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A STUDY ON SANCTIFICATION THAT BUILDS ON THE INFLUENTIAL TEACHING OF WILLIAM H. DURHAM (AD 1873-1912), PART 2

by Karl Kemp  
4/04/2019 / Bible Studies


2.2. Some More Excerpts from the Same Edition of Personal Testimony (January 1912) under the Heading, "The Great Battle of Nineteen Eleven; It [the Great Battle] Still Continues" (on pages 6-8) 

"The year of Our Lord 1911, which has just closed [writing in January 1912], has been one of unusual activity along all lines. During the entire year the smoke of battle has never once been cleared away. ...  

After the first of February [1911] the number 7 of the Pentecostal Testimony came out [Number 7 is not available to us now (at least I haven't been able to find it)], and as soon as it went into circulation the intensity of the heat of the battle increased. God had been burning the truth of the Finished Work of Calvary into my heart for two or three years, and as the light came I had been preaching it and standing for it in the paper, when I referred to the subject at all. [Durham is speaking of the Finished Work of Calvary viewpoint that we don't need a second work of grace to be fully sanctified, because entire sanctification is provided in becoming born-again Christians. The article "Identification with Christ" in the number six [Number 6 is not available to us now either. Number 5, dated July 1, 1910, is available, but it doesn't specifically deal with the topic of the Finished Work of Calvary.] had stirred up considerable opposition, but it was number 7 that brought on the battle proper. [The primary opposition was not against the idea of the full victory over sin. Most of the early Pentecostals held that view, because of their holiness backgrounds, but they believed it took a second work of grace to receive full/entire sanctification.] 

The truth had taken such a firm grip on my heart and soul, that I could do nothing less than stand for it, and proclaim it with all my power. I saw clearly that, without a doubt, it was not only the truth, but it was the great, central doctrine of the New Testament. To preach it was to preach Christ. To preach Christ was to preach it. I further saw that when this glorious message went forth in the power of the Spirit of God, He confirmed it with the signs and wonders following. It is a Gospel that bears fruit. Those who preach it, continually hold Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary before the people. To my unutterable joy, I saw that this was the very message that the Apostles went forth proclaiming and which brought such conviction to men's hearts. Nothing is clearer than that the Apostles never theorized about works of grace. [Durham is referring to a second work of grace to fully sanctify believers.] Not one of them, in any place, ever set forth any teaching explaining the difference between justification [in the sense of being pardoned] and sanctification [being made holy]. The reason is, that the living faith that justifies a man, brings him into Christ, the Sanctifier, in Whom he is complete, not with regard to sanctification only [the grace to be fully sanctified is available from the time we become Christians], but everything else that pertains to his salvation [for one thing, Durham rightly taught that we must keep growing after we are fully sanctified]. ... 

... I further saw that the time had come when God would expose and overthrow, in a great measure at least, the theory that sanctification is a 'second, definite, instantaneous work of grace.' He made me to know that His time had come to establish in all the earth the simple, primitive Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that the Finished Work of Calvary was the central theme, yea, the very germ and life of that Gospel. This blessed Gospel, as a flame of fire, burned in my very bones, and my inmost soul was aflame with it. Christ is all and in all, and this wonderful truth makes everything to center in Him. It makes Him what God has made Him, a complete Savior to all that believe, as soon as they believe. It just rules out all the confusing theories of men, and points us to Jesus Christ and bids us rest our faith upon His finished work and rest secure forever. In all my life I never heard anything that so exalts the Blood of Jesus Christ and His great work of redemption, as this doctrine. I have never seen anything that so strengthens the faith of the children of God as this blessed truth. It teaches them that having come into Christ in conversion, instead of seeking for some other definite experience, they are to walk in Him, as they have received Him; that they are to simply abide in Him in living, continual faith, and under all circumstances trust His finished work for them. The devil can never move those who have this precious faith. [We must understand that we cannot abide in Christ in new-covenant salvation apart from the work of the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit of life.] 

The old theory kept people in continual doubt as to whether they were sanctified or not, and as long as this is the case it is impossible for a child of God to develop strength. [The key issue here is that we must understand that holiness and victory over all sin is available now, or there is no way we can appropriate the grace to live it by faith (a faith that must be based on what the New Testament actually teaches). If we think we have to wait for a second experience before we can have the full victory over sin, we cannot have faith now for that victory. Surely this is a big part of what Durham was anxious to share.] The man the devil hates and fears is the one who has rested his faith on the finished work of Christ and declares his eternal freedom from sin and the devil. The man who sees himself dead in Christ and raised up with Him, and who in faith abides in Him, is the man who has the life of victory, 'For this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.' Hallelujah! [[Yes, but not without the indwelling Spirit of life and righteousness and holiness. And we must always walk in the truth and in the Spirit by faith in order to enforce the death of the old man and to keep it from manifesting itself in sin. The primary thing that I am interested in for this paper is Durham's teaching that all Christians are called, and enabled, to walk in holiness with and victory over all sin. But it is also very important, and necessary, that he also eventually made it clear that this walk is far from being automatic, or always easy. As I have mentioned, Durham made some inconsistent statements on this topic. For one thing, he didn't have a lot of time to develop a fully balanced, consistent teaching on sanctification in the midst of much controversy. 

If we don't teach that we are called to walk in holiness with the victory over all sin by grace, Christians cannot have faith for this victory. It is a great blessing to be called, and enabled, to walk on a continuous basis in the righteousness and holiness of God by His sufficient grace, which includes the life-giving sanctifying work of the Spirit, through faith.]]  

... The question with us was, and is, 'Nevertheless, what saith the Scriptures?' [Yes!] ... ...God by His Spirit led me to His Word, and after months of careful and prayerful study of It, I was convinced of two things, namely that the Word of God not only teaches holiness of heart and life, but that It teaches a much higher standard of it than has been generally taught among any people that I know of. [Yes!] To my surprise, I found that holiness is God's only standard, but to my unbounded astonishment, I found that there is not even one Scripture that teaches that it is received as a second, definite, instantaneous work of grace. [I agree, but Christians who need to be sanctified can repent and be sanctified at any time that they meet God's conditions.] When God saves a man, He makes him clean. [All Christians are called to be clean, righteous, and holy by grace through faith, but it is far from being automatic because one has become a born-again Christian, and many Christians live their entire lives never appropriating, by faith, the fullness of the sanctifying grace that is available to them.] After becoming fully convinced of this, by the grace of God I preached it. In no other point of doctrine did I change my views [Before he was preaching full victory over sin through a second work of grace at some time after becoming a Christian], though I have been accused, without the shadow of an excuse of doing so. .... 

