Perfection, Purity, and the Sinless State
Therefore, be perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
Not be kind of perfect. Not perfect as you can. Not as perfect as humanly possible while trying.
Perfect — as your Father who is in heaven is perfect — a definitive qualification of perfect.
Perfect that is impossible without divine grace: to change us, to purify us, to make us like Him, perfect.
And the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job,
that there is none like him on the earth, a perfect and an upright man,
one who fears God, and eschews [abhors and turns away from] evil? And still he holds fast his integrity,
although you moved me against him, to destroy him without cause.
If you search the scriptures trying to prove to yourself that you have eternal life, you can find verses taken out of context that you can use to think you have eternal life; or to prove purity or perfection is impossible (like, even Jesus said he wasn't good); thereby convincing yourself there is nothing you have to do to please God except say you believe Jesus is the son of God. (See: The Fallacy of John 3:16 Taken out of Context).
On the other hand, if you:
- are unhappy still being subject to anger, lust, passions, pleasures, lying, bad habits, etc., or
- want to have a closer relationship with God, or
- want peace — quietness, confidence, assurance with trust forever, or
- want to be pleasing to God, whatever the cost, or
- want God to run your life, instead of you continue to make mistakes, or
- want to be doing God's will, not your own,
you will search for how to obtain more of Him than what you have. And you will notice he promises peace, union, and the Kingdom; but you will also notice the many scriptures that show He requires perfection, crucifixion, deadening the sinful nature, the new mind, the new heart, the new man, righteousness, purity, and holiness; and then you will start searching for how to arrive at what He requires from you: repentance, to lose your life to save your life, your bodies as a living sacrifice, to bear the cross, until you have been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial, your sinful nature dead, and Christ' spirit completely replacing the sinful nature in your bodies, to live in union with He and God in the Kingdom within, while on the earth, and then forever as a son of God. Therefore, leaving the elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.
For of this you can be sure, that no sexually immoral, impure or covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
Everyone talks about how Jesus is so forgiving; true, but after forgiveness he says, sin no more!
To the adulteress: Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more.
To one healed: Behold, you are made whole; sin no more for fear that something worse may happen to you.
The something worse that may happen to you is called Hell.
Christendom doesn't have a clue how to be freed from sin, and pretends it is impossible. Christendom has forgotten the only way — the inward cross of self-denial.
But Jesus said: Sin no more! and Repent or perish! [and lose you soul].
Now many people cannot believe that Jesus meant "perfect" when he said, Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect, Mat 5:48; but isn't Jesus saying the same thing when he says, sin no more?
This section is written in hope that you can see that purity and a sinless state are required and possible, (proven by scripture and George Fox's experience), seek the sinless state created by the changing grace of God through Christ, and then come to receive the return of Christ in his glory to establish his Kingdom in your heart. As long as we live in our sinful nature, we are unruly and incapable of being ruled, governed, or led by a Lord or King.
So, if you want Jesus to be your Lord and King, you must put to death the sinful nature by repentance to purity.
It is only by grace that we can become sinless and pure, but we have to go to Christ to receive his grace: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock. If any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me. We have to listen to his voice and obey his commands heard, in order to receive his changing, purifying grace.
Jesus came so he could destroy the devil and his works [sin] in us — if we go to him.
For this purpose the Son of God is revealed, [in us] that he might destroy [in us] the works of the devil.
As Jesus told Paul: I am sending you to open their eyes,
and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God,
so that they may receive forgiveness of sins, release from sin's slavery,
and an inheritance among those who are sanctified and purified by faith in me.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts,
and how to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
as we receive the blessed fulfillment of our hope,
even the glorious appearing
of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ,;
who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity [lawless deeds, sin],
and purify for himself a people who are his very own, zealous for good works.
When God said that Job was: perfect, upright, abhorred and turned from evil, and held his integrity under testing, it was before the Law had been issued; and long before Christ came and died on the cross; long before the Spirit of God was poured out on all mankind; and before Christ made it possible have union and fellowship with God by entering the Kingdom of Heaven within us. So God has called a man upright and perfect, other than Christ. And as the scriptures below state, so God also considered Enoch, Noah, Zacharias, Elizabeth, Hezekiah, Asa, and David. Before the time of Christ perfection was only to the state of Adam and Eve, which was still subject to falling to temptation, as David's perfection was not lasting because of his adultery, and Asa fell hard in his last years. The difference is that Christ makes it possible to go beyond a man being purified, being made perfect, to a permanent perfection that cannot fall to temptation. Christ makes it possible for that man to become an entirely new creature, to sit with Christ in the heavens, to be sanctified, to be holy, to be a part of Christ himself, who never fell, and who never will fall; a forever cleansing and perfection with resulting union is now available to all who go to him for change.
After the Law and before Christ, the only people who received the favor of God were those who walked close to conforming to the Law's requirements; those who ignored his Law, were disregarded by Him, Because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, with only a belief in His name, with humble sorrow for the past, we can approach God and receive the operations of his changing grace to purify our hearts and consciences; whatever our burden of past sins may be.
So, thousands in the early Church attained purity, holiness, perfection, union with Christ and God, translated to their kingdom while still on earth. Thousands of 17th Century Quakers attained the same perfection to live in union with Christ and God, living in their Kingdom while still on earth. With faith in the name of Jesus, by grace and the cross, he can now make you perfect in every good work to do his will, ; a forever cleansing and perfection with resulting union is now available to all who go to him for change. And yes, like Job, we too must be tested before we receive the reward of the increase in his Spirit, the Spirit of Love. (See How to Receive the Changing Power of God about the testing). And a little while after that, staying faithful, not tiring of faith energized acts of love, he returns in His glory to establish his Kingdom in your heart and to be your Lord forever.
Men cannot see perfection in another man; men didn't see perfection in Christ — they killed him; the righteous religious people of Israel mocked and ridiculed Jesus, as He was perfecting prostitutes and tax collectors. Job's friends didn't see his perfection — they ridiculed him. Yet, God called Job perfect. You will know perfection by the actions of the person, their conversation, their fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control - not by their claims; that would be boasting, which is the opposite of love. A perfect man still only sees his weaknesses; but as Jesus said to Paul when he complained of his weakness, My strength is made perfect in weakness. He also said, you will know them by their fruits. According to William Penn, to God a perfect man is: blameless, sinless, a shunner of evil; yet can still make mistakes that are not sins, still be subject to disease, and be without perfect wisdom or glory. And quoting John Gratton: "So it is plain, men may be really, perfectly, sincerely, children or branches, yet may grow from strength to strength, faith to faith, in and by the spirit of the Lord, yet be perfect children, and grow to be young men, and overcome the wicked one, and still grow to be fathers, and still press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded. This is the perfection we mean; we do not mean such a perfection as that nothing can be added to it."
Now let's look at some of the many, many scriptures that undisputedly support holiness, purity, and perfection; but are never quoted by the preachers holding up sin today. (Scriptures quoted by the deficit sects, which plead that Jesus came so that we can sin and remain immoral, are also analyzed at the bottom of this page. Click to go to the bottom of the page now.)
- The Lord said to Cain: "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is to have you, and you must master it.” Genesis 4:7.
So, 10,000 years ago, the Lord was urging a fallen man to rule over sin. Do you think the Lord speaks falsely, or must you conclude that since victory over sin was available then, now being freed from sin is even more possible through purifying faith in Christ?
- But as he who has called you is holy, so you be holy in all manner of conduct; because it is written: "Be holy; for I am holy."
- That he would grant to us, that being delivered out of the hand of our enemies we might serve him without fear,
In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
Delivered from what enemies? Sin, the fruits of the flesh, are the enemies of your soul: anger, lust, sexual immorality, pride, greed, envy, lying, theft, drunkenness, etc.
- For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy...
You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
- Follow peace and holiness with all men, without which no man will see the Lord.
- And you will be holy to me for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people,
so that you should be mine.
- For by a one offering He has forever totally cleansed and perfected those who are sanctified and made holy.
- Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
- Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
- You shall be holy men to me.
- And put on the newly created nature [of Christ], which is created in God's image of true righteousness and holiness.
- so that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
- For God has not call us to uncleanness, but to holiness.
- Nevertheless she will be saved by childbearing [the new birth of Christ in her], if she continues in faith and love and holiness with self control.
- The older women likewise are to behave as becomes holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
- As you previously yielded your body to the slavery of uncleanness and from wickedness to wickedness; so now yield your body to the slavery of righteousness that results in holiness.
- But now being made free from sin, and having become slaves to God, you have the fruit [reward] of holiness, and at the end, everlasting life.
- For truly for a short time they chastened us according to their best judgment, but God chastens [rebukes and disciplines us] for our benefit, to enjoy a share in His holiness.
- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
- And every man who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.
Whoever is born of God does not commit sin, for his seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 (so if you are still sinning, you must not really be 'born again,' yet)
- Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.
- Our Savior Jesus Christ;..
that he might redeem us from all iniquity [lawless deeds, sin],
and purify for himself a people who are his very own, zealous for good works.
One who still sins might mistakenly argue that they are redeemed from all iniquity, but not that grace has purified them!
- Purify your souls by obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned love of the brothers, love one another fervently with a pure heart.
- But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
- For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver,
He will purify the sons of Levi [priests], and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness. An offering of righteousness is worship in spirit and truth.
- call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Until your heart is purified you are unfit to be in heaven or in the company of Jesus or God.
For of this you can be sure, that no sexually immoral, or impure, or covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
- Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.
- To whom God would make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles;
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory; whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom,
so that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
- But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
- When Abram was ninety nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "I am the Almighty God; walk before me and be perfect.
Abraham is the father of salvation by faith, yet God told him to be perfect; and to be perfect, Abraham had to walk in the steps of faith. What steps did Abraham walk? From the Word of the Lord within: "Abraham willingly exposed himself to God's commands." He waited on God by persistently and patiently sitting in humble silence to listen for God's voice, he heard, and then he believed him; Abraham obeyed God's voice, and he patiently endured before he obtained the promise. If the model of Christian faith was told to be perfect, then so must all be perfect who aspire to be a Christian, as Jesus emphatically preached.
- Jesus said, Therefore, be perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
There are many verses that speak of perfection being required both in the Old Testament (click to see) and in the New Testament (click to see). Yet, this is THE scripture those who are devoid of truth, (not directly taught by the voice of the Lord), don't want to acknowledge. Various rationalizations of denial are made including:
- "He didn't really mean perfect, only sort of perfect or try to be perfect."
Yet he says be perfect, like God is perfect — a definitive qualification of perfect.
Jesus has left no wiggle room for the definition of be perfect. Now, Jesus doesn't lie; Jesus doesn't exaggerate. So, if he told us to be perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect, then it must be possible; and it is possible through the power of God to kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry. . For by mercy and love, truth and fidelity, iniquity is purged out of the heart, ; — with obedience leading to righteousness. .
Other scriptures show similar high standards. We must be righteous as He is righteous, . We must be merciful as He is merciful, . We must become pure as He is pure. . But as he who has called you is holy, so you be holy in all manner of conduct, . So that we walk as he walked, , and as he is, so are we in this present world. .
- The favorite rationalization of Christianity's blind guides is: Jesus really didn't say perfect, he said "complete," complete even as your Father who is in heaven is complete. It is one thing to be perfect in word and deed, as is the Father; but to be complete implies you would be able to create universes, planets, galaxies, men, angels, even Jesus Christ — and that is a ludicrous rationalization to avoid bearing the cross and the necessary work to become pure, holy, righteous, freed from sin, and perfect, walking as He walked, in total obedience to the Lord's commanded deeds to be done and words to be spoken.
The imperfect, blind guides dislike perfect, but like complete because it has lots of wiggle room with what "complete like your Father" means. The word complete is so vague that the blind guides can claim they are complete too because they have gone to Bible colleges or seminaries or because they have great knowledge of the scriptures.
From the word of the Lord within: "I say this to your shame.
Though you have great knowledge of the scriptures and profess them,
you don't possess of whom they speak."
However, James even wrote that we must become complete and perfect, so that we lack NOTHING: "But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing," . Note! If you lack nothing, then you have everything possible, as Paul wrote the perfect man does: Until we all come to the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
We have no examples of complete men in scriptures, but we do have examples of perfect men ;in the scriptures, (Enoch, Noah, Zacharias, Elizabeth, Job, Hezekiah, Asa, and David), and perfect men in the writings of the early Quakers on this site. Perfect means free of all sin; no longer sitting in darkness and walking in darkness; but walking by the light of God; no longer walking by the carnal mind and evil imagination of man; but walking as guided by the mind of Christ. However, complete is completely undefined.
