This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I started this on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed blogging from that book on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. Since then, I have begun adding material from his Bible commentaries. I also re-blog many of the old posts.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Will Christians be Included in the Last Judgement?

QUESTION: We are told by a class of teachers that true believers in Christ will not be judged in that last day; that only their works will be examined preparatory to giving their reward in the millennial dispensation. Is this so?

ANSWER: The distinction between the judgment of the person and the judgment of his works is a sophism invented to bolster up an unscriptural doctrine denying the General Judgment. Personality includes conduct. They cannot be separated and differently judged. The favorite proof text, John 5:24, "He that believeth . . . hath eternal life and cometh not into judgment," evidently meaning the condemnatory part of the judgment, as in verse 29, "they that have done evil (come) unto the resurrection of judgment." i.e., condemnation. The Greek word often means condemnation instead of judgement, as in Heb. 10:27, II Pet, 2:4, Jude 15. The saints are certainly included in the "all" who must appear before the judgment seat in Rom. 14:10, II Cor. 5:10, and in the "world" in Acs 17:31, "he will judge the world in righteousness."

Steele's Answers p. 100.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Christians Have One Nature, Not Two

QUESTION: How would you answer the assertion that every Christian has two natures, that of the old Adam, which until physical death lives and sins day by day without ceasing, and that of the second Adam, the Lord Jesus, which nature cannot sin?

ANSWER: The Christian has only one nature called human. This nature is a fallen nature redeemed and reconstructed more or less perfectly, according to one's faith. But it has from the moment of the new birth the gracious ability to be victorious over every temptation and to verify John's description, "Whosoever has been born of God (perfect tense implying the continued similarity to God) is not sinning, because his seed (love divine) continues in him and he cannot be sinning because he has been begotten of God" (perfect tense including the present). That our annotated American version gives the exact meaning of the original is confirmed by the Twentieth Century Version, "No one who has derived his life from God acts sinfully, because God's very nature is always within him and he cannot live in sin, because he has derived his life from God." This precludes a career of sinning by a child of God, but it does not preclude the possibility of a single wrong act under the stress of sudden temptation, as in I John 2:1, "If any man sin (the tense denoting a single act) we have an Advocate," etc.

Steele's Answers pp. 99, 100.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

God's Justice and Our Ideas of Justice

Well does Professor Shedd say:

How can a man even know what is meant by justice in the Deity, if there is absolutely nothing of the same species in his own rational constitution, which, if realized in his own character as it is in that of God, would make him just as God is just? If there is no part of man's complex being upon which he may fall back with the certainty of not being mistaken in his judgments of ethics and religion, then are both anchor and anchorage gone, and he is afloat upon the boundless, starless ocean of ignorance and scepticism. Even if revelations are made, they cannot enter his mind.

Who can confidently adore and sincerely love a being who may, in the inmost essence of his being, be pure malignity in the outward guise of benevolence?

Mile-Stone Papers, Part 1, Chapter 13.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Repression or Purification?

It is a remarkable fact that while the Greek language richly abounds in words signifying repression, a half score of which occur in the New Testament, and are translated by to bind, bruise, cast down, conquer, bring into bondage, let, repress, hold fast, hinder, restrain, subdue, put down, and take by the throat, yet not one of these, συνέχω, κατέχω, κωλύω, συγκλείω, καταπαύω, is used of inbred sin; but such verbs as signify to cleanse, to purify, to mortify or kill, to crucify, and to destroy. When St. Paul says that he keeps under his body and brings it into subjection, he makes no allusion to the σάρξ, the flesh, the carnal mind, but to his innocent bodily appetites. In Pauline usage body is different from flesh. We have diligently sought in both the Old Testament and the New for exhortations to seek the repression of sin. The uniform command is to put away sin, to purify the heart, to purge out the old leaven, and to seek to be sanctified throughout spirit, soul, and body. Repressive power is nowhere ascribed to the blood of Christ, but rather purifying efficacy. Now, if these verbs, which signify to cleanse, wash, crucify, mortify, or make dead, and to destroy, are all used in a tropical or metaphorical sense, it is very evident that the literal truth signified is something far stronger than repression. It is eradication, extinction of being, destruction.

