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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," December Edition 2007

The Role Of Truth In The Experience Of Entire Sanctification

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). “God hath from the beginning chosen [us] to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (II Thess. 2:13).

The above verses highlight the role of objective truth in the believer’s experience of sanctification. These are directly joined together as agent and result: truth is the agent involved; sanctification is the result of the reception of, and obedience to, “the truth.”

The negative implication of the above association is that without “the truth” there can be no genuine biblical experience of sanctification, either initial or entire.

Now the difficult question that confronts us here is whether or not people in religious cults of false doctrine can be genuine Christians. The painful, yet straight answer is “no.” Without being in religious truth, as a whole, friends, we cannot enjoy the fruits of obedience to the truth, which is, ultimately, entire sanctification--heart purity and perfect love--the highest and most glorious plane of Christian experience this side of heaven.

Further, this discussion has important implications for the modern Wesleyan Holiness movement’s widespread entanglement in the popular end-time Bible prophecy distinctives of dispensational premillennialism, which we, along with many others, consider to be false doctrine.

Wesleyan Methodist theologian Dr. Daniel Steele once called the Plymouth Brethren dispensational theory “a substitute for holiness or antinomianism revived.” Contemporary Nazarene writer H. Ray Dunning says that he knows of no Wesleyan scholars who subscribe to it (Grace Faith, and Holiness, p. 585).With that being said, Leslie Wilcox, in his book Profiles in Wesleyan Theology, volume 3, page 310, states that J. N. Darby’s dispensational premillennial teaching “has been the most popular theory among holiness people and many other evangelicals during the last three-quarters of a century.”

Now isn’t that revealing? What Daniel Steele said was “a substitute for holiness, or antinomianism revived,” and what, according to H. Ray Dunning, Wesleyan scholarship has never significantly embraced, is yet what many of us today are prejudicially clinging to as the cherished sacred gospel! So what gives here, anyway?

Why are so many modern professed Wesleyan Holiness folks so tenaciously disposed to cling to Darbyite dispensationalism, when those who have studied that belief system’s ideological roots agree that it is incompatible with historic Wesleyan-Arminian theology?

The answer is that people generally tend to believe what they are taught. That does not make the teaching right, friends, it just means that people usually believe what they are taught, and most of us, unfortunately, were taught Darbyism back in the day.

A stream rises no higher than its source. Until the public is “re-educated” in the truth, dear friends, we will never get beyond the wrongness we were taught.

How badly do YOU really want to know “the full council of God”?

Interest and desire--the “want to”--is a choice. Now move off your settled lees, and make that choice!

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