When and How to Seek Holiness
“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection.” (Heb. 6:1)
All true Christianity begins and ends in the Bible. Therefore, we are not, by any means, to believe or accept any doctrine or theory which can not be found within the lids of this blessed old guide. On the other hand we must not allow any man or devil to influence us to disbelieve or dispute any of its sacred teaching but strive to bring our lives into perfect accord. And if at any time we come across something therein that we do not understand, if we take it to God in prayer, He will make it clear to our minds.
In the above text the apostle evidently is writing to newly converted people. He is exhorting them not to stop at conversion, even though it be a grand and glorious experience, but to go on “unto perfection.” Generally speaking, perfection, holiness, the baptism of the Holy Ghost, perfect love, the second blessing, full salvation, and entire sanctification are synonymous terms; that is, they all mean the same state of grace.
If we modernized the contents of the text it would read as follows: Now, you are converted but don’t stop there, but go in immediately for the experience of holiness, entire sanctification, the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire.
Those who have been recently converted must not allow themselves to be confused or upset over meeting people who dispute and oppose the doctrine of holiness.
They will attempt also to poison your mind against it; however, if you follow the teachings of your Bible, their arguments will be of no avail. It would be well for the beginner to commit the following texts to memory: Matt. 5:48; Luke 1:73-75; John 17:17; Eph. 5:24-27; 1 Pet. 1:15, 16.
The next thought to be considered is: When shall the newly saved soul begin to seek holiness? Our reply is: Just as soon as he comes to the knowledge of the fact that it is God’s will for him to be sanctified, even if it is the next meeting after he is converted. If he defers this matter any great length of time, the chances are that he will settle down and never seek it
The next question that arises is how to seek it. We know of no better way than that of Peter, James, John and the remaining hundred and seventeen. Luke tells us in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, “They all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.” Jesus told them in the twenty-fourth chapter of Luke, forty-ninth verse, how long to seek. “But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.” There are many would-be holiness teachers throughout the country who teach seekers to consecrate and take it by faith, but this teaching is not Scriptural according to the teaching of the Son of God. He said, “Tarry until ye be endued with power from on high.” Either He or these modern teachers are wrong. Will some one please inform us which?
We are willing to admit that the blessing is obtained by faith, but not the kind recommended by these shallow teachers. They mean, venturing faith, which of course is excellent in its place. But for one to receive true holiness, viz., the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, be must lay aside venturing faith and adopt persevering, tenacious, Jacob-like faith, that which will not be denied nor let go until the fire falls.
It is quite evident that Peter and the rest of the company were using this brand of faith, for the sacred record says: “They were all with one accord in one place (this reads as if they were taking Jesus’ advice and tarrying until the blessing came). And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:1-4).
Our advice, reader, is to continue to pray, believe and wait until the fire falls from heaven.