John they say and feel: “Unto Him that loveth us, and loosed us from our sins by His blood; and He made us to be kings and priests unto His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion for ever and ever.” True holiness people confess their dependence upon Christ, and are always glad to give glory unto Him. He hath “loosed us from our sins.” They confess their lost and ruined state out of Christ, and magnify the love and might of Him who hath rescued them by His own precious blood. Holiness People are a “Kingdom.”–They have heard the glad tidings that “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” They have forsaken their sins, and received a kingdom that can not be moved. They have also welcomed that kingdom into their own souls, and claim the baptism with the Holy Ghost, which expels inbred sin, with its body-guard of carnal tempers, which opposes the reign of Christ within. They are the advance-guards of the coming millennial kingdom, in which they are to reign with Christ when He shall come.
Holiness honors the Blood. — Its true possessors realize that every gift they have comes through the atonement; that it is through the death of Jesus that they are saved, not by works, nor growth, nor culture, nor purgatory, nor repression, but by faith, through the Blood, that they are “loosed” from their sins, and “made” kings and priests unto God the Father. They are “priests.” They proclaim the truth by lips and life, in that they intercede for others, and are ambassadors in Christ’s stead to beseech men to be reconciled to God.
Holiness says “Amen!” — Holiness people respond with a cheerful “Amen” to the whole will of God. They glorify Him for their own salvation, and for what He is, and was, and is to be, and for all the victories that are coming, “world without end.” They take no glory to themselves for anything, but give all glory to Christ. Spurious holiness advertises its character by failure at this point. True holiness people recognize the absolute supremacy and dominion of Jesus Christ in their hearts and everywhere. “To Him be the glory and the dominion for ever and ever.” Regeneration puts in their hearts an “Amen” to all of God’s will. Entire sanctification, through baptism with the Holy Ghost, eliminates every internal protest to this “Amen,” and makes it spontaneous. They say “Amen” to all they know and all they don’t know, whatever God’s will may be, ages upon ages. Reader, is this our experience?
Holiness anticipates the Return of Jesus and Victory. — It expects Him to come as the angels that Heaven commissioned to declare His return, immediately after His ascension, said He would. It joyfully shouts, “Behold, He cometh with the clouds!” and declares that His return will be awful to His enemies, causing them to be filled with consternation and dismay. “Every eye shall see Him, and they which pierced Him ; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over Him.”
Our Alphabet. — To true believers, Jesus is the only Alphabet. As all words are composed of the letters of the alphabet, so all their plans are made by Him. He is their Alpha and Omega, which is, and which was, and which is to come.
True Holiness spurns Honorary Degrees. — D. D., LL. D., and similar titles, were not born of God, nor of Holy Ghost revivals, but of the schoolmen and the world. B. B., “Beloved Brethren,” is a child of the kingdom. The former fades in an hour; the latter will grow brighter through the ages of eternity. John is Divinely characterized as a “servant,” “brother,” and “witness.”
He who covets the titles of the schoolmen, and shuns those of the Spirit, has no part in the Kingdom.
Holiness is Spiritual Sunshine. — Jesus appeared unto John with a countenance which was “as the sun shineth in his strength.” Holiness puts its possessor in possession of His nature. “As He is, even so are we in this world.” A holy experience is a shining experience. It enables its possessor to shine in the midst of a wicked and perverse nation, “like the sun when he goeth forth in his might.” It emits light, which not only makes the face glow, but which bids all doubts, fears, and blue forebodings to take wings and fly away. Glory! It is not only a shining experience, but it is a burning experience. It enables people to burn their way through icebergs of formality, to melt the spiritual coldness on every side, and make it so hot for sinners that they are sometimes melted by its fires.
Holiness. — is Sympathetic. — A feeling of sympathy pervades all of the members of God’s great family. Entire holiness eliminates discordant notes of selfishness and sectarianism, of clamor and strife, and unites and melts into one sea of liquid love. They become, like John, “brothers” and “partakers” with each other in the trials, tribulations, and the triumphs of a holy life.
Holiness does not Exempt from Trial. — As men try weapons, bridges, and implements before using them, so God must have people that have been tried and proved true, during their probationary testing, before He can trust them over the greater things which await them when they are called to come up higher, and serve Him on the thrones and in the temples of eternity. Blessed are ye when tried if ye endure the trial! Our Divine Exemplar passed through these testing ordeals, and all who would share with Him His glory must first submit to His testings. Holiness helps to hold still in the fire. It gives grace to be true under pressure, and enables its possessor to welcome disagreeable providential testings, knowing that they work out a far more exceeding and eternal weight if glory. Entire holiness is the grace that puts believers where they can stand strains that would break them without it. Satan sometimes succeeds in making people believe that they can not retain this experience because of their circumstances, and because their trials are so great, when the fact is that the stronger the trail the more victory it will bring. It is this that makes more than conquerors, through Christ, over every foe.