Mile-Stone Papers, Part 1, Chapter 13.

Monday, January 27, 2014

"To Have Sin" (1 John 1:8)

QUESTION: In I John 1:8, "If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us," is John speaking of Christians or of the unregenerate?

ANSWER: Of persons called Gnostics, who believed that their bodies only were defiled by sin, and that their souls were perfectly pure, having no need of the blood of Christ and of the new birth. The phrase "to have sin" is John's strongest expression of such a transgression of the law as entails guilt. If all Christians are guilty, the profession of justification by anybody on the earth is a sad mistake, and Paul's declaration, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are to Christ Jesus" is a stupendous falsehood.

Steele's Answers, pp. 98, 99.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Penal Satisfaction Implies Limited Atonement

In Dr. Steele's discussion of the theology of Dispensationalism, he remarks:

[A Limited Atonement] the inevitable outcome of the doctrine that sin was punished on the cross.

Whose sin? If it be answered, that of the whole human race, then universalism emerges, for God cannot in justice punish sin twice. It must be, then, that the sins of the elect only were punished. Hence at the bottom, this system of doctrine rests upon the tenet of a particular, in distinction from a universal atonement.

The fact that [in Dispensationalism] this basis is not avowed, and that the terminology of hyper-predestinarianism, such as "the elect," "the reprobates," "special call," "irresistible grace," "perseverance of the saints," and salvation by "Divine Sovereignty," is studiously avoided, makes this system of doctrine still more dangerous, because these offensive features are concealed with Jesuitical cunning.

We cannot resist the suspicion that this is designed, so as to make it palatable to those educated in the Arminian faith, in order to catch them with guile. Some unreflective Arminians are thus unawares entrapped into the reception of that unmitigated scheme of doctrine which Christendom is almost universally shaking off.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Did Christ Suffer the Punishment for Sin?

Hence we repudiate in the interest of sound ethical philosophy and clearness of thought, the following proposition of Dr. Bishop: —

"If the sin of the believing sinner is taken from his shoulders and laid upon the Son of God, then justice, still following after sin, must strike through sin and the person of the Son of God beneath it."

It is a moral axiom that only the guilty can be rightfully punished. If Christ was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners, to punish Him would be, not only contrary to all human law, but it would outrage all those God-given moral sentiments on which human law rests. It is in vain that Dr. Bishop seeks for analogies to sustain the monstrous injustice of punishing innocence. He says, "When a father commits a crime, his whole family sink in the social scale, though innocent." Here he confounds the natural consequences of sin with the punishment of sin. Dr. Bishop should show that society universally hangs the innocent family on the same gibbet with the guilty husband and father. Then the case would be analogous.

Many persons use the expression "Christ in the stead of the sinner suffered the punishment of his sin," without subjecting this proposition to that rigid analysis which theological accuracy requires. While it is true that Jesus is our substitute, He is our substitute truly and strictly only in suffering, not in punishment. Sin cannot be punished and pardoned also. This would be a moral contradiction. Sin is conditionally pardoned because Jesus has suffered and died. There is no punishment of sin except in the person of the sinner who neglects so great a Saviour. Sin was not punished on the Cross. Calvary was the scene of wondrous mercy and love, not of wrath and penalty.

Says Dr. Whedon, "Punishment in the strict sense implies the guilt of the sufferer as its correlative. Whenever the sinner and the sufferer are not the same, it is only by an allowable inaccuracy that the suffering can be called punishment. It follows that it is not strictly accurate to say that Christ was punished, or that he truly suffered the punishment of sin."

Monday, January 20, 2014

Was Christ on the Cross a Sinner?

