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1. This verse holds up Jesus as the Apostle, High Priest and Paragon of all religious profession, the only infallible Exemplar, the universal Archetype of the Gospel dispensation, in contradistinction to Moses in bygone ages.
2. Christ is perfect man and perfect God. The man Jesus was created by the Almighty like all other creatures. The God Christ, uncreated, existed from all eternity.
3. The Greek oikos, house, in the Bible means family. When Paul said to the jailer, “Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou and thy house shall he saved,” it would better read, “Thou and thy family shall be saved.” In these verses we now expound, house means the Church, i. e., the family of God. It is used synonymously with the divine ecclesia, i. e., the people whom the Holy Ghost has “called out” of the world, and separated unto God to be His elect witnesses in a world oblivious of God and His laws, and dominated by Satan. The Bible says there never was such a man as Moses who actually spoke with God face to face. He was leader, legislator, prophet and mediator. At the same time he was a fallible mortal, and only a servant in the house of God. Contrastively with Moses, Jesus was the omnipotent Builder of the house, in which Moses was a servant. While He is our Elder Brother, the Firstborn of the Church, He is also the omnipotent, infallible Creator of the Church. We honor Moses as the paragon saint in his dispensation; but since the great Antitype has come and revealed to us the summary of essential truth, and sealed it with His blood, we are no longer under Moses, the types and shadows all having retreated before the effulgent glory of the great Archetype. If the Apostolic Church had proved true to the Pentecostal dispensation of entire sanctification, walking in the cloudless splendor of the glorious Sun of Righteousness, and not fallen back into the types and shadows of Mosaic moonlight, the Gospel would have been preached to every creature long before you and I ever saw the light of day, and the millennium in all its glory would have belted the globe long centuries ago. The Mosaic dispensation looked through the dim lights of type and prophecy to a coming Redeemer. Of course, vast clouds of uncertainty and doubt enveloping the future constituted the normal state of the Church, which did not rise above the plane of justification. The patriarchs and prophets enjoyed the experience of sanctification, living in advance of their dispensation. When all the concurrent symbolism type and prophecy were verified in the personal advent, presence, living, teaching and vicarious sufferings of the Incarnate God, every cloud, doubt and fear retreated from the firmament of faith and hope; meanwhile the personal descension of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, inaugurated the glorious dispensation of entire sanctification, the normal attitude of Christian experience, life and character, till God’s perfected saints shall hail the glorious King descended on his millennial throne.
THE TWO CROSSINGS.
7-16. You must remember this letter is written to the Palestinian Christians, whose progenitors made the fatal mistake of turning back at Kadesh-Barnea, in open violation of the positive commandment of God, and defiant of Moses their leader. They had not left Egypt for a home in Arabia, but with the distinct understanding that they are to possess and perpetually inhabit the land of Canaan. It was no long journey from the Red Sea crossing to Palestine, as it only took them eleven days to travel from Mt. Sinai on the sea coast to Kadesh-Barnea on the Canaan border. Kadesh means “holy” and Barnea means “delight.” So, in eleven days’ march they actually reached Canaan, the land of holy delight. God’s order was to enter unhesitatingly and take possession of the land. Their hearts failed them at Kadesh-Barnea; they go into camp and send out twelve leaders representing the twelve tribes, to explore the land and bring them word. They spend forty days peregrinating the country, admiring the majestic cities, “walled up to heaven,” contemplating the huge warrior giants who inhabit the land. Meanwhile they are unutterably astonished and delighted with the paradoxical fruitfulness of the land. In their travels they pass through the valley of Eschol, are delighted with the delicious grapes, of which they carry on with them specimens. I traveled through that valley in 1895, down to its terminus in the city of Hebron, over the same ground trodden by the spies. The entire valley is still devoted to the growing of grapes, which excel the productions of all other lands in sweetness and size. After forty days the spies returned to Kadesh-Barnea, loaded with specimens of the exuberant and delicious fruits of the land. They unanimously not only corroborate the wonderful reports which they had heard while in Egyptian bondage, but certify that the land is even better than the, had ever heard. While this is the unanimous report, the majority of ten asseverate positively that the land is utterly impregnable by reason of its walled cities and innumerable panoplied, gigantic warriors, in consequence of which it is utterly impossible for them to take it by conquest. At the same time Joshua and Caleb stand up side by side and proclaim aloud to all Israel, “Let us go up at once and possess the land, for we are abundantly able.” They did not mean that they were able by their own power, but the reason why