Entire Sanctification (July 8, 1931)
Sermon by: Florence Crawford
We read these words in 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Second Definite Work of Grace
Sanctification is a second definite work of grace in the heart. It is impossible to teach on sanctification without teaching on justification. One subject leads up to the other. Justification is the experience of having our sins blotted out, having our sins forgiven. We are held accountable for sins we commit from the time that we came to the age of accountability.
In many ways you can see the carnal nature manifested in a child almost at birth. There will be fits of crying and manifestations of anger in a very small infant. That is the inherited sin. Though a child is born in sin (and all are), should he pass out of this world before he reaches the age of accountability, we know that he will go to the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus picked up a little child when He was on earth and said, “Of such is the kingdom of heaven.” That child had the Adamic nature, but had not come to the age of accountability.
The first wrong act that a child commits he will hide from his parents and try to cover up; for in his heart he knows it is wrong. Or he will slip away in order to escape discipline or punishment for the committed sin. As he goes on through life, if he is not saved, he begins to commit such sins as lying, stealing, and perhaps other grosser sins. Some may not commit outward sins at all. I do not think there are many, but may be some who have never committed outward sins. Yet they are sinners. They were sinners by birth; and they have never come to the place of repentance, so there is constant condemnation resting upon their souls. Whether they ever commit outward sins or not, they are sinners by choice.
When they come to God – both those who commit sins of all description and those who do not commit the grosser sins—they all must come and seek forgiveness for committed sins. The moment they repent of them, God forgives them; He brings them into the family of God; translates them from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, into the kingdom of His dear Son. They find pardon; their sins are blotted out. Their sins are cancelled through the mercy of God, and they stand before God as though they had never committed those actual sins.
The Inbred Sin
After the soul is born again and committed sins are blotted out, there still remains in the heart the root of sin, the inbred nature. The depravity of the fallen nature must be cleansed away—not blotted out, not forgiven. You yourself did not transgress in order to bring the inbred nature into your life. You committed the transgressions that were the result of the inbred sin, but the inbred sin itself was inherited from your forefathers. For that reason, you cannot repent of your inbred nature; but you can repent of your actual transgressions.
Since our fore-parents in the Garden committed that sin which plunged the whole human race into sin—from Adam down to the day when Christ comes—every soul ever born will have the taint of sin in his heart.
When Adam and Eve committed that first sin, they went out from under the power and dominion of God and came under the power and the dominion of Satan. The virus of sin and unbelief, the curse of the fall, came into their hearts. Their sin caused them to be banished from God's presence and to be driven out of the Garden. Since that time, all are born with the virus of sin and unbelief, the curse of the fall, in our hearts. And if any people on earth should praise God that they have found the remedy, we should! The Remedy has been provided.
Even under the law, God commanded the people to sanctify themselves; and in the Levitical law, provision was made by which God's people were to be holy (Leviticus 16:14; Hebrews 9:13). Under Christ, we are sanctified wholly. The inbred sin is taken out of our heart through the power of His shed Blood. Our hearts are cleansed and purified and made perfect in God, and we have peace and rest. You might say, “I got that at justification.” True, you found peace and rest at justification, but there is still a rest, there is still a peace that God gives to the sanctified soul that so far surpasses the experience of justification that it cannot even be compared with it – when the inbred sin is destroyed out of the heart.
A Life Without Sin
Let us turn to the 3rd chapter of 1 John, the 9th verse: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” He does not transgress the law of God. He does not walk in a manner unbecoming for a Christian. He has the power of God in his life. He is not of the world—he has been called out of it. He is walking to please God. Those who live closest to him, those with whom he works, those with whom he is doing business, can say that his life is above reproach if he is a child of God.
The "seed" spoken of in this verse is the Word of God, the en-grafted truth. When one has been born of the Spirit, that seed has come into his heart—not into his head, not into his mind. He is not striving to live a Christian life, not laboring and falling and trying again; it lives itself. The seed, the Word of God, is there, and his heart is at rest to a great extent. The enmity is gone, and that Word, the seed, remains in his heart. As long as it remains there he cannot sin.