Holiness people are a royal people. — They are the children of the King of kings. They wear royal robes, and are on their way to royal thrones, that will stand after all earthly governments have perished. They have a kingdom that can not be shaken, and though that when the supremacy will be acknowledged, and it will become universal, and they shall share with their Elder Brother, the Son of God, in the administration of its affairs.
Holiness embraces Perfect Patience. — Patience is the crowning grace of a Christian life. Many people can endure tribulation, but can not be patient over it. They can “wait” for the Lord, but they can not “wait” for Him. Regeneration imparts patience. Entire sanctification banishes impatience. Patience is a beautiful flower, that flourishes only in the rich soil of perfect love, where the weeds of carnality are removed and showers of blessing daily fall. Patience is the crucial test of the depth of your experience. Only those who are perfected in holiness are able “to walk He who covets the titles of the schoolmen, and shuns those of the Spirit, has no part in the Kingdom.
Holiness is Spiritual Sunshine. — Jesus appeared unto John with a countenance which was “as the sun shineth in his strength.” Holiness puts its possessor in possession of His nature. “As He is, even so are we in this world.” A holy experience is a shining experience. It enables its possessor to shine in tile midst of a wicked and perverse nation, “like the sun when he goeth forth in his might.” It emits light, which not only makes the face glow, but which bids all doubts, fears, and blue forebodings to take wings and fly away. Glory! It is not only a shining experience, but it is a burning experience. It enables people to burn their way through icebergs of formality, to melt the spiritual coldness on every side, and make it so hot for sinners that they are sometimes melted by its fires.
Holiness is Sympathetic. — A feeling of sympathy pervades all of the members of God’s great family. Entire holiness eliminates discordant notes of selfishness and sectarianism, of clamor and strife, and unites and melts into one sea of liquid love. They become, like John, “brothers” and “partakers” with each other in the trials, tribulations, and the triumphs of a holy life.
Holiness does not Exempt from Trial. — As men try weapons, bridges, and implements before using them, so God must have people that have been tried and proved true, during their probationary testing, before He can trust them over the greater things which await them when they are called to come up higher, and serve Him on the thrones end in the temples of eternity. Blessed are ye when tried if ye endure the trial! Our Divine Exemplar passed through these testing ordeals, and all who would share with Him His glory must first submit to His testings. Holiness helps to hold still in the fire. It gives grace to be true under pressure, and enables its possessor to welcome disagreeable providential testings, knowing that they work out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Entire holiness is the grace that puts believers where they can stand strains that would break them without it. Satan sometimes succeeds in making people believe that they can not retain this experience because of their circumstances, and because their trials are so great, when the fact is that the stronger the trial the more the experience is needed, and the greater the victory it will bring. It is this that makes more than conquerors, through Christ, over every foe.
Holiness People are a Royal People. — They are the children of the King of kings. They wear royal robes. and are on their way to royal thrones, that will stand after all earthly governments have perished. They have a kingdom that can not be shaken, and though that kingdom is unpopular at the present, the time is nearing when its supremacy will be acknowledged, and it will become universal, and they shall share with their Elder Brother, the Son of God, in the administration of its affairs.
Holiness embraces Perfect Patience. — Patience is the crowning grace of a Christian life. Many people can endure tribulation, but can not be patient over it. They can “wait” for the Lord, but they can not “wait patiently” for Him. Regeneration imparts patience. Entire sanctification banishes impatience. Patience is a beautiful flower, that flourishes only in the rich soil of perfect love, where the weeds of carnality are removed and showers of blessing daily fail. Patience is the crucial test of the depth of your experience. Only those who are perfected in holiness are able “to walk worthily of the Lord, unto all pleasing; bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to the might of His glory, unto ALL PATIENCE and long-suffering with joy.” (Col. 1, 10, 11.) God wants everywhere, in homes and places of business, specimens who demonstrate that infinite grace is able to keep one patient under all circumstances. If you have Bible holiness, you are a witness of this truth.