they declare boldly that they are able to take it was because they had faith in God to conquer the giants and give them the land, according to His promise, whereas the faith of the other ten had woefully collapsed. Consequently, they took the cowardly side of the question. The multitude believe the ten rather than the two, and uproariously clamor aloud, ‘Back into Egypt!” Joshua and Caleb, Moses, Aaron and Miriam do their utmost to lead them from Kadesh-Barnea into the land; but they rebel against them and march back into the wilderness. God now decrees that none who had reached majority when they had crossed the sea shall ever see the land of promise, but they shall all die in the wilderness. This decree symbolizes the fact that God wants us to go directly from our conversion into entire sanctification. When we refuse we come under the decree that everything in our hearts which rebelled against holiness must die before we can ever enter the sanctified experience. Did all those people who died in the wilderness go to hell? We hope not. They turned back from Kadesh-Barnea about the first of July in the second year of the Exodus, wandered in the wilderness thirty-eight years, returning again to Kadesh-Barnea. While they were marching toward Canaan they were in the justified experience, but while marching back- toward Egypt they were under condemnation. The dark history of these thirty-eight years is unwritten. Where they went and what they did we know not. Terrible was their mortality during this period. From the time they turned back at Kadesh-Barnea God put them under an awful castigatory discipline, symbolic of the miserable life of the backslider. Before they got away from Kadesh-Barnea God sent an awful pestilence, heaping the camp with mountains of e dead. During this pestilence every one of the ten spies who brought in the evil report of the land fell dead. This symbolizes the appalling fact that all the preachers who oppose entire sanctification fall dead spiritually, as these spies were all great tribal leaders, and rank as preachers. Do you know the names of the ten cowardly spies? I do not know them, though they are laid down in the Scriptures. They are not worth remembering. We can not afford to fill up our memories with trash. But we all know the names of Joshua and Caleb throughout all Christendom. Children have been named for them in very many families. Only one hundred and fifty years ago the big preachers closed all the churches against John Wesley and the Methodist preachers. In this short time we have forgotten their names. They have utterly sunk into oblivion. But we have not forgotten Wesley, Fletcher, and others whom they drove out of the churches. History repeats itself. The very names of the great men in the church who are this day persecuting the holiness people will rot in a century; while, as in the case of Joshua and Caleb, all future generations will remember with gratitude the people who in this day stand in the front of the battle, and unfurl the banner of truth and holiness. Why did not Moses, Aaron and Miriam, who had enjoyed the sanctified experience forty years,-Moses and Aaron having received it at the burning bush, and Miriam doubtless at an earlier date,-enter the promised land? Though Moses lost his experience by impatience at the waters of Meribah, doubtless he soon regained it, growing brighter and brighter to the end. There was a fundamental reason why Moses could not lead Israel into Canaan. He was the great lawgiver, and emblematizes the law. If he had led them into Canaan, it would involve the conclusion that we can be sanctified by loyal obedience, i. e., by good works, which is utterly untrue, and has proved a snare to millions. It is this day the fatal heresy of the popular churches. Therefore, it would not do for Moses to lead them into the land. Aaron was the high priest, and emblematizes the visible Church. If he had led them in it would inculcate the fatal heresy that you can be sanctified by church rites, and obedience to the preachers. Miriam was a fire-baptized prophetess. If she had reached the land it would involve the conclusion that the holiness evangelist can sanctify you, which is also a fatal heresy. Joshua is a Hebrew word which means Jesus. Hence, Joshua was the only one who could lead them in, thus forever teaching the world that none but Jesus can save and sanctify. Doubtless the terrible castigatory judgments of wasting pestilences, fiery serpents, destroying angels, burning thirst, withering sandstorms, signal defeats by their enemies, and perpetual devastating wars waged against them by the Arabs, conduced much to their humiliation, bringing about many genuine death- bed repentances. Meanwhile, they enjoyed the powerful preaching of Moses, Aaron, Miriam, Joshua, and Caleb. Therefore, it is to be hoped that many of them were reclaimed, sanctified and taken to heaven, But it is a significant fact that they lost their Canaan-life in this world, sadly whiling away their days in the howling wilderness. The great majority of Christians at the present day have nothing in this life but a howling wilderness experience. Oh. how we need a million Joshuas to lead the Church O the present day out of the wilderness into the land of corn and wine! Glory to God, He is fast raising them up! We are now in the van of a grand army of lay preachers, male and female, whom God is raising up to preach holiness to the ends of the earth, hasten His coming, and bring on the millennium.