You say, “That is a strong statement!” It is the Word of God! You might say, “I do not sin, I will not sin.” Then why do you not say, “I cannot sin while the Word, the seed, is in my heart”? That is not too strong. But sometimes that seed slips out – there are many reasons and ways that this can happen. We cannot enumerate them all, but a few might help you: neglecting prayer, neglecting reading the Word, neglecting keeping a guard over your heart and a bridle on your tongue. Another reason could be that you let some bitterness creep in against someone. People many times have said, “I was terribly disturbed about certain things someone did.” Call for the Word of God to come and raise up a standard again in your heart, that you might fight off the things that would war against the Spirit. That is the thing to do.
You are not on this pilgrim journey because I am, and I am not on it because you are. We are travellers from earth to the judgement bar of God. You and I will only make the grade as we keep our eyes on God. People sometimes say, “Oh! I am so oppressed, and this one is so unkind. I can hardly make it.” Arise out of that place! Get the thing in your soul that you will stand for God, and let the other brother do as he will. By your Christian life you will do your part to rebuke the thing in him that is wrong. If it comes to the place where you must speak, you will speak, but you will be true to God—and true to them. I want to tell you, this Gospel is no little, weak, milk-and-water affair.
When you get God in your heart you will walk in all the fullness of God. The moment you are saved you will rejoice for a moment; and then your heart begins to hunger for more of God. You say, “If this is God, give me more!” The soul that is sanctified wholly hungers for more of God. And those who have been baptized with the Holy Ghost, it seems to me, are more hungry that anyone else.
Now let us turn to 13th chapter of Hebrews, the 12th verse: “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”
Many people say that justification was all that Christ wrought on the Cross. We know that Christ wrought a complete, a full salvation on the Cross. What is full salvation? It includes all the experiences we receive from the time that God convicts our hearts and brings us to Christ until we are taken up to meet Him in the clouds—that is full salvation.
We read in the Levitical law that once a year Aaron brought the blood of the sin offering into the holy place, but the goat was carried forth and burned without the camp. No greater reproach or suffering could come to the Son of Man than to be taken without the camp and crucified between two thieves. Christ fulfilled every type of sacrifice for sin and cleansing. So if you are enduring reproach or suffering because of the Gospel of Christ, you are suffering no more than your Master.
I love the Old Testament truths on sanctification. When we see that some consider sanctification such a very little thing, it does one good to see what it meant in olden times. To receive sanctification, you come to God and present your life an offering unto Him—an acceptable offering. You cannot be sanctified except first you have been born again, because at sanctification you present your body a living sacrifice. When you came to God and gave your life to Him, He saved you; He pardoned your sins. The experience of justification is “blotting out,” and “forgiving.” He has taken away your sins. You are bought with a price.
God accepts what you give at salvation, provided you will make everything straight that needs to be made straight. He will accept you before you do it, but you will have to promise Him and you will have to mean it, for He knows your heart. Many people come to the altar and they cry and pray, but God knows their heart, and in their heart they are not willing to straighten up their lives; and for that reason they do not get the peace of God in their heart.
Some people can make that sacrifice so complete that God will sanctify them a few minutes after they make it. Others have been weeks and months receiving sanctification because there was a lack in making that sacrifice complete. When the sacrifice is complete, that is all you can do. You could say, “Well, then, I will just come and say, ‘Now, Lord, sanctify me,' and if He does not do it I am just going to wait.” But if He does not sanctify you, there is a reason for it. Your responsibility is to bring the sacrifice, make the consecration; God's part is to sanctify that which you have brought, and eradicate the inbred sin.
A Promise for Abram
God gave Abram a promise, and he could hardly believe it. (You will find it in the 15th chapter of Genesis.) And he said, “Whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?” God was calling on Abram to make a sacrifice unto God, to remove the unbelief out of his heart and get to the place where he could believe God. So many people doubt. James says, “He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” God wants us to believe Him. He wants us to have confidence in Him! Why shouldn't we? And yet, under test and trial, many times our faith will waver.
