for the holiness people to win a crown of glory, evangelize the world and bring back our King. So let us go preaching from house to house as they did at Pentecost. When I was sanctified thirty years ago I at once became an indefatigable household preacher. I ran all over my circuit regardless of membership in my church or any other, entering every house and preaching the living Word. My conference soon fell into the habit of sending me to the hardest and deadest appointments in all the land. While I ran into every house, prayed and preached in every home, prevailing on them to come to my meeting, which I kept running the whole year, God came down, shook the whole country with the tread of a spiritual earthquake, mighty revivals swept like cyclones, and while all the churches in my boundary were signally blessed and received many additions to their membership, I used to go up to my annual conference at the end of the year and report in my own pastorate three times as many members as I began with. Sad to say, the apostolic household preaching in the church of the present day is a lost art. The preacher goes round calling on his own members only, talks to them a few minutes about “Vanity Fair” and does not so much as pray for them. He would better stay at home. Such pastoral visiting is an insult to the common salvation and a grief to the Holy Ghost.

    CHURCH-JOINING 47. “And the Lord was adding daily unto them those being saved.” You all see the R.V., in harmony with the Greek, leaves church out of this passage.

    Doubtless the word was added by some of the ecclesiastical conservators of the Dark Ages. A considerable amount of the interpolations which have been added during the intervening centuries have an ecclesiastical signification, plainly illustrating the indisputable fact that they were put in by the clergy to augment and sustain their authority. The Greek Testament gives not a solitary instance of the modern church-joining. It simply says, “The Lord added unto them,” i .e ., unto the apostles, the visible representatives of God’s spiritual kingdom, without the slightest intimation of church-joining. “Such as should be saved,” in E.V., is incorrect. The true reading is, “Those being saved,” i .e ., the people who are in the process of salvation, the Holy Ghost having them in hand and moving forward His work of their personal salvation. Regeneration is primary salvation; sanctification is full salvation; while glorification [which is reached in two ways, i .e ., transfiguration and resurrection] is final salvation, hence no one is saved in a final sense till soul and body are both glorified and reunited.

    Then probation is forever ended and we are finally and eternally saved, even from the liability of falling, as some of the angels did while they were on probation; as we will not be on probation when we go to heaven, having passed through our probation here, never to be again tried. Modern church joining, as preaching from the popular pulpit, is not only utterly unscriptural, but an awfully dangerous heresy. It leads people to believe that they get into the Church of God in that way, and that when they join the Church they actually have entered the Church of God, which is utterly untrue. The Church of God, in the language of the Holy Ghost in the New Testament, is called Ecclesia . It is from ek , “out,” and kaleoo , “call.” The Holy Ghost is the only Caller, however. He may use a human being to call you out of this world, which “all lieth in the wicked one,” i .e ., the devil ( 1 John 4:19). Therefore, when you respond to the call of the Holy Ghost and leave the world, identifying yourself with God, you then and there enter and become a member of the divine Ecclesia , which is the only Church of God in all the world. The Church of God is identical with God’s family. Just as your children are all born into your family, and not joined in, hence a genuine regeneration wrought by the Holy Ghost makes you a member of God’s Church without ever giving your hand to the preacher or receiving water baptism. It is certainly your privilege, and may prove a means of grace, to identify yourself with a visible organization of God’s people; but such a transaction has nothing to do with making you a member of God’s Church. He Himself attends to that when He regenerates your soul. It is a deplorable fact that the popular mind in modern times has been literally hallucinated by the heresy of church joining. Multiplied millions are thus deluded with the idea that they are members of God’s Church when they are simply members of a human organization, which in countless instances has no record in the Lamb’s Book of Life. What is the visible Church? It is the material bodies of the children of God on the earth. Do you believe in church organization? Certainly. God is a great organizer. He organizes everything in the universe. When regenerated people are properly officered, so as to be fully efficient in the illumination and evangelization of the world, they constitute a well organized church. What are the officers of the Church of Christ? The bishop, having charge of the spiritual interest; the deacon, having charge of the temporal interest, and the eldership, comprised of persons possessing spiritual seniority, having charge of the general interest, and all to be filled with the Holy Ghost and invested with the spiritual gifts ( 1 Corinthians 12:8-11) necessary to qualify them for the duties of their offices. How shall we find these officers? The Holy Ghost knows them all. If we will be true to Him and of one accord on our knees, He will point them out to us in due time. (See Vol. 3, on Pastoral Epistles.) God help us all to see this fatal heresy of modern church-joining.

    Millions of people join a popular church and take a false comfort, believing they are in the Church of God. While we have no criticism for the enrollment of names for the convenience of the deacon or bishop (pastor), we do deplore the emphasis which is laid on it and the importance attached to it, causing millions of people to rest in carnal security, vainly congratulating themselves that they are in the Church of God, when they are not within a million of miles of it. The emphasis should be laid on the spiritual birth, which alone and of itself brings you into the Church of God; while sanctification confers on you full rights and privileges as a bona fide member, making you eligible to the offices of the Church. I joined the Methodist Church before I was converted, and the devil strove hard to acquiesce me and to get me to depend on that membership. Fortunately, grace prevailed and I got powerfully converted out in the woods all alone.

    Then and there, in the absence of every human being, I entered the Church of the First-born. The roll is not kept on the register of a popular church, but in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Good Lord deliver you from the silly superstition that men or devils can turn you out of a church! The only way to do that will be to steal Jacob’s ladder, climb up to heaven, purloin the Lamb’s Book of Life and cancel your name from its shining columns.

    Good Lord, give sense as well as religion, so we will not be bamboozled by Satan’s demagogues calling themselves preachers. Remember, all who leave this world members of the Church of God are sure of heaven, and none others. So you must hurry up and settle this problem of your church membership. If you belong to the grandest church in America, and are not truly regenerated and sanctified, instead of going to heaven when you die, devils will drag you into hell. Can regenerated people go to hell? No.

    Though regeneration of itself, without a preacher, a drop of water or an official board, makes you a bona fide member of God’s Church, yet it only adapts you to a state of probation which is confined to this world. “Without the sanctification no one can see the Lord” (R.V., Hebrews 12:14). You can not keep regenerated unless you seek holiness according to your light.

    In case of delinquency, you forfeit regeneration and fall into a backslider’s hell. If, seeking holiness according to your light, you have not received entire sanctification till God calls you away, He, in mercy, takes the will for the deed. Like the infant, you pass out under the blood, which cleanses you from all unrighteousness, giving you the full benefits of the atonement. As the old theologians say, you are sanctified “in articulo mortis ,” i .e ., “in the article of death.” Thus, while regeneration makes you a bona fide member of the Church on earth, it does not qualify you for the heavenly state; since membership in the Church militant is compatible with the depravity incurred by the Fall (which, even in regeneration, is kept subjugated): the heavenly state requires entire sanctification ( Hebrews 12:14). Hence, regeneration constitutes you a bona fide member (not an officer) of the Church militant on earth; while entire sanctification alone qualifies you for membership in the Church triumphant in heaven. Water baptism, eucharist and church register are simple visible signs of your membership in the family of God.

    The signs are all right in their place, but in no way essential to the reality, which frequently exists in blessed reality without them.

    CHAPTER - 1-10. Mt. Zion, where the Holy Ghost fell on the disciples, is in the southwestern part of the city, which is, throughout, the most densely built I ever saw; the streets eight to sixteen feet wide, and frequently arched over, and a house directly over the middle of the streets; while in front of the Temple, on Mt. Moriah, in the southeastern part of the city, there is a large area, said to contain thirty-five acres, and nicely laid with stone, the constituted receptacle of the vast multitudes which convene during the great annual camp meetings, Passover in April, Pentecost in June, and Tabernacles in September. From these considerations the afternoon meeting is moved from Mt. Zion to Mt. Moriah, where they avail themselves of the temple campus for the accommodation of the countless multitudes. The Beautiful Gate stands in the east wall of the city, directly eastward of the temple, in full view of Solomon’s porch. When I was there in 1895 I gave especial attention to this gate. I found it closed and fastened with such quantities of iron that nothing but battering rams and dynamite could open it. My Arab guide told me that the Moslem prophets lifted their warning voices when Caliph Omar captured Jerusalem, A.D. 637, solemnly warning him to close the Beautiful Gate and keep it closed, as he could only hold the city while that gate was closed; consequently it was promptly closed and made as sure as iron and brass could fasten it; and the Mohammedans, who think their salvation depends on holding Jerusalem, have kept it closed during this wonderful prophetic period, 1,260 years. As a confirmation of this statement of my guide, he pointed me to the tombs immediately outside the gate, jammed up against it. They looked as old as the great rocks of Mt.

    Moriah. While Mt. Olivet is covered with Jewish tombs, the Mohammedans bury on Mt. Moriah, outside the wall of Jerusalem. All these facts corroborate the testimony of my guide, i .e ., that the Beautiful Gate has been closed 1,260 years. According to the same prophecy, it will certainly soon be opened as he prophet period of the Moslem power, according to Bishop Ussher, expired in 1897. Totten and Bimbleby say it is too short, and the true period will expire in 1899. Rest assured, Turkdom is tottering and liable to fall any moment. Daniel ( 8:25) says: “He shall be broken without hand,” i .e ., not by military power, but by the power of the Almighty. This throws light on the tardiness of Islam’s fall. Is she not fallen already, and merely kept in status quo by her Christian neighbors for state policy? Jerusalem swarms with beggars. Yet every beggar has his place. When I was there I went to the exchangers twice a day and got a supply of beggar money, so I could pass them. The Turks have about a half-dozen coins ranging from one-fourth of a cent to five cents, very convenient to give to the beggars, as I could not afford to give them the large coins. A man can live fat at Jerusalem on goat’s milk and barley bread bought from the Arabs for five cents. This beggar, more than forty years old, had his regular place at the Beautiful Gate, where his friends carried him every morning and set him down to beg through the day, no doubt they sharing in the benefactions. Doubtless he had seen Jesus pass through that gate ever and anon. He had heard Him preach and believed on Him (verse 16). Why was he not healed? God makes no mistakes. He is reserved for this important occasion. He is the best-known man in the kingdom. All of the people come to the temple and at the same time pass through this gate.

    Hence they all get acquainted with him. Peter says, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have I give unto thee. In the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, arise and walk.” In a great ecclesiastical council, one of the popes came along and saw wagon loads of money poured into the coffers of the church. Pausing, he observed, “No longer can the church say, ‘Silver and gold have I none.’Thomas Aquinas, his eccentric cardinal, standing by, responded, “Neither can she any more say, ‘Arise and walk,’ ” thus sadly illustrating the loss of power with the loss of poverty. While the Methodists were poor and despised, they swept this continent like a tornado, more than a match for earth and hell. Since we have become rich, evacuated the old log meeting-house for the gorgeous edifice, and exchanged the illiterate pioneer circuit-rider for the collegiate graduate, we have lost our power and lamentably verified Wesley’s fears expressed on his death-bed that Methodism would become a dead sect like others. 8. The Greek describes the man leaping out of his place like a frog, and continuing to run round and round, following Peter and John into the temple, attracting the attention of everybody, because in forty years he had become better known than the king. 10. So the multitude all “ran to him, filled with astonishment and delight.” The Greek word which is translated “delight” is ecstasy , a very strong word. Oh, how his old acquaintances are astounded and thrilled! Why, only look yonder at Ben Israel! Did you ever see the like? How he leaps, skips and runs around! The news flies on the wings of the wind: “Old Ben Israel is healed — that man who has not walked a step in more than forty years.” “Oh, you don’t say it!” “I dare you to go and see for yourself.” The wonderful tidings fly to all parts of Jerusalem. Thousands of people leap and shout. “If Ben is healed, as you say, I am an out-and-out Nazarene.”

    Nearly all of them had ever and anon dropped a penny in his hat. See him leap like a monkey and run like a race-horse! 11. Now the apostles have entered Solomon’s porch, running the entire width of the temple, fronting eastward. Meanwhile the ecstatic man so miraculously healed at the Beautiful Gate is holding them by the hand in adoring gratitude, leaping and skipping and shouting aloud, while the vast multitude running from all directions are gazing with unutterable bewilderment upon the scene, as the Greek says, “exceedingly excited.” 12. Meanwhile, Peter responded to the people: “Israelitish men, why do ye gaze upon us as that by our power or holiness we have caused this man to run around?” Remember that the Greek word here translated “holiness” is simply the noun form of the same word applied to the Jewish delegates who came from their synagogues in all the Gentile world to represent the God of Abraham at Pentecost. It is also applied to Cornelius and to Ananias, the good old local preacher in Damascus sent to comfort the penitent Saul of Tarsus. 13. Here Peter boldly certifies to the multitude that the same Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had crucified, had so miraculously restored the notable cripple at the Beautiful Gate. 14. He reminds them of their uproarious demand for the release of Barabbas, the robber-chief, as a substitute for Jesus. Now, reader, if you are ever going to follow Jesus up to heaven, you must travel the very road He traveled. Just as they preferred Barabbas to Jesus, so will the people of this wicked world and fallen churches prefer bad men to you, if you get sanctified wholly. Be not surprised if they actually prefer and honor the saloonkeeper in your town above you, somehow so deluded by Satan as to believe him a better man than yourself. As in the case of Jesus, Barabbas went up in the popular estimation and He went down, so you will find it in your own case if you get truly sanctified and profess it straight and clear. 15. “And you slew the Prince of Life.” Here is a beautiful allusion to our Savior’s royalty. He is not only our wonderful Savior and perfect Sanctifier, but our glorious coming King.

    FAITH 16. “And upon the faith of his name, his name hath restored this one whom ye see and know, and faith through him hath given him this soundness in presence of you all.” From this verse it is very clear that the healed cripple was well acquainted with Jesus. He was a mature man in life’s meridian when Jesus began to visit Jerusalem, preach and do His mighty works, as it was His custom to preach all day in the streets of Jerusalem, and go away to Mount Olivet, where from His own testimony He doubtless lodged on the bosom of the earth which He had created, holding secret communion with His Father. In His constant peregrinations hither and thither, from the temple to Mount Olivet and back to the metropolis, He passed through the Beautiful Gate, turning many a loving smile, accompanied by words of truth and wisdom, on the poor beggar.

    Hence, when Peter commanded him in the name of Jesus of Nazareth to arise and walk, instantaneously his faith took hold on the loving Sympathizer he had so often seen and heard, spiritually apprehending Him as the Omnipotent Healer of that decrepitude which had all his life utterly disqualified him to stand on his feet. Hence, pursuant to his faith in Jesus of Nazareth as the Omnipotent Healer, he leaps instantaneously into perfect restoration. We see from this verse that he was healed by faith in Jesus, who said, “As your faith is, so be it unto you.” This wonderful proclamation, on which hangs the world’s redemption, is as true of the body as the soul. Sure as the infallibility of our Jesus, we receive just what we have faith for, whether involving body or soul. Though the beggar had seen Jesus passing by, day by day, during the three years of his ministry, his healing was reserved for this salient epoch, when it was so much needed to boom the popular faith in the Christhood of the risen Jesus. At the same time we recognize in the flash radiating from the countenances of Peter and John, replete with buoyant faith, and the stentorian voice roaring in his ears, and the herculean grip of Peter’s hand, a potent inspiration to the faith of the cripple, which, responsive to these collateral incentives, leaped at once into electrical activity, apprehending in the humble Nazarene, about whom he had thought so much, the actual Omnipotent Shiloh of prophecy, Christ of God, Redeemer of the world and Healer of the body.

    Hence, pursuant to his faith, he leaps, skips and runs for the first time in a life of more than forty years. 17. Though, as Peter says, “The Jews blindly and ignorantly slew the Prince of Life,” yet they were awfully criminal in the sight of God because they had yielded to the lies of Satan and spontaneously turned away from the light. 18. “But those things which he proclaimed through the mouth of all his prophets that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled.” We see from this verse how the Jews and the Romans in their condemnation and crucifixion of Christ were literally fulfilling prophecies so obviously that it is astonishing that they could not recognize it. The very men who stood at the head of the church, having studied the prophecies at the feet of their great theologians, and preached on them all their lives, were so blinded by Satan that they could not see them; but in the black darkness of their wicked unbelief, these great preachers went right ahead, fulfilling the prophecies to their own condemnation. Oh! how history repeats itself! Visit in the great ecclesiastical assemblies of the present day. You find the mighty men of talent and scholarship standing at the head of the popular churches, all counseling together, even different denominations, like Pilate and Herod in the crucifixion of Christ, waiving their old animosities and uniting their wisdom and power to crush out the Holiness Movement [which is simply the Holy Ghost religion in contradistinction to the devil’s counterfeit, i .e ., dead churchism]. They all unite their forces, take up every sanctified preacher, carry him away and set him down in a region of icebergs, sending in his place a theological refrigerator to freeze out all the holy fire. What is this but the literal fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy, “When they shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, then shall the end come.”

    The holiness people are doing their best to spread Scriptural holiness throughout the world. But it is hard to tell which party is actually doing the more to scatter the holy fire — our friends or our enemies. When the latter, with the malignant rage which rankled in the carnal hearts of the great preachers who nailed Jesus to the cross, martyred Stephen and did their utmost to crush out the Nazarenes in blood, now violently interpose, reach forth the strong hand of ecclesiastical tyranny, pick up the holiness preachers, send them to the north pole and supply their places with the worst anti-holiness preachers they can command, what is the result? I am an eye-witness to what I write — have seen it verified repeatedly. They simply give the sanctified preacher a new, fresh field upon untrodden virgin soil — the very opportunity he needs to do a mighty work for God, preaching entire sanctification and instrumental in saving and sanctifying multitudes.

    Meanwhile the fire in his former field is too hot for the devil’s ice carried in by the plughatted D. D. The accumulated fire of God’s red-hot cranks melts all of his ice. It is a well-known fact in chemistry that a sufficient intensity of heat will not only melt ice, but decompose the water into its constituent elements, oxygen and hydrogen, the latter the most combustible in the world, and the former the great supporter of combustion. Hence all the ice imported by the new preacher is simply a supply of fuel to augment the flame. The result is he gets gloriously sanctified; the revival which they sought to freeze out takes new fire, and sweeps over the land like a cyclone.

    If you will read the prophecies and open your eyes to the ecclesiastical phenomena of the present day, you will be astounded at the wonderful fulfillment of prophecies. As the preachers standing at the head of a church in Jerusalem, blinded by Satan, rejected and killed the Son of God and did their utmost to exterminate His followers, we see the same tragedy at the present day going on throughout Christendom. Jesus was simply the incarnation of holiness. His disciples were nothing but simple-hearted, humble holiness people. Grace, as well as sin, is uniform and identical in all ages. Hence, at the present day, the proud, autocratic, carnal clergy in the leadership of popular religion are doing their utmost to antagonize the Holy Ghost and Spirit-filled people, thus literally fulfilling the prophecies as in the days of Christ.

    PLAN OF SALVATION 19. “Repent, therefore, and turn unto the blotting out of your sins, in order that times of soul-renewing may come from the face of the Lord.” In repentance the sinner gives up all of his sins to the devil, where he got them, and leaves Satan’s kingdom forever. We must become honest before we can be saved. This honesty extends even to the devil. We must make an honest and final settlement with him, thus giving him back all we ever got from him, i .e ., all of our sins. How very few people ever do that! They endeavor to carry some of their sins with them along the heavenly road, which is utterly impossible. The devil holds you tight so long as you have anything that belongs to him. Whenever you give back to him all your sins, all your meanness, and everything you ever got from him, then he has no more use for you and will not let you stay with him another minute. So then you get off with a big shout, moving heavenward at a race-horse speed.

    The E.V. erroneously says in this passage, “be converted,” as the verb is in the active voice, and literally means “turn.” While “repent” and “turn” and “the blotting out of sin” are all specific, they constitute conversion, which is generic. Here we see that the sinner has just two things to do — first, leave the devil and all of his sins in the devil’s kingdom, where they belong.

    Then turn to the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind and strength, casting his lot with Him for time and eternity. In that case, the Lord freely and eternally blots out all of his sins from heaven’s chancery, so they never can be found again to bring back the blush of shame. Thus the vilest reprobate and the blackest debauchee, rescued and washed, can shout as loud as Gabriel on the golden streets, and defy all the archangels to find anything against him.

    In vain they ransack the heavenly archives. The records are all destroyed; so the blood-washed slumites shine as bright and shout as loud as the cherubim and seraphim. When the sinner by repentance has left the devil and all of his sins with him forever and turned to the Lord, soul and body, heart, spirit, life and influence forever, and all his sins are blotted out, this consummates the grand negative work in the plan of salvation. Now the glorious positive side supervenes. The Holy Ghost raises him from the dead, giving him the very life of God in regeneration; then the Holy Ghost Himself makes him His happy incarnation, moving in to abide forever, thus verifying this beautiful promise, “In order that times of soul-renewing may come from the face of the Lord.” RETURN OF CHRIST 20. The E.V. erroneously has a semicolon between the 19th and 20th verses. The inspired original, spoken by Peter and written by Luke, has no stop whatever between these verses. Then what will our brethren do who are unwilling to preach the second coming of Christ, as there is not even a comma here, much less a period, on which they may slide out? Inspired Peter preaches the glorious spiritual economy of full salvation and the second coming of Christ in the very same breath. Hence, if you preach the former and leave out the latter, you will certainly grieve the Holy Spirit by breaking one of His sentences in two in the middle without His authority.

    Good Lord, help us to be true to His Word and not get wise above what is written: “And he may send forth unto you him who has been preached unto you as the Messiah, namely Jesus,” 21. “Whom it behooveth heaven indeed to receive until the times of the restitution of all things which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from the beginning.” This Scripture reveals the fact most unequivocally that Peter was enthused with the glowing anticipation of seeing his Lord return to the earth, before he exchanged his silver trumpet for a golden harp. This expectation would have been verified if the Pentecostal generation had preached the gospel of the kingdom to every nation, calling out the Bride of Christ and preparing her to meet her coming Lord. In this they failed, thus postponing our Lord’s return. You see here that Jesus is to remain in heaven “until the time of restitution of all things spoken by the prophets from the beginning.” You know the prophets have most unequivocally predicted the restoration of the world back to the Edenic state. The Son of Man “came to destroy the works of the devil.” This world once existed without a devil in it. The prophet John tells us positively that the devil is to be taken out, so we will again have this world without a devil in it as in Eden times. The prophets certify over and over, “The desert shall rejoice and the wilderness bloom”; “Springs of water shall break out in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” Hence the millions of acres of valuable lands in Asia, Africa and America, now desert-wastes for the want of irrigation, will have ample supplies of water and flourish as the very gardens of the Lord, abounding in perennial fruits and flowers. I believe it inspired Peter and all of his apostolical comrades and saints that our Lord is coming back and will “restore all things” as spoken by the prophets. This wonderful sentence (including vs. 19-21) reveals succinctly, lucidly and comprehensively the gracious economy of full salvation, and in the same breath the return of the Lord to the earth. “What God hath joined together, let no man separate.” Woe unto the audacious hand that dares to divorce what God has married! Then let us go to the ends of the earth preaching this wonderful salvation, and at the same time the most potent of all inspirations to a holy experience and life, i .e ., our Lord’s return to the earth on the throne of His glory, visiting awful retributionary judgment on the wicked, and crowning His faithful, expectant Bride to sit with Him on His throne.

    While holiness to the Lord is the grand trunk line of the heaven-bound railway running up to the New Jerusalem, yet we must not depreciate the great tributaries, and especially that potent and inspiring incentive to entire sanctification, i .e ., the constant outlook for our coming King. 22. “Indeed Moses said that our Lord God will raise up unto you a prophet from your brethren like unto me; him you will hear as to all things so many as he may speak unto you.” This prophet is none other than Jesus. Moses is the brightest type of the Mediatorial Christ, himself the honored mediator of the old dispensation, symbolizing so potently our Lord in His glorious mediatorial office in the new dispensation.

    TRIBULATION 23. “And it shall come to pass that whosoever may not hear that prophet will be cut off from the people.” “May hear” in this verse is in the subjunctive mood, revealing contingency, which is peculiar to man alone, as there are no contingencies with God. While we all fully recognize human free agency, yet the present dispensation, like all of her predecessors, is fast hardening into infidelity, grieving the Holy Spirit away, passing the dead line and ripening for destruction. God knows every person who will hear His Son when He comes in His glorious kingdom. He equally well knows every one who will reject Him. During the great tribulation, when the Ancient of Days shall descend on the throne of His righteous retributive judgments ( Daniel 7:9), He will hackle out of the world everything that will not do for the coming kingdom; so that when the Son rides down on the throne of His millennial glory, He will find none but the elect, i .e ., saved and savable people, on the earth. The first work of the transfigured saints will be the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom to all the survivors of the tribulation on the whole face of the earth ( Acts 15:17). Then shall be verified that notable prophecy, “A nation shall be born in a day.” This verse is clear and unequivocal that the non-elect, i .e ., the people who have crossed the dead-line and are unsavable, shall all be cut off during the tribulation. 24. “And all the prophets from Samuel and successively so many as spoke also proclaimed these days.” How significantly true! The second coming of Christ is a most prominent thing with all the prophets in all dispensations.

    Even Enoch, in antediluvian times, was a powerful preacher of the Lord’s second coming ( Jude 14, 15). Read it and you will find a most vivid description of the great tribulation. Job, the oldest writer in the Bible, living in the patriarchal dispensation, preached powerfully on the Lord’s second coming: “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand in the latter days upon the earth, — and with mine eyes I shall see God, whom I shall know for myself and not a stranger.”

    The E.V. says, incorrectly, “not another.” The truth of it is, Job claims a happy acquaintance with his Redeemer, so that when He returns to the earth in the latter days and stands upon it, Job, a member of the Bridehood coming up in the first resurrection, will joyfully recognize Him. Shall we not preach a truth which constituted a glowing theme of all the prophets in all dispensations? 25. “Ye are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God established with our fathers, saying to Abraham: Truly in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” You all know “seed” here means Christ ( Galatians 3:16). Hence we see that God covenanted with Abraham that all the families of the earth shall be blessed in his seed. That wonderful promise is far from verification at the present day. The people who live and die wicked in gospel lands find an infinitely more terrible hell than lost heathens, because damnation is in proportion to the light rejected.

    There is not the slightest probability that this prophecy will have a premillennial fulfillment. Truly its fulfillment will inevitably bring the Millennium. When Jesus shall reign in every home, blessing all the members of every family on the earth, then will millennial glory girdle the globe. Reader, do you believe that the time will come when this promise which God made to Abraham, “that all the families of the earth shall be blessed in Christ,” will be literally fulfilled? I hope you do believe it, as you can not afford to be an infidel. Abraham’s faith ought to put the modern church to the blush. If he could stand beneath the starry canopy of a Palestinian sky four thousand years ago and believe this promise, which has not yet been fulfilled, but is reserved for the millennial ages, oh! how faithless the present generation! standing away down at the terminus of this gorgeous rainbow of God’s infallible promise to the Father of the Faithful.

    If Abraham could believe it four thousand years ago, certainly we, standing on the remotest verge of pre-millennial centuries, flooded on all sides with the signs of our Lord’s near coming, ought to believe it with joyful enthusiasm. Reader, would you be a truly happy Christian? Then believe everything God tells you in the Bible. If you understand it, Amen! If you do not understand it, believe it none the less and shout the louder. I am a son of Abraham, and rejoice with him in the sure word of prophecy, and contemplate with glowing anticipation the good time quickly coming, when “all the families of the earth shall be blessed” in our glorious Christ. I hope, reader, if you are wearing the critic’s cap, that you will get such a baptism of fire as to burn it up. My critical cap was burnt up when God baptized me with the Holy Ghost and fire thirty years ago. From that day, instead of criticizing God’s Word, I have believed it; my creed is all dead and buried.

    If you want the shout to come into your soul, never to go out, do you begin to believe all the Bible, not because you understand it, but because God said it. Good Lord help you to sink away into God, dead to everything but Him and His Word. 26. Peter’s afternoon sermon in Solomon’s porch, like his forenoon sermon on Mt. Zion, is climacteric in the enforcement of these two great cardinal gospel truths, i .e ., entire sanctification and the coming King.

    CHAPTER - APOSTOLICAL SUCCESSION 1-3. Here we find Peter is interrupted in the midst of this glorious sermon by the priests and the captain of the Levitical temple guards and the Sadducees, the most wealthy and consequently influential sect of the Jewish church, though quite heterodoxical in their theology, and even rationalistic in their teaching; so here, while the multitude are spell-bound and edified by the truth, Peter preached. The anti-holiness preachers and the carnal men of wealth and influence constituting the official board can stand it no longer.

    Consequently, with the acquiescence of the Romans, who are willing to purchase Jewish favor with the persecution of the poor Nazarenes, they break up this precious meeting by an open assault on the preachers, laying violent hands on them and incarcerating them in prison. A world-wide controversy has rolled down the ages ever since the Constantinian apostasy, Roman Catholics, Episcopalians and many others disputing over the apostolical succession, each party claiming to have it to the exclusion of all the rest. Now, behold the scene! Platoons of theologians, with plug hats, pigeon-tail coats and toothpick shoes, cigars in their mouths, rings on their fingers and golden-headed canes in their hands, all disputing with each other over the apostolical succession, each party claiming to have it and ostracizing and anathematizing all the balance. The Bible is a plain book.

    Why will intelligent, educated men thus stultify themselves, becoming laughing-stocks for devils? Now with an open Bible you have nothing to do but read the plain record and here see the apostolical succession. The way the apostles went is open and free for all. You have nothing to do but walk in their footprints. They first received a clear conversion, the Savior Himself assuring them that their names were written in heaven. Then after a ten days’ prayer meeting they were gloriously baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire, and thus sanctified wholly; then beneath the burning sun [for there never was a Christian church built till A.D. 150] they preached all day amid roaring mobs, preachers mad because they preached holiness, stirring the rabble and interrupting them, and finally to spend the night in jail. So you see clearly the way of apostolical succession. Your experiences, your ministry and your life must be like those of the apostles; otherwise your claim to succession is farcical and false. Good Lord, help us to read our Bibles and learn some sense. Now, take all these clamorous and disputatious claimants to the apostolical succession who have racked the church with controversy the last fifteen hundred years. Do you not see the silly nonsense and the ridiculous falsity of the whole matter? The succession is free to all who will receive it. It leads through the crucible, regeneration, Pentecost of fiery baptism street-preaching all day amid rocks, mud, clubs, eggs, mad preachers and church officers, and a jail to sleep in at night. So these big preachers that have been quarreling over it these last fifteen hundred years can all have it. But there is the trouble — they don’t want it. They will not have it. Then why not quit their nonsense?

    FIVE THOUSAND CONVERTED 4. This wonderful accession augments the Nazarenes to eight thousand.

    While doubtless many of them were born from above for the first time in life, you must remember that the great salient fact is conversion to the Christhood of Jesus. Among the thousands of “devout” Jews (remember, this word is not applied to sinners) come from every nation under heaven; it certainly follows as a legitimate sequence that many of them know experimentally the God of Abraham and Moses, and as they had never heard of Jesus the Nazarene, of course they were perfectly innocent of His crucifixion. That doubtless large element of the Pentecostal crowd needed only to be converted to the Christhood of Jesus; while all of the Jerusalemites who were guilty of His blood, had to be justified and regenerated, as well as converted to the Christhood of Jesus. I trow not a few of this number, who had formerly known the God of Israel by happy experience, were actually baptized with the Holy Ghost and sanctified wholly in that Pentecostal revival.

    SANHEDRIN 5-7. The judgment hall of the Sanhedrin stands on Mt. Zion, about a thousand rods from the city wall, on the brow of that mountain. I was in it three years ago, my guide certifying to its identity. Jesus was arraigned there. Here we see both Annas, the high priest, endorsed by the Romans, and Caiaphas the high priest, endorsed by the Jews, and all the magnates belonging to the family of the high priest, as well as the Scribes and the Elders, were assembled in this council. Why were two illiterate rustics more than a match for this grave assembly of learned preachers and doctors of divinity, having on their side of the controversy all the scholarship, official dignity, ecclesastical authority and money power of the age? There is but one answer: Peter and John were men “full of the Holy Ghost”; so, “fear not, little flock, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give unto you the Kingdom.” If you are filled with the Holy Ghost you are more than a match for all the powers of earth and hell. God has never changed. Good Lord, help us to get back to the Acts of the Apostles.

    JESUS ONLY 11, 12. Can we not learn this truth? There is salvation in none but Jesus.

    If you differ from this you are an idolater. Our Jesus needs no help to save a soul. Some worship a water-god; others, a day-god, and still others worship gods of wood and stone in the form of a fine edifice, while many worship creeds and sects, Mammon and style. Jesus warns us to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy, i .e ., modern orthodoxy; the leaven of the Sadducees, which is rationalism, i .e ., higher criticism; and the leaven of Herod (a royal dynasty), which is spread-eagleism, i .e ., the worship of political gods. Oh, how few worship Jesus only! The true God is only revealed in Jesus by the Holy Ghost. Reader, be sure you adopt the creed Jesus only.

    ILLITERACY OF THE APOSTLES 13. “Seeing the boldness of Peter and John, and observing that they are unlearned and ignorant men, they continue to be astonished and recognize that they were with Jesus.” No ingenuity of scholarship can evade the force of this statement of the Holy Ghost. The Greek for unlearned is agrammatoi , from a , “not,” and gramma , “a letter.” Hence, it literally means unlettered, i .e ., without a knowledge of letters. They had no common schools in that day. The word translated “ignorant” is idiootai from which have we idiot. Hence, it means that they were idiots, so far as human learning was concerned. They were rude, illiterate rustics, and there is no reason whatever to believe they could read or write. After our Savior called them they may have learned a little about letters. Of this we have no information, as Peter dictated his two brief Epistles to an amanuensis. John outlived all of the other Apostles a whole generation, doing his writing doubtless by an amanuensis when nearly an hundred years old. Why did our Lord select unlearned and ignorant men to preach the gospel to a dying world? He could just as easily have put His hand on the learned rabbis and have commanded the highest culture of the world. (a) It was safer to use blank paper on which to write the messages destined to save the world, and thus obviate the innate tendency of humanity to incorporate some of their own wisdom along with the precious truth revealed. (b) The gospel heralds, exposed to all the rigors of polar snows and equatorial heat, ocean waves and sand storms, lodging beneath the stars for a cover, with a stone for a pillow, needed the physical constitution of a hippopotamus and the activity of a kangaroo, which can only be developed by the toils, privations, exposures and hardships of a rough-and-tumble life. (c) Their example to all their successors is indispensable. God needs an army of evangelists this day like that of Xerxes to save the world. Do you not know if the Apostles had all been collegiate graduates, no others would have the courage to respond to the call, shoulder the responsibilities, brave the dangers, brook the contempt and go to the ends of the earth to save the lost? So fast as church-members grieve away the Holy Ghost and backslide, they confine the preaching of the gospel to the learned. So long as Methodist preachers “were unlearned and ignorant men,” depending on Brush College for their education, they had power to shake heaven, earth and hell and roll a tide of salvation like a sweeping cyclone wherever they went. We do not depreciate learning when sanctified by the Holy Ghost (for unsanctified, it is dangerous and has sent many to hell); but we need all to save a lost world. So we will take the unlearned and not excuse the learned.

