III.A.7.d Testing Durham’s Per Se Disavowal of a Second Work

PART  III – Application to Pentecostal Theology

Subpart A  –  The Pentecostal Renewal

Article 7 – The Finished Work as Incomplete Pentecostal Theology

Section (d) – Testing Durham’s Per Se Disavowal of a Second Work

By Daniel Irving

i.     The Contradiction of the Wesleyan and Baptistic Views Resolved by Scripture

ii.    The Witness of the Patriarchs

iii.   The Witness of the Law

iv.   The Witness of the Prophets

v.    The Witness Christ’s Teachings

vi.   The Witness of the Apostolic Writings

vii.  Conclusion

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Section (c)

TESTING DURHAM’S PER SE DISAVOWAL OF A SECOND WORK 

i.  The Contradiction of the Wesleyan and Baptistic Views Resolved by Scripture

If the Wesleyan Pentecostals erred in their application of Wesleyan doctrine to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it might also be argued that the Baptistic (ie. Finished Work) Pentecostals succeeded only by virtue of the non-specific nature of their own theology as a construct merging all experience into one, thus removing the need for theological arrangement or sequencing of experience.   But whether holding to the Wesleyan or the Baptist perspective, the fundamental evangelical rule is that all doctrine is to be tested by Scripture.  This rule is founded in the writings of Paul, who even wrote Scripture, and who stated that:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:                                                                                      II Tim. 3:16Durham 01

Therefore Durham rightly premised his objection to the Wesleyan teaching of a Second Work of Grace upon the authority of Scripture as did Wesley rightly premise his own doctrines in the same.[1]

Durham writes in 1911:

. . there is not even one Scripture that teaches that sanctification is a second work of grace . . . To my mind the second work theory is one of the weakest, and most unscriptural doctrines that is being taught in the Pentecostal movement, and therefore ought to be ruled out as damaging. [2]

On the other hand, Wesley writes – between 1767 and 1777 :Wesley - John 02

But we do not know a single instance, in any place, of a person’s receiving, in one and the same moment, remission of sins, the abiding witness of the Spirit, and a new, clean heart.[3]

That two of the most prominent theologians of Christiandom, both of which were so mightily used of God in their day could hold such contradictory positions on a matter so fundamental as the plan of redemption in the Church seems cause to marvel.

Durham writes that rather than a second work of grace, there is needed diligence in those things that would progress us in sanctification:

It requires continual vigilance, prayer, and faith to overcome. . . To walk in the Spirit, to put off the old man with all that pertains to him, to put on Christ with all that is of, and like Him, he exhorts to crucify the flesh and yield to the Spirit, but not one word is ever said about any second work of grace.[4]

Durham writes that when we fail, we return to the cross for repentance and restoration:

God will restore us over and over, if we truly repent when we fail, but it must be an insult to Him for us to teach that it takes more than one work for Him to save us from all sin if we meet His conditions faithfully.[5]

Therefore Durham perceived any work of grace as a return to that place from whence we came, ie. the cross.  By the test of Scripture, Durham concluded Wesley to be incorrect that salvation involved discrete dispensations of grace as events by which God transacts upon the man throughout the course of the man’s life.  Durham concluded rather that it was the Baptistic construct of redemption that should guide Pentecostal doctrine wherein salvation is viewed as one indivisible event; ie. the moment of belief, albeit worked out progressively over the course of one’s lifetime.  This quite simplified the matter for Pentecostals in that issues of timing and sequencing of the baptism of the Holy Spirit were now theologically off the table.  All cynicism could now be left to the Wesleyans, as it indeed was.

Nonetheless, it was the Wesleyan construct that had been more closely identified with revivals of religion and dramatic moves of God’s Spirit over the previous 150 years. Methodists 1839Durham would seem to have been overturning 150 years of proven experience with Holiness teaching based upon ten years of bad experience with the Pentecostal Second Work doctrine.  Given that the Finished Work implicated Wesleyan teaching as error, it becomes necessary to test Durham’s assertion that Wesleyan-holiness teaching is entirely without basis in Scripture.  When we test Durham’s assertion, we find that while the term “Second work” is not found in Scripture, there are many references to subsequent or successive works or events which may be found in type, prophecy, the teachings of Christ, and the apostolic doctrines.  We begin with . . .

ii. The Witness of the Patriarchs

The prophecy of Isaiah exhorts the Church to “Look unto Abraham your father”.[6]  When we do, we find that Abraham’s life involved a series of dispensations in God’s dealings with him beginning with his call out from the land of Ur when his name was Abram.[7]  God thereafter spoke to him saying;Abraham Journeys “To your descendants I will give this land.”  His journeys included the building of a series of altars at various locations in the land of promise.  After leaving the land for Egypt he experiences confrontation with Pharaoh over the identity of Sarah.[8]  Returning to Bethel Abram revisits his former altar and calls upon the name of the Lord.  After he parts company with Lot due to quarreling amongst their herdsmen, God makes Abram another promise:

