Faux Holiness Preaching

This is not a happy page.  It is about the final loss of the crowning grace
of the gospel.

"At one of our Theological Institutions the students asked their Tutor in Theology to give them a definition of Scriptural holiness. The Professor replied that the holiness he found in the Bible seemed to him to be not so much a definite experience to be reached immediately, as "an eternal approximation toward an unrealizable ideal." "But," he continued, "there is, beyond doubt, an experience attainable by faith, which some describe as holiness, and which has brought to many Christians a great spiritual uplifting so as to mark an epoch in their spiritual life. This was taught by Wesley and the early Methodist Preachers, and the teaching was intimately associated with the early successes of our Church." He advised the students to make themselves familiar with the works of Wesley and Fletcher, and to use their own judgment as to which aspect of the subject they would preach, and concluded with this testimony: "In my last Circuit an Evangelist conducted a series of Mission Services in the Church over which I had pastoral charge and emphasized the definite view of holiness which Mr. Wesley teaches, and urged the people to believe and enter in. Several of the most thoughtful members of my congregation were so greatly blessed that from that time their Christian life seemed to be on a higher plane. Because of this, I have never spoken other than respectfully of that form of teaching, though I have never been able to teach holiness in that way myself."

from: the Preface of "New Testament Holiness" by Thomas Cook.  The evangelist was Thomas Cook.  Who would you prefer to have as a guide into His Rest?   One who has it, and knows where you can find it, or one who merely has a high dream: an "eternal approximation toward an unrealizable ideal."??? Among his kind, this tutor seems to be extraordinarily open minded to those he disagrees with.

(This situation is similar to that faced by  Charles Finney when he was starting his unsanctified evangelistic ministry.  Upper New York state churches were packed with lost souls who considered themselves to be fine Christian folk. These "Christian zombies" have a name that they are living, when they are spiritually dead. They devour the church rather than building it up. So it was here.  Later Holiness churches similarly came to be dominated by fine unsanctified Christians who had heard enough Holiness preaching to be convinced that they were sanctified -when they were not quite.  More on this below.....)

If you are an earnest seeker after His Rest avoid spending your time on the glittering though vain hopes offered by these fine Christians.  They cannot not help you build fath to obtain His Rest.  They don't believe in it!

Oberlin Perfectionism: The Perfection of a Human’s Autonomous Free Will
a.  Charles Finney, Asa Mahan
b. The Higher Life Movement: Immediate Sanctification by Faith, Transdenominational (W. E. Boardman (1810-86 -please do not confuse with the sanctified L. S. Boardman, R. P. & H. W. Smith)

 Eight Leaders of the Early Keswick Convention
a. Thomas Dundas Harford-Battersby (1823-83) and Robert Wilson (1824-1905):

Keswick’s Founders
b. James Elder Cumming (1830-1917): Keswick’s Exemplar
c. Evan Henry Hopkins (1837-1918): Keswick’s Formative Theologian
d. Hanmer William Webb-Peploe (1837-1923): Keswick’s Orator
e. Handley Carr Glyn Moule (1841-1920): Keswick’s Scholar
f. Frederick Brotherton Meyer (1847-1929): Keswick’s International Ambassador
g. Charles Armstrong Fox (1836-1900): Keswick’s Poet

Eight Other Prominent Propagators of Keswick Theology
a. Andrew Murray (1828-1917): Keswick’s Foremost Devotional Author
b. James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) and Amy Wilson Carmichael (1867-1951):

Keswick’s Foremost Missionaries
c. Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879): Keswick’s Hymnist
d. Arthur Tappan Pierson (1837-1911): Keswick’s American Ambassador
e. William Henry Griffith Thomas (1861-1924), Charles Gallaudet Trumbull (1872-
1941) and Robert Crawford McQuilkin (1886-1952): Keswick’s Leaders of the
Victorious Life Movement

(The work of these people vary.  You may well dispute their inclusion on this list.  Surely they are gloriously sanctified??!!  Their writings can often be so good that you can easily overlook what they are missing -and that is the whole point!!
Oberlin Perfectionism: The Perfection of a Human’s Autonomous Free Will
a.  Charles Finney, Asa Mahan
b. The Higher Life Movement: Immediate Sanctification by Faith, Transdenominational (W. E. Boardman (1810-86 -please do not confuse with the sanctified L. S. Boardman, R. P. & H. W. Smith)