    ECCLESIASTICAL USURPATION 15-22. Here we see the preachers in authority at Jerusalem determine to crush out the holiness movement started by Jesus of Nazareth and perpetuated by His Apostles. So they issue to Peter and John a positive prohibition to preach any more, augmenting that interdiction by terrible threats in case of persistence. 19. “Peter and John responding, said unto them, If it is righteous before God to hear you rather than God, judge ye.” Lord, help us all to follow the example of the Apostles, and in every case “obey God rather than men.” When ecclesiastical law is in harmony with God as revealed to us by His Word, Spirit and providence, then we are in harmony with the rulers of our church. When their decision is out of harmony with God’s truth and will thus revealed to us, if we do not follow the Apostolical example and “obey God rather than men,” we will have trouble at the judgment bar. I propose to take mine here, God helping me. This very ordeal is spurring on the holiness people this day from the Atlantic to the Pacific. God help us to be true. My disciplinary obligation administered to me in my ordination vows reads: “Following most gladly their godly judgments.” Suppose their judgments are not godly, i .e ., contrary to the will of God as revealed to me by His Word, Spirit and providence, do you not see the legitimate force of my ordination vows? They simply require me to obey my rulers when in harmony with God, but with equal force am I obligated to disobey them when out of harmony with God. We are living in the last days, which try men’s souls. Every young preacher is brought face to face with the ordeal of Peter and John, “Will you obey God or man?” When you obey God, of course you obey all human authority which is in harmony with God. Here at Jerusalem we have the pastors and leading preachers in the popular church arrayed against the followers of our Savior and doing their best to prohibit them from preaching. We have parallel cases this day on all sides claiming to be the true ministers of God and doing their utmost to prohibit the spread of the gospel. What were the apostles preaching? The doctrines and experience which Jesus taught and they received at Pentecost; for they were, in fact, in the midst of Pentecost. You can not gainsay the identity of the cases; we have the inspired record of Pentecost. Preach it as we read it.

    The people enter into the experiences. The clergymen in authority oppose us and forbid us to preach in what they call their territory, just like they forbade the apostles at Jerusalem. What shall we do? We here have the answer given by Peter and John, “Obey God rather than men.” I tell you, brethren, if you will be true to God, you can always know the divine guidance. It is three-fold, — His Word, Spirit and providence. His Word is for your intellect, His Spirit for your spirit, and His providence for your body. If we give way to the ecclesiastical usurpation, now everywhere interdicting the full, free gospel, we will offend God and lose our souls.

    Good Lord, help us to be true and “obey God rather than men.” If we do not, God will cast us away and give the glory to others. God helping me, I will be true and “obey God rather than men.” There is no such a thing as ecclesiastical law per se . God is the only Law-giver and the Bible the only code of laws in all the world. As all the truth symbolized in the Old Testament is literalized in the New, and we are living under the New Testament dispensation, therefore we may consider the New Testament as our code of laws for church and state. It is bad enough for the wild beast governments [for such are all human governments, according to Daniel and John] to employ drunken legislators to enact laws instead of enjoying the benignant government of our Heavenly Father, who desires to rule all of His creatures in righteousness and love. This state of things we must endure till the Ancient of Days descends to execute righteous judgments against the wicked nations and fallen churches ( Daniel 7:9). But it is simply preposterous for the Church of God to assume legislative power. All such assumption is usurpation and rebellion. No ecclesiastical court has a right to enact a law de novo . All they can do is to recognize and enforce the laws of God, plainly written in the New Testament. Modern ecclesiastical councils are bold to enact laws not only unknown in the New Testament, but positively antagonistical to the letter and spirit of the same. All such socalled ecclesiastical laws deserve only the contempt of God’s people.

    SECOND PENTECOST 23-31. During the imprisonment and trial of Peter and John the one hundred and eighteen, with quite a host of the Pentecostal converts, are pushing the battle for God and souls on the great temple campus on Mt.

    Moriah in the east end of the city, the judgment hall, where Peter and John and Jesus were tried, being on Mt. Zion, in the west end. When constrained by popular sentiment to release Peter and John they reluctantly discharged them through fear of an insurrection. Then the apostles go immediately to the great meetings on the temple campus and report the persecutions of the preachers and official board and the intervention of the Almighty through the people for their acquittal. Now they quote the prophecy in Psalms 2, which had actually been fulfilled in the crucifixion of Jesus, and is still being verified in the rage of the clergy and official board against the apostles. They allude to the union of Pilate and Herod in the crucifixion of Christ, despite their former and long-standing animosities either to other.

    How signally is the same prophecy fulfilled to-day in the reconciliation and co-operation of the hitherto warring sects, forgetting all their bitter hatred either to other, and uniting against the holiness movement! Amid the implacable animosities of church and state combined against the poor Nazarenes and determined to exterminate them and even obliterate the very memory of their leader from the memory of the world, there is much fear on the unsanctified young converts. Hence they need another Pentecost to bring down the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, consuming all their cowardice and filling them with the perfect love, casting out fear. Therefore they all fall on their knees, unite their hearts and cry to God for the sanctifying power. Behold! the place is shaken and another Pentecost comes down from heaven, gloriously filling and flooding them, sanctifying all the fear out of the young converts and weak believers, so that “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” This glorious second Pentecost gave a wonderful new impetus to the revival Niagara already shaking the metropolis with a spiritual earthquake. This second Pentecost gloriously sanctifies the converts of the first, raising up hundreds of new preachers to herald the living Word, thus broadening the revival into paradoxical dimensions, till it rolls its mighty inundating wave out from Jerusalem into all of the surrounding country, not only inundating all Palestine, but sweeping over Samaria like an avalanche and rolling out its irresistible tide into heathen Syria.

    THE UNIFICATION OF GOD’S PEOPLE 32. “Of the multitude of those who believed there was one heart and soul.” The power of God’s salvation to literally unify all its recipients, regardless of race, color, sect or nationality, has been the puzzle of wicked people and counterfeit professors in all ages. God made religion, which is the same in all hearts, in every land, beneath every sky, whether the sable children of Ham with unshod feet treading the burning sands of Africa, or the brown sons and daughters of Shem, populating the time-honored empires of the Orient, or the beautiful children of Japheth thronging the mighty cities of Europe and spreading over the virgin soils of America. While the grace of God is uniform in every nation, church and people, the devil’s counterfeit religion, which is sectarianism, is heterogeneous, contradictory and false, bringing to its votaries only disappointment, ruin and damnation. Man is a trinity, consisting of body, mind and spirit. False religions all recognize man as a duality consisting of but the two elements, thus eliminating the third story of humanity, depriving him of his immortal spirit, which is homogeneous to God, and the element on which the Holy Spirit operates, through the human spirit reaching the mind and body. False theologies identify mind and spirit, thus eliminating the latter and substituting mentalities for spiritualities, and thus ignoring the absolute necessity of supernatural intervention in the plan of salvation. Since man is a trinity, consisting of body, mind and spirit, and none but his spirit suffered total ruin in the Fall, a residuum of mentality and materiality survived the catastrophe of Satan’s victory in Eden. Therefore men and devils in all ages have been building up systems of counterfeit religion on this residuum of mind and body which survived the Fall; such religion being destitute of true spirituality, and of course independent of the Holy Ghost. Such are the great popular religions of the world today, whether Pagan, Moslem, Papal or Protestant. Their stock consists in fine edifices, pomp and ceremony, intellectual culture and eloquent sermons. All this is a superstructure built on the residuum of mind and matter which survived the Fall. Since it is destitute of true spirituality, it is independent of the Holy Ghost, and always ready to wage an exterminating war against the true religion, which comes only through the supernatural agency of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is clear on total depravity, everywhere recognizing the sinner as “dead” ( Ephesians 2:1). The word for regenerate is zoo-opoieoo , which is a compound word and means to create life. Hence the conversion of a sinner is a de facto creation as real as the creation of a world. As there is but one Creator, therefore God alone can regenerate a soul. Popular religions in all ages have practically eliminated the supernatural, which alone has salvation.

    The true religion is not morality, philanthropy nor churchanity. It is all spirituality wrought by the personal Holy Ghost in the heart. Consequently, Holy Ghost religion is the only one in all the world characterized by true spiritual life. Between the living and the dead religions of the world there has always been an irrepressible conflict, — an exterminating war, — and always will be. Whenever a church dies spiritually, she is ready to fight Holy Ghost religion, from the simple fact that she is possessed of the devil, who is the uncompromising enemy of God. The “soul,” as used in the Bible, means the mind; the “heart” means the affections, and is really included in “spirit,” which is a much more comprehensive term, signifying the immortal being, the highest element of humanity homogeneous to God Himself. While the animals all have souls, i .e ., minds, they are not immortal. The reason the human soul is immortal in contradistinction to the animals, is because the immortality is conferred by the human spirit. When God created man, he consisted of soul or mind and body, homogeneous to the animal creation. Subsequently “God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,” thus imparting to him His immortal Spirit, as the Hebrew word ruach not only means spirit, but breath, the symbol of the spirit. Of course man had animal life before this divine inbreathing imparted to him a living spirit, conferring life and immortality on his soul. The human spirit is constituted of three faculties, i .e ., the conscience, which survived the Fall, and is the voice of God in the soul; the will, which is the king of the man and in the hands of Satan while a sinner, but in conversion wrested from the devil and turned over to God forever to rule; and the affections, which are the predilections, inclinations and incentives constituting the “heart.”

    These are only conquered in regeneration and retained, subordinated to the regenerated will, by grace, it being reserved for the wonderful efficacy of the cleansing blood in entire sanctification to radically expurgate them of all native evil and the refining fire of the Holy Ghost, in the “one baptism” ( Ephesians 4:5), to consume all the surviving debris of the Fall. The unpardonable sin and the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost ( Matthew 12:31) supervene when the devil succeeds in blowing off this third story of the human superstructure by the tornadoes sent up from the bottomless pit.

    In these latter days of superabounding infidelity and abnormal wickedness, millions on all sides are actually permitting the devil to destroy this third story of their being by grieving away the Holy Spirit, thus crossing the dead line and sealing their doom in hell, while yet reveling amid the sunshine of temporal prosperity and sensual delectation. In this way the world is fast ripening for the awful tribulation. The mind consists of the intellect, the memory, the sensibilities, and the judgment. In case of salvation, the mind with its wonderful resources is attracted up to the spirit, identified with it and subordinated to it, with its mighty resources of both mind and spirit, all consecrated to God for time and eternity. In case of the wicked, in the awful ultimatum of the sad forfeiture of their spiritual susceptibilities, and the transcendent achievements and glories of gracious possibilities, this third story of humanity, which God built for His own occupancy, being blown off by the devil, the vast resources of mentality are dragged down and subordinated to the body, which in ipso is a mere animal. In that case man becomes a demonized brute, unfortunately immortal and capable only of misery to himself and others, all focalized in demonized self, in which is concentrated not only the ruin of the Fall, but the very virus of Satan and the torments of hell.

    BARNABAS 33-37. Here we have another allusion to the community of goods, practiced by the Apostolic church, necessitated by the suddenness and improvidence of the Pentecostal revival, and inspired by the hostility of their environments and the vivid anticipation of the Lord’s speedy return.

    Barnabas, which is but a cognomen, a Syriac word, meaning son of consolation, while his real name was Joseph, though a Levite, was a farmer off in the beautiful isle of Cyprus, in the Mediterranean Sea. He was a bright young man of liberal education, a friend and acquaintance of Saul, the celebrated Tarsian, doubtless having been his school-mate in the Greek colleges in the city of Tarsus, the Capital of Cilicia, a border-land of Asia, near his home in Cyprus. This bright and promising young Levite is an honored delegate of a Cyprian synagogue, sent to represent them in the great annual camp-meeting at Jerusalem, denominated Pentecost, without the vaguest dream of the heavenly cyclone destined to catch him in its inextricable whorls. Now that he is wonderfully converted to the Christhood of Jesus, I trow, having formerly known the God of Israel, he is a most joyful recipient of the Pentecostal baptism. Therefore he sells out his Cyprian farm, with all its appurtenances, brings the money and tumbles down every penny at the apostles’ feet, simultaneously importuning, “Will you not take Barnabas also?” Behold the contrast between primitive Christianity and the present age! I am constantly accosted by brothers and sisters in the kingdom of God, testifying to a call to preach and a burning enthusiasm to start at once if they only “had the money.” Behold the contrast! In the Apostolic age, the first thing they did after receiving a call was to sell out all they had and turn over every cent to the church, giving themselves, too. The monetary difficulties arise from the misapprehension that they actually need it in their humble efforts to glorify God in the salvation of souls. The apostles and their evangelistic comrades all walked everywhere they went, trusting the Lord to feed them like He feeds the birds. Therefore they needed no money except such as the Lord would supply in their peregrinations, as they had no fares to pay. Consequently, in order to disencumber themselves of all temporal care, that they might be perfectly free to go preaching, like Barnabas, they sold out everything they had, turning the proceeds over to the apostles. We would enjoy much better health, live longer and be more useful if we would let the railroads alone and all walk, as in the Apostolic age. We need multiplied thousands of walking itinerants, full of faith and the Holy Ghost, to preach the gospel from house to house, pursuant to the primitive economy.

    CHAPTER - IDENTITY OF THE TRINITY 3, 4 and 9 (also Romans 8:9). These Scriptures prove clearly the identity of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Christ, and the Spirit of the Father.

    In verse 3, Peter accuses Ananias of lying to the Holy Ghost. In verse 4, he accuses him of lying to God. In verse 9, he accuses him of tempting the Spirit of the Lord, i .e ., of Christ. Hence we see that all these are used synonymously, proving their identity. Romans 8:9: “But you are not in carnality, but in the spirit, if the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. And if any one has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

    In this verse we find the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ used synonymously, and both synonymous with the Holy Ghost. I have met much inquiry and know many people exceedingly puzzled and muddled along these lines of revealed truth, some having actually digressed into the tritheistic heresy, i .e ., the doctrine of three Gods, because they too idly discriminate between the three persons of the one God, becoming somewhat oblivious to the fact that there is only one God, of whom the Father, Son and Spirit are three distinct persons, executive of the different departments in the gracious economy, and accommodatory to our finite apprehensions of the incomprehensible Divinity. I am editor in the morning, teacher in the afternoon, and preacher at night, day by day, in my industrial life; thus exhibiting three distinct characters and working on three separate lines. Therefore you see in me a human trinity. Yet I am only one man.

    ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA 1-11. In that country the summers are very hot [and this was June], superinducing very quick and rapid putrefaction, necessitating a speedy interment of the dead, especially in a vast multitude. They had no grave to dig, as they did not use them. The sepulchers were always ready for the deposition of the dead. From this history of the mournful fate of Ananias and Sapphira, we learn an exceedingly valuable and eminently profitable symbolic truth, pertinent to all ages; i .e ., that if we do not radically and truly consecrate all to God, spiritual death will inevitably supervene.

    Horace, the celebrated Roman lyric poet, says: “Retribution, though with lame foot, will inevitably overtake the criminal.” Though the irrelevancy of the heathen poet, how significantly true! The Holy Spirit is omniscient, seeing every thought, feeling and motive of our being. Hence we can not deceive Him. Millions try it and fall dead [spiritually] like Ananias and Sapphira. Reader, profit by this awful warning. You can not deceive God. Now and evermore submit unreservedly, be loyal as an angel, your watchword ever ringing, “Thy will be done.”

    APOSTOLICAL SUCCESSION SPIRITUAL AND NOT OFFICIAL 13. “And no one of the rest dared to identify himself with them, but the people magnified them.” The popular mind has found a contradiction between this and the following verse, which states that “believers continued to be the more added unto the Lord.” There is no contradiction, but perfect harmony. While the conviction on the multitude was wonderfully augmented and intensified by the sudden death of Ananias and Sapphira, and consequently the revival took new impetus, spreading more rapidly than ever yet, as certified in verse 13, they all recognized superhuman power in the apostles, peculiar to themselves alone, which did not appertain to the disciples. Hence the long-agitated controversy and the boasted ecclesiastical dogmata of apostolical succession are utterly without foundation, as the apostles never had any official succession in the sense claimed by the churches. In Ephesians 4:10, Paul mentions apostles in the catalogue of God’s ministers, along with evangelists, pastors and prophets throughout the gospel dispensation. But we must bear in mind that all these ministerial offices belong to the Holy Ghost alone, as it says He gives them. Hence official succession in an ecclesiastical sense is precluded. God made Bishop Taylor an apostle to Africa, and Hudson Taylor to interior China. And many others are leading forth the embattled host at the present day, as apostle simply means “one sent” as a pioneer.

    While all of these officers are still efficient on the earth, perpetuating the ministry of the church in her primitive beauty, spirituality and glory, yet they are given by the sovereign, discriminating power of the Holy Ghost alone, never having been transmitted to any ecclesiasticism. The Holy Ghost became incarnate on the day of Pentecost, and has so remained ever since, taking some to heaven, and filling and using others, thus perpetuating His church upon the earth. In contradisctinction to the human ecclesiasticisms, really Satan’s counterfeits and constituting spiritual Babylon, Rome, the old harlot mother, and the fallen Protestant churches, her daughters, constituting the counterfeit Bride, contrastive with the true, simple, humble, meek and lowly Bride of Christ, the sympathetic companion of the suffering Savior, left on the earth to represent Him and prepare the world for His coming kingdom. The Apostolic Church remained pure through bloody centuries of Pagan persecution, till by Constantine promoted from the lion’s mouth and the burning stake to Caesar’s palace, precipitating the great apostasy into Roman Catholicism.

    From the fatal epoch of the great Constantinian apostasy, God had a true people perpetuated in the novations, A.D. 250. During the middle ages they were denominated the Waldenses, and afterwards the Moravians, who became instrumental in the conversion and sanctification of John Wesley after he had preached ten years in the Episcopal Church, perfectly honest, exceedingly zealous, and awfully persecuted for having too much religion, while he did not have any; thus illustrating the blindness with which Satan beclouds human ecclesiasticisms. When carnal men appropriate the church, the Holy Ghost leaves it and lets the devil have it. Meanwhile, the Holy Ghost moves right on perpetuating His work, independently of human officers and institutions. While all these ministerial officers are still in the church, and always have been, they are the creations of the Holy Ghost, dispensed in different ages and nations, pursuant to His infallible wisdom, superabounding grace, and discriminating providence.

    DIVINE HEALING 15, 16. While the revival tide is inundating Jerusalem and rolling into the surrounding country like an ever-widening sea, we see as in all ages a corresponding prominence given to divine healing — “and a multitude of the cities around Jerusalem came together, bringing their sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, who all continued to get healed.” Bodily healing is the legitimate overflow and outgrowth of the spiritual life. “He that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit dwelling in you” ( Romans 8:11).

    Divine healing is normally for those who are filled with the Holy Ghost, who is always ready to repair any dilapidation of His own house, that it may be competent to answer the purposes of His occupancy, becoming His efficient instrument in His labors of love through our mortal instrumentality. Though we are very diligent to repair the houses in which we live, perpetuating their adaptations to the enterprises of our Occupancy, yet the time comes when it is no longer expedient to repair the breaches in the old house. In that case we desist from any further repairs, take it down and build a new one. Divine healing only reaches the body in this life in an earnest of the glory that awaits us when this mortal shall put on immortality in the transfiguration, received either by translation, as Enoch and Elijah, and all of the saints at the rapture, or in the resurrection, as final and complete bodily healing must eliminate mortality, which is the very element of physical ailment and death. The doctrine of divine healing, so prominent in the New Testament and practical in the Apostolic ministry, is especially valuable as a tributary to the spiritual life, furnishing a powerful incentive to all to be filled with the Holy Ghost, and to keep filled, receiving perpetually an increasing enduement of the blessed indwelling Comforter, who, pursuant to our perfect submission, obedience and humble faith, will keep His own tenement in good repair, adapted to the work He has given us to do, pouring on us a thousand blessings through our surviving physical infirmities, preparing us for translation when our Lord descends.

    HIGH PRIEST AND OFFICIAL BOARD 17, 18. “And the high priest and all those with him, being of the sect of the Sadducees, were filled with envy, jealousy and prejudice, and laid hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison.” Tell me not that the high priest did not, in all good conscience, sign the death-warrant of Jesus Christ, believing that he was doing God service. We have no right to impeach the honesty of these leading preachers and official members at Jerusalem. You have nothing to do but look at their successors at the present day. Their name is legion. They doubtless feel it to be their duty to crush out the Holiness Movement, whose votaries are preaching the Incarnation of the Holy Ghost, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and Fire, Entire sanctification, Divine Healing, and the Coming of the Lord. We are preaching precisely the doctrines which the apostles preached in Jerusalem.

    This can not be denied. We prove it constantly with an open Bible. Why do they oppose and interdict us, forbidding us to preach in their jurisdiction?

    While we have no right to impeach the candor of the high priest and his coadjutors, we know they did the work of Satan, believing they were obeying God. We have the same phenomena throughout Christendom this day. The logical sequence is irresistible. Just as the leaders of Judaism blindly resisted the Holy Ghost, so the leaders of fallen Christianity at the present day ostracize and interdict the holiness people, who are preaching just what the apostles preached. I am willing to preach in any of their churches, with the understanding that I am to be put out the moment I deflect from the New Testament. We challenge all of the anti-holiness preachers and officers to convict us of departure from the Word of God.

    But they do not charge us with antagonism to God’s Word, but simply forbid us to preach in their territory, when God has commanded us to “preach the gospel to every creature.” Of course, we are not going into their houses uninvited; but how dare they mark off a certain territory, and let drunkards; harlots, thieves, murderers and the devil into it, and then order God’s gospel herald out of it! We come to wage war with the devil and sin, and nothing else. Why forbid us thus, protecting the devil and sin in said territory, while they drag the people into hell by the wholesale? No doubt but these very preachers and church officers who antagonized the apostles at Jerusalem are down in hell. Look out! The Judgment Day is coming, when God will call the holiness evangelist to stand on the witness block and testify that he went, responsive to Jehovah’s bidding, to that wicked town to preach the gospel and warn those wicked people to flee from the wrath to come, and a certain clergyman ran him away. Will not that man be guilty of the blood of those souls? Better for him that he had never been born.

    Remember, there will be no dignitaries at the Judgment bar, but every tub will stand on its own bottom.

    THE PEOPLE TRUER THAN THE PREACHERS The preachers in charge of the orthodox Jewish Church at Jerusalem, availing themselves of the acquiescent civil arm, imprison the apostles. God sends His angel to open the prison and let them out. Having convened the Sanhedrin in the judgment hall on Mt. Zion and failed to find them in the jail, upon notification that they are standing in the temple and teaching the people, 25, 26 . “The captain of the temple guards along with officers, goes and brings them out by force, because they feared the people, lest they may be stoned.” When the church is in the kingdom of God, the leaders as a rule are better than the people, living nearer God, and thus leading the people on to grander achievements in the divine life. Et , vice versa , when the church is fallen and preachers and people out of the heavenly road and on a downward trend, as is true in case of apostasy, then the preachers are worse than the people. During all the martyr ages the preachers led the bloody persecutions. From Stephen, the first, when Saul of Tarsus, the top of the clergy, led the mob that stoned him, to the anti-holiness rally of the present day, the preachers have opposed and persecuted the holy people.

    Here doubtless they would have killed the apostles if they had not feared the people.

    CONFLICT OF DIVINE AND HUMAN RULE 29. “Peter and John, responding, said, It behooveth us to obey God rather than man.” This is the salient point. When there is a conflict between the authorities, human and divine, we must “obey God rather than man.” If we do not, hell is our doom. God help us. That has been the battlefield in all ages. Two hundred millions of martyrs have sealed their faith with their blood. They all died rather than be untrue to God. The truest saints on the globe today are brought face to face with this very issue: “Will you obey God or man?” When men want you to disobey God, you may know they are not in harmony with God. If they were, there could be no conflict. I charge you, reader, as I shall meet you at the judgment bar, dare to be like the apostles, “Obey God rather than men.” God’s will is revealed by His Word, Spirit and providence to your intellect, spirit and conscience. Jesus says: “He that willeth to do his will shall know the doctrine.” If you are really fully consecrated to God, He will see that you have all needed light.

    When they were burnt, the priest, i .e ., their own pastor, went out to the burning with Bible in hand, exhorting the martyr to give up heresy and live.

    The ignorant, illiterate saint, with radiant face and eloquent lips, nobly resisted and shouted in the flame. You must remember that the man who opposes the discharge of your conscientious duty to God is not with God.

    We must, like the apostles and martyrs, be true to God at any cost.

    REPENTANCE AND REMISSION 31. “Him hath God exalted a Prince and a Savior at his right hand to give repentance and remission of sins to Israel.” Prince refers to the regal office of our Lord, and Savior to His atonement. He expiated our guilt on the cross, thus triumphing over sin, death and hell in His first advent. So the Father crowned Him mediatorial King at His right hand. During His absence the church is to preach the gospel of the kingdom to every creature, thus preparing the world for His second advent in glorious power, when He will be crowned King of all nations. If you want salvation, you must humble yourself before God till He gives you repentance. The true repentance is given of God, wrought in the heart by the Holy Ghost. The old style of seeking the Lord till you find Him is correct. The old colored people in the South used to sing over the mourners: “When I was a mourner just like you, I prayed on till I prayed right through.” The great trouble in these days of superficialism is that the people are manipulated through, instead of praying through. We should seek till God gives us repentance. Remission of sins and repentance are like Siamese twins — inseparable. They always live and die together. “What God hath joined together let no man separate.” Truly neither men nor devils can separate them. Here is the radical deficiency in the religions of the world.

    Pagans, Moslems, Romanists, Greeks, Arminians, Syrians and Copts seem to have lost every trace of evangelical repentance, while the Protestant churches are close on their track. There has been a general collapse at this point in the last twenty-five years. Surely the last days are upon us.

    Evangelical repentance and the witness of the Spirit always come and go together. The popular so-called tearless repentance never brings the witness of the Spirit, from the simple fact that the Spirit never witnesses to a falsehood. Get the people to seek on till they find it out for themselves.

    They will then make everybody else know it. Good Lord, save us from counterfeit repentance.

    THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST 32. Here we find that the Holy Ghost is given to them that obey God. The Greek for obedience and faith is the same word, which is also true of unbelief and disobedience, illustrating the fact that they are one and inseparable. A true faith always obeys, while disobedience is demonstrative evidence of unbelief. The Holy Ghost will not abide where He is not scrupulously obeyed. He is keenly susceptible of the slightest disobedience, evanescing unconsciously. So you wake to find the heavenly dove flown away out of your heart, leaving an aching void the world can never fill. It is a wonderfully delicate matter to obey God. It is easy, if you pursue the right method, but impossible on any other line. What is the right method? The Bible is the guide-book. If you are truly interested in the Guide, you will be thrillingly interested in the guide-book. With thorough abandonment to God, perfect commitment of your creeds, opinions, theories, notions and enterprises to Him, bereft of every care, sit meekly and lowly at the feet of Jesus, while the Holy Ghost teaches His blessed Word. If you say yes to God, and no to Satan, all the time, you will have no trouble to obey God, and in that case He gives you His Holy Spirit to dwell in your heart, giving you a sweet heaven in which to go to heaven. “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” — this you will always find true if you will let God have His way in all things. Your life will become a cloudless sunshine.

    DIVINE INTERVENTION 33-42. Now they reach a grand culmination. The Preachers in charge and the official board are signally defeated, “cut through,” so they are counseling to kill the apostles. They have condemned and imprisoned them a second time, ordering them positively to preach no more in their territory.

    All their orders are disobeyed. Jails will not hold them. They determine to settle the matter by killing them by the Roman civil arm, bought over for Jewish favor. Why did they not kill them? They all finally wore martyrs’ crowns, except John, who, according to Justin Martyr and other Christian Fathers, was honored with a translation. The simple solution of the matter is, their work was not done. A vile reprobate once pointed a gun at me, which fired all right a few minutes previously. When he pulled the trigger it only snapped. Why? My work was not done. So God’s saints are immortal until their work is done. So God puts His hand on Gamaliel, their giant, the greatest man of the opposition, their biggest preacher, and raises him up to deliver the apostles and prolong their lives till their work is done. Twenty years ago, in the time of the Temperance Crusaders, when holy women in our cities were miraculously closing Satan’s saloons by their prayers, immense was the excitement! A number of saloons have been closed. The holy Crusaders were praying in a large saloon. Satan’s mob came to break up the meeting, led by a huge ruffian. A holy woman rises from her knees, slips out and meets the mob, looks this gigantic, diabolical leader in the face, saying, “Will you please be so kind as to attend to the men and see that they do not interrupt our meeting?” Immediately he whirls on his heel and roars: “Back, fellows! back, fellows! We must have order here. You can not disturb this meeting. I will die for these good women.” So he commands and quells the mob. So God puts His hand on the giant theologian of the Sanhedrin, the tallest bishop standing at the head of the hierarchy. To the unutterable surprise of all, Gamaliel takes command of the situation and suggests that the apostles be sent out of the hall. Now he delivers a thrilling oration to the Sanhedrin, calling their attention to Theudas, the impostor, who a few years previously had made a great commotion among the people, receiving a large following, but had utterly evanesced with all of his adherents, leaving not a vestige. Then he reiterated the brilliant career of Judas, the Galilean impostor, in the days of the Roman enrollment, preparatory to the taxation of imperial Caesar. He with his adherents has also vanished away like the gossamer which recedes before the effulgence of an Oriental sun. Here he fortifies a stalwart argument, driving his logic with sledgehammer blows, and clinching the conclusion with the grip of a giant. Of course Luke gives us but a mere epitome of Gamaliel’s unanswerable oration. The fac simile thus culminates: Theudas, Judas and other impostors have risen, created great commotions and received large followings, stirring Judea and Western Asia. These have all vanished away, leaving not a trace nor a track. Now, if Jesus of Nazareth is also an impostor, He and His followers, with all this mighty commotion which is shaking the powers of church and state from center to circumference, will break down of its own weight, vanish away, utterly evanesce and sink into oblivion, like other impostors who have preceded. This is the negative side: If Jesus of Nazareth is an impostor as you say [“and He was one of them”], He will evanesce and go into oblivion with all of His following and work, like Theudas, Judas the Galilean, and multitudes of impostors who have risen and are now buried in oblivion, utterly unknown, not a vestige of their former greatness surviving. Hence the utter superfluity of all of this effort to put down Jesus and His followers, as certainly, on the hypothesis that they are impostors, they will inevitably play out, without any effort on the part of the ecclesiastical authorities. Gamaliel proceeds to evolve the positive side of his argument, which flashes with the forked lightnings of divine retribution: If Jesus of Nazareth is truly the Christ of God, as He and His disciples claim, the combined powers of earth and hell can never prevail against Him. Besides, in that case, “you will be found fighting against God,” and the unhappy victims of His righteous judgments and awful indignation, certain to overtake the impudent audacity so diabolically impetuous as to antagonize the Almighty. This discourse delivered by the master-spirit of the Sanhedrin was followed by a decisive negative verdict in reference to the preceding counsel to kill the apostles. However, they give way to their implacable hatred, beating them cruelly before they release them. Having thus suffered the deep humiliation, disgrace and torture of an unmerciful thrashing in presence of the multitude, the apostles depart from the Sanhedrin, shouting aloud, exultantly praising God for permitting them to enjoy the privilege of taking a cruel whipping in His name.

    APOSTOLICAL SUCCESSION 41, 42. This chapter winds up Luke’s diurnal history of the Pentecostal revival, graphically describing the wonderful events of the first three days and two nights. Here you see clearly and unequivocally a solution of that vexed question among the warring sects, called Apostolical Succession.

    The last fifteen hundred years since the great Constantinian apostasy, as the centuries roll by we see the robed priests and plug-hatted clergy of all ages and denominations crossing swords and fighting over the Apostolical Succession, like dogs over a bone, each one claiming it, and anathematizing all of his competitors; all ridiculously stultifying themselves and advertising to the world the egregious folly and silly nonsense characteristic of human ecclesiasticisms. Reader, look here at the inspired record and see, once for all, the fac simile of Apostolical Succession. It certainly means to succeed the apostles, doctrinally, experimentally and practically. The way is open to all who will enter: Get a sky-blue regeneration, assuring you that your name is written in Heaven. Then get sanctified with the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, as all the apostles did on the day of Pentecost. Then preach the gospel with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, on the streets, and from house to house, like the apostles, who had no church edifices. Preach and testify, without fear of men or devils, amid roaring mobs, rocks, mud, clubs, eggs, et cetera , spending the night in jail. When they cruelly thrash you like dogs, in presence of the mocking multitude, go away with bleeding backs and roaring shouts, transported with delight, because you are counted worthy to suffer for Christ’s sake. Then you will be in the regular Apostolical Succession. It is free. All who want it can have it. What about the clerical aspirants, going puffing tobacco-smoke and disputing over Apostolical Succession? Not one of them will touch it with a forty foot pole. Luke again here puts to record the facts so prominent in the Apostolic ministry, of preaching from house to house. This is the way to convert the heathen millions and evangelize the slums and the jungles. The Holy Ghost is calling for a round million to volunteer on this primitive Apostolic line of street and household preaching. Who will respond?