“…look…northward & southward & eastward & westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever.  Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.”            Gen. 13:14-17

His next home is Hebron where he builds another altar to the Lord.    While living here, a fugitive from Sodom comes to inform him of Lot’s capture by four kings.  Abram leads a party to rescue Lot and is thereafter met by Melchizedek who blesses him with:

“Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven & earth; & blessed by God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”                                                                                      Gen. 14:19-20

This is the first mention of the tithe. Abram gave Melchizedek  “tithes of all.”  Abram then received a vision; “Do not fear Abram, I am a shield to you; Your exceedingly great reward.” [9]  Upon Abram’s inquiry that he has no heir, God tells him that an heir shall come from his own body.  He then shows Abram the stars, and says to him, “So shall your descendants be.”  Abram lays out a sacrifice, protects it from the birds of prey, and a deep sleep comes upon him.  He experiences darkness and terror and learns that his descendants shall be 400 years enslaved and oppressed.  A smoking oven and a flaming torch then pass between the pieces of the sacrifice and God promises Abram that his descendants will be given all the land between the river of Egypt and the river Euphrates.Abrahm Sarah & Hagar

In a presumptuous attempt to assist God in His promise, Abram accepts the offer of Sarai (who is barren) to utilize her maid Hagar as a surrogate mother for the child of promise.  This produces Ishmael who is born when Abram is 86 years old.[10]

At 99 years of age he receives the sign of circumcision.  God commands him;  “Walk before Me and be perfect” and changes his name to Abraham.  God commands that all males in his house be circumcised as “the sign of the covenant between Me and you.”  He changes Sarai’s name to Sarah and promises a son to her the following year.  Abraham’s response is laughter and he suggests that God use Ishmael instead.  God allows that Ishmael be a great nation with twelve princes; nonetheless His covenant shall be through Isaac who will be born “at this season next year”.  That same day Abraham circumcises himself, his thirteen year old son Ishmael, and all his house and servants.

Following the event of Abraham’s circumcision he and Sarah are visited by three men at the oaks of Mamre who tell them a son will be born “this time next year,” a proposition at which Sarah laughs.  The Lord informs Abraham what He is planning against Sodom & Gomorrah and a dialogue ensues between God and Abraham regarding God’s willingness to spare the cities for the sake of ten righteous men. 

Following the destruction of Sodom and its cities Abraham journeys to the city of Gerar where Sarah is taken by Abimelech.  God intervenes and speaks to Abimelech, saying You are a dead man.”[11]

Isaac is born when Abraham is a hundred years old,[12] and at the weaning celebration Ishmael is overheard by Sarah to be mocking.  Abraham Rejects HagarHagar and Ishmael are led out to wander in the wilderness of Beersheba where God shows her a well of water.  Ishmael thereafter lives in the wilderness.  Beersheba is the site where Abimelech and Phicol visit Abraham to make a covenant of no-harm.  Abraham presents Abimelech with seven ewe lambs as a witness that it was Abraham who dug the well there.

God then calls Abraham to MountMoriah to sacrifice of his “only son” Isaac.  Yet God intervenes and provides his own sacrifice, telling Abraham; “…now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”   God then tells Abraham that because he has not withheld his son from Him, that He will “greatly multiply” his seed as the stars of heaven and as the sand on the seashore, that his seed will “possess the gates of their enemies” and that in his seed, “shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”[13]  The next event is Sarah’s death at the age of 127.

According to the prophecy of Isaiah we are to “Look unto Abraham [our] father”.  In what way are we to “look to Abraham”?  The epistle to the Hebrews may give us insight.  In the faith chapter of that epistle we read:Abraham Journeys

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; & he went out, not knowing where he wentHeb 11:8

And so Abraham serves as an example for those that are called by God unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.  Implicit to this call, is that they commence upon a walk that they do not understand; armed only with the promise of an eternal-inheritance.  We are told to trust as did Abraham that God will bring us to that place of promise through the gift of Himself.  Therefore the prophets write such things as:

Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of his servant,  that walks in darkness & has no light?   Let him trust in the name of the LORD, & stay upon his God.                                                                                      Is. 50:10

Just as Abraham “went out, not knowing where he went” so those that are called of God commit to the same walk of faith; guided by means other than their own understanding and instincts.

