Mount Of Sanctification
We have now come to the third mountain peak in the life of the Christian, and of course it is the blessing of sanctification. We have noticed that Mount Sinai stands for conviction and that Mount Calvary stands for regeneration. So Mount Zion stands for sanctification. We read in the 24th chapter of St. Luke’s Gospel and the 49th verse: “And behold I send the promise of my Father upon you. But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.” Here we have the promise of the Father. Christ Himself says that the Father had promised the blessing, and for them to tarry at Jerusalem until the blessing came. The Lord knew that these men could not do the work that was before them until they had received power from on high. He Himself called it the enduement of power and He never said it was to be in the schools, for He knew too well that the schools had nothing to give. There is no use in the world for a beggar to hang around a fellow who hasn’t anything to give. The Master was honest with us and said that the enduement of power was to come down to us from on high.
You remember that St. James said that “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of the Lord, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.” James understood that not only the power is to come down from on high, but that the wisdom was to come down from on high also. The Master said that, “Ye must be born again,” so even the spiritual birth is not of this world, but is like wisdom and power, it must come down from the great Fountain Head, the Father of all life, and light, and wisdom, and power, and goodness, and love, and mercy.
John the Baptist in the third chapter of Matthew says that the believer is to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire; is not the new birth, for a fellow must be born before he can be baptized. We read in the Gospel of St. John 14:16: “And I will pray the Father and he will give you another Comforter that he may abide with you forever.” Here John says that when we receive Him that He is the Abiding Comforter. Well, he means to say that when we receive the Holy Ghost He will come to abide with us, and that He is a comforter. We all know that is the very thing that we want and must have if we ever succeed in the work of the Master. To keep what we have is not to succeed, and just to hold our own is not success at all. To succeed, we must not only keep what we have, and hold all we have gained, but we must go on and take new territory each day. If our camp fires are found in the same place for as long as two nights, we are not traveling, but are standing still. To stand means to go back, for if we don’t go forward, we must go backward. Going to heaven is like riding the bicycle; you have to go on or get off — one or the other. The faster it runs, the straighter it stands, and the slower it goes, the worse it wobbles, and when it stops it falls.
We read again in Matt. 14:26: “But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you.” The Holy Ghost is a Comforter and also a teacher. His office work is to comfort and impart knowledge; He is our Instructor or Teacher. And notice, the Master said that He will bring all things to your remembrance. He will not let us forget anything. He is a constant reminder that “the Master said so and so.” We are to have all the promise and all the will fulfilled in us, and as long as there is anything coming to us from our Father’s will, the blessed Holy Ghost will remind us of it, and will never stop until we get all that is coming to us.
Now reader, I think that it is simply grand. How badly we need such a teacher here in this world of sin and sorrow where the devil is doing all that a mighty devil can do to teach men the way of sin and death. One way that he has been successful is to keep men in ignorance of the good things that God has in store for them. Most of the people are living away down below their blessed privileges. The devil has been able to keep them from getting in possession of their great estate, and as long as he can succeed in that he is not only defeating them, but he is defeating the blessed Son of God who bought the blessing for us with His own blood. Of course we know that every child of God can have the blessing the very day that he comes for it, and brings himself to the Lord. The blessing will then and there be delivered to him. For the work of the blessed Holy Ghost is to teach the child of God and bring these things to his remembrance, and the main thing that is to be brought to his mind is the blessing of sanctification.
From the time the young convert starts to heaven the blessed Holy Ghost begins to draw him into his own companionship and begins to teach him of the Christ and what He is able to do for him. I have seen Christians by the thousands who wanted to be filled with all the fullness of God. The blessed Holy Ghost had done His office work in their hearts, and they were so hungry for the blessing that they could hardly stand it. I have known them to go to their pastors and tell them of the hunger in their hearts, and instead of the pastors leading the flock of God into the green pastures, they would lead them the other way and tell them that it is impossible for them to have an experience that would satisfy their poor hungry souls and turn them away empty. Well, you will find such a preacher described in the prophecy of Ezekiel where he said, “Woe be unto the shepherds” who feed themselves and beat or shear or starve the flock.
So many places I go I find that the most of the church members are way ahead of their pastors, and instead of the pastors leading the flock, as the Lord is my judge, they are in the way of their own people and are a drawback to them instead of a blessing. I go to plenty of places where the only hope of a revival in the church is the prayers of a few faithful ones, and the pastor is in the way from the time the meeting opens till it closes. If he would get up and leave town or stay away from the meeting it would be far better for the church. I know that my statement is not overdrawn although some people might think so, but it is because they do not see the conditions as we see them.
