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Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel

John Wesley and the Holiness Movement.

Hello long time ago friends,

First I have a question. Is there a better recordng than the one I found here of Lewis Benson speaking on:

The Gospel Preached by John Wesley and its Echoes in Modern Christi...

I was very interested to find this as I am looking at Wesley's role and influence in the later Holiness Movement and the error he brought into it, that is to say, that justification and sanctification are two seperate events, where Fox and the Quakers placed them together (and in fact Calvinists). When I have spoken on holiness in the past, I wonder if people have confused me as holding to this error.

But first I will wait to see if there is a better recording before I will have to suffer another hour of trying to hear Benson. Thank you.

Brenda

Views: 226

Comment by Ellis Hein on 1stMo. 9, 2018 at 3:56

You can't divorce the cross of Christ, the power of God, from faithfully hearing and obeying his voice, which is what believing in the light and becoming children of the light is all about. You need to consider the whole of the text and not just the portion you have quoted. I gave you the reference, but perhaps you do not have access to Vol. 1 of the Works of Fox. See below for the complete text of this epistle. If you will read that, you will see that Fox is not talking of those who are believers and have come to the point where you are willing to consent to the crucifixion of the old nature... This is a "foreign" theology that has no foundation in either the teaching of Fox or the experience of the early Quaker in so far as I have read. The cross of Christ, which is the power of God, is taken up as we encounter the judgment of the light of Christ and yield to his teaching. Here we find the old nature crucified and the new creation entered into.

Now, concerning justification by faith. Romans chapter 4 has much to say about the promise to Abraham that was not through the law but through faith. The faith of Abraham consisted of three things: he heard God's voice, he believed what he heard (i.e. he acknowledged the authority of God to command), and he acted in accordance.  Even here you can't get away from the necessity of hearing and obeying the voice of Christ. This faith is written upon the heart by the finger of Christ during those fires and tempests that would destroy all. When he alone can and does extend his hand to us, this faith is spoken into being within. Read again the early pages of Fox's journal of his many openings that prepared him for his life's work. But this time read without the distortions of your entire sanctification theology; read with the purpose of finding out what Fox is really saying instead of searching for phrases that you can subvert to your own ends. I can offer you no better direction.

Comment by Ellis Hein on 1stMo. 9, 2018 at 3:58

The epistle from Fox:

‘ALL my dear friends in the noble seed of God, who have known his
power, life, and presence among you, let it be your joy to hear or see
the springs of life break forth in any; through which ye have all unity
in the same, feeling life and power. And above all things take heed of
judging any one openly in your meetings, except they be openly pro-
fane or rebellious, such as are out of the truth; that by the power, life,
and wisdom ye may stand over them, and by it answer the witness of
God in the world, that such, whom ye bear your testimony against, are
none of you: so that therein the truth may stand clear and single. But
such as are tender, if they should be moved to bubble forth a few
words, and speak in the seed and Lamb’s power, suffer and bear that;
that is, the tender. And if they should go beyond their measure, bear
it in the meeting for peace and order’s sake, and that the spirits of the
world be not moved against you. But when the meeting is done, then if
any be moved to speak to them, between you and them, one or two of
you that feel it in the life, do it in the love and wisdom that is pure and
gentle from above, for love is that which edifies, bears all things, suffers
long, and fulfils the law. So in this ye have order and edification, ye have
wisdom to preserve you all wise and in patience; which takes away the
occasion of stumbling the weak, and the occasion of the spirits of the
world to get up: but in the royal seed, the heavy stone, ye keep down all
that is wrong, and by it answer that of God in all, and keep down the bad.
For ye will hear, see, and feel the power of God preaching, as your faith
is wholly in it, (when ye do not hear words), to bind, to chain, to limit,
to frustrate, that nothing shall rise nor come forth but what is in the
1656]
311
power; for with that ye will hold back, with that ye will let up and open
every spring, plant, and spark; in which will be your joy and refresh-
ment in the power of God. Ye that know the power of God and are
come to it, which is the cross of Christ, that crucifies you to the state
that Adam and Eve were in in the fall, and so to the world, by this power
of God ye come to see the state that Adam and Eve were in before
they fell: which power of God is the cross, in which stands the ever-
lasting glory, which brings up into the righteousness, holiness, and image
of God, and crucifies to the unrighteousness, unholiness, and image of
satan, that Adam and Eve and their sons and daughters are in under
the fall. Through this power of God ye come to see the state they
were in before they fell; yea, and I say, to a higher state, to the seed
Christ, the second Adam, by whom all things were made. For man
hath been driven from God. All Adam and Eve’s sons and daughters,
being in the state of the fall in the earth, are driven from God. But it
is said, “The church is in God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:”
so who come to the church, which is in God the Father of Christ, they
must come to God again, and so out of the state that Adam and his chil-
dren are in in the fall, out of the image of God, out of righteousness and
holiness; and they must come into the righteousness, into the true holi-
ness, the image of God, and so out of the earth whither man hath been
driven, when they come to the church which is in God. The way to
this is Christ, the light, the life, the truth, the saviour, the redeemer, the
sanctifier, and the justifier, in and through whose power, light, and life,
conversion, regeneration, and translation is known from death to life,
from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God again.
These are members of the true church, who know the work of rege-
neration in the operation and feeling of it; and being come to be mem-
bers of the church of God, they are indeed members one of another in
the power of God, which was before the power of darkness was. So
they that come to the church that is in God and Christ, must come out
of the state that Adam was in in the fall, driven from God, to know
the state that he was in before he fell. But they that live in the state
that Adam was in in the fall, and cannot believe a possibility of coming
into the state he was in before he fell, come not to the church
which is in God: but are far from that, are not passed from death to
life, but are enemies to the cross of Christ, which is the power of God.
For they mind earthly things, and serve not Christ; nor love the power
which should bring them up to the state that Adam was in before he
fell, and crucify them to the state that man is in in the fall; that
through this power they might see to the beginning, the power that man
was in before the heavenly image, holiness and righteousness, was lost:
by which power they might come up to know the seed, Christ, which
312
[1656
brings out of the old things, and makes all things new; in which life
eternal is felt. For all the poorness, emptiness, and barrenness is in
the state that man is in in the fall, out of God’s power; by which power
he is made rich again, and in which power he hath strength again:
which power is the cross, in which the mystery of the fellowship stands;
and in which is the true glorying, which crucifies to all other gloryings.
And Friends, though ye may have been convinced, and have tasted of
the power, and felt the light, yet afterwards ye may feel a winter
storm, tempest, and hail, frost, and cold, and temptation in the wilder-
ness. Be patient and still in the power and in the light that doth
convince you, to keep your minds to God; in that be quiet, that ye may
come to the summer; that your flight be not in the winter. For if ye
sit still in the patience which overcomes in the power of God, there
will be no flying. The husbandman, after he hath sown his seed, is
patient. And ye, by the power being kept in the patience, will come
by the light to see through and feel over winter storms, and tempests,
and all the coldness, barrenness, and emptiness; and the same light and
power will go over the tempter’s head; which power and light was
before he was. So in the light standing still, ye will see your salva-
tion, ye will see the Lord’s strength, ye will feel the small rain, ye will
feel the fresh springs, your minds being kept low in the power and
light; for that which is out of the power lifts up. But in the power
and light ye will feel God, revealing his secrets, inspiring your minds,
and his gifts coming in unto you; through which your hearts will be
filled with God’s love, and praises to him that lives for evermore: for
in his light and power his blessing is received. So in that, the eternal
power of the Lord Jesus Christ preserve and keep you! And live every
one in the power of God, that ye may all come to be heirs of that, and
know that to be your portion; even the kingdom that hath no end, and
the endless life which the seed is heir of. So feel that set over all, which
hath the promise, and blessing of God for ever.’
G. F.

Comment by Brenda Redshaw on 1stMo. 9, 2018 at 11:47

Ellis wrote:

"Even here you can't get away from the necessity of hearing and obeying the voice of Christ."

Sorry my fault, I have been unclear. It is impossible to be in the kingdom if we are not hearing Christ speak to us personally and obeying His voice. But Fox said from what you quoted "ALL my dear friends in the noble seed of God, who have known his power, life, and presence among you". So he is speaking to those who are in the"noble seed" who are in the power, life and presence of

the risen Lord, baptised into His death, united to Him, and holy and He is holy. There is no union with the Holy God unless a man has been washed clean and has no sin. Hear Fox "

“As He is so are we IN THIS PRESENT WORLD, and that the saints are made the righteousness of God, that the saints are ONE in the Father and the Son, that we shall be like Him, that all teaching which is given forth by Christ is to bring the saints to perfection even to the stature and fullness of Christ, this the scripture doth witness and this I DO WITNESS TO BE FULFILLED” (Journal 135)

So Fox is emphasising the necessity of the work of the cross being fulfilled in a man before he is in the noble seed. I have written this, I don't know whether you ever saw it but it explains that Fox was a holiness teacher after the tradition of all true holiness preachers (not Wesley - he was just a professor) .....