We once heard a layman, an ex-president of the Boston Y.M.C.A., assert in a public evangelistic service that "Jesus Christ on the cross was the greatest sinner in the universe!" Such statements are usually attended by the portrayal with terrific distinctness, of the Almighty Father in the act of hurling His thunderbolts, in blasting shocks, down upon the defenseless head of His shrinking and suffering Son.

We indignantly repudiate the monstrous idea that Jesus on the cross was a sinner overwhelmed with the bolts of the Father's personal wrath. What we do affirm is that his sufferings and death were in no sense a punishment, but a substitute for punishment, answering the same end, the conservation of God's moral government and the vindication of His holy character while He pardons penitent believers.

The chief proof-text of the doctrine that Christ on the cross was a gigantic sinner, is 2 Cor. v. 21. "For He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." This is styled "the sublime equation." Jesus becomes guilty of our sins and suffers their punishment, and His righteousness is henceforth forever reckoned as ours. The exchange of our sin for Christ's righteousness is "absolute."

The common sense exegesis of this text is, that Jesus became of His own free will a sin offering for us, and that this is the meaning of sin in the first clause. This is the interpretation of Augustine, Ambrosiaster, Erasmus, Œcumenius, Vatablus, Cornelius a Lapidis, Piscator, Ritsche, Wolf, Hammond, Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Ewald, Raymond, and others.

It is a remarkable fact that the Hebrew word, חַטָּא (chattath), is used in the Old Testament by actual count one hundred and sixty times for sin, and one hundred and twelve times for sin-offering. It is very natural that such a mind as Paul's, saturated with the Hebrew Scriptures, should sometimes use the Greek term for sin, ἁμαρτία (hamartia), in the sense of sin-offering. So obvious is this usage in Paul's Epistles, that the Revision has twice, at least, translated this term by "sin offering" — Rom. viii. 3; Heb. xiii. 11. We contend that it should be thus rendered in 2 Cor. v. 21.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sanctification of the Body

The candid student of the New Testament, especially of the Epistles, which unfold the uttermost extent of salvation under the dispensation of the Paraclete, will not fail to discover the prominence given to the purification of the material element of human nature through faith in Christ. In Romans xii. 1, the body, in distinction from the mind (ver. 2), its spiritual tenant, is to be holy, not after death, but while "living." In chapter vi, 6, we read that the purpose of the crucifixion of the old man is, that the body "in so far as it is a sin-body" (Meyer) might be destroyed, "annihilated" (Cremer), "done away" (R.V.). In Colossians ii. 11, we are assured that "the circumcision of Christ," that entire sanctification of the heart (Jer. iv 4) which Christ provides for in the gift of the Holy Spirit, consists in ''putting off the body of the flesh" (R.V.), not merely the outward "sins of the flesh". The significant and weighty double compound Greek noun, "putting off," found nowhere else in Greek literature, is invented by Paul to express the thoroughness of this purging of the whole body from all sinful tendencies. Hence the meaning is, "a complete 'putting off' and doing away with this body 'of the flesh,' in so far as God, by means of this ethical circumcision, has taken off and removed the sinful body from man (the two acts are expressed by the double compound), like a garment which is drawn off and laid aside" (Meyer).

St. Paul declares (I Cor. vi 13) that "the body is for the Lord" (Jesus), inasmuch as it is a member of Christ, and "the Lord is for the body;" that is, He purposes to rule and use it as His member, and an instrument for His use, and a mirror for reflecting His glory. "The body is His due, for He assumed the body, and hath therein sanctified us; and we are joined to Him by the resurrection of the body." Thus says Bengel, who adds, "Quanta dignatio!" — "How great an honour!" This honour culminates in the nineteenth verse: "What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost," His peculiar and perpetual habitation, the last place which He hath chosen for the erection of His altar (Deut. xii. 14). How impressive the injunction which follows, when cleared, as it is in the Revision, of the gloss which diverts the emphasis from the body, the subject under discussion. "Therefore, glorify God in your BODY."