Now while the battle has been hard, the victory has been great indeed. From the very first, we have had the satisfaction of seeing the truth bring glorious victory. Here in Los Angeles it practically carried everything before it. ... In every place many, and in some places most, of the most spiritual people accepted the glorious doctrine of the 'Finished Work of Calvary.' In fact it is so clear and plain, and the Scriptures are so full of it, that it is a wonder that all do not at once see it when it is presented. There is no other Gospel. [With respect to his dominant point that all Christians are called, and enabled, to walk with the victory over all sin from the time they become Christians, through identification with Christ, which includes union with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection, I totally agree. This is the ideal to which we have been called. God hates sin, and He paid an infinite price to save us from sin (and the demons). THIS IS GOOD NEWS, VERY GOOD NEWS!] ...."  

2.3. Some More Excerpts from the Same Edition of Personal Testimony (January 1912) under the Heading "The Gospel of Christ" (pages 8-10). Durham frequently spoke of the miracles, including many healings, that were taking place through his ministry. 

" ... The work of Jesus Christ on the Cross is preeminently a work of redemption. ... ...salvation is by grace through faith alone. Nothing but simple, trusting, obedient faith can ever please God and gain His favor. Those who walk in this blessed faith, and who fully trust, will live careful, honest, holy lives, but will trust in the merits of Christ's Blood alone for salvation. [However, we must understand that this doesn't work apart from the enabling grace that includes the indwelling Holy Spirit. I mention this because sometimes Durham speaks of believers being born again and sanctified before the Spirit comes to indwell them when they are baptized in the Spirit as a second work of grace.] 

The attempt of Satan throughout the ages - and sad to say it has in too many cases succeeded - is to get people to lose sight of the fact, that as we are saved by coming in to Christ, we are kept safe and secure, only as we abide in Him in living faith. ... 

The thought of identification with Christ is so plain in the Scriptures that it is strange that more people do not see it. ... We come to trust in Him as our Savior, in that He died for us and rose again. We see ourselves dead in Christ, and through the quickening power of the Holy Spirit through faith, living in Him. [I'll mention again that I don't believe this quickening power is available apart from the indwelling Holy Spirit of Life.] ... We see ourselves dead in Christ, and believing this to be the case we are buried with Him, and raised up together with Him. We are identified with Him by faith in His death on the Cross, and in His burial, by our immersion in water; and in His glorious resurrection life by the blessed Holy Spirit, Who is supposed to come upon us [To repeat what I believe is an important point: He comes to dwell within us and give us spiritual life and make us righteous and holy, and in the typical New Testament pattern, the Spirit comes in the charismatic dimension at that time too.] when we come up out of the water. [When we come up out of the water is a very appropriate Biblical time to receive the Spirit/to be baptized in the Spirit. For one thing, the Lord Jesus received the Spirit right after being baptized by John the Baptist.] And thank God, we have lived to see the blessed day that He has restored the Scriptural order of things, and the Spirit is falling on thousands and they are speaking in tongues as at the beginning. If it had not been for the erroneous theories handed down to us, we would now be in full possession of all the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit. [[I believe what Durham said here is significant, that in the New Testament pattern receiving the Spirit, including the charismatic gifts, is a significant part of what it means to become a Christian. It shouldn't be thought of as a second, subsequent experience (though it can happen that way). And from this point of view it is easy to see that receiving the Spirit (or you could say being baptized in the Spirit) includes the even-more-important being born again by the indwelling Spirit of life, and being sanctified by the indwelling Spirit of holiness, along with the charismatic dimension of the Spirit's work. These important things are discussed in some detail in this paper. We need the balanced truth of what the Bible teaches! The more we believe and walk in the balanced truth of what the Bible teaches, the more we will live in the center of God's will and the more He will be glorified. As I mentioned in the Introduction of this paper, "I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting that we cannot be solid, fruitful Christians if we don't agree, for example, that the New Testament teaches that baptism in the Spirit/receiving the Spirit includes being born of the indwelling Life-Giving Spirit, being made Righteous and Holy by the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit, and entering the charismatic dimension of the new-covenant work of the indwelling Spirit."]] 

The strength of the doctrine of the Finished Work of Christ lies, first in the fact that it is the clear teaching of the New Testament, and second in the fact that we are taught to take God at His word, and believe that Christ has finished the work in our behalf, instead of being made to believe that we have been pardoned but that we are left full of sin. How silly it is to teach that in conversion God does not deal with the nature of sin. Where in the Word of God is it ever taught that He ever deals with it at any other time? There has never been but one sacrifice for sin. [We must understand, of course, that we will still be sinning to the extent we do not appropriate these glorious truths into our hearts and lives by grace, which includes the sanctifying work of the Spirit, by faith.] ... He obtained eternal redemption for us. How? By being made to be sin for us, Who knew no sin. By taking our place, our nature and our sins, yea our condemnation and sentence upon Him, and by His death paying the full penalty, and allowing us to be crucified as it were in Him, for 'Our old man was crucified with Him that the body of sin might be done away.' Rom. 6:6; American Revised Version. ... 

In the sixth [chapter] of Romans we are told that Christ died unto sin once. The apostle adds: 'In that He liveth He liveth unto God.' ... How significant then are the words that follow: 'Likewise, reckon ye yourselves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Jesus Christ.' [Yes!] But, says someone, what does this mean? It means that just as Christ went once to the Cross and died, so we are to go by faith to the same Cross and see our old man nailed to it, and see ourselves dead once, and then turn and live unto God. ... So we being dead, and raised from the dead in Christ, one time, are supposed to [my emphasis] live unto God in the Spirit; and in His goodness He bestows the Spirit upon us to walk in. [[We will not be able to keep the old man from manifesting itself in sin on a consistent basis apart from the life-giving, sanctifying work of the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit. It's good that he said "supposed to." Sometimes Durham communicates the idea that if we become born-again Christians we will automatically be dead to sin, but it is clear that these things don't take place automatically when we become born-again Christians. Durham knew this, but sometimes he confused the issue. We have to know the truth and be committed to the truth on a continuous basis by faith and walk by the Holy Spirit on a continuous basis by faith. We have to do this against the serious opposition of the world, the flesh, and the devil, evil angels, and demons, but God's grace is sufficient. The "flesh" in my last sentence includes the old man/sinful nature, that something inside that wants to sin, that must be kept from manifesting itself in sin. The "flesh" when it is contrasted with the Holy Spirit (as it often is in the New Testament) and used in a very full sense, as in Gal. 5:13-21, for example, can incorporate the input from demons. They are real and they influence people, including influencing Christians to sin, very much including to misinterpret the Bible.]] 