17. “Whose carcasses fell in the wilderness.” It is a sad phenomenon which no luminous Christian can deny, i. e., that the popular church at the present day is largely filled up with spiritual carcasses, fallen in the wilderness. A grave council of preachers representing a great ecclesiasticism recently held a council of twenty days, legislating and deliberating in the interest of the church. At the beginning of the period, a committee of profound theologians was appointed to deliberate and legislate, and if possible find a remedy for the appalling worldliness which is freezing the church into an iceberg and sweeping the members into hell. They spent the whole twenty days in the execution of the work committed to their charge. The result was a series of legislations establishing restrictive laws against dancing, card-playing, theater-going, circuses, horse races, and whisky drinking, giving all these restrictive rules the full force of disciplinary law. Six years have elapsed. I have traveled in about thirty States of the Union, made diligent investigation, and not found a solitary instance in which those restrictive laws have been enforced by a pastor in that church. What a lamentable demonstration of deficient spiritual light, wisdom and experience on the part of the great theologians who represented that church in her highest ecclesiastical council! Why did they not all get down on their knees and cry to God for the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, thus leading the clergy and the membership by precept and example to the only possible remedy in the case? We everywhere see the devil’s buzzards i. e., popular and sinful amusements, vices and follies devouring the Lord’s sheep in the pastures of the various popular churches. What is the true remedy? Common sense, enlightened by the Holy Ghost, readily gives the answer. Buzzards will not eat live sheep; they eat only the dead ones. Jesus Christ still lives. He is the resurrection and the life. Why do n’ t they call them all to the altar, get on their knees, and pray till the resurrection power comes down and raises all their members from the dead? That is not sanctification which the popular clergy are fighting, but it is the regeneration which they all claim; it is the complete and effectual remedy for all the vices and follies which now flood the churches, blot out the distinction between the Church and the world, bring heathen shame on the name of religion, and send the people to hell by the wholesale.
THE TWO RESTS: REST AND PERFECT REST.