The strongest proof text (1 Thess. v. 23) for the entire sanctification of the body in the present life is found in that prayer of the Apostle Paul in which he makes an exhaustive analysis of man's compound nature, and prays that each specific part may be preserved blameless, after supplicating the very God of peace to sanctify the undivided whole. In his enumeration of parts, Paul descends from the highest and distinctive part, the spirit, the dome of man's being, wherein he is receptive of the Holy Spirit, to the animal soul, containing the passions and appetites in common with the brutes, the second part in the detail which needs the purifying power: thence he goes down to the material foundations of this divine temple and prays for the keeping pure of the sanctified body.

(We have not discussed "the flesh" in the Pauline sense of that term. We have attempted to prove that the body is to be sanctified and the flesh is to be crucified.)

Mile-Stone Papers, Part 1 Chapter 12.

Friday, January 17, 2014

No Spiritual Purgation by Death

We find not, in all the Book of God, a vestige of Scripture favouring either a post-mortem sanctification or a spiritual purgation by death itself. Still, we do not deny that many souls aspiring after holiness, but through all their lives bewildered by erroneous theological teachings and misapplied Scriptures, as they approach eternity, rising above the mists, aided by the special illumination of the Holy Spirit, do lay hold of Christ as a complete Saviour, and experience perfect cleansing through faith in His blood. Many of these have very gladly testified to a strong regret that this grace of perfect love, casting out all fear, and excluding all sin, was not received and enjoyed by them many years before, while in the full enjoyment of health. They now see that this was their privilege, and that death is by no means a factor, or a condition of entire sanctification. They plainly declare that they missed this great grace through some groundless prejudice against its experience and expression, or through too great reliance on fallible human teachers, to the neglect of the great Teacher Jesus Christ, and a reluctance to follow perfectly the unerring Guide, the Holy Spirit.

Mile-Stone Papers, Part 1, Chapter 12.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The "Seven Feet of Gravel" Cure

A person suffering from an annual attack of hay fever, having been told that Oliver Wendell Holmes, the poet physician, had effected a cure of that malady in his own case, wrote to that renowned littérateur, inquiring for the antidote. In accordance with his concise and vigorous style, the great humorist replied, "Seven feet of gravel." By this laconic answer he corrected the report of his own cure, and strongly intimated his belief that death is the only specific for that disease. This despair of healing, when once in full possession of its subject, would shut out a further trial of remedies. Unbelief paralyzes the will and destroys the motives to action.

It was an evil day when Christianity was blighted by that admixture of pagan philosophy which teaches the eternity of matter and its inherent, essential, and ineradicable sinfulness; and that the human spirit, so long as it is encased therein, must bear the taint of its polluted envelope. Down through the Christian ages this pagan element has wrought its baneful work, responding to every cry for the complete cure of sin, "Seven feet of gravel." This dreadful answer belittles the glorious Gospel, discrowns its Author, and dishonours His successor, the Holy Comforter and Sanctifier. It dwarfs and degrades the Gospel because it makes it, in respect to entire sanctification, as great a failure as the Law (Heb. x. 1-3). Especially note the contrast between Heb. vii. 19, and vii. 25. It discrowns Christ, because it ascribes a greater power to death, making it exterminate that inbred sin which had successfully defied His grace; and absurdly making an effect annihilate its cause. It dishonours the Holy Spirit, called Holy because it is His office to make believers perfectly holy — by making death usurp His office, and accomplish a work which had baffled His power.

Mile-Stone Papers, Part 1, Chapter 12.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

St. John Versus the Gnostics

"If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8 KJV)

I wish you to notice the connection in which these words stand. The connection is this: "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, . . . the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Now if the "we" here means the persons cleansed, just spoken of when it says, "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin," we must convict this inspired writer of a manifest contradiction in affirming that the same persons are cleansed from all sin and yet are still living in sin. It is very much like saying that vaccination is a prophylactic against small-pox, but if any one tries it, and proves it is so, he is a liar. Or quinine is a specific against fevers, especially malarial fevers, but if any one tries it, and is cured, and makes declaration of the fact, it is false. That is the absurdity to which John is reduced by that kind of exposition.