Holiness saves from Murmuring and Retaliation. — Though John had been bitterly persecuted, he utters no word of complaint. Like his Master, he was “dumb before his shearers,” and was so imbued and enthused with the magnitude of his message that he seemed to have no time nor disposition to retaliate or repine. True holiness always leads its possessors into such an experience. Professed holiness people that are continually complaining and repining about providential afflictions and circumstances are professors only. The complete holiness outfit embraces an oil-can to lubricate, as well as fire and steam to make the engine go.
Holiness embraces Loyalty. — John was loyal to “the Word of God” and loyal “to the testimony of Jesus.” There is much said in these days about loyalty to Churches and to pastors, and boards and committees, and everything but loyalty to Jesus Christ Himself. Loyalty to Him embraces loyalty to all that is in harmony with Him, and disloyalty to all that is not; hence, true holiness people are true to the Word of God, to the testimony of Jesus, and to Churches and pastors that are true to these; but in the very nature of the case, they are, and must be, disloyal to those that are not, or forfeit their heritage. Disloyalty to ministers and Churches that seek to substitute unscriptural interpretations for the plain instructions of the Word of God, is one of the badges of honor which every true holiness person delights to bear.
Holiness does not Exempt from Persecution. — It did not exempt the prophets, nor Jesus Christ, nor the apostles, and it will not you. If you do not know what it is to be persecuted, you do not know what it is to have the experience of full-fledged New Testament holiness. Opposers of holiness will claim that their opposition is because of fanaticism, or indiscretion, or wild-fire connected with it, or because of the injudicious methods of its advocates, but all of this is a lie as black as the devil that brings it. The real reason is because of the nature of holiness itself, the disharmony of its opposers to it, and the condemnation which loyalty, to it and its testimony of Jesus brings. He who opposes Bible holiness thus unwittingly and unavailably advertises that there is something in his heart and in his life that is not right. A few months ago a leading officer in a neighbor Church strenuously opposed a holiness evangelist. The other day he was discharged from his position because of trickery and fraud, which he had been practicing for years, and which was back of his opposition to holiness. Neither purity, gifts, graces, nor Christlikeness on the part of true holiness people can exempt them from the howl of the devil’s bloodhounds of persecution. “All who will live godly shall suffer persecution.” If any one could have escaped, it certainly would have been the “beloved disciple,” who, because of his loyalty to God and His Word, was cruelly banished, to starve to death upon this barren, bone-bleached island of the Mediterranean.
Holiness gives Victory over Persecution. — Regeneration puts people where they will endure persecution rather than renounce their faith. Entire holiness brings an experience which enables them to rejoice in it and be exceeding glad. While God allows the devil to turn his hounds upon true holiness people, yet they can do nothing but howl, unless He gives them license, and that license He never gives unless it be to bring some great good to them or glory to Himself. In every instance where it is met in the spirit of the Master, He transforms it into victory. He may allow Hamans to build scaffolds heaven-high for the execution of holiness Mordecais; but after they are built, He transforms them into the stepping-stones to the King’s palace. Sometimes He allows Satan’s minions to fire furnaces with sevenfold heat, and even bind those who are loyal and thrust them in; but it is that tie may reveal the Form of the Fourth, and give them victory over the fire, and over their foes, and honor them with blessings in His kingdom such as they otherwise could not have possessed. In this way He makes the demons of the pit draw His people to heights of victory that they have never hitherto attained. Possessors of tile experience of entire holiness may be known by the way they meet persecutions. They do not whine and murmur and talk about the “mysterious dispensation of Divine providence” when persecuted, but rejoice that they are counted worthy to suffer, and know that it is among the “all things that work together for good to them that love the Lord.” As God changed a starvation circuit into a vestibule of glory for John, so He always transforms adverse circumstances, the mistakes and misunderstandings of friends, and even the cruelty of foes, into priceless blessings.
Holiness People are “in the Spirit.” –The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of holiness. The fruits of holiness are planted by Him in regeneration. The weeds that would hinder their growth are eliminated by Him when the believer receives his personal Pentecost, and all who would maintain the Spirit of holiness must retain the abiding indwelling of the Holy Ghost. Holiness is simply the result of a Spirit-cleansed, Spirit-filled, Spirit-kept, and Spirit-led life. People with the Pentecostal experience live in the Spirit, and knowingly do nothing that He does not commend.