People are lazy in their complacency toward the broad easy way of instant grace and instant salvation, but Jesus insisted on works to all of the seven churches in Revelation, even insisting on perfect works, ; salvation requires works of obedient faith, but not dead works or obsolete works of the law. For more on the subject of required works, see Lie Number 8 in The Ten Deadly Lies of Christendom.
The imperfect, blind guides of Christianity often twist a few scriptures to support their preaching that sin is inevitable to death, which twisted scriptures are listed and explained below, (click to see).
- The next rationalization is: it is humanly impossible to be perfect. Correct. Without the supernatural changing power of God, it is impossible.
But that is exactly what Jesus came to open up — the changing grace of God available to anyone who believes in his name;
and then goes to him to listen to and obey — his Word and Light that is within each of us, waiting to teach and change us.
Jesus wants to change us to be like himself — he wants to clone his spirit into us, changing us to be like Him — perfect.
On the inward cross of self-denial, we crucify our sinful spirit of selfishness, and he replaces it with his — one command at a time that we hear Him speak and we obey.
From the word of the Lord within:
Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.
- Therefore, leaving the elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Christendom not only considers perfection as impossible, but also: 1) has no idea what faith really is, and 2) does not know how to realize repentance; both being the two fundamental building blocks before going on to perfection. Without the basics, it is impossible for Christendom to progress to perfection; and since they are trapped in slavery to sin, they pretend sin cannot be overcome, that God tolerates sins and does not free man from sin — curiously ignoring the thousands of scriptures that contradict their presumptive errors; thousands of scriptures that all speak to man's requirement to conquer sin and being reconciled to the Life and spiritual image of God, which reconciliation requires perfection, purity, cleanliness, humility, righteousness, obedience, holiness before being reconciled in union with Christ and God, to live in the light, in heaven, sitting down in Christ, fellowshipping with God and Christ, in the company of righteous men made perfect, in the company of innumerable angels — being through with sin: lusts, rage, sexual immorality, hatred, envy, jealousy, pride, foolishness, lying, profanity, evil thoughts, the carnal mind, the imagination, drunkenness, anger, resentment, violence, vain pleasures, ambition, disobedience, doubt, emotions. The entire Bible speaks to fallen man's need to shed the imperfections of his sinful nature, to be renewed into the perfect spiritual image of God — perfection. But all the earth's religions, including Christendom, hold out the false hope that through some outward rituals, ceremonies, or works, man can be favored by God and assured of bliss in the next life; when there is only one way — the inward cross of self-denial in a faith that purifies one's heart.
- Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
- And he appointed [explicitly gave gifted offices with his authority to] some as apostles; and some as prophets; and some as evangelists; and some as pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
until we all come to the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
- For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are perfect toward him.
- There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear is the dread of punishment. He who fears has not been made perfect in love.
- Wake up and be watchful, and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die. For I have not found your works perfect before God.
- To the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.
- Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace.
- But whoever keeps his word [obeys the Lord's commands spoken to him], truly the love of God is perfected in him; by this we know that we are in him.
- In this [abiding or dwelling in God] our love is brought to perfection, so that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this present world.
- Jesus said, The disciple is not above his master, but everyone who is perfect [purified, restored to the image of God, specifically authorized, and perfected] will be like his master.
The Amplified Bible says: A pupil is not superior to his teacher, but every one completely trained
— readjusted, restored, set to rights and perfected — will be like his teacher.
Why would Christ tell us this, unless he wanted us to become like him? Remember this was the preface of his statement: "Don't try to take the spec out of your brother's eye until you remove the beam from your own." When "you get the beam out of your own eye" by being perfected, you can see clearly how to remove the spec from your brother's. So he wants us sinless and purified so we can help our brothers, but until then, we can't even see how to help — and if we think we can, we are more blind than whoever we are trying to help — we have a beam in our eye, and he only has a spec — who is more blind? Only when Christ has perfected us, can we remove that spec; only then can we preach or teach, after we are readjusted, restored, perfected and set to rights, authorized; then we can help — until then we just harm those we try to correct. To be restored, is to be renewed into the image of God in holiness and righteousness, as was man before the fall in the Garden — which is Christ's job with all of us — to reconcile the whole creation back to God, as it was, even better, than before it fell due to the disobedience of Adam. For we cannot be reconciled back to God in our fallen state, we must be purified, restored, perfected before union can take place — union that is only possible between two like beings.
From the word of the Lord within:
" I work with the blind; but if you think you can see,
and you are not with me in heaven,
I will make you a laughingstock."
If you are teaching, preaching, or trying to correct someone else, before being perfected by Christ, you are estimating yourself to be greater than Christ. Jesus only spoke, judged, and did as he was specifically ordered to by God; he did nothing by his own decision. If you are speaking and/or working for God without being specifically ordered in each word and action, you are essentially claiming that your own words and deeds are superior to what Jesus' might have been if he had made his own decisions about what to say and do.
James echoes the same message: My brothers, not many of you should be teachers, knowing that we who teach will be judged by a stricter judgment; for we all err in many things; and if any man does not err in his words, he is a perfect man. .
(James is saying, until you are perfected, what you teach will have errors; and errors will be strictly judged.)
- So that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly fitted to all good works.
- But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
- Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded; and if in anything you are otherwise minded, God shall reveal this to you.
- In the days of Herod, the king of Judea, there was a certain priest named was Zacharias, of the division of Abia; and his wife was also a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
They were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
- Epaphras, a servant of Christ who is one of you, salutes you, always striving fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
- Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes and to keep his commands, as at this time.
- But the high places were not removed. Nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect before the Lord all his days.
- But after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, will make you perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
- However we speak wisdom among those who are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the rulers of this world who come to nothing.
- I beseech you, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before you in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done what is good in your sight. And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
- For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
- It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
- I have seen an end of all perfection,
- And he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in weakness." So I will gladly boast in my infirmities, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.
- Mark the perfect man and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.
- For we all err in many things; and if any man does not err in his words, he is a perfect man, and able also to control his whole body.
- But after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, will make you perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
- These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
- By faith Enoch was translated so that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
- But when that which is perfect has come, then what is only partial shall be abolished.
- You shall be perfect with the LORD your God.
- I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when will you come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
- Thus you will judge in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.
- It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
- Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you what is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom glory for ever and ever. Amen.
- But whoever keeps his word [obeys the Lord's commands spoken to him], truly the love of God is perfected in him; by this we know that we are in him. .
To be "in Christ" is to have experienced the love of God having been perfected in him. Millions claim to be "in Christ," but few, if any, could claim that the love of God had been perfected in themselves. Rather, Christendom denies perfection and freedom from sin as a possibility.
- Jesus said: The seed is the Word of God. And that which fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go forth and are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to PERFECTION. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word, keep it in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with perseverance.
- Paul said: Finally, brothers, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
- Paul said: For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong; and we also pray even your perfection.
From George Fox's Journal :
Another time a common prayer priest, and some other people came to discourse with me.
He asked me,"if I was grown up to perfection?"
I told him, "what I was, I was by the grace of God."
He replied, "it was a modest and civil answer." Then he urged the words of John, " if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." He asked, "what did I say to that?" I said with the same apostle, "if we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us; who [Jesus] came to destroy sin, and to take away sin. So there is a time for people to see that they have sinned, and there is a time for them to see that they have sin; and there is a time for them to confess their sin, and to forsake it, and to know the blood of Christ to cleanse from all sin," Then the priest was asked, "whether Adam was not perfect before he fell? And whether all God's works were not perfect?" The priest said, "there might be perfection as Adam had, and a falling from it." But I told him, "there is a perfection in Christ above Adam, and beyond falling; and that it was the work of the ministers of Christ to present every man perfect in Christ; for the perfecting of whom they had their gifts from Christ. . Therefore whoever denied perfection, denied the work of the ministry, and the gifts which Christ gave for the perfecting of the saints." . The priest said, "we must always be striving." I answered, "it was a sad and comfortless sort of striving, to strive with a belief that we should never overcome." I told him also, that Paul, who cried out of the body of death, did also " thank God, who gave him the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." So there was a time of crying out for want of victory, and a time of praising God for the victory. And Paul said, “there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." The priest said, "Job was not perfect." I told him, "God said Job was a perfect man, and that he shunned evil, and the devil was forced to confess, that 'God had set protective walls around him' which was not an outward wall, but the invisible, heavenly power." The priest said, "Job said, 'he charged his angels with folly, and the heavens are not clean in his sight.'" I told him, "that was his mistake; it was not Job who said that, but Eliphaz, who contended against Job." "Well, but," said the priest, "what say you to that scripture, 'the most just man that sins seven times a day?'" "Why truly," said I,"I say there is no such scripture;" and with that the priest's mouth was stopped. Many other services I had with several sorts of people between the assizes and the sessions.
Christ told to us to "Seek First the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness." He told us the Kingdom of God is within you and does not come with signs to be observed or visible display. . But Paul tells us that anyone who practices sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, envy, drunkenness, etc., cannot inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus said: If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed, than having two hands to go into Hell, into the fire that will never be quenched; where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than having two feet to be cast into Hell, into the fire that will never be quenched; where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into Hell fire. . He doesn't want us to maim ourselves. He is only illustrating how serious sin is.
Jesus is desperately trying to tell us that to enter the Kingdom and escape hell, sin is not allowed, period. He knew false prophets with false gospels would arise to deceive people in the future. He knew false prophets with false gospels promising freedom to continue to sin would arise after he left. Changes in our heart through the missing cross to purity can take away the desire of the hand, foot, and eye to cause us to sin.
Jesus made the heart and soul purifying grace of God available to anyone, but we must access that powerful grace by going to God to receive his teachings, convictions, and powerful removal of sin from our hearts. We access the power of God through grace by waiting on Him. Salvation, which is to be freed from all sin, comes to those who wait on Him.
To wait on Him is to patiently and persistently sit in humble silence, listen for his voice and words, watch for his revelations, hear his commands, and then obey Him. Waiting on God is referenced throughout the Bible, both in the Old Testament and New Testament. Waiting on God is the way those in the early church realized the promises of the true gospel: to be released from the bondage of sin, to enter the kingdom of God, and to be in union with Christ and God.
Below are a few of the many scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments that speak to the benefit of waiting:
The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.
Note! to wait for him is to seek him. Reading the Bible and sect services are not seeking God.
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by ear,
nor has the eye seen a God beside you, who acts for the one who waits for him.
Paul quotes the above scripture in 1 Corinthians: ""Man's eye has not seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, the things that God has prepared for those who love him." The key difference: Isaiah reads waits, reads love. So to love God is to wait on Him: we wait on Him to hear His words that teach us, convict us, encourage us, and guide us — that is loving God.
To those who persistently and patiently wait for him he will appear the second time,
not to bear sin, but to bring full salvation.
Persistent and patient waiting is witnessing Jesus bring you your salvation; what you hear you must heed and obey to obtain salvation: being made perfect, he [Jesus] became the author and source of eternal salvation to all those who heed and obey him, ; it is by grace that you are taught and changed to become pure.
To wait on God gives access to the power of the Spirit that will destroy the sinful nature within us, by our obedience to the inward cross of self-denial. To wait on God is how to respond to Jesus telling us, "come to me," said many times throughout the scriptures. Click to see them all, below are several:
Come to me, .. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me.
All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me will come to Me;
and the one who comes to Me, I will most certainly not cast out.
No one is able to come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me attracts and draws him
and gives him the desire to come to Me, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Jesus replied, I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry,
and he who believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me will never thirst any more (at any time).
Jesus said: Do not labor for food that perishes, but for the food that endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give to you. I am the bread of life, the bread from heaven. For it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life-giving. John 6:63.
Waiting on God is to go to God yourself because everyone already has His Spirit within them by grace. You have no need of any teacher but the anointing within you, . You sit in humble silence and whenever you think, you think on the name of Jesus. This is how we learn from Him, get cleansed by Him, be led by Him, and come to know Him. He said: "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." He is the Light, he is the Word, and he has sent us the Spirit of Truth to teach us. If any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Eventually you will hear Him. He has a soft voice; that is why it is written, "Be still and know that I am God." He will tell us things about Himself. He will encourage us. He is kindness. He will tell or show us things about ourselves; some will be things that are ugly. Christ the Light will show us all the hidden lusts, affections, and pride in our heart. But since he is our friend, we know that he is showing them to us for our own good. So we listen and watch. And we don't run, we stand before the Son of Man. And we repent of what he shows us. And sometimes he gives us commands. We are hearing the Word of God, the living Word. As we hear the Word of God, [Jesus speaking through the Spirit] our faith will increase by leaps and bounds; and keep increasing —if we obey his commands, and show him we love him by being obedient. Christ in you, the hope of glory.
