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A Plain Account of Christian Perfection (Part 5)

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series A Plain Account of Christian Perfection

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection

by John Wesley

Part V:
Advice to the Sanctified

Section 25 (continued)

Question 29: Can those who are perfect grow in grace?

Answer: Undoubtedly they can; and that not only while they are in the body, but to all eternity.

Question 30: Can they fall from it?

Answer: I am well assured they can: matter of fact puts this beyond dispute. Formerly we thought, that one saved from sin could not fall; now we know the contrary. We are surrounded with instances of those who lately experienced all that I mean by perfection. They had both the fruit of the Spirit, and the witness; but they have now lost both. Neither does anyone stand by virtue of anything that is implied in the nature of the state. There is no such height or strength of holiness as it is impossible to fall from. If there be any that cannot fall, this wholly depends on the promise of God.

Question 31: Can those who fall from this state recover it? [click to continue…]

Earth’s Most Powerful Preacher

Earth's Most Powerful Preacher

Bible Teaching by
Percy Gutteridge
Copyright © 20131

Who Is Earth’s Most Powerful Preacher?

Psalm 19

  1. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.
  2. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge.
  3. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
  4. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
  5. Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices as a strong man to run a race.
  6. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hidden from the heat thereof.
  7. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
  8. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
  9. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
  10. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
  11. Moreover by them is your servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
  12. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.
  13. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
  14. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Cover of Percy Gutteridge's message 'Earth's Most Powerful Preacher

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Let’s consider the question, “Who is the most powerful preacher that God has ordained on earth?” And understand that I’m not talking about a human being. I am not going to pick out one of today’s famous evangelists or ministers and say, “This one is the most powerful preacher,” because none of them has the worldwide audience or impact of God’s sovereign choice. So then, let’s refine the question and ask, “What is the most powerful preacher that God has ordained on earth?” as we examine potential candidates.

The Sun?

How about the sun? Is the sun earth’s most powerful preacher? Our Scripture passage says that the sun is really a preacher; it comes out of its chamber as a bridegroom. It comes up in the morning and goes down at night, going right over the whole circuit of heaven, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. It preaches of light, it preaches of energy, it preaches of power, it preaches of judgment, it preaches even of love. It preaches also of life, because there would be no life without the sun. The sun preaches to us about so many things.

But men don’t take any notice. In fact, some foolish people [click to continue…]

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection (Part 1)

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series A Plain Account of Christian Perfection

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection

by John Wesley

Part I:
Historical Background
of the Teaching

Section 1

What I purpose in the following pages is, to give a plain and distinct account of the steps by which I was led, during a course of many years, to embrace the doctrine of Christian Perfection.  This I owe to the serious part of mankind; those who desire to know all the truth as it is in Jesus.  And these only are concerned in questions of this kind.  To these I would nakedly declare the thing as it is, endeavouring all along to show, from one period to another, both what I thought, and why [click to continue…]

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection (Part 2)

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series A Plain Account of Christian Perfection

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection

by John Wesley

Part II:
The Teaching Explained

Section 17

On Monday, June 25, 1744 our first conference began, six clergymen and all our preachers being present.  The next morning we seriously considered the doctrine of sanctification, or perfection.  The questions asked concerning it, and the substance of the answers given, were as follows:—

Question: What is it to be sanctified?

Answer: To be renewed in the image of God, in righteousness and true holiness [Ephesians 4:24].

Question: What is implied in being a perfect Christian?