 Eight Leaders of the Early Keswick Convention
a. Thomas Dundas Harford-Battersby (1823-83) and Robert Wilson (1824-1905):

Keswick’s Founders
b. James Elder Cumming (1830-1917): Keswick’s Exemplar
c. Evan Henry Hopkins (1837-1918): Keswick’s Formative Theologian
d. Hanmer William Webb-Peploe (1837-1923): Keswick’s Orator
e. Handley Carr Glyn Moule (1841-1920): Keswick’s Scholar
f. Frederick Brotherton Meyer (1847-1929): Keswick’s International Ambassador
g. Charles Armstrong Fox (1836-1900): Keswick’s Poet

Eight Other Prominent Propagators of Keswick Theology
a. Andrew Murray (1828-1917): Keswick’s Foremost Devotional Author
b. James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) and Amy Wilson Carmichael (1867-1951):

Keswick’s Foremost Missionaries
c. Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879): Keswick’s Hymnist
d. Arthur Tappan Pierson (1837-1911): Keswick’s American Ambassador
e. William Henry Griffith Thomas (1861-1924), Charles Gallaudet Trumbull (1872-
1941) and Robert Crawford McQuilkin (1886-1952): Keswick’s Leaders of the
Victorious Life Movement

(The work of these people vary.  You may well dispute their inclusion on this list.  Surely they are gloriously sanctified??!!  Their writings can often be so good that you can easily overlook what they are missing -and that is the whole point!!
  They are lacking the weeping multitudes following them into the glorious freedom of  His Rest.)

Why?  Because although they pose as Holiness writers, they are not.  They cannot lead you into something they do not possess. And that is not their goal.  Instead the purpose of these Spinmeisters is to sooth themselves -and you with lofty saving words of the wide way. They make you feel like you have already captured the truth of sanctification when in fact all you have are more heady words. This is certainly no favor!!! -Unless, of course you really want to get drunk on your own self-importance...

Andrew Murray, for instance often projects such a dense fog of scripture that is nearly impossible to sort out his terrible deficiencies.  Others project such a rapturous picture that it is it is impossible to criticize..  Communism did this too, but it still led millions down a deadly garden path....

"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." 
Mt 7:13-14  This verse applies to both obtaining salvation and its completion in His Rest.

Again, why avoid these authors?

Scientists control insect pests by releasing overwhelming numbers of sterile males.  These preachers are sterile and so have worked quite effectively to depopulate the
gospel of real Holiness because they do not bring believers into His Rest.  They buzz with endless charm but produce nothing while they waste your time and hope.

They will leave you going in heady circles consecrating forever without any idea of how to actually find His Rest. 

Unsanctified authors mix their endless fog of words about His Rest with their ever more exotic theories about farther off loftier states of grace in the misty distance. As they speak of such lofty things (which they do not possess), together with stratospheric and flattering end times destinies so that their reputations and book sales are sure to soar. This kind of successful marketing has become mainstream.

So a group of like-minded preachers first met in 1875 in a Lakes District place called "Keswick". It became an annual conference.  What they did was to preach in innovative stratospheric terms so listeners would feel good about their spiritual state -even if it did not deliver anything more. But that was no concern since they agreed that it did not even exist!

But all this is lost back in history, and would not be remembered now except for the fact this high-sounding kind of preaching has proven popular over the long term.  In fact, it is well known today under various names while the original Holiness preaching has been conveniently forgotten.

This would not concern us either except for one little detail.  This replacement preaching is sterile.   It neither believes for nor produces purified hearts.  The narrow way is lost while the crowds rejoice on the wide way, convincing themselves they are on the narrow.