He is addressing a class of men who believe there is no sin in their souls. This is one fallacy of the gnostics, they believe that these two principles of good and evil exist in the world, run on parallel lines, and never touch. The sin principle they believe to be only in the body, the envelope of the soul, never staining the soul itself. The sin is all laid off upon the body, and is only a seeming sin; the soul is not a sinner, and is unpolluted. A person may appear to be a great sinner, mixed up strangely with sin, but he is not. And the figure they used was this: You may cast a gold ring into a hog-pen, and have it trodden down in the filth there, and it remains gold still; the filth does not really touch or render the gold impure. And so the gold of their souls remained pure and holy, though their bodies were full of sin, of drunkenness, of lust, of all iniquity.

That is the class of men John had to deal with, a class that sprang up in the age of the apostle, and to them he says, If you say you have no sin that needs the atonement, that needs the cleansing blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, you utter a falsehood, and the truth is not in you. But if you own up and make a clean breast of it, and confess you are a sinner before God, and flee to the great fountain of cleansing, then what follows? We shall see: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins," and to go a step further, not only to forgive the sins that have reference to the past, but to cleanse the nature from the sin principle which is in it, "from all unrighteousness." I think this exposition renders John a self-consistent writer, eliminates all contradiction from the passage, and, in view of the gnostic errors prevailing at that time, is the sound exposition of that text. "If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us," This is true of every one who has committed one willful sin. He needs the atoning blood of Christ for his pardon.

There were two classes of gnostics, one of which conceived the principles of good and evil to run parallel and never touch, while the other class believed that good and evil intermingled, interpenetrated; — the evil in the body staining the spirit, and that, therefore, so long as the spirit was in the body, entire sanctification was an impossibility. I throw myself back upon St. Paul, who flatly contradicts that doctrine in his wonderful prayer in Thessalonians, fifth chapter, twenty-third verse: "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." St. Paul here expresses the idea that the soul may be sanctified wholly, and the body may be sanctified entirely. The soul is a kind of border-land between pure spirit and the body, according to metaphysicians. There is another passage of St. Paul's expressing the same idea, and that is in second Corinthians, seventh chapter and first verse: "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." "Filthiness of the flesh" means all sins that find expression through the flesh, gluttony, drunkenness, the narcotic appetite, — I hope I shall not wound anyone, — sluggishness, pampering of the body, — you can carry out the thought, — all sins that find expression through the body, all gratification of unlawful appetite. But St. Paul has not got through yet: "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit," the other element, the spirit. I suppose a pure spirit, that is a disembodied spirit, free from all entanglement of matter, as we conceive Satan to be, may be guilty of very many sins. Satan is a great unbeliever to begin with, full of pride and malignity and disobedience, and all forms of sin that may dwell in a disembodied spirit. So man's spirit is all polluted by sin, but God can cleanse it completely.

Mile-Stone Papers, Part 1, Chapter 11.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

We Need the Atonement Every Moment

I believe if any man says, however holy he may be at the present time, however the work of God by the divine Spirit may have purged him, soul and body, from all sin, if he says he can live half an hour without the atonement, he is a greatly mistaken man; if he says he can live one minute without the atonement, he is a mistaken man, That is where much of fanaticism comes in. If the devil cannot ride a truth down, he will raise up various clouds of fanaticism and misunderstanding about it.

I stand every day and every hour and every moment upon the atoning merit of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that all so-called sins of ignorance, — read the fourth chapter of the book of Leviticus, — all infirmities, ignorances, failures, need continually the blood of sprinkling. Sometimes I am inclined to go as far as President Wayland, that justification by faith is a series of repeated acts every moment of a man's life, a series of acts on the part of God to a justified believer, pardoning him. Whether this is so or not I do not know, but I do believe with respect to our inmost spiritual condition, we stand only upon the ground of the atoning merit of Christ, and are saved only as we continually exercise real faith in the great atonement, or, as it is said sometimes, in a phrase I never exactly liked, "being kept under the blood."