    CHAPTER - HELLENISTS AND HEBREWS 1. Do not forget that the gospel began among the Jews exclusively, the Gentiles having nothing to do with it; hence the Christian Church, originally like the Jewish, was purely Judaic. With the roll of a century, it underwent a radical somersault, eliminating the Jewish and incorporating the Gentile element. “Grecian” in E.V. leads to the conclusion that they were Gentile Greeks, which is incorrect. They were Jews, native and proselyte, who spoke the Greek language and used it in their synagogue worship in contradistinction to other Jews [doubtless nearly all native], who spoke the Hebrew language, using it in their synagogues. It was natural to recognize a degree of preference for these native Jews and pure Hebrews, though, doubtless inadvertently, holding them in a degree of estimation above the Greek-speaking Jews, largely proselytic; hence the complaint that the Hellenistic widows were neglected in their daily ministration. Christian widows, unencumbered with families at that time, got filled with the Holy Ghost, turned preachers, being eminently useful as soul-savers; thus devoting all their time, with no means of support, they lived on church charities. What a pity in this respect, the church of the present day does not go back to first principles! How eminently useful our unencumbered holy widows would be if thus utilized, preaching the gospel in family circles, mission-rooms and on the streets. Dr. Carradine, in his last pastorate in St.

    Louis, used them much to the glory of God and the salvation of souls, recognizing the policy of the Apostolic Church. At this time the Greek language [spoken by these Hellenistic Jews] was the language of the world, having through the Alexandrian conquests reached all nations and become universal. While reading the Old Testament, we all see the hand of the Almighty on the Jews, but intuitively drift to the conclusion that it was not on the Gentiles. In this we are egregiously mistaken. The difference is that we have the inspired history of the Jews and not of the Gentiles. B.C. 32, Alexander, a youth of one and twenty years, succeeded his father Philip on the throne of Macedonia, a small country in northern Greece. Finding but thirty-five thousand dollars in the royal treasury, and thirty-five thousand men in the army, the first transaction of his regal administration was to divide out the money equally among the soldiers, giving each man a dollar apiece. Observing that the young king left himself moneyless, a bystander asked, “Now, king, what have you left for yourself?” The sanguine youth responded, “My hopes.” “What are your hopes?” “Why, that I shall conquer all the world.” At that time the Persian Empire reached from India to Ethiopia, containing a hundred and twenty-seven States, nearly all of the known world which was sufficiently important to appropriate, except Greece, which, though small, had simply proved too heroic for the Persian conquest, even under the leadership of Xerxes, with his two million and five hundred thousand warriors, the largest army ever mustered on the globe. Alexander succeeds in inspiring his little band with the same paradoxical hope of conquering all the world. Consequently he invades the great Persian Empire, is met by the royal army on the plains of Granicus. A terrible battle ensues, leaving forty thousand Persians dead on the field, while Alexander didn’t lose a man. This stunned the mighty Persian monarch and woke him up to recognize in the young Grecian no child at play. Great preparations were now made, feeling sure they would capture the impudent youth with his audacious followers and settle the matter once for all. Alexander meets them on the plains of Issus. where an awful battle is fought, lasting three days. One hundred thousand Persians are left dead on the field, while Alexander’s loss was simply nothing. This awful defeat sent panic throughout the Persian Empire. King Darius gives the matter personal attention. An innumerable army is rendezvoused from the one hundred and twenty-seven States of the Empire. The sons of royalty from the diversified kingdoms encourage the army with their personal presence.

    King Darius is on hand, commander-in-chief. The powers of earth are combined against the paradoxical foe they find in the haughty young Grecian. They meet on the plains of Arbela, which, I trow, proved the greatest battle the world ever saw. It lasts a solid week. Rivers of blood deluge the fields. Mountains of the dead accumulate. Three hundred thousand Persian warriors are left dead on the field. The Greek is everywhere triumphant. Darius flies for his life, his vast army utterly demolished and disorganized. Alexander overtakes the fugitive monarch on the banks of the Indian Ocean. Darius now pleads for his crown, proposing to Alexander that they divide the world half and half. Alexander points to the sun, then in his noon-day glory. “Do you see that sun? Could the world endure two suns? You know they would burn it up. So this world can not have two kings. I must have it all.” Now, account for the fact that this boy of one and twenty, with no money and a handful of men, conquered all the world and wept because he couldn’t find another one to conquer. God was in it. This wonderful Greek language, the finest the ages ever knew, the culmination of that climacteric Greek learning in which they excelled all nations, astonishing the ages with their achievements in poetry, oratory, philosophy and the fine arts, thus eclipsing all the nations of the earth and becoming the honored teachers of the young kings resorting thither from every land and clime to learn wisdom at the feet of the Greek philosopher.

    Why these great wonders? God, through these poets, orators, philosophers and scholars, was manufacturing the Greek language, the beauty, precision, and vivacity of those mechanism is the riddle of modern scholarship. God thus prepared it — His chosen vehicle, in which to preach the gospel to every nation. He gave Alexander the conquest of the world that he might turn over every government on the globe to the cultured Greeks, who established their wonderful language in the learned circles of every nation under heaven, thus through these wonderful providences preparing the world for the reception of the gospel. Again we have the significant fact that in the early centuries of the Christian era this wonderful language was taken out of the mouths of all nations like the Hebrew of the Old Testament at an earlier day, lest the nations of the earth might corrupt them. Therefore we have the inspired archives of the Hebrew and Greek kept in their pristine purity, locked up in these dead languages, whither we can all go and find the unadulterated truth as it is in Jesus, and transmit it to the world. Oh, the wonders of the divine administration!

    THE DEACONATE 2-5. God is a great Organizer. Hence He has given the New Testament Church a simple, perfect and beautiful organization. The bishop is the leader of the holiness band [for such were all of the Apostolic churches], while the deacon has charge of all the temporal interests of the church in every respect, and the eldership, originally in Israel consisting of seventy, instituted by Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, when he visited the children of Israel in the wilderness, and transferred by the apostles into the Christian dispensation. Spiritual seniority constitutes the basis of the New Testament eldership, which is a judicatory body having charge of the general interest of the church. Hence the church is not a democracy, but has an organized government. The deaconate is prominent among the Baptists, who give that office its Scriptural attitude. If they would only adhere to first principles and invest none with the deaconate unless they are “full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom,” verse 3. The Presbyterians give prominence to the eldership, honoring the New Testament in that office. If they would only see that none serve as elders except those who are filled with the Holy Ghost. If the Holiness Movement does not glorify God by coming back to first principles, and revealing to the world New Testament simplicity, she will forfeit her crown, and God will give it to another. This we can not afford to do. As it is very doubtful whether any of the great reformations have ever reached primary truth and institutionality since the Constantinian apostasy, it becomes the more imperative that we divest ourselves of every weight and run for the prize set before us. How strange that every church in Christendom does not gladly drop all of her human inventions and come back to first principles! since an awful woe is pronounced against both addition and subtraction. The popular churches are burdened to death with institutions of their own creation, alien from the Bible, and, in many cases, antagonistical to it. These grieve the Holy Spirit away and turn them over to the enemy. The New Testament is plain on all doctrines and institutions.

    We need nothing else. Human creeds and institutions divide the people of God, build up warring sects, grieve the Holy Spirit, alienate the people from God, and do a world of mischief, which the Judgment Day can alone reveal. So long as the apostolic church professed and preached entire sanctification she had neither creeds nor schisms. There are always green pastures somewhere in the Church of God, whither the sheep may go, eat and be filled and lie down by the still waters. Human creeds and institutions are the devil’s fences dividing up Emmanuel’s laud, shutting up many poor sheep in dry and desolate pastures, where they starve to death in piles. God has raised up the Holiness Movement to knock down the devil’s fences and lead all of the sheep to the green pastures and still waters, where they may prosper and glorify God.

    ORDINATION 6. “Whom they placed before the apostles, and praying, laid hands on them.” Here is all the ordination you can find in the New Testament. It is very simple, and I see much of it among holiness people in my peregrinations. The Lord’s elders, bishops, deacons and saints gather around the dear ones, whom the Holy Ghost has called to go and work in His vineyard, lay hands on them, pray, bless and send them forth. There is but one qualification specified in the New Testament for a Christian worker, preacher, officer, and that is, to be filled with the Holy Ghost. In the E.V. prominence is given to the church ordination, through mere courtesy to the Episcopal Church, under whose auspices the translation was made. You will find as a rule where the E.V. uses the word ordination, it is not in the Greek. We have no objections to the word if used in this same, primitive New Testament sense, designating the gathering of the saints around the candidates for the Lord’s work, and praying for them with the imposition of hands. 7. “And a great multitude of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Here we find, much to our encouragement, that amid the sweeping victories of the Pentecostal revival, a large number of the regular preachers got religion.

    Good Lord, save us from the Satanic humbuggery that would recognize preachers as Christians simply because they are preachers. I wish it were true in case of half of them, and the other half, too. But, working in the clear light of God’s Word, Spirit and providence, we are forced to the concession of many unconverted preachers. Of this number, not a few have been truly converted, but grieving the Holy Spirit, rebelling against sanctification, becoming secular and popular, have sunk into a grievous antinomian spiritual death. Lord, make us useful in the conversion of preachers, as well as other people. God forbid that at the devil should get the dear preachers.

    STEPHEN’S MINISTRY 8-15. Though Stephen was but a poor, uncultured layman, honored with the office of deacon, i .e ., permitted to sweep the floor, and light the lamps, and collect money to support the evangelistic widows, they complimented him with this office because he was “full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom.” Yet, like all of the disciples in the Apostolic age ( Acts 8:4), he preached the living Word. He did not have to get a license; the apostles had none for themselves nor anybody else. Thus far the plug-hatted clergymen who invented license had not been born. As Stephen is identified with those Hellenistic synagogues in which the Greek language is spoken, he goes to preaching in them with all his might. The representatives of these synagogues, dispersed in all heathen lands, had come to Jerusalem to attend the great Jewish feast of Pentecost, which so miraculously and unexpectedly by divine intervention was transformed into the most memorable revival the world ever saw and memorialized with the incarnation of the Holy Ghost, and the embarkation of the gospel ship.

    These synagogues, here represented by their delegates, were the Libertines, i .e ., the freed people, consisting of Jews who had been carried to Rome as slaves, but afterward liberated by the Emperors; the Cyrenians from Cyrene, a large city in northern Africa, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, where there were many Jews; the Alexandrians, from the city of Alexandria, the capital of Egypt, where the Jews dwelt in great numbers and were much encouraged by Ptolemy Philadelphus, who had the Hebrew Bible translated into Greek, known as the Septuagint, for the benefit of his Jewish subjects; and the Greek-speaking Jews from Cilicia and Asia. Here we find the first indirect mention of that celebrated man, Saul of Tarsus, destined in two more chapters to come to the front and prove the hero of this inspired history. Since he was born to rule, depend on it, he was the speaker of the opposition against Stephen, with the delegates from all of these prominent cities holding up his hands while he pressed the battle to the awful ultimatum of Stephen’s martyrdom. 10. “And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke.” Oh! what a contrast we here have between the wisdom, intellect, learning and resources of the world and the wisdom of God! Here, with the greatest intellectualist and scholar the world could produce, surrounded by a platoon of preachers, one humble, uncultured layman proves more than a match for them all; as the Holy Ghost says they were “unable to resist the wisdom and spirit with which Stephen spoke.” See the whole crowd with their mighty leader, Saul of Tarsus, put in total eclipse and literally snowed under by a solitary layman. Therefore, to their ineffaceable shame, they resort to bribery, raising up false witnesses that they may bring an accusation against him. Stephen preached the perfect sufficiency of Jesus, His vicarious atonement and cleansing blood, received and appropriated by the Holy Ghost, of course relegating the types and shadows of the Mosaic dispensation to bygone years, no longer significant because superseded and verified by the great Antitype. This they construed as inveighing against the law of Moses. This notable history has a thousand parallels at the present day. We can not preach the perfect sufficiency of Jesus only and the omnipotence of the present Holy Ghost in full salvation and the perfect sufficiency of God’s Word, doctrinally, institutionally, legally and every other way, without at least indirectly reflecting on the human institutions and bogus legislation of fallen ecclesiasticisms. Then they cry out that we are inveighing against the church, whereas we are defending the church of God with all our might, precisely as Stephen did, when they charged him with disloyalty to the church and killed him for it. He was the first martyr, leading the way and showing the people how to die for the truth. Two hundred millions have followed in his bloody track, like Stephen, dying under charges of disloyalty to what carnal preachers call the church, as they did in case of Stephen. If they had the co-operation of the secular arm these defenders of what they call the church would kill us this day, as they did Stephen and the mighty host of his successors. Beware of the clamor of church loyalty! That is the very shibboleth that piled the rocks on Stephen, fed the martyrs to the lions and burnt them at the stake. It is impossible to be loyal to God and disloyal to His church. When they talk to you about loyalty to God, open your Bible and shout Amen! When they talk to you about loyalty to the church, look out! that is the old hackneyed cry of persecution, from Stephen down to the present day. 15. “And all who were sitting in the Sanhedrin, looking upon him, saw his countenance as the face of an angel.” Now, remember, that the popular preachers, standing at the head of the churches, persecute Stephen unto death. Why did they not desist when they see the very glory of God radiant in his countenance? The solution is very simple, they did not have the discernment of the Holy Ghost, hence they mistook the very glory of heaven radiant from his countenance for his own mean, stubborn, selfwilled, contrary spirit, which convinced them the more that he deserved to die for disloyalty to the church.

    CHAPTER - EXPATRIATION 1-7. Despite the awful doom of the antediluvians, the people after the flood soon became terribly wicked. While they constantly ploughed up the bones of their antediluvian predecessors, fear and trembling appalled them so they were constantly resolving to be good. Ah! the road to hell is strewn with good resolutions. The postdiluvians had inherited evil hearts from their predecessors. Hence a wicked life inevitably followed, as it always will unless we go to God and receive a new heart. Despite the grand boom given to holiness in the flood, when all of the wicked were taken out of the world and righteousness ruled the only surviving home, yet wickedness so increased that God found it necessary in the third postdiluvian century to begin de novo , calling Abraham to leave the world and identify himself with God alone. In the home of his childhood, in the beautiful alluvial plains of Mesopotamia, that delightful rich, level country between the Tigris and the Euphrates, the cradle of the postdiluvian world, first settled by the sons of Noah after the deluge, where at a later date Nimrod gave himself imperishable notoriety by attempting to found a human government independently of the Almighty (though nowadays all the governments on the globe are Nimrodic without a blush). Such was the wickedness of his native land that God required Abraham to leave his kindred and country and follow whither He led. This is now and has ever been the first step in a true heavenly pilgrimage. A prophet is without honor in his own country.

    Expatriation as a rule is a sine qua non in a really fruitful ministry for God and souls. “Full many a gem of purest ray serene, The dark unfathomed caves of Ocean bear; Full many a flower is born to blush unseen And waste its sweetness on the desert air.” As a rule, you must leave your native land if you would be eminently useful.

    REGENERATION AND SANCTIFICATION 8. While the physical birth emblematizes regeneration, it is equally true that physical circumcision typifies sanctification. The Jewish law was to circumcise eight days after birth, illustrating the fact that we should get sanctified about eight days after conversion, thus giving a little time to receive light on inbred sin and intelligently seek its removal. John Wesley has a powerful sermon on the Circumcision of the heart, preached from Deuteronomy 30:6: “I will circumcise thy heart, so as to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength, that thou mayest live.”

    Here we see that the circumcision of the heart is necessary to perfect love, which is the condition of spiritual life and admission into heaven.

    JOSEPH TYPICAL OF CHRIST 9-16. The symbolism of Joseph is entirely in the royal line of Jesus. In his deep disgrace and humiliation, slavery and imprisonment, he emblematizes Christ in His first advent; while crowned with gold, mounted on a golden chariot, ruling over all the land, he typifies Christ in His second advent Jacob loved Joseph more than his ten older brothers, because he was the son of his beloved Rachel, for whom he toiled fourteen years. Then she lived but a little while. I saw her tomb on the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, where she died, leaving a broken-hearted husband to transfer his love to her two little boys. Hence the ardent love of Jacob for Joseph, manifested in the royal robe of many colors, such as kings wore. Though Jacob knew it not, he was even then verifying the regal character of Joseph, the brilliant type of King Jesus, by dressing him in a kingly robe. When Joseph dreamed those wonderful, prophetic dreams, he was only twelve years old, too young to have any idea about their meaning. Yet they so vividly impressed his infantile mind that he could not forbear telling them.

    So he told his harvest dream: All binding sheaves in the field, and the bundles stood up, and those of the other ten all fell down before his. When a beardless boy I used to preach to the toiling slaves, delighted to hear them shout and sing their homespun Ethiopian songs. Here I remember one about this Scripture: 1. “Joseph had a vision; Joseph had a vision; The sun and moon and eleven stars fell down obeisance to him.

    Chorus: Shine, shine like a star, Shine, shine around the throne of God. 2. “His brothers’ wrath was kindled; His brothers’ wrath was kindled; They sold him to the Ishmaelites and had him carried to Egypt.

    Chorus: Shine, shine, etc. 3. “They brought him unto Pharaoh; They brought him unto Pharaoh; And there they laid the corner-stone on which to build Salvation Chorus: Shine, shine,” etc.

    When the little fellow told his dream about the sun, moon and eleven stars falling down before him, his father chided him: “Why, my son, are you so vain as to think you will be king over your father, mother and brothers?”

    When his angry brothers sell him to the Ishmaelites for ten dollars, the price of a young slave, typical of Jesus sold for fifteen dollars, the price of a grown slave, he was only twelve years old, too little to know anything about the wonderful meaning of his dreams. How vividly Joseph, in the purity of his youth, triumphing over all the temptations in the house of Potiphar, and even submitting to the lying persecution which consigned him to a loathsome dungeon seven weary years, emblematizes our Jesus in the purity of His youth. Finally the chief butler and baker are cast into the same dismal, dark, imperial prison. They both dream dreams. The former dreams that he saw three luxuriant vines bearing luscious grapes, which he expresses, bearing the wine to Pharaoh’s table. He tells Joseph, who interprets: “The three vines are three days, at the expiration of which Pharaoh will take you out of this prison and restore you to your butlership again.”

    The interpretation is so good the chief baker is encouraged to try him on his dream. “I dreamed that I had three baskets on my head, containing all kinds of sweet cakes used on the royal table. But the fowls of the air lighted down and ate the bread out of the baskets on my head.”

    Joseph responds: “The three baskets are three days, after which Pharaoh will send and take you out of this prison, hang you on a tree, and the fowls of the air will eat your flesh off your bones.”

    Sure enough, in three days the chief baker is taken out and hung and the chief butler restored to his butlership. While the latter is going out Joseph says: “When it goes well with you, remember me.”

    In his royal splendor he forgets all about the humble request of the poor Hebrew boy. Pharaoh dreams that he sees seven of the finest cattle he ever beheld come up out of the Nile and graze in a meadow; then seven of the poorest stunted dwarfs. But the latter devoured the former, exhibiting no change. Again in his dream he saw seven stalks of the finest corn lie ever beheld growing on the banks of the Nile. Then seven of the most worthless, withered and blasted by the east wind. But the latter devoured the former and showed no change. He calls in all the magicians and astrologers and wise men of Egypt. They are utterly dumfounded. Then says the chief butler: “Now I confess my sin. There is a Hebrew boy in that dungeon who beats all creation to interpret dreams and evolve dark sayings.”

    Pharaoh orders: “Bring him straight.” In one short hour Joseph stands before the king, hears his wonderful dreams and proceeds to interpret: “O king, the dream is double, because it is sure to come to pass.

    The seven fat cattle and fine ears of corn are seven years of plenty, such as have never been known in the land of Egypt. The seven lean kine and the seven blasted ears of corn are seven years of famine, which shall consume all the substance of the first seven years of plenty, depopulating the nations with general starvation. Now, O king, look out some man of wisdom who shall take this matter into his hands, build storehouses and lay up a supply of corn during the seven years of plenty for the seven years of famine which shall come upon all the earth, so that no life will survive unless this matter shall receive diligent attention.” “Why,” says the Pharaoh, “who in all the world is so wise as yourself, the man to whom God has given wisdom beyond that of any other man in all the earth?”

    Forthwith, Joseph is washed, dressed in the royal robes, a great chain of gold put around his neck, a crown of gold on his head, mounted on a golden chariot, fifty royal couriers run before him, shouting to all they meet, “Bow the knee, the king cometh.” What a wonderful emblem of regeneration in which the sinner is elevated from the doom of hell to the palace of heaven. Here Joseph, in one short hour, passes from the filthy dungeon to the proudest throne beneath the skies. Sure enough, the land teems with plenty; such crops were never before seen in the valley of the Nile. Joseph has granaries built in all the land to store the surplus corn.

    Everything full and running over. The seven years of plenty have come and gone. The seven years of famine set in. Dearth prevails, nothing is raised.

    The people all come to Joseph for bread. He has plenty. What a glorious emblem of Christ, dispensing the bread of life! There is famine in the land of Canaan. Jacob hears there is corn in Egypt. Sends his ten sons. Joseph meets them. It has been twenty years since they sold him to the Ishmaelites.

    He is so covered with the royal robes and the beard on his face, as to preclude all possible recognition; meanwhile he recognizes his older brothers, several of whom were grown when they sold him. He feigns incognito . Speaking to them through an interpreter, though he understood the Hebrew which they spoke, he asks about their family and country. They say, We are all the sons of one old man living in the land of Canaan; we also have a little brother at home and one dead (having lied so much about Joseph, they think it is true). The Latin history I read when a boy says they were unutterably surprised at the gushing tears flowing from the eyes of the king as they spoke of their father and little brother. He accused them of coming to spot out the land, detained Simeon, and exacted from them a promise to bring Benjamin, certifying they never shall see his face unless they bring Benjamin. They all find their money in their sack’s mouth, on the road home. Jesus gives us the bread of life like Joseph, his type, without money and without price. The old man is awfully shocked when he hears that the king of Egypt arrested and detained Simeon. “Thus I am deprived of my children. Joseph is dead, and now Simeon is gone.”

    When they tell that Benjamin must go if they get any more bread, he positively refuses. Time rolls on! The bread is out and famine stares them all in the face. Oh, how reluctantly the old man consents for Benjamin to go! but concludes he would better lose Simeon and Benjamin along with Joseph, already dead, than for them all to starve to death in a pile. So they all go again. On arrival they meet Simeon, looking better than they ever saw him. They wonder again why the king of Egypt cries so when he sees their little brother. The king entertains them with a rich feast. To their unutterable surprise he sits them down in the order of their ages. He puts on Benjamin’s plate five times the usual amount. God grant to you, reader, a Benjamin mess while you read this book. After dinner Joseph puts all of the Egyptians out of the room and now speaks in the Hebrew language, which they thought lie did not know, as he spake to them through an interpreter: “I am Joseph, whom you sold to the Ishmaelites twenty-two years ago.”

    They are all stunned, appalled and panic-stricken. They all fall down before him and beg his pardon. “Oh,” says he, “no need of that. God sent me before you to Provide bread and keep you all from starving to death.”

    He goes around, embraces and kisses each one of them. They almost swoon away under the shock. Old Pharaoh in his palace hears the loud crying, sends for Joseph, who confesses his brethren have come. Pharaoh nobly says: “The best of the land is at your option; send wagons and bring them all down. Regard not their stuff, for I will supply them.”

    When they return with Simeon and Benjamin and tell Jacob that Joseph is still alive and ruler over the land of Egypt, he faints and can’t believe it.

    Finally when he sees the wagon his spirit revives and he ventures to believe it. Convalescing finally from the shock, he says: “Then my Joseph is yet alive; I will go down and see him before I die.”

    Jacob lived seventeen years after the migration into Egypt. The old Pharaoh who had made Joseph his prime minister, committing to him the burdens and responsibilities of the kingdom, soon passed away, leaving the sole incumbent of the throne to reign over Egypt sixty-one years, precisely the period of Queen Victoria at the present date. The striking conservatism of Pharaoh and Egypt to Joseph and Israel vividly symbolizes the glorious millennial reign of our Lord, when all the kings of the earth shall submit obsequiously and co-operate conservatively in the mighty theocracy.

    Though Joseph died one hundred and fifty years before the departure of the children of Israel out of Egypt, pursuant to his predictions of the coming exodus and return to Canaan, they embalmed his body in a stone coffin, kept it through all those years, and finally, as history says, carried it on a wagon drawn by twelve oxen, heading the procession out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, forty years in the wilderness, then through the rifted waters of Jordan’s swelling flood into the Promised Land, where they buried him in the sepulcher which Abraham bought from the sons of Emmor in Sychem, the remains of Jacob having been carried up by Joseph in person and buried with Abraham and Isaac in the sepulcher of Machpelah.

    MOSES TYPICAL OF CHRIST 17-40. While Joseph so beautifully and vividly emblematizes King Jesus, both in His humiliation and in His glory, Moses equally grandly emblematizes the mediatorial Christ, himself not only the prophet and legislator of Israel and the world, but the mediator of the old covenant, as Christ is of the new. As the royal generations quickly come and go after the death of Joseph, they soon not only forget his brilliant and beneficent reign, but alarmed at the rapid multiplication of Israel [providentially enjoying the protection of the greatest military power on earth, during their national minority], lest in process of time becoming greater than the Egyptians, and joining their enemies in time of war, they may actually subjugate them.

    Therefore the king resorts to the stratagem of infanticide to arrest the alarming rapidity of Israel’s multiplication. 20. “At which time Moses was born, and was beautiful unto God.” The E.V. does not give you the clear translation of this beautiful passage, which reveals that Moses was beautiful in the divine estimation, being doubtless the finest looking baby the world had ever seen. [Of course, Adam and Eve were perfect specimens of humanity, but they never were babies.] Amram and Jochebed are not only charmed with the transcendent beauty of their baby, but divinely impressed that he is a messenger sent of God. Therefore, having faith in God, they manage to hide him in their home three months.

    Now the imperial soldiers have become so rampant searching the Hebrew premises and killing the boy babies, they see to their sorrow they can hide him no longer. Trusting God, they resort to a stratagem, manufacture the ark of bulrushes, water-proof with the wonderful Egyptian cement, deposit their precious baby in it and commit him to the dubious waves of the Nile, about two hours before day, thus turning him over to the providence of God. His unsuspected little sister Miriam, who afterward became a flaming holiness evangelist, now only seven years old, follows along the bank, keeping her young eagle eye on the floating ark. 21. “He having been deposited, the daughter of Pharaoh took him and adopted him unto herself for a son.” Contemporary Egyptian history says that this daughter of Pharaoh, the heir to the throne in the blood-royal, her father now very old, was then a widow without an heir, her husband having fallen on the battlefield of Thebes, while leading the Egyptian armies against the Ethiopians, during that long and exterminating war of several generations, in which the Egyptians and Ethiopians, the two greatest nations on the earth, desperately contested the metropolitanship of the globe, Egypt finally triumphing. Such was the anxiety of the young queen to transmit the kingdom in her own family, that seeing the foundling, charmed by his beauty and smitten with most profound sympathy by his crying, she at once conceives the idea of his adoption to herself for a son, and thus feigned maternity, circulating the report and sending away her two maid-servants, who alone knew to the contrary, to regions unknown, never again to be seen; receiving the baby in her arms, calling a nurse through the loving little sister, Miriam, who proved to be none other than the loving mother of the dear little foundling, now, with her husband and four-yearsold Aaron and first-born Miriam, moving at once into a tenement house on the royal premises; Amram receiving the appointment of horticultural superintendent. 22. “Indeed Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians: and was mighty in his words and deeds.” God needed in Moses the highest scholarship in the world to reveal the Bible, write the Pentateuch and legislate for all mankind. Therefore He avails Himself of the Egyptians, whose philosophers and magicians stood at the head of the world’s learning and became the educators of Moses, believing him to be the son of their queen, the heir of the blood-royal and their future king. Of course, they lay under contribution all the scholarship of the age to educate their bright and promising young king, flattering themselves that in Moses Egypt would have a Pharaoh eclipsing all his illustrious predecessors of the royal line. To be “mighty in his words,” or as the Greek says, “in sciences,” was to be a great intellectualist and scholar, such as Moses doubtless was, reaching the very acme of the world, and little dreaming that God in His wonderful providence was preparing him to be prophet, legislator, leader and mediator of Israel, thus treading an apex hitherto reached by no human being. To be “mighty in his works” in that age meant to be a great military man. This is abundantly corroborated by Egyptian history, which certifies that Moses led the Egyptian armies in the Ethiopian wars, rising to pre-eminence as a military chieftain. Thus the statement in the Pentateuch that he received “an Ethiopian woman for a wife” is accounted for. During the memorable siege of Thebes, the beautiful and magnificent Ethiopian capital, the rival of Memphis, the capital of Egypt, the daughter of the Ethiopian king ever and anon gazed from the high towers of the royal palace far out over the wall, beholding with admiration the military evolutions of the Egyptian army.

    Recognizing their grand, beautiful and majestic leader, she falls in love with him at a distance, sends him a messenger, proposing to maneuver the opening of the gates and the admission of his army into the city, on condition that she receive his hand in wedlock. It works out to a charm; magnificent Thebes is captured by the Egyptian army, and the long war winds up with victory perched on the banner of the Pharaohs. Of course she becomes the wife of Moses. Having either passed away by death or returned to her own country, she was not his wife at the time of the above quotation, as he was then the husband of Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro. 23. “And when the time of the fortieth year was being fulfilled to him, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel.” Here culminates a crisis, more copiously revealed in Hebrews 11:24-28, where it is said that he “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh, preferring to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt.”

    This clearly confirms and corroborates the preceding. As Egypt was an absolute monarchy, the king owned the country, all the people and all the money. Thus, in the capacity of king, Moses had it in his power to own all the “treasures of Egypt.” History says that after be had passed his thirtyfifth year, having for many years, in the capacity of royal regent, relieved his queenly mother of governmental burden and responsibility, now that she is venerable with years, knowing the political intrigue on all sides among the consanguinity of the blood-royal, and so anxious to carry out the cherished enterprise of her life, i .e ., to transmit the kingdom to her son Moses, at the same time in constant fear lest something might happen and prevent his receiving the crown, she resolves, though out of harmony with royal precedent, to have Moses crowned king before she passes out of life.

    With great reluctance he finally yields to her importunity, and, pursuant to Egyptian custom, is passing through a whole lunar month of preparatory disciplines and vigils, conducted by the magicians in the secret orgies of their subterranean chambers, beneath the great pyramids. The time of inauguration is drawing nigh, he sees a vision at the third watch of the night, in the subterranean chamber of the magician; behold! he sees the soldiers dashing hither and thither ransacking the mud-tenements of the Hebrew slaves, hunting up every boy baby and knocking his brains out. He sees a father and mother with all expedition fixing up a bulrush ark, putting their baby in it, committing it to the waves. It floats down the Nile, pursued by the little sister on the bank, is picked up by the maid-servants at daydawn, brought to the queen in her bathing-house, adopted, mother and father called to nurse. Then it is revealed to him that he is that baby.

    Besides, a supernatural voice rings out, “Thou art not an Egyptian; thou art a Hebrew, a son of the despised race of slaves.” Then Moses, responsive to the heavenly vision and the divine voice, to his unutterable surprise for the first time in life finds out his mistake, that he is not the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, but the son of his faithful Hebrew nurse and the pious old gardener, who all their lives had showed him so much kindness, but of course never intimating to him his Hebrew origen, as this would have blighted all the hope of his future kingdom. Now arriving at day-dawn, entering the royal palace he runs to his venerable queenly mother: “Oh, mother; though you are not my mother, yet I love you with all the possible love of a mother’s son; yet you are not my mother, but I am the son of that Hebrew nurse and belong to that race of slaves.” This to his royal mother is a thunderbolt from a cloudless sky crushing all her hopes. Verily, the trouble she had feared all her life has come like a flood. Now arises the crisis mentioned in the above quotation. She importunes him to keep the whole matter thus revealed in the heavenly vision a secret, with her and him alone, go on with the inauguration and be crowned king. “Oh, mother, in that case I would reign under a falsehood, as you know that the Egyptians would never tolerate a Hebrew on the throne. They would hurl me down and elevate the nearest of the blood-royal.” “Why? Joseph, the Hebrew, was king of Egypt.” “Yes, but he reigned as a Hebrew and not as an Egyptian, which will never again be tolerated since the degradation of the Hebrews in disgraceful bondage. Oh, mother, you know I can never reign under a falsehood. I must be true and cast my fortunes with those despised slaves.” History says when Moses thus refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, receive the crown of Egypt, bade his royal mother adieu and hastened away to join the toiling slaves, that she quickly died of a broken heart, succeeded in the throne by the nearest of the blood-royal, unfortunately very profligate. How wonderfully God maketh the wrath of man to praise Him! While Pharaoh was doing his utmost to prevent the insurgency of Israel by killing their leader, of course making sure of it by killing all the boy babies, behold! the very one he was ransacking all the land to kill he is keeping in his own palace, feeding him on the fat of the land, paying his own father and mother enormous wages to nurse him, and bestowing a million of dollars on the magicians, priests and philosophers to give him the finest education ever received by a mortal man, thus conferring on him every qualification needed for the very work he had turned loose his whole army to prevent by killing the babies. We have myriads of historic repetitions of this same folly this day. The very sons and daughters cultured by the opposition to fight the holiness movement are everywhere getting sanctified and leading the embattled host to victory. The life of Moses, one hundred and twenty years, is divided into three periods of forty years each, so wonderfully contrastive either with other. The first forty years in the royal palace of the proudest kingdom beneath the skies, actually living at the top of creation, emblemating the mediatorial Christ on the throne of heaven before He condescended to become “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” to redeem the world from sin, death and hell. We now reach the second period of Moses’ wonderful life. 24-29. Cultured all his life in the Egyptian idolatry, flooded with all the learning of the world, the greatest military general on the globe, born with redoubtable physical courage, and a total stranger to fear, Moses unhesitatingly dashes away to the brick kilns and mortar-yards, quarries and mines of his toiling consanguinity, proclaiming his kinship, espousing their ruined estate and doubting not that they will rally around him by millions, fly to arms, rise unanimously in rebellion against their masters, and thus give him an opportunity, vi et armis , to lead them out of bondage back to their native land. In this he is utterly discomfited. Like the rest of us, having attempted to achieve victory by human power, he signally fails.