They follow what is written and never arrive in the high states that are described in technicolor.  For instance the brilliant young J. I. Packer (born in 1926 -now retired) did not have the internet, and so he spent his life traumatized by trying to obtain the near-angelic states described by Keswick theology and consequently remained unsanctified:  http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2010/06/30/pietistic-goofiness-how-keswick-theology-nearly-destroyed-j-i-packer/

I was going that direction myself for many years before the Lord rescued me from it courtesy of the internet.!!! This sort of thing is not new: Here is what Wesley thought about such  preaching without application, two extracts from his Journal will show: “My spirit was stirred within me at the sermons I heard (at Glasgow), both morning and evening. They contained much truth, but were no more likely to save one soul than an Italian opera.”

“This very day I heard many excellent truths at the Kirk (Aberdeen), but as there was no application it was likely to do as much good as the singing of a lark.”

Would you trust a self-proclaimed evangelism expert who has never had a convert although he has preached plenty?  He would be like a self-proclaimed fishing expert that has never caught a fish! Or a marriage expert who has never had a lasting relationship.  You get the idea.

Here are links to some senior Keswick inspired "Sonship" authors that have spread this appealing but high sounding teaching across the world. 
Elwin Roach -sonship and end times -see his links page for many more.

George Warnock  -sonship

Preston Eby -sonship 

Wade Taylor -end times and latter rain with some Sonship

Doug Fortune
A long list of Sonship articles from both veterans and contemporaries.

Many others have already passed on leaving their corrupt legacy behind. Their theories have invaded the imaginations of countless gifted young ministries across the land. It pervades the wide way and often makes them fireproof to the message of His Rest.

There is much more on how this all came into being:

"It is a deplorable fact, unwelcome as may be the statement, that many Christian people are withering and sinking under pulpit teaching composed largely of short intellectual essays – scientific, metaphysical, and speculative – full of almost everything except plain gospel truth. (or these days -presumptuous "prophetic" words that "puff up" rather than edify) It has become a serious question of how long the church of God can live on such pulpit matter. It certainly is not the “bread of life,” such as is given to nourish strengthen, and establish sons and daughters.

It is believed by many of the most devoted and thoughtful Christians, that unless there be a change in this regard, more gospel truth preached, the church will suffer deplorable reverses. Unless our bishops, presiding elders, and chief ministers take a more decided stand against the course pursued by some of our overly smart young ministers, who lead off in this kind of pulpit instruction, and reject and ignore much of experiential godliness, in a few years this matter will be utterly unmanageable, if it be not already. Instead of petting, dignifying their importance, and hastening these precious young men into city churches; and then transferring them from city to city to gratify worldly, popular churches, who desire anything preached to them rather than plain gospel truth; they should be sent out into circuits with good, practical preachers, to learn how to get sinners converted and saints sanctified.

These, very largely, are the men who discard the precious doctrine of Christian holiness as taught by the great and good Wesley, the devoted and gifted Fletcher, and the learned and evangelical Clarke and Watson; and who substitute for it culture, development, nobility, and manhood, and leave the whole subject of holiness confused and indefinite, making nothing clear, scriptural, or practical; and we are sorry to add, often ridiculing and making light of perfect love as taught by those great and good men.

Let sympathy in the church become as general in its favor as it is for justification, and let clear witnesses for entire sanctification become as numerous in the ministry and membership as they should be, and you will hear of but few losing the blessing.  P. 123 "Perfect Love"

In today's churches we are used to hearing about a God of blessing , and of course, He is so. But, in fact,  He is also a God of judgment. He expects us to also fulfill our half of the gospel bargain: He gave His life on the Cross that we could receive the blessings of pardon and salvation from sin. But He also expects us to honorably return the favor. He expects us to give our lives as a living sacrifice to Him that we might be made WHOLLY His: not only forgiven, but also supernaturally cleansed of all things that are not approved by Him - so that there is room for the glorious fullness that is ours in His Rest....

We must PREACH IT!  Read this exceptionally insightful 17 page excerpt from Perfect Love" by J. A. Wood

Note: Most of the preaching quoted on this website occurred in special meetings where those who were seeking or interested in Holiness gathered.  Later, with the rise of special "Holiness churches", the congregation would nominally profess to "believe in" holiness, but were not necessarily seekers of it. 