When Israel evacuated the brick kilns and mortar yards they rested from the toils of slavery and the rod of the taskmaster. When they crossed the Red Sea they escaped forever out of the dominion of Pharaoh. Egypt emblematizes sin; the taskmasters, evil habits; and Pharaoh, the devil. It is said in Deuteronomy, “God led them out that he might lead them in,” i. e., out of Egypt into Canaan. Though the congregations to which Moses preached in Egypt were all “sinners,” the great burden of his preaching was on sanctification. He said very little about the wilderness which they would enter when they crossed the sea, but much about the land flowing with milk and honey, and abounding in corn and wine. The grand incentive and culminating aspiration for which they left Egypt was the land of Canaan. Jesus, in Matthew 11:28-30, promises the sinner two rests: first, rest from his burden of guilt; and second, rest for his soul. In Old Testament symbolism the soul is typified by the body. in the emancipation under Moses, Israel rested from slavery and Pharaoh. Still their weary feet and hungry bodies found no rest in the howling wilderness till they crossed the Jordan, where comfortable houses which they had never built, and abundance of old corn which they had not reared, and delicious fruits pendant from trees which they had never planted, saluted them on all sides, and bade them rest from their long and weary wanderings in perfect peace and enjoy all the luxuries heart can wish. Pursuant to this instructive similitude, justification gives us rest from the awful slavery of evil habits and the power of Satan; but it is not the perfect rest for which the heart sighs, while it wanders through the howling wilderness of inbred sin. Old Adam, though conquered and bound, still lives in the deep subterranean jungles of unsanctified affection. He growls and rages like a sore-headed bear, and if we do not constantly watch and pray he will get loose and play sad havoc, again bringing us into bondage. The soul can not enjoy perfect rest so long as it is beleaguered with internal enemies. Entire sanctification crucifies old Adam, puts all of our enemies on the outside, expurgates evil affections from the deep interior of the spiritual organism, and superinduces the perfect rest which we lost in Eden. It is truly, significantly and pre-eminently the soul’s repose, for which the whole world has been roaming, sighing and crying for the last six thousand years. It is a sweet prelibation of the heavenly rest. It is never enjoyed in simple justification, which is the reversal of the condemnatory sentence, and always brings the peace of pardon, but never the peace of purity. Regeneration gives you a new heart, but does not exterminate the hereditary depravity from which all actual sins emanate. The heart of the whole world aches, longs and yearns for this perfect rest, but blinded by Satan they seek it in myriad ways, only to add disappointment, mortification, withered hopes and perished aspirations to the mountains of sin already crushing them into hopeless despair. Millions of blind guides throughout the whole earth raise the hue and cry, “Come this way!” only to plunge you into blacker darkness, eclipsing the last lingering ray of the forlorn hope which has impelled you on, like the ignis fatuus,
“whose delusive ray Lights up unreal worlds and glows but to betray.”
Meanwhile millions of preachers Protestant, papal, pagan and Moslem are vociferously clamoring and indefatigably toiling to acquiesce and tranquilize the discontented multitudes, vainly and mournfully looking to them for the great universal desideratum of fallen humanity, which they are painfully conscious of their utter incompetency ever to impart. Hence the carnal clergy of all ages and nations have done their utmost to satisfy their people without this perfect rest; meanwhile it has been their study and labor night and day to persuade them that there is no such thing. Still the insatiable longing of poor fallen humanity will not down. Like Banquo’s ghost, it haunts all nations, semper et ubique. This universal discontentment and longing after soul repose is superinduced by the conviction of the Holy Ghost, who most assuredly would never provoke this soul cry if He were not able and willing to satisfy it. The secular clergy in all ages, whether pagan, Moslem, papal or Protestant, have pertinaciously fought the doctrine and experience of entire sanctification, because it takes the people out of their hands and turns them over to God, thus interfering with their ecclesiastical organizations and enterprises, notwithstanding their utter incompetency to satisfy this universal clamor for soul rest. Their great hobby is theological complicity unscrupulously concocted, simply to effect indefinite postponement. They will have you like the boy, forever running to the rainbow’s end to find the pot of gold, only with weary limb and broken heart to learn at last the same sad lesson over and over, that pursuit and possession are different words.
18. In this verse it is stated that God hath sworn that they never can enter into this rest save by faith alone.
19. “We see that they were not able to enter in on account of their unbelief.” This refers to Israel at Kadesh-Barnea where they made the fatal mistake of all their history. Instead of entering Canaan for which they had left Egypt and traveled through the wilderness, having reached the very border, “holy delight,” they turned back again into the howling wilderness. It is not because they did not desire and intend to possess the land, for this was the great enterprise of their lives; but they felt utterly incompetent to conquer those giants, and take the land by conquest. Hence, they retreat away, thinking to wait till they get in better fix for the arduous enterprise of conquering the country. All this was because they were seeking it by their own works, and not by faith in God. As Wesley well says, “So long as you put it off you are evidently seeking it by works.” God had promised to conquer the giants and give them the land. Hence, their fatal mistake was in seeking it by their own efforts.
1. .. “Lest some one of you may be made manifest to have failed.” The Greek in this passage reveals an actual failure made manifest, not as the English would indicate, only a seeming failure. There is a fearful liability of actual failure arising from our unbelief.