What could be more clear and plain, and what could be more glorious and wonderful? Dead and buried with our blessed Lord, and raised from the dead with Him. United to Him by faith, and brought into communion with the Father by the blessed Holy Spirit, whom He has given to us when He sealed us unto the day of redemption [Eph. 4:30]. [Durham believes the Spirit is only given once, when the Spirit is received, which equals being baptized in the Spirit, which ideally (according to the typical pattern in the New Testament) should take place right after water baptism. As I have mentioned, Durham (in agreement with many), wrongly I believe, doesn't think being baptized in the Spirit includes being born again or sanctified. He says we are born again and sanctified before we receive the indwelling Spirit. However, as long as Christians receive the Spirit as part of becoming a Christian, typically right after water baptism, which Durham says should happen, then I don't have much of a problem with his viewpoint, because I believe the life-giving, sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit comes with the indwelling Spirit.] Glorious thought! Redeemed and washed from sin by the precious Blood of Christ. Made partakers of His divine life and nature. Sealed in the Spirit as a proof of His finished salvation, and kept by His mighty power. [Durham undoubtedly thought of being "sealed in the Spirit" taking place when the Spirit is received, not when Christians are born again and sanctified by the Spirit before He indwells Christians. But, as I mentioned, he also (rightly from my point of view) speaks on occasion of how we should receive the Spirit at the time we become Christians.] Christ is our only hope and joy. He is our Peace. He is our Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption [1 Cor. 1:30]. He is indeed our all in all. Our Evangel [the gospel of new-covenant salvation] centers in Him. ...." 

2.4. The Next Heading in the January 1912 Edition of Durham's Pentecostal Testimony Is "The Great Need of the Hour" (pages 10-11). "... It is absolutely necessary for those who have received the Spirit [he means have received the baptism in the Spirit] to continually yield themselves up as a living sacrifice to God, and in real, inward humility walk in the Spirit and live a life of prayer and faith. Only those who do this will grow and develop in the Christian life, as God has a right to expect of us to do. [Durham makes it clear that we should be growing throughout our Christian lives, but in the ideal we will not need to be growing out of sin - we should have the victory over all sin in union with Christ and by the indwelling Spirit. This is the ideal, and it isn't an unrealistic ideal.] 

There were some who actually seemed to think when the Spirit fell on them, that they would be excused from taking up the daily cross, and living the crucified life. They forgot [or never learned] that there is no experience which in itself brings us to perfection. The teaching that sanctification, or heart purity, which can be attained by an instantaneous act or operation of grace, brings one into a state of perfection, so far as maturity is concerned, is a delusion, so deadly that all men ought to avoid it, as they would the most deadly poison. [John Wesley made it clear that we must continue to grow after being sanctified entirely.] ... Further, we will only grow and prosper as we abide in Christ, and as babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word. ... Nothing is a greater grief to me than to hear anyone contend that by any single experience they were brought into a state that makes it unnecessary for them to continually feed on the Word of God, and watch and pray that they may grow up into Him in all things Who is the Head. [John Wesley would agree.] 

[Durham continues through five paragraphs stating that] the one great need of this hour is prayer. Not formal prayer, but real, intercessory prayer in the Holy Spirit. ... God wants to bring us to an attitude of prayer and seeking His face, so that night and day there will be a strong cry going up from our hearts to God for the perfection of His own people, whom he has bought with the Blood of His only Son. He wants us to see the great need of His work, and hold on to Him night and day, till His mighty power is demonstrated in our midst. When His power is manifested, He wants us to humble our hearts and pray more earnestly than ever. O! how many great revivals are stopped,  because when God begins to work, we turn aside to rejoice in what He is doing and neglect to keep in real, humble, believing prayer. In a little time the enemy gets in, the people begin to look at one another, and soon the power lifts and God departs, as it were, till such time as we are willing to keep our eyes on Him, and keep in prayer. God would never stop any revival in these days, if His conditions were met for keeping it going. 

[I'll quote his last paragraph under this heading ("The Great Need of the Hour"):] Let us then, lay hold on the mighty weapon of 'all prayer,' and prevail with God, till He gives us the desires of our hearts [The primary desire of our hearts must be that God's will be fully accomplished in us and through us for His glory.]."      

2.5. Some Excerpts from Durham's Personal Testimony (Vol. 2, Num. 3; July 1912; Durham Died at the Age of 39, July 7, 1912) under the Heading, "The Finished Work of Calvary - It Makes Plain the Great Work of Redemption" (pages 4-7). I'll quote a paragraph under this heading, from page 5: "The doctrine of the Finished Work brings us back to the simple plan of salvation. Christ died for us, He became a substitute for every one of us; for He tasted death for every man. Here is a truth so simple and yet so great that it is wonderful. We are not saved simply because we are forgiven our sins. We are saved through identification with our Savior Substitute, Jesus Christ. We are given life because He died for us and rose again. But someone may ask, 'How do we become identified with our Substitute?' We answer, 'By faith alone.' We are condemned and sentenced to death. Christ, the Blessed Son of God, stepped in and took our place and died in our stead, thus paying the death penalty that we might go free. [The Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God, bore our sins back to Adam with the guilt and the penalties, including the major penalties of spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons.] When the truth is preached and we tremblingly fall at His feet and cry out, 'What must I do?' the word comes back, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' This does not, as we have been taught, mean that we shall be partly saved by having our outward sins forgiven. This would not be salvation. Salvation is an inward work. It means a change of heart. It means a change of nature. It means that old things pass away and that all things become new. It means that all condemnation and guilt is removed. It means that the old man, or old nature, which was sinful and depraved, and which was the very thing in us that was condemned, is crucified with Christ. [As I continue quoting from this same edition of Pentecostal Testimony, we will see that Durham significantly qualifies his statement that "the old man, or old nature, which was sinful and depraved...is crucified with Christ." I have already discussed the fact that Durham's statements like the one I just quoted must be substantially qualified: It isn't that Durham doesn't believe and teach that we are called, and enabled, to walk with the victory over all sin, including inward sin, which is extremely important, but that sometimes he doesn't make it clear that this comes to pass only as we, by God's enabling grace, through faith, on a continuous basis, keep the old man/the flesh/the sinful nature from manifesting itself in sin. I believe that the New Testament makes it clear that the old man will be crucified only to the extent that we crucify the old man/flesh/sinful nature and keep it crucified by grace through faith. It isn't eradicated or destroyed as Durham seems to say on occasion. It doesn't cease to exist until we are glorified.] This makes Christ all in all as Savior, and faith the only means by which we can become identified with Him."  

