A CRITIQUE OF THE HIGHER LIFE MOVEMENT

Higher-Purpose

A CRITIQUE OF THE HIGHER LIFE MOVEMENT 

By Jay Wegter

INTRODUCTION

The concept of the higher Christian life arose in the nineteenth century in connection with the holiness tradition in America.  The movement grew in popularity and ultimately spread to England.  Keswick, England became the home of the higher life conventions.  In time, the movement returned to America with great momentum.  “The Higher Life movement has influenced the rise of other theologically conservative movements, the founding of a number of institutions, the growth of foreign missions, and the theological perspective of several denominations.”1

Description of the Movement

          The higher Christian life is an explanation of the means and methods involved in advancing the believer’s progressive sanctification.  The purpose of this paper is to identify the areas where the higher life model of sanctification differs from the scriptural doctrine of sanctification.

          Though not identical, three terms are used synonymously to refer to the movement; “The higher Christian life,” the “Victorious Christian Life,” and “Keswick Teaching.”  In this paper, any of the three terms may be used to refer to the whole body of higher life teaching.

HISTORIC BACKGROUND

          The inception of the higher life movement is often identified with the publication of William Edwin Boardman’s book, The Higher Christian Life (1858).  The book argued that Christ was to be received for sanctification sometime after justification. Continue reading

Lordship Salvation aka Progressive Sanctification? High fashion, yes, but not for Christians.

jesus is your sanctification

Grant Swart

I needed to jot down just a few more recent thoughts concerning the subject of (progressive) sanctification, as I have seen it gaining in popularity as a subject for discussion in certain circles, particularly I suppose, in the social media. This is additional to my most recent article on the subject at SANCTIFICATION: Why & how can God accept sinners into His Presence?

As a subject, I don’t believe that progressive sanctification should be handled with much kindness. It is a hideous and potentially fatal religious proposition. The highest possible price was paid for it, it belongs to God’s people exclusively, and it should not be allowed to become a plastic accessory to be worn by fashionistas of the commercial free-will religious order.

Free-will, works religion, also known as Arminianism or various forms of synergism, is the highly fashionable religion being practiced by great numbers of churchgoers in these times. Followers of this religious form of worship, under the guise of Christianity, now crowd the pews of the great majority of what were once, Biblical and God-fearing churches.

In these shiny new will-worshipping theatres are man-made pavilions with many steps leading upwards, each step representing a higher level of self-righteousness and perceived holiness on which proud men stand and display their shame before other men, as witness to them worshipping their own efforts and abilities (Col. 2:23).

In order to solicit more support, in the great eagerness of their own driven will, they have named this system of will worship. Some call it “Lordship Salvation”. Even more ostentatiously they might call it “progressive sanctification” and deluded men heap wondrous praise and elevated prestige onto those who put great effort into achieving improved righteousness. These great congregations, having placed themselves under the spiritual governance of the powerful hierarchies and church councils which they have elected for themselves to serve under, often find themselves becoming the victims of their own ill-begotten belief systems when the whip of contrived church discipline inevitably turns on them. Continue reading

Scofield “Bible” (Part 3) – C.I. Scofield: Dispensational Scalawag

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Grant Swart

This is a short follow-on to Parts 1 & 2 Scofield “Bible” – A Handbook for Genocide AND Scofield “Bible” (Part 2) – Re-defining the darkness of fraud, conspiracy and heresy of a brief series I have posted over the past few weeks, which deals with the Scofield Reference “bible”, its author Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, and the massively popular heretical dispensational beliefs it continues to spawn.

Scholarly Bible believing Christians cannot accept a view of Scripture as put forward by the Scofield Reference “bible” (and a God who would have contrived it), and are those who speak out against the spiritual, geo-political, ethnic and religious consequences of such an astonishingly narrow and mistaken world-view as that of Dispensational Pre-millenialism. They also experience with sadness the realization that such enormous energy and devotion have been poured into such a misguided enterprise. More often than not, these “Bereans” would themselves have been introduced to the heretical conspiracies of dispensational pre-millenialism by the worldly church and would have discovered the truth about the kingdom of God and the second coming of the Saviour Jesus Christ only through conscientious and inspired study of Holy Scripture.