Holiness welcomes Solitude. — While it rejoices on the busy plains of life, and in holy activities when God so leads, yet it loves to be alone with Jesus when His providence and Spirit lead that way. The secret of spiritual power is in being alone with God. Elijah’s victory on Mount Carmel was preceded by his solitude. Jesus Himself must be much alone with the Father that He might speak as never man spake. If more people had Bunyan’s jail-experience, there would be more books like the “Pilgrim’s Progress,” that would make devils shake and quake and run, and that would lead people into the experience of salvation. It was on lonely Patmos, in the silence that could be felt, that John heard the great Voice, and received the messages which have thrilled God’s people in all the ages.
Holiness People magnify the Sabbath. — It is their rest-day, and type of the deep, sweet Sabbath-rest which holiness has brought to their souls. They are not stickling Pharisees, in servile bondage to Jewish regulations in regard to the Sabbath-day, nor lawless worldlings that trample the sanctity of the Sabbath beneath their feet, but observe it as God designs. As illumination and celestial revealings came to John, as he was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s-day,” so cloud-bursts of glory flood their souls, as they are in the Spirit, filling their God-given appointments upon the sacred day of rest.
Holiness People are possessed of Keen Discernment. — The Holy Ghost has taken out all conceit, all egotism, all prejudice and preconceived notions; has deafened them to the sound of this world’s music, and tuned their ears to catch the melodies of the skies, and the softest whispers of the Savior’s voice, so that they can feel and sing:
“I’m walking close to Jesus’ side —
So close that I can hear
‘The softest whispers of His voice,
In fellowship so clear.”
And whether the sound come to them as “a still small voice” or as a “great voice, as of a trumpet,” as with John, they hear it and obey it, and rejoice in so doing.
Holy Evangelism. — God commands His people to proclaim His gospel. True holiness people cheerfully heed all of His commands. It is their privilege and duty to witness to the full benefits of saving grace. They are to advertise the extent of the cure which the Great Physician has effected for them. They are to do this in every possible way; not only by holy living, and holy preaching, and holy testifying, but they are commanded, as was John, to “write,” and send their messages to the Churches. In these days of printing-presses and marvelous facilities for transportation, there are God-given opportunities to spread the truth by the printed page which can not be neglected. Oral and primed evangelism are the two wings on which the gospel in its fullness is flying to “the whole creation.” True holiness people, to the extent of their opportunity and ability, utilize both of these agencies. Through personal correspondence, printed testimony, holiness papers, and holiness books and booklets, a holy people press the holy war against the unholy kingdom of darkness. This privilege and duty can not be neglected without loss to the individual and to the kingdom. God commands His people today to write and send His truth as really as He did John at Patmos. The writing and sending of this and kindred books is in response to such instructions of the King of kings.
Holy Adaptation. — The gospel of holiness is adapted to all conditions of all Churches in all ages. John was commanded to send his message to the Seven Churches, and though there was a special application of the message to each Church, yet there was the same general message to all, though they were widely different in character. The gospel of Jesus Christ is thus adapted to all conditions. Pigmy preachers talk about “preaching to suit the times.” This is nonsense in the sense they mean it. The preaching God commands is that of the gospel, undiluted, unmutilated, unabridged, with hellfire for the sinner and Holy Ghost fire for the believer; heaven for the saved and hell for the damned. This is the Divine order, always and everywhere, and he who would substitute something else for it is in league with hell.
Holiness embraces Flexibility. — John instantly “turned” in response to the Divine call. The baptism of the Holy Spirit detaches people from everything that keeps them from the whole will of God. It makes them like clay in the hands of the pater. It destroys any resistance to the Divine Molder. Henceforth God guides them “by His eye.” His look becomes their law. A motion from Him is equal to a command. They realize the truth which Faber expressed when he wrote:
“Then keep thy conscience sensitive;
No inward token miss;
And go where grace entices thee —
Perfection lies in this.”
They become so flexible that they cheerfully fit into any corner that God may indicate. Like Samuel, they instantly respond, “Speak; for Thy servant heareth.” Like Isaiah, after he had received the sanctifying touch from the live coal, they gladly say to every Divine call: “Here, Lord, am I; send me, send me.” If John had not possessed this spirit of flexibility, and “turned” when God spake, he would have missed the marvelous revelations which were committed to him. Doubtless many of God’s children miss manifestations of infinite value because they are not flexible enough to turn when He speaks.