For everyone who comes to Me and listens to My spoken words and does them, I will show you what he is like:
He is like a man building a house, who dug and went down deep and laid a foundation upon the rock;
and when a flood arose, the torrent broke against that house and could not shake or move it,
because it had been securely built or founded on a rock.
But he who merely hears and does not practice doing My words, (obey), is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation,
against which the torrent burst, and immediately it collapsed and fell, and the breaking and ruin of that house was great.
He can't make it any plainer! He said: come to me, listen to My words (not the Bible), and do [practice] them.
To do them, is to obey; and when you obey them, you have received Christ by recognition and obedience.
From this sure foundation he builds true faith and hope which purifies you.
If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
The above teachings of Jesus are the core message of this web site:
Come to him, Listen to his words, do [practice, obey] the words he gives you.
To do the words is to obey his commands, some of which will rebuke and chasten you.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous therefore, and repent.
If you Love Jesus, you will obey him. The Father then loves you, and he and Jesus come to you and make their home with you.
And their home is a Kingdom, the Kingdom of God that is within you and around you.
So wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. Persevere, and Christ will lead you through repentance to union and the Kingdom.
He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him!
(Diligence is defined as continually attending to and striving to achieve a goal; laboring, persevering.)
This is how to obtain the Kingdom of God while on earth! He, with his Kingdom to give you, Awaits You to Come!
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Sitting in humble silence, thinking on the name of Jesus and waiting on the Lord to speak to us, by his living Word, or reveal to us, by his Light, what is in our heart is not what our flesh wants to do. Instead of sitting quietly each day waiting on the Lord, our flesh wants to sleep, or worry, or plan our day, or think about something, or do something, — anything. Our mind will race through many subjects in desperation to save itself, (whoever loses his life will preserve it).
It is a cross to a man's will to sit in humble silence to wait on God, listening, and watching, while struggling to keep his mind from wandering; it is a cross to a man's will to obey what he is commanded and taught by the Holy Spirit; this is the cross of which you must deny yourself and pick it up every day, to then follow Jesus. To obey his voice is to follow Jesus. This is how to do what you have prayed for a thousand times: thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. You cannot be his disciple unless you pick up your cross daily and follow his orders. Salvation is only received by those who follow the lamb wherever he goes — who obey completely the voice of the Lord, in whatever he commands. Do not be discouraged if you don't hear for some time. Even your waiting is to your credit: Let your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping on you.
From the Word of the Lord within:
- When you sit and wait, hope for purity, hope for change. I will show you the secret sins of your heart. The Lord is gentle and kind to those whom He corrects, and even more than usual to those in suffering circumstances.
- The words I speak to you impart life. It is the Spirit who gives life, nothing else. My life comes in small increments.
- Hope releases the power of God to change you.
- To sit in humble silence, waiting on the Lord, is to bear the cross — instead of thinking how you might please others. The work of the cross is to sit in the light and look at your will.
- In this process of carrying your cross, your sin gradually disappears, within and without, to your satisfaction. The wants disappear as the fleshly man decreases. Little by little the Lord's will, will be progressed.
- Salvation is being freed from even the desire of your sins. Those who have been crucified are through with sin as a motivator, and this must be felt from the inside.
(There are many more messages from the Lord available to read and found in a box at the top right of this site's home page.)
This is the Inward Cross of Self-Denial
If any desires to come after me, let him deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
This how to kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God). This is the purification process, because it is a cross to your will. Your will is to do something else, rather than sit quietly each day to listen and watch for the Lord. Your will is to disobey any commands you receive, because you like what you are doing and he is telling you to do something different. Your will is to run from anything ugly about yourself he shows you. When you violate your will in these things, you are carrying your cross. Belief in the true gospel, and the cross to realize the promise, releases the power of God to purify you and make you one with Him. This is the true way, to pick up your cross daily and carry it throughout the day.
For more understanding on the necessity of learning in silence, see George Fox's writing on Why Silence? (also on the side bar)
See How to Benefit from the Changing Power of God for more. (also on the side bar)
Christ's sacrifice covers your past sins and those you commit while you are striving become pure. First you have to believe it is possible. Then you have to diligently seek the Kingdom of Heaven as your first priority and passion. This is to strive for purity and holiness; to seek to destroy the sinful nature; and to seek to crucify the passions and desires of this life.
The whole purpose of this site is to help you believe it is possible, the true hope, and then to give you a formula. Remember, He is the Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him! He gave us the power to become a son of God; , he didn't make everyone a son who conceptually accepts Him as their Lord in name; no! He has to actually become our Lord — to rule us, to control us, to command us, to love us, to discipline us, to reward us with the greatest gift of all — his Love in our hearts — which is Himself, for God is Love.
George Fox said,
"the world wants a Christ to help them hold on to their flesh and excuse their human failings; Christ wants to get rid of our failings and be our true Lord in thoughts, actions, and deeds." To some, this is frightening; to others, it is the dream of their life. To the latter we address our comments.
Now, from George Fox's Journal, "Early Years and Translation" here is his experience arriving at perfection:
(full unabridged Journal is available on the left sidebar)
I saw also the mountains burning up, and the rubbish, and the rough, and crooked ways and places made smooth and plain, so that the Lord might come into his tabernacle. These things are to be found in man's heart; but to speak of these things being within, seemed strange to the rough, crooked, and mountainous ones. Yet the Lord said, ‘0h earth, hear the word of the Lord!'
The law of the spirit crosses the fleshly mind, spirit, and will, which lives in disobedience, and does not keep within the law of the spirit. I saw this law was the pure love of God which was upon me, and which I must go through, though I was troubled while I was under it; for I could not be dead to the law but through the law, which judged and condemned that which is to be condemned. I saw, many talked of the law, who had never known the law to be their schoolmaster; and many talked of the gospel of Christ, who had never known life and immortality brought to light in them by it. You that have been under that schoolmaster, and the condemnation of it, know these things; for though the Lord in that day opened these things unto me in secret, they have been since published by his eternal spirit, as on the house top. And as you are brought into the law, and through the law to be dead to it, and witness the righteousness of the law fulfilled in you, you will afterwards come to know what it is to be brought into Christ, who is the author of, and you will have peace and access to God. But if you look out from the faith, and from that which would keep you in the victory, and look after fleshly things or words, you will be brought into bondage to the flesh again, and to the law which takes hold upon the flesh and sin, and works wrath, and the works of the flesh will appear again. The law of God takes hold upon the law of sin and death; but the law of faith, or the law of the spirit of life, which is the love of God, and which comes by Jesus, (who is the end of the law for righteousness' sake), makes you free from the law of sin and death. This law of life fleshly minded men do not know; yet they will tempt you to draw you from the spirit into the flesh, and so into bondage. Therefore you, who know the love of God, and the law of his spirit, and the freedom that is in Jesus Christ, stand fast in him. Stand in that divine faith which he is the author of in you, and don’t get entangled with the yoke of bondage. For the ministry of Christ Jesus and his teaching, brings into liberty and freedom; but the ministry that is of man, and by man, which stands in the will of man, brings into bondage, and under the shadow of death and darkness. Therefore none can be ministers of Christ Jesus but in the eternal spirit, which was before the scriptures were given forth; for if they have not his spirit, they are none of his.
Also from George Fox's Journal:
Now I came up in spirit, through the flaming sword into the paradise of God. All things were new, and all the creation gave another smell unto me than before, beyond what words can utter. I knew nothing but pureness, innocence, and righteousness, being renewed up into the image of God by Christ Jesus; so that I came up to the state of Adam, which he was in before he fell. The creation was open to me; and it was showed me how all things had their names given them, according to their nature and virtue. I was at a stand in my mind, whether I should practice medicine for the good of mankind, seeing the nature and virtues of the creatures were so opened to me by the Lord. But I was immediately taken up in spirit, to see into another or more steadfast state than Adam's in innocence, even into a state in Christ Jesus, that should never fall. And the Lord showed me, that such as were faithful to him, in the power and light of Christ, should come up into that state in which Adam was before he fell; in which the admirable works of the creation, and the virtues of that may be known, through the openings of that divine word of wisdom and power by which they were made. Great things did the Lord lead me into, and wonderful depths were opened unto me, beyond what can by words be declared; but as people come into subjection to the spirit of God, and grow up in the image and power of the Almighty, they may receive the word of wisdom that opens all things, and come to know the hidden unity in the Eternal Being.
AND further from George Fox's Journal, "Early Years and Translation"
Moreover, the Lord God let me see, when I was brought up into his image in righteousness and holiness, and into the state of the paradise of God how Adam was made a living soul; and also to the stature of Christ, the mystery that had been hid from ages and generations: which things are hard to be uttered, and cannot be borne by many. For of all the sects in Christendom (so called) that I discussed with, I found none that could bear to be told that anyone could spiritually grow to Adam's perfection, (that is into that image of God, and righteousness and holiness that Adam was in before he fell), to be clean, pure, and without sin as he was. Therefore, how would they be able to bear being told that any should spiritually grow up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, Eph 4:13; when it threatens them to hear that any shall come, while upon earth, into the same power and spirit that the prophets and apostles were in? Though it is an absolute truth, that none can understand the Apostle’s writings correctly without the same spirit by which they were written..
The Lord God opened to me by his invisible power, how that "every man was enlightened by the divine light of Christ." I saw it shine through all, and that they that believed in it came out of condemnation to the light of life, and became the children of it; but they that hated it and did not believe in it, were condemned by it, though they made a profession of Christ. This I saw in the pure openings of the light without the help of any man; neither did I then know where to find it in the scriptures; though afterwards, searching the scriptures, I found it. For I saw in that light and spirit which was before the scriptures were given forth, and which led the holy men of God to give them forth, that all must come to that spirit, if they would know God or Christ, or the scriptures correctly, which they that gave them forth were led and taught by.
(from George Fox's Journal)
There are two stages of perfection, which Fox and Crisp both described.
- The first stage of perfection is to become free of sin, (after you have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature] with its passions and desires [lusts and affections], but not yet born again. You are in the kingdom, (in paradise), as were Adam and Eve, but like them you can fall to temptation, which is not fatal to your progress unless you willfully disobey. In this stage you see the Lord and have a fellowship with the Son and the Father, but you are not born again or in union with them yet. In this first stage, we learn to continually watch against temptation and to continuously follow the Lord, which watch William Penn appropriately named, the holy watch.
When you are crucified, (this first stage), Jesus appears in your heart to guide you. William Penn describes what then happens:
After this [seeing Him] it will bring you to the holy watch, to take care that you do so [sin] no more, and that the enemy not surprise you again. Then thoughts, as well as words and works, will come to judgment, which is the way of holiness, in which the redeemed of the Lord do walk. Here you will come to love God above all, and your neighbors as yourselves. Nothing hurts, nothing harms, nothing makes afraid on this holy mountain. Now you come to be Christ's indeed, for you are his in nature and spirit, and not your own. And when you are thus Christ's, then Christ is yours, and not before. And here communion with the Father and with the son you will know, and the effectiveness of the blood of cleansing, even the blood of Jesus Christ, that immaculate Lamb; which speaks better things than the blood of Abel, and through the living faith cleanses from all sin; their consciences being sprinkled with his blood, ceasing from dead works to serve the living God
- The second stage of perfection occurs after you have demonstrated your watchfulness against sin and after you have been further prepared, when you are then born again, still subject to temptation but unable to fall to temptation, unable to sin. Here you enter into union with God, and you sit down at rest in Christ; therefore you possess Christ and his righteousness, which is the end of imputation and the end of belief. Penington partially explains why preparation is necessary before entering the union in his writing, The Holy Truth and People Defended :
"For there is a state of discipleship, by which a man hardly knows a settlement, so much as how to watch with Christ rightly and constantly [the first stage]; but it is a great matter to be able to dwell and abide with Him [Christ]. None can do this, but he that can dwell with devouring fire and everlasting burnings for the pure word of life is a fire, and he that sits down in the heavenly place in him, must sit down in that fire [the second stage]."
In his Letter 222, George Fox wrote: "For are not here kindness and riches, for man and woman to be brought out of that state in the fall, to the state of Adam and Eve before they fell. And he that brings them here is Christ, and it is by his blood, it cost him his blood, his life, and he does not leave them in the state that Adam and Eve were in before they fell, but he sets them down in himself, who never fell, a safer state than Adam was in before he fell. Now who sit here in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, the first and the last, the beginning and ending, the safe place, in the wisdom of God."