2. This verse affirms a literal similitude between the ancient and modern Church. They had the Gospel preached to them, but fatally blundered through unbelief, forfeiting Canaan, and bleaching their bones on the burning sand. A similar fate awaits us if, after conversion, we turn back from sanctification like Israel at Kadesh-Barnea. They postponed because they sought it by works. This has been the fatal wooden horse which has brought the cruel Greeks into Israel’s camp in all ages.
3. “For we who believe do enter into rest.” This positive and unequivocal statement of the Holy Ghost outweighs all the gradualistic theologies of all ages. It solves the problem without possible defalcation that we enter into this rest by faith alone. Hence, it is now, and all postponement is dangerous heresy. “As I swore in my wrath: they shall not enter into my rest even though their works being from the foundation of the world.”
Mark this wonderful statement of the Holy Ghost, which you do not have in the old English. He it certifies that God has sworn that you never shall enter this soul rest by works, but by faith alone. H furthermore certifies that if you had begun your good works on Creation’s morn and labored on incessantly all these six thousand years, even then you could not enter this perfect rest by works This is a most important passage, which does not appear in King James’ Version. It sweeps forever from the field the last conceivable apology for seeking sanctification by works. In justification you enter into rest, but enemies, i. e., evil tempers, passions and appetites survive in your heart, ever and anon rising up and disturbing your rest, so the soul can not abide in perfect peace. These enemies are the works of Satan which none but Jesus can destroy. 1 John 3:8. You may spend your whole life in assiduous toil to exterminate the evil of your nature, and you will never succeed. Remember the climacteric affirmation of the Holy Ghost in this verse, confirmed by the oath of God that, if your works for the sanctification of your heart had begun with creation, and you had lived upon the earth laboring assiduously ever since, your sanctification would be no nearer than when you began. I do not wonder that the Holy Spirit gave us this sweeping and unanswerable affirmation, because He foresaw that the mammoth heresy of all ages would be sanctification by works. This world has two kinds of religion in it. God’s religion offers you salvation by the grace of God through faith, and no other way. Man’s religion, manipulated by priestcraft, couples on indefinite human works, thus vitiating the grace of God, grieving the Holy Spirit, running into idolatry, robbing Christ of His glory and plunging into hell.
4. This verse illustrates soul rest by the rest of God from the work of creation on the seventh day. Of course, God’s Sabbath means perfect rest. Sabbath is a Hebrew word which means rest. Before you get sanctified wholly you are much encumbered with toil, physical, mental and spiritual, to bring about the great desideratum, for which the soul is sighing and the heart crying, i. e., perfect rest. Never does it come till you abandon all your enterprises, smash all your air castles, and commit the work unreservedly and eternally to God, who, in the twinkling of an eye, expels out of your heart all disturbing elements, and fills you with perfect rest.
5. Here we again have God’s oath confirming forever the utter impossibility for us to receive this perfect rest by our own good works, or the intercessions of a thousand clergymen.
6, 7. The Holy Ghost is this moment calling you into His perfect rest, and in these Scriptures importunately pleading and solemnly warning you, lest you reject His call, harden your heart go zigzagging through the howling wilderness of inbred sin and bleach your bones beneath a tropical sky; like old Israel because they turned back from Kadesh-Barnea, despite the positive promises of Jehovah to conquer their enemies and give them the land, and the terrible warnings of castigatory judgments in case of apostasy.
8. “If Joshua had given them rest he would not have spoken concerning another day after these things.” The glorious temporal rest of Canaan into which Joshua led them was not the ultimatum of their hopes and anticipations, but a glorious reminder an adumbration of the heavenly rest to which they aspired.