    Not only is his enterprise of Hebrew emancipation a hopeless failure, as they were then a race of cowards, utterly uncultured in military tactics, but the Pharaohs, looking upon him as a royal rival, and now even attempting an insurrection of the slaves, as they think in that way seeking a passport to the throne, the palace fulminates death and destruction for the vile insurgent; they are hot on his track, so that he narrowly and providentially escapes with his life. When I was there, I visited the scene of these stirring events so far as locations after thirty-five hundred years can be identified. I looked down into Jacob’s well in the citadel of Cairo, which tradition says Prince Joseph dug for his father, two hundred feet deep, the walls sixteen feet square at the top, each side a monolith, contracting slightly as it descends; the sparkling water in that deep well surviving to this day. At the location of the ancient city of Memphis, the capital and metropolis, in the alluvial valley of the Nile, the great eastern desert is very nigh, having no permanent habitations, always roamed over by the Bedouin Arabs and traversed by caravans of camels. Moses quickly dashes away into this desert, travels northward to the Isthmus of Suez, crosses out of Africa into Asia, doubles round the west end of the Red Sea, travels eastward into Arabia, enters the wild, rugged regions of Mt. Sinai, the hand of the Almighty leading him to the home of Jethro, the Midianitish priest and prophet of the Most High in the normal succession of Noah and Shem, a true preacher of righteousness, orthodox and faithful in his dispensation, i .e ., the Patriarchal. He was the very man Moses needed to teach him the things of God. That he was a true and orthodox prophet of Jehovah, we see illustrated when in after years he visited Israel in the wilderness, spending a fortnight with his son-in-law; meanwhile God used him to institute the eldership of Israel, which the apostles transferred to the Christian dispensation, and this day under God is the custodian of the Church militant. This, to Moses, was like entering a new world, as he left all the people he had ever known and came to others whom he had never seen. Of course he was lonesome. Therefore, Jethro not only received him kindly into a shepherd’s tent, became his faithful teacher and spiritual father, but he comforted his bereavement by giving him his daughter Zipporah in wedlock. Thus Moses comes down from the top of royalty to the bottom of poverty and simplicity, beginning life de novo , like every newborn soul. Now he enjoys God’s theological college, that old burning desert, with the sheep to entertain him, the stars to watch him and the sand for a bed, forty years, while he gets down to the bottom-rock of humiliation, sitting meek and lowly at the feet of the prophet Jethro and taught of God the deep things of the kingdom. Thirty years have rolled away in this primitive prophetical school. He is now ready for that advanced work of grace, i .e ., sanctification, putting him far out in advance of his dispensation, complimenting him with bona fide membership in the Pentecostal church many centuries in anticipation. Behold, he sees a thornbush enveloped in lambent flame, yet not consumed. It is the vivid symbol of the fiery baptism, then and there sanctifying and filling his own soul.

    After forty years, his elder brother Aaron, in a similar manner participant of God’s preparatory school, also joins Moses at the burning bush. 31-33. Out of the burning bush Jehovah now commissions the sons of Amram to go and preach to the Pharaohs and princes of Egypt. Even the earth in that august presence is so sacred that sandals must be removed from their feet. The Arabs in that country still adhere pertinaciously to that precept, positively requiring me to take off my shoes every time I entered the holy mosque. 34. “Seeing I have seen the affliction of my people, who are in Egypt, and have heard their groaning, and come down to deliver them; now come hither, I will send thee into Egypt.” The divine economy, God’s method with man and the idiosyncrasies of salvation, is the same in all ages and dispensations. Why did not God deliver Israel out of bondage at an earlier date? Because they had not gotten so tired and sick of their bondage as to make them groan under the task-masters and cry to God for deliverance.

    The task-masters are evil habits. The reason why the people are not delivered from them is because they are not so sick and tired as to groan under the intolerable burden of sin and cry piteously for deliverance.

    Whenever you get so awfully tired of sin as to loathe and groan at its very mention and cry unto God for deliverance, He is sure to come down and deliver you. We live in an age characteristic of superficiality in every respect. This grievous superficialism has almost obliterated the very memory of the mourner’s cry and groan, and the wrestling altars, which in former years I everywhere saw and heard. Good Lord, bring back the oldtime power.

    THE CHURCH 36-38. “This is the one who is in the church in the wilderness along with the angel speaking to him in Mt. Sinai and with our fathers.” As ecclesia, the word constantly used by the Holy Ghost for church, from ek, “out,” and kaleoo , “call,” simply means “the called out,” i .e ., all the people in all ages who have responded to the call of the Holy Ghost, come out of the world and separated themselves unto God, therefore we find the church in the world from the days of Abel. Dispensations have changed, but the church never. The birth of the Spirit per se takes you out of the world and makes you a member of the church, though in the middle of a desert, or tossed mid-ocean, a thousand miles from a church edifice, a preacher, or a baptismal font, none of which ever did have anything to do with church membership, being only symbolic, indicative and catechetical. Another work of grace, so prominent in the New Testament as well as the Old, is sanctification for every church member. For this work the Holy Ghost says hagiadzoo , from a , “not,” and gee , “the world.” Hence it means to take the world out of you. Therefore these two works so plain and clear, regeneration taking you out of the world and constituting you a true member of God’s church in spiritual infancy, and sanctification, taking the world out of you, promoting you out of spiritual infancy into spiritual adultage, thus qualifying you for every office of the church to which the Holy Ghost may call you. Good Lord, help us all to be satisfied with God’s Word, come back to New Testament simplicity, losing sight of those human ecclesiasticisms which through the chicanery of Satan and carnal leaders have so covered up the church in the rubbish of Ashdod and the superfluities of Babylon that the multitudes of so-called Christendom have actually lost sight of the amiable, simple, pure, humble Bride of Christ, the loving companion of her ascended Lord, still surviving upon the earth to prepare all nations for the coming kingdom.

    IDOLATRY IN THE WILDERNESS 40-43. While Moses tarries forty days on the summit of Sinai, complimented as no other man with the very audience of Jehovah, revealing to him the wonderful truth which he wrote in the Bible, the apostatizing myriads of Israel, their faith faltering, turned back to the gods of Egypt, whom they had served in the days of their bondage, constraining Aaron to go back to his former lucrative mechanism and manufacture for them a small golden image of the Egyptian Apis, i .e ., the sacred ox, copiously worshipped in Egypt as the representative of the divine attribute of power.

    This fact of Egyptian idolatry, I saw in the museum in Cairo in the many magnificent statues of the colossal ox. 42. “And God turned away and gave them up to worshipping the host of heaven,” i .e ., the sun, moon, and stars. I do not wonder that they worshipped the unparalleled splendor of an Egyptian sky, where clouds are never seen, rain never falls, and the sun in his glory accumulates a splendor and grandeur inconceivable in these occidental lands of cloudy skies. Four thousand years ago Heliopolis, a compound word which means City of the Sun, stood on the banks of the Nile, literally constituted of palaces so gorgeous and monuments so splendid as to reflect the sunbeams in all directions from every conceivable point of the compass, so as to exhibit a splendor and glory as if a thousand meridian suns had evacuated Apollo’s chariot and come down to show the world their unearthly glory. The most of those gorgeous monuments and splendid statuary have been carried away. I saw a number of them in Rome. However, one majestic red granite monolith [I .e ., all one piece], too ponderous for manipulation and unsusceptible of disintegration, still stands in its majesty, a vivid reminder of their wonderful Heliopolis, and “monarch of all he surveys.” In Coptic language the sun is Osiris, and the moon is His, under which names they were extravagantly worshipped by the Egyptians in the days of Israel. 43. “You took up the statue of Moloch and the star of your god Remphan, images which you made, to worship them; and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.” Moloch is the Tyrian word and Remphan the Coptic for the Hebrew word Baal, all meaning the sun-god, which was so extensively and extravagantly worshipped by the polytheistic idolaters of that day. They would heat the hollow brazen image of Moloch and lay an infant in his arms, thus offering human sacrifices, which continued till the days of Josiah, during the periods of apostasy and idolatry in Israel. Here Stephen certifies that Israel practiced these idolatries, carrying with them the little images throughout all of their peregrinations in the wilderness. When they crossed the Jordan, Joshua required an abandonment of all this idolatry, administering to them the rite of circumcision, symbolical of their right to sanctification, during their great holiness campmeeting held at Gilgal, immediately after crossing and before they set upon the conquest of the land. Unfortunately, after arriving in Canaan they never did utterly expurgate the land of idolatry, hence the surviving Canaanites proved a snare to them, leading them into idolatry and superinducing the sad and mournful downward trend of four hundred and fifty years of backsliding, recorded in the book of Judges, developing long-established alienation from Jehovah and culminating in their awful Babylonian captivity. Nothing but entire sanctification saves people from idolatry. That is the distressing trouble in the churches of the present day; they are full of idolatry. They worship water-gods, day-gods, creed-gods, sect-gods, money-gods, gods of wood and stone in the form of a fine edifice, and gods of flesh and blood in the form of big preachers and other phases of human leadership. The Holiness Movement is God’s call to the people to forsake idolatry. Oh, how perniciously the popular clergy fight for their sectarian gods! As we see here in Israel the awful ultimatum of persistent idolatry was Babylonian captivity, even so this day the masses of Christendom are captured and enslaved in spiritual Babylon. 45. Jesus, E.V., in this verse, should read Joshua, as in R.V. The solution consists in the fact that Joshua is a Hebrew word, which means Jesus in Greek. The great general reason why Moses could not lead Israel into the promised land was because of his symbolic character as the law-giver of Israel. [To be sure, he blurred his experience of sanctification by impatience at the waters of Meribah, but soon regained lost ground.] If Moses had led Israel into Canaan, it would typically involve the conclusion that we can be sanctified by good works, i .e ., through the law, which is utterly impossible; hence it would not do for Moses to lead them in. As Aaron, the high priest stood at the head of the officiating clergy, he could not enter the land lest the dogma of sanctification by church rites, loyalty and obedience to the ruling ministers could not sanctify you. Miriam, the prophetess, represents the fire-baptized holiness evangelists. If she had entered the land, it would have involved the conclusion that red-hot holiness preachers can sanctify you, which is utterly untrue. As none but Joshua, which means Jesus, could lead them in, it settles the matter in the symbolic theology of the Old Testament, that none but Jesus can sanctify a soul.

    CHURCH EDIFICES 44-50. Here Stephen alludes to the grand spiritual meaning of the portable tabernacle which God dictated to Moses on Sinai and the beautiful symbolic significance of Solomon’s temple. As the great majority of the Christian church at the present day, preachers and people, are living in the old dispensation, three thousand years behind the age, they awfully grieve the Holy Spirit by wasting the Lord’s money in costly spires, Gothic domes, memorial windows and other needless expenditures connected with their church edifices; e .g ., St. Peter’s church at Rome cost two hundred millions of dollars, money enough to put the Bible in every home on the earth. It is the greatest monument of idolatry beneath the skies. How strange that Protestants are all doing their best to imitate the Roman Catholics in their needless expenditure and ornamentation of fine edifices. John Wesley said, “Whenever the Methodists get to building fine houses they are a ruined people.” One hundred thousand dollars of the Lord’s money are spent on a church edifice, while ten thousand are all we could possibly need, if pride were dead [and it must die before we go to heaven], leaving ninety thousand which would build a hundred churches for the poor heathens. Oh! what a victory for Jesus! No wonder the Holy Spirit has left the fine edifices. How strange that leading preachers will allude to Solomon’s temple as an argument for expenditure and ornamentation in a church edifice. In so doing they betray their ignorance and attitude, demonstrating to all luminous people that they are not only living away back in the dispensation of Moses, but shamefully ignorant of the beautiful symbolic truth revealed in the Bible. The reason Solomon’s temple contains so much gold and artistic ornamentation was because, belonging to the symbolic dispensation, it typified the sanctified heart of the Pentecostal age. So all of that gold and splendor do not mean that we are to have it unless we are stupid enough, like the crab, to go backward instead of forward; but it does mean positively and unequivocally that our hearts, “the temple of the Holy Ghost,” shall be sanctified wholly, literally radiant with the beauty of holiness. 48. “But the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands, as the prophet says: 49. “Heaven is my throne, and earth is the footstool of my feet: what house will ye build unto me, saith the Lord, or what shall be the place of my rest? 50. “Hath not my hand made all these things?” It is a historic fact that a hundred and fifty years of the Christian era had passed away, and all of the apostles long been playing on their golden harps, before a church edifice was ever built. We find Paul at Troas preaching in a third-story room. Like the holiness movement at the present day, the Apostolic churches used little rented rooms in garrets and cellars, private houses and green trees. An awful tide of idolatry is at the present day running in the line of church edifices. If the house should burn down and the preacher backslide a whole modern congregation would collapse spiritually in twenty-four hours and conclude they hadn’t a bit of religion. I am glad to see the holiness camps everywhere rendezvoused beneath the twinkling stars, amid the primeval forests, thus utilizing God’s primitive temples. How will we ever get the heathen saved if we do not quit sacrificing the Lord’s money to that hellish goddess, Pride, in needless expenditure on church edifices, thus using God’s money “to sacrifice to devils.” The whole compoodle is an insult to God, as Stephen here says. He does not want His money wasted in this way, thus mocking His majesty. When all of these fine edifices dwindle into insignificance and sink into total eclipse, contrasted with the broad temples of the firmament, roofed with the glittering constellations, lighted by the sun, moon and stars, floored with the beautiful green sward, jotted with Rocky Mountain pulpits, and ventilated by the salubrious breezes wafted from the saline billows of majestic oceans whose thundering waves respond to the music of roaring thunders enlivened by forked lightnings.

    Instead of settling down and going to sleep amid the idolatrous incantations of a fine edifice we are to utilize the meeting-house God has already built, which is the “whole world,” and our commission is “to every creature.”

    STEPHEN’S CULMINATION 51. “Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in hearts and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye. 52. “Which one of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they slew those proclaiming concerning the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers ye became, 53. “Who received the law in the administrations of angels and kept it not.” If Stephen had been a modest, prudent, courteous preacher, he might have saved his life. On the contrary, he looked the leading preachers of his own fallen church squarely in the face and told them of their pride, carnality and rebellion against the Holy Ghost. A modern wiseacre would say Stephen made a mistake and lost his life. Stephen was guided by the Infallible One.

    He made no mistake. But those seventy big preachers and church officers to whom he did this straight preaching made the mistake. It was really the opportunity of their lives to hear, receive and obey the truth straight from God. Saul of Tarsus, their heroic leader, was subsequently rescued by a miracle of grace. His comrades were only hardened, so that when he went back, five years subsequently, in the fullness of the Holy Ghost and faithfully preached to them the truth which Stephen had preached and sealed with his blood, he found them so hard and blinded by the devil that they not only rejected him, like Stephen, but determined to kill him, the brethren slipping him away, leading him to Caesarea and sending him off to Tarsus, his native city, and thus saving his life. The argument favors the conclusion that those strong - headed preachers and church officers to whom Stephen did this awful straight and plain preaching, for which they stoned him to death, never did receive the light, but doubtless died in their delusion, believing that they were the true preachers of the gospel, and making their bed in hell. Then was Stephen’s ministry in vain? Would he have better been prudent and saved his life? The truth is never told in vain, since God is preparing to judge the world. When the members of that fallen Sanhedrin, i .e ., the preachers and elders, stand before the judgment-bar, God will put Stephen on the witness-block to testify against them. They will go down and he will go up. Behold Stephen standing here, friendless and alone, prosecuted by the preachers and officers of his own church for heresy and disloyalty! He is as bold as Napoleon on the battlefield. Looking them in the face, he tells them the awful truth of their apostasy, carnality, and disharmony with the Holy Ghost, though it costs him his life.

    STEPHEN’S MARTYRDOM 54. The officers of the Sanhedrin, clerical and laymen, are torn all to pieces by the straight, awful truth enunciated by Stephen. They get so mad that they grit their teeth. I witness to you that I have seen the same under similar circumstances, i .e ., leading preachers so mad at the holiness people that they turned pale and gritted their teeth, only lacking the cooperation of the civil arm to do unto the Lord’s faithful witnesses just what these preachers and church officers did to Stephen. 55. “And being full of the Holy Ghost and looking up to heaven, he saw the glory of heaven, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.” The normal posture of Jesus in heaven is sitting on the mediatorial throne. This is an extraordinary occasion; heaven enjoys the exquisite privilege of witnessing the death of the first Christian martyr. Now see Jesus vacate the throne, walk out to the heavenly battlements, calling the attention of the enraptured hosts. Archangels ceased to play on their golden harps, the cherubim hushed their triumphant song, the seraphim paused amid the triumphant shouts, while all heaven with Jesus look down and see how His martyr can die. The judgment hall, where Jesus, the apostles and Stephen were tried for their lives, stands on Mt. Zion, about six hundred yards from the city wall on the mountain brow, which is there entered by David’s Gate.

    As a criminal must not die in the holy city, and they have condemned him unanimously, under charge of blasphemy, because he said he saw heaven open and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, which was true, but they did not believe it, in a similar manner the magnates of the fallen churches at the present day accuse the holiness people of blasphemy and are awfully shocked at our testimonies, and we would really fare like Stephen if the stars and stripes did not float over our heads, and gunboats roar from the seas. Therefore, laying violent hands on Stephen and dragging him out through the gate to the brow of Mt. Zion, beyond the wall, as the Greek says, “they continued to cast stones on him.” Pursuant to the law against blasphemers ( Deuteronomy 17), the witnesses must testify against him and cast the first stones. Thereafter the people indiscriminately continued to cast stones on the poor victim. There is a striking double significance in the laying down of the clothes at the feet of this young man called Saul. They only saw in it the fact of his leadership in the martyrdom of Stephen, which was true, arising from the simple fact of his constitutional pre-eminence among men, since he was in every way an extraordinary character, born to rule, whether in the kingdom of Satan or God. We have a most striking secondary meaning, legitimately attachable to this notable transaction, i .e ., the succession of the dying martyr, of which no one present had the slightest dream, Saul himself of all most alien from such a Conception. Oh, how strikingly prophetical was this laying down of their garments at the feet of Saul, destined in the miraculous providence of God to take the place of the dying martyr, receive the converting grace and sanctifying power which flooded Stephen’s countenance with an unearthly radiance, misunderstood and falsely interpreted by Saul and his clerical comrades as vile contrariness and devilish stubbornness; even to come back to Jerusalem, enter those Hellenistic synagogues, there preach and witness precisely as Stephen had done, and only escape the same bloody fate at the hands of that identical murderous rabble by providential intervention, which simply prolonged his life till he could finish his work and then die, like Stephen, a martyr for Jesus. 59. “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” This is another one of the innumerable Scriptures which knocks the bottom out of soul-sleeping, proposing to brutalize you by taking away your immortal soul and humbugging you with the silly delusion that you consist only of this material body, making even heathens blush for shame; for, walking in the light of nature and the Holy Spirit, without the precious Bible, even they believe in the soul’s immortality. Here we know that Stephen’s immortal spirit was a distinct unity, existing independently of his body, because it left his body under the rock-pile and went up to live with God in heaven, like the disembodied spirit of every dying saint. 60. “And putting down his knees he cried with a great voice, O Lord, charge not this sin to them.” Here we see that Stephen knelt among the stony shower and prayed for the preachers and church officers who killed him, thus illustrating the normal posture of prayer, i .e ., on the knees.

    Heathens, Mohammedans and Roman Catholics all kneel It is awfully chilling and discouraging to see great Protestant congregations sitting up during prayers. I know nothing about such religion; the first touch of conviction I received from God brought me to my knees, and I have stayed there. They are the hardest part of my body. I realize no inconvenience in remaining on my knees while the hours glide away. The proud Protestant congregations should be rebuked by the poor Pagans, Moslems, and Romanists, all kneeling [though I fear in most cases actually worshipping devils], while they sit up during prayers. If the crowd is too dense to kneel, you certainly can get down some way and join in the prayer to God.

    Standing is a much more adoratory posture than sitting, and should be adopted when kneeling is impracticable. No wonder the Holy Ghost has forsaken the churches, when they throw into His face the wholesale insult of keeping their seats, gazing about and looking up like ducks at the rain during prayer. Kneeling or prostration is the Bible posture of worship.

    Here we see the spirit of true saintship manifested by Stephen, not only in forgiving, but praying for them with his dying breath. “And saying this, he fell asleep.” Our Savior said of Lazarus: “He is not dead, but sleepeth, and I go to awaken him.” From these Scriptures we find that the inspired phraseology as applied to God’s saints is not death, but sleep, clearly and conclusively revelatory of the fact that even the bodies of God’s children shall never die. Hence we should not talk about dying, but going to sleep in Jesus in case that He tarrieth. The Bible clearly reveals the significant fact that the body is as immortal as the soul, and will never die. If He tarrieth, my body, which, even now at the age of sixty-five, needs nearly twice the sleep requisite for nervous vigor twenty years ago [this the normal effect of mental and spiritual labor], will ere long become so sleepy that it will lie down in the grave and sleep so soundly that nothing but the archangel’s trumpet and the resurrection earthquakes can awaken it. Even bears, reptiles and many other animals go to sleep when winter comes on, and wake no more till spring, thus symbolizing the sleep of the body throughout the winter of death and the glorious waking on the resurrection morn. Hence it is impertinent to record the death of God’s saints. Under the glorious light of the gospel dispensation it is proper to say, as in case of Stephen, “they fell asleep.” If He tarrieth, soon the holiness papers will report that the author of these pages is dead. Reader, please correct the mistake. Even now I have in my soul the resurrection power, destined to reach this frail body, investing it with immortality. Hence if He tarrieth, I will soon like Stephen fall asleep in Jesus, enjoying a short though delectable nap on the bosom of Mother Earth, awaiting the resurrection trump which will awaken me from my slumber.

    CHAPTER - 1 , 2 . Pursuant to the time-honored custom of the Jews, to mourn over the dead seven days, “devout men buried Stephen and made great mourning over him.” PERSECUTIONS 3. Saul of Tarsus, flooded with native talents, literary culture, ecclesiastical prominence and unparalleled aspirations to reach the very acme of his transcendent and ambitious aspiration, arriving from the north too late to see any of the miracles wrought by Jesus during His ministry, and the Holy Ghost during the Pentecostal revival, obdurately incredulous to the testimony of the poor, despised Nazarene, at once comes to the front with the gigantic grip of his iron will, takes into hand the already complicated problem of rescuing the church from the Nazarene heresy which, in his candid judgment, is striking at the very vitals of the Mosaic institutions.

    Hence, as a true son of Abraham, loyal to God and Moses, he takes the bit in his teeth, determined to make a summary settlement of all difficulties.

    When ecclesiastical autocrats once taste the blood of persecution they invariably become insatiable. The martyrdom of Stephen lifted the floodgate for the bloody tide which had been accumulating since the baptism of John, and had received a wonderful impetus during the revivals of Pentecost. The Roman civil arm is still willing to purchase Jewish favor at the expense of the Nazarene faction. Therefore, Saul, utilizing his wonderful sagacity as an organizer, diligently rendezvouses the orthodox magnates and the loyal element of the fallen church, sparing neither age nor sex, but running like the inquisitorial bands of St. Dominique into every house; “arresting both men and women, he continued to commit them to prison,” thus determined to make summary work and exterminate the heresy with all possible expedition, relieving the country of the nuisance and the church of the miasma already infecting her to the heart. 4. “Therefore indeed being dispersed abroad, they went everywhere preaching the word.” Oh, how the devil overshot himself in the Sauline persecutions. It was high time that Jerusalem nest was broken up and the saints dispersed to the ends of the earth to preach the gospel. Nothing could so effectually bring to pass this indispensable desideratum as a bloody persecution. Hence the devil set a trap, lost all of his bait and got caught in it himself. This awful Sauline persecution was worth more than a wagon full of gold to send the gospel to the destitute, and thus establish the church in all the earth. Meanwhile Satan’s persecution dispatched hundreds and thousands of blood-washed and fire-baptized evangelists to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth; he even lost the greatest and most successful leader of hell’s army he ever had on the earth, i .e ., Saul of Tarsus, whose attitude at the very front of the popular church qualified him, invested in the livery of heaven, to serve the devil and promote the damnation of souls infinitely beyond the possibilities of the blackest incarnate reprobate, fighting overtly and devouredly under the motley banner of the bottomless pit. Therefore in the work of Saul the persecutor hell suffered signal bankruptcy.

    ALL SAINTS ARE PREACHERS 4. “Therefore indeed being dispersed abroad, they went everywhere preaching the word.” The martyrdom of Stephen lifted the flood-gate of a general and sweeping persecution against the Nazarenes, the Roman power acquiescent in the diabolical malignity, thus purchasing Jewish favor with the blood of the saints. Consequently they fled in all directions, like Samson’s foxes, scattering the fire throughout all Palestine and everywhere rolling out the revival wave into the Gentile world. Thus the devil overshot himself; thinking to exterminate Christianity from the globe, he sent out fiery platoons of missionaries to the ends of the earth. The Holy Ghost certifies that they all preached the gospel, here using that identical word, evangelidzoo , which means “preach the gospel,” and not simply to proclaim as an herald; thus evolving the fact that all the saints in the Apostolic age were divinely authorized preachers of the gospel, Satan having waited to a later date to invent license, thus obstructing the free and universal evangelization of earth’s dying millions under the leadership of the Holy Ghost. Unobstructed by ecclesiastical tyranny, neither the apostles nor their saintly contemporaries ever received any license to preach. If the church wants to give you license, accept it with gratitude; if not, go ahead and preach in the regular Apostolical succession.

    EVANGELIZATION OF SAMARIA 5-25. Philip, a bright, uncultured layman, sanctified in the Pentecostal revival, “filled with the Spirit and wisdom,” rendering him eligible to the office of deacon, was too enthusiastic to content himself “serving tables.” Led by the Spirit, a fugitive from the persecutions, he had the courage to enter the hardest field of labor on the globe. The Samaritans were not only heathens, but irreconcilable haters of the Jews. Here we see how the grace of God is more than a match for every conceivable human difficulty and Satanic antagonism. This illiterate young evangelist invades old heathen Samaria with the heroism of Alexander the Great. His conversions were not the modern still-born species. 7. “Many of those having unclean spirits, roaring with a great voice went out of them.” “Crying” in E.V. is the Greek boaoo , by whose pronunciation you see that it means to roar like the lowing of an ox. Hence we see that those great, stalwart heathen men, under the mighty conviction of the Holy Ghost, through the preaching of this red-hot young Israelite, threw their mouths open and roared like oxen. I have seen much of this kind. Lord, help us to get back to the “roaring,” knock-down convictions ( Corinthians 14:25) of the Apostolic age. Philip in Samaria met the obstruction so common in all ages, i .e ., the devil’s preacher, Simon Magus, cultured, influential, wealthy and wielding an apparently omnipotent influence among the people. Nothing is too hard for the grace of God. Consequently, Satan’s preacher comes down at the mourners’ bench along with his members and gets religion. Some doubt this, but verse 13 is conclusive: “And Simon himself also believed, and having been baptized, was accompanying Philip.” If uninspired man had said that “Simon believed,” I would doubt his conversion; but since the infallible Holy Ghost, the Author of l true and saving faith, here certifies that “Simon believed,” we dare not gainsay. However, it is perfectly clear that he failed to get sanctified under the preaching of Peter and John, and consequently lapsed into condemnation like millions of others who, having been truly converted and refusing to obey the call of the Holy Ghost and go on into holiness, forfeit their justification and, with Simon Magus, plunge into a backslider’s hell. The love of money which would have ruined Jacob had he not received his Peniel sanctification twenty years after his Bethel conversion, and did drag poor Judas Iscariot from the apostleship down to hell, also proved fatal in the case of Simon Magus.

    APOSTOLICAL PRECEDENT 14-16. “And the apostles in Jerusalem hearing that Samaria had received the word of God, sent to them Peter and John, who having come down, prayed that they may receive the Holy Ghost.” For He had not fallen upon any one of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17. “Then they laid hands on them, and they continued to receive the Holy Ghost.” Why the church has utterly ignored this positive, clear and unequivocal Apostolical precedent, confirmatory of the second work of grace in the plan of salvation, is to all ages an enigma indissoluble, recognized by none but the fragmentary holiness movements since the fatal Constantinian apostasy of the fourth century, thus elucidating to all Bible readers the indisputable fact that all human ecclesiasticisms in all ages are actual departures from the New Testament church, following human dogmatism off on endless diversity of sidetracks, into the darkness and morasses of Satan’s bewilderment; while the irregular Holy Ghost revivals in the different ages, anathematized, persecuted and martyred by the popular churches, are really the survival of the apostles and primitive saints through all the intervening ages, daring to preach the unadulterated truth and walk in the precepts of the Apostolic church. How signally you see this fact verified at the present day. In vain do you ransack the popular ecclesiasticisms to find a verification of this Apostolical precedent. But I am happy to say you find it everywhere among the different phases of the holiness movement, this day girdling the globe, and, without financial resources, preaching the gospel to more heathens than all the popular churches with their millions of money. No church can possibly sustain a claim to orthodoxy and ignore New Testament precedent. Here we have a clear and unequivocal illustration of the gospel plan of salvation transmitted to us by the infallible history of the Holy Ghost. No one will dare discount those “roaring” demonstrative conversions under the preaching of Philip. But you see this is not enough in the judgment of the inspired apostles. Therefore they unhesitatingly send out Peter and John to preach to them the second work of grace, that they may all receive the Holy Ghost. What think you of the churches and preachers who not only ignore this procedure, but antagonize it? Rest assured, they will have trouble in the judgment day. No wonder God is raising up the holiness movement in every nation under heaven and pushing it to the ends of the earth. In connection with this movement He is raising up a grand army of evangelists, male and female, endued with Pentecostal heroism, fearlessly of men and devils to preach and practice the gospel in its New Testament simplicity, from the heads of the rivers to the ends of the earth, thus ushering in the millennium and preparing the nations for our Lord’s return. 22. “Repent therefore from this sin of thine, and pray the Lord if perchance the thought of thine heart shall be forgiven thee.” This verse confirms the conclusion that Simon backslid by yielding to that old predominant phase of inbred sin, i .e ., the love of money, which had played so conspicuous a part in his former ministry. God help all the preachers to take warning over the sad fate of Simon Magus and Judas Iscariot, and myriads of others, ruined world without end by the love of money. No wonder our Savior condemns the hireling shepherd, assuring us that he can not be depended on; but that he will run away when the wolf comes. What can we expect of the hireling ministry who this day girdle the globe, with their Briarean arms reaching out after “filthy lucre” instead of souls. 23. “For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity.” This verse shows clearly that Simon had never been saved from inbred sin abiding in his heart after regeneration, and even amid those wonderful revival scenes getting the upper hand and again slaying him by his old predilection of money-love. 24. From this verse we see that the Holy Spirit had not utterly forsaken Simon; but that he becomes penitent under the straight and terrible warning of Peter, so that he actually calls on him to pray for him that he might be reclaimed. Here the curtain falls, hiding forever the continued vision of an open door to reclamation to be followed by entire sanctification amid the wonderful privileges of that glorious revival, now augmented by the ministry of Peter and John, having come from Jerusalem and joined the heroic young evangelist in his arduous labors. Ecclesiastical history, corroborated by secular, gives us a legend, by some doubted, certifying that poor Simon was never reclaimed, but went on from bad to worse, becoming the founder of one of the first heresies of the Apostolic age, thus returning to Satan’s ministry, in which Philip found him, and there spending the remnant of his days. 25. After the arrival of the apostles, Philip accompanied them; meanwhile they prosecuted extensive tours in Samaria, everywhere preaching the gospel, seeing multitudes of those heathen converted, and unhesitatingly preaching to them the second work of grace, i .e ., entire sanctification in the reception of the personal Holy Ghost.

    THE CONVERSION OF THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH 26-40. After the apostles have completed their Samaritan tour and returned to Jerusalem, leaving Philip surrounded by hosts of his converts pressing the battle, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in visible form, and with audible voice sending him away on a southern tour down toward Gaza, the most southern city in Palestine, in the olden time occupied by the Philistines, the road leading through a desert. For expedition he leaves Jerusalem on the east, taking a bee-line toward Gaza. Ere long he recognizes a man in royal costume slowly riding along before him on a chariot, lost in meditation as he reads the wonderful prophecy of Isaiah and 53, describing the Lord’s Christ in His first advent into the world, “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, despised and rejected of men,” bleeding and dying to redeem a wicked world from sin, death and hell. The strange traveler proves to be the first comptroller of the royal treasury of Queen Candace, of Ethiopia. He is a Jewish proselyte, a worshiper of the God of Israel, who has traveled fifteen hundred miles to Jerusalem to worship the Most High in His temple, and is now returning. He has in his possession the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament, translated by seventy learned Jews, B.C. 280, under the administration of Ptolemy Philadelphus, at Alexandria, Egypt, for the benefit of his Jewish subjects. It had no divisions into chapters, out he was reading the prophecy of Isaiah, found in chapters 52 and 53. Pursuant to his kind invitation, Philip mounts the chariot, and, seated beside his brother in ebony, preaches to him the Christ of prophecy, about whom he has been reading. 33. “In his humiliation his judgment was taken away.” It is a significant fact that our Savior was killed by a cruel mob, stirred up and led by the preachers who stood at the head of the popular church, claiming, and doubtless believing, that they were God’s true ministers. Pilate, the Roman governor, as history says, had not a sufficient military force to keep the peace, having recently sent away a detachment to quell an insurrection in Syria. Consequently, defiant of Roman laws, which gave every man a fair trial and the right of self-defense, he assigned the death-warrant of Jesus merely as a peace measure, to keep the mob from killing him and, at the same time, deluging Jerusalem in blood. “Who shall declare his generation? because his life is taken away from the earth.” “Generation” here means race, family, posterity, hence it means the spiritual children of God. If Jesus had not died, the plan of salvation would have collapsed and He would have had no spiritual posterity. The sown grain must die in the earth in order to produce a crop. You must die [i .e ., old Adam in you] if you ever have a spiritual posterity. Hence, as a rule, unsanctified people have few, if any, spiritual children. Because our Savior redeemed the world by His death, in the grand finale He will exhibit before the Great White Throne a spiritual posterity which neither men, angels nor archangels can ever enumerate. They will outnumber the sands of the sea, the dust of the desert, the leaves of the forest and the stars of heaven; while contrastively Satan’s rabble will dwindle into an insignificant handful. This is one of the many confirmations of the wonderful achievements of the millennial reign, when the world will be flooded with overwhelming populations, the devil cast out, the road to hell overgrown with pennyroyal and dog-fennel, holiness covering the earth as the waters cover the sea, earth’s teeming millions sweeping up to heaven as the millennial centuries go by, thus supplying heaven with her long-anticipated populations redeemed from the earth by the blood of her Son. Meanwhile the chariot rolls along and time is unconsciously beguiled, the Ethiopian electrified by the thrilling gospel of Philip. They arrive at some water, recognized by the eunuch calling the attention of his comrade and inquiring why he should not be baptized, pursuant to the preaching of Philip from Isaiah 52:15. As the inspired narrative says that this was a desert, and geography reveals no river in that region, and Eusebius, the historian of the fourth century, describes the spring Bethsoron along that road, certifying that it was commemorated by the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch at the hands of Philip, you must not forget that (v. 37) the eunuch’s confession is an interpolation [see R.V.]. I hold in my hand the oldest Greek Testament in the world. It has nothing of it. That verse was composed and inserted by Erasmus, a contemporary of Martin Luther, in the sixteenth century, who, while transcribing his Greek Testament, concluded that the connection required a confession there, and supposing that some careless transcriber had left it out, he composed and inserted that thirty-seventh verse. Subsequently older manuscripts were found, and especially the Sinaitic which I hold in my hand. As none of them have that verse, it is demonstrative proof that it never existed till Erasmus composed and inserted it. 38. “ . . .they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39. “And when they came up out of the water. . .” That translation sounds favorable to immersion. I now give you another, which is equally correct: 38. “. . .they both went down to the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39. “And when they came up from the water. . .” I verily trow the blessed Holy Spirit gave us this passage in that ambiguous verbiage, lest some one might be stickleristic on the quantity of water and the manner of its application, and thus run into a very dangerous form of idolatry, i .e ., hydrolatry, i .e ., water-worship, i .e ., the imputation of saving efficacy to water baptism, which is a fond delusion, and has doubtless sent multitudes to hell who relied on water-baptism and human works instead of Jesus only. Such is the ambiguity of this passage that we can not tell whether they went into it and Philip immersed the entire body, or whether they simply went to the spring and took up some water with which Philip baptized him according to Isaiah 52:15, which the eunuch had read and Philip preached. When the publicans demanded of our Savior and Peter the payment of taxes, and He sent Peter to the sea to catch that fish with the money in its mouth, the statement of Peter’s going down to the sea is precisely identical with the Greek in this passage. Hence if you do not believe that Peter waded into the sea to catch the fish, you need not believe that Philip and the eunuch waded into the sea in order to the baptism.