From the Word of the Lord within:
Based on scripture and the writings of the early Quakers, we can separate the various descriptions of spiritual maturity into the two stages:
The Two Stages of Perfection
Status or Occurrence
(1st Stage of Perfection)
(2nd Stage of Perfection)
Freedom from sin*
Fruit of the Spirit
See the Lord*
Renewed up to the image of God*
Peace with God*
Freedom from Law
Walk in the Light
Walk in the Spirit
Worship in Spirit and Truth
Able to Do Most of the Lord's Work
Kingdom of Heaven
(with Carnal Mind and Imagination Destroyed)
Inherit the Substance — Christ
Eternal Life of God
Son of God
Protected from Ever Sinning Again
Sit Down in Christ in the Rest
* These occurrences were also attainable in the Old Covenant [Old Testament].
In his Journal and letters George Fox stated the paradise he first entered was the state from which Adam and Eve had fallen, and those at that state were subject to falling to temptation, just as Adam and Eve had fallen. He also stated in his writing, That All Should Know the Way to the Kingdom:
"Christ said, unless a man is born again of water and of the spirit, [spiritual water] he cannot see the kingdom of God, nor enter into it, John 3:3,5,8. So no man in his first natural birth can see the kingdom of God, nor enter into it, nor know the things of God."
Therefore, since only a born again son can enter into the kingdom, and since a born again son is protected and cannot sin, then the kingdom is not the paradise of the first stage of perfection; the kingdom is a step beyond paradise. A reasonable conclusion is that paradise is the equivalent of the outer court and is a heaven but not the kingdom of heaven.
Further: despite Old Testament scripture referring to sons of God, (though scant), about which George Fox wrote in his letter 246, Fox above states that a son is born again; since one born again is protected and cannot sin, the new covenant son is radically different than the Old Testament sons referenced.
According to the Word of the Lord within, the first stage is not even a shadow of what you will inherit in the second stage. See Footnote 6 to Galatians 5:24 for more detail on the two stages of perfection.
Let's clarify what Christian "perfection" is not. It is not being God. It is not being Christ. It is not being free from all sicknesses and earthly maladies. It is not being perfect as recognized by man; even Christ was not recognized by man as perfect in his time.
It is shunning evil. It is being morally upright. It is integrity that is unwavering, whatever the circumstances, including unjust persecution. This is being perfect in the eyes of God, as he describes Job.
Here is why we haven't seen a sinless state of those in Christendom (what George Fox says in his letter #262.)
The true hope, the true cross, the true faith,
the true worship, the true religion,
the true way, the true image,
and true fellowship have been lost since the apostles' days,
among those called christians, who are out of the life.
And those who have lost the cross of Christ, which is the power of God,
in which is the true fellowship,
they have set up a wooden or a stone cross,
so false crosses, and false christians.
Those who have lost the true hope, which purifies, as he is pure,
they have set up a purgatory to cleanse them when they are dead.
And others cry up a body of sin and death on this side of the grave,
with their hypocrite's hope;
and they have lost the true ministry,
and set up a false one, to preach up imperfection.
Now people were imperfect in old Adam before Christ came;
for the law made nothing perfect;
but the true minister, Christ in you the hope of glory, does make perfect,
both in the Apostles' days and now.
'Christ in you, the hope of glory,' said the apostle, 'whom we preach,
warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom,
so that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.'
So the perfection is in Christ Jesus; the imperfection is in old Adam.
So this is the true hope that purifies,
which everyone who has it purifies himself, even as he is pure.
And everyone who does not have a possession of this hope,
pleads for impurity and imperfection,
and a body of sin and a body of death to their grave,
and a purgatory when they are dead.
These have a profession of the scriptures, like the Pharisees;
and the hypocrite's hope which shall perish.
Here is what William Penn, the early Quaker and founder of Pennsylvania, said about the sinless state, (in addition to his attainment of it):
- First, repentance from dead works to serve the living God, which comprehends three operations:
- a sight of sin,
- a sense and godly sorrow for it, and
- a change for the future.
- This was the repentance they preached and pressed, and a natural result from the principle they turned all people to.
- Which doctrine of repentance leads to justification; that is, forgiveness of past sins through Christ, the sole propitiation; and the sanctification or cleansing of the soul from the defiling nature and habits of sin; which is justification in the complete sense of the word: comprehending both justification from the guilt of the sins that are past, as if they had never been committed, through the love and mercy of God in Christ Jesus; and the creature's being made inwardly just through the cleansing and sanctifying power and spirit of Christ revealed in the soul, which is commonly called sanctification.
- From here sprang a second doctrine they were led to declare, as the mark of the prize of the high calling to all true Christians: perfection from sin, according to the scriptures of truth, which testify it to be the end of Christ's coming, and the nature of his kingdom, and for which his spirit was and is given. But they never held a perfection in wisdom and glory in this life, or from natural infirmities or death, as some have with a weak or ill mind imagined and insinuated against them.
They called this a redeemed state, regeneration, or the new birth; teaching everywhere, according to their foundation, that unless this work was known, there was no inheriting the kingdom of God.
Think about it; have you not thought it strange that so many (thousands) of different sects exist, each with a different interpretation of the scriptures? They squabble over different subsets of the scriptures. None take the whole of the scriptures because they don't understand them. If they had the spirit in the right measure, they would be unified in their interpretation, because there is only one meaning. A group of perfected men and women would be in the unity of the spirit and would have no disagreements; the will of the Father would be executed perfectly by a Body of Christ in the power of Christ. This was the early church; this was the early Quakers. See Jesus Wants to Teach You Himself for more.
The younger members of the body, those not yet perfected, might decide to quarrel with their leaders, out of the unity. This happened to the early Church, where antichrists were leaving the church with a different gospel - as prophesied. This also happened to the Quakers that George Fox and his hundreds of thousands formed. People are always looking for the easy way; not the narrow way that few will find that leads to eternal life.
In the Body of Christ one individual does not have all knowledge or all gifts; what you don't have is made up by other members of the body, so whatever knowledge is needed is received and shared, to be sure the body works together — all controlled by the Head, Christ Himself. Sometimes, you are deliberately left in need of another member of the body to complete your knowledge and understanding on some point. This is to maintain your humility and to strengthen the Body as a whole. This is why Peter was corrected by Paul regarding his not eating with the Gentiles when the Hebrews were around; a correction which Peter immediately owned because his Spirit of Christ confirmed it. Christ could have personally corrected Peter; but for the sake of the body, he let Paul, the Apostle of the gentiles, correct Peter. After you are perfected (freed from sin), you will still be receiving wisdom and knowledge from Christ the Head or from fellowship with other members of the Body.
I see the functioning of the Body almost everyday. I have questions which I pose to the Lord. My wife gets the answers. Thus the Lord maintains interdependence of his Body.
And to those of you who attain perfection, to those who reach purity in this life, by you doing so, (producing fruit), you show yourself to be true followers of Christ, and he then brings honor and glory to our Father — is there anything else worth aspiring to do? For if there is some way we can repay our Father for our breath, our heart beat, our life, our savior who has paved the way for us, then that is the only thing to want — every other thing must take the back seat to the passion of bringing glory to the Son and the Father. As for me, knowing that I can possibly do this for Christ and the Father, as insignificant as I am, I gladly dedicate my life to do so, and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity. For with success, we become united with God, and we operate according to God's purpose, will, and pleasure; and our pleasure is to have clean, pure, holy, perfect purpose in our words and actions — to be an instrument in his hands totally dedicated to a life of love.
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature] with its passions and desires [lusts and affections].
Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with him, that our body of sin might be destroyed, so that we would not serve sin any longer.
Ambrose Rigge, another early Quaker minister, has several compelling letters with a different perspective that address the many denials of perfection's impossibility: 1) On True Christianity, 2) The Spiritual Man, and 3) A Standard of Righteousness.
Stephen Crisp has an outstanding letter, DESTROYING THE ARGUMENTS THAT SIN CANNOT BE CONQUERED IN THIS LIFE. Below are the introductory paragraphs, with a completely different proof:
MANY are the devices of Satan, and great is the subtlety which he furnishes his children and servants with, by which he seeks to uphold his kingdom, pleading now a right to what he obtained by subtlety; and has taught his whole family, that it is impossible for any to be freed from under his service; even as if all men who are created by God, were created for the service of the devil; and although the devil can create no man, yet that he is able, after they are made, to keep them in his service; yes, although their maker calls them to serve him. So by this supposed necessity of sin, (which serves the devil and which is a doctrine well-pleasing to man's flesh), he keeps nations, kindreds, tongues and people, in bondage to his will. Not only that, but he has also bewitched and besotted his whole synagogue, and every sort in it, so that they cannot endure to hear that they might be freed from sin; and all that come to declare liberty to these captives, and an opening of the door of this prison-house, (the darkness), to those who are shut up within it, they cry out against such, away with them from the earth, let them be crucified, stoned, hanged, burned, imprisoned and banished, or at least, derided, and mocked at, and all manner of evil be spoken of them; and what have they done? They have preached against sin, that it must come to an end, and have preached that what is perfect, is to be found in this life, by which men might come to the acceptable year of the Lord, to whom there is nothing acceptable which is imperfect.
Certainly, there is no manner of slaves so well contented with their bondage, as are the devil's are; and therefore it is worth the considering, what right he has to reign over mankind, and what work it is, he gives his servants to do, that is so well-pleasing to them, that they cannot endure to hear of being set at liberty, as long as they have a day to live. As for my part, I have considered what right the devil can claim to the government which he has among the children of men, reigning over kings and princes, priests and people, from one sect to another, setting them all to work in blind zeal one against another; yet all agreeing in this one question, (that is), is there any man or woman upon the earth, who is free from under the reign of the devil, so that he can live without sin? Or is it possible for any to be so? The general answer is, no; we are all, and must all be his servants, all the days of our lives. But some might say, since you are all fellow servants, and both you and your work belong to one master; why then are you disagreeing with one another about the work? But oh! My soul longs that some might be awakened, to once consider and to rethink themselves, how they came to this state and condition, and by what right and authority their master keeps them in this bondage, and whether it is not both lawful and possible to come from under it?
You can read the entire, outstanding letter by clicking here.
Scriptures Used to Try to Prove Perfection is Impossible — thus Justifying Doing Nothing
Now lets look at the scriptures that are usually quoted to argue that you need do nothing because Jesus came and died so that you could continue to sin guilt free: (as if once they can prove someone sinned a single time, then they are justified in sinning continually and doing nothing to correct it.)
1) The first scriptures used to justify continuing to live in sin with no effort to change, is Paul's confrontation with Peter:
But when Peter had come to Antioch, I opposed him according to his judgment because it was blamable.
For before certain men had came from James, Peter ate with the Gentiles; but when the men had come, he withdrew and separated himself [in hypocrisy], fearing those who were of the circumcision.
And the other Jews also concealed their true convictions; so much that Barnabas was also carried away with their hypocrisy.
But when I saw that they did not walk uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, "If you, being a Jew, live after the manner of Gentiles, and not like the Jews do, why do you compel the Gentiles to live like the Jews do?
So here Paul opposed Peter, telling us he blamable because of an error in judgment and in hypocrisy.
There are many who joyfully say, "See Peter sinned, proving that if Peter sinned, then no one can be sinless."
To those who judge Peter a sinner, I say: Who are you to judge Peter! Who are you to say his mistake was a sin? Are you so wise a judge and close to God as to conclude that Paul's words of "blamed," and "hypocrisy" constitute sin? Be careful that you do not fall in the steps of the Jews, who said Jesus sinned by healing on the Sabbath, who said his disciples sinned by gathering grain on the Sabbath; and the scriptures clearly said so, didn't they?
In fear of offending the Jewish Christians, who were evidently still practicing portions of the Mosaic Law because they had not yet been convinced by the Holy Spirit to relax its many restrictions, Peter withdrew from eating with the Gentile converts to Christianity. Paul's point was that the Gentile-turned Christians would mistakenly conclude they needed to observe the Mosaic Law in order to have the same status as the Jews-turned Christians. Though when previously challenged for association with uncircumcised Gentiles, Peter had informed other Apostles and brothers that eating with the Gentiles had been permitted by the Holy Spirit; in this case Peter was evidently waiting until the Jews-turned Christians received the appropriate teachings from the Holy Spirit personally; perhaps in Peter's faulty judgment they were too recently converted to be told by him instead of the Holy Spirit.