2.6. Some Excerpts from the Same Edition (Vol. 2, Num. 3; July 1912) of Pentecostal Testimony under the Heading "Some Other Phases of Sanctification" (pages 9-11). "... I denied and still deny that God does not deal with the nature of sin in conversion. I deny that a man who is converted or born again is outwardly washed and cleansed and his heart is left unclean with enmity against God in it. I do not believe a man is saved who has that in his heart which the holiness people claim all saved people have in them [have in them until they are sanctified entirely by a second work of grace]. ... [[As Durham continues under this heading, he will greatly qualify what he says here, and quite a few other places. From my point of view he is inconsistent, but I am thankful that he eventually greatly qualifies his statements that need to be greatly qualified when you read all that he says. He eventually makes it clear, as he does as we continue under this heading, that we are not automatically sanctified in our hearts when we become born-again Christians. WE must "crucify the flesh" and do everything that God requires of us (BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH) or we will sin, outward and inward sin. Anyway, as I have mentioned, Durham doesn't retract his teaching that we are called, and enabled, to live with the victory over all sin, including inward sin, as we appropriate God's enabling grace by faith. He clearly admits, as it must be admitted, that many born-again Christians in his day were not living with the victory over all sin. However, the fact that many Christians are not living in the full righteousness and holiness that we are called to does not change God's call to us in His Word. His Word must be our standard. AND THIS IS GOOD NEWS! NO TRUE CHRISTIAN WANTS TO EVER SIN AGAINST GOD! TO SIN AGAINST GOD IS A SERIOUS MATTER!]] 

... We believed then, as now, that when God saves a man, He fully saves him. We believe he cleanses him from all sin. We believe, however, that this only brings one into a state of spiritual babyhood, and that the whole Christian life with its variety of experiences lies before him. We further believe that the personal conduct of such a one will have a great deal to do with what he develops into, or is chosen for in his Christian life. Many failing to live a holy, separate life before God and the world [Statements like this make it clear that Durham wasn't meaning to communicate the idea that we are automatically cleansed from all sin, including inward sin, when we are born again; far from it; but he also clearly understood and taught that we are called, and enabled, to walk with the victory over all sin, including inward sin, through the finished work of Calvary.], do not qualify for any of the honors that God has to confer upon those who do walk before Him in perfect obedience [but Durham isn't saying that none of these Christians are saved; see what he says as I continue with these quotations]. 

[[(This double bracket continues for two paragraphs.) Durham makes it clear here in a way that is somewhat surprising based on other things that he has said about the old man/nature being crucified and our being sanctified new creations. However, it is fully in line with what the New Testament teaches and with what we know, namely that many true Christians are living far below the righteousness and holiness to which we have been called. We need what he says here, and in the excerpts that follow that were taken from under this same heading ("Some Other Phases of Sanctification"). As I mentioned, Durham is not backing off from his teaching that we are called, and enabled, to live a holy life, with the victory over all sin, including inward sin, through union with Christ, a life that includes growth, even though he acknowledges the obvious fact that many Christians are living far below what they have been called to in new-covenant salvation. 

I believe Durham's expression, "state of spiritual babyhood" tends to understate the status of born-again Christians who understand the gospel, are committed to walk in line with the gospel by faith, and are walking by the Holy Spirit with the victory over all sin, but it is clear that we should be growing throughout our lives in Christ. We grow through learning and incorporating more of God's Word into our hearts and lives. We grow through the experiences we pass through victoriously. We grow through being in the presence of God through union with Christ and by the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit of life. We can also speak of God the Father indwelling us (John 14:23). In the ideal (and it isn't an unrealistic ideal; it is the ideal to which we are called by the Word of God, and His grace is sufficient) we won't be growing out of sin. We will be living in an abiding state of holiness with the victory over all sin, over everything that God would consider to be sin for us. 2 Cor. 3:18 is an important cross-reference: It speaks of our "being transformed into the same image [as the Lord] from glory to glory," not from one level of sin in our daily lives to less sin as we continue.]] ... 

God in conversion brings a man into Christ and makes him holy by washing away all his sins, inward and outward, and giving him a new, clean heart, thus making a new creature of him. The next thing God does for those who are saved, if they trust Him for it, is to fill them with the Holy Spirit. ... God expects them to live a clean, holy, separate life, to crucify the flesh [[The fact that Durham says that WE (by grace through faith) have to "crucify the flesh," and keep it crucified, demonstrates that he wasn't teaching that the flesh/old man is automatically crucified through becoming born-again Christians. It would be more accurate to say that this present teaching (and other teaching like this teaching) requires us to greatly qualify his other teaching. This is important, because sometimes, as the excerpts included in this paper show, he denies that the flesh/old man/sinful nature can be in true born-again Christians. As we continue with the excerpts under this same heading, he makes it clear that God does not just destroy our "human (sinful) nature." The NIV often translates "flesh" by "sinful nature."]], and walk in the Spirit. [God's expecting Christians to live a clean, holy, separate life, to crucify the flesh, and walk by the Spirit is quite different than God's making it happen apart from our cooperating with His grace by faith. We must by faith appropriate and cooperate with God's grace, but God must be given all the glory for our full salvation. We receive full salvation by faith; we do not earn salvation by faith.] From those who are faithful in this experience, God chooses those who are to do His work and declare His message to the world. ... 