They would attend these churches for many reasons such as: friends were there, parents were there, because they were saved there, curiosity, a church-going or social gathering habit or because they sent their children to Sunday school there.  No longer were these crowds gathered for the single paramount reason of hearing about how to enter His Rest; and to the degree this was true, they were opposing the Holy Spirit within their saved, but still perverse hearts.  So, in dutifully listening to wonderful holiness messages they were not ready for, they gradually grew calluses upon their hearts to avoid conviction and so fell into a deadly spiritual stupor...   ZZZZZZZZ.....

  4. Organization
The entirely sanctified ministers of the past, although pure in heart, were still men. Ministry is not conducted in a vacuum, but to other men, so there needs to be a worthy and Godly infrastructure. It is necessary for the very survival of active ministers. "We esteem it our duty and privilege most earnestly to recommend to you as members of our church, our FORM OF DISCIPLINE, which has been founded on the experience of a long series of years; as also on the observations and remarks we have made on ancient and modern churches."   Examine the enclosed  "The Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church"  by Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury 1798. (181 page indexed PDF)

But this worthy infrastructure was not able to be fully put into practice due to an inadequate supply of educated and sanctified ministers in a broad frontier land that was still quite hostile to the mother land of Methodism: Great Britain.  There were also some other seeds of destruction that were built right in to the..    Holiness Churches

The early promotion of Holiness that was carried out so successfully was initially done by the faith and zeal of individual men. Most of them related directly to each other, or through the old "National Holiness Association".  This non-denominational fellowship of itinerant Holiness ministers helped them to work together, solve problems and  stay on track regardless of deficiencies in their respective churches. However, as churches gave rise to "Holiness" denominations, the NHA increasingly began to splinter.  It began to focus on many issues instead of exclusively upon the paramount issue of getting souls fully sanctified and safely into His Rest.  For this reason Carradine left the NHA in 1913: you may wish to read these six pages about this momentous organizational failure:    Holiness Associations

The few remaining Holiness churches that remain today as a rule revere Holiness in their traditions, but do not preach it, and those who do, preach a watered down and theoretical variety.  As we might expect then,  few indeed obtain it. Today's few Holiness writers mostly re-hash moldy old ideas of years gone by, trying to prove that one dead preacher had a better theology than another dead preacher.  Seldom anymore does His Rest shine forth to attract others into it...

You are privileged indeed if you can hear this preached well from a sanctified vessel.
The books on this website are the authentic originals, but they are still merely books instead of living vessels of His Spirit..

  The Rise of Sterile "Keswick" Holiness Doctrines

"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. {simple: or, harmless} And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen." {bruise: or, tread}  Romans 16: 17-20

With the American Revolution, ties with Britain were tenuous for many years while inventive theologies that played fast and loose with  proven principles became entrenched.  Their influence became so widespread that it deprived the whole movement of much of its vitality and effectiveness. Their beguiling approaches are still popular today -so much that I had to work to find authors free enough of their baleful influence to be useful in guiding souls into His Rest without confusion.  Four Trouble Makers   is a 4 page excerpt from "A Presentation of Perfection" by Dr. Mark Eckart     To get the real understanding, you will need to read the additional articles (enclosed further below on this page) on these figures in order to understand why they are trouble, since this excerpt does not provide a critique, but just provides a survey of their basic positions.

But the consequences of these were immeasurably dire, and remain a source of division in some circles even today. In merely one tragic instance; Dr. R. A. Torrey, the revered first president of Moody Bible Institute of Chicago spent his fruitful years diligently spreading tangled and confusing doctrines with a Calvinistic flavor to uncounted thousands.  He succeeded in this so well that a clear Scriptural presentation of "How to Enter His Rest" that actually worked in objective reality became rare indeed within his wide sphere of influence.

Other spiritual descendants of the followers of these troublemakers went on to form the popular but barren  "Keswick" movement, which in retrospect again, was marked by many flattering themselves as sanctified when they were not.  These, of course could not shew forth the fruits of something they did not have, and so no matter how much they self-righteously testified to the purity of their hearts, they gave much disrepute to the work of sanctification. Today's holiness circles are dominated by this "more reasonable" Keswick approach which departed from the effective, clear, simple and practical fundamental principles that came down from antiquity (see The History of Holiness ) and were first confirmed and recorded in an orderly manner by John Wesley. 