The blessed Holy Ghost will not work where He is to take a back seat, and His work is not to be made light of either by the preacher or the workers. Where the blessed Holy Ghost can have perfect right of way, He will convict sinners and regenerate believers and sanctify His own people and fill them with Himself and make their lives happy and useful and make them a blessing to the world in which they live.
Now we read in St. John 15:26, 27: “But when the Comforter is come whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me and ye also shall bear witness because you have been with me from the beginning.” The reader will notice that when we receive the blessed Holy Ghost He is to testify of Christ, and we also are to bear witness. There is no way for a man to find out about Christ, but by the Holy Ghost. The man may read the Bible for years and be as ignorant of Christ as a heathen; he may never know the blessed Son of God until the Holy Spirit comes into his heart and bears witness to the truth that he has been reading in the Bible. You have read of Christ in the Book, but until the Holy Ghost reveals the Christ to you, you will have nothing more or less than a piece of history in your mind. But bless God, when the blessed Holy Ghost comes to your heart, you will know the Son of God better than you will know the voice of your mother. That is the beauty of the incoming Holy Ghost, and from now you will have a testimony and the glory of the Lord will be there to bless you and to keep you and to guide you into all truth and to comfort you and to fight your battles and to defeat your enemies and to encourage you and to help you to bear the burdens of life.
I am so thankful to know that we have this wonderful Treasure, and that He is to abide with us forever. We are never to be without Him and His abiding presence again while we live. Well, Glory to God! that is enough to put all the Church at the mourners’ bench as a set of seekers for Him, the blessed Comforter and Teacher, and the one who is to testify to the truth of God and His Christ and His revealed Word. For Paul says in the 12th Chapter of 1st Corinthians that “no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost,” so beloved, we must have the Holy Ghost in order to know the Son of God, and we must have the Son of God before we know the Father.
So all the steps in the divine life are only possible through the Holy Ghost. We must be convicted by the Holy Ghost and we must be born of the Spirit, and we must be baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire, and we must have the Holy Ghost to know the Son, and we must have the Son to know the Father.
Now we want to look at some beautiful things in St. John’s Gospel 16:7, 8. Christ said to the disciples: “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth it is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart I will send him unto you. And when he is come he will reprove the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment.” The reader will notice in the above text that the only way that God ever convicts sinners is to send the Holy Ghost into the heart and life of the believers. You notice that Christ said it was expedient for us that He go away, for He said, “If I go not away the Comforter will not come to you but if I depart I will send him.” Well now, the question naturally arises in the mind of the reader, when the Holy Ghost is come where will he come? Or in other words, where will He stay if he comes? We will say as the Bible directs, there is but one place for the Holy Ghost to come, and that is to the heart of the regenerated child of God for we know that the Holy Ghost can’t come and live in the hearts of sinners.
Christ says when the Holy Ghost comes and takes up His abode in the hearts of the children of God that sinners will be convicted of sin and of righteousness and of judgment, so at a glance we see the only hope in the universe for a sinner is for God’s people to go down before Him and get filled with the Holy Ghost, and when they do it the sinners will come flocking home to God by the tens of thousands. You may take the sinners of the community and they think that they are all right and don’t need a thing, but when the children of God go to the altar and make their consecration and receive the Holy Ghost the sinner will then and there get his eyes open, and at once he will see that he is a guilty sinner and on the road to an awful hell. He has been thinking that he was as righteous as anybody, but when he gets under conviction he will find out that he hasn’t any righteousness at all. Then in that condition he will wake up to the fact that he is judgment day bound, and he will see that he is not prepared for it at all. Then there is some hope for him. Until now he has been blind as a bat, but now he sees his condition.
Now we read the 13th verse of this 16th chapter and we have a beautiful statement. “Howbeit when the Spirit of truth is come he will guide you into all truth for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak, and he will shew you things to come.” Here the reader will notice that the Holy Ghost is to be a guide. In the other Scriptures that we have read He was to be a comforter, and a teacher, and a testifier, and a revealer of Christ. How beautiful all the above scriptures are. Now we come to the one that shows Him to be more than all the above. He is here shown as a guide and how important it is that we have a guide, for we are to be pilgrims and strangers here below, for here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come, whose builder and maker is God.