    Suffice it to say, reader, God has made plenty of water. So take all you want in your baptism. If you are not satisfied, go on till your conscience is perfectly satisfied ( 1 Peter 3:21). You had better live and die without water-baptism than to receive it under the popish heresy of baptismal regeneration, which is very likely to so blind your eyes that you will never see the Savior, live and die ignorant of God and make your bed in hell. So pay no attention to baptism nor anything else, but fly to the Savior, get intelligently saved and receive the Savior’s baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire. There abide, keeping your eye on Jesus, and assuredly He will keep His hand on you. When you are thus clearly and intelligently saved and sanctified, consciously baptized by the Savior with the Holy Ghost and fire, witnessed clearly and unmistakably by the indwelling Holy Spirit, then we can safely tell you to take all the water you want and any way you want, fully satisfying all of your convictions, as then there is no danger of your becoming a poor, superstitious, deluded devotee of Satan’s water-god like multiplied millions, who have thus been side-tracked by the devil into idolatry and lost their souls. We have not a word of criticism for immersion, trine immersion, copious effusion or simple sprinkling, pursuant to your convictions, if you only receive the “one baptism” ( Ephesians 4:5), i .e ., the baptism of the Holy Ghost administered by the Savior. What was the character of the eunuch’s conversion? It is simply preposterous to conclude that this man was a sinner. (a) He was a man of sterling integrity, actually entrusted with the money of the kingdom; (b) he was a Jewish proselyte, a bona fide member of God’s Church in his dispensation; (c) he actually traveled fifteen hundred miles to worship God in His temple on Mt. Moriah in the holy city; (d) he loved his precious Bible, so that he carried it with him and even read it as he rode along; (e) he hailed God’s prophet with delight, gave him a seat by his side and received with enthusiasm the thrilling tidings that the Christ of prophecy, whom he worshipped and trusted for salvation, had already come into the world in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, suffered and died on Calvary’s cross, risen and ascended into heaven. The argument even favors the conclusion that he was a sanctified man, as we see not a vestige of prejudice, bigotry or jealousy rising to eclipse his eyes to the truth which Philip preached. The case is clear and even demonstrative that he was a pious and faithful member of the Jewish Church, like Zacharias and Elizabeth, Simeon, Anna and many others, and simply needed conversion to the Christhood of Jesus, like thousands of other pious Jews serving God in the full light of their dispensation, needing not conversion to God, but to the Christhood of Jesus, a mere matter of historic faith, having already been saved by justifying faith in the Christ of prophecy. I doubt not that item of history which certifies that the Ethiopian eunuch who raised the shout in the presence of Philip, “went on his way rejoicing,” stirring the people along the road, telling them of Jesus, His redeeming grace and dying love, arriving at Thebes, the Ethiopian capital, turns preacher and shakes the whole country with a spiritual earthquake, pressing the evangelistic work as the years go by, till finally the Apostle Matthew comes to his relief, taking Ethiopia for his field of labor, where he preached on till bloody martyrdom crowned his triumphant exit from earth to heaven. 40. After the manner of the old prophets the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip from the presence of his happy Ethiopian convert, dropping him down at Azotus, which is another name for the old city of Ashdod, a Philistine capital. It seems that Philip never returned to honor the office of deacon in the Jerusalem church. God put him in a better work, i .e ., preaching the gospel. We are here informed that he continued his evangelistic peregrinations northward, “preaching in many cities till he arrived in Caesarea.” It seems that he settled in this metropolis of the Mediterranean, making it henceforth his residence, from which he radiated out in his evangelistic work, as we hear no more of him till twenty-three years have rolled away and Paul stops in his home in Caesarea ( Acts 21:9), while on his last journey to Jerusalem in May, A.D. 58. We now find his evangelistic force augmented by four preaching daughters, whom God has given him to assist him in his labors of love.

    CHAPTER - SAUL’S CONVERSION 1-15. As the Romans looked upon the Nazarenes as an insignificant faction of Judaism, in some way to them utterly mysterious, out of harmony with their own church, they acquiesced in the purchase of Jewish favor with Nazarene blood. The miraculous appearing of the glorified Jesus to Saul was adumbratory of His glorious appearing at His second coming, just as His miraculous appearing to Abraham at Mamre in the humiliation of human flesh was a prelude of His incarnation in His first advent. It is also confirmatory of His revelation to the soul of every sinner in his conversion, since Christ is now glorified. He always appears in His glory when revealed by the Holy Ghost to the soul. The Holy Spirit is not only the personal Successor of Jesus on the earth, but His personal Revelator.

    Saul’s comrades saw the light, but no person; and heard the sound, but no utterance. Hence there is no disharmony with chapter 22. Saul was an indefatigable student, having graduated in the Greek colleges of Tarsus, and in the Hebrew schools of Jerusalem. Hence his eyes were feeble and much worn, so that they went into total eclipse under the supernatural effulgence of the glorified Savior, simultaneously symbolizing the significant fact that the great light of his wonderful unsanctified learning must go into total eclipse before the unspeakable glory destined to pour on him the Sun of Righteousness. So must every man become utterly blind to human learning and wisdom before he can receive the supernatural illuminations of God and His truth. Many great theologians are never struck blind like Saul.

    Therefore they never receive the preternatural light of Paul. Oh, how we all need to be made blind that we may receive our spiritual sight. That good old evangelist, Ananias, falters till he hears that Saul is praying, then all his fears depart. You need not fear the most bloodthirsty desperado if he is praying. 14. . . .“to bind all those who call on the name of the Lord.” This is the universal designation of God’s people, i .e ., calling on the name of the Lord. Prayer moves the arm that moves the world, and turns the key that unlocks heaven. 15. “The Lord said to him, Go, for he is a vessel of election unto me.” “Election,” eklogee , is from ek , “out,” and legoo , “choose.” Hence it means out from the chosen, i .e ., chosen from the chosen. You are chosen out of this wicked world in regeneration. In sanctification, you are chosen from the regenerated. Christ does not take a bride from the devil’s people, which would follow if there was but one work in salvation. But He takes a wife from God’s people. While Saul was leading Satan’s host, he was elect in the mind of God. Hence He sends Ananias to call him. In Saul’s conversion, we see the double miracle often repeated in our day, i .e ., bodily healing and salvation. His sight was miraculously restored and his soul converted, i .e ., filled with the Holy Ghost to the full capacity of spiritual infancy, not his sanctification, as some think. I have seen many converted after the Sauline manner, i .e ., filled with the Holy Ghost so they shouted all over the community like Saul throughout Damascus.

    PAUL’S SANCTIFICATION 20-25. ( Galatians 1:15-22 and Romans 7.) Saul had long been a preacher of no ordinary ability. Hence he was a fluent orator when thus powerfully converted under the impetus of a spiritual Niagara. He preached Jesus boldly in Damascus, to the unutterable surprise of all who had trembled with awe at the mention of his name. Luke’s scanning history is here elliptical, involving the conclusion of an inward conflict, accompanied by divine leadership off to Arabia, where God taught Moses forty years and sanctified him at the burning bush. John the Baptist was also taught in God’s theological school, i .e ., the desert of Judea, preparatory for his wonderful ministry. So Saul must spend three years amid the wild beasts and Bedouins of the Arabian desert. Galatians 1:16: “When God was pleased to reveal his Son in me, I conferred not with flesh and blood, but went away into Arabia.”

    This is included in Luke’s narrative ( Acts 9:22), “And Saul continued to be more and more fi]led up with dynamite.” This is his Arabian experience of sanctification, testified in Romans 7:25, the preceding chapter describing his conflict with inbred sin, while in the justified state. On the Damascus Road the Holy Ghost revealed to him the Son of God, shining on him from without. In Arabia ( Galatians 1:15), He revealed to him Jesus within sitting on the throne of his heart. It is our privilege all to have Pauline experiences, in which Jesus first appears to us, shining on us from without in regeneration. Then it is our privilege to receive the Holy Ghost, our sanctification, who in that case always enthrones Jesus in the heart and gives you the blessed consciousness that Jesus henceforth sits on the throne of your heart, making your life a cloudless sunshine and lighting up your entire being with the glory of His presence. Be sure your experience is Pauline; first Jesus appearing to you and shining on you, and then revealed in you, sitting on the throne of your heart. Saul did not dare to go up to Jerusalem, appear before the apostles and claim his apostleship, to which Jesus called him when He met him, without receiving in addition to his conversion in the house of Judas a clear Pentecostal sanctification, thus rendering him experimentally homogeneous with the other apostles. Ver. 9: “And he mightily confounded the Jews, proving that He is the Christ.” This was after he returned from Arabia. He is now a cyclone of fire and logic irresistible. 23. Hence the Jews can stand him no longer. The Greek reveals that they passed a vote, assuming the form of a decree, to kill him. They secure the co-operation of Areta, the governor, who keeps the gates guarded, so as to catch him if he endeavors to pass out, while the Jews ransack the whole city to find him for martyrdom. His time had not come. The disciples slip him over the wall in the night and let him down in a basket.

    PAUL’S APOSTOLICAL RECOGNITION 26-30. They had no mails nor telegraphs. News was slow and uncertain.

    His name had been the terror of Jerusalem. They fear a strategem, and all stand aloof until Barnabas, his old neighbor (a native of Cyprus, out in the Mediterranean near the Cilician shore), interposes in behalf of his neighbor, schoolmate and brother, Saul of Tarsus. Doubtless Barnabas had attended the Greek schools of Tarsus, in which Saul excelled; hence Barnabas, a preacher and prophet, eminent among the apostles and saints for his personal piety and preaching ability, introduces and vouches for his old friend, Saul; hence they receive and recognize him a bona fide apostle. 29. See how he now seeks to undo all the mischief he ever did the cause of Christ at Jerusalem. He goes directly into those Hellenistic synagogues, i .e ., where they used the Greek language, and where Stephen had preached and suffered martyrdom, and there he espoused Stephen’s doctrine and profession, in whose condemnation and martyrdom he had led the way (see Chapter 7). Oh, how the laying down of their garments at Saul’s feet, when they stoned Stephen, signified his succession! So it turned out, when Saul got back to Jerusalem, converted at Damascus and sanctified in Arabia, and received his apostolical recognition, he immediately took up the gospel and testimony right where Stephen laid it down under the stony shower. The same bigoted Jews who rejected and stoned Stephen under the leadership of Saul, now reject him and plot to kill him. Hence, the brethren only save his life by leading him away to Caesarea and sending him home to Tarsus, where he drops out of history several years; meanwhile, he is busy preaching the gospel in Cilicia, Galatia and Phoenicia, of which we have no direct history, as Luke had not yet fallen in with him. Now we lose sight of Saul, during this unknown period of his stay in his native land, until Barnabas goes and brings him to Antioch, about a year preceding their first evangelistic tour.

    PETER’S EVANGELISTIC TOURS 31. The miraculous conversion of Saul stunned and paralyzed the aggressive persecutors of the fallen ecclesiasticism, at the same time giving a great boom to the rising hopes of the gospel church. “And the church was multiplied by the exhortation of the Holy Ghost,” i .e ., by the exhortation inspired and superinduced by the Holy Ghost. It is a significant fact, of which the popular church has utterly lost sight, and to which the holiness movement is not half awake, that sinners are not converted by the cultured sermonic preaching, but by the irregular, impromptu, spontaneous, ejaculatory utterances and effusions of the Holy Ghost. I am an old revivalist, and have seen this verified on a thousand battlefields. The preaching is for the revival, sanctification and enduement of the church, who, thus flooded and inundated with the Spirit, all turn preachers, not in the modern but the Apostolic sense ( Acts 8:4), and literally encompass every sinner, pouring on him their red-hot exhortations, electrified with sympathetic tears and dynamited with prevailing prayers. I have actually witnessed revivals in which several hundred sinners, thus besieged by the irresistible exhortations of Spirit-filled saints, surrendered unanimously, all crowding the altar and crying for mercy. This beautiful and valuable passage is not translated correctly in E.V.; but such is its beauty and force and its inspiring testimony to the miraculous efficiency of the Pentecostal gospel, that I hope every reader will appropriate, utilize and proclaim it to others.

    AENAES IS HEALED Peter, in his rapid peregrinations throughout Palestine, inspiring the saints to grander conquests, arrives at Lydda, down on the Mediterranean Sea near Joppa. There he finds Aeneas, lying on a bed, held fast with the paralysis of eight years. He says to him: “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you: arise, take up thy bed; and he arose immediately.” Of course, Peter had preached to him, praying for him and expounding the plan of salvation, appertaining to both soul and body, and thus prepared him for the sudden inspiration of his faith, which took hold of Jesus Christ for the healing of his body. “As your faith is, so be it unto you,” is as true of the body as of the soul. With the spread of Scriptural holiness over the earth, divine healing is again everywhere becoming common, witnesses already innumerable and multiplying on all sides. The subjective reason why Aeneas was healed, was simply because he took hold of Jesus by faith and believed that He healed him that very moment. Faith is always in the present tense. A future faith is a misnomer; not faith, but hope. A true faith inspired by the Holy Ghost, either for soul or body, appropriates the very Omnipotence of God and becomes the medium of the supernatural and the miraculous, both spiritual and physical. We must remember, however, that while we are saved and sanctified through the grace of faith, bodily healing is through the gifts ( 1 Corinthians 12:9), which are not essential to spiritual salvation, but appertain to God’s wonderful munificence in the interest of our bodies, as well as the souls and bodies of others. While the absence of faith for your soul forfeits salvation and heaven, because it is condemnatory ( Mark 16:16), the delinquency of faith for bodily healing only forfeits the healing and brings no condemnation to the soul. 35. Here we find that the healing of Aeneas was wonderfully blessed of God in the awakening of the entire community, including the city of Lydda and the Plain of Sharon, extending from the sea back to the great mountain highlands of Judah and Benjamin. Consequently, many in those regions turned to the Lord. We see that it is our glorious privilege to serve our Master in the ministry of both soul and body, either proving an inspiration and an auxiliary of the other. Paul commands us earnestly to seek these gifts of the Spirit ( 1 Corinthians 12:31); among which you will find the “gifts of healings.” In the Apostolic succession, we should preach from house to house, everywhere ministering to’ the sick in the interest of the soul and body. Thus you will find the Lord will bless your ministry to the sick, making it a valuable auxiliary in your access to the souls of the healthy as well as the sick.

    DORCAS IS RAISED FROM THE DEAD The mechanical arts were then in their infancy, no factories having been invented. Weaving cloth was an art so rare that it was sought after by the wives and daughters of kings, appreciated as a royal encomium, embellishing their names with historic renown. Homer very graphically describes how Penelope, the beautiful queen of Ulysses, the king of Ithaca, excelled as a weaver, executing the work with her own royal hands. Hence Dorcas was celebrated, appreciated, honored and beloved not only for the rarity of her genius, but for her saintly philanthropy, which proved a benediction to many. 37. . . .“and washing her they placed her in an upper chamber.” Pursuant to the beautiful symbolism of the Jewish dispensation, they invariably washed a corpse with great care before depositing it in the sepulcher, thus typifying the complete purification of the soul in order to its admission into paradise. On Peter’s arrival the saints and widows gather around him, showing him “the shirts and cloaks, such as Dorcas was accustomed to make while with them.” Oriental costume at the present day is very simple with the common people, consisting of only two garments, i .e ., the interior, which is constantly worn, and the exterior, frequently carried on the arm, to be worn when needed and used as a bed for lodging. These were the garments in whose manufacture Dorcas excelled. While the common people in the Old World dress in a cheap and simple style, such as we seldom see in this country, the nobility and royalists go to excess in quantity and quality far beyond anything observable among Occidentals. 40. We find here, and uniformly throughout the Scriptures, Peter, in harmony with the saints of all ages, kneeling in prayer. The Bible is our only guide. God help us to stick close to it. It is shocking to witness the stiff, formal worship of popular churches, not even the preacher kneeling.

    As Satan is doing his best to snow under the holiness movement, it is truly alarming now to frequently see people claiming sanctification sitting up during prayers. It is a withering burlesque on the profession. Good Lord, help us to remember that profession and possession are different words. “Brother Godbey, do you believe that persons are ever raised from the dead nowadays?” That the days of miracles are past is one of Satan’s buncombe lies palmed off on a backslidden church. “Lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the end of the age” ( Matthew 28:20). We are living in the age in which Jesus delivered this affirmation. Hence we still have with us the miracle-worker. In this case, the interment had not taken place. History authenticates not a few parallels even down to the present day. About thirty years ago a very godly young lady, by the name of Marietta Davis, died in Elmira, New York. The family was divinely impressed to retain the corpse and postpone interment till nine days had elapsed, when, to the surprise of the city, she revived, convalesced and wrote a book describing her visit to heaven during the nine days of her absence from the body. I have read the book. I remember well seeing in the introductory the name of the pastor of the Baptist Church of which she was a member, also the name of her physician, and the sworn affidavits of both, who testified under one oath of affirmation administered by a magistrate, whose name was also given, all certifying to the above stated facts. Our Savior has all power over disease and even death. I doubt not but many cases have occurred in which the human spirit has evacuated the body, as in the event of Paul’s martyrdom at Lystra, when he spent an hour in heaven and returned to reanimate his body.

    CHAPTER - SANCTIFICATION OF CORNELIUS 1-48. Cornelius was a noted Roman officer living at Caesarea, the seat of the imperial government in Judea. The Holy Ghost pronounces him Eusebees , i .e ., godly, and certifies that he “feared God with all his house, doing much alms to the people, and praying to God always.” The application of these inspired adjectives to a sinner is an irreconcilable contradiction. Of course, he was a Gentile Roman, having never been proselyted to Judaism; but he was not simply a pious heathen, like multiplied thousands who are now in heaven, but he knew and worshipped the God of Israel, having lived many years in that country. Meanwhile, since the revival at Pentecost, eight or ten years, the whole country had been overrun by blood-washed and fire-baptized Pentecostal evangelists, preaching from house to house, on every hill-top and under every green tree, till he had actually become familiar with the gospel of Christ. As Peter certifies (v.37), “This word you have known, and know yet better than ever, which was throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38. “Jesus who is from Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Ghost and power, who went about doing good and healing all those who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with him.” You see from these Scriptures that Cornelius was by no means a novice in the gospel, but had enjoyed the ample Opportunities of that wonderful Pentecostal age, I trow having frequently heard Peter and the other apostles. His justification is abundantly confirmed in vs. 34, 35: “ . . .Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted of him.” It is only Satan’s counterfeit religion that tells a man he can work righteousness, before he gets it from God in his heart. A man must have a farm in order to work it. Put a farmer on a naked rock in mid ocean, and he will never work a farm. John says: “He that worketh righteousness has been born of God.” Hence we see Cornelius was accepted of God and had been born of God. He was a very enthusiastic leader of a holiness band, not in the experience of sanctification, but gloriously justified and earnestly seeking it. Peter was not sent to get him converted, for he was not only a devout servant of the Lord, but a Gentile disciple of Christ, vigorously pressing on to entire sanctification. Peter’s mission was to preach the gospel of holiness, get him and all of his people sanctified, and admit them into the gospel church, conferring on them all rights and privileges of bona fide membership. Eliminating the cumbrous routine and superfluous ceremonies of Gentile proselytism, an institution recognized and honored fifteen hundred years ago, the Christian Church began all Jews, soon receiving an influx from the Gentile world, destined to increase simultaneously with the depletion of the Jewish element, thus working out a radical revolution and becoming a Gentile organization in a century. As Peter had preached the inauguratory sermon of the gospel dispensation to the Jews, it was equally pertinent that he should do the same to the Gentiles. Hence his revival at Caesarea was the Gentile Pentecost, lifting the flood-gate of entire sanctification and bona fide membership in the gospel church to the Gentile world. 4. Cornelius is even honored with the visit of an angel from heaven, notifying him that his prayers are heard and his alms recognized. Sinners are visited by angels, but they come from the bottomless pit. 5 , 6 . When I was in Joppa, I visited the house of Simon the tanner by the seaside, ascended to the roof, and there prayed where Peter was praying when he saw the vision and heard the voice of the Spirit commanding him to go with the messengers who had already arrived from Cornelius. “Do you think it is the same house?” I have no reason to doubt. All the houses in Palestine are stone, consolidated by that wonderful calcareous cement, so they never decay. This house is all solid stone walls, floors, stairway and roof, so consolidated that it looks like a monolith throughout, not so much as a seam anywhere visible. The roof is simply a great solid, flat rock, looking as old as the native mountain strata. 7. Such was the exemplary and practical piety of Cornelius that God honored his prayers, testimony and preaching, not only in his home, but among the soldiers of his command. 9, 10. The distance from Caesarea to Joppa is about sixty miles, two light days for the pedestrians. Hence, starting in the morning, they arrive before night the afternoon of the following day. Ekstasis , translated in E.V. “trance,” is “ecstasy,” a pure Greek word which means ineffable joy, involving the simple fact that Peter, while praying alone on the house-top, the most retired and private place in a Jewish city, also reminiscent of heaven by reason of altitude, is literally flooded with a Niagara from the upper ocean, inundating his entire being so he sinks away into God, losing sight of self and environments.

    PETER’S VISION 11. “And he saw heaven open and a certain vessel, like a great sheet, sitting down on the ground with four rope’s ends, 12. “In which were all quadrupeds, creeping things of the earth, and fowls of the air.” This vision forever sweeps away all the restrictions of the Levitical law and the rigid fortifications of exclusive Judaism in the Mosaic economy, unfurling the gospel banner to the whole Gentile world, bidding them a hearty welcome to the redeeming cross, the cleansing fountain, and the glorious triumph of Pentecostal sanctification, perfect spiritual freedom, and illimitable gospel rights and privileges. The vision has nothing to do with the problem of edibles and potables. The signification is purely spiritual and evangelical, forever smashing the impregnable walls which had separated the Jews and Gentiles from the days of Abraham, thus completing the final elimination of the last vestige of the Mosaic dispensation, now and forever superseded by Christ, the glorious Antitype, in whom all the types and symbols converge and find their triumphant verification. Doubtless the sheet was circular, representing the world, and held up by four ropes, whose ends alone were seen, the one extending from the North, the other from the South, another from the East and a fourth from the West, thus representing the four cardinal points which constitute the world, and focalizing all nations at the gospel feast. Why was the manifestation repeated thrice? At the dispersion of Noah’s family from Mt.

    Ararat after the Flood, he divided his estate, the whole world. [Europe, Asia, and Africa; America, hidden behind the oceans, reserved for the enlargement of Europe in the latter days, and included with it.] In this distribution he gave Ham, Africa; Shem, Asia; and Japheth, Europe. In Hebrew, Ham means black, hence he became the ancestor of the black races. Shem means red, therefore he became the ancestor of the Mongolian races of Asia, from whom the American Indians also came, doubtless having crossed Behring Strait from Asia into America at an early day.

    Japheth means white, hence he became the ancestor of all the white races of Europe, who, in the last four hundred years, have spread out over the continent of America, pursuant to God’s promise to Noah: “God shall enlarge Japheth and shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan [Ham] shall be his servant.” ( Genesis 9:27) This prophecy is now literally fulfilled in America, where the white man, Japheth, dwells in the tents of Shem [the Indians], and Ham [the colored people] is his servant. Hence you see the persistency of the triple gospel proclamation symbolized by the three repetitions of Jehovah’s call in this vision, forcefully indicative of the world’s triple evangelism as we carry the gospel to the children of the dark continent, to the Mongolian millions of Asia, and to all the white races of Europe and America. 17-23. Meanwhile Peter, wrapped in heavenly bewilderment, is contemplating the astounding vision and electrified by Jehovah’s voice.

    Cornelius’s messengers having arrived, and hunted around through the city for the house of Simon the tanner, and standing before the gate, are now interrogating some member of the family whom they had called out, “Is Simon, called Peter, lodging here?” When Peter hears the voice calling his own name, the Spirit immediately speaks to him, ordering him to go down without delay and depart with them, responsive to the call of Cornelius, assuring him that they are sent of God. 24. As this is a new departure in the divine economy, Peter very prudently takes with him six holy brethren from Joppa to serve as witnesses of the important transactions pending. Meanwhile Cornelius, knowing the time necessary for pedestrians to make the round trip, has assembled his holiness band in mid afternoon of the fourth day, all holding on to God in prayer, that he may bring on the noted apostolic senior in the fullness of Christ. 25. “And it came to pass when Peter was coming in, Cornelius meeting him, falling at his feet, worshipped.” E.V. erroneously says “worshipped him.” Cornelius was no idolater. He did not worship Peter, but God. When I arrive at my preaching place responsive to a brother’s call, I am always glad on meeting him to drop on my knees and unite with him at a throne of grace, thus invoking God to sanctify introduction and bless the work. 26. Cornelius, of course, paid to Peter the Oriental civility due a person of distinction, which here Peter modestly declines, having profited by the vision, which revealed to him for the first time in his life that a Jew is no better than a Gentile. 27-38. Peter now enters, and Cornelius introduces him to his holiness band, who are so delighted with a visit by the senior apostle. He now proceeds to give them the benefit of the heavenly sunburst he had received at Joppa, shining away all the clouds which, in Jewish vision, had hung over the Gentile world from the days of Abraham, assuring them of their glorious privileges and equal rights in the wonderful plan of salvation, and throwing wide open the golden gate of gospel grace, and ringing aloud the heavenly proclamation to the Gentile world represented in his congregation. 39-43 . In his burning pathos, sweeping vehemence and transcendent eloquence, the Spirit flooding his mind with supernatural illuminations, he arrays before his Gentile audience all the prophets in bold panorama, proclaiming to Jews and Gentiles indiscriminately the remission of sins on the simple condition of faith in Christ, all carnal ordinances, ecclesiastical dogmata, rites and ceremonies, legal obedience and symbolisms forever eliminated, thus enforcing with iron logic and electrical enthusiasm the creed of Christendom for Jews and Gentiles, i .e ., Jews only. 44-47. In the midst of Peter’s flaming Pentecostal sermon, his appreciative audience, responsive to the Holy Ghost, received by faith the simple, wonderful and paradoxical truth enunciated by the preacher and proved by all the prophets. Therefore the glorified Savior, who honored the faith of the hundred and twenty at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, now graciously verifies the sanctifying faith of this appreciative audience, pouring on them the gift of the Holy Ghost from heaven, as on the Jews at Jerusalem, thus abundantly confirming Peter’s vision and revealing to the whole world his approval of the Gentile sanctification and admission to full gospel rights and privileges. 48. Peter, of course, proceeds to recognize this Gentile church by administering to them the ordinance of baptism, assuring all present that every quibble is put to quietus since they have received the Holy Ghost.

    Hence we see that the reception of the gift of the Holy Ghost, i .e ., the Holy Ghost Himself, whom Jesus gives when He sanctifies us, is the climax of aspiration and the end of all inquiry. When you receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost no one can question your right to water-baptism, eucharist and every other privilege of the gospel church. You are then eligible to any and every office in the church, pursuant to the administration of the Holy Ghost.

    CHAPTER - PETER’S REPORT AT JERUSALEM 1-13. Immediately after Peter’s glorious revival at Caesarea he goes straight to Jerusalem, accompanied by the six Joppa brethren who had witnessed the new departure and the mighty work of God at the house of Cornelius. The news is already flown on the wings of the wind to Jerusalem, stirring apostles, prophets, elders and brethren with the momentum of an earthquake. This departure from the time-honored institutions of their fathers, so sudden, radical, decisive and significant, must receive summary attention at headquarters and be settled at once and forever. So bold Peter faces the grave council in the mother church at Jerusalem, rehearses to them his vision at Joppa, and testifies to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the Gentiles at Caesarea, proving it all by those six faithful witnesses who had accompanied him throughout and now stand by his side in presence of all the apostles. Of course no trouble whatever arises from this radical, downright and outright revolution, though undreamed of hitherto; and why? Simply because all of the apostles and primitive saints fully recognized the leadership of the Holy Ghost. They are acquainted with Him. He dwelt in them, and they knew His voice and His works. For this reason there never was a schism in the Apostolic church, so long as they were true to Pentecostal experience and the Holy Ghost. When former generations went up to heaven and others succeeded who knew not God, then they founded human ecclesiasticisms and established church government to suit themselves, ignoring the sole right of the Holy Ghost to rule the church, and relegating Him back to the Apostolic age, and congratulating themselves that the days of miracles were past and they can make laws and manage the church to suit themselves. Right here is where human and Satanic usurpation of the divine right to rule the church came in, with the roll of ages developing into all the complicated machinery of priestcraft, prelacy and popery.

    THE BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY GHOST FOR JEWS AND GENTILES ALIKE IN ALL AGES 14-18. “Who shall speak words unto you by which you and all your house shall be saved.” Does not this look like they were yet to be saved?

    Justification is primary salvation; sanctification, full salvation; and glorification, final salvation. Hence, so long as we are in this world, we are in the kingdom of grace, subject to the saving power and operation of the Holy Spirit, liable to temptation, defection, defeat and ruin. Never is the problem of salvation settled beyond defalcation till we reach glorification, pass the pearly portal and take our place among the redeemed. A very specious and exceedingly dangerous heresy is now extensively preached from popular pulpits, audaciously restricting the baptism of the Holy Ghost to the apostles alone, and utterly abnegating the possibility of its reception by any one else, however true and saintly. 17. “If therefore God gave unto them the like gift as even unto us. . .” This declaration of Peter, with many other parallels, settles the question beyond the possibility of cavil that the Gentiles at the house of Cornelius received precisely what the apostles did on the day of Pentecost. They were Gentiles, representative of the whole Gentile world down to the end of time. Hence you see that the above mentioned heresy flatly contradicts Peter and the Holy Ghost. It is a subtle trick of the devil to keep people from receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost, so he will get them. 18. “And hearing these things they glorified God saying, Then has God granted unto the Gentiles repentance unto life.” The reason why there is much spurious repentance is because it is man’s work, the true repentance being the fruit of the Holy Spirit; He alone can give it. When God gives repentance, salvation invariably supervenes.

    THE GENTILE GOSPEL PREACHED IN PHOENICIA, CILICIA AND SYRIA BEFORE PETER PREACHED IT AT THE HOUSE OF CORNELIUS 19-24. While the above is true, yet it was necessary for Peter, responsive to his heavenly vision and the call of the Holy Ghost, to go to Caesarea and there, in the home of a prominent Roman officer, to actually unfurl the banner and throw wide open the door of free gospel grace to the Roman Empire, then embracing the known world, and represented by Cornelius, thus positively and finally ignoring the restrictions of Jewish exclusiveness as well as the circuitous route of Israelitish proselytism, thus authenticating, in the very action of the same senior apostle, who had inaugurated the Pentecostal dispensation to the Jews, also the equal rights and privileges of the Gentiles. However, we see that these Cyprian and Cyrenean men had, some years previously, been preaching the gospel to the Greeks, i .e ., the Gentiles in these north countries. 21. “The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number, believing, turned to the Lord.” These were Gentiles in the Syrian Empire, some time before Peter, by his apostolical ipse dixit , had unfurled the Gentile banner at Caesarea. 22. Here we see that the apostles at Jerusalem, having heard of the progress of the gospel among the Syrian Gentiles, sent away that good preacher Barnabas, beloved by the apostles and saints, to go even to Antioch, the Syrian metropolis, and investigate the strange phenomenon. 23. “Who, arriving and seeing the grace of God, rejoiced, and continued to exhort them all with steadfastness of heart to abide with the Lord, 24. “Because he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and faith.” Here we see confirmed the significant fact that the apostles and primitive saints all recognized the Holy Ghost as the sovereign Arbiter in every matter of doubt and controversy, and that they dared not put their hand on the ark of God. Here we see that Barnabas unhesitatingly acquiesces in a downright innovation. While the grace of God, in Judaism, had always been free to the Gentiles, yet they must receive it by way of proselytism into the Mosaic church. Now Barnabas sees an institution which had stood fifteen hundred years unimpeached, literally ignored and relegated to oblivion. That looked like smashing up all the honored and sacred institutions of his fathers, yet we hear Barnabas shouting an uproarious “Amen!” and pronouncing his blessings on the whole procedure, importunately exhorting them to abide in the way they had started out. Why was this? Simply because “Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost and faith” ; consequently he had the inward light of the Spirit to discriminate the hand of God and recognize His work wherever he saw it.