"Oberlin Perfectionism does not hold, as Wesleyans do, to the cleansing of sin in the heart of the sanctified believer. This (destructive) teaching by Mahan and Finney is, for the most part, taught today by a group called the Keswick Movement (they have met since 1876 at the Keswick Convention in England). This [28] quote explains what they believe:
   "For this school, (the Holy Spirit) does not cleanse the heart from sin; it is only empowerment for victorious living and effective witness. While their teachers deny the possibility of sin’s destruction prior to death, they do advocate the possibility of a life of victory over “the old nature” for those who put themselves under the direction and control of the indwelling Spirit. But as long as Christians inhabit this mortal body, they must contend with the sin nature. [29] The Oberlin position contends for the work of the Holy Spirit, but more emphasis is put on power than purity." from: "A Presentation of Perfection" by Dr. Mark Eckart.    A life long desperate resistance to temptation is their highest victory!  How sad.  Agag would be proud of them.  (I Sam. 15:8-33)

After these troublemakers had done their work there were two "holiness" movements. A minority remained true to Wesley after 1850 or so (those featured on this website -mostly from the South), and held to his assumptions, while most found an easier, wider way presented to them that mixed just enough flesh into the pot to make it seem so much more sensible. These soon found that very few in their midst would go on to actually enter His Rest, even though many deceived themselves and presumptuously claimed it.  They had the words, but not the real fruits...

Their tangled (but now mainline) teaching has unnecessarily left untold millions to suffer under the cruel but often hidden dominion of their carnal hearts.  This slippery compromise with the pit contains the seeds of inner spiritual death..... This website is the labor of one who finally escaped from this deadly foreshortened gospel.

In mercy, it is my purpose to spare you those 17 tear-stained unsanctified years which I had to bear because I unknowingly mixed such doubt and ignorance with my faith.

The spiritual descendants of Finney ( a backwoods hellfire preacher that attempted to re-frame himself as a respected theologian and author.) and these others went on to hold the famous annual Keswick Conventions starting in 1875. Ostensibly, the goal of these meetings was to promote their brand of holiness, but in actual fact they were held to strengthen those of the wide way who claimed to believe in holiness while magnifying any teaching that avoided the hard price required to actually obtain it. They believed in "growth" while denying the effective instantaneous purification of the heart. Growth just takes perseverance over time, while actual purification takes a huge and deliberate investment of faith.

It is a miracle, just like your salvation was.

Much These Preachers Call Holiness is Regeneration 
In ignorance, early Pentecostal leaders took this enthusiastic gathering of old compromisers and made it part of their number. They took their misleading teaching to be high Holiness truth and used it. It is the source of most of our "higher life" and "Kingdom" teaching today. But Keswick teaching is just regular Christianity all jazzed up.  It is just plain wrong.  It brings forth only vain words.  4 pages by A. M. Hills ( a bright and devout student of Finney at Oberlin who went on become a famous Holiness evangelist after he saw through his teacher's errors.)

The Lord is greater than knowledge.  Those who conveniently slide around this fact must beware!.

"Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness"; and again, "The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile." 1 Corinthians 3:18-20

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever."  Psalms 111:10

It seems that for every TRUTH spoken by the the Lord, men eagerly invent an infinite progression of flawed surrogates that more fully harmonize with their existing spiritual state. They do this instinctively to protect themselves from the Lord and His convicting mercy..... Men love their chains. 

 And in mercy for a certain limited season in every life He allows this: "A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory"  Matthew 12:20

The largest outcome from these troublemakers is today's love of a bland and spotted religion. In temptation, you cross your fingers, cross your legs, and cross your eyes trying to keep your favorite sin from popping to the surface.  This approach is called "suppression", and it is certainly no replacement for total deliverance from the fallen nature. When this "old man" is gone, and is replaced by the complete rulership of the New Man, there is no inward temptation to cope with. Any temptation is distant and outside of the heart.  The heart knows only uninterrupted peace and joy.