As we pass through this wilderness we need a guide, and thank the Lord, we are to have one, the blessed Holy Ghost. How beautiful it is to know that we are to have a comforter, and a teacher, and a reveler, and a testifier, and a guide, all in the person of the Holy Ghost. Not only that but we notice in the same verse that He is to show us things to come. Here the blessed Holy Ghost is to become to us a prophet and tell us things that are to come. To us that looks reasonable, for we read that the holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and if the Holy Ghost could tell a man things that were to come to pass a thousand years before it did come to pass, we see that He could make known things to us as well. So the blessed Holy Ghost is to be everything to us that we need to get us out of a life of sin into a life of righteousness and holiness, and finally into heaven, for He is to comfort us on the way, and He is to teach us on the way, and He is to take the things of Christ and show them to us on the way.
Well, if He will do all that, it looks like we might get through, doesn’t it? It does to me, bless His holy name. The way all seems so clear to a fellow when he has heard from the skies and knows for himself and not for another that the Holy Ghost will take the things of Christ and show them to us. There will be no trouble if we will look, and if we won’t look the loss will be ours and not His, and every mouth will be stopped before God.
Now reader, we come to the 14th verse of the 16th Chapter of St. John’s Gospel. “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” Now the blessed Son of God tells us that when the Holy Ghost is come that He will glorify Him, and the great bulk of the church members of this country are trying some new scheme to see if they can’t glorify the blessed Christ.
But everything that is tried proves to be a flat failure and is no good in the world. It comes to naught because they have gone to the wrong thing to bring glory to the blessed Christ. If they will go down on their knees now and receive the Holy Ghost they will be in the line or on the way to success, for just as sure as they get the Holy Ghost and live the life they will bring glory to the blessed Son of God. The way to glorify the Christ is to get the Holy Ghost.
Now notice what the Christ said, “He, (the Holy Ghost) shall take the things of mine and shall shew them unto you.” One way for us to bring glory and honor to the life of Christ is to let the Holy Ghost take the things of Christ and show them unto us. What an honor the blessed Son of God confers on us. Just think of it, the Holy Ghost’s taking the things of Christ and showing them to us. Just think of it, if a poor man of America were to go to England and King Edward were to have the man brought in and show him all the glory and honor that belonged to that great nation, the man would never get over talking about it in the world. But here the King of kings and Lord of lords offers to have the Holy Ghost take the things of His and show them to us.
The Bible speaks of the “riches of his glory.” Don’t you know that it is wonderful to behold the glory of a great king here in this world? And just think of the glory of the blessed Son of God, all of which you are to behold and enjoy just as if it were your very own. I don’t wonder that the Apostle cried out, “Oh the depth of the riches of the glory of the Son of God.” It is said to be past finding out. Of course it is, and we never would find it out if the blessed Holy Ghost did not take them and show them to us. We don’t discover them; they are shown to us by the Spirit.
We come now to the scriptures that show the Holy Ghost as our baptizer. You may read St. Matthew 3:11 first and see how the scriptures harmonize. Notice the reading of this, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he that cometh after me is mightier than I whose shoes I am not worthy to bear, he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” Now we turn to St. Mark’s Gospel 1:8: “I indeed have baptized you with water, but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” Now we turn to Luke’s Gospel 3:16: “John answered, saying to them all, I indeed baptize you with water, but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” Now turn and read the next lesson from John’s Gospel, 1:33: “And I knew him not, but he that sent me to baptize with water the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizes with the Holy Ghost.” And then John adds in the next verse, “And I saw and bear record that this is the Son of God.”
So that settles forever who it is that is to baptize with the Holy Ghost; it is the blessed Son of God. But we turn now and read Acts 1:5: “For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” In connection with the scriptures we have already used, we will read the 8th verse of the first chapter of Acts: “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” Now reader, a Christian experience that will reach to the uttermost parts of the earth is to my mind a mountain-peak experience, or a mountain-top life. There is no use for me to undertake to explain the above scriptures, for they don’t need anybody to explain them. They only need a fellow to believe them and go to shouting the victory through the blessed Son of God, and we are ready to do that now, and if we have got the blessed experience, it won’t be long until it will break out on us and somebody will know it, and then somebody else will hear about it, and the first thing you know it will be all over the settlement, and then all over the state, and then to the uttermost parts of the earth.