Comment by Brenda Redshaw on 1stMo. 9, 2018 at 11:48

George Fox taught the doctrine of entire sanctification:-

“At last they asked me whether I was sanctified. I said “Sanctified? Yes, for I was in the Paradise of God” They said had I no sin “Sin?” said I “Christ my Saviour hath taken away my sin and in Him there is no sin” They asked how we knew that Christ did abide in us I said “By His Spirit that He has given us” They temptingly asked if any of us were Christ I answered “Nay, we are nothing, Christ is all” They said “If any man steal is it no sin?” I answered “All unrighteousness is sin”. (Journal)

Fox made it clear that he was not talking about being sanctified as a ‘position’ nor that the blood of Jesus hides our sins and God does not see them. He said that all unrighteousness in actions is sin, but further, that the ‘holy men’ pleaded for holiness in HEART and life, and conversation here’ (Journal) He was in agreement with the Apostle John in his first letter, who said in 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you, he that doth righteousness IS righteous, even as He is righteous. There is no imputed righteousness, the doctrine over which the Puritans refuted Fox. It is an imparted righteousness.

It is real practical holiness in thought and action which the ‘preacher of righteousness’ (Apocalypse of the Word, Douglas Gwyn 25) as Fox called himself and testified of himself :-“As He is so are we IN THIS PRESENT WORLD, and that the saints are made the righteousness of God, that the saints are ONE in the Father and the Son, that we shall be like Him, that all teaching which is given forth by Christ is to bring the saints to perfection even to the stature and fullness of Christ, this the scripture doth witness and this I DO WITNESS TO BE FULFILLED” (Journal 135) This message, as he went about preaching, produced a violent reaction:- “The world swelled and made a great noise like great raging of the sea. Priests and professors, magistrates and people were all like a sea when I came to proclaim the Day of the Lord amongst them and to preach repentance to them” (Journal 33)

The ‘Day of the Lord’ is the message in 1John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth because (v5) God is light and in Him is no darkness at all and that (2:6) he that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also to walk even as He walked and (3:6) Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him neither known Him. “Hating the light, you hate Christ” (Journal 135) This put paid to the error on the subject of sanctification, that we are in Christ if we are hoping for sanctification at some time in the future, or as some think, we will gradually sin less and less until one minute we have no control over our thoughts or we have reduced down to having just one sinful thought occurring, and then, lo and behold, the sinful thought will occur no more. Actually no one has ever testified to it happening like this. At 60, 70 and 80 years of age, believers, are still waiting. There should be witnesses that tell you about the day that the gradual became the complete, and they should be testifying in books. The only books that are written are by those who say that the gradual view is error and not scriptural and that entire sanctification is an entering in to a state where sin is removed.

Unfortunately in these dark days, we only find these books written in the past. Some claim to be united with Christ but it is easily to be seen that they are using the term in a different way. They say that they are positionally so or their idea of sinlessness is a very loose one and anyone can see very soon that they are in fact still sinners. John is clear, if we sin then we are not in the light and the Day of Judgement is near. It comes when we are presented with this message and we must make a decision. Will we accept it as the truth and know that God has spoken? If we do not then we have chosen our path and it is the path of darkness, without knowing the cleansing of Christ inwardly.

Some find use this verse – if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves 1 John 8, to justify their position but they are taking it out of context as John 1 was written to counteract heresy. The Latin version says “Epistle to the Pathians” adopted by Ancient Fathers, defended by Grotius, not in Greek. Whoton conjectures on the Greek superscription (to virgins) because the letter was addressed to 'uncorrupted Christians' therefore holy ones. John was warning those who were in danger of hearing Zorostrian principles and therefore Gnosticism which taught that man could be righteous in spirit and still sin in the flesh, which is nowadays recognised as imputed righteousness which has been refuted by holiness preacher George Fox of the early Quakers.