Peter made an error in judgment. Perfection is not being without mistakes; perfection is to be without sin in God's eyes. According to William Penn, to God a perfect man is: blameless, sinless, a shunner of evil; yet can still make mistakes that are not sins, still be subject to disease, and be without perfect wisdom or glory. And quoting John Gratton: "So it is plain, men may be really, perfectly, sincerely, children or branches, yet may grow from strength to strength, faith to faith, in and by the spirit of the Lord, yet be perfect children, and grow to be young men, and overcome the wicked one, and still grow to be fathers, and still press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded. This is the perfection we mean; we do not mean such a perfection as that nothing can be added to it."
To repeat the concept of the body of Christ: In the Body of Christ one individual does not have all knowledge or all gifts; what you don't have is made up by other members of the body, so whatever knowledge is needed is received and shared, to be sure the body works together — all controlled by the Head, Christ Himself. Sometimes, you are deliberately left in need of another member of the body to complete your knowledge and understanding on some point. This is to maintain your humility and to strengthen the Body as a whole. This is why Peter was corrected by Paul regarding his not eating with the Gentiles when the Hebrews were around; a correction which Peter immediately owned because his Spirit of Christ confirmed it. Christ could have personally corrected Peter; but for the sake of the body, he let Paul, the Apostle of the gentiles, correct Peter. After you are perfected (freed from sin), you will still be receiving wisdom and knowledge from Christ the Head or from fellowship with other members of the Body, including occasional correction.
2) The second scriptures quoted to justify impurity, sin, and imperfection is If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us, shown in context below:
John said: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we do not deny our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
When you examine these verses in lieu of the verses before and after the above three, this is the meaning:
With faith in the name of Jesus, we go to the Light (Jesus) in humble silence to wait, listen and watch, hoping for purification by his blood and grace.
If we go claiming to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, we have no humility, and we get no help; the truth is not in us.
If when He (the Light) shows us our sins and we acknowledge them, He will forgive and cleanse us of that sin.
But, if when He (the Light) shows us our sins, and if we claim to be without the sin that He has shown us,
thinking He is not the Truth, thinking whom we hear to be a liar, we receive no help from Him;
and His word fails to be planted in our heart, so that it can control us in the future.
Thus we have rejected Christ as a liar and we have shown our hate for Him, .
But if we accept His conviction as true, He forgives us, cleanses us from sin, and His word stays in our heart to keep us from sin.
This is how we are cleansed from sins until we are clean and purified. We believe what the Light shows us, and that the light is Christ.
We believe Jesus within, the true Light, given to every man who comes into the world so that he might believe.
It is not enough to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, born of a virgin, and resurrected from the dead.
We must believe what he says to be true and then act on it.
Faith without works of loving obedience to God is dead.
Jesus also told us to "believe in the light so that you may become children of the light."
It is not enough to believe there is a light, we must believe what the light shows and tells us to be true, and then act on it.
It is by grace through faith that we are saved, (delivered from all sins).
By waiting on God, we receive the teachings of grace, the convictions of grace, and the removal of sin by grace, ending in our salvation by grace.
John in the next verses, continues:
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.
And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him.
By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
Starting as spiritual little children, if we obey the Word that we hear him say to us or what he shows us in the Light,
(Jesus being the Light and the Word), and if we abide in Him, we are of the truth and we know we are in Him.
and God's love is perfected in us, resulting in us walking as Jesus walked, in love and truth.
We progress from little children, to become young men that have overcome the wicked one, to then become Fathers in the truth;
we grow up to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.
Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us], that he might destroy [in us] the works [sin] of the devil. The purpose of the Son is to destroy the devil and his works [sin] in us — if we go to him.
Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him;
and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
John repeats later for emphasis:
We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but He who is fathered by God protects him [the man],
and the wicked one does not touch him.
And His seed [Christ] are the words he has planted in your heart, words that you have heard, the Word of God.
The words are grafted into your heart, forming Christ within you, until He is fully formed and resurrected in you.
Those words we hear Him speak to us are engrafted into your heart, ;
and those words we hear Him speak to us are Spirit and impart the life of God to us, ;
which life of God is Christ, so that Christ is formed within you, .
Until finally Christ is fully formed and actually resurrected in you.
You then see Christ, the glory of God, appear in your heart and witness Him bringing your salvation and eternal life.
From the Word of the Lord within: "We go to Him, and He rains help upon us; well does this exercise of God purify those who do."
The false prophets take 1 John 1:8 out of context: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us, and say that proves no one can ever be without sin; ignoring the next statements and ignoring the context of the process of purification being referenced. To be purified you have to have sin to start, or purification is not even necessary. John is referencing sin that is to be destroyed, not carried to the grave.
This is how to kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God).
The sinful man with hope purifies himself as He is pure. The above describes the purification process.
And when he does, he no longer sins and has fellowship with Christ and the Father including seeing him.
So there is no conflict, just people quoting bible verses out of context.
They are just Bible lawyers trying to hold onto their false hope and pleading for sin, impurity, and imperfection;
so they can justify their doing nothing while charging money for their false interpretations and assurances of salvation.
3) The third scriptures frequently quoted to justify sin are in Romans 3:10-12, which is a quotation from Psalms 14:1-3
"None of them is righteous, no, not one;
There were times in Israel when no one was righteous, and there are times when there is not a righteous man on the whole earth. But obviously Noah was righteous, Moses was righteous, the Apostles with tens of thousands of their early church were righteous, and tens of thousands of the early Quakers were righteous. Of all the righteous men in scriptures, the following is a partial list: Lot, Job, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Jehoshaphat, Nehemiah, Deborah, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, Hosea, Zacharias, Elizabeth, Hezekiah, Asa, David, etc.
There is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks after God.
There were times in Israel when the way to seek God had been lost, and there are times when no one on the whole earth is seeking God properly. To seek God, you must patiently and persistently wait on Him in humble silence, listen for His spoken words, and then obey what he commands. The most common error has been to think studying the scriptures was seeking God; God is only found and known through revelation. The Jews had the scriptures and studied the scriptures fervently, but because they had not been taught by the Spirit they did not have his word in their hearts; so they rejected Jesus' words spoken from the Father, said he was mad, controlled by a demon, and demanded his death as a blasphemous heretic. Studying the scriptures without being taught by the voice of the Lord does not yield understanding God, then or now.
They have all gone out of the way, together they have become unprofitable; there is no one who does good, no, not one."
There were times in Israel when no one did good, and there are times when no one does good on the whole earth.
Paul is prefacing the new way to attain righteousness, and then in many letters he carefully explains that way to attain righteousness. Look at the above verses in context of what Paul next wrote.
For no one is declared righteous in his sight by the works of the law; for by the law comes the knowledge of sin.
True! We cannot obtain righteousness by doing works of the Law.
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Correct, righteousness comes through faith in Jesus; no matter what you have done, righteousness is available through faith,
but there is no instant righteousness, and the faith required is the inward faith of obedience to commands heard from the Word within your heart. This is the faith the Apostles preached, and obedient faith leads to receiving the gift of faith, a part of the fruit of the Spirit, which is the faith that imputes the righteousness of Christ to you.
See the Footnote to Rom 3:22 for more detail on imputed righteousness.
See 1 John 3:7 and its footnote to understand what righteousness really means.
Paul clarifies: for we through the Spirit, by faith, we patiently wait for the hope of righteousness.
Paul further: You are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness.
And Jesus said, But seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness.
So, as our life's highest priority Jesus told us to seek God's righteousness, but we are not instantly righteous.
Otherwise, we would not be told to seek, wait, obey, and hope for righteousness.
And Paul: Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
The blind guides want to rest on the "imputed righteousness of Christ" to us, supposedly because we believe in Jesus.
There is imputed righteousness but it only comes after we have crucified our sinful nature by obedience on the cross.
Abraham believed God's voice and obeyed Him; and God told him to be perfect. So too must we.
As Abraham went on to be circumcised, so we must receive the spiritual circumcision — our heart circumcised from sin.
As Abraham exercised his faith to leave his home for a new land — so we forsake the world to enter God's Kingdom.
As Abraham exercised his faith by obeying God's voice, willing to sacrifice Isaac, so we are the living sacrifice that pleases God and is our spiritual service; and so we must obey the voice of God to receive salvation.
We must go to Him to receive his cleansing grace to become righteous — the fruit of which is peace;
and the effect of righteousness is quietness and confident trust forever.
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
But this access to God does not make us instantly justified, for we seek to be justified in Christ.
And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.
Not by works, lest any man should boast.
It is faith and grace that saves. We are not saved by works of the law, but by grace and faith. Very true!
And faith is to obediently obey what we hear Him command us to do, which is works of faith, but not works of the law.
But slaves of depravity twist grace to be instantly complete and to justify DOING NOTHING in faith for salvation!
Per Paul: Grace teaches what to deny and how to live in a godly way that leads to purity.
These whitewashed false prophets have the audacity to claim that the cross and repentance are 'works.'
Going beyond ridiculous, they tell you if you do anything, you will loose your salvation by falling under the law.
This is a malicious distortion of the truth, dreamed up by lazy, evil men, devoid of any sense of godliness.
Works without faith in Christ count for nothing with God. But works energized by faith in Christ are essential.
Paul said, I declared.. that they should repent and turn to God, and do works consistent with repentance.
The cross is only obedience, and those who oppose it are headed for destruction, for their god is their belly [appetites, lusts].
James said, "faith without works is dead."
Paul further said, "continue to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
Again Paul said, grace results in a people zealous for good works.
Jesus said, unless you repent, all of you will all also perish. Luke 13:3. Repentance requires effort on your part.
And, As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous therefore, and repent. (Zealous is -ardent desire, enthusiastic).
Jesus further said, Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. /a>
Jesus said, If any man desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
(To follow is to obey the commands that hear Him speak to you as you you sit in humble silence to listen.)
In His messages to the seven churches, Jesus mentions to every church, (all seven), how; their works are key.
Jesus said, I have not found your works perfect before God. . Jesus wants perfect works.
So works of obedient faith are essential to realizing righteousness, purity, salvation, and the Kingdom — given to us by faith and grace. (For more understanding on works of faith vs. works of the law, see James 2:20-24.
The blind guides say that since grace is free, there is NOTHING you need to do for salvation.
Free is free. Stay in sin. Don't worry!
But I say, true; grace is free, but salvation is not.
Paul said: I declared.. that they should repent, turn to God, and do works consistent with repentance.
Salvation comes by the long process of the gifts of grace with faith that is evidenced by works, starting with repentance.
We are saved by grace, as the sinful nature dies on the cross;
and our death is not evidence of being worthy of God's gifts — no, just the shame of being so unworthy.
Remember, Jesus told his disciples to preach repentance and release from the bondage of sins.
False grace/salvation, keeps the forgiveness and throws away repentance, because they don't know how.
That is what this web site is dedicated to teaching: how to receive conviction requiring repentance,
and how to receive the cleansing, changing grace that leads to purity and the Kingdom of Heaven, paradise while on earth.
What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
So grace, is not a license to continue to sin. We are not condemned while we are waiting to be cleansed,
but we have to continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
But thanks be to God that though you were previously the servants of sin,
you have obeyed from the heart the fullness of teaching given to you. <
(he is talking to people already free from sin, having obeyed the doctrine that made them free from sin).
Having been made free from sin, you became the slaves of righteousness.
by obedience to the doctrine referred to in 6:17, they were made free from sin and became slaves of righteousness.
But now being made free from sin, and having become slaves to God, you have the fruit [reward] of holiness, and at the end, everlasting life.
You cannot serve God unless you are free from sin. Everlasting life comes after you have produced fruit of holiness.
And finally Paul says it all to conclusion:
For if you live after the flesh [the sinful nature], you will die;
but if through the Spirit you mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, you will live.
Therefore having these promises, dearly beloved,
let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit,
perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
So there it is: perfecting holiness. I can't imagine a stronger requirement than being told to be perfectly holy.
Persistent repentance will lead to truth, purity, holiness, and perfection.
This is not make-believe christianity, this is the real requirements of being a Christian.
Paul speaking to mature Christians who have been set free from sin and are enjoying holiness:
But now being made free from sin, and having become slaves to God,
you have the fruit [reward] of holiness, and at the end, everlasting life.
When you believe in the gospel of false grace/salvation, all the scriptures about repentance, putting the misdeeds of the body to death,
purity, perfection, and holiness have to be ignored; or you have assume that you are pure and perfect by make-believe.
See True Grace vs. False Grace for more detail.
4) The next scriptures quoted to support sin are in Job 4:18-21.
Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:
How much less in those who dwell in houses of clay [bodies made from clay are the houses of the spirit], whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed before the moth?
See, the Bible lawyers say, men can never be perfected on earth — why, even the angels are not worthy.
BUT This was Eliphaz speaking, quoting an obvious evil spirit's words heard in a dream; an evil spirit that spoke these words to Eliphaz the Temanite, deliberately so that he would relay them to Job and thus hoping to discourage him, and cause him to curse God.
- This evil spirit said all men die without wisdom; this is not true, God imparts wisdom to a man and advises men to seek wisdom more than silver; the Book of Proverbs strongly urges man to obtain wisdom and promises it.
- The evil spirit said God does not not trust in his servants; this is not true, God trusted Job and God has certainly trusted his prophets and his apostles throughout the Bible.
- This evil spirit said God charges his angels with folly; this is not true, God charges the fallen angels (demons) with folly, but not his angels in heaven.
Eliphaz was arguing against Job's perfection, who was perfect as stated by God.
In the same breath, the false minister's of Christ further quote Eliphaz, who was later severely rebuked by God for criticizing perfect Job,
What is man, that he should be clean. What is he who is born of woman, that he should be righteous?
If he [God] puts no trust in his Holy ones [saints]; if even the heavens are not clean in his sight;
how much more abominable and filthy is man, who drinks iniquity like water?
BUT! In Job 2:3 it says. And the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one who fears God, and eschews (abhors and turns away from) evil? And he still he holds fast his integrity, although you move me against him, to destroy him without cause."
So here God calls Job perfect. And this was before Christ came and died for us.
How much easier is it with Christ's death and the Holy Spirit having been poured out on all mankind since Pentecost?
William Penn expands on this easier perfection available since Christ's coming and Pentecost.
And with Christ, not only can you become pure easier,
but you can in union with God enter the Kingdom of Heaven, which the prophets of old longed look into.
So they use false statements in the Bible, from men who were rebuked in the end of the book by God for criticizing Job.
As God says in Job 42:7 "My wrath is kindled against you, and against your two friends,
for you have not spoken of me the thing that is right, like my servant Job has."
5) The next scriptures quoted to support sin are in Solomon's Ecc 7:20:
For there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and does not sin.
This was the time of the law, which could make a man perfect, but who could still fall to sin again; as did David and Asa. Certainly every man sins in his life, but even in the Old Testament we have records of God's favor shown to men made perfect by him: For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are perfect toward him. 2 Chron 16:9.
In addition to Jesus being unquestionably perfect, the scriptures tell us God considered perfect Enoch, Noah, Job, Zacharias, Elizabeth, Hezekiah, Asa, and David.
Also, Solomon is writing in grief and bitterness because his life has become a failure; he turned away from God, to follow the gods of his foreign wives. God then told him his kingdom would be taken from his son, except for one tribe of Israel that would stay with Jerusalem, the kingdom of Judah; the other tribes would be split into the separate Kingdom of Israel. The Bible makes two references to David having a perfect heart, but he then fell and his restoration was very difficult. David himself said: "I have seen the end of all perfection," showing he too saw perfection; but it was the perfection of Adam before he fell, still subject to temptation. The perfection that Christ's death made possible is a perfection that cannot be undone: We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but He [the Spirit of Christ within your heart] who is fathered by God protects him [the man], and the wicked one does not touch him. 1 John 5:18. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. John 10:29.
Christ offers a forever cleansing and perfection with resulting union, now available to all who go to him for change.
6) The last scriptures used to justify continuing living is sin with no effort to change, is one of Paul's statements below:
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect,
but I press on, so that I may apprehend that for which I am apprehended by Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I do not consider myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do: forgetting those things that are past, and reaching forth to those things that are ahead,
He said: Not as though I were already perfect, and I do not consider myself to have apprehended.
Paul is saying that he is not resting on his laurels. He is not sitting back in comfort of what he as attained.
Rather he presses on full that I may win Christ. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death.
Let's assume he wasn't perfect and see if he ever made his goal.
Paul later said: I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
So he finally won Christ and shared in his crucifixion, death, and resurrection — as was his goal.
and Paul also said he had been translated into the Kingdom of Heaven
Giving thanks to the Father, who has made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.
and he also said: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
and he encourages others, including the Corinthians to be perfected.
Finally, brothers, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace.
Now, consider the case that he was just being humble when he said: Not as though I were already perfect.
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect.
He did not say: I am not perfect.
He said, Not as though I were already perfect. He is talking about an attitude about being perfect.
This case is strongly supported in the next verses when he says:
Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded; and if in anything you are otherwise minded, God will reveal this to you.
He is saying, as many of us as are perfect, don't consider yourself so; don't relax satisfied that you have everything, rather press on.
Be like me, be humble, not boasting; and if you have a different opinion, God will straighten you out.
Why would Paul be reluctant to claim perfection? Because
Paul was very careful to be humble.
It is dangerous not to be. It is even against a tenet of Love: Love does not boast!
He is advising the brothers not to boast about being perfect or even claim perfection, but to be like him,
and take notice of those who walk like him, considering themselves to have room for improvement and growth.
Brothers, be followers of me, and observe those who walk after the pattern we have set, so as to have us for an example.
Job similarly expressed his humility about being perfect: "Though I am perfect, yet I do not regard myself; I despise my life."
Paul had further statements on boasting: I will not boast about myself, except of my infirmities.
For even if I chose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But now I refrain, so no one will think me above that which he sees me to be or hears from me.
Remember, Paul was given a messenger of Satan to buffet him, to keep him from being proud:
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, so I would not be exalted above measure.
I pleaded with the Lord three times about this thing, that it might depart from me.
And he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in weakness." So I will gladly boast in my infirmities, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.
God forbid that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
However we speak wisdom among those who are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the rulers of this world who come to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world to our glory. . Now if Paul is speaking wisdom from the mysteries of God to an audience of perfect men, then we can rightly conclude that perfect men would not want to listen to an imperfect speaker, and therefore Paul was obviously perfect, speaking among those who are perfect.
Further scriptures from Paul about his perfection and perfection of others in the early church:
Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, so that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. . Now obviously an imperfect man cannot perfect other men, so without a doubt Paul was perfect.
And he appointed [gave gifts with his authority to] some as apostles; and some as prophets; and some as evangelists; and some as pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ;
Until we all come to the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
The single purpose of the ministry is to perfect the believers: we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, so that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. Col 1:28
It is impossible for an unperfected minister to help in perfecting the saints, to a perfect man, in the fullness of Christ. Jesus told us that any unperfected minister was a blind guide because he could not see to take the spec out of his brother's eye due to the log in his own eye, Luke 6:40; and He told us to leave them. Mat 15:14. Any minister who denies perfection is a false prophet that denies the scriptures.
Therefore, leaving the elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.
Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace.
For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong; and we also pray even your perfection.
Epaphras, a servant of Christ who is one of you, salutes you, always striving fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
There are other scriptures in Romans that people twist to try to prove Paul was a confessed perpetual sinner, but that is because they get the tenses of his expressions mixed up. For example, in patiently trying to explain how sin and salvation occur, he describes a condition before salvation as: O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? They say, see that proves Paul still sinned and nobody can be perfect, while ignoring the context of his statement and also ignoring his later statements, either of which totally negate such a conclusion. They twist the scriptures to justify doing nothing, therefore assuring their destruction. Quoting Fox: ‘Paul, who cried out of the body of death, did also "thank God, who gave him the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 15:57. So there was a time of crying out for lack of victory, and a time of praising God for the victory.'
Few would argue that Jesus wasn't perfect.
Yet, when he was hailed "Good Master ." Jesus answered, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but One, that is, God." . Even Jesus is reluctant to call himself good or perfect. He challenged the Pharisees to show him a sin he had committed, but he never boasted he was perfect — yet he tells us to: Therefore, be perfect even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
He who is perfect would never say he was perfect, for it is only God who can declare someone perfect, and to say to someone you are perfect would not prove themselves perfect; only the actions of their life, their conversation, and their fruits testify to their 'perfection.' Just like Paul said above: I refrain [from boasting of perfection], so no one will think me above that which he sees me to be or hears from me.
So all of these scriptures cannot be used to say:
perfection is impossible, therefore, it is useless to try to attain it;
we must remain in sin until death.
Oh, we can try to be better, but we will never reach the goal of a sinless state.
People want to deny the possibility of perfection, to justify their imperfections and maintain their illusion of being 'saved;' yet salvation's completion is simultaneously received after purification along with the glorious Return of Jesus and entrance to the Kingdom of God, (see The Second Appearance of Jesus is a Personal Experience). Such an attitude is excusemanship, ignoring the many, many verses that testify to perfection. In addition to the many scriptures already cited as proof that perfection is possible, starting with Job.
If you believe in the false "gospel of grace with no purity possible," all the scriptures about mortifying — purity — perfection, and holiness have to be ignored; or you have to assume that you are pure and perfect by imputation, which is being a hypocrite in its most arrogant form. (see
True Grace vs False Grace)
From Ambrose Rigge's Letter On True Christianity:
And he [Christ] has broken, and will yet go on to break, the covenant which many have made with death, i.e., to be subjected to the reigning power of it, so long as they are on earth; and the agreement that they have made with hell, to be under the servitude of sin, and bondage of corruption, all their lives, and never to be freed from sin and corruption all their days, as thousands are seduced to believe.
Hereby the coming, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, our complete savior and Mediator, are made void and of none effect; and the blood of his cross counted a vain thing; which is a great offence against God.
For, first, his coming and manifestation was to take away sin, 1 John 3:5. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous," verse 7. “Whoever abides in him, sins not: whosoever sins, has not seen him, neither has known him," verse 6. “He that commits sin, is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us], that he might destroy [in us] the works [sin] of the devil." 1 John 3:8. “Whoever is born of God, sins not; for his seed in him: neither can he sin, because he is born of God. In his are the children of God known, and the children of the devil: whosoever does not righteousness, is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother," 1 John 3:9-10.
So they who plead for sin to continue in their mortal bodies during life, do oppose the benefit of his coming and manifestation, which was to take away sin, and to finish transgression, 1 John 3:5, Heb 9:26, 1 Tim 1:15, Dan 9:24, and consequently of the benefit of his suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension into glory; he being a perfect sacrifice for sin, and a Mediator, who has power to destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, Heb 2:14; “and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage," verse 15. "Who ascended far above all heavens, that he might fill all things: and he gave some, apostles; some, prophets; some, evangelists; some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ," Eph 4:10-13.
Thus they magnified him, who were true witnesses of the power of his death, and virtue of his resurrection and ascension, by which they obtained victory over death, darkness, and the power of the grave; and were made more than conquerors, through him that loved them, Rom 8:37. And gave thanks to God, who had given them victory through Jesus Christ, and triumphed over death, and the sting of it, which is sin, 1 Cor 15:55-57.
Secondly, those who believe that men must carry about with them a body of sin, while on earth, do, as to themselves, make the circumcision and baptism of Christ of no effect, repugnant to the apostle's testimony, Col 2:10-11. "You are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power: in which you are circumcised, with the circumcision made without hands; to the putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ. Buried with him by baptism, in which also you are risen with him, through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised him from the dead," Col 2:10-12. And also John, though a minister of water baptism, yet testified of Christ, that “he should baptize them with the Holy Spirit and with fire: whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor [mark thoroughly] and gather his wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire," Mat 3:11-12. Here is a thorough separation, the wheat from the chaff; Christ's baptism does not leave a body of sin in them who are baptized with it: for as "many as were baptized into Christ, were baptized into his death; they were buried with him by baptism into his death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; so also they should walk in newness of life. Knowing that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that now forward we should not serve sin," Rom 6:3-6.
Thirdly, they who plead for the continuance of sin all a man's days, have made the blood of Christ of no more value than the blood of bulls and goats, offered in the first covenant, sprinkling them that were unclean, and which sanctifies as touching the purifying of the flesh. But how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purge your consciences from dead works to serve the living God? Heb 9:13-14. Here was an inward purging of the conscience from death and dead works, by virtue of the blood of Jesus. Here is the antitype of Moses, sprinkling the people under the law, with water and the blood of calves and goats, with purple wool and hyssop; who sprinkled the tabernacle with blood, and all the ministering vessels, saying, “This is the blood of the Testament which God has appointed unto you," Heb 9:19-21.
For if the blood of bulls and goats could have taken away sin, there had been no need of another sacrifice: but finding fault with them, he said, “Behold, the days come, said the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day when I took them by the hand, to lead them out of the land of Egypt. Because they continued not in my covenant, I regarded them not, said the Lord."