Answer: The loving God with all our heart, and mind, and soul (Deut. vi. 5). [click to continue…]

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection (Part 3)

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series A Plain Account of Christian Perfection

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection

by John Wesley

Part III:
Tares Among the Wheat Contrasted
with the Wonderful Testimony of Jane Cooper

Section 20

In the year 1762 there was a great increase of the work of God in London.  Many, who had hitherto cared for none of these things, were deeply convinced of their lost estate; many found redemption in the blood of Christ; not a few backsliders were healed; and a considerable number of persons believed that God had saved them from all sin.  Easily foreseeing that Satan would be endeavouring to sow tares among the wheat [Matthew 13:24-30], I took much pains to apprise them of the danger, particularly with regard to pride and enthusiasm.  And while I stayed in town, I had reason to hope they continued both humble and sober-minded.  But almost as soon as I was gone, enthusiasm broke in.  Two or three began to take their own imaginations for impressions from God, and thence to suppose that they should never die; and these, labouring to bring others into the same opinion, occasioned much noise and confusion.  Soon after, the same persons, with a few more, ran into other extravagances,—fancying they could not be tempted; that they should feel no more pain; and that they had the gift of prophecy, and of discerning of spirits. [click to continue…]

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection (Part 4)

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series A Plain Account of Christian Perfection

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection

by John Wesley

Part IV:
“Farther Thoughts on Christian Perfection”

Section 25

The next year [1763], the number of those who believed they were saved from sin still increasing, I judged it needful to publish, chiefly for their use, Farther Thoughts on Christian Perfection:

Question 1: How is “Christ the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth”? (Rom. x. 4)

Answer: In order to understand this, you must understand what law is here spoken of; and this, I apprehend, is:— [click to continue…]

This entry is part 3 of 12 in the series Faith Is Substance

Faith Is The Substance

 

Faith is not just the fuse of a spiritual explosion.  It is more than the trigger to produce a sign and wonder.  It is not just a necessary ingredient for a miracle.  It is substance, in fact the substance that God created to be the pith and marrow of the true Christian life.

'Grandpa Jack' Mavros (left) with the author, Percy Gutteridge, at the 1968 Summer Bible Teaching Conference at Camp Seeley, Crestline, California, USA

“Grandpa Jack” Mavros [left] and the author Summer 1968 Bible Teaching Conference Camp Seeley, Crestline, California (Photo courtesy Dennis and Patti Holland)

Faith was substance in Jack Mavros, one of God’s hidden saints, very few of whom are known to the established Christian circles of earth; but “Grandpa Jack” was known in Heaven.  He worked as a cobbler in his own small repair shop in North Hollywood, California.

A friend of mine was in his shop one day, when in blustered a motorcycle gang member in his typical black leather jacket.  He hit the counter with a pair of shoes and yelled out, “Clean these, ol’ man.” Grandpa Jack was not a cleaner of shoes, but a most able shoe repairer.  He took up the shoes and cleaned and polished them beautifully, and then handed them back with his usual sweet smile.

“What’s the take, ol’ man?” asked the potential gangster. [click to continue…]

The Holy Spirit as Dew

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series The Holy Spirit
  1. O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.
  2. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord : say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the fruit of our lips.
  3. Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
  4. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.
  5. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
  6. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.
  7. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.
  8. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.
  9. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.

Hosea 14:1-9 kjv

W

e have considered several subjects having to do with that most blessed and glorious Person, the Holy Spirit, who indwells God’s children.  We have looked at the Holy Spirit as oil, and as fire.  Now we want to understand that wonderful figure of the Holy Spirit as dew. [click to continue…]

Perfect Love: Ch. 9 of “New Testament Holiness”

This entry is part 15 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

…God gives us His love to love with; He has made His love our property, abso­lute­ly given it to us, so that it is now ours.

I

n the New Testament there are two words for love.  One is philos, which is the word used to express natural human affection.  This exists in greater or less degree throughout the entire animal kingdom, including all natural affections of human nature apart from Divine grace.  The other word, agape, is invariably used to express a Divine affection, imparted to the soul by the Holy Ghost.  Natural love existed within us before we were regenerated, as it exists in human nature generally; but of Divine love we had none until we were born into the Kingdom of God.  The love of God was then “shed abroad in our hearts” [Romans 5:5], and by this alone can we claim the title of children of God, as partakers of His nature.  [Cf. 2 Peter 1:4]  “The love of God here means not our love to God, nor exactly the sense of God’s love to us, but God’s love itself for us.”  “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us” [1 John 3:1], not manifested or demonstrated, but bestowed, imparted, given to us as a gift.  What a wonderful truth this is, that God’s love for us shall be in us, and become our love to others.  Was this not what our Lord asked for when He prayed, “that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them” [John 17:26]?  The truth declared is that God gives us His love to love with; He has made His love our property, absolutely given it to us, so that it is now ours.  Who can tell all that this means?  Inspiration itself can only find relief in adoring gratitude.  “Behold what manner of love.” [click to continue…]