We know that after conversion, and even after receiving the Holy Spirit, men grievously fail God, and even commit sin, and have to repent and trust the Blood for cleansing. We do know that most people are not living up to their privilege before God, and living the holy, separate life in the Spirit they should [based on what Christians are called, and enabled, to do in new-covenant salvation], but we know that those who claim two works of grace [referring to the Christians who speak of being forgiven and born again as one work of grace, and being entirely sanctified as a second work of grace] are just as far below the standard as others. [This doesn't necessarily apply to all, or most, or many Christians in our day who believe they have had an experience of being entirely sanctified (I haven't had much of a relationship with such Christians), but Durham had spent many years fellowshipping with Christians who believed in entire sanctification, and he had taught that viewpoint.] This convinces us that the lack is not so much of some definite experience, AS OF LIVING THE LIFE [[my emphasis; We must live in the righteousness and holiness of God, in accordance with His Word, by His grace/the Spirit through faith; and it is obvious that we will not live in the righteousness and holiness of God with the victory over all sin if we don't believe (don't have faith) that God has called us to do this by His grace - THIS LACK OF FAITH IS A DOMINANT PROBLEM IN OUR DAY! Most Christians will tell you that they don't have faith for victory over all sin. And many will tell you that they don't think that we are supposed to have this faith; they don't believe God has called us to this victory in the New Testament]]. 

We believe that as long as we live in this world we are in our humanity, and that instead of God's destroying our human nature, He expects us to control it. [Again, notice that what Durham said here requires us to substantially qualify other statements that he makes. But again, he doesn't contradict his teaching that we are called to walk with the victory over all sin, including inward sin.] In other words, after cleansing us and filling us with the Spirit, He expects us to so yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit continually, that He will have full control of all our faculties. [Rather than speaking of the Holy Spirit "having full control of all our faculties," I believe it would be more accurate to say that He enables us to think and live in full agreement with God's Word and will for our lives, as we walk by faith and by the Holy Spirit.] God makes use of our consecrated faculties, when we remain yielded to Him. ...."  

2.7. Some Excerpts from the Same Edition (July 1912) of Personal Testimony under the Headings "In Memoriam" and "Personal Testimony of Pastor Durham" (pages 1-4). 

In a section titled "In Memoriam" (page 1), it mentions that "about eighteen months ago God led him [Durham] to fearlessly proclaim the great truth, t­he finished work of Calvary." Durham mentioned that he spent quite a bit of considering his new viewpoint before he began to proclaim it. Anyway, he didn't have a lot of time to rework and perfect his teaching on this new viewpoint, and he was often being challenged and asked questions regarding his new teaching. It also mentions that "he was baptized in the Spirit on March 2, 1907." 

I'll quote a little from the next section titled "Personal Testimony of Pastor Durham" (pages 3-4). He became a true Christian in 1898 through reading the Word of God. He "felt the quickening power of the Spirit, was made a new creature in Christ, and unutterable joy filled [his] soul." He went on to say: "Had I been taught the truth, as the Apostles taught it, had I been baptized [in water] and had hands laid on me, I would have at once received the Holy Ghost. [[As I have discussed, I believe it is clear that receiving the Holy Spirit should be part of becoming a born-again Christian. This is especially true regarding being born of the Spirit and sanctified by the Spirit, but receiving the Spirit in the charismatic dimension of the Spirit's work would, according to the New Testament, be included with receiving the Spirit at the time of becoming Christians. However, it is clear that many Christians receive the powerful, gift-dispensing work of the Spirit long after they became Christians. Probably the primary reason for this is that they hadn't been taught or believed that this dimension of the Spirit's work was available in their/our day. Also, in some cases Christians undoubtedly had received this dimension of the Spirit's work, but they did not cooperate with the Spirit and yield to this dimension of His work.]] I should then have been taught to reckon that I was dead indeed, and that I was to live and walk only in the Holy Spirit; but I could not walk in Him Whom I had not yet received. [The fact that Christians are called to walk in the righteousness and holiness of God as they walk by faith and by the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit of life is a big part of what new-covenant salvation is all about. Durham then spoke of the fact that after having drifted for two years he came back to the cross and he was "brought back into the same state of entire sanctification and heavenly rest, peace, and joy, which I had the first time I stood in the same place (before the cross).] ... As in the case with all who remain under the Blood, the Spirit dealt wondrously with me. The influence of His presence with me was so real and precious, that I really thought I had received the gift of the Holy Ghost. [I assume he had received the Spirit, the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit of life, but not including the charismatic dimension of the Spirit's work. After he had a powerful reception of the Spirit at Azusa Street, he began to deny that he had received the indwelling Spirit before. Eventually, after going to the Azusa Street Mission, even before He received the Spirit on March 2, 1907] I saw clearly, for the first time, the difference between having the influence and presence of the Spirit with us, and having Him dwell within us in person. ...."  

2.8. Some Excerpts from Vol. 1, No. 8 of Pentecostal Testimony, Dated in 1911. A letter included in this edition was dated June 3, 1911, so this edition was published after this date. And in the article in this edition titled "An Open Letter to My Brother Ministers In and Out of the Pentecostal Movement. A Strong Appeal," Durham mentioned that he had been baptized in the Spirit "four years and four months ago" (March 2, 1907), which would date this edition of Pentecostal Testimony in July 1911.  

Pages 1 and 2 and the first two lines of page 3 are under the heading "SANCTIFICATION. The Bible Does Not Teach that It Is a Second Definite Work of Grace." "... From the time the Spirit of God called my attention to the fact that there is not even one Scripture that teaches that sanctification is a second work of grace, I have been studying the subject, and preaching on it, and have discussed it with hundreds of people. To my mind the second work theory is one of the weakest, and most unscriptural doctrines that is being taught in the Pentecostal movement, and therefore ought to be ruled out as damaging. 

The Word of God is so clear in regard to this matter that no one need be in confusion about it. In fact when one's attention is drawn to the teaching of the Scriptures on the subject, there is nothing plainer. ... (page 1). 