Do you want to look more deeply into this controversial topic? It is really hard to prove anything to doubters after all these years, since numerous revisionists of this camp interpret all the historical events and spiritual benchmarks according to the popular and spectacular Finney.  It is rather hopeless since so very many winds of doctrine have come and gone since then... But here, at least is some serious material to ponder. The Trouble With Finney 

6.  Presumption
"Now, God’s gifts are given under God’s conditions. No more than He would grant saving faith to an unrepentant sinner, would He give sanctifying faith to a seeker who is unwilling to fully consecrate his all and fully die out to his carnal nature. When one is unwilling to let go of himself, God is not going to interfere. God will never do anything contrary to His nature, His will, or His wisdom. Certainly, He is not going to give the gift of faith to receive His blessing, unless we convince Him that we want it with our whole hearts.

We said this faith must be exercised, but that cannot be done without God’s aid. Here many come to a point of danger. Many find themselves in a position of struggling to believe, but they cannot, because their carnality has not yet been crucified, and so God will not enable all of their faith to operate. Others, may try to force God's hand and “take it by faith,”. They go away fooling themselves into thinking they have received the blessing of heart holiness when they have not. This leads to deep disappointment and years of chaotic confusion among everybody concerned.

The late Rev. Alva Turner, one of the most saintly men we have ever known, bequeathed to the holiness people this lovely legacy: “The death route makes faith operative.” There is not enough faith in the whole world to sanctify even one person who will not accept the “Via Dolorosa” to his own crucifixion.[1]

Those who never took the “death-route” never really took the “faith-route.” What they thought was faith, was presumption, because it was out of harmony with the Word of God. These deceived ones took the “presumption-route” and it led them up a dead end street and into the fog of endless confusion. It is utterly impossible to become sanctified by presumption. But remember --those who try to take it by faith when they are not on believing ground are like a train that tries to keep on going after it has jumped the track."

The proper approach is more subtle and does not rely on personal courage but on Him: See Haney's approach on page 91 of:   How to Enter His Rest  -on the "Entry" page.

7. Slackness

Everybody is prone to slackness and vacillation when faced with His high requirement for completed holiness, but if this is allowed to continue -at some point, there are serious consequences: see the previously mentioned  
Death Route Holiness

It is quoted a few times on this page.

8.  Spiritual Season

"I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."  2 Timothy 4:1-5 NKJV

Obviously, the net result of all the above is to gradually degrade the various means of grace that the Lord has of bringing believers into full communion with Himself, until even the vision of the goal itself becomes lost in the smoke and mirrors, leaving behind only an impotent myth of "saints" (that are not just saved, but are actually saintly). The goal of this website is the reverse of this. We find and present to you the most effective guidance available.  We want you in His Rest with us!!!  There is no reason for you to continue your alternating seasons of darkness and light of the wide way any longer.  We have endured quite enough years of this ourselves to understand.  Think about it: those who choose to not to effectively contend  for a pure heart put themselves into the same category of those who happily believe in "eternal security", in that they are blithely dwelling on the common but slippery treadmill of "sinning and repenting".  There is a better way!!!

 Jesus now asks, "I gave my all for you.  Will you now give your all for Me?".

Wesley and Sanctification
In Wesley's time religion was in deadly earnest.  It was debated even in the newspapers.  Why?  Here is a thought-provoking discussion of Wesley's theology in light of the appallingly barbaric conditions of his times, as written by a contemporary Wesleyan scholar.      (6 pages)

Since then the age-old dream of saintliness has been silently lost. Now, something powerless is being preached so that virtually nobody enters in any more..