Testimony: Ch. 25 of “New Testament Holiness”

This entry is part 18 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

 

T

he Rev. John Fletcher once said to Mrs. Hester Ann Rogers, “Come, my sister, we will covenant together to spread the sacred flame, and testify before men and angels ’the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.’” 1 [1 John 1:7]  With flowing tears Mrs. Rogers repled, “In the strength of Jesus I will”; and she did, until she went “sweeping through the gates washed in the blood of the Lamb.” 2 It seems to have been the custom among early Methodists to make humble, prudent, but frank acknowledgement of the work of entire sanctification, when it was wrought in their souls by the power of the Holy Ghost.  We give a few testimonies which come first to hand:—

“The Lord for whom I waited came suddenly to the temple of my heart, and I had an immediate evidence that this was the blessing I had for some time been seeking.” [click to continue…]

This entry is part 5 of 11 in the series God's Ways and Man's Methods

T

his is a favorite theory many people.  It is to be noted that it contra­dicts the two methods already spoken of, for if people expect “to grow into it,” it is a plain confession that they neither received it by being “born so,” or at their “conversion.”  It is hardly worthwhile to take space here to show the large percent of professed Christians who hold to this theory, when they can be met almost anywhere, if one commences talking about full salvation.  Properly speaking, this theory should be defined as gradualism. [click to continue…]

“How They Grow”: Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 16 in the series How They Grow

Sanctification Not Obtained by Growth

Not by works of righteousness which we have done.
Titus 3:5

P

eople who are not in the experience of holiness are often hindered and defeated in obtaining the blessing by seeking it in some impossible way.  Satan helps them in this, for so long as he can so deceive them, he hinders them from having the experience.  One of the most plausible of these deceptions is that one who is not holy may become holy by “growth.” [click to continue…]

The Danger of Standing Still

This entry is part 9 of 22 in the series Soul-Help Papers

“Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.”

Exodus 14:15

“Go forward.”  Death was behind Israel in the shape of the flower of the Egyptian army; or if not death, then slavery.  They could not stand still.

The three disciples could not remain on the mountain of transfiguration; 1 there was need for them at the foot, where the throngs of needy men were congregated. 2

The eleven on the slopes of Olivet stood looking into the vacant heavens, where their blessed Lord had just swept through the clouds to His home at the throne.  But they could not stay there, even while trying to retain the sweet memory of that wonderful vision.  Jesus sent his angel to say to them, “Why stand ye gazing up into heaven?” 3  Nothing wrong in the loving gaze so far as that is concerned.  But neither could they stay there. [click to continue…]

The Holy Way: Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series The Holy Way

A Word Beforehand,

'The Holy Way' is now available as an e-book from Amazon.com, BN.com, and Kobo.com.

The Holy Way is now available as an e-book in the Kindle, Nook, and Kobo formats.

That the reader may “know the way of God more perfectly”; 1 have “life more abundantly”; 2 ever go forth with Jesus “conquering and to conquer”; 3 walk with Him “in white”; 4 and perfect “holiness in the fear of the Lord,” 5 have these lines been written.

If only one inquiring soul shall be helped; a bewildered one led into the light; a hungry one fed; an uncertain one established; an opposer won; or any blessed with full salvation, the author, and his words in these few chapters, will be blessed indeed.

Let the blessed Christ, who giveth us all things richly to enjoy, 6 have all the glory. [click to continue…]