While this article describes C.I.Scofield as the scalawag he chose to be, it can be argued that most of the famous dispensationalists world-over and throughout the historic existence of the dispensational heresy, can be regarded as such to a lesser or greater extent, due to their proclaiming such a gross misrepresentation of Scriptural prophecy.  Among these world famous dispensational teachers have been some otherwise truly remarkable pastors and Christians. However, details pertaining to the lives and of the dispensational protagonists are of less significance to the Christian, than the heretical teachings which constitute dispensationalism.

It is not my intention to discuss in this article, all the specifics which constitute the eschatological heresy of Dispensational Pre-millenialism. Continue reading

Scofield “Bible” (Part 2) – Re-defining the darkness of fraud, conspiracy and heresy

Scofield Jesuit

Grant Swart

The life of often referenced dispensationalist Cyrus Ingerson Scofield is characterized by dishonesty, scandal, lies, fraud, adultery, forgery and disgrace. However, I wish to make it abundantly clear once again, that my series of posts of which this article forms a part, should by no means be regarded as an attempt to pass judgement on the private life, sins, criminality, convictions, indiscretions, iniquities, personal shortcomings, lies and fraudulent lifestyle of the man. In this regard let us call to memory the words of the Apostle Paul as we contemplate the content of this series of articles: (Romans 3:20-24) For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it– the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Scofield may have been all of those sinful things, or he may have been none of them. How many Christians are not guilty of some, if not all of the same sins? Scofield may have been a believer in Jesus Christ, although very little of his life bears testimony to that probability, least of all his Bible notes. However, none of that can change the fact that the reasons for the existence of the heretical teachings held within the Scofield Reference “Bible” were fraudulent and deceptive. The teachings and ideas contained in his notes resulted in the heinous lies which have been instrumental in supporting some of the greatest heresies and filthy atrocities in post reformation Christianity. Whether the wayward lifestyle of the man had much to do with his teachings and expository deficiencies, or not, does not alter the reality that the Scofield Reference “Bible” is a work which re-defines the darkness of the fraud which spawned it’s heresies, conspiracies and deceptive messages. 

**Generally speaking, dispensationalists tend to cherish his teachings without any concern whatsoever for what kind of man Scofield really was. For some reason, his admirers consider it unethical or possibly even contemptible to expose embarrassing little known secrets about the man. Facts should not be buried because they make people feel uncomfortable. Neither C.I. Scofield nor his work are above reproach and considering the impact he has had on Christendom, his life should be examined. The type of person that he really was will have a major influence on the theology that he taught.

As was the case with the previous article by a different author, which I posted regarding the Scofield Reference “Bible” (see https://fortheloveofhistruth.com/2013/08/25/scofield-bible-a-handbook-for-genocide/), I do not necessarily endorse or subscribe to all of the thoughts and work of the author of this attached article. So, I ask those opposed to this work, to please refrain from playing the tired “guilty by association” card in these instances, these matters have been considered. However, differences which may exist are not sufficient reason for me not to regard what follows, as a thorough and honest article aimed at exposing the filthy theology which the Scofield Reference “Bible” has spawned, and the devastating results it has had within the church and around the world. For those reasons, I am grateful to the author/s concerned. Continue reading

“Backbiters”

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“Backbiters”

Romans 1:28-32

            I cannot imagine any crime against another person which is more cowardly, despicable, and inexcusable than slander and gossip – backbiting. While such behavior is common and expected among the reprobate, there is no place for it in the kingdom of God.

Many who look down their noses with scorn upon fornicators, adulterers, and whoremongers, are guilty of this hideous offense. They think nothing of slandering another, attempting to murder his character, indeed, they seize every opportunity to do so. If Romans 1:28-32 means anything, it means that such people do not know God. Their character is the character of the reprobate. Backbiting men and women are proud, envious, little rebels, people who cannot be trusted in any area of life.

They are the pawns of Satan, used to disrupt the peace of God’s church and kingdom. They always pretend to have a just cause. They always pretend that they have been offended, slighted, overlooked, or abused by the one slandered. Backbiters are always whiners. Continue reading

When God’s Providence And Security Are Just Not Enough

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ARMINIANISM wrests Scripture to teach that it is possible for the true believer to fall from the grace of salvation (Gal. 5:4); and that each believer is provided with sufficient ability to persevere and preserve himself, if only he will: (“And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.” John 5:40). It all depends on the choice of man’s will, whether he will persevere or not. (This denies everything thus far so irrefutably declared!) The error continues: Continue reading

The First Twelve Preachers

mission

The First Twelve Preachers

“And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: And Simon he surnamed Peter; And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house. And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.” (Mark 3:13-21)

Here the Holy Spirit describes the calling of the twelve Apostles by our Lord Jesus Christ. This is an event, which ought to always be remembered and studied with deep gratitude. No twelve men in history have been so important as these twelve. None have done so much good. None have been of such benefit to us. J.C. Ryle wrote…

“What a vast amount of benefit these few men have conferred upon the world! The names of a few Jewish fishermen are known and lived by millions all over the globe, while the names of many kings and rich men are lost and forgotten.”