"23. What is the cause of so much prejudice against the doctrine of entire sanctification, and even of hostility to it?
1. The doctrine is misunderstood. Multitudes misapprehend its true nature. It is often taken to mean more than is intended, and more than is taught by the Church. There are thousands within the bosom of our church who are astonishingly ignorant of the doctrine as taught by our standards. In these days of newspapers and light literature which are flooding the land, everything else is read except the excellent works written on this subject.
We think it a serious matter that our grand old religious biographies, which formerly educated our people, such as Fletcher, Clark, Bramwell, Stoner, Carvosso, &c., are being very largely supplanted in our Sabbath schools by light and questionable literature. The valuable books published on this doctrine and experience are read by only a small part of the membership of the church.
2. The doctrine and experience of entire sanctification has been prejudiced against among common people by being frequently identified with culture, social refinement, and the highest finish; for then of course it can be possessed only by the few who have the time, the means, and the opportunity to obtain the highest development and brightest polish, and cultivation. This is an egregious blunder, contrary to the very genius of the gospel. The highest style of gospel salvation is adapted to the mass of humanity, the common people. A plowman may be entirely sanctified without becoming a polished scholar; and a plain, godly mother may be free from all sin, though she may know nothing of social refinement or literary cultivation.
3. Many of our ministers are at fault in this matter, in not seeking this blessed experience themselves; for not studying and mastering the subject; and for not preaching it more clearly, strongly, and explicitly to the people.
4. Much of the prejudice and opposition to this doctrine comes from remaining depravity in unsanctified believers. Indwelling sin (the fallen nature) is an antagonism to
holiness and, in so far as any Christian has inbred sin, he has within him opposition to holiness. Many, most, do not yield to it, but resist it, pray against it, and keep it under; others, we are sorry to know, both in the ministry and laity, yield to their depravity, and stand in opposition to God’s work."  question 23 in Section 6 of, "Perfect Love"

Holiness believers who retained their inward depravity year after year, if they heard of a way escaping from the rigors of their sanctification crisis would sometimes gladly take it instead of continuing on in a seemingly hopeless and endless faith.  However, they needed to be convinced that they had made it through to His Rest so they could give up without admitting it to themselves.  There were unsanctified preachers around who were only too glad to oblige them, because they too were in that dead-end faith situation also.

How did they get into such a faith trap in the first place?  Well, I wasn't there, and so I can only guess. Most  likely it would be different for each person. However, we can observe:
1.  I notice throughout the Word, that God will do the most remarkable things to avoid violating our freedom of choice.  This faith trap is not consistent with that pattern. In the parable of the sower, there are many kinds of ground: we are not all created equal.
2.  Some Holiness preachers concentrate so much on demonizing the Old Man that they make people fear for their very salvation.  There are two sanctifications: the first is separation from the world, and the second one is separation unto Him. God does not require both for you to enter Heaven as some Holiness preachers seem to boldly state.

Personally, I believe we are free to choose to follow the wide or the narrow way.  The former has freedom with danger, the latter has safety with His approval.  The major danger of the wide way lies in the possibility of hardening the heart while resisting a call to come closer.  TP

Many became spiritually blind, and then waited for blind leaders to come along for them. They soon came and willingly steered them right into one ditch after another as the following short articles of warning describe in detail...

Much These Preachers Call Holiness is Regeneration
Since time immemorial there has been something "Teflon" in the hearts of unsanctified men and women that will not stick with true Holiness teaching.

 For thirty years the annual Conventions held in Keswick, England was a hotbed of innovative Holiness teaching.  But, as the sanctified A. M. Hills explains, there was little real Holiness to be found there!!  And so it is today, almost everywhere....  4 pages A. M. Hills

The Church in The Wilderness

Church politics and formal organization came to rule them rather than the humble drive to save and sanctify souls.  (20 pages)
Rev. H.E. Schmul

The Old Cross & The New
"ALL UNANNOUNCED AND MOSTLY UNDETECTED there has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but different: the likenesses are superficial; the differences, fundamental.

From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique, a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old, but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before."  2 pages by A. W. Tozer

The Tailless Fox

This cunning little fable illustrates how easily and effectively a backslidden church can cover their own spiritual demise ....  1 page by  Beverly Carradine

Challenge Of Our Age

Souls are won only as Heaven is stormed. When Zion travails she brings forth.  Her leaders must agonize for souls.   (6 pages)
  Rev. H. C. Van Wormer

Warnings to Church Leaders
"History consistently reveals the frightening fact that most church officials tend to become corrupt in the operation of their offices if they remain in a position of leadership for very long. Many times their attitude and spirit changes noticeably, almost as soon as they find themselves in a official position." 23 recently written pages by L. S. Boardman   Clear examples with chilling consequences.  

Impure Hearts Foster Declension 

The dominant burden of the Great Awakening was to bring believers to a second work of grace that purifies the heart by removing the fallen nature: those who obtain this work enter His Rest.