Holiness gives Clear Spiritual Vision. — Regeneration imparts spiritual sight; but the second work, which comes with the personal Pentecost, gives keener vision. In conversion, we see “men as trees walking;” after entire sanctification, we “see clearly,” and see God in a sense never before experienced. People who have been pessimistic, and see nothing but wrong and wreckage on earth and in the Churches, need this Pentecostal illumination; then they soon will see that God still has His seven thousand who have not bowed their knee to Baal. Many people of today would have seen nothing in the seven Churches named in this chapter but “Babylon” and confusion; but John, under the spiritual enlightenment, saw “seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the candlesticks, One like unto a Son of man.”
Loyalty to Holiness is Rewarded by Manifestations of Jesus. — John in his loyalty to holiness had been compelled to disregard the restraints with which a godless political government and dead ecclesiasticism had attempted to impede his God-given work. His loyalty to holiness and the higher power had nerved him to boldly proclaim and preach the gospel in its fullness wherever God commanded. Hence he was persecuted, hence sentenced, hence exiled, and became a member of the illustrious class of people of whom Jesus said, “Whosoever killeth you shall think that he offereth service unto God.” God allowed His enemies to have their way, and apparently triumph over His loyal servant; and then, at the very moment when, from a human standpoint, it would seem that hope for deliverance was entirely extinguished, Jesus came, spoke, and revealed Himself in His beauty and His glory, “clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about at the breasts with a golden girdle. And His head and His hair were white as white wool, white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet like unto burnished brass, as if it had been refined in the furnace; and His voice as the voice of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars; and out of His mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword; and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” “Man’s extremity,” with true holiness people, is always “God’s opportunity.” He allows His children sometimes to feel forsaken, perhaps that they may have a keener appreciation of His presence when He appears, with a “voice as the voice of many waters,” rebuking every tempest that Satan may send, dividing every Red Sea of human difficulty, putting to flight every unclean and accusing spirit, leveling every defiant wall of seemingly insuperable difficulty, as the Great Captain of our salvation, leading triumphantly against the powers of darkness, and finally commanding the devil and his legions to depart into outer darkness, prepared for them, and welcoming His blood-washed hosts to the house of “many mansions, prepared for them from the foundation of the world.” Professed holiness people who have no kindred manifestations of the Savior should know the reason. What are human ostracisms, persecutions, and banishments from official, political, and ecclesiastical circles, compared to the riches of such manifestations of the King of kings? They are chaff, which the wind blows away.
Holiness Churches and People are Honored by the Presence of Jesus. — John’s eyes, Divinely touched, saw the Son of man in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. Seven is a symbolical number, meaning completion; gold is symbol of pure religion; ‘the candlesticks refer to the Churches; hence, John’s vision interpreted means that Jesus personally abides in the midst of a Holy Ghost people, and of a pure Church of which He is the Head. There is no Scripture that teaches that He abides with an impure Church, or a Church in which His supreme authority is not recognized and obeyed. Social clubs, aping as Churches, in league with the world, the flesh, and the devil, given up to fairs, frolics, festivals, and fandangos, hobnobbing with Christless fraternities, run by ungodly Official Boards, and manipulated by salary-seeking, place-preferring, truckling ministers, and yet pretending to be Churches of Christ, have His curse instead of His blessing; but a people who through conversion have come in possession of the gold of His kingdom, and have had the dross eliminated by the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire, are His “peculiar treasure.” To such He says, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Such a Church, though poor and uninfluential from the human point of view, is rich in the possession of the Maker of the universe.
Jesus Christ defends His Ministry. — He had in His right hand seven “stars.” The seven stars represent the true gospel ministry. A true ministry is a holiness ministry. Holiness consists in a cheerful loyalty to the whole will of God, and he who preaches less than this is not a true minister of Jesus Christ. All who do this are “star” preachers in a deep, spiritual, Divinely-named sense. Like tile stars, they are beautiful, and preach a gospel that commands to worship the Lord in the “beauty of holiness.” Like stars, they shine in the black night of sin, and are beacons to sin-wrecked souls steering upon the Rocks of Doom. Jesus holds them all in His right hand. Preacher, resting in the hand of Almighty God, what hast thou to fear? Held securely there, no enemy can harm you. If Moses with a rod could conquer a mighty nation, what may not Omnipotence do with thee? Wherever adverse circumstances may cast thy lot, however desolate and dark thy human appointments may be, thou hast a permanent appointment with Him who created all worlds and who shapes all destinies, and you are not alone; all the “stars” of all the ages are nestling with thee in His Almighty Hand.