9. “Therefore a rest is reserved for the people of God.” In all the preceding passages the Greek word for rest is katapausis. In this verse it is sabbatismos, which means sabbatism, or the sabbath, which the soul enjoys in its unutterable and perfect repose in Jesus. Under the law of Moses the Sabbath breaker was punished with death, which is strikingly significant of the iron rule, characteristic of the divine administration in the sanctified experience. Just as every Sabbath breaker was punished with death, so God requires us to inflict death upon every intruder into the soul’s perfect repose. Nothing but sin can ever disturb this perfect rest. God’s method with sin is destruction. Hence He requires the utter extermination of every evil temper and inclination in order that we enter this glorious spiritual Sabbatism. Having entered we are to put on the whole panoply and stand guard, night and day, with glittering sword lifted high, ready on a moment’s warning, which is always faithfully given by the Holy Ghost, to execute summary destruction to every sin, daring to invade this heavenly Sabbatism. Of course this holy Sabbatic soul rest is the heavenly state in prelibation. All of our enemies have been taken out by the great Omnipotent Deliverer. Our Sabbatism is perfect, heavenly and unutterably sweet. So deep, broad, high, delectable and elysian is this rest that it beggars all description.
Amid political and ecclesiastical paroxysms, revolutions, ostracisms and persecutions, it is absolutely imperturbable. Neither poverty, disappointment, denunciation, excommunication, scandal, physical suffering, death nor judgment can disturb this blessed Sabbath of the soul. It will not only abide in this perfect rest, but shout glory amid the awful thunders of the judgment day, the tremendous earthquakes of the resurrection morn, the appalling realities of burning worlds and the precipitate sweep of eternal ages.
10. This verse certifies that the soul rest of the believer is complete as the rest which God enjoyed on the Sabbath following the creation. Of course, everything appertaining to God is perfect. Hence it follows as a legitimate sequence that the soul, in full and complete abandonment of every burden to Jesus, enters into perfect and imperturbable repose. It is pertinent to remember that this is the rest of faith. Therefore the rest can not be perfect unless the faith is perfect. What is perfect faith? It is simply faith utterly free from doubt. The same perfect faith which is the indispensable precursor of this perfect rest must be forever perpetuated in order to the maintenance of the perfect rest.
11. “Therefore let us labor to enter into that rest, lest any one may fall by the same example of unbelief.” Thus the writer holds up before the eyes of the Palestinian Christians the sad example of their ancestors who, through unbelief, turned back at Kadesh-Barnea, lost their inheritance, and found graves in the burning sands, assuring them, as well as the Christians of all ages, that the only available panacea for unbelief, apostasy and death is this perfect rest, which he constantly holds up as the glorious privilege of the Christian. The metaphor in this verse is transcendently forcible. The conception of the writer is that we have become so habituated to, and even enamored of, this toilsome, laborious religion, in which we sweat, sigh and cry, night and day, enduring penances to expiate our guilt, and expurgate our impurity, sanctify ourselves and get ready for heaven, that it becomes the hardest task that we ever did in all our lives just to let go, fold our arms, tilt back, give Jesus the job, leave it forever in His hands, believe without a doubt that He doeth it, and raise the shout of victory. When the rustic, riding along the road, going to mill with a sack with corn in one end and a big rock in the other, was persuaded by the cottager to drop out the rock, lie went on his way rejoicing over the lightness of his load. But on his return, seeing that old smooth rock, which lie had carried twenty years, lying by the roadside, he was moved with compassion for the companion of his toils. Consequently, dismounting, he put his meal in one end of the sack and the old rock in the other, strained it up on his horse again, mounting, went on his way. How extremely difficult to prevail on people to abandon all their burdens to the Good Samaritan! While multiplied thousands, having cast woes, sorrows, troubles and trials on Him, anon take them out of His hands, again piling them on their own shoulders.
12. “The word of God is living and powerful, even sharper than any two- edged sword.”... How pertinently this declaration follows the importunate appeal of the Holy Ghost for our complete and eternal abandonment of all labor and burden to God! The Omnipotent Savior wields this wonderful two-edged sword which is none other than the inspired Word of the Infallible God. Long and hard has been the battle between your poor soul and Adam the first. Terribly have you suffered in this devastating war.