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country,  dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac & Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:                                                                                     Heb 11:9 

Do we see in Abraham’s life a Divinely-appointed schedule of events?  We see many.  And yet, his walk was characterized by wanderingGod kept his Divine appointments with Abraham and ensured Abraham was in the right place and circumstance to keep his appointments with God.   And as with Abraham, so with his children beginning with Isaac.  And Isaac’s son Jacob had a similar sequence of Divine appointments to keep; a process that God will work out with every child of Abraham who is a true child of Abraham through faith.  Abraham chose to walk in the unknowing that God had called him to walk in; a darkness wherein he was to trust God for the promises God had made.  And Abraham’s circumstance was by no means an isolated case.  He stands as the archetype for all who walk by faith!  Therefore we are commanded in Isaiah’s prophecy to “Look unto Abraham your father”.[14]  For he stands example for our obedience to the prophetic command:

Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of his servant,  that walks in darkness and has no light?   Let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.                               Is. 50:10

Does the life of Abraham present a redemptive pattern God will work out within the Church?  According to Paul, that is precisely the meaning we should take.  Abraham’s reception of  circumcision late in life even constituted a particular sign of this and a token of the covenant that he had with God all along since the day  of his calling out; the hidden covenant of faith.  Paul writes: IMG_0123

And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:         Rom 4:11

Therefore the children of Abraham receive like-experience; the circumcision of Christ upon their heart as a work subsequent to initial faith.

& circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; & his praise is not from men, but from God.           Rom. 2:29

Therefore we might now ask ourselves the question: Is there evidence in the type offered in the Patriarchs for a distinctive dispensations of God’s redemptive work in those He has called?  Certainly, we must conclude there is some evidence for this in the example of the Patriarchs.

iii.  The Witness of the Law

The children of Abraham became the nation of Israel.  These sojourned in Egypt until it came time for God to drive out His enemies in Canaan.  He brought them through the wilderness where He gave to them a law they were to keep. Red Sea Crossing 01 This law consisted primarily of rules and ceremonies which stood in type for something that was to come – the inauguration of a covenant pertaining to spiritual things.  While they left Egypt circumcised, they became an uncircumcised nation by virtue of their wandering in the wilderness and the dieing out of those who had originally left Egypt.  Thus Joshua performed a mass circumcision just before Israel was allowed to enter Canaan.[15]

As with the covenant of circumcision, the Judaic law was merely “a shadow of good things to come”.[16]  Thus as pertains to the kingdom of God, Paul writes:

Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day – things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.                       Col. 2:16-17

These shadows of spiritual things involved ceremonies and rituals not the least notable being the feast days wherein the children of Israel were to keep their Divine appointments, particularly that of the Passover, which included seven days of eating only unleavened bread.  The Law reads:Unleavened 4

  Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.             Ex. 12:15

And this is only one of many examples of an ordered structure of times and seasons God had put in place as an outward symbol of something He would work out in each of the children of Israel, ie. the body of Christ.  There was also the Day of Atonement of which the Law reads:

& this shall be a statute forever unto you: that in the 7th month, on the 10th day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all,  whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourns among you:                                                                                     Lev 16:29 

True conversion involves the conversion of the soul from an orientation toward the love the world, to an orientation towards the image of the invisible God that is Christ.  The Levitical Feast Day which typifies this spiritual process is the Day of Atonement as the soul of a man moves toward  conformity with the Living Word of the Living God that is the revelation of the Person of Jesus Christ as the perfect and true standard of God that is His Son. This is clearly a process that involves Divine appointments; ie. redemptive events in the believer’s life.

That the Law, in establishing a system of feast days made up of various distinctive and sequential parts phases of God’s dealing with the children of Israel, would seem to clearly signify a phased process of redemption lending credence to the Wesleyan view of distinctive dispensations of the grace of God toward the man.

iv.  The Witness of the Prophets

Continuing with – for instance – the type presented in the Day of Atonement are many prophetic allusions to a future work wherein distress of soul brings relief and new spiritual strength through the revelation of Christ as the soul comes into turmoil due to its guilt and inadequacy before God.

Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.    Ps. 69:1

Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul                                                                                    Ps. 124:4 

  But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.                        Ps. 49:15 

The agency of our sanctification is the Word of God as a spiritual witness.  Having acknowledged its guilt, having seen the perfect standard revealed of God, God allows the soul access to Himself via the agency of the Spirit of Christ; the eternal Word of God:

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.                          Ps. 19:7

Through trouble upon the soul God may reveal His mercy unto the same.  This presents God’s grace to the soul as its everlasting source of life and sustenance:

When wisdom enters into thine heart, & knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul.                                                                                      Prov. 2:10

  So shall they be life unto thy soul; & grace to thy neck.                                                                                     Prov. 3:22

He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul;  he that keepeth understanding shall find good.   Prov. 19:8

  Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with thee.                                                                                    Ps. 116:7

  Surely I have behaved & quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother:  my soul is even as a weaned child.              Ps. 131:2

The converted soul may then attend upon God and avail herself to her Husband who is Her Maker:

Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.       Ps. 25:1IMG_0974

Our soul has received the revelation that only Christ is her hope and salvation:

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.                                                                                      Ps. 62:1

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.   Ps. 62:5

  I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, & in his word do I hope.        Ps. 130:5-6

If this process of the man’s redemption through the revelation of Christ be intended for the Church, then it would seem such experience must be termed a future work of grace at least in the sense of it following subsequent to the initial experience of one’s initial conversion and one’s initial experiencing of regenerating faith and Spirit baptism.

As well, the witness of the prophets is replete with allusions to a coming Day of the Lord wherein judgment is brought to