    Knowing well that all the apostles submitted to the Holy Ghost in everything great and small, he felt perfectly free to give his endorsement to the Gentile innovation in the name of the Apostolic church. 25. Not only did Barnabas heartily endorse the procedure, but of his own accord he went away to Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia, hunted up his old friend and schoolmate, Saul, and brought him to Antioch to help push the evangelistic work among the Gentiles. You see plainly from this transaction the decisive contrast between the Apostolic church and modern ecclesiasticisms, ruled by men pursuant to laws of their Own manufacture, not only independently but even defiantly of the Holy Ghost, whose work is as manifest this day as ever; but blind men do not see anything. Preachers who fail to see the work of the Holy Ghost in the present holiness movement are no kin to Barnabas. If they were only like him, “full of the Holy Ghost and faith,” they would all see the work of God, give it their endorsement and lend a helping hand to push the battle for souls wherever they saw the work of the Holy Ghost among the people, even though it capsize some of their man-made rules and regulations. God has provided that valuable gift, “discernment of spirits” ( 1 Corinthians 12:10) for all of His Spirit-filled people, which in every case enables them to recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in contradistinction to that of other spirits, human and diabolical. Good Lord, revive again the Apostolic church in its New Testament simplicity, ruled by the Holy Ghost alone; of course, not without human instrumentality, cognizant of the Spirit and His work, and gladly acquiescent in the same.

    DISCIPLES AND CHRISTIANS 26. “And it came to pass unto them indeed that they were assembled a whole year in the church and taught a great crowd, and that they first called the disciples Christians in Antioch.” The followers of our Savior were denominated by Himself and others “disciples,” i .e ., pupils, learners. After the incarnation of the Holy Ghost in the Pentecostal experience we find the cognomen “Christian” applied to them, thus eventually superseding the former and familiar epithet “disciple.” The Holy Ghost is the Author of every word in the original Scriptures. Each one of His words is inspired, i .e ., “God-breathed” ( 2 Timothy 3:16). The verbal inspiration is only in the original language, the transactions only retaining the substantial inspiration. Hence we learn a valuable fundamental lesson in these contrastive words “disciple,” a convert, and “Christian,” a noun derived from Christus, which means “the anointed,” and applied to Jesus after His anointing by the Holy Ghost descending on Him like a dove at the Jordan, having always hitherto been called Jesus, his birth-name, which means “Savior.” The disciple is saved in conversion, but not anointed by the Holy Ghost till he is sanctified in a second work of grace, thus progressing out of mere discipleship into Christianity properly so called. The word “Christian,” which literally means a person anointed with the Holy Ghost, is applicable to none but the sanctified, this being its New Testament meaning. Oh, how woefully has Satan perverted the use of that word! In Palestine, where the natives are Mohammedans and not allowed to get drunk, and the Jews are also abstinent, and all foreigners are denominated Christians, the most indubitable evidence that a man is a Christian and not a Jew or a Mohammedan is to find him so drunk he can not stand on his feet.

    Good Lord, save us from the popular and blasphemous application of the word “Christian.” It means a person anointed with the Holy Ghost, i .e ., sanctified, in contradistinction to a mere disciple in his rudimentary experience. How horrifically and blasphemously inconsistent for people who reject and even preach against sanctification and all the work of the Holy Ghost, not only to claim to be Christians, but even stickleristic in the appropriation of the name. How Satan is delighted when people thus verify his delusions and falsifications!

    GENTILE PHILANTHROPY 27-30. The great drought during the reign of the Emperor Claudius was already on them. The Jerusalem saints had found it necessary to sell their estates in order to support that wonderful Pentecost revival which converted thousands of foreigners and detained them unexpectedly, dependent on the local church for temporal support. Not only on this occasion, bul during subsequent years, we find generous responses from Gentile cities to the relief of the poor saints at Jerusalem. We see here a verification of God’s simple law regulating all Christian benefaction, i .e ., “as any one of the disciples prospered,” they sent their contributions to the elders at Jerusalem by Barnabas and Saul, for judicious distribution among the needy saints.

    CHAPTER - MARTYRDOM OF JAMES 1 , 2 . This Herod Antipas was the grandson of the King Herod reigning when our Savior was born, and notorious for slaying the infants of Bethlehem, and even himself, while the innocents were bleeding, and Jesus safe in Egypt, summoned to stand before God and account for his diabolical atrocities. The Herodian dynasty reigned over several of those Asiatic provinces of the Roman Empire, simply as proconsuls, though retaining the honorary title of king. When James and John, the sons of Zebedee, honored by our Savior as sons of thunder because of their oratorical power, assisted by their mother, sought of Jesus the first place in His coming kingdom, thus aspiring to the episcopacy in the gospel church, and unhesitatingly meeting the conditions by answering in the affirmative our Savior’s question, “Are you able to drink of my cup and to be baptized with my baptism?” i .e ., the cup of Gethsemane and the bloody martyrdom of Calvary, little did they understand the force of those words. James, the elder, doubtless led the way in this application to the Master for the preeminence in the coming kingdom. He got it, and was the first of all the apostles to seal his faith with his blood. They all passed out of the world through the bloody martyrdom [but John, who was banished, and as we believe translated]; but James led the Way, having his head cut off with the cruel sword of Herod at that early day. So he got his request, — first in martyrdom and first in heaven.

    PETER’S MIRACULOUS DELIVERANCE 3 , 4 . When Herod beheaded James, the Jews took great courage, congratulating themselves that their good king will soon exterminate that vexatious heresy in blood. Herod is more than willing to purchase popular favor by killing off the apostles; consequently he arrests Peter, committing him to sixteen soldiers to serve as a prison-guard till the Passover is ended, when he is going to bring him out and let the Jews see his gory head drop off. 5-8. Peter is sound asleep, flat on his back, chained to a soldier on either side, the stilly hours of dulcet slumber treading slowly on, anticipating the day of his bloody martyrdom. He must have had perfect rest in Jesus, or he could not have slept. The soldier on either side of him, and the other fourteen standing guard around, are all wide awake. The saints convened in the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, all wide awake, spending the whole night in prayer for Peter’s release. The angel of the Lord lights down in the dark dungeon, illuminates the prison, knocks off the chains that bind him to the soldiers, speaks to him audibly: “Gird thyself and put on thy sandals; throw thy cloak around thee and follow me.” Meanwhile the soldiers, chained to Peter on either side and wide awake, neither see the light nor hear the clangor of the chains, nor feel Peter move; while the other fourteen, standing guard all around, neither see the light, hear a chain, nor feel the contact of Peter and the angel, as they squeeze between them, pressing their way out; but all, true to their trust, stand guard through the night, without a surmise that their prisoner, on whose safe-keeping their life depends, has already made his escape. So, I trow, when my Lord comes at midnight to steal away His Bride, though the trumpet shall from the heavenly pinnacle call so loudly that every roar, the archangel shout, and the Prince of Glory saint, living and dead, will hear and respond, yet a wicked world and fallen church will sleep so soundly as not to be awakened by the trumpet blast nor the resurrection earthquake. The morning dawns; a mother is missing from the home, and the alarm is raised, and a member of the family runs out on the streets, meets another exclaiming, “Oh, the daughter is missing from our home! her apparel all on hand.” And another runs out on the street and shouts, “The old colored cook is missing from our home I and she has the key to the dining-room and kitchen, and we broke open the door and couldn’t find her.” And another exclaims, “Old Uncle Tom, who kept the barn and the horses and carriages, is missing, and we can not find him.” By this time the whole city is in commotion, clamorous about the absent ones. Such is the commotion that church-bells are rung and all the people crowd in. A number of the sainted occupants of the amen corners are missing; some of the preachers can not be found, and some of the members are missing out of all the churches; the excitement is intense, and the suspicion settles down like a nightmare on all the people: “The Lord has come at midnight and taken away His Bride, and we have missed the grandest opportunity of our existence.” Preachers are blamed for not giving them due warning. They apologize and beg pardon. 9-11. Peter thinks he is in a trance and sees a vision. Now they pass by the first and second guard and come to the great iron gate that leads out into the city. Peter is soliloquizing: “Though I have escaped from the prison and passed the guards, what shall I do? It takes twenty men to open the great iron gate leading out of the prison-yard into the city. It is locked; I have no key and could not open it if I had; so, after all, my escape must prove a failure.”

    But now he has reached the gate. Behold, it opens of its own accord, and he has nothing to do but walk out. Such is all Christian experience. We see difficulties like mountains impassable. Be courageous, go right on, as if nothing was in the way; rest assured God will take it out; the Pike’s Peak you saw will prove but a fog-bank and evanesce before the Sun of Righteousness. I know a preacher whose terrible conflict in getting sanctified was the thought of meeting his and-holiness presiding elder.

    Behold, when he entered the experience and met the elder, he found him awfully convicted and crying to God to sanctify him; so he swept right over Jordan and helped the preacher shout down the walls of Jericho. 12-15. Now they have passed the gate and come to the first street. The angel disappears. Peter diagnoses his environments and locates himself, and goes at once to the house of Mary, where the saints are all praying through the long night for his release, and now utterly incredulous at the report of the enraptured damsel, Rhoda, responsive to Peter’s knocking at the door, and certifying that truly their prayer is answered and their beloved preacher is out of prison and standing at the gate. How frequently are we surprised overwhelmingly at the answer of our own prayers! The incredulous saints respond to the damsel: “Thou art crazy; it is his angel.” The human spirit is not an angel, neither is it ever so called. Hence the conclusion that they thought Peter was dead, and his spirit had appeared, is untenable. We have the simple solution of the problem in the well-known fact that the Jews all believed in guardian angels, and so do I. I do believe they accompany me in my peregrinations over the earth, fortifying me against evil, and even saving my life in the good providence of God. “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him and delivereth them.” They were present at creation’s birth, and answered the anthem of the stars which sang together when all the sons of God shouted for joy. The angel of the Lord slew a hundred and eighty-five thousand Assyrian soldiers encamped at Lachish when Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem, thus delivering the city responsive to the prayers of Isaiah and the tears of Hezekiah. The Jews believed that the guardian angel sometimes appeared as a substitute for the person. Hence they thought it was Peter’s guardian angel. 16, 17. When Peter is admitted, he at once takes command of the uproarious crowd, beckoning silence with his hand. He has no time to waste. He must run away and hide from Herod and the soldiers before daylight, or he will be killed. Therefore, commanding silence, he briefly relates his wonderful deliverance by the angel, and says to them: “Proclaim these things to James and the brethren.” Isn’t James dead? Did not Herod cut his head off a few days ago? In Matthew’s apostolical catalogue, Chapter 10, we have two apostles by the name of James, i .e ., the son of Zebedee, and brother of John, whom Herod has beheaded; and James, the son of Alphaeus, who, at a later date, suffered martyrdom in Jerusalem by precipitation from a pinnacle of the temple. Neither of these was the James here mentioned; but James, the brother of our Lord, and elder brother of Jude, who are not mentioned among the original twelve, having stood aloof while the world was shaking with conviction of the Messiahship of Jesus, as it is so hard for us to believe on the members of our own family. So these nominal brothers of our Lord, doubtless sons of Joseph by a former marriage, held off until they saw their brother crucified, which doubtless staggered them more than ever. But when they saw Him walk out of the sepulcher and fly up to heaven, every quibble as to His Messiahship took its everlasting flight. With a grand boom they now fall in line, gladly received, appreciated and honored by their predecessors as the nominal brothers of our Lord. Therefore James the elder is complimented with the first pastorate of the Apostolic church at Jerusalem. 18, 19. At day-dawn the soldiers missed Peter, to their infinite consternation, and submit to their awful fate-the merciless penalty of the cruel tyrant-for letting their prisoner escape. Herod has them all hung.

    DOOM OF THE TYRANT 20-23. For reasons not here specified, the king was exceedingly mad at the people of Tyre and Sidon, those great mercantile cities on the Mediterranean coasts. He was not allowed to make war on them, because they were all under the Roman Empire. Immediately after the escape of Peter and the execution of the soldiers, fortunately for the saints at Jerusalem lie goes away to Caesarea, where he had a palace and spent a portion of his time. As this city is accessible to Tyre and Sid on by sea, and at no great distance, those people availed themselves of the opportunity to wait on the king in great numbers impleading reconciliation, because they were much dependent on the mercantile patronage of Judea to sustain the financial interests of Tyre and Sidon. They very adroitly manipulate [perhaps by bribery] Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, into their cooperation.

    While thus progressing with their conciliatory enterprise, the king, somewhat yielding, invested in his royal splendor, delivered an oration to these Tyrians and Sidonians. In their enthusiasm, to flatter his vanity, they loudly applauded him and vociferate: “It is the voice of God, and not man.” 23. “Immediately the angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give the glory to God, and, being eaten with worms, he gave up the ghost.” Here you see the soul-sleeping heresy, i .e ., that you have no soul separate from the body, is unanswerably refuted, as you see the soul of Herod left his body and went away to his account with God. The simple fact is, God turned on this wicked king the awful judgment of black leprosy, the terrible affliction of Job, in which the flesh turns black and immediately rots on the bones, spontaneously generating vermin, which utterly eat up the hopeless victim. Thus God took away that awful scourge, who doubtless would have persisted in killing the apostles and murdering the saints. No wonder the cause of God received a new impetus and prospered. 25. By this time Barnabas and Saul have completed their tour to Jerusalem, bearing benefactions to the poor saints, and returned to Antioch, having brought with them John Mark, the subsequent amanuensis of Mark’s gospel. He was the nephew of Barnabas, ( Colossians 4:10), who was very anxious to make him very useful as a minister of the gospel.

    CHAPTER - THE FIRST EVANGELISTIC TOUR OF BARNABAS AND SAUL 1. . . .“Simeon called Niger.” As this word means black, we have the clear assurance that this eminent prophet and teacher, associated in labor with the apostles, Was a regular black African negro, which is the literal translation of Niger. “And Lucius the Cyrenean.” Here is another African from the city of Cyrene, which was in Africa. “And Manaen, the foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch.” This is the same Herod above mentioned, the murderer of the apostles, eaten up by worms and precipitated into an awful hell. The royal Herodian family were staunch members of the Jewish church, walking in the footprints of the high priest, and leading ministers who killed Jesus and persecuted His followers. This Manaen, though a member of the Herodian family, an adopted son of the king, and thus brought up along with Herod Antipas, who killed James and tried to kill Peter and sank to his awful doom; yet we see that he espoused the cause of the despised Nazarenes, became a disciple of Jesus, got saved and sanctified, and was honored of God with a place among the “prophets and teachers” in the gospel church.

    Oh, what a contrast between him and his royal brother, killing the apostles, eaten up with worms and sent to hell! If the blood royal had flowed in his veins, doubtless he would have stayed with the devil, sharing the awful doom of his royal comrades. What a blessing to him that he was not born a king! 2. This verse says that they were “ministering to the Lord and fasting” when the Holy Ghost spoke to them. Hence we see that the Lord approves and blesses fasting. So if you want to get far away from the world, the flesh and the devil, fast as well as pray. 3. “Then fasting, and praying, and laying hands on them, they sent them away.” This is all the ordination you can find in the New Testament. The great ecclesiastical institution conferring exclusive privileges is utterly unknown in New Testament history. When the saints of God thus gather around you, and, with imposition of hands, commit you to the Holy Ghost “for the work to which He has called you,” then and there you receive all the ordination known in the Bible. I see much of this in the holiness meetings, thus setting apart the saints for the work to which the Holy Ghost has called them. 4 , 5 . They go from Antioch to Seleucia, a large city on the river Orontes, down which they sail into the Mediterranean, landing at Salamis, the metropolis of Eastern Cyprus, the native city of Barnabas, who, as the elder minister, led the expedition, having his own country on his heart for the salvation of the Lord. Mark accompanies them, a boy preacher helping in the meetings. We find in the evangelistic tours they invariably went to places where there was a Jewish synagogue, which they first entered, and preached the gospel.

    SATAN’S PREACHER AND THE CONVERSION OF THE PROCONSUL 6-12. Having traveled across the island of Cyprus throughout the whole length from east to west, everywhere preaching the Word, they arrive at Paphos, on the west coast, the metropolis of the West End and the residence of Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul, a well-disposed, intelligent man and an earnest inquirer after truth. They are soon confronted by the resident pastor, Elymas, who forbids them the privilege of preaching in his pastoral charge. He is a Jew and a prophet, i .e ., a preacher in good standing, even having the confidence of the Roman governor, and wielding so potent an influence as to have the right to keep all the heresies and strange doctrines out of his bailiwick. We have him here pronounced a false prophet, because the Holy Ghost is the Author of the history. You must remember that the false prophets in the days of Elijah were the popular pastors of the influential churches, who believed themselves to be the true ministers of God and Elijah a false prophet. So Elymas is Paul’s brother in the popular church, an able preacher of the gospel, as they understood it, having the confidence of the people and enjoying the patronage of the Roman proconsul, who was looking to him for light and salvation. He forbids Paul and Barnabas to preach at Paphos, and if modern ecclesiastical law be correct he had a right to order them out of his dominion. Good Lord, help us all to profit by the clear truth here elucidated and perfectly explanatory of a thousand parallel cases at the present day. It is only a false prophet who is unwilling to have all the help he can get against the armies of hell, which are running rough-shod all over this wicked world. Every heart in sympathy and co-operation with the Savior of sinners welcomes every helping hand and covers every soul with blessings that will join in the common crusade against the powers of hell, and make an honest effort to rescue the perishing. How the present opposition to the holiness people, who preach no creed and nothing but Jesus and His pure and unadulterated truth, is fulfilling the latter-day prophecies, “Men will not endure sound doctrine.” But you say we ought to be very polite to the false prophets who forbid us to preach the Word at some place over which they claim the right to wield the scepter of ecclesiastical tyranny. Let us see how polite and courteous Paul was to this false prophet, at the same time remembering that he was his brother in the Jewish church. 9. “O thou full of all hypocrisy and all rascality, thou son of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease perverting the right ways of the Lord?” 11, 12. Now Paul, in the name of the Lord, pronounces on him an awful anathema of physical blindness, symbolic of his spiritual darkness, which immediately supervenes, beginning with a mist and developing into total darkness. Consequently the people are convinced that Elymas (an Arabic word, meaning “wise man,” by himself assumed) is wrong, and Paul is right. Therefore the proconsul is happily converted, as the Greek says, “delighted with the doctrine of the Lord.”

    SAUL VERSUS PAUL He was honored with the royal name of Israel’s first king. It suited him well to be called Saul, i .e ., “the grand one,” while standing at the head of the fallen church and persecuting the poor holiness people. But when he got sanctified the name no longer had the right ring. So he did a thing very common with scholars even down to Luther’s day, i .e ., he changed his name into Greek. Paulus is a Greek word, and means “little,” i .e ., “the little one.” Saulus versus Paulus only changes one letter. Sanctification takes the royalty out of you and makes you so little the devil can not find you, and never will while you keep sanctified. Hence he finds it convenient to make this little change in the form of the word and call himself Paulus, instead of Saulus, i .e ., Paul, “the little one.” Hence in the Pauline writings we hear no more of King Saul. He died in Arabia and Paul buried him in the sand, where I buried a college president, Freemason, and Odd Fellow, and have never gone back to pay homage at their graves. 13. “Those about Paul, having embarked from Paphos, came into Perge of Pamphylia.” Here we have the first indirect reference to Luke, our historian, who is so modest we have to watch every little hint to even keep a trace of him. Here also John Mark disgraced himself by skedaddling away from the work and returning to Jerusalem. Paul held it to his discount, and refused to take him on the \\next tour. The critics believe that the robbers, who at that time awfully infested the mountain ranges intervening between the Mediterranean plain and the interior tablelands, on which Perge, the capital, stood, got after them and perhaps treated them very roughly, as they are accustomed to do in the East, thus scaring Mark out of the work. 14. They now go on south into Antioch of Pisidia. 15-21. They constantly everywhere make free to attend the Jewish synagogues on the Sabbath, preaching on the streets and from house to house through the week. Hence they go in and sit in the audience, by physique and costume recognized as Jews by the entire audience. Having passed through the routine of Sabbath service, the leader sends a person back to invite them to speak freely as the Lord will. Thus Paul proceeds with a historic sermon on the plan of salvation in the former dispensation, culminating in the fulfillment of all the types, symbols and ceremonies in Jesus of Nazareth, whom he preaches to them as the veritable Shiloh of prophecy and the Christ. 22. “Having deposed him,” i .e ., King Saul. Why did God depose Saul and cast him away? Because he spared Agag, the king of the Amalekites.

    Why was this? Because the Amalekites fought against Israel and did their utmost to keep them out of the promised land. See this grand symbolic truth. You must destroy everything that keeps you from sanctification.

    Agag typifies inbred sin, which must be utterly destroyed. Saul spared Agag and lost the kingdom and his soul, dying a suicide; so if you do not destroy inbred sin in entire sanctification, you will forfeit the kingdom of God, commit spiritual suicide and lose your soul. Why was David a man after God’s own heart? He was not infallible. He fell in case of Uriah, but God wonderfully restored him. “I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all of my wishes.” Would you be a man after God’s own heart? Then you must do the whole will of God. King David was an exception to all the kings of the earth, in the fact that he did not his own will, but the will of God. David’s throne was unearthly, focalizing in heaven. He was simply the executive of the divine administration, sitting on the throne of the theocracy, ruling as God’s vicegerent. Hence the risen Jesus was crowned David’s Successor (as He is his heir) in heaven when He ascended ( Acts 2:30), and will be crowned David’s Successor on earth when He comes again ( Acts 2:35). 23-25. John the Baptist, the greatest of the prophets, disclaimed the Messiahship and testified to the Christhood of Jesus. 27. Paul shows how the Jews and Romans all fulfilled the Messianic prophecies in the crucifixion of Jesus, quoting those wonderful predictions of David, which were only fulfilled in David’s greater Son. 39. “In him, every one believing is justified from all things from which you are not able to be justified by the law of Moses.” Paul enforces the fact that there never was justification in any other name. All the bleeding birds and beasts on Jewish altars slain, since the world began, never could wash away a solitary sin. They could only point earth’s guilty millions to the “Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.” The first four thousand years were prospective, faith looking forward through types and symbols to the coming Christ. Paul assures them their own Christ of prophecy, whom the patriarchs and prophets trusted to save them, has already come; and, of course, it is the best news they ever heard. 40-41. He here quotes Habakkuk 1:5, in which the prophets warned them lest they reject the glorious tidings of their crucified, risen and ascended Lord, and be plunged into hopeless ruin. 42. The crowd is astounded and utterly bewildered. The audience is dismissed; meanwhile there is a general clamor for those wonderful words to be spoken to them the next Sabbath. Amid the exhortations of the apostles to the lingering crowd, many of the Jews and pious proselytes are actually converted to the Christhood of Jesus. We must remember that conversion in that day included the new birth, i .e ., spiritual elevation in case of a saved people. Anon, they fell in with godly members of the Jewish church, like Zachariah, Elizabeth, Joseph, and many others, who knew the God of Israel experimentally, and were intelligently saved through the Lord’s coming Christ. Such did not have to be converted to God, but only to the Christhood of Jesus. 44. The wonderful news of the first Sabbath received universal publicity and brought a great host to hear the apostles the next Sabbath; meanwhile they pressed the work, in every open door, through the week. 45-52. The vast Gentile crowd aroused the old prejudice of the Jews so they could no longer keep the peace. Therefore the apostles turn to the Gentiles, who greatly rejoice to think that all the riches of the Jews’ religion and the wonderful grace of Israel’s God is as free for them as for the Jews, whereas the Jews had always taught them that they must first be made Jews by proselytism before they could receive the salvation of their God. The responsive appreciation of the Gentiles make the Jews so mad that they actually run the apostles out of the city; so they kick off the dust from their feet as a testimony against them, and bid them adieu. Jesus says it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city. Awful will be the doom of many in our day who reject the gospel preached by the Lord’s holy people.

    CHAPTER - 1-7. Arriving in Iconium, they enter the Jewish synagogue, preach with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, and a great multitude of both Jews and Greeks are converted to the Christhood of Jesus; meanwhile “the disciples continued to be filled with joy and the Holy Ghost.” As usual, the unbelieving Jews raise a row, stirring up an awful persecution against the apostles. Ver. 5 reads incorrectly in E.V. The assault had not been made. It was only a conspiracy to seize the apostles and first abuse them in a Sodomitish, brutal manner, and then stone them to death. 6 , 7 . “Recognizing, they fled down into the cities of Lycaonia, i .e ., Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding country; and there they were preaching the gospel.” HEALING OF THE CRIPPLE AT LYSTRA 8-10. The imperfect tense here shows that they had been preaching some time at Lystra. Meanwhile this poor cripple, who, the Greek says, had no power to use his feet, and consequently had never walked, though now quite up in mature manhood, fortunately had friends to carry him every day to the preaching places, where he sat unnoticed by the multitude, who all knew him well; but at the same time he was a most appreciative auditor.

    Doubtless he was a pious Jew, already enjoying the saving grace of God in his heart, felicitously fortified against the vulgar vices all his life by his physical decrepitude. Day by day he listens to the apostles spell-bound, delectably drinking in the sweet messages of gospel grace and rejoicing in the glorious fulfillment of the Messianic promises in the advent of Jesus the Christ, whom the apostles preached. Witnessing the miracles of physical healing ever and anon wrought through the Apostolic ministry, ere long faith enters into his heart and he begins actually to take hold of Jesus, whom they were constantly preaching as the Omnipotent Healer of the body as well as the soul. Meanwhile the attention of Paul is directed to the cripple. He sees his countenance radiant with a supernatural glow and his eyes sparkling and flashing out the victories of faith wrought in his heart by the Holy Spirit through the truth to which he had listened day after day.

    Paul, enjoying “the discernment of spirits” ( 1 Corinthians 12:10), perceives that the cripple has faith to be healed, at the same time adding inspiration and intensification to his faith by exclaiming to the top of his voice: “Stand upright on thy feet.” “He leaped and continued to walk round and round.” The poor fellow, sitting squat like a toad, having never stood on his feet nor walked a step, under the inspiration of Paul’s stentorian voice leaps out of his nest like a frog, lighting upright on his feet, discovers at once that he is healed and all right; beginning to run round and round, he does not know when to quit. It was very inspiring to me to see the stacks of crutches and staffs in Brother Simpson’s Berachah Home in New York, and the cripples who had come there on them leaping, skipping and praising the Omnipotent Healer. I am glad the days of miracles are not past. All do not get healed, neither did they in the Apostolic age. Paul himself left Trophimus at Miletum sick; yet many were healed through his ministry on the island of Malta. Perhaps quite as large a proportion who receive the ministry of healing get actually healed as get saved under the preaching of the glorious gospel, which offers salvation free and full to every soul.

    PAUL AND BARNABAS ARE TAKEN FOR GRECIAN GODS 11-18. All nations at the time of our Savior’s advent were on tiptoe expecting a divine messenger from heaven to teach them the way of salvation. Hence the heathens were on the constant lookout for their gods to come among them in human form. When a student in college I read a myth from a Grecian poet giving an account of Jupiter, the king of heaven and chief of all the gods, coming down in this very country, and walking in human form among the people. While we have no way of ascertaining the portraits of our Savior and the apostles, we certainly must make an exception of Barnabas and Paul, as here we have a clear index to their personal physique and character. They called Barnabas Jupiter. From this fact we know that he was a large, intelligent, fine-looking man, because such was the familiar and well-known statue of Jupiter, of which we have often seen the picture. His great temple at Athens, Greece, is still standing.

    We were not astonished when we saw it, though in ruins, that twenty-five hundred years ago it ranked among the seven wonders of the world, along with the Pyramids of Egypt, the Walls of Babylon, the Colossus at Rhodes, the Temple of Diana at Ephesus, the Coliseum at Rome, and the Sphinx in Egypt. They called Paul Mercury because he was so fluent of speech, and Mercury was the god of eloquence, inspiring all the orators, and giving them the power to hold the multitude spell-bound. The statue of Mercury always represented him with a small, light body, a very large head, stooping shoulders, projecting neck and exceedingly prominent though sharp and ugly physiognomy. From this fact we have a clear index to the physique of Paul, a small, ugly man, with a head so large as to appear out of proportion to his body, though chock full of well-balanced brain, flashing from his homely face preternatural intelligence. The gates of ancient cities were the great public resorts. Hence the temple of Jupiter stood immediately in front of the gate, when the multitude all leaped to the conclusion that Paul and Barnabas are gods because of the miraculous healing. The priest of Jupiter proceeds at once to bring oxen for sacrifices and bouquets to adorn the apostles, like nowadays they still bring them into the churches for the preachers. [Lord, save us from idolatry. I always have them removed from the pulpit lest I knock them off and break the vessel containing them.] Paul and Barnabas have all they can possibly do to restrain them from offering sacrifices to them and worshipping, them in the name of Jupiter and Mercury.

    PAUL’S MARTYRDOM 19, 20. Behold the fickle caprice of frail mortality, which has been verified in all ages and nations! Now they are all clamorous to worship the apostles for gods. In one short hour they are all clamorous for their blood, and actually stone Paul! Millions, besides Paul, have passed through this same ordeal. The very people who applaud you to the skies and worship you for a god, will cast you away and leave you to die without a friend to soothe your dying brow; yea, they will sign your death-warrant, and then will kill you. Vain is human patronage! You are a king to-day and a beggar to-morrow, without a friend beneath the skies. Take heed and fly to God, who never changes. He is your Friend, “the same yesterday, to-day, and forever!” While Paul’s mangled and bleeding body lies under the rock-pile, his spirit enjoys a visit to Paradise ( 2 Corinthians 12), there seeing and hearing things too glorious for mortal utterance, not as E.V. says, “unlawful to tell,” but impossible. We need heavenly language to describe heavenly glories. 20, 21. Now the sorrowing Nazarenes gather around their murdered brother to bury him. To their joyful surprise, he jumps out of the rock-pile with a big shout, and walks with Barnabas to his next appointment at Derbe. Cheered with God’s blessing on their labors, and witnessing many conversions, they come right back to Lystra, where they had killed Paul.

    Do you think you could have come back and give them a chance to kill you again? 22. “Establishing the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to abide in the faith, and that through many tribulations it behooveth us to enter into the kingdom of God.” Many of Paul’s meetings were entirely on the sanctification line, making no converts, but establishing the saints. “Kingdom of God” here has its final sense of the heavenly state. 23. “Electing unto them elders in every church.” Here is another case where the E.V. inserts “ordaining” in order to sustain the authority of the Episcopal Church, of which the translators were members, there being no such a revelation in the Greek. The word translated “ordain” is cheirotoneoo , from cheir , “the hand,” and toneoo , “reach forth”; hence it simply means that they elected the elders by a vote in reaching up the hand.

    Doubtless they did gather around them, lay hands on them, and pray for them, thus commending them to God to use them in their offices as conservators of the general interest of the church, but there is no mention of it. The ecclesiastical ordination, of which so much is made in the popular churches, is utterly unknown in the New Testament. When the Holy Ghost had called out the saints for some special work, they fasted and prayed for them with the imposition of hands, thus consecrating them to their work, and that is all you can find in the New Testament having the similitude of ordination, which has been so woefully corrupted and perverted by the fallen ecclesiasticisms. 24-28. Now the apostles take a circuitous route through Pisidia, Pamphylia and Italia, arriving back at Syrian Antioch, whence they set out on this great evangelistic tour. Convening the church, they are received with delight by all the saints, who are spellbound and electrified by their rehearsals of the mighty works of God through their humble instrumentality in the various heathen lands of their long and perilous peregrinations.

    CHAPTER - THE JERUSALEM COUNCIL In the Apostolic age, as at the present day, only a minority even of the preachers, who were many, had clear and cloudless light on the pure and immaterial spirituality of the gracious economy. While the apostles, their evangelistic comrades and many others were walking in cloudless, spiritual day, they prudentially waived the prominence of all non-essential though innocent temporalities, incidentally appertaining to the visible church. While in Jerusalem they let the Jewish Christians go ahead with bloody sacrifices and everything their consciences demanded under the law of Moses, as they knew interdiction in those matters would jostle many of their Jewish converts to the Christhood of Jesus; for the same reason they utterly ignored everything appertaining to the Mosaic dispensation among the Gentiles. Consequently preachers coming down from Judea into Syria had greatly disturbed them by persistent effort to foist on them the Mosaic law.

    Of course, Paul and Barnabas, in the clear light of the pure spirituality of the gospel, courageously withstood these Jewish preachers, and defended the Gentile Christians against all encroachments on their free gospel rights and privileges. Consequently, the church at Antioch, the Gentile metropolis, representative of the Gentile wing of Christendom, resolved to settle the matter by sending delegates along with Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem to submit this vexed question to the apostles and elders. 1-8. Peter certifies before the council that this question had been settled by the heavenly vision at Joppa and the descension of the Holy Ghost on the Gentiles at Caesarea, seven years ago, none of whom had ever received any of the Jewish ordinances, thus God Himself clearly confirming his acceptance of them, precisely as He had the Jews on the day of Pentecost. 9. “And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” This Scripture settles forever the fact that the hearts of the apostles on the day of Pentecost were purified by faith, in order to be filled with the Holy Ghost. It also settles the matter beyond the possibility of cavil that the plan of salvation is the very same for Jew and Gentile, at Jerusalem and in the uttermost parts of the earth. All hearts must be purified by faith after conversion, as in case of the apostles, and then filled with the Holy Ghost. 10, 11. Here Peter pleads with them to put no yoke on the necks of the disciples, whether Gentiles or Jews, assuring them that all are saved by the free grace of God through faith, without works, legal obedience or ritual ceremonies. Of course, true saving faith is in its very nature always obedient, yet the faith is the only condition of salvation, and not the obedience, which would involve the popish heresy of salvation by works.