These apostles were a special order of men. The apostolic office was in existence for only a very brief period of time, during which the canon of Holy Scripture was completed. They had distinct gifts of healing, tongues, and inspiration, which no one has possessed since the Apostolic Era. They were men specifically chosen, gifted, and ordained by our Lord Jesus Christ to preach the gospel during the earliest days of Christianity and to write the New Testament, explaining by divine inspiration the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. They had no successors. When they died, their office died. And when the Apostles died, all the gifts and signs accompanying apostleship died as well.

Twelve Men Continue reading

Discerning Between the Righteous and the Wicked

Malachi 3 v 13 to  18

“Our Lord tells us to let the tares grow with the wheat. We are never to attempt to separate them. Why? Because we do not have the ability to know the one from the other. If the task of separating them were ours, we would pull up the wheat and keep the tares every time. None of us knows who is saved and who is lost. Those who pretend to have such knowledge are as arrogant as they are ignorant.”

DISCERNING BETWEEN THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED

Don Fortner 

My subject tonight is Discerning Between the Righteous and the Wicked. — Our Lord Jesus tells us plainly that in every age, wherever the righteous are found the wicked will be found among them. In every field of wheat, there tares grow and thrive. Wherever sheep find pasture, goats will be found grazing beside them. He also tells us to let the tares grow together with the wheat and let the goats graze with the sheep. We are never to try to separate them. That is the Lord’s work, and he will do it by the gospel.

 

We must never try to separate the tares from the wheat; and we must never try to separate the wicked from the righteous. But that does not mean that they be discerned and will not be separated. In Malachi 3, the Lord God makes a very clear discernment and assures us that, when he has finished all things, we shall with him — “discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” Continue reading

Lessons for Troublesome Times

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“And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had. And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what signwill there be when these things shall come to pass? And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:1-24)

We are living in troublesome times. These are perilous days. These are difficult days for everyone. But they are particularly difficult for people who believe God and seek, in all things and above all things, to honor Him. I know that your minds are constantly full of questions, for which there seems to be no answer. Moral decadence, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and the pedophilia that it spawns are not just tolerated, but actively promoted in our public schools and by law. The brutal slaughter of unborn babies is as common as the removal of warts. By some perverse logic, the same people who want to protect rattle snakes from extinction and weep over the misuse of laboratory rats tell us that the murder of a baby is a matter of choice! Domestic violence is epidemic. War is an everyday activity. And the religion of the day is nothing short of men worshipping themselves. When I think about these things, three passages of Scripture come to my mind (Deuteronomy 31:17; Psalm 10:4; Galatians 6:7). Continue reading

Believers – love and are beloved ~ Heirs, hope, holiness and heretics

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Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter. Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them. And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful. All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen. It was written to Titus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Cretians, from Nicopolis of Macedonia. 
(Titus 3:1-15 KJV)

Believers – love and are beloved

Tit_3:1-6
Tit_3:1. From this and other passages, it is evident that the apostle thought it most important for believers to be law-abiding, peaceful people, submitting to those in authority. We are all by nature desirous of power and prone to have our own way. It takes much grace to be an obedient servant, a submissive wife or child, a peaceful citizen, especially if those in authority are opposed to Christ (Rom_13:1-3; 1Pe_2:13-18).

‘Be prepared and willing to do any upright and honorable work.’ Let our lives be characterized by goodness and gentleness to all (Rom_13:7-8). The grace of Christ is not limited to religious affiliations, but controls the whole of our lives.

Tit_3:2. The good minister of Christ will remind believers to ‘speak evil of no man.’ This is the method of maintaining peace and friendship with all men! A man’s name, reputation and character are tender topics and ought to be handled carefully!Contempt for others is usually followed by insult. A thought of contempt usually gives birth to words of unkindness. Continue reading

He That Rolleth A Stone, It Will Return Upon Him….