Sanctification is a state, and an experience of life as well. In conversion we come into Christ, our Sanctifier, and are made holy, as well as righteous. When one really comes into Christ he is as much in Christ as he will ever be. He is in a state of holiness and righteousness. He is under the precious Blood of Jesus Christ and is clean. Every sin has been washed away. This is the state one enters at conversion. If he keeps there he will continue to be holy and righteous. There is no reason why he should not remain in the state he is brought into in conversion. [[As Durham continues he makes it clear that born-again Christians do not automatically enter a "state of holiness and righteousness." We must understand that Christians enter this ideal state when they are born-again ONLY IF they have been accurately taught the full gospel, have totally repented, and have begun to totally appropriate the saving, sanctifying grace of God in Christ by faith against the opposition of the world, the flesh (old man), and the devil and his hosts. That was a very big IF in Durham's day, and it is a very big IF in our day. Of course you could say that those who truly become Christians automatically are holy and righteous in a legal, positional sense, but we need much more than that. If that's all we had we would not be living in a righteous, sanctified state with the victory over all sin, including inward sin, that Durham rightly says we are called to in new-covenant salvation. We cannot just automatically skip from being holy and righteous in a legal, positional sense to actually being set apart for God (holy) and living in accordance with His will by His imparted righteousness. Anyway, I'm thankful that Durham taught that we are called, and enabled, to walk with the victory over all sin (including over all inward sin). If we are walking in the fullness of what we have been called, and enabled, to walk, we will not have or be doing anything that God would consider to be sin for us. Again, wrong thoughts and wrong desires are not sin if we resist them in the power of the indwelling Spirit, by grace through faith. ]] The Scripture clearly teaches that a converted person is to reckon himself dead, Rom. 6:11. Such a one is to present himself to God as alive from the dead, Rom. 6:13, not to seek for a second work of grace. [Yes, really dead to sin and alive to God in Christ!] In fact all the teaching of Scripture on the subject is that in conversion we become identified with Christ and come into a state of sanctification, and we are continuously exhorted to live the sanctified life in the Holy Spirit. [[Yes! Durham probably is speaking here of Christians living the sanctified life even before they receive the indwelling Holy Spirit of life and holiness. As I have discussed, I don't believe the New Testament speaks of Christians being born again or sanctified apart from receiving the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit of life. Durham makes the point in his writings that the Spirit does not indwell Christians until they are baptized in the Spirit in a Pentecostal sense, which, he insists, includes speaking with tongues when they receive the Spirit. As I have mentioned, we can live in a state of sanctification before we receive and walk in the charismatic dimension of the Spirit's work, but I don't believe we can be born again or sanctified apart from the indwelling Spirit of life and holiness.]] Living faith brings us into Christ, and the same living faith enables us to reckon ourselves to be 'dead indeed' and to abide in Christ. It is a sad mistake to believe that any one, or even two experiences, as such, can ever remove the necessity of maintaining a helpless continual dependence on Jesus Christ [but not apart from the all-important work of the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit], and bearing our daily cross, and living the overcoming life. The mistake of this age has been omitting to clearly teach the overcoming life. [I totally agree with the last sentence, but we are not going to live the overcoming life apart from the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit of life. Our living an overcoming life totally depends on the all-important atoning death of the Lamb of God and on the all-important work of the Holy Spirit. And we must walk in line with the Word of God by the Spirit through faith on a continuous basis.] ... ...the Christian life is a battle from conversion to glorification. We come into Christ by faith, and it is only by faith that we abide in Him. It is by faith that He abides in our hearts. We are saved by faith, and by faith we keep saved. The new covenant is conditioned on faith alone, therefore, as soon as a man believes, he is saved, but it requires just as much faith to keep right with God as it did to get right in the first place. [And getting right with God in the first place involves more than being forgiven: Answering the call of the gospel includes getting out from under (being redeemed from) the spiritual death and bondage to sin that mankind has been under since the fall of Adam and Eve.]  

... [What if Christians need to repent, and he mentions that "very few people ever become really established in one or even two experiences."] Most people have the mortification of more failures than that. This is no proof however, that more than one experience is necessary. God will restore us over and over, if we truly repent when we fail, but it must be an insult to Him for us to teach that it takes more than one work for Him to save us from all sin if we meet His conditions faithfully.  

... O! what loss individuals, as well as the church, have suffered, because they have failed to see and heed the truth concerning abiding in Christ and living the overcoming life. It requires continual vigilance, prayer, and faith to overcome. The epistles of Paul are filled with exhortations to stand fast, to live a holy separate life. To walk in the Spirit, to put off the old man with all that pertains to him, to put on Christ with all that is of, and like Him, he exhorts to crucify the flesh and yield to the Spirit, but not one word is ever said about any second work of grace. ... [Durham goes on to show that what Christians in sin need to do is repent and he refers to Rev. 2:1-5.] ...."  

2.9. I'll Quote Part of what Durham Said under the Heading "The Two Great Experiences or Gifts" (pages 5-7) in This 1911 Edition of Pentecostal Testimony. "This is a progressive experience. [Durham is not speaking of the idea of progressive sanctification that we often hear about, where Christians never come into a state of holiness and living with the victory over all sin. He is speaking of the need to keep on living in an ideal state of holiness, with the victory over all sin, including inward sin (including anything that God would consider to be sin for us). But we do need to keep growing more like the Lord Jesus.] It must be lived daily, in order to keep in the place of peace and Divine favor, into which we have been brought. 

The first great experience is conversion. ... ...the moment a man believes on Jesus Christ he is made a new creature. He passes out of death - the natural state of all men - into life, and life is actually imparted unto him. [Durham would acknowledge that he has been born again, and sanctified, but not that he has received the indwelling Spirit.] This makes him a candidate for water baptism, which is the only thing required of him between conversion and the baptism in the Holy Spirit [and he teaches that the Spirit does not dwell in us until we have received the Pentecostal baptism in the Holy Spirit]. ... 