The basis of this error that a man can sin and still be in Christ, was made popular and was spread through the church by Augustine, when he changed his doctrine in dispute with Pelagius and the early Christians, to an unheard of rendition that made Romans 7 to be the normal experience of a believer. 1 John 1:6,7 say that if we say we have fellowship with Him ans walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth, but if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from ALL sin. He continues, If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. 8,9.

We can see that John is comparing walking in the light to walking in darkness that is to say walking in the flesh compared to walking in the Spirit. He is describing two opposing states which corresponds perfectly with the teaching of the Apostle Paul when he talks about carnal or fleshy believers against those walking in the Spirit or Spirit filled.

The benefits of walking in the Spirit are:

1)we have fellowship with one another

2)by confessing our sin we are forgiven

3)we will then be cleansed by the blood of Jesus from all unrighteousness.

However if we walk in the flesh and sin we are deceived and are blind to our need to come to Christ for His cleansing from ALL sin as are those today who are misled by Gnosticism by preachers of positional righteousness. John corrects that fallacy by saying Little children let no man deceive you, he that doeth righteousness is righteous even as He is righteous 3:7. This is the test, we must not be in just a position of righteousness and depend on coming to Christ in the past for forgiveness, but must be in the present reality, must be like Christ and walking in perfect obedience through the power of the Holy Spirit.

But whoso keepeth His word, in Him verily is the love of God perfected 2:5

My little children, these things I write unto you that ye sin not 2:1

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin 3:9.

Comment by Ellis Hein on 1stMo. 9, 2018 at 13:48

Brenda, the point of the discussion is whether or not one can be transformed by some other means than by hearing and following the voice of Christ. I bring you back to your statement: "Fox is speaking of three states that he believers can reach and in each one, Christ is revealed more fully in His offices. We are not to just imitate Christ or follow His instructions either in scripture or by hearing directly, but we are to be transformed by God so that we like Christ are in union with God." The transformation takes place in our encounter with the light of Christ teaching us righteousness and holiness and our yielding to Christ's authority. The gradualism you deplore above is the result of people who have not come into the light, who do not believe in the light, and are not children of the day. Fox wrote "to a high flown professor": " Nor are any the people of God, but who are baptized into this
principle of light; which all the faithful servants of the Lord were
ever guided by in all ages, since the apostacy and before. For the
apostacy was and is from the light; and all that oppose the light are
apostates. Who contest against the truth, are enemies to it, and are
not actuated by the spirit: but have another way than the light. All
such are in the world, its words, fashions, and customs, though of seve-
ral forms, as to their worship; yet all under the god of this world,
opposing the light and appearance of Christ, which should lead out
from under his power, of what form soever they are: yet are they all
joined against the light. " (Works, Vol. 1, p.313)

Also see Lewis Benson's statement in Catholic Quakerism: "The gap between the vision of moral truth and the
power to do it is the bugbear of Protestant ethics, but it is
totally absent from the teaching of Fox, Penn and Pening-
ton. This leaves no room for the plea, "I know what God
wants me to do but I haven't the power to do it." The
choice is between obedience and disobedience. There is no
third position where man is suspended between a vision of
moral truth and a lack of moral power to perform it. Pen-
inton says, "as the soul in faith gives itself up to obey, so
the power appears and works the obedience ... the power
never fails the faith."'  (p. 25)

Now, I don't think I have anything else to add to this discussion. 

Comment by Brenda Redshaw on 1stMo. 11, 2018 at 11:12

Dear Ellis,

You wrote:

"The gap between the vision of moral truth and the power to do it is the bugbear of Protestant ethics, but it is
totally absent from the teaching of Fox, Penn and Pening-ton."

Well yes of course because they were speaking to people who were already in the kingdom ie come up through the flaming sword and pure and holy. Today there are few. So in accordance with your theology, you must be claiming that Romans 7 is a man who is unconverted but look here: 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Paul cannot be speaking of an unconverted man whom he says delights in the law of God in his spirit. Only a converted man does that.

You keep wanting to end the conversation Ellis, is this someone who hears and obeys Christ and has the patience of Christ and love for those who disagree with them?