"Every moment, Lord, I need
The merit of Thy death."

Mile-Stone Papers, Part 1, Chapter 11.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Justified State

"Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin." (1 John 3:9 KJV)

This is my idea of a justified state. I believe justification is a very great work; I do not believe in belittling justification, or regeneration, in order to make more of sanctification. "Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin for His seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." That is, to be born of God is to be like God, to take on His moral likeness; and whoever is possessed of that moral likeness to God, while retaining such a likeness will not sin against God. So from the very beginning the truly justified and regenerate soul is endued with grace to be victorious over acts of sin. But it costs a struggle; the remains of the old nature are within, "The flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary one to the other, in order that ye may not do the things that ye would." Thank God for the Revision upon that point, in that text which has been a pillow under the head of many a man to comfort him in a life of sin! The Revision teaches "in order that ye may not sin" (Gal. v. 17), in striking contrast to the conflict going on in the seventh chapter of the epistle to the Romans, where it is all on the level of nature, the upper story in conflict with the lower, the conscience in collision with the animal and sinful propensities. In the hopeless struggle delineated in Romans seventh, the Holy Spirit does not appear as one of the combatants in the strife going on in the breast of the unregenerate, yet thoughtful moralist. But in Gal. v. 17, He appears on the field of conflict in the regenerate soul before it has reached the moment where sin is instantaneously slain by the power of God, through faith in the all-atoning blood of His Son. Yet, as I understand it, there is grace available by which every regenerate soul from the moment of regeneration may go on in a career of victory, never falling into acts of sin. 

Mile-Stone Papers, Part 1, Chapter 11.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Crown of Life

QUESTION: What is the crown of life in Rev. 2:10, "Be thou faithful until death, and I will give thee the crown of life?"

ANSWER: Says Thayer's New Testament Greek Lexicon, used in all the theological seminaries in the English-speaking world, "The crown of life is the eternal blessedness which will be given as a prize to genuine servants of God and of Christ." The crown of life is eternal life as a crown, a wreath upon the brow of the racer who has finished his course. In grammar the crown and the life eternal are appositives, like the city of Boston.

Steele's Answers, p. 98.

Friday, January 10, 2014

In God is No Darkness

"This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5 KJV)

The Greek is very emphatic here — not a fleck, not a spot. Here John strikes the great error which seemed to ascribe both good and evil to God. If good and evil were bound up in God, if sin and holiness were bound up in God, then man could consistently say. "I have participation and fellowship with God, even if I live in conscious, daily sin, for God is a being of mixed character, and I am like Him in that sense." Now, in inculcating holiness upon men, John must see that the conception of the model is right, and hence he aims to clear the character of God of all such false conceptions; and this is the way he starts out, this is the message — "that God is light," undimmed, unmixed light, in whom is no darkness at all, not a fleck of darkness nor of evil nor of sin in His nature. You see John does not prove this, he simply asserts it; that is the style of John, the nearest writer to the Lord Jesus in his form of expression. The Lord Jesus did not often reason, but spoke from authority, gave expression to His own intuitions of truth. And John, as an intuitive writer, simply announces his intuitions, St. Paul reasons — has long and involved chains of argument. Hence John makes the declaration, under the illumination of the divine Spirit, that God is unmixed in His character, a being of unmixed holiness, love, truth, and in Him is nothing to the contrary. Now, then, he can clinch his nail. "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness," in an element that is directly contrary to His character, there is a great mistake somewhere, a falsehood somewhere; the truth is not in the utterance. "If we say that we have fellowship with Him," participation of His moral likeness, "and" still "walk in darkness," walk in sin, in untruth, "we lie," John is a very outspoken writer; he does not mince matters and say we are mistaken and do not the truth, do not exemplify the truth, do not live out the truth, but, "we lie, and do not the truth." He then goes on: "But if we walk in the light," abstain from sin, are victorious over sin, "if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin."