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″Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him. A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin. ″
(Proverbs 26:27-28 KJV)

Proverbs 26:27
Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein,…. That devises mischief against others, it shall come upon himself. The allusion is to the digging of pits for catching wild beasts, which are slightly covered with earth; and which sometimes the pursuers, through inadvertency, fall into themselves; the passage seems to be taken from Psa_7:15;

and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him; that rolls a stone up hill, if he does not take care, it will return back, and fall with great force upon himself; so the mischief which a wicked man labours hard at, as men do in digging a pit, or rolling a stone, in time rolls back upon themselves; the measure they mete out to others is measured to them. Jarchi makes mention of an “hagadah”, or exposition, which illustrates this passage, by the case of Abimelech; who slew threescore and ten persons on one stone, and was himself killed with a piece of a millstone cast upon him, Jdg_9:18; this may put in mind of the fable of Sisyphus (o), feigned in hell to roll a great stone to the top of a mountain, which presently falling down on his head, made his labour fruitless. Continue reading

Be Not Unequally Yoked Together

Be not unequally

2 Corinthians 6:11-18 KJV (11) O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. (12) Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. (13) Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged. (14) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Be not unequally yoked together Continue reading

TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT SALVATION

truth-is-still-truth

Grant Swart

I pray that it is my humble and heartfelt intent to write concerning an earnest directive which believers have been given, and that is, to truthfully pass on to those who do not know the Lord, the liberating and glorious facts concerning the means of salvation which the Gospel proclaims. When we consider all which constitutes the doctrine of salvation in the Gospel, it is impossible to disentangle it from the truth about God, the truth about men, the truth about sin, and the truth about Christ.

So often today the word “salvation” is used in very loose terms, ascribing to it many man-centered, phony ideas and fanciful doctrines which sound reasonable and very appealing to man’s conscience and which man readily accepts. Many of these are simply intended to soothe man’s guilty conscience, and leave him with a false comfort that man himself remains the ‘captain of his soul’ and in control of his eternal destiny. However, biblical truth about salvation is that man is not in any position to determine or secure his own salvation, by means of a decision or by applying his will or effort.

One is not likely to hear from the mouths of most preachers, that man is hopelessly unable to choose to follow God, or to decide to allow God into his life. Contrary to what many billboards around our country proclaim, man cannot, and indeed will never want to, turn back to God, unless he has been called to do so by God. Continue reading

A Call For Separation

Stonehenge_(sun)

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
(Revelation 18:4 KJV)

Don Fortner

Revelation 18:4

Always endeavor “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Bend over backwards to get along with God’s saints. Make allowances for one another’s faults, failures, and offenses. Never be guilty of alienating a brother, or refusing to graciously embrace one who is a child of God. But this brotherly kindness is not to be extended to those who are “the enemies of the cross of Christ.” “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord?” (II Chr. 19:2; Ps. 139:21-22; Gal. 1:6-9). Continue reading

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ”

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Don Fortner – Discovering Christ in all the Scriptures 

Chapter 66

REVELATION

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ”

It has been my singular object in these surveys of the Bible to show clearly that the singular subject, theme, and message of the entire Book of God, the Old Testament and the New, is the Person, work, and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. As in creation, providence, and redemption, so in the Holy Scriptures, it is the purpose of God “that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Col_1:18).

Him Book

The Book of God is a book all about Christ (Luk_24:27; Luk_24:44-48). The Bible is a Him Book. It is all about Him. All the promises and blessings of God given to sinful men and women are in Christ (Eph_1:3). Apart from Christ, God promises nothing but wrath; and every supposed blessing will prove to be a curse. All the love, mercy, and grace of God is in Christ. All the revelation and knowledge of the triune God is in Christ. Christ is not only the central message of Holy Scripture; he is the message of Holy Scripture. To understand that is to have the key that opens the Word of God and reveals its treasures.

That which is true of the whole Volume of Inspiration is especially and gloriously true of the last, closing chapters of the Volume, the Book of Revelation. This last book of the Bible is Christ’s revelation of himself to his servants. This Book is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev_1:1). It is not the revelation of St. John, but “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” given to and recorded by John. It is not the book of revelations (plural). It does not contain many revelations. It contains one revelation seen in many things. It is “the Revelation of Jesus Christ.” Continue reading