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- The Theology of Holiness - 4/19 -


the being of sin which lies back of the doing of sin. It is that within us which says No, to God, and Yes, to Satan. It exists in every human being that comes into the world as a bias or proclivity to evil. It is called in the New Testament, the flesh, the body of sin, our old man, sin that dwelleth in me, and the simple term sin in the singular number. In the Old Testament it is called sin and iniquity. "Behold," says David, "I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me." And when the Seraph brought the live coal and laid it upon the mouth of Isaiah, the prophet, his words were, "Lo, this hath touched thy lips and thine iniquity is taken away and thy sin purged."

Now all Christian denominations are agreed as to the real existence of this inbred sin and also as to the fact that it is not removed at conversion. "This infection of nature doth remain," says the Anglican Confession, "yea, even in them that have been regenerated." Most church creeds, indeed, give no reason to expect, and most Christian believers do not expect to be rid of sin till near or in the hour of death. And it is regarded as serious heresy in some quarters for a man to either preach or claim that the blood of Jesus Christ does really cleanse from all sin.

But God has in every age and in every dispensation required His children to be holy. And to be holy signifies the destruction or removal of inbred sin, nothing more and nothing less and nothing else than that. How this is accomplished will be discussed further on, but here we say that the removal of innate depravity is entire sanctification, and that God has most surely made provision in the atonement of Jesus Christ for the removal of innate depravity. Therefore, He has made provision for entire sanctification, and, therefore again, this wondrous grace is obtainable. Inbred sin goes back to the fall of man in the garden of Eden. If not as old as the human race, it is at least as old as the fall. Since sin entered through the beguiling of our mother, Eve, by the serpent, inbred sin has existed as a unit of evil in every child of Adam and Eve. The only exception is the man, Christ Jesus, the God man, the Divine man, the promised seed that should bruise the serpent's head. But as He, the Lord Jesus Christ, was manifested to destroy the works of the devil, and as inbred sin is one of the works of the devil, therefore its destruction is provided for in the atonement, and, therefore, still again, entire sanctification is obtainable.

The simplest meaning of the word sanctify is to separate or to devote to sacred uses. It has this signification nearly always in the Old Testament and in a few passages in the New. In other words, whatever is consecrated is sanctified in this limited sense. But from the primary meaning is easily derived its secondary and prominent meaning, of separation from all sin, inward as well as outward, and this is what Paul calls being sanctified wholly. It is entire sanctification as distinguished from partial sanctification. This latter appertains to all Christians, and is technically so used in the New Testament. The former is the experience of those, and those only, from whom inbred sin has been removed.

CHAPTER III.

ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION IN PATRIARCHAL TIMES.

For the first twenty-five centuries after the creation of man, he was without a written law. So far, at least, as the descendants of Seth are concerned, the government, during those early times, seems to have been patriarchal. The father of a family retained his authority over his children and his children's children so long as he lived, and when he died, the branch families did not separate, but continued their allegiance to some other patriarch, usually the eldest son of the former. A number of families under their respective patriarchs constituted a tribe, and from the family patriarchs was selected a prince for the whole tribe. Among the antediluvian patriarchs were Adam, Seth, Enoch and Noah. Those after the flood were Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and each of the twelve sons of Jacob. After Jacob's death, it is most likely that Joseph acted, in some sense, as the prince of the tribe during his lifetime. Then came slavery and oppression and deliverance through Moses, and the giving of the law.

As God's revelation to man has been progressive, first just a few faint streaks of light that usher in the dawn, then broad daylight and sunrise, and finally the meridian splendor of the noontide, we are not to expect, in these early times, the full and distinct teaching on the subject of holiness, which we find in the Mosaic law, in the writings of the prophets, and especially and super-eminently in the New Testament. The word holy does not occur in the book of Genesis, and the word sanctify is found only once, where Jehovah blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.

And yet there are, even in these patriarchal times, several narratives of extreme interest, which give us glimpses, at least, of the purpose of God that His people should be holy, and we even find intimations of His method of sanctification, by conferring it as a second experience upon His already saved children, as is so clearly revealed in the New Testament.

"And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him." Such is the record in Genesis, but when we turn to the eleventh of Hebrews, the faith chapter, we find that "by faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found because God had translated him, for; before his translation, he had this testimony that he pleased God." Now, if Enoch, even amid the wickedness of antediluvian ages, walked with God and pleased God, and was translated that he should not see death, there surely can be no reasonable doubt that he was a holy man, an entirely sanctified man, and hence one whose sins had been washed away in the blood of the lamb, that was "slain from the foundation of the world."

"Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations; and Noah walked with God." The prophet Amos exclaims most pertinently, "Can two walk together unless they be agreed?" It is certain, therefore, that God and Noah were agreed, but God, who is infinitely pure and holy, can never be agreed with any person or anything that is unholy. Hence, whatever may be the proper signification of the word perfect, as applied to God's children in Old Testament times, we can scarcely avoid the conclusion that Noah was a holy man, an entirely sanctified man, and this notwithstanding his subsequent error in regard to drinking too much wine, of whose ill effects we may, charitably, suppose he may have been, up to the time of this sad experience, ignorant.

Abraham dwelt with his father, Terah, who was an idolater, in Ur of the Chaldees, when he received the call of God to go entirely away from his kindred and his father's house, and depart into a land of separation, a land which the Lord would show him. He obeyed the call, and this typifies conversion. He went out not knowing whither he went, but only knowing that the Lord was leading him. At his first move, he was accompanied by his father. And he came out of his native land, it is true, but not yet into the promised land. "He came to Haran and dwelt there," or to give the record in full, "And Terah took Abraham, his son, and Lot, the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai, his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife, and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran and dwelt there."

Continuing the account in his dying oration, the martyr Stephen says, "And from thence when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell," but in Genesis the statement is, "And Abram took Sarai, his wife, and Lot, his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran, and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan, and into the land of Canaan they came." The last tie of nature was sundered when the old man died, and then Abram took the second step, which brought him into the promised land. There are two distinct stages in his experience before he reached the place, which God designed him to occupy. And these we may as well regard as typical, if nothing more, of the first experience under the gospel--that of regeneration--and of the second experience as well, which is entire sanctification.

In the history of Abraham, a very beautiful and mysterious episode occurs, and that is the story of his transient but highly important meeting with Melchizedek, after his successful expedition against the kings, who had despoiled Sodom and carried away his nephew, Lot. The sacred narrative is as follows, viz.: "And Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine, and he was the priest of the Most High God. And he blessed him and said, Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be the Most High God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thine hand. And he gave him tithes of all." No other mention is made of Melchizedek until David writes the 110th Psalm, and this was nearly one thousand years after Abraham. The Psalmist writing by inspiration, and alluding beyond all reasonable doubt to the Messiah, says, "The Lord hath sworn and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." And then, again, the inspired record drops Melchizedek out of sight, as it were, for another thousand years, and then once more brings him to the front in the Epistle to the Hebrews, where he is described in glowing language as "first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that, also, King of Salem, which is king of peace; without father, without mother, without genealogy (R. V.) having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the son of God, abideth a priest continually."

Comparing, then, the different allusions to this most remarkable personage, the following inferences seem fairly deducible therefrom: (1) Melchizedek, being made like unto the Son of God, is preeminently the Old Testament type of the Lord Jesus Christ in his kingly and priestly offices. Both Melchizedek and Christ are priests, and yet the former is not of the chosen family. He is a Canaanite. He is, unquestionably, greater than Abraham. Of his origin, his ancestry and his descendants, we have no account. He brought forth bread and wine. So did his antitype at the Last Supper. The priesthood of Melchizedek was before that of Aaron. Aaron was a Levite, and Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek in Abraham, his ancestor. And the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews argues most conclusively that since Melchizedek was without beginning or end, and greater than Abraham, and with a priesthood that existed centuries before the Levitical priesthood was instituted, therefore Christ, his great antitype, who is from everlasting to everlasting, and who hath an unchangeable priesthood, is to abolish the Aaronic priesthood, whose institution was for a temporary purpose, and was fulfilled when Christ came, who was a priest not after the order of Aaron because He belonged to another tribe, but a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

But Melchizedek was not only a priest, he was also a king. And it was not only in his everlasting priesthood, but in his regal office also, that he was a type of the Messiah. David was a prophet and a king, Ezekiel was a prophet and a priest, Jesus, only, combined in His own person the three offices of prophet, priest and king.

Now, if Melchizedek was priest of the Most High God, if he was greater than Abraham, if he was a type of Jesus Christ in His kingly and priestly offices, it is impossible not to regard him as a holy man. He


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