Brenda

 

Comment by Brenda Redshaw on 1stMo. 11, 2018 at 12:11

It seems George Fox like the man in Romans 7 found a gap between his vision of moral truth and the ability to do it:

"I knew Jesus, and He was very precious to my soul; but I found something within me that would not keep sweet and patient and kind. I did what I could to keep it down, but it was there. I besought Jesus to do something for me, and when I gave Him my will, He came to my heart and took out all that would not be patient, all that would not be kind, and -- then He shut the door." Holiness and High Country p 180

Comment by Ellis Hein on 1stMo. 12, 2018 at 1:07

This quote from Holiness and high Country, p. 180 is not from George Fox, even though the author ascribes it to him. I suggest you check sources before you believe such things. These last two comments of yours are prime examples of trying to impose a foreign theology on Fox. The quote from Catholic Quakerism does not have to do with Fox's, Penn's, and Penington's teaching to people already made perfect, far from it. This is why I have counselled you to read Fox without the distortions of an already made theological mind-set. If you are believing things like this quote from Holiness and High Country to be from Fox, it is no wonder you are confused. If you have any love for the truth, stop promulgating falsehood.

Comment by Brenda Redshaw on 1stMo. 13, 2018 at 8:23

It may be an oral saying passed down but regardless, it is describing what he already wrote about when he went on his travels, seeking someone who could speak to his condition, that is, of great unrest and distress within, and which is the subject of Romans 7, resolved for him when Christ revealed the answer and he 'came up though the flaming sword' which cleansed him from the sin nature within. This is entire sanctification and Fox testified to it. But Ellis, it is you who are teaching others a false gospel and with a hard heart too, and I do not enjoy seeing anyone dig themselves deeper in the hole so I will leave it now and pray for your hard heart.

Comment by Ellis Hein on 1stMo. 14, 2018 at 4:25

The quote from Holiness and High Country is neither in the style of nor the language of Fox. Neither does it use Fox's terminology. I can't see it originating with him.

If one reads the early pages of Vol. 1 of Fox's works, from page 67 through 90 or 91, it is readily apparent that Fox's condition is different than what Paul describes in Romans 7 & 8. Fox stated, "When I came to eleven years of age, [1635] I knew pureness and righteousess; for while I was a child I was, taught how to walk so as to keep pure. The Lord taught me to be faithful in all things, and to act faithfully two ways, viz. inwardly to God, and outwardly to man..." (p.67) Throughout this period, Fox was guided by the Lord and kept pure, "Thus in the deepest miseries, and in the greatest sorrows and temptations that beset me, the Lord in his mercy did keep me." (p.75) This is not what Paul is stating in Romans 7. Why were these exercises given to Fox? The Lord answered that question saying, "It was needful I should have a sense of all conditions, how else should I speak to all conditions!’ (p.80) Fox's summation of that period, on page 90, is: "I could speak much of these things, and many volumes might be written; but all would prove too short to set forth the infinite love, wisdom, and power of God, in preparing, fitting, and furnishing me for the service he had appointed me to; letting me see the depths of satan, on the one hand, and opening to me, on the other hand, the divine mysteries of his own everlasting kingdom." 

So, what did Fox tell people who were facing temptations? "Friends, Whatever ye are addicted to, the tempter will come in that thing; and when he can trouble you, then he gets advantage over you, and then ye are gone. Stand still in that which is pure, after ye see yourselves; and then mercy comes in. After thou seest thy thoughts, and the temptations, do not think, but submit; and then power comes. Stand still in that which shows and discovers; and there doth strength immediately come. And stand still in the light, and submit to it, and the other will be hushed and gone ; and then content comes. And when temptations and troubles appear, sink down in that which is pure, and all will be hushed, and fly away. Your strength is to stand still, after ye see yourselves; whatsoever ye see yourselves addicted to, temptations, corruption, uncleanness, &c. then ye think ye shall never overcome. And earthly reason will tell you, what ye shall lose ; hearken not to that, but stand still in the light that shows them to you, and then strength comes from the Lord, and help contrary to your expectation. Then ye grow up in peace, and no trouble shall move you. David fretted himself, when he looked out; but when he was still, no trouble could move him. When your thoughts are out, abroad, then troubles move you. But come to stay your minds upon that spirit which was before the letter; here ye learn to read the scriptures aright. If ye do any thing in your own wills, then ye tempt God; but stand still in that power which brings peace. (Vol. 7, pp. 20-21) Also look at Fox's discourse in Vol. 4, To All That Would Know the Way to the Kingdom.

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