... [Referring to those who submitted to God, His Son, and the gospel on the Day of Pentecost, Durham says:] No doubt every one of these souls received the Holy Spirit soon after receiving Christ. [Yes, and this is very important; cf. Acts 2:39. As I have discussed earlier in this paper, there is no new-covenant salvation apart from receiving the life-giving, sanctifying Spirit, and the charismatic dimension of the Spirit's work clearly became available at that time, as the book of Acts demonstrates.] ... It seems to me that when a man is born again is when his nature is changed. To convert means to change. In conversion both the state and nature is changed. In conversion a man is changed from a state of sin to a state of righteousness. He is made a new creature, not partly new. [[Yes, but this conversion cannot take place apart from the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit of life, and we must also acknowledge that, as I have discussed in some detail, this becoming a "new creature" (new creation in Christ) only becomes real to the extent we understand in our hearts and become, and do, what is required of us by grace through faith. This is a super-important truth, and Durham confuses the issue somewhat. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 the apostle Paul spoke of Christians being new creations, but as I pointed out earlier in this paper, he wrote those words in a context where he was strongly exhorting the Christians at Corinth who were in sin to repent and become what they, by definition, are supposed to be/are required to be. We become and live as new creations only to the extent we walk in the righteousness and holiness of God by walking in line with what God's Word actually teaches, being enabled by the Holy Spirit, on a continuous basis by faith.]] He is changed from a state of condemnation and death to a state of life and peace. He is changed from a state of sin and uncleanness to a state of purity and holiness, from a child of Satan to a child of God. Conversion is the great experience that works a complete change in the life of a man. [This is the ideal, and we must aim at this target, but this will not take place to the extent people don't repent, don't really understand the gospel and are not committed to obey the gospel by grace through faith, and not without the all-important work of the indwelling Spirit of life and righteousness and holiness.] ... 

... When he receives Christ, he receives a full salvation in Him. He is now ready for the next great experience, that of receiving the Holy Spirit.] This is always a definite experience. It is invariably accompanied by the speaking in other tongues, as the Spirit gives utterance, as in the case of the Apostles at Pentecost. When a man receives the Holy Spirit, he is sealed unto the day of redemption. The baptism in the Holy Spirit, then, is the seal of a finished salvation in Jesus Christ. [Yes, but we will lose our salvation if we do not press on in faith (continue to be believers).] 

Thus we see that in Apostolic days, as soon a man was saved they baptized him and laid hands of him that he might receive the Holy Spirit. [[Yes, and this shouldn't have changed. And as I discussed above, this receiving the Holy Spirit should include the life-giving, sanctifying work of the Spirit and the charismatic dimension of the Spirit's work. There is no need to argue this point, but it seems clear to me that new-covenant salvation includes being baptized in water ((however, I'm not suggesting, nor do I believe, that people cannot be saved before, or apart from, water baptism; that's what happened to me and to many other Christians; for one thing God has been generous with His people, but there is no way we can skip hearing and understanding the gospel, repenting, submitting to God and His gospel in faith (a faith that must continue), and all of the necessary work of the Spirit as He draws, convicts, teaches, makes us alive and righteous and holy)) and receiving the Holy Spirit of life, righteousness and holiness. And, as I have mentioned, it is clear that in Durham's day, and since then, large numbers of Christians have entered the charismatic dimension of the Spirit's work at a time long after they had become Christians. This doesn't change the fact that in the New Testament this dimension of the Spirit's work was available (it still is available) and received at the same time that the Spirit came to indwell believers bringing the life of God (the new birth) and sanctification. The new birth and sanctification are at the heart of what new-covenant salvation is all about. Of course God can dispense charismatic gifts and anointings to Christians at later times too.]] ... 

... The blessed Holy Spirit, Who is the third Person of the Godhead, comes to dwell within us in the second, great experience which is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. ...

All that is necessary now is that they shall walk in the Spirit Whom they have received, and abide in Christ, the Sanctifier, and walk in Him, even as they have received Him. [As I have mentioned, I believe Durham confuses the issue somewhat in that sometimes he speaks of walking in a state of holiness before we have received the Spirit: We cannot walk in the Spirit, which we are required to do to be holy (Gal. 5:16), before we have received the Spirit (at least have received the indwelling Spirit with His life-giving, sanctifying work). 

2.10. I'll Quote Part of what Durham Said under the Next Heading, "The Second Work of Grace People Answered" in this 1911 Edition of Pentecostal Testimony (pages 7-9). "... Without any warrant in Scripture for doing so, they have come to believe that the word sanctify means to remove the roots of carnality or inbred sin, and that this can only be done as a second, definite, instantaneous work of grace. The Scripture teaches no such thing. ... God cleanses us from all sin when He saves us. We come into possession, by faith, of that which Christ purchased for us on the Cross, and no second definite work of grace is necessary; but it is necessary for us to abide in Christ by the exercise of the same simple faith that brought us into Him. It is necessary for us to remain in the same state of surrender to Him that commended us to His mercy in the first place. If, through our weakness, we get from under the precious Blood, one or even more times, after conversion, it is necessary for us to humble ourselves before God and get back; but we can only approach Him, as at the first, though the precious blood of Christ, as one who has sinned, and not as a justified person. As stated above, most Christians have had to come several times, and one experience was just as definite as another. [[(This double bracket continues for four paragraphs.) It seems that Durham has a very unrealistic viewpoint regarding the state that large numbers of Christians attain the moment they become Christians. If all Christians really had a fully sanctified state at the beginning, then we could speak of continuing to walk in that state by faith, but I don't believe many Christians in his day or our day really have a fully sanctified state at the beginning. This one wrong viewpoint (it seems clearly wrong to me) causes much of the confusion in his teaching. You could, of course, say that we have been sanctified in a positional sense the moment we become born-again Christians, but, as I have mentioned, there is a very big difference between Christians being sanctified positionally (which is a confusing concept) and actually being sanctified.     

I don't agree with Durham that Christians immediately lose their justification and salvation if they sin (unless, perhaps, God forbid, their sin involved a totally willful, totally knowing-what-they-were-doing-and-from-the-heart, rejection of God, His Son, and the gospel), but we must repent and ask for and receive forgiveness. I believe the New Testament makes it clear that true Christians (believers) can lose their salvation (become unbelievers). (See my paper Once Saved, Always Saved? on my internet site: Google to Karl Kemp Teaching.) 