Mile-Stone Papers, Part 1, Chapter 11.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Word Made Flesh

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; " (1 John 1:1 KJV.)

Word is spelled with a capital, meaning the Logos, or personal Word described in John's gospel: "And the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory."

What is remarkable here is that John insists, that that Word revealed Himself to us in material form, addressing our senses, hearing, seeing and feeling, the three chief senses by which we recognize the material world. He wishes to demonstrate that the incarnation is a reality and not a shadow. "For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness and show unto you that eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us."

It is said that no man is a hero to his body servant, who sees all his failings and faults and infirmities. Do you know that the human being who was the most intimate with the Lord Jesus Christ, who leaned on His breast, was the very man who writes this? Instead of familiarity breeding contempt, the very familiarity which John had with Jesus brought this overwhelming sense of His Divinity, His Godhead, and hence he speaks of Him as the Life, the eternal Life which was with the Father, "and" which "was manifested unto us." "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us." When men find anything that is especially excellent, they want to get a patent right on it and secure the advantages to themselves. But John did not want any patent right on his discovery of life eternal in the Lord Jesus; he wanted to mount the housetop, and, putting a speaking trumpet to his lips, shout to all the world to share his blessedness. "That ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ."

Mile-Stone Papers, Part 1, Chapter 11.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Enduring to the End

QUESTION: What is the "end" spoken of in Matt. 24:13, "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved?"

ANSWER: It is said by those who believe that eternal life once given can never be lost, that the "end" in this text is not the end of life, but the end of God's judgment on the destruction of Jerusalem, and that it is not spoken of "in connection with the Gospel message," in reference to the end of life, but to the end of the world. This exigesis will not fit an earlier use of this form found in Matt. 10:22, "Ye shall be hated for my name's sake" (the normal condition of an aggressive Gospel); "but he that endureth to the end" (of life evidently) "the same shall be saved."

Steele's Answers pp. 97, 98.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Nervous Impatience

QUESTION: Is there a distinction to be made between nervous impatience and sinful peevishness?

ANSWER: There is a borderland between sanity and insanity which puzzles the most skillful alienist. In this region nervous diseases exist frequently, causing an irritability for which the patient is not morally responsible. "He knoweth our frame."

Steele's Answers p. 97

Monday, January 6, 2014

Wait for the Spirit's Witness

QUESTION: Is it wise to advise seekers to profess the blessing of entire sanctification when they have not the Spirit's witness of the same?

ANSWER: It is not wise. It is an assumption akin to a presumption whereby many have been sorely perplexed and have given up in despair of ever finding this blessing. Bishop William Taylor calls it the devil's switch just before entering the depot of full salvation.

Steele's Answers p. 97.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

An Unconditional Consecration

When the will gladly makes [an] unconditional consecration, it is easy to trust unwaveringly in Christ as the uttermost Saviour. In fact, when the self-life expires, the fulness of the Spirit comes in as naturally as the air rushes into a vacuum. Faith then becomes as natural as breathing. We create the vacuum by dethroning our idols.

The whole question relating to the faith that leads the believer into full salvation is simply whether he will sell all to buy this pearl of great price. Nearly all the delay, difficulty, and danger lies at this point, a reluctance to part with all things. Self can assert itself just as effectually in a little as in a great thing. If self has life and strength enough to cling to a straw, it has power to bar the gate to perfect soul-rest.

It is said that a traveller by night fell into a dry well. His cry for help attracted a neighbour, who let down a rope and attempted to draw him up, but did not succeed, because the rope kept slipping through his hands. At length the rescuer, suspecting that the man's grip was feeble because of his having something in his hands besides the rope, called out to him, "Have you not something in your hands?" "Yes," replied the man at the bottom, "I have a few precious parcels which I should like to save as well as myself." When at last he became willing to drop his parcels, there was muscular power enough in his hands to hold fast the rope till he was drawn up.

Mile-Stone Papers, Part 1, Chapter 10.