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, said the Lord, I will put my laws in their minds, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people."
"And they shall not need to teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest," Heb 8:8-11.
Here is known the blood of sprinkling, which speaks better things than that of Abel, and which is able to cleanse from all sin, and sanctify throughout in body, soul and spirit; ending all the offerings and sacrifices of the law and first covenant, which could not make the comers thereunto perfect, as pertaining to the conscience, Heb 9:9. And therefore could not continue, but was disannulled, because the weakness and ineffectiveness of it; being but shadows and types of the spiritual sprinkling, sanctifying and purifying of the heart and conscience, by the blood of Jesus, the Lamb without spot, who by "one offering perfected forever those who are sanctified," Heb 10:14.
Fourthly, they who plead for a body of sin, for term of life, make the circumcision of Christ of no value, and Paul, that great minister of the true gospel, to bear a false testimony. He said to the Romans, who were baptized into the death of Christ, which is a death unto sin; "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin," Rom 6:6. “There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit: for the law of the Spirit of life, in Christ Jesus, has made me free from the law of sin and death," Rom 8:2. “For while you were servants to sin, you were free from righteousness; but now being free from sin, and made servants unto God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life,” Rom 6:20-22.
Fifthly, they who do not believe a freedom from sin on this side the grave, make the promise of Christ to the Jews that believed in him, of none effect, who said, “If they continued in his word, [the heard word within] then were they his disciples indeed; and they should know the Truth, and the Truth should make them free," John 8:31-32. "And if the Son (who is the Truth) make you free, then are you free indeed," v. 36.
This freedom, by the Son, is obtained by none but those who are given up to follow him and obey his word, to whom he gives power, not only to be servants, but sons of God. Neither can any stand fast in this freedom, but as they are daily supported by his power, in whom their freedom stands; this made the apostle exhort the saints, who were born of the free woman by promise, to " stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made them free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage," Gal 5:1. And to the Hebrews, “Forasmuch as the children were partakers of flesh and blood; he also himself took part with them, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil. And that he might deliver them, who through fear of death, were all their life time subject to bondage."
Now a body of sin, all the life long, keeps the soul in bondage; from which bondage the Son of Man is come to deliver. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together, until now, Rom 8:21-22, that is, until the work of deliverance by the Son of God was known, who was, and is able to save to the uttermost, all who come to God by him; seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them, Heb 7:25. So he was and is a perfect savior to save his people, disciples and followers from (mark from, not in) their sins, Mat 1:21.
Sixthly, they who deny perfection in this life, make the command of Christ of no force, Mat 5:48. Be you perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. His command was to living men, not dead. Now if this perfection is not attainable, the lip of Truth would not have commanded it; whose commands were ever just, and not grievous, 1 John 5:3.
Seventhly, they who do not believe perfection in holiness on this side the grave, have undervalued, and not truly believed, Christ's prayer, John 17:23, I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me. And also Paul's testimony to the Corinthians: And my speech and preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God. However we speak wisdom among them that are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nothing, 1 Cor 2:4-6. And in his second epistle, he exhorted them to press on to perfection, 2 Cor 13:11. And the same apostle, writing to the Ephesians, speaks thus of Christ: He that descended, is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave some, apostles; some, prophets; some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers: for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, Eph 4:10-13.
Now these gifts are all void, and of none effect, with those who do not believe any perfection to be witnessed in this life. It is a manifest token they know nothing of them, nor the work of the true ministry, nor the gradual steps of all true gospel believers, towards the perfection of holiness, in the sight of God, which all true followers of Christ are pressing forward to obtain, through the power and efficacy of the life of Jesus, which is brought to light and manifested in mortal flesh, in our day, through the gospel of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, which is a gospel of glad tidings; i. e., deliverance from the slavery of sin and Satan, and perfect redemption, reconciliation and salvation, brought near to every man's house, to be wrought in man by Christ, God's great workman. This all who truly believe in him are living witnesses of; being made his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, that we should walk in them; according to Eph 2:9-10. They only who are true witnesses of this work, can praise the Lord, being made living members of that body, of which Christ is head, ruler and lawgiver. They are not of this world, as he is not of this world; neither seek the honor or preferment of it; but are as strangers and pilgrims in it. And though they are on earth, yet their conduct is in heaven; having the seal of the Spirit of God, bearing witness with their spirits, that they are the sons and daughters of God.
This is the effect and fruit of the true gospel day, wrought and brought forth in all them who walk in it to the end. These are not tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, through the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness of those who lie in wait, for their ungodly gain, to deceive; but are born of that elect seed, into which no deceiver can enter; and walk in the light of the Lamb, according to the prophecy of John, Rev 21:23-24, in which is no night or shadow of death. These have the white stone, and a new name, which no man knows but he who has it; and are clothed in white linen, which is the Lamb's righteousness, put upon them by him who has wrought it in them; having oil in their own lamps, and are ready to enter with the bridegroom, whenever he calls.
But let those consider of it who have not oil in their own lamps, but are forced to go to them that sell; that they may read how such were entertained by the heavenly Bridegroom, Mat 25. “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold the bridegroom cometh; go you out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; for fear that there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterwards came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not."
Now these were accounted virgins, and knew their duty in their life time, which was to have oil within, to keep their lamps always burning to be ready to enter, whenever their soul's bridegroom came. But the foolish did not, yet were sensible they wanted it, when the bridegroom came, and so went to buy of them that sold. But oh! while they were gone, the door was shut, and they could not enter the marriage-chamber. Oh! dread and fear this, all you who are gone out to buy, for fear that the door of entrance be shut against you forever.
Eighthly, they who plead for sin and imperfection to remain, during all the days of their lives, have thereby, to themselves, subverted the testimony of John, the beloved disciple, 1 John 4:17: Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world; [mark, in this world.] He did not say, welcome death to make us perfect, as some imperfect workmen have done of late; attributing more power and virtue to a winding-sheet, than to the blood of Jesus Christ, repugnant to the testimony of the saints and true believers, who in their day testified, that if they walked in the light, as God is in the light, they had fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleansed them from all sin, 1 John 1:7. This John spoke in the faith, which the believers were growing up into; which afterwards they witnessed, as I have noted above.
Ninthly, they who say, they cannot be made clean in this world, have no share in those blessings which Christ pronounced, Mat 5:8: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God: and, Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled, verse 6.
Now none can be filled with righteousness, or witness a pure heart, while a body of sin remains; neither can any be made partakers of the living faith, which purifies the heart, 1 Pet 1:22, Acts 15:9, 1 Tim 1:5, while they continue in sin and unbelief, that they cannot be made pure in this world. And if not in this world, it highly concerns every such, while they have a day, to consider when or where they shall be made free and fit to enter the kingdom of heaven, where no unclean person can come, Eph 5:5, Isa 38:18, neither can death nor the grave praise the Lord, nor they that go down to the pit hope for his Truth.
Objection. But the great objection and plea, that many in our day have, is that in John, where he said: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the Truth is not in us, 1 John 1:8, supposing, that neither he, nor any of the holy men of God, either did, or ever was to know a better state and condition, than continuing in sin all their days; which is a great mistake, and of dangerous consequence, as all may see, who read 1 John 3:2-10: Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that has this hope in him, purifies himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And you know that he is revealed to take away our sins, and in him is no sin. Whosoever abides in him sins not: whosoever sins has not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us], that he might destroy [in us] the works [sin] of the devil. Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. And 1 John 4:17, Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
Site Editor's Comments: Trying to disprove the many scriptures which testify to perfection, holiness, and purity, the false prophets point to 1 John 1:8 — If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the Truth is not in us — taken out of context from accompanying scripture, as sin being unconquerable in this life. John describes the process of how the blood of Christ purifies us from all sin. We all start as sinners, but can be purified by Christ. See in Purification how John describes the process. See How to Benefit from the Changing Power of God, for how to receive purification.
Here was perfection witnessed by them in this world, being made more than conquerors, through him that loved them, Rom 8:37. And Paul writing unto the Romans, says: That as sin has reigned unto death, so grace might reign through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Rom 5:21, Rom 6:1.
And writing to the Ephesians, about the state of the church, he exhorted husbands to love their wives, even as Christ loved his church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it, with the washing of water, by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it might be holy and without blemish, Eph 5:27.
This is the church of the first-born, which Paul testified of to the Hebrews, who were come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels; to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, Heb 12:22-23.
And Jesus said unto his disciples: Behold, I give you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, [within a man] and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven. Here was perfect freedom to the church, who were made partakers of that precious faith, which then was delivered to them, by which they had victory over death, hell and the grave, and were made an habitation of God through the Spirit: Eph 2:19-22.
They were far from pleading for the continuance of sin during the whole course of their lives, as many in our days are doing; who though they profess Christ in words, yet in works deny him, which is a sort of atheism; and so their works give their words the lie; for it is not words, but works, that manifest true faith, James 2:14-25. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also, verse 26. They who are out of that faith which purifies the heart, and gives victory over the world, and do not believe any victory on this side of the grave, their preaching is vain, and their faith vain, and they are yet in their sins; and what is worse, will not believe any freedom from sin in this world. Christ is not king, governor and bishop in the souls of such; neither have they part in him, who is the resurrection and the life, because not washed and sanctified by him; for he said to Peter, if I wash you not, you have no part with me, John 13:8-10.
Objection. But I have heard some affirm, that God allows sin, in the dearest of his children, to keep them humble.
This is a doctrine of antichrist, and has not the least footing in the Holy scripture, neither was ever heard of among the worst of the Jews' false prophets, that ever I heard or read. For if sin be the cause of humility, Christ came in vain, who was the perfect pattern of humility, in whom was no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth, 1 Pet 2:22.
But it is the power of God that delivers man from sin, and keeps him in a daily humble frame of mind and spirit, to be preserved through faith to the end of time. This made Paul, when his departure drew near, not boasting, but humbly to say: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing, 2 Tim4:6-8. He had not the great work of salvation and victory to do at his departure out of the world; but witnessed it done, and boldly testified it to Timothy, as some of his last words.
And Peter, when near his departure out of the world, having magnified the power of God, through which they had escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust, exhorted the saints to give diligence, to make their calling and election sure, 2 Pet 1:4-10. This could not be made while sin remained in their mortal bodies; an end therefore was to be witnessed while they were on earth; for king Hezekiah had before testified, that the Lord had delivered his soul from the pit of corruption, and cast all his sins behind his back. For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot celebrate you; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for your Truth, Isa 38:17-18. Now if death cannot celebrate the name of the Lord, nor the grave praise him, as above, what a deplorable condition are they left in, who are persuaded to believe, that they must have a body of sin until death, and can never be made free on this side the grave? I leave this to God's witness in all consciences deeply to consider.
And further, I desire all who are for the continuance of sin during life, to discover, if they can, by the Holy scripture, when and where men, and all mankind shall be thoroughly cleansed from it: whether before death, at, or after it, between death and judgment; seeing that no unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, or of God, Eph 5:5-6. And John, in the Revelation, testified, concerning the heavenly city, that there shall in no wise enter into it, any thing that defiles or works abomination, or makes a lie; but they who are written in the Lamb's book of life, Rev 21:27.
Objection. But some have objected and said, that if people be thoroughly cleansed from sin on this side the grave, they need no Mediator or advocate.
The consequence is unjust, and falsely deduced. There is need of Christ as Mediator and advocate for all mankind, for whom Christ prays or makes intercession, and that is both for transgressors and saints; for the unsanctified and for the sanctified; for the first, that they may be sanctified; for the last, that they may be preserved and kept from the evil: therefore there is need of Christ as advocate for all mankind.
Query, In what state may persons have the real benefit of Christ's mediation and intercession, in order to receive forgiveness and salvation?
Answer. In a state of need thereof, and true desire thereafter; and when they do not harden their hearts unto willful sinning. Christ makes intercession for men, while they have a day of visitation, in which his Spirit strives with them. But as his Spirit will not always strive with men, if they persist in rebellion; so Christ will not always intercede for them. There is a sin unto death (or a willful sinning until death) for which there is no pardon obtained by sacrifice, advocate or mediator; seeing the apostle to the Hebrews said: If we sin willfully, after we have received the knowledge of the Truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sin: but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries, Heb 10:26-27.
But there is a sin, not unto death, concerning which, John wrote to the little children, saying, My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not; and if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, 1 John 2:1. For this sin, there is an advocate and mediator. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death.