Abram brought the sacrifice. He took that little pigeon and dove and those other sacrifices and offered them unto God. He made a sacrifice. He made a sacrifice! That was their way, in those days, of sacrificing unto God—through bulls and goats and the ashes of an heifer and doves and pigeons. That was the means through which God accepted them. Christ, the true Lamb, the true Sacrifice, had not yet been killed. The life of something must be taken until the time came when the true Lamb was slain.
Abram took those sacrifices and put them on the altar. He was praying and getting discouraged, too, along the way; but he had strength enough and faith enough to shoo the fowls away. They would come down on that sacrifice and would have devoured it, but he shooed them off and kept shooing them off. All who are seeking God for these marvellous experiences – healing, sanctification, the baptism of the Holy Ghost—have to bring a sacrifice for everything they receive from God. And the sacrifice you make, above everything else, is that will of yours. That is all that God requires. Think of the Children of Israel – they were stiff-necked – but God knew their hearts; and He had power to break that down.
And so, toward evening, the fire came and burned up the sacrifice that Abram had made. Then he knew that God would do just what He had said. If Abram had to wait and re-consecrate, we will too. But let us hold the integrity of our heart and never get up from the altar and say we have received something we have not received.
At Mount Sinai, God was going to write His laws on the hearts of the Children of Israel. He led them up to Mount Sinai; and when they saw all the manifestations of God's presence upon the Mount, they began to draw back. They called for Moses to speak to God for them. God wanted to draw them into that place that He might keep His fear in their hearts, but they drew back. And instead of writing it on the fleshly tables of their heart, God wrote it on the tables of stone. But we are here today to get this Word written on the fleshly tables of our hearts.
Let us turn to Leviticus 6:6-13: “And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the Lord, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the Lord: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it. And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place. And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.”
This was typical of the Spirit's flame in the heart under grace. The most marvellous thing about sanctification is the heavenly fire that rests within the heart.
Again in Exodus 27:20,21, we read: “And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.” To keep this fire, the sanctifying flame, in the heart, there is something that we must do. We cannot just feed it on the flame of a testimony or a sermon we hear, or in mingling with God's people, but we must have the beaten oil; we must have that with which to keep that flame burning. That means perseverance, consecration, lining ourselves up to the Word of God, and holding the integrity of our hearts under provocation.
“In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the Lord: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.”
We note that they ordered it “from evening to morning.” There must be a communion with God; there must be a demanding the beaten oil. We are not going to be satisfied with snapshot prayers, but we are going to prevail and hold on to God until He gives us the beaten oil that we might keep that light burning in our hearts day and night. We will get it in the morning; yet many times during the day we can bow our heads at our work and pray, “O God, give me that beaten oil, that the light in my heart may continue to burn forever. Help me to make the Rapture at any cost.” May that light of sanctification, that holy flame in my heart, be the means of attracting others and making them hungry for that wonderful experience of sanctification.
If we can keep the sanctifying power of God in our hearts, we will never lose our salvation. That goes without saying. But people who lose their sanctification lose their salvation also. If you keep the sanctifying power, you will be a candidate for the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the gift of power upon the clean life. There is no Blood in the experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Blood is applied at justification and sanctification; and for that reason we must keep the Blood flowing over our hearts in order to keep these experiences. If the Blood ceases to flow, or we cease to walk in the light, or we turn in any way from the truth, the Blood immediately stops flowing, and we are cut off. We lose everything.
Thank God for the provision of sanctification. May we each one receive and retain that wonderful experience in our lives.
Florence Crawford was the founder of the Apostolic Faith work with headquarters in Portland, Oregon. After being saved and then receiving her sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Ghost in the Azusa Street revival at the turn of the century, she became an undaunted leader whose message and ministry reached hearts and lives the world over. She led the Apostolic Faith work from 1907 until her passing on June 20, 1936.