The Defense of Holiness People is the Word of God. By it they are Divinely convicted, Divinely converted, Divinely sanctified, and through tile baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, are Divinely illuminated and preserved and led and defended. “Out of His mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword.” This is the gospel sword that every loyal believer wields; it is the mightiest weapon earth ever knew. Battleships and bombshells, and modern missiles and artillery, are nothing compared to it. It can pierce the thickest armor, stay the mightiest giants, and is destined to sweep on in its conquests until all the enemies of holiness shall perish, earth be redeemed, and Satan and his minions eternally banished. Every true believer is equipped with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Sham preachers substitute lectures, essays, human views, topics of the day, and other painted sticks, instead of the sword of the Spirit, with which God will not intrust them, and which they do not know how to handle. In the hands of an unconverted person this sword is as dangerous as a razor in the hands of a crazy man. It is a defense to God’s people, and the constitution of their kingdom. It is the “one rule, and the safe rule, both of their faith and practice.” All councils, creeds, customs, restrictions, and requirements which are contrary to the Word, they put beneath their feet.
Unbearable Blessings. — Holiness people sometimes have blessings bigger than they can bear. When Jesus thus manifested Himself to John, “he fell at His feet as one dead.” Old-time devotion to God will bring old-time manifestations of Divine power. Multitudes of saints have been so blessed that they have cried, “Stay thy hand!” Doubtless a revealment of God in His beauty and holiness and celestial glory is more than any human being can bear and live. Such prostrations of human strength through Divine visitation, in these days, are called fanaticism, so low has modern Christianity fallen from the New Testament standard, so carnal are many of those who dare call themselves by the name of Christ. Yet God is able to reveal Himself to man with blessings that are unspeakable and full of glory; and all who will, may live, as a saint testified in a recent camp-meeting, “‘Way up in the exceedinglies.”
Holiness banishes Fear. — Jesus said, “Fear not.” Perfect love casts out all slavish fear — the fear of man, the fear of public opinion, fear of the world, fear of failure, fear of criticism, fear of persecution, fear of poverty, fear of death, and fear of hell, all fly before its queenly scepter. A loyal Christian has no reason to fear any manifestations of Jesus Christ to himself. Should a vessel break under the pressure of glory, God would give the soul a better one, even a “house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Ours is not a dead, but a living Christ. Though He died on Calvary, yet He arose to live evermore, he is not the Lamb that is slain, but the Lamb that was slain. He has demonstrated His Divinity by His resurrection from the grave, and His ascension to heaven. As the Great Head of His Church, the Christ of the holiness people has “all power in heaven and on earth.” He lives and reigns, and is leading on His victorious hosts against the powers of darkness, and will soon appear again personally, to receive His own, destroy His enemies, and reign upon the throne of David, as he promised.
Holiness gives its Possessor Victory over the Grave. — Jesus says, “I have the keys to death and of hades.” He is our Elder Brother. We therefore need fear neither death nor hades. Satan is powerless to lock God’s children up in these places. As Christ holds the key, not one of His brothers or sisters can die until He permits it. Holiness people, in His name, can visit dens of infamy, preach the gospel in saloons, or, like Bishop Taylor, in the jungles of Africa and India, so long as God leads. Robbers, pestilences, fevers, accidents murderers and demons, have no power to take their lives until God shall give them license to do so. He has the key to death and the unseen world; hence, no power can take His children into their domains until Christ Himself shall unlock the door and give permission, and when He does, then He will go with them, and though they “pass through the valley of the shadow of death, they will fear no evil.” Like Paul, with a shout of victory, they can look the grim monster in the face and say, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
Holiness People are Divinely, Commissioned to Proclaim a Full Salvation. — John was commanded, “Write, therefore, the things which thou sawest, and the things which are, and the things which shall come to pass hereafter.” In a like manner, all who belong to the same loyal, Spirit-filled line can serve the cause of the kingdom by writing the things of God which they see and experience, and magnify the coming of the King, and the things “which shall come to pass.” God wants men and women who have tested the verities of salvation, its latitudes and longitudes, horizontals and perpendiculars, to publish these things, and thus advertise the superhuman power of grace to break the power of the devil, save from sin, and set on fire for the kingdom of heaven. In every letter you write, and note you send, and article you publish, preach salvation. God will give you wisdom if you are writing for Him, and will enable you to do this in such a way as to bring flood to man and glory to Himself.
What possibilities of Divine grace, and of victories over sin, self, circumstances, and Satan are unfolded in this chapter! If so many golden nuggets lie at the surface of the gold-mine of this wonderful book, what treasure may we not expect to find as we deeper delve? May God prepare our hearts for the riches that await!