Here the benefit of Christ's mediation and intercession, being our advocate with the Father, is received, and not slighted or frustrated; for he said: The Son of man is as a man taking his journey into a far country, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch you therefore, for you know not the day nor hour when the master of the house cometh; at even, or at midnight, at cock-crowing, or in the morning: for fear that coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch: Mark 13: 34-37. Now there is no state on this side the grave, above a watchful state; for though the enemy is cast out of the house, that is the heart, and it be swept and garnished; yet for want of watchfulness and circumspection, the enemy takes to him seven other spirits, worse than himself, and they enter in and dwell there, and the latter end of that man is worse than the first. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest; but finding none, he said, I will return unto my house whence I came out, Luke 11:24-26.
Upon this account the apostle Peter exhorted the saints, to be sober and vigilant; because, said he, your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist, steadfast in the faith; knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, Establish, strengthen, settle you, 1 Pet 5:8-10.
And Jude the apostle said: The angels that kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he has reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day, Jude 6. This was written not to be imitated, but to excite watchfulness in all who are come to be made an habitation of God, through the Spirit, that they may keep their habitations, and go no more forth to them who say, lo, here is Christ; or lo there. Yes, if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: Behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not, Mat 24:26. For Christ within, the hope of glory, is the portion of all who are not reprobates concerning the faith, 2 Cor 13:5-6. He dwells and walks in his temple; and his sheep hear his voice, and follow him, John 10:3,27, but a stranger will they not follow.
But the sure your habitation and safe resting place is the name of the Lord; the righteous run into it, and is safe: Pro 18:10. Here no devourer can come, nor ravenous beast enter; and those who continue to the end therein, in faith, patience and well-doing, have immortality and everlasting life, being living witnesses of the eternal purpose of God in sending his only begotten Son into the world, i.e. to finish transgression, and to make an end of sin, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, according to the prophecy of Daniel: Dan 9:24. Such have the benefit of his coming, and of his death, resurrection and ascension, and know him their Mediator, to make intercession to the Father for them, day and night: John 17:6-11, that they may be preserved from all sin.
Perfection of freedom from sin in this world, can never be witnessed by any, but by them who receive Christ, as the Father has given him, with faith and full assurance, that he is both willing and able to finish transgression in every soul, and to bring in, and fill it with everlasting righteousness, in place and stead thereof; and to save to the uttermost all who obey him, and come to God by him. And by his obedience, all who follow him therein to the end, are sanctified and purified, and shall be glorified with the glory which he is pleased to give them; and so are made his jewels, fit to be gathered into his treasury forever. These are witnesses of the end of their faith, even the salvation of their souls; and able to put their seal to the benefit of the coming, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, their mediator and advocate: and therefore perfection and freedom from sin must be believed, and pressed after in this life, or else it can never be truly known or attained unto; nor the benefits of the coming, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ Jesus received.
Therefore, woe to that grand enemy of mankind, who has blinded the world from seeing and believing those things which belong to their everlasting felicity; but persuades them, and overpowers them to spend their days in vanity, and to go down to the grave with sorrow, and die in their sins and pollutions, as Christ told the Jews, John 8: 21-24: If you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins; and if you die in your sins, wherever I go, you cannot come.
Now the outward Jews, who would not believe him in his outward appearance, and therefore shut the door of entrance into the kingdom of God against themselves, died in their sins, not believing the benefits of his coming, offering, resurrection, or ascension. So let the outward Christians now beware, for fear that by rejecting, and not receiving him in his inward and spiritual appearance, they shut the door of entrance into the kingdom, against themselves; and give up to be captivated under the power of sin and Satan all their days; for God will not be mocked, neither will his Spirit always strive, nor offer itself to give knowledge of the secrets of God to mortals ¡ but the day of their visitation will come to an end | and then they shall cry, and he will not hear; and seek death, and shall not find it.
For the great God of Israel has sent his only begotten into the world, in his spiritual appearance, to fulfill the law, and to finish transgression, and to bring in everlasting righteousness; and all who will receive him, and give up to follow him in the regeneration, he will give them power to become the sons and daughters of God; and give them the spirit of adoption, to enable them to cry, Abba, Father; they are not of the world, even as he is not of the world, therefore the world hates them.
And now let all who believe no better than that they must be under the bondage of corruption all the days they have to live on earth, seriously weigh and consider, when or where they shall be made free, seeing no unclean person can ever enter the kingdom of God, Eph 5:5. And let the learned rabbis resolve them, if they can; for it highly concerns them, that their day may not end, before their work be done, and the night come upon them, in which no man can work.
It is not the profession of Christianity, but the work of it in the soul, that renders mankind good and acceptable in the sight of God. I shall only set down a few, among the many testimonies which were given by the ancient primitive Christians, many ages ago( left upon record to this day, namely; Clemens of Alexandria gave this short account of them: "No man is with us a Christian, or accounted truly rich, temperate and generous, but he that is pious and religious; nor does any further bear the image of God, than he speaks and believes what is just and holy; so that in short is the state of us who follow God. Such as are our desires, such are our discourses; such as are our discourses, such are our actions; such as are our actions, such is our life; so universally good is the whole life of Christians. Certainly none were greater enemies to a naked profession, and the covering of a bad life, under the title of Christianity! Do any live otherwise than Christ has commanded? [If so,] it is a most certain argument they are no Christians, though with their tongues they ever so smoothly profess the Christian doctrine; for it is not merely professors, but those who live according to their profession, that shall be saved; as Justin Martyr declared before the emperors.—Primitive Christianity, Part 1. c. 4.
Let no man, says Basil, impose upon himself with inconsiderate words, saying, though I be a sinner, yet I am a Christian; and I hope that title shall be my shelter. But listen sinner, all wicked men shall be bundled up together, and it is the great day of divine vengeance shall be indifferently thrown into those merciless and devouring flames."—Prim. Christ. Part 1. fol. 82. с. 4.
Now was corruption creeping into the profession of Christianity; but the upright among them saw it, and gave an early testimony against it; but yet it was not grown to that height of presumption, to plead for the continuance of a body of sin all their days; that came in by degrees afterward, in the midnight of darkness and apostasy from the life of Jesus, our complete savior from sin.
Out of this corruption, the pope sprang, who assumed the honorable title of Christian, and high father, or father of fathers therein: but falling later in the apostasy, [the church] was overwhelmed with more corruption, and set up those things, which the more pure and primitive Christians decried and abhorred; which are too large to mention here.
Being under the bondage of corruption, and ignorant of the power of God, and the sufficiency thereof, to deliver the soul from the pit of corruption in this life, [the false church] concluded that all mankind must carry about them a body of sin all their days. Then did the enemy step in with another delusion, more subtle than before, and put them upon an invention of a purgatory, or a place of cleansing from sin, between death and the day of judgment, which there is not the least color in the Holy scriptures to justify. But the nobility of the people's understandings being clouded with darkness, this was received among them for orthodox, and is to this day among thousands, who err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
And now, my dear friends and countrymen, into whose hands this may come, let moderation and the fear of God attend you in the reading of it; as the love of God, and bowels of compassion to you, has attended me in writing of it. That notwithstanding the subject matter herein contained has been written by some before, yet I could not be clear, not knowing how short my time may be in this world, but leave a testimony also of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, in spirit, in this latter age of the world, to work his Father's will in every soul, which is sanctification, and redemption from sin, death, darkness, und the power of the grave; of which, in my little measure, I have been an eye witness many years; not proposing any outward benefit or advantage to myself in writing it; but the good and well-being of mankind, that they may come to the knowledge of the Truth by which they may be made free and be saved, through faith in the Son of God, while they live; and that they may see, and be made partakers of the benefit of the spiritual appearance and work of the Just One; of which all the prophets, from Moses, bore testimony. His coming, in these latter days, has discovered the workings of Satan, in the long and dark night of apostasy, which have been over the world, since the apostles' days, with all deceivableness of unrighteousness; in which the false church has decked herself with pretences to the jewels of the true, and has set as a queen, arrayed in fine outward garments, pleasant and delightful to the outward eye; and also her golden cup, engaging to the carnal mind and affection; and her temple, like those which Origen, the ancient Christian, testified against among the Egyptians: " When you approach, says he, their sacred places, they have glorious groves and chapels, temples with goodly gates and stately porticos, and many mysteries and religious ceremonies; but when once you are entered, and got within their temples, you shall see nothing desirable there,... But like the woman, which John testified of, who was arrayed in purple, and scarlet color, decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations, and filthiness: and upon her forehead is written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OP THE EARTH, Rev 17:4-5."—Prim. Chris. Part 1.p.1.
Nevertheless, many have been in love with her, delighting to drink of her cup, who could not see her inside. But now the great Searcher of hearts is come, and the flying roll of his wrath is entering, and will more and more enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of the false-witness-bearer, who say: Thus said the Lord, and the Lord never spoke to them, and shall destroy it, with the stones and timber thereof: the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken it, and it shall come to pass in its season: Zech 5:4. But Zion, which has been as a widow forsaken, shall become as a fruitful hill, and shall no more be called desolate, nor forsaken, but shall put on her beautiful garments; and the Lamb and his followers shall dwell there, where shall be no night, or shadow of death; and Jerusalem shall be a quiet habitation, salvation shall be for walls and bulwarks, and the entrance thereof praise; there is no temple there, but the Lamb, henceforth and forever. Written in the bowels of love and compassion to the souls of people every where, that they may know the seed of God to arise, and bring forth righteousness in them, by a lover of all mankind.
Riegate in Surrey, the 22nd of the Tenth month, 1702.
So the false grace doctrines are based on "cherry picking" a few verses from the Bible, while ignoring the preponderance of other verses throughout the Bible that totally change their meaning considered alone; they excuse evil to good, they make black white, they don't know their left hand from their right hand; and they ask you to pay them money for their error. They were taught by Bible Colleges rather that Christ himself. See a few of George Fox's writings on these blind guides.
They want to sit and do nothing, saying: to do anything, even to pick up your cross daily and deny yourself, is "works." So they spew out their selective Bible verses pleading for doing nothing, even saying repentance is "works" too. Of course you cannot be saved by works, but your faith must be evidenced by far more than a claim that you are saved by faith, doing nothing but shouting your claim; James said, "faith without works is dead." The cross is not trying to be saved by "works;" it is evidence of your faith by your obedience; and to those who oppose it, they are headed for destruction, for their god is their belly [appetites, lusts].
They say there is no hearing of Christ's words from heaven today, and then absurdly state if you were to write down what you hear Christ say to you, you are guilty of adding words to the Bible, for it says so in Revelation:
For I testify to every person who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If any man adds to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his share in the book of life, and in the holy city, and from the things that are written in this book."
The book referred to above is the Book of Revelation, not the Bible. When John wrote the Book of Revelation, 2000 years ago, the various letters and books of the Bibles had not even been selected for inclusion, much less assembled together, and not even printed until 1516. These people, in their arrogant ignorance, have condemned Peter, Paul, Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, Jude, and James for adding words to the Torah, much of the Old Testament, which was the Bible then in use at the time that John wrote the Book of Revelation. These modern scribes are classic illustrations of the folk proverb: a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. They worship the Bible as the Word of God, instead of worshiping the Living Word of God, Christ. Even the Bible speaks of scriptures and Word of God differently. They are denying God still speaks. They say Bible is the final word of God, and a closed book; they say he no longer speaks. They perish for lack of knowledge. They are stone deaf and totally blind. The Bible is the letter. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
In Hebrews it is said, "today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart." And Paul says that grace teaches us to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Paul further reminds us, "But what did it say? "The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart [so you may obey it]," that is, the word of faith, which we preach. Rom 10:8. The Spirit is in your mouth and your heart, not in the scriptures. When Paul said this, the New Testament didn't even exist. He said he was not taught by man, but through direct revelation by Jesus Christ. The Word is Christ within you, the Light that enlightens all men, patiently waiting to teach and reveal himself to you also.
Yes, God speaks through the Living Word, Christ (See Jesus wants to teach you himself). The Bible is not the Living Word, Christ. The Bible is the words of the saints who wrote down their words. Christ still speaks to us. He is the Light that lights all men. How can grace teach us unless we listen? You must be quiet to hear him. Remember, he knows what you are going to ask before you form the thoughts; he knows your needs; he knows what you want; he will answer your needs, but maybe not all your wants. You don't even need to form words for him to know everything you want. Of course, we often can't help ourselves and must pour out our words to Him; but remember, silence will communicate too; plus you can then hear what he has to say to you.
See How to Benefit from the Changing Power of God for more on purification.
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free from sin
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which leads to union with God in his Kingdom.