    We constantly have this trouble with the holiness people. After the Omnipotent Savior has broken from our necks every yoke sin and Satan ever put on us, oh! how we are tempted to let good people put yokes on us, or even with our own hands to put them on our necks again. “If the Son shall make you free you shall be free indeed” ( John 8:34). Jesus wants to make you free as angels and keep you free forever. Beware that you do not take a yoke of bondage. 13. Now James, the brother of our Lord and pastor of the Apostolic church at Jerusalem, rises after Peter and proceeds, delivering a number of focalized statements, which speak volumes appertaining to the gospel, church and human destiny. 14. “Simeon hath expounded how God in the first place interposed to take a people from the Gentiles in his name.” It is a great mistake to suppose that the gospel is to save the world. They will not have it, though it is free for them. This old fallen world is like a ship in mid-ocean, unseaworthy, irreparable and destined to founder; while the gospel is the lifeboat, not to save the old wrecking ship going down with her drunken crew and frolicking passengers, but to rescue every earnest fugitive, who will leave the ship, with all his fortunes to sink to the bottom of the ocean, escape for life, get aboard the old ship of Zion and sail away for glory. Here you see from James’s statement that the work of the gospel is simply “to take from the nations a people in his name,” i .e ., the elect, as none others will receive the gospel. 15. “To this correspond the words of the prophets, as has been written: 16. “After these things I will return and build again the dynasty of David which has fallen into decay, and will build again the ruins of the same and set it up” ( Amos 9:11,12). James quotes this prophecy in the Jerusalem council, of course giving it full New Testament endorsement, plainly and positively stating that our Savior will return to the earth after we shall have preached the gospel to every nation, thus calling out the elect and getting the Bride ready for the return of her Divine Spouse. James here positively certifies, in harmony with the old prophets, that, after we have preached the gospel to every nation, our glorified Savior will return to the earth and restore again the temporal kingdom of David, which at that time was in dilapidation and so continues to the present day. “Tabernacle,” E.V., is skeenee in the original, and means dynasty, or the royal line of David. [See Robinson’s New Testament Greek Dictionary.] David’s kingdom was not human, but divine, i .e ., the theocracy extended down on the earth, but centralized in heaven, on which our Lord was crowned when He ascended ( Acts 2:30), the lineal heir of David, and which He will encumber till His Father shall make all of His enemies on the earth, i .e ., royal rivals, political and ecclesiastical, His “footstool” ( Acts 2:35). Then He will return according to these prophecies of both Testaments, restoring the interregnum of David’s kingdom on the earth and extending it throughout the inhabitable globe, Himself crowned King of kings and Lord of lords to reign forever. 17. “In order that the remainders of men may seek out the Lord, even all the Gentiles, on whom my name has been called, upon the same, saith the Lord, who doeth all things known from the beginning.” Here we see the great and glorious harvest of souls, all saved during the preceding dark ages of Satan’s reign, being but the “first fruits” adumbratory of the glorious millennial harvest when our Lord returns. This is quite feasible, when we remember that the unsavable millions will fall in the great tribulation ( Daniel 7:9; Acts 3:23; Revelation 11:18) and Satan will be cast out ( Revelation 20:2). Consequently with no devils on the earth to hold them back, millions of transfigured saints, moving with the velocity of lightning, will return with the glorified Savior to preach the gospel to “the remainders of peoples” who have survived the great tribulation, because God knows they will not reject the salvation of His Son in the absence of the devil on the earth. No wonder they will “seek out the Lord,” i .e ., seek Him effectually till they find Him, and all get saved. That is the good time coming, “when a nation shall be born in a day.” Do you believe in second probation? We are all living in a second probation, which supervened on the inauguration of the redemptive scheme after the Fall, the first probation having been forfeited in the Fall. The same probation in which we live will continue through the millennium down to the end of the mediatorial reign ( 1 Corinthians 15:24-28), i .e ., to the end of time, when our glorified Savior, having wound up His mediatorial reign in the final judgment, will surrender up the kingdom to the Father. A materialistic heresy, teaching a future probation for the wicked, is going abroad, but flatly contradictory of the inspired Word. Satan propagates heresies on all lines of truth, to cover it up so the people will not see it and be saved. Some of the devil’s heresies along these problems we are now discussing are so occult that none but spiritually-illuminated eyes will detect them. 19. “Therefore I judge that we trouble not those from the Gentiles turning unto God, 20. “But to command them to abstain from things offered to idols, from fornication, strangulation, and blood.” We see here that the Jerusalem council of apostles and elders, i .e ., the highest tribunal this side of heaven, eliminated everything out of the gospel dispensation but pure spirituality; nothing but entire sanctification saves people from idolatry. Israel carried their idols in all their wilderness peregrinations. Modern churches are full of idolatry, worshipping watergods, day-gods, creed-gods, and sect-gods and many others. Thorough sanctification is the only remedy for idolatry. Why is fornication here specified alone among all the vulgar vices? It is because if you would be a member of the bridehood you must get married to the Lord Jesus Christ, thus forever discarding all other lovers, delighted with Jesus only, your Savior, Husband, Friend. This spiritual wedlock takes place in entire sanctification. Why is the blood specified? Because we are redeemed and sanctified by the blood of Jesus, of which all the blood in the world is symbolic. Hence in our abstinence from eating the blood and thus brutalizing it, we are constantly to realize the great fundamental truth that we are saved by the blood, and go shouting night and day, “The blood, the blood is all my plea; Hallelujah! it cleanseth me.” Oh, the transcendent wisdom and the fundamental truth flashing out from this Jerusalem council, revelatory of the pure spirituality of the gracious economy, unencumbered by ecclesiastical rites, ceremonies and institutions!

    The work of the gospel herald is to run to the ends of the earth and cry, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.” We have nothing to do but preach Jesus and get people saved. 21. “For Moses from ancient generations has those preaching him in every city, being read every Sabbath in the synagogues.” At that time the Jews had synagogues in all the prominent cities of the known world. Those apostles expected to fulfill this commission and remain on the earth till the gospel was preached to every nation and actually hail their descending Lord, and in the transfiguration glory fly up to meet Him in the air. Hence that wonderful flying artillery scheme, utterly disencumbered of all human ecclesiasticism and local church machinery, running to the ends of the earth preaching the gospel to every nation, calling out the elect, and thus with all possible expedition preparing the world for their Lord’s return on the throne of His glory, to revive and establish the theocracy of King David in all the earth, thus bringing the Jews again to the front, the custodians of the universal Millennial Kingdom, for which they recognize the universal prevalence of the Jewish theocracy, as at that time adumbratory and preparatory. They had on them the true spirit of prophecy, but little dreaming of the long rolling centuries destined to intervene before the glorious fulfillment, the day of His coming being known to the Father only. 22-29. The decrees proposed by James, their presiding bishop, receive a unanimous vote of the apostles, elders and brethren. In view of securing for the decrees all possible endorsement and availability, they appoint Judas and Silas, both of them prophets, eminent for their wisdom and piety, to accompany Paul and Silas, along with the Syrian delegation, back to Antioch, bearing the decrees adjudicated by the unanimity of the brotherhood. It was specified in the council that Judas and Silas should, viva voce , proclaim and enforce among the churches the same truths specified in the written decrees, thus corroborating Paul and Barnabas, by their verbal testimony, to the transaction of the Jerusalem council. 30-33. Great is the delectation thrilling all of the Gentile churches upon the reading of the decrees, corroborated by the faithful testimonies and fervent exhortations of Judas and Silas, thus abundantly corroborating and impregnably fortifying the glorious doctrine of free grace already preached by Paul and Barnabas. If the church had remained true to these apostolical decrees, the world would have been evangelized and the millennium in all its glory girdled the globe with “holiness to the Lord” long centuries ago.

    What a pity the New Testament church, in violation of these decrees, ever apostatized and so burdened herself with material ecclesiasticisms that to her ineffaceable shame, she has not yet verified the commission, which should have been done in the Apostolic age ( Matthew 16:28 and 24:34).

    Verse 34 is an interpolation; nothing of it in the original. Because Silas became the companion of Paul, some transcriber concluded that lie did not go back to Jerusalem with Judas to make his report, but remained with Paul. This is conjecture. He had plenty of time to go back to Jerusalem with Judas and make his report to the apostles and return before Paul went off on his next tour.

    DISRUPTION AND FINAL SEPARATION OF BARNABAS AND PAUL 35-39. The Greek word for “contention” is paroxysm, which now means an earthquake shock, which, you see, has a superlative signification. Paul and Barnabas were both sanctified wholly, and filled with the Holy Ghost.

    Perfect love is the bravest thing in the world; full salvation makes you positive enough to die in your tracks, when you know you are right. Paul and Barnabas were both right in this matter, and yet diametrically opposite.

    Consequently, there was no chance but to separate. Mark was merely incidental to the paroxysm. Paul was right in refusing to take him, because he had retreated from the field during the former campaign. Barnabas was right in sympathizing with his young, cowardly nephew ( Colossians 4:10), and giving him another chance, which proved a success, so that Mark made an efficient preacher, and actually wrote the gospel of our Lord, and finally sealed his faith with his blood in Alexandria, Egypt. Paul appreciated him, and afterward called him to his work. The simple solution of the matter is, God was in the transaction. Paul had started out the junior preacher, with Barnabas, and actually revolutionized the ticket, and come to the front. Barnabas was an able leader, and Paul now more so. Hence it was a waste of ammunition for them longer to go together. It is now high time for each one to lead an evangelistic party the balance of his life. Here the curtain falls over Barnabas, that great and good man, and we never hear of him afterward. Doubtless, like his apostolical comrades, he lived a hero and died a martyr. The simple reason why we hear no more of him is because Luke, the historian, no longer accompanied him to write up his history, but went with Paul, though he is too modest even to tell us so, simply specifying that Mark went with Barnabas, and Silas with Paul. 41,42. Henceforth this inspired history all focalizes around Paul, who now, with Silas and Luke, travels through Syria and Cilicia (his native land) “establishing the churches.” In former years they had organized many churches, i .e ., little holiness bands, in those great heathen countries. On this tour there is no mention of a single convert, the time, everywhere, being devoted to the establishment of the saints, i .e ., getting them sanctified and teaching them the Word of the Lord. We find in this inspired history that Paul took great tours, traveling through vast regions, devoting all of his time to the work of sanctifying and edifying the churches.

    CHAPTER - TIMOTHY ENTERS THE MINISTRY 1-3. God gave Paul Timothy at Lystra, where they stoned him, — a memorable fact, as Timothy was his favorite preacher throughout all his ministry, and, of course, God’s greatest blessing to him, though received at the place where they stoned him, thus reminding us that calamities are but blessings in disguise, and that where the devil fights hardest God gives us the brightest victory. Timothy has a wonderful record, involving doubt as to his ever having lost his infantile justification, owing to the invaluable blessing of his godly mother Eunice and grandmother Lois, who from his infancy had taught him “the Holy Scriptures, which made him wise unto salvation.” Hence we have no record of his conversion, doubtless lost sight of in his early childhood. Here we see a significant fact that, while Paul everywhere defended the Gentile converts against the imperious demand of the Jews to impose on them the Mosaic ordinances, here he circumcised Timothy simply to gratify the Jews, so that he would be the more useful among them, illustrating his favorite maxim, “All things to all men, that he may save some.” We should be perfectly limber on all questions of church rites and ceremonies, to receive them or forego them pursuant to the glory of God through our humble instrumentality, led by the Spirit. 4. In their evangelistic peregrinations, to the unutterable delight and edification of the Gentile converts, they everywhere read to the churches the apostolical decrees, liberating them from all the burdens of ecclesiasticism and conferring on them all the privileges of free grace anticipatory of heavenly glory. 5. This proclamation of universal Gentile freedom from all burdens of Jewish ritualism, gives a universal impetus to the gospel church throughout the Gentile world.

    PAUL’S CALL TO EUROPE We Americans are all of European extraction. Hence this was really the evangelization of our ancestors. 6. We find here Paul again travels through Galatia and Phrygia, where he had preached the gospel about A.D. 35-38, during his stay at Tarsus, whither he was sent by the brethren at Jerusalem to save his life. “Being forbidden by the Holy Ghost to speak the word in Asia.” This was from the simple reason that God wanted him now to leave Asia, where he had spent all his life, go and establish the gospel in Europe. 7. Here we see the tardiness of the human will to respond to the Holy Ghost, and at the same time a reluctance on the part of Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke to leave Asia, their nativity, and embark on the sea for a country they had never seen. Bithynia is back towards the interior, hence we see their indisposition to go directly to the sea, and consequently an effort on their part to turn east and evangelize those Asiatic states. Here we see the identity of the Holy Ghost and the Spirit of Jesus, as they are synonymous in verses six and seven. 8. Mysia borders the Aegean Sea, lying between Asia and Europe, Troas, the capital on the sea-shore, occupying the site of old Troy, so memorable in Homer’s “Iliad.” 9. Here God settles all controversy as to leaving Asia by giving Paul a night vision, in which he saw a Macedonian man standing on a European mountain far away beyond the western sea, and heard him calling, “Having come over into Macedonia, help us.” 10. This clear and unmistakable open vision, both seen and heard, sweeps away all defalcation as to their evangelistic call to preach the gospel in Europe. For this reason, Christian Europe and America are the spiritual children of Paul. No sooner is the vision seen, and the Macedonian voice heard ringing over the sea, than they all prepare for an immediate embarkation. 11. Samothracia is a large island far up near the northern coast of the Aegean Sea, while Neapolis is in Thrace on the European shore, whither the evangelistic quarto disembark. 12. Traveling on foot twelve miles to Philippi, the capital and metropolis of Macedonia, the most northern province in Greece. It is a Roman colony and a free city, ruled by Roman magistrates. 13. These four Asiatic strangers, in their Oriental costume, quite a spectacle in a European city, render themselves still more conspicuous preaching daily on the street. Being native Jews both by race and religion, they everywhere hunt their consanguinity, finding a small synagogue down on the bank of the river Strymon. They resort thither on the Jewish Sabbath and enjoy the service conducted by the women. 14. Lydia, who worshipped God, a pious Jewess, preaching in that synagogue, is converted to the Christhood of Jesus. All the facts of this brief history involve the conclusion that she was a saved woman, knowing experimentally the God of Abraham and Moses, and there faithfully preaching the gospel in the Jewish dispensation, like the saints of all bygone ages trusting the prophetic Christ. Hence she only needed conversion to the historic Christ, i .e ., the Christhood of Jesus the Nazarene, whom Paul preached. We Americans and Europeans are the wrong people to depreciate and much less antagonize woman’s ministry when we see here that our gospel came that way. Here was a Jewish synagogue conducted by women [perhaps in the absence of suitable men].

    It was free for men as well as women. Hence Paul and his comrades there found an open door to preach the gospel, with results so unlike the awful antagonism they generally met in synagogues conducted by men, as these godly women hailed the gospel as a feast and rejoice in the glad news that the Christ of prophecy has already come in the person of Jesus, whom Paul preached. 15. Hence Lydia the preacher and her family, having joyfully confessed Jesus their Savior in baptism, open wide their doors and welcome these four evangelists to make their house their home. 16-18. A fortune-telling female slave, who brought much money to her owners by her Satanic incantations, continues to follow these evangelists day by day, incessantly crying after them, “These men are servants of the most high God, who proclaim unto us the way of salvation!” Of course, her incessant clamor was seriously impedimental to the intelligent audibility of their street preaching in their daily peregrinations. Ere long forbearance has ceased to be a virtue, and Paul, utterly worn out with her clamor, turns and speaks to the demon of vaticination dwelling in her, and bids him to come out of her. Hence that very hour the demon evacuated the damsel, responsive to the mandate of Paul. This is demonstrative proof of demoniacal possession and supernatural revelation at the present day.

    Satan, in all ages, has been permitted to demonstrate his personality, thus refuting the infidel dogma of no personal devil, which always proves the antecedent of denying the existence of a personal God. In ancient sorcery, mediaeval witchcraft and modern spiritualism, Christian science, hypnotism, et cetera , we have in all ages the demonstration of demoniacal possessions It is as true and real to-day as in any preceding age. Here you see that the power of vaticination, on the part of this damsel, appertained altogether to this familiar spirit which dwelt in her. Paul did not speak to the damsel, but to the spirit, when he ordered him to come out of her. Hence we see the demon occupied her distinct from and independent of her own human spirit, which throws clear light on all the supernatural incantations of modern spiritualism. They actually possess and hold communion with disembodied demons which throng the air. 19-24. After the demon has evacuated the damsel, she has no more power to tell fortunes and practice divination than any other person. Consequently, her owners, seeing that they can get no more money for her fortune-telling, fly with an awful rage against Paul, arouse the rabble, stirring up their European prejudices against these Asiatic intruders, exciting to their very utmost Gentile prejudices against these impudent and meddlesome Jews, accusing them of infringing upon their rights and privileges as Roman citizens. They so manipulate the uncouth rabble as to raise a general uproar against the apostles, maneuvering to deceive the Roman magistrates and precipitate them into a premature and illegal verdict, even foregoing the very form of a trial, so that they simply command the lictors to strip and beat them with their cruel rods pursuant to the Roman custom. 24-26. To put a final quietus to all the trouble, they cast Paul and Silas into the deep, dark dungeon of their cruel, filthy old prison, with their lacerated, bleeding backs down on the cold, stone floor, and their feet raised up and wedged fast in great blocks of wood, thus precluding all possibility of escape. If you had been in their place, would you not have concluded that you were mistaken as to the call of God to that place? Paul and Silas, while the hours glide away, tell their experiences, pray to God, get very happy and continue to sing uproariously the praises of God, arresting the attention and astonishing the suffering inmates of those gloomy dungeons, utterly unaccustomed to hear songs of joy. At midnight God answers their prayer with the earthquake shock, disrupting the deep foundations of the prison, snapping all the bars and bolts, and slamming back the ponderous iron doors against the massive stone walls like claps of thunder. 27-34. The awakened and panic-stricken jailer, knowing that cruel Roman law will require his life as substitute for the fugitive prisoner, in the absence of Bible light on suicide, and with the noble examples of Cicero, the prince of Roman authors, and Cato, the champion Roman statesman, and many other mighty men who had preceded him in suicide, resolved at once to add his name to the honored catalogue. Through the wide-open doors Paul sees him in the act of killing himself, fortunately in time to save his life. This heathen jailer was a wicked, ungodly, ignorant man, acquiescent in the clamor of the roaring mob, and the verdict of the cruel magistrates; he looked upon Paul and Silas as black with crime, notwithstanding their street preaching had rung in his ears and left upon his memory their attitude as the avowed heralds of the most high God. The awful earthquake and the utter indisposition of the apostles to escape now send a lightning bolt of conviction to the bottom of his heart, precipitating him into a radical, true and hearty repentance, putting him on believing ground as a penitent sinner, where he has nothing to do but receive justification by faith. Therefore Paul commands him, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou and thy family shall be saved.” Here you see clearly and unequivocally that faith is the only condition necessary to the justification of a sinner, the exercise of this faith being utterly impossible till he gets on believing ground, which can only be reached by a genuine repentance wrought in the heart by the Holy Ghost.

    Here we see that Paul assures the jailer that not only himself but his family shall be saved on condition of his faith. Parents, take courage, if you are truly faithful to God; here is a promise for the salvation of your families. It does not follow that they will be saved without personal faith, which God in due time will confer on them, pursuant to your faith. Now the jailer is converted and baptized that very hour, along with his family. 34. “And leading them into his house he placed a table by them and rejoiced all over the house, believing in God.” Here we see that the jailer, having received a glorious old-style jumping conversion, leaped round all over the house, shouting uproariously, while Paul and Silas sat at the table enjoying his kind hospitality, feeling much refreshed and relieved physically, because the jailer had not only diligently washed away the clotted blood from the gashes of their lacerated backs, thus expediting convalescence, but has kindly supplied them with a sumptuous meal, which they much needed. The earthquake, the miraculous excarceration of the prisoners and the conversion of the jailer, borne on rumor’s flying pinion, reaches the magistrates, so alarming them that they send the lictors who would thrash them, to request Paul and Silas to depart immediately. This they refuse to do till the magistrates come in person and take them out, which they do, now tremulous with fear, because of their notification that Paul is a Roman citizen, and they are liable to prosecution, dethronement, and punishment for their illegal flagellation of a Roman citizen, amid the impetuosity of the cruel mob. Hence alarmed and deeply penitent for their illegal and precipitant cruelty to the apostles, taking them out of prison with their own hands, they beg them to depart from the city. 40. Paul and Silas now come to the house of Lydia, where they find Timothy and Luke, who, along with the few disciples converted in the woman’s meeting, have spent a night of agonizing prayer and solitude, and now are much delighted to receive them and hear all the good news.

    CHAPTER - 1. The four evangelists bid adieu to the sorrowing saints at the house of Lydia, travel southward, thirty-three miles to Amphipolis, where they do not tarry because there is no Jewish synagogue. Judgment begins at the house of God. Hence they give the preference to the Jews constituting the popular church of their day, always preaching to them first, thus making their start in every city. So the four pedestrians travel on south thirty miles to Apollonia, which they pass for the above reason, arriving at Thessalonica, thirty-seven miles farther south, one hundred from Philippi, where they find a Jewish synagogue. 2 , 3 . They spend three weeks preaching on the streets and in the houses, and in the synagogue on the Sabbath, Paul showing up clearly from the Scriptures that Jesus the Nazarene is the Christ of Israel, the Shiloh of prophecy and the Savior of the world. Quite a host of both Jews and Greeks, including many prominent and influential men and women, are gloriously converted and the work is moving triumphantly. 5-9. Meanwhile the unbelieving Jews, mad and jealous of the Gentiles, run round and stir up the uncouth rabble, assault the house of Jason where the apostles were lodging, aiming to kill them, but the Lord having hidden them so they can not find them, they drag out Jason and certain brethren before the rulers of the city, the mob roaring aloud, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, whom Jason has received.” Frequently Satan accidentally tells the truth, as he did in this case. God made the world right side up; the devil turned it over in the Fall, so it has ever since been wrong side up. Therefore the work of the gospel is “to turn the world upside down,” which is the only way to get it again right side up. “All these act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, i .e ., Jesus.” Read Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians, and you find them full of the Lord’s glorious coming again to reign in righteousness. This is the reason they charged the apostle with preaching that Jesus is King, because he not only preached Jesus the Christ, the Savior of the world, but our glorious coming King. “Receiving satisfaction from Jason and the rest, they released them,” i .e ., when Jason and the other brethren whom they had seized satisfied them that they did not have the apostles in their possession nor know where they were, then they released them. 10-13. Now leaving Timothy at Thessalonica to continue the meeting, Paul, Silas and Luke continue their journey southward, fifty-seven miles to Berea, also a prominent city, where there is a synagogue of the Jews. Paul invariably began his labors in the Jewish synagogues, always succeeding in the conversion of some of the members to the Christhood of Jesus, and thus dividing the church unless, by the grace of God, he succeeded in capturing it all, as in case of the large synagogue at Berea and the small one at Philippi. They have a glorious time at Berea, where the church unanimously fall in with Paul, receiving with delight his powerful preaching and irresistible prophetical proofs of the Christhood of Jesus. We hear a universal hue and cry against the holiness people for dividing the churches. That has been the case in all ages and will continue till Satan is cast out and the millennium ushers in. Jesus said: “I came not to send peace on earth, but division.” When Satan has a church [and he has many], there is no chance to save the people without separating them from the devil, and thus creating division. The hackneyed clamor, “no division,” just simply means for the devil to have them all. When we can do like Paul at Berea and Philippi, — get all to receive our Christ in conversion and sanctification, — then of course there is no division; but if we can not save all, let us do our best and save some, not letting the devil have all to avoid division, but rescuing every one we can. A wealthy Methodist congregation in a Southern city, early in the holiness movement, having erected a very costly church edifice, secured your humble servant to hold the first protracted meeting in it, having arranged with Sam Jones to immediately precede me with a number of lectures for the financial relief of the building. Brother Jones finished his work one evening and I began the next. Before the departure of Brother Jones, the official magnates wait on him, interviewing him with reference to the coming evangelist. “Brother Jones, tell us what you know about that man Godbey? Is he not one of those holiness fellows?

    We are awfully afraid he will split the church.” Brother Jones responds, “Brethren, if you have any idea he can split it, by all means have him come, stand by him and help him. Surely, the only hope for this old dead church is to split a piece off of it and take it to heaven; otherwise the devil will get it all. My great fear is that it is too far gone already, the devil’s gum-log, and Godbey can’t split it.” “The devil is the god of this world” ( 2 Corinthians 4:4), with all of its fallen churches. Precisely as the apostles went about splitting the fallen Jewish churches; Luther, the Catholic churches; and Wesley, the Episcopal churches, so have the true preachers of the gospel in all ages been enabled, by the grace of God, to divide savable souls from the dead, worldly churches, get them saved and take them to heaven. It is only Satan’s dead-beats that produce no divisions. The only hope of the world consists in plucking people out of the devil’s black grip, whether in the wicked rabble or the fallen churches, thus producing divisions, separating them from the devil to God, and taking them to heaven. Though Paul got the whole Jewish church at Berea, leaving none for the devil to stir up a row, yet he sent them from Thessalonica to run them away from Berea. 14. Timothy had remained back at Thessalonica; now arriving at Berea, he joins Silas, left by Paul in the prosecution of the work in Berea. 15. Now the brethren escort Paul in his journey southward all the way to Athens, the great metropolis of Greece, enjoying Roman freedom and the brightest light of civilization and education, poetry, oratory, philosophy and the fine arts beneath the skies. How significant that when Paul had to run for his life, the brethren sedulously hiding and escorting him away to save his head from the persecutor’s ax, he could leave Timothy and Silas to finish up the work he had begun, though they preached precisely what he did. This was simply because, while those young preachers testified and preached the very same doctrines and experience of Paul, they were incompetent to hit hard licks and stir the devil like Paul. Hence they would run him off and let them stay. I used to carry with me two or three boy preachers, helpers in the evangelistic work. When the mobs got after me, they never bothered them.

    PAUL AT ATHENS 16-33. While Timothy and Silas prosecute the work in the upper country, Paul and Luke spend the time at Athens, the world’s grand emporium of science, literature, philosophy, and idolatry. While he preaches in the forum all the week and in the synagogue on the Sabbath, his very soul is stirred within him, in contemplation of the city crammed full of idolatry. The scene of those majestic marble temples to Jupiter, Minerva, Theseus, Hercules, Bacchus, Niobe and other divinities thrilled me with curiosity, admiration and edification three years ago, after the roll of eighteen hundred years. so many having perished, been spoliated and transported. What must have been the scene in Paul’s day when the city was at the acme of her magnificence and the Grecian gods at the zenith of their glory! Ever and anon he is confronted in the Forum by the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers, the latter absolute fatalists, teaching that even the gods as well as all people were subject to inexorable fate, and the former downright materialists, denying all spirituality. Because Paul preached Jesus and the resurrection, to them utter novelties, they pronounced him “an expositor of strange demons.” This word tells the dark secret that heathen nations always have and this day worship demons, Satan being the god of this world and the air thronged with demons, the idolatrous millions and even the fallen churches drifting away into demoniacal worship. 19. They now lead Paul up to the summit of the Areopagus, that he may stand before that grave assembly of philosophers, orators, poets, statesmen, warriors and sages, recognized by the people as the legitimate custodians of all truth and proper arbiters of every new doctrine, or new religion which might be introduced. When I was there I climbed Mars’ Hill, that I might stand in the footprints of Paul when he addressed the most cultured congregation ever assembled beneath the skies. 22. Paul standing in the midst of the Areopagus, aid: “Athenian men, I perceive that in all things you are very religious,” not, as E.V. says, “too superstitious,” in which case they would have skedaddled him in a hurry. 23. “For going through and seeing your devotions [i .e ., temple, shrines, altars and statues], I also found an altar on which was superscribed, ‘To the Unknown God.’ Therefore, whom you ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.” Wonderfully shrewdly did Paul, in this way, approach and touch the sympathies of his highly-cultured audience. No other city on the globe, at that time, was so adorned with the most beautiful and innumerable marble statues, altars, shrines and temples, erected to all the gods with whom they had become acquainted in the universal conquest of the Greeks under Alexander the Great, yet, after all, they were fearful that there might be a god somewhere with whom they had no acquaintance. Hence, profoundly solicitous to secure His favor, they had even built a temple and superscribed on it, “To the Unknown God,” and were thus worshipping him, though they knew neither his name nor his attributes. At this point Paul very adroitly approaches them, certifying boldly to them that he was acquainted with their “Unknown God,” whom they had honored with a temple, and were ignorantly worshipping. Hence he commands their sympathies and appreciative audience while he preaches to them their own “Unknown God.” 26. “And of one [i .e ., one man, Adam; “blood,” as in E.V., not in the original] he made every race of men to dwell upon the whole face of the earth.” Having first expounded to them the God of Providence, filling the world with His benefactions, he astounds them by certifying that He can not be represented by gold, silver or any artistic display, neither does He want a temple to dwell in, thus casting a dark shadow of depreciation over all the wonderful works of art which filled their city with idolatrous worship; proceeding on from an exposition of Providence, delineating the august majesty of the divine administration culminating in the final judgment, for which He proposes to prepare all nations by righteousness purchased for them by His Son, whom He has raised from the dead, thus giving inspiration and gracious possibility to the faith of all the people in the world preparatory to the momentous responsibilities of the final judgment, when all the world must stand before the tribunal of that “Unknown God” and give an account of all the deeds done in the body, whether good or evil.

    We need not wonder that these profound philosophers revolted at the very mention of the resurrection of the dead, as they had no revelation, and discarded all Jewish miracles as mere superstition. Of course, they were stunned and disgusted at the irreconcilably unphilosophical doctrine of the resurrection. Though Paul approached them so judiciously and favorably, he was forced, finally, to alienate them, thus making the worst failure of his ministry at the world’s literary and philosophical metropolis, illustrating the significant fact that unsanctified learning is always a citadel of Satanic power inimical to God, and sending many smart folks down to hell. The policy of popular churches in educating heathens before they convert them is wrong, as educated people are only the more difficult to save. The true policy is to go for nothing but salvation, until you get them saved, and educate them afterward. It is easier to convert a hundred illiterate, ignorant people than one highly-cultured infidel, as knowledge is a citadel of power, and with the unsaved always occupied by the devil. This accounts for Paul’s failure at Athens, not making converts enough to organize a church.

    When I was there my guide showed me the superscription of Dionysius on the very wall of the Areopagus, stating that that was a part of the wall of a church edifice that bore his name, some inferring that this Dionysius, the Areopagite, went on and built up a church at Athens. It is more than likely that the church was organized and the edifice built in some after age and named for Dionysius, the Pauline convert, as there were no church edifices built in the Apostolic churches until A.D. 150.

    CHAPTER - 1. After Paul’s rejection by the grave council of the Areopagus, leaving Athens, he traveled on southwest eighty miles to the beautiful and magnificent city of Corinth, standing on a rich plain immediately south of the Isthmus of Corinth, separating the Aegean Sea on the east from the Ionian Sea on the west, thus giving the city access through these two seas to the commerce of the world. Consequently, Corinth was the great commercial emporium, not only of Greece but Eastern Europe, becoming immensely wealthy, and at the same time adorned with magnificent temples to the Grecian gods, in splendor and majesty second only to Athens.

    Corinth was also a grand emporium of Grecian learning. When I was there in 1895, the old site was a great wheat-field, except a small dirty village hugging the base of the Acrocorinthus, New Corinth on the railroad, three miles distant on the Ionian Sea, containing about five thousand, and rapidly growing. Paul was evidently much discouraged over his failure at Athens, rejected by the council of the Areopagus, even though he quoted their own poets, Aratus of Tarsus and Cleanthus of Troas. Paul’s condemnation of the splendid, gorgeous and universal idolatry of Athens, along with his advocacy of the purely spiritual worship of the true God, and especially his doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, utterly disgusted the profound philosophy of the cultured Athenians. Now how much better will it be at Corinth, almost the peer of Athens in the artistic display, intellectual and polytheistic idolatry? Therefore he goes back to his old trade of manufacturing tents out of goat’s hair-a very lucrative employment in the great East, where millions spend all their lives in tents. 2 , 3 . Fortunately Aquila and Priscilla, devout Jews, driven from Rome by the Emperor Claudius, also experts in tent building, fall in with him, becoming his first converts to the Christhood of Jesus and sweeping quickly into full salvation, responding to the call of the Holy Ghost, become efficient preachers of the living Word. 4. Felicitously, there is a large synagogue of Jews at Corinth, and it is too far from Northern Greece for his persecutors to follow him. So he works all the week and preaches every Sabbath in the synagogue. 5. When Silas and Timothy arrive from the North, Paul was straightened in the Word, testifying to Jews and Greeks that “Jesus is the Christ.” The meaning of that statement is simply this: he has preached till he has developed a positive issue, so that something has to break, and the prophetic eye of Paul saw what was coming, as we have described in the next verse. 6. You see the rupture long brewing and sorrowfully anticipated by Paul is bound to come: He divides the church. They drive him out of the synagogue, just like you see going on all around you this day: some receive the gospel of holiness and others reject it. So the church is divided; some go into holiness and others oppose it. Paul is fortunate. Titius Justus, one of his converts, owns a house adjoining the synagogue, into which he invites Paul and all of the holiness people. 8. Even Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, with all his family and quite a crowd, go with him. 9, 10. About this time the Lord greatly encourages Paul in a night vision. “Fear not, but speak and be not silent, because I am with thee, and no one shall attack thee to hurt thee, for I have much people in this city.” Those people were yet in sin, but God saw them and knew they would be saved, and hence claimed them. When I was a poor little ignorant sinner, a very bad boy pointed a loaded gun directly at my head and tried to fire it; but it only snapped, though it had fired all right a few moments previously.

    God’s hand was on the gun, and the devil’s man could not make it shoot.

    He knew what I was going to be. Paul, thus encouraged by the voice of God, moved out with fresh vigor, preached eighteen months right there at Corinth, building up the largest and most wonderfully gifted church of his ministry. The church contained very many Jews and still more Gentiles, all poor people except Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue; Erastus, the chamberlain of the city, and Gaius, the host of Paul and the whole church.

    PAUL’S TRIAL BEFORE GALLIO 12-17. This case is really notable. When Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue is converted, Sosthenes succeeds him and is enthusiastic to exterminate the Pauline heresy out of the church. Consequently, he resolves to prosecute Paul before the civil tribunal and drive him out of the country.

    He has him arrested and arraigned at the tribunal of Gallio, the Roman proconsul, under charge of teaching people to worship God contrary to the authority of the fallen Jewish church. Of course, Gallio, a heathen Roman, cares nothing about the Jewish religion, looking upon it as mere superstition, and allowing them to battle it among themselves. Therefore he simply dismissed the case out of court, like modern mayors frequently do the Salvation Army. The animosity of the Gentile multitude is thus aroused against the Jews, who have thus failed in their efforts to get Paul flogged, so they seize Sosthenes, his disappointed prosecutor, and give him a thrashing. It seems to have done him good, as we find him ( <460101> Corinthians 1:1) associated with Paul in the evangelistic work In Asia, and even honored along with the authorship of the Epistle. It actually looks as if, after the manner of Peter Cartwright, they beat religion into him.