Durham wasn't backing off from his teaching that (in the ideal) we are called, and enabled, to walk with the victory over all sin, including inward sin, but he certainly made it clear that we will not be able to walk in this victory apart from believing that the New Testament calls us to this victory and then walking in this victory on a continuous basis by grace through faith. Durham was quick to admit there was quite a bit of sin taking place among the Pentecostals and holiness people of his generation: "No one who has observed could possibly be ignorant of the fact that jealousy, contention and strife, has, and still does exist among both holiness and Pentecostal people" (page 9). These things are still around among many born-again Christians in our day. 

I'll quote Durham's following paragraph (on page 9) where he spoke of what needed to be done: "The thing to be done is to recognize and confess it, and take our place at the feet of Christ, and yield to the blessed Spirit of God; till He perfects in our hearts the revelation of Christ, and perfects us in the grace of God. O that God's people would begin to walk in the light. O, that we would open our eyes and see the things as they actually exist, so we would know how to put off the things that pertain to self and the flesh, and put on the things that pertain to Christ, yea, put on Christ Himself and make no provision for the flesh. O, where is the daily cross in which Paul gloried, and refused to glory in anything else? It is not more definite experiences that needs to be taught, but we need to be taught to overcome by the blood, and by the word of our testimony, and by faith, and to abide in Christ and walk in the Spirit. [Yes!]"]] ... 

... The exhortations of the Apostle [Paul in his epistles] were to urge upon all the necessity of a continual holy life before God; to persevere in the life of complete separation of soul, spirit and body unto God; to grow in that grace that God through Christ had brought them into, to return to it, if, by any means, they had departed from it. He deals sharply with anyone who has fallen into sin; and advises that he shall be put out of the Assembly [To be put out of the Assembly would be applicable with obviously serious sin coupled with a willful, unrepentant defiance (cf. 1 Cor. 5:13).], if he does not truly repent. He recognizes, as we also do, that continual increase in holiness, righteousness, wisdom, knowledge, Christlikeness, with all that this includes. [[It would be much better (more in line with the teaching of the New Testament) to speak of abiding in a state of righteousness and holiness and continuing to grow, including growing more like the Lord Jesus, as we are being changed from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18). The terminology "increase in holiness, righteousness" tends to communicate the wrong idea, an idea not intended by Durham, that we don't ever become righteous and holy, but are becoming more righteous and holy and committing less sin. Essentially all of Durham's excerpts that I include in this paper, including those under the present heading (The Second Work of Grace People Answered) confirm that Durham was not including the idea here that Christians will continue to sin. He makes it clear that he knows Christians can sin and that all-too-often it has happened, but he makes it equally clear that this ought not be: We are called and enabled to live in a continual state of holiness by faith. THIS IS VERY GOOD NEWS!]] 

The most radical advocates of experimental holiness [who believe that Christians are called and enabled to live in an abiding state of holiness] are the strongest believers in growth in grace, and we heartily agree with them; but we believe that, as this growth is gradual and will only end with death or at translation [the rapture], it cannot correctly be referred to as a definite work of grace. It is a continual work or operation of the grace of God. ... (page 8)."   

2.11. I'll Quote Part of What Durham Said under the Heading "An Open Letter to My Brother Ministers In and Out of the Pentecostal Movement. A Strong Appeal." (pages 12-13) in the Same Edition of Personal Testimony (1911). "... Four years and four months ago, God baptized me in the Holy Ghost [that was March 2, 1907, which would probably make the present 1911 edition fall in July.], and from that day to this, I could never preach a sermon on the second work of grace theory. I had held it for years, and continued to do so for some time, but could not preach on the subject again. I could preach Christ, and could preach holiness as never before, but not as a second work of grace.  

Soon the Spirit began to reveal in my heart the finished work of Christ on the Cross of Calvary, but it was so contrary to all that I had taught, and been taught, that I dared not admit, even to myself, that I could find nothing in the Word of God to establish the doctrine that sanctification was a definite, second work of grace. Still the Spirit kept revealing in my heart the precious Gospel as preached by the Apostles: identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection [as in Romans chapter 6, for example]. This led me to pray and search the Word of God as never before, and the more I searched, the plainer it was to me that many Pentecostal preachers, myself included, were preaching a doctrine that God's Word did not teach. After a long and careful examination of the Scriptures and much earnest prayer, I began to preach this blessed and simple Gospel. To my surprise many of the saints told me they had seen the same thing in the Word and in the Spirit, and further, by far the greater part of all who heard it preached, accepted it. ...

Now I find that many of the brethren see the Scripture on the finished work of Calvary just as I do, but are not preaching it. As I preach the simple truth of the Word of God: to receive Jesus, and then receive the Holy Ghost, and then live the sanctified life in the power of the Holy Ghost, God wonderfully confirms His Word with the signs following. Sinners are saved. Believers are baptized in the Holy Spirit; the sick are healed and the saints are established in Christ in a way I never saw before.

... I never suffered so much for preaching any truth, nor did I ever receive such blessing. Can the brethren not see the importance of taking a stand on the Word of God? ... 

The world has waited so long for the true Gospel [The true Gospel certainly includes the good news that we are called, and enabled, to walk with the victory over all sin, including inward sin (over anything that God would consider to be sin for us), by the powerful saving, sanctifying grace of God in Christ, by faith, for the glory of God.], that it is an awful thing to fail to preach it, when it is revealed. Thank God for the large number who are falling in line with the Word, and today the Cross is being preached, as I never heard it in my life before. Brethren, hasten! The time is so short! Let us preach Christ in all His glorious fullness and drop out all theories of men." 

2.12. I Also Downloaded and Read Articles Written by Pastor W. H. Durham Taken from Pentecostal Testimony from the Assemblies of God "Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center" in Springfield, Missouri. It is forty-eight pages. At least most of the excerpts in this document were included in the editions of Pentecostal Testimony that are mentioned above. All of the editions of Pentecostal Testimony that are available are available on this Assemblies of God website, but I didn't get all of them there. I won't quote from this document in this paper.

We'll continue in Part 3 of this paper.

Copyright © by Karl Kemp (karlkempteachingministries.com)

http://www.karlkempteachingministries.com Karl Kemp worked as an engineer in the space field throughout the 60s. He became a born-again Christian in 1964. He received an MA in Biblical Studies in 1972. He has been a Bible teacher for 45 years. See the website for more info on his books, papers, etc.

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