Believers with purified hearts comprised the majority of the early church, but when this was allowed to decline, the church obviously declined in purity also. Because of this, the road back to lasting "revival" always involves a return to this purity of heart. Without it, keeping His life in the church has always been problematic.... 6 pages from "The Inheritance Restored" by M. L. Haney (1897)

Fundamental Christian Theology
The Oberlin Philosophy is quite fatal in its way to any propagation of holiness:

"President (Charles G.) Finney (claimed) a marvelous experience, but had a faulty philosophy on this subject. He held a peculiar theory of sin and depravity. All sin was in the wrong use of the will. Moral quality could be affirmed by nothing else. He consequently denied that man’s nature was morally depraved."

Ah, if only it was so simple!

Here A. M. Hills who had been a student at Finney's Oberlin College refutes the outlandish approaches to sanctification he had been taught there -with careful and faithful truth out of a pure heart!

"Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness"; and again, "The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile." 1 Cor. 3:18-20       12 pages by A. M. Hills

But alas, Finney's popular books are still muddling the views of sin in many even today! This remarkable book will help you.     

The Right Conception of Sin
the churches today are riddled with centuries-old misconceptions that interfere with obtaining a full experience of Him.  Carefully read this rather scholarly book and you will see why our Protestant world is so ineffective in dealing with sin -and what the remedy is. a 55 page PDF by R. S. Taylor
a must read.
  (from the "Asuza Street Theology" sub-page at the bottom of the "Charismata" page. More on the theme may be found there)
True and Counterfeit Rest
It  has always been a temptation to those wrestling in the last stages of contending for His Rest to call a foothill the mountain, and give their testimony of entering His Rest prematurely. In times past such have contributed great discredit to the testimony of this crowning work of the Lord.  2 pages by John Wesley

Hidden in an apple growing region of New England there is an astonishing little factory. It has only a small staff.
Even in harvest season, no apple delivery trucks can be seen, while every day many trucks load up and leave full of cases of apple juice.  It is a miracle of creation! 

Well, no.. Not quite.  Water is piped in and purified.  This water is flavored with tart synthetic Malic Acid and sugar.  The water is canned, labeled "apple juice" and put in boxes and sold just as if it was apple juice..  Very few know what it really is.  This is very similar to Keswick Holiness.

It's only fault is that it lacks apples. It does not cost your all.
Few people can detect the difference so what is the harm?

The harm is tremendous because it is all a sham. Folks think they have the real thing while the effective Life of Christ is missing.....  and He cannot transform hearts and lives if He is not there.

I do not buy the artificial stuff even though the store shelves are full it.  It tastes like sugar water because that is exactly what it is.  An apple is far more complex than that.  I read a paper listing the health-promoting molecules that make up an apple.  It was 30 pages long.........

And now they are debasing orange juice also.  They harvest the oranges and pipe the juice into huge stainless steel tanks where it is kept away from oxygen.  They store it there and it keeps well, but after a while the complex organic molecules that give the flavor break down..  So they add a "flavor pac" that is not at all the same, even though it tastes as it should. 

These are such dangerous days!  The cunning  become highly organized in secret places to silently rob the innocent and boast of their "profits". The thieves grow fat while we waste away for lack of proper nutrition. This is modern "progress".

 My perspective on what happens when one enters His Rest is that only after you place your all before Him does the hard part start. 

Most consider that the consecration is the main part of this.  I do not.  Yes, it is your part, but His part involves much more. 

He must convene a special session before the His judgment seat.  This is a huge favor that involves more than one of the Trinity.  He does cannot do this lightly.  He must be strongly persuaded of the worthiness and justice of your plea to undertake this before the end of your days.

If and when He is finally persuaded, then He reaches down and does the saving that you request.

Keswick believers have a much easier time of it.  No arduous persuading is necessary. No tears.  No groaning.  No blood. No death. No deliverance or cleansing. All they need is an intellectual assent to believe that these things exist and apply to themselves.  This is merely another instance of the "easy believism" which afflicts the church so widely these days.

Wishful thinking is not at all the same thing as a privileged state of grace that opens out a whole new dimension in your ability to relate to your Savior!

Yours in His Service;
Tom Plumb