Fast are you wearing out, while the trend of conflict is decisively against you. What a glorious privilege to turn over your incorrigible enemy to another. Adam the Second in His heroic majesty is smiling on you, anxious to take the fight off your hands. The moment you turn over to Him the old man of inbred sin, He draws His glittering sword and hews him all to pieces, like Samuel hewed Agag before the Lord. Oh reader, beware of this wonderful two-edged sword, which is none other than the blessed Bible! But do not forget it has two edges, both sharp a lightning. If you receive the salvation edge, it will cut out all your sins. If you reject the salvation edge, you are bound to receive the damnation edge which will cut out all your hopes of heaven. We live in perilous times when men will not endure sound doctrine. It is almost a rare thing now to find a popular church whose members will receive the truth as it is in Jesus. As a rule, if a man preaches the Bible as it is, fearless of men and devils, he will either soon see a general stampede of the members or himself closed out. This, of itself, is a striking, universal and most obvious fulfillment of the latter day prophecies. In this verse the Holy Ghost clearly discriminates between the soul, or mind, and spirit. This is one of the innumerable Scriptures confirmatory of Biblical trichotomy. Man is a trinity, similitudinous to God, and not a dichotomy, as the great majority of preachers teach. The result of substituting dichotomy for trichotomy in the popular pulpits, is to feed the people on mentalities, instead of spiritualities and actually derail the church from the orthodox gospel track into intellectualism. and materialism. Total depravity, which is fundamental in revelation, does not appertain to mind and matter, but only to spirit. In the fall Adam did not forfeit physical life nor mental perspicacity, but only spiritual life. Hence the feasibility of propagating religion and building up churches indefinitely on material and intellectual lines, with no spirituality in them and, of course, no salvation, is nothing but wholesale delusion Satan’s greased planks on which to slide people into hell.
13. It is the province of this wonderful sword, the living Word, when honestly received amid the illuminations of the Holy Ghost, to literally dissect the entire spiritual organism, interpenetrating the remotest fibers and fasciculi of the deepest recesses and darkest jungles throughout the fallen spiritual organism, unearthing all the hidden things of darkness and revealing to the illuminated spiritual eye everything in his heart disconformatory to the divine image and will, and simultaneously unveiling the wondrous fountain of radical and complete expurgation. Reader, if you ever expect to live in heaven, begin now to bare your bosom to the glittering sword of God’s infallible Word. Satan will compass you with myriad temptations to evade it. If you do, mark it down, you will land in hell. You will hear people on all sides actually “handling the Word of God deceitfully,” blindly manipulated by Satan for the damnation of all who hear them. Remember, your creed will not be mentioned when you stand before the great white throne. You will be judged by the Bible alone. Look out, for your soul is certainly in imminent peril. So it is the current policy of the popular churches to close out, and even ecclesiastically decapitate, the man who refuses to soften God’s hard truth, and to smooth God’s rough truth, and thus “handle the Word of the Lord deceitfully,” but, true to the Holy Ghost, lifts up the two-edged sword, scores deep and hews to the line, regardless of consequences. If you are too cowardly to preach the Word as it is, regardless of creeds, councils, ostracism and decapitation, God will excuse you, but another more worthy will take your crown. Earth and hell are now combined to handicap the preachers. These are perilous times, which try men’s souls. Few have the courage to stem the popular tide, brook official carnality, and ignore the castigations of the hierarchy. Under these terrible gatling guns of earth and hell, preachers are going down in solid platoons. Yet God is not going to want for voices to cry aloud and spare not. If the cultured clergy will not be true, God will excuse them and fill their places ten to one with the rustic laity, uncouth, from the slums and jungles, washed in the blood, and baptized with fire, filled with the perfect love, which makes them like Gideon’s braves, competent to put to flight one thousand to one. The world must have the Gospel, and will have it speedily. The Lord is nigh, and the King’s business requireth haste. The Holy Ghost wants none to bear His message who will not cry aloud and spare not, giving to saint an sinner his portion. As Paul and Wesley both said, it is only by declaring to the people all the counsel of God that we can be clear of the blood of all men.
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Godbey, William. "Commentary on Hebrews 3". "Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Easter