    PAUL RETURNS TO ASIA 18. After an absence of two years, it is important that he go round among the churches in the Gentile world. His vow at Cenchrea was Jewish and Nazaritish, signifying its expiration by clipping his hair ( Numbers 6:1-14). 19. The Jewish synagogue was outside the city, as frequently. 20. He must expedite and see the churches in different countries again, 21, 22. Going down to Caesarea, and up to Jerusalem,23. Down to Antioch and into Syria, Phrygia and Galatia, where I trow he had established churches, i .e ., little holiness bands in private houses, while at home, in Tarsus, A.D. 35-38, “establishing all the disciples.” Here, we see Paul take a great tour over sea and land, through many countries, and never mentions a single conversion. What is he doing? “Establishing the disciples.” Is not sanctification the establishing grace? God help us to walk in the footprints of Paul, going round and round among the churches and getting them sanctified and established. John Wesley said only one in three in his day stood, for the want of establishing grace. He also said: “It is more to retain the grace of God than to receive it.” Oh, how we all need stirring up along this line!

    MINISTRY AND SANCTIFICATION OF APOLLOS Alexandria, Egypt, under the patronage of that celebrated literary and enterprising monarch, Ptolemy Philadelphus, became the greatest literary emporium on the globe during the centuries preceding Grecian preeminence, at the same time under the generous philanthropy of this monarch having become the rendezvous of a vast number of Jews, for whose especial benefit, calling a convention of the seventy most learned Jews of the age, he had them translate the Old Testament out of Hebrew into Greek, thus giving a grand impetus both to Greek literature and the Jewish religion in his kingdom. Amid these auspicious environments the gifted Apollo was brought up at Alexandria, Egypt, excelling in learning and preeminent in native eloquence, becoming not only the sensation but the wonder of the age. In the days of John the Baptist, having come from Africa to Palestine, he enjoyed the ministry of that wonderful prophet, becoming one of his brightest converts; responsive to the call of God, became a powerful preacher of the gospel under the Johanic dispensation. Gloriously regenerated and baptized under the preaching of fiery John, the greatest of all the prophets. 25. “He was instructed in the way of the Lord, and, boiling over in spirit, he continued to speak and teach clearly the things concerning Jesus, knowing only the baptism of John.” God’s salvation has been identical in all ages and under all dispensations, notwithstanding the didactic diversities characteristic of the progressive stages in the school of Christ from the unlettered simplicity of the Antediluvian, then the divine interventions of the Patriarchal, the glowing symbolism of the Mosaic, the burning pathos of the Johanic, the inimitable parabolic teaching of Jesus, followed by the fiery baptisms and universal evangelism of the Pentecostal, all destined to the glorious eclipse under the brilliancy, majesty, splendor and ineffable glory destined to inundate the world amid the transcendent millennial theocracy.

    While the gracious economy has thus exhibited a progressive panorama as to its didactic phases during the progressive ages, experimental religion, experienced in the heart by the Holy Ghost, is identical in all ages. 26. While Apollos, the most eloquent preacher in the world, having come from Africa by way of the Mediterranean to Ephesus, the metropolis of Western Asia, is holding the multitude spell-bound by his inimitable oratory, Aquila and Priscilla, an humble layman and his wife, having been wonderfully sanctified while associated with Paul in tent-making and evangelistic work in Corinth, perceive by spiritual discernment ( Corinthians 12:10) [reading the preacher like a book] that he is yet alien to the glorious experience of Christian perfection. Therefore taking him home with them they “expounded unto him the way more perfectly,” thus honored by the Holy Ghost to lead this humble brother, so wonderfully enriched with the rare gift of native eloquence, into the glorious experience of entire sanctification, thus leading him forward out of the Johanic into the Pentecostal dispensation of grace, and thus congenializing him to the grand open field of the Pauline churches. 27. Now, doubtless encouraged by Aquila and Priscilla, he proceeds at once to cross the Aegean Sea to Europe, where he is so much needed, at this time to fill the vacancy created by Paul, who has returned to Asia on a vast tour, visiting all the churches in the interest of their sanctification. 28. “For he powerfully argued down the Jews, showing conclusively by the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.” Apollos, before his sanctification, eclipsed all by his native eloquence, electrified by his warm heart, filled with regenerating grace. Since he is sanctified, the burning pathos and Pentecostal Niagara of this mighty and abiding fiery baptism, added to his native eloquence, literally transforms the man into a cyclone of fire, bearing down everything in its wake, thus becoming a sun-burst on the gospel churches of Europe and Asia.

    CHAPTER - SANCTIFICATION OF THE EPHESIAN CHURCH 1-7. Apollos remains preaching in the great church at Corinth, the largest and most gifted of the age, the result of an eighteen months’ protracted meeting held by Paul, Timothy, Silas and Luke. Happily, in the good providence of God, the great Apollos, now bright and fresh in his Beulahland experience, arriving soon after Paul went away on that great tour visiting all of his Asiatic churches, “confirming them,” i .e ., getting them sanctified and establishing them in the experience and life of holiness. After this long tour, “Paul having come through the upper parts [i .e ., those countries east of the river Hollys], arrives at Ephesus and finds some disciples.” This little band of twelve disciples had been converted under the preaching of Apollos before he was sanctified, and while he was still fervently proclaiming the gospel of Jesus the Christ in the Johanic dispensation, as he lived away in Africa where he had not come in contact with the stirring history of the crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and Pentecost at Jerusalem, as you must remember they had no mails nor newspapers. 2. “Did you receive the Holy Ghost, having believed? And they said, But we did not hear that the Holy Ghost is given.” Apollos, under the powerful preaching of John the Baptist, having learned that the Messiah will baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire, after He has consummated the atonement on Calvary and ascended into heaven, thus satisfying the violated law and preparing the way for the incarnation of the Holy Ghost as in the Eden times. Apollos, after his powerful conversion and call to the ministry under the preaching of John the Baptist, who so constantly emphasized the coming Baptism of the Holy Ghost by his Divine Successor, had gone away to Africa, faithfully preaching the glorious gospel, but not enjoying an opportunity to keep posted in the current events at Jerusalem. Thus, under the Johanic dispensation, as was his custom, on arrival at Ephesus he preaches in the Jewish synagogues, proclaiming Jesus after the manner of John, who had introduced Him, and assuring them that it will be their privilege to receive the personal indwelling Holy Spirit when the Messiah shall baptize them. The E.V., “We have not so much as heard that there be any Holy Ghost,” is not only illusory, but out of harmony with the Greek.

    Apollos, “fervent,” i .e ., boiling over in spirit, was really a Holy Ghost preacher, bright in the experience of regeneration, so prominent in the ministry of John the Baptist, to whose dispensation he belonged, yet preaching, as we see from this record, the second work of grace, though he had not yet received it, and was consequently incompetent to lead others into it. 3. “And he said, Unto what then were you baptized? And they said, Unto the baptism of John.” This is a confirmation that Apollos was one of those mighty men, ushered forth by the ministry of John the Baptist and still preaching in his dispensation. Was not this a pity? Apollos was a few years behind the age when he came to Ephesus. But what about the unsanctified preachers in all of the popular churches at the present day, who are not, like Apollos, a dozen years behind the age, but three thousand years behind, as they are preaching in the dispensation of Moses? So we can withhold our criticisms from Apollos. 4. Here we find that the baptism of John was a seal and confirmation of repentance. Do not forget that repentance and regeneration are inseparable.

    You may have much human repentance without regeneration; but God’s repentance is always “unto life.” 5. “And hearing, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Here you see baptism repeated in the case of these Ephesian converts. Water baptism is a Jewish institution, constant and exceedingly prevalent since the days of Moses, symbolizing the work of the Spirit, as the bloody sacrifices the work of Christ. A Jew had to be baptized with water every time he contracted ceremonial defilement before he was allowed to enter the tabernacle and enjoy its service. Doubtless many a Jew was baptized a thousand times in his life, these expurgatory catharisms being frequent as the bloody sacrifices. These Ephesian converts, Apollos and Paul were all Jews, accustomed from time immemorial to baptize freely and repeatedly pursuant to the Levitical ritual. Apollos had initiated them into the Johanic dispensation by water baptism, thinking it was still in vogue. Paul is preaching in the dispensation of the Holy Ghost, who is given by the ascended and glorified Messiah, whom it is pertinent that all publicly confess by baptism in His name. 6. “And Paul, laying hands on them, the Holy Ghost came on them, and they continued to speak with tongues and prophecy.” Conversion is indispensable to discipleship. Hence these disciples had been converted under the ministry of Apollos. Paul not only leads them didactically and ceremonially out of the Johanic into the Christian dispensation, but inaugurates a regular holiness meeting for their sanctification, culminating in their spiritual illumination and preparation for the experience which they, in due time, receive on their knees at the altar, while Paul prays for them and lays hands on them. Here we have clear New Testament precedent and Apostolical authority for the second work of grace. There is no evasion of the issue. The Holy Ghost calls no sinner “disciple.” Hence these were all converted before Paul arrived. When, under the ministry of Paul, the Holy Ghost came on them, even imparting His extraordinary gifts, i .e ., “tongues and prophecy,” clearly confirming the fact of their sanctification, as these spiritual gifts are normal only to the sanctified. We should still retain the imposition of hands while praying for people, that they may be imbued with the Holy Ghost. It is certainly safe to follow New Testament precedent and Apostolic practice. The innate impressibility of the human spirit through the physical organism is beyond our comprehension. God help us meekly to walk in the footprints of our predecessors. 8. A modern wiseacre would say, “Paul, there are five hundred thousand sinners going to hell in Ephesus; you had better preach straight to sinners to get them converted, and not waste your time preaching on sanctification.”

    Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, thought differently. So he started a holiness meeting, preaching and working constantly on the line of the second work of grace, until he got his little band (only twelve) gloriously sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost, enjoying the wonderful availability of the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, thus turning all his members into preachers to help him press the battle in a two years’ protracted meeting, rolling out a mighty inundating wave of gospel grace, not only over that great heathen metropolis, but throughout all Asia, “speaking and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.” Paul was powerful in the kingdom, which was predicted by the old prophets, proclaimed by John the Baptist, preached by the Savior and His apostles and their faithful successors still peregrinating the globe, heralding the kingdom to all nations, calling out the elect (as no others will have it) and getting them ready to welcome our glorious coming King to all the thrones of earth. 9. This Tyrannus, who received Paul and his meeting, after his expulsion from the synagogue, was evidently one of Paul’s Jewish converts, keeping a private synagogue in the city. 10. All Asia, both Jews and Greeks, during these memorable two years, because they enjoyed ample opportunity to hear the Word, are held responsible as if they did hear it, like the millions of this wicked world who live and die ignorant of the gospel, though held to account for it at the Judgment bar, as if they had heard it, simply because they enjoyed opportunities, though they let them slip. 11, 12. We see divine healing became an exceedingly prominent auxiliary of the spiritual work during the Pauline revival at Ephesus, so that diseases were removed and demons exorcised by the mere application of handkerchiefs and aprons, carried from the body of Paul and applied to the bodies of the persons thus possessed of diseases and demons. 13. The Jews always recognized demoniacal possessions and the feasibility of their ejectment by the power of Jehovah. It is very clear from the Scripture that the Jews availed themselves, ever and anon, of the superior power of their God to cast out devils. 14. Here we see a case in which those Jewish exorcists [i .e ., people gifted with the power of demoniacal ejectment, of course delegated by Jehovah], undertake to utilize the Christ of Paul in that way. 15. “The evil spirit responding said to them: Jesus I know and I am acquainted with Paul; but who are you? 16. “And the man in whom the evil spirit was, leaping on them and prevailing against them both, overcame them, so that they fled naked and wounded from the house.” In this notable way the Holy Spirit utilized these unbelieving Jewish exorcists to glorify the Lord Jesus. God has in all ages permitted the devil to demonstrate his personality refutatory of that subtle infidelity which denies the existence of a personal devil, and then soon musters the audacity to deny the existence of a personal God. Here we see a confirmation of the great Bible truth that this world is thronged by disembodied spirits, both angelic and demoniacal. These excarnate spirits see much farther into the spirit world around us than we who dwell in houses of clay. Here we have a confirmation that while Jehovah, the excarnate Christ, cast out the demons in the old dispensation, since His incarnation this work is done by the personal Jesus, to whom the devils are all subject, and even to His ambassadors in His name. 17. The above mentioned tragedy gave great notoriety to the work. 18. “And many of those having believed, came confessing and renouncing their practices.” 19. Here we see the devil’s preachers who had been converted to God under the preaching of Paul making a bon-fire of their valuable theological books, estimated at five thousand dollars. There are wagon-loads of books all over this country, expository of Dark Age creeds and vindicatory of the fallen sects, g e., the daughters of Babylon, throwing their Briarean arms of blight, mildew and spiritual desolation around the world this day, which ought to be committed to the flames, thus clearing the way for the Word of God to reach the people with its message of redeeming love and sanctifying power. 21. It is now spring-time A.D. 57. Paul has been absent from Europe three years, traveling throughout Asia looking after the work. It is really imperative that he return to Europe, where much heresy and disorder have crept in during his absence. “And when these things were fulfilled Paul purposed in spirit, having traveled through Macedonian Achaia, to go on into Jerusalem, saying, That after I shall be there it behooveth me also to see Rome.” Macedonia is Northern and Achaia Southern Greece. As Paul was the apostle of the Gentile world, and Rome the great capital and metropolis, his heart was set upon that far-off city, whither he longed to go and preach the glorious gospel. 22. At this time he tarries in Ephesus till after the Passover, April 14, and writes the first Corinthian Epistle, sending on Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia to visit and preach to the churches, both north and south.

    THE DEVIL’S CHURCH 21. Ephesus was the great New York of Western Asia, among many other notable institutions honored with the greatest and most magnificent temple of the goddess Diana in the whole world, one of the seven wonders of the world, having occupied two hundred years in its building. In all heathen lands the manufacture of statues and images, as well as the erection and ornamentation of temples, is the most lucrative financial employment, as people are always willing to pay their last dollar to save their souls, though not willing to give up their sins. Now Demetrius, assembling the image makers and the various artificers connected with the temple and the worship of Diana, delivers them a powerful and inflammatory harangue, stirring them up to recognize the fact that Paul’s preaching is calculated in the ultimatum to undermine the worship of Diana, and thus vitiate their lucrative financial employments in the manufacture of innumerable images of this goddess to be sold to the millions of her faithful devotees. The result is a great uproar, of vast multitude, like the rolling billows of the ocean, rushing in impetuous stampede through the streets, shouting uproariously, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” Fortunately, Paul’s friends hold him out of the hands of the mob who have already seized his traveling companions, Gaius and Aristarchus of Macedonia, meanwhile Alexander, a Jewish disciple and comrade of Paul, is also caught in the violent whorls of the incorrigible insurrection. After a two hours’ uproar and stampede have somewhat exhausted them physically, the city clerk succeeds in commanding audience, warning them of their imminent danger of prosecution and punishment by the Roman Empire, and assuring them of their utter incompetency to defend themselves before a civil tribunal, should they be arraigned to give an account of that disgraceful uproar. 38. “If indeed Demetrius and the artificers along with him have an allegation against anyone, there are court-days and lawyers; let them implead one another.” Having thus warned and reasoned the case with them, and succeeded in tranquilizing the multitude, 41. “And saying these things he dismissed the church.” Where E.V. reads “assembly,” the Greek has ecclesia , the word throughout the Bible translated “church.” Why do we have the word “church” used relative to this Ephesian mob? Because it is all right and used correctly, not the Church of God, but Diana’s church, i .e ., the church of Satan. Good Lord, help us to wake up to the fact that the world is full of the devil’s churches, this day as in by-gone ages! Ecclesia is from ek , “out,” and kaleoo , “call,” “the called out.” All the people in the world who hear the call of the Holy Ghost come out from this wicked world and all of its sins, leaving the devil forever and identifying themselves with God, are members of the Church of the First-Born. Satan, the great counterfeiter, has done his biggest work on the church line, filling up all lands with his churches, deceiving millions and sweeping them into hell by wholesale. The members of Satan’s churches, deluded by him, worship him under a vast diversity of names, thinking that they are worshipping God. In the Paganistic and Mohammedan churches, the devil calls himself by the names of their various idolatrous divinities and false prophets; while in the fallen churches of Christendom, he actually gets them to worship himself under the name of God, passing himself on them for God ( 2 Thessalonians 2). The devil is so much more intelligent than any human being, that the wisest and the most learned are in constant liability of mistaking Satan, “the god of this world,” for Jehovah, the God of heaven. While all sinners are led by demons in Satan’s midnight, so long as Christians have depravity in them, these evil Spirits can bivouac amid the dark jungles, play off on them for the Holy Ghost and deceive them. When you are emptied of sin, filled with the Spirit, your eye on Jesus, you have cloudless light within and without, qualifying you readily to detect the most stealthy approach of an evil spirit.

    Good Lord, save us all from delusion and entanglement in the devil’s church.

    CHAPTER - PAUL GOES TO EUROPE THE SECOND TIME 1. We learn ( 1 Corinthians 1:8) that Paul remained in Ephesus at this time, A.D. 57, till after Pentecost, which was early in June, fifty days after April 14, having written the first Corinthian letter and sent it on to them by Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus. After this memorable uproar, calling together the disciples, exhorting and bidding them a loving adieu, he sails away to Macedonia. 2 , 3 . Spending the summer in the churches of Northern Greece, meanwhile Timothy and Titus with their comrades at different times have gone down into Achaia and preached to the Corinthians; bringing him word in reference to the effect of his first epistle, he writes the second [methinks at Berea] and sends it on before him, prosecuting his peregrinations through the north, and arriving at Corinth late in the fall, spending the winter of A.D. 57-58 in that genial southern climate. Meanwhile he writes the epistle to the Romans, setting out in the spring for the great East again and returning through Macedonia. 4-6. Meanwhile his evangelistic comrades, Sopater of Asia, Aristarchus and Secundus, Gaius and Timothy, Tychicus and Trophinius, embarking, sail directly to Asia, landing at Troas, whither Paul and Luke, leaving Philippi after the Passover, April 14, arrive in five days, and there remain for a week, preaching.

    THE SABBATH CHANGED 7. “On the first day of the week we assembling to break bread,” i .e ., to celebrate the love-feast and the eucharist. Paul spoke to them, being about to depart the following day, and continued his discourse till midnight.

    Justin Martyr was a disciple of Polycarp, a disciple of the Apostle John.

    Hence he lived, wrote and suffered martyrdom within a generation of the apostles. I have now before my eye his testimony in his native Greek, certifying that all the saints kept Sunday, in his day, as a day of sacred rest, devoted to the worship of God in commemoration of our Lord’s resurrection, in consequence of which it was denominated “the Lord’s day,” a phrase never applied to the Jewish Sabbath. As a confirmation of this we find the Hebdomidal division of time prevailing throughout the whole Gentile world very early in the Christian era, there being no such a seventh day division of time among the heathens. As the first converts of Christianity were all Jews, of course they kept the seventh day during their generation, and while the Jewish element remained in the church, as we see from this verse and other Scriptures, and the corroborations of Justin Martyr and other Christian fathers, also observing the first day of the week, i .e ., Sunday, as a day of sacred rest, devoted to the worship of God. The Seventh Day Adventists most glaringly and erroneously tell us that the pope of Rome made the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday! What an awful mistake! when there never was a pope until the seventh century, while we see right here, in New Testament times, they kept Sunday as we do, and history shows that it was ever afterward continued, down to the present day. The Roman historians, Suetonius and Pliny, who lived and wrote in the first centuries of the Christian era, during the bloody martyr ages, are good witnesses in this problem. As they were neither Christians nor Jews, but heathens, and not concerned in the controversy in any respect, their incidental historic testimony is unimpeachable. They certify, in their simple accounts of the Christian martyrdom, that when persons were arrested on suspicion that they were Christians, tried and put to death under the imperial edict prescribing all the Christians and interdicting their worship on penalty of death, their persecutors propounded to them the question: “Dominicum servaste ?” — “Hast thou kept the Lord’s day?” The Christian responded: “Christianus sum ” — “I am a Christian.” “Intermittere non possum ” — “I can not omit it.” Then they proceeded with the bloody work of death. It is a well-known fact that the Jewish Sabbath never was called “the Lord’s day,” but simply “the Sabbath day.” If the primitive Christians had kept the seventh day, they would have been asked: “Sabbaticum servaste ?” — “Hast thou kept the Sabbath day?” But this question never was asked by their persecutors. It is utter folly to deny that the Lord’s day was kept from the Apostolic age. The relegation of the change to the pope is preposterous, as there never was a pope until Procas, king of Italy, crowned Boniface III., A.D. 666. Suppose my conscience tells me to keep Saturday as a holy Sabbath? Then, be sure you satisfy your conscience, and keep that day holy. But be equally sure that you keep the day holy for the sake of the conscience of all Christendom ( 1 Corinthians 8:12). The Lord will enable you to make a living in five days in the week.

    So rest and attend church both Saturday and Sunday. Then you will cover all the ground. I speak to you whose conscience requires you to keep Saturday. Duty to God is a matter on which we can not afford to take any risk. 8 , 9 . Here we see the church at Troas, the capital of Mysia; occupying a room in the third story. Church houses were never built till the middle of the second century. Till that time the Lord’s army were constantly marching to the conquest of the world. When they built houses and went into winter quarters, they soon toned down the heroic spirit of Pentecostal blood and fire, and ceased to be aggressive. When the holiness people house up and settle down, you can write “Ichabod” on their bonnet. Paul preached till midnight, when the death of Eutychus did not stop the meeting. They did not send up for Doctor Luke to come down and medicate him, but for Paul to pray over him and raise him from the dead. After midnight they had the Agapee , i .e ., the Love Feast peculiar to the Apostolic age, and revived by John Wesley, commemorative of the last supper of Jesus and his disciples, which was followed by the sacrament. After the agapee and eucharist, Paul resumes and preaches on till day without retiring to rest. Meanwhile his comrades sail round the coast to Assos. He enjoys a morning walk of thirty miles through the country, and embarks with them at Assos per arrangement. 14-16. Mitylene is on the east coast of the Island of Lesbos. Chios is celebrated as the birthplace of Homer, the prince of uninspired poets, author of the “Illiad” and “Odyssey.” They pass in front of the Bay of Ephesus, run on and land at Miletus, the ancient capital of Ionia, thirty miles from Ephesus,17. From which he sends for the elders of the Ephesian Church, testifying to them the humility and fidelity with which he had served the Lord the three years of his ministry among them. 20, 21. Preaching and teaching publicly and from house to house, “the whole counsel of God,” i .e ., “repentance toward God,” as all violation of law is high treason against the divine government. Hence repentance is purely Godward. The sinner sees that God Almighty has a quarrel against him. Therefore he trembles and quakes in view of impending doom, weeps, falls and cries for mercy. The proper attitude of faith is “toward our Lord Jesus Christ,” since He is our only Mediator and atoning Substitute. When the sinner in utter desperation casts himself on the mercy of God in Christ then and there he receives a free pardon. 22. Paul, like the saints frequently in all ages, had a presentiment of the trouble awaiting him at Jerusalem, yet impelled on by the divine leadership.

    Bishop Marvin, not even a member of the General Conference, running on the Mississippi River, had a real presentiment of his election to the episcopacy. When he left Jerusalem during his round-the-world tour, he had a presentiment of his death, which occurred soon after. God’s saints, led by the Holy Ghost, and accompanied by guardian angels, anon receive profitable intimations of events still hidden behind the intervening veil, but destined soon to transpire. Good Lord, save us from that modern infidelity which takes God out of the current events of life, and help us to get back to the Acts of the Apostles, where we see God in everything. 25. “And now behold I know that you shall all see my face no more, among whom I came preaching the kingdom.” This was A.D. 58. I believe with the critics that he had a second imprisonment at Rome before his martyrdom, being acquitted the first time for the want of criminal charges against him, and afterward returning to Greece and Asia and revisiting Ephesus about A.D. 64, and, after writing the pastoral epistles, arrested a second time on charge of burning Rome, not that he was personally charged with it, because he was absent in Greece when it occurred, but as it was imputed to the Christians, they sent away to Neapolis in Macedonia, arresting him and bringing him to Rome, where, upon a second trial before Nero, he was condemned to death, with many other Christians, on charge of burning Rome, A.D. 68. This return to Ephesus, after six to eight years, did not preclude the fact that he would see the faces of some of them no more, as in that time many of them had passed away.

    MINISTERIAL RESPONSIBILITY 26, 27. Paul here certifies that he is “pure from the blood of all men,” and gives as a reason because he did not “shun to declare to them all the counsel of God.” Hence we see there is only one way for us to be pure from the blood of souls and ready to meet all the people at the Judgment bar; and that is to tell them the whole truth as we find it revealed in the Bible. If we fail to do this their blood will be found upon our hands when God Almighty shall make inquisition in the Judgment day. John Wesley’s best friends advised him to drop “sanctification” and “perfection” out of his ministerial vocabulary, preaching the same truth in other phraseology; hear his response: “Will you send the Holy Ghost to school and teach Him who made the tongue how to speak?” Verily, this is the only way we can be pure from the blood of all men, i .e ., by declaring to them all the counsel of God. “Watchman, what of the night?

    The myriad foe come on to try thee with their might, And if thou shall fail one note that trump to sound, I will hang upon these battlements the watchman on hi round.” This is a poetic versification of Ezekiel’s warning to Zion’s watchman. I trow many preachers lose their souls by faltering to meet this awful emergency, look people in the face and faithfully tell them the whole truth as God has revealed and committed it to them to proclaim to a dying world. 28. “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock over whom the Holy Ghost has appointed you bishops, to feed the church of God, which he purchased through his own blood.” The word “bishop” here occurs in the Greek, episcopos from epi “over,” and skopeoo , “see.”

    Hence it means persons charged with the spiritual oversight of the Lord’s people. Nothing but God’s truth revealed in the Bible is soul pabulum.

    Consequently, millions this day are starving to death for the bread of life.

    The precious Word is bread, meat, milk, honey and all the luscious fruits of Canaan. The little sermonettes preached by the popular pastors have scarcely a scintillation of substantial gospel truth. Sick people nauseate food, and the dead have no use for it. The masses of popular churches consist of the dead, i .e ., unsaved, and the sick, i .e ., weak believers, who have never cut their spiritual teeth so as to eat solid food. Hence the preacher provides aromatics for the dead and sweet milk for the babies, having nobody on hand competent to eat the fatted calf, the bread and the delicious fruits of Canaan. In all this the preacher sustains an awful responsibility for not bringing to the dead the resurrection power and to the sick the healing efficacy of the infallible panacea, i .e ., the Savior’s blood. I awfully fear Judas has a vast ministerial following gathering about him in the regions of woe.

    HERESY PREDICTED 29. “I know that after my departure grievous wolves will come in unto you, not sparing the flock; 30. “And from you yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, in order to draw away disciples after them. 31. “Watch, therefore, remembering that three years, night and day, I ceased not warning each one of you with tears.” Paul was a weeping prophet, his tears giving a force to the truth as nothing else could. I preached fifteen years with dry eyes. Then sanctification, breaking up the fountains of my tears, made me a weeping prophet, so I have preached thirty years, my eyes flowing like rivers. Rest assured the Holy Ghost can find the pent-up fountains of tears in the most arid soul. God help us to be personal like Paul, looking our beloved in the face and telling them the whole truth, as here you see he looks these Ephesian elders squarely in the physiognomy and tells them that some of them will turn Satan’s wolves and lead off disciples after them. How signally true has this sad Pauline prophecy been verified in the merciless laceration of the Apostolic church into six thousand sectarian denominations, filling the world with confusion, i .e ., Babylon. Entire sanctification, the only grace adequate to fortify us against human leadership and put us where we will follow Jesus only, has for this very reason been rejected and antagonized by the party leaders of all ages, from the simple fact that it renders the people unmanageable by human manipulators and puts them where God alone can lead them by His precious Word, instructing their minds, His sweet Holy Spirit illuminating their spirits, and His gracious providence determining their environments.

    Glory to God, for His wonderful triple leadership, actually infallible when duly appreciated. Sad will be the day for the present holiness movement when captured and manipulated by human leaders. As God’s revivals in bygone ages, the Church of God is ruled by the Holy Ghost alone, having no laws, no creed and no authority but God’s Word. It is the very audacity of Satan to invade God’s Church through the instrumentality of his preachers, i .e ., the “grievous wolves” predicted by Paul. Oh, how they have scattered, torn and devoured God’s flock in all ages! The word “heresy” means separation. Hence all separation from God and His Word is heresy. Such is the predominant influence of Satan in this awfully wicked world during these dark ages of Satanic triumph, that he actually perverts everything pertaining to truth and righteousness, calling evil good, and good evil.

    Hence the Lord’s people, in all ages, have been anathematized and slaughtered under charge of heresy. It was true, they had separated from the devil and his people, and were heretics from their standpoint. So it is, this day, very difficult to walk with God in the beauty of holiness and the clear light of His Word, the fullness and freedom of His Spirit, without constant collision, ostracism and persecution by the great human ecclesiasticisms, antagonistical to God’s Word and Spirit, and claiming a right to domineer human conscience, which is the prerogative of God alone. Hence we live amid the awful fulfillment of the Pauline prediction of these “grievous wolves,” i .e ., carnal men, “speaking perverse things, in order to draw off disciples after them.” 32. “And now I commend you to God and the word of his grace, being able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all the sanctified.” How infinitely potent the precious Word of God! and how little appreciated by His professed followers, while it is despised and hated by the wicked.

    The Bible assures us that none but the sanctified shall get to heaven ( Hebrews 12:14), and here we are assured that the Word is able to sanctify us. God help us to appreciate it as never before. 33-35. Here Paul protests to the Ephesian elders his felicitous salvation from paltry pelf, asseverating that he had toiled with his hands making tents, not only for his own temporal support, but that of his evangelistic helpers and the Lord’s poor. Paul is clear in his deliverances on ministerial support as a right of the preacher and a duty of the people. Yet he is ever and anon explicit, along with Jesus, in his denunciations of a hireling ministry, who really turn out to be those “grievous wolves” lacerating, scattering and destroying the flock, and Ezekiel’s unfaithful shepherds, clothing themselves in the wool and devouring the fat, reveling in their tents while their flocks are “scattered on every hill and in every deep valley,” invaded by wild beasts and robbers. Here Paul reminds them of the words of the Lord Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” thus winding up that memorable valedictory to the greatest church in Western Asia through their representatives. 36. “Saying these things, putting down his knees, he prayed along with them all.” If you would be in the Apostolic succession you must always have an ample supply of kneeling grace. Prayer is the greatest privilege on earth, magnetizing heaven and bringing it into the heart. Without it this world is the ante-room of hell. Available prayer makes you indefatigable on the knee-drill. Lord, burn out of us all of the devil’s starch that keeps us from kneeling. 37. “Great was the lamentation of all, and falling on the neck of Paul they continued to kiss him, 38. “Especially grieving over the word which he had spoken, that they are about to see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.” Some of the holiness people emphasize the holy kiss, not without ample divine warrant, as we see in case of this memorable valedictory.

    CHAPTER - THE VOYAGE CONTINUED 1. “And when it came to pass that we embarked, having been farewelled by them.” Cos is an island near the coast, celebrated in Grecian history for the temple of Aesculapius, the founder of the medical art. Rhodes is a beautiful island, celebrated for the brazen statue of a man, manufactured by Phidias, so large that it actually strode the entrance into the harbor, ships passing in under it beneath its feet, and we are not astonished that it was celebrated as one of the seven wonders of the world. 2. Sailing on, they passed the great island of Cyprus, the home of Barnabas on the left, arriving in Syria and landing at Tyre, where they spend seven days with his disciples, who, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, warn Paul not to go up to Jerusalem, like all others in vain, as the Spirit was leading him thither, despite the terrible persecutions that awaited him. 5-8. “....Going out we departed, all accompanying us, along with the women and children, even without the city, and, putting down our knees on the sand, praying, we bade each other adieu.” Lord, rebuke our pride, too stiff and haughty anon to kneel on a nice carpet or clean camp-meeting straw or sawdust, when Paul and the Tyrian saints mutually knelt in the sand on the dirty seashore. Arriving in Ptolemais they spend one day with the saints, taking their final departure from the sea and walking overland [now in Palestine] to Caesarea, where they are delighted to find Philip, the evangelist, of whom we have had no record in twenty years. Chapter 8. tells us when the Spirit caught him away from the Ethiopian eunuch in Southern Palestine he traveled up the coast, preaching in many cities, till he arrived in Caesarea. It seemed that he settled there, making this city headquarters of his evangelistic work. 9-14. God has been good to him, giving him four daughters, all happily endued with the gift of prophecy, and efficient helpers in his evangelistic work. While Paul and his comrades enjoy the kind hospitality of the prophet’s mansion seven days, the same prophet, Agabus, mentioned in Chapter 11, eighteen years ago having come from Judea, meets Paul, taking his girdle, binding his feet and hands, said: “These things, saith the Holy Ghost, the man whose girdle this is will the Jews in Jerusalem thus bind and deliver into the hands of the Gentiles.” This prediction powerfully stirred the saints at Caesarea importunately to plead with Paul to desist from going up to Jerusalem, till he finally begs them no longer to break his heart with their tears, because he is ready “even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Then they acquiesced, saying, “Let the will of the Lord be done.” 15, 16. Now they proceed to go up to Jerusalem, taking along with them a certain Mnason, a Cyprian, an old disciple, i .e ., one of the first disciples of the Lord Jesus when He began His ministry, “with whom we may lodge,” i .e ., this man Mnason had the financial ability to furnish a lodging in Jerusalem for Paul, Luke and comrades. 17, 18. Paul is gladly received by the apostles and brethren, proceeding at once to James, the pastor of the mother church, where, in presence of the apostles, elders and brethren, he relates the mighty works of God among the Gentiles.

    NON-ESSENTIALITY OF ECCLESIASTICAL ORDINANCES 20. “And hearing, they continued to glorify God and said to him, You see, brother, how many myriads there are among the Jews of those having believed, and all these are zealots of the law.” From this verse we are assured that the Christian Jews punctiliously kept the law of Moses, circumcising their children, offering animal sacrifices and performing many other ordinances peculiar to the Levitical ritual. It took the Roman armies, A.D. 73, who captured the city and destroyed the temple, a million of people, selling a million more into slavery and thus bringing an end to the Jewish dispensation, to stop the Christian Jews from their pertinacious observance of the Mosaic institution, thus precipitating them, pursuant to the warning of Jesus, to fly away from Jerusalem in order to save their lives. Then they gave up the Mosaic ritual, which they had carried fifteen hundred years, while the apostles and elders decreed perfect relief to all the Gentiles from all the rites and ceremonies of the Mosiac law, requiring of them nothing but entire sanctification, experimental and practical; they at the same time allowed the Jews perfect liberty to keep the law of Moses. Now remember that these Jews and Gentiles were precisely equal and perfectly free in the very same organizations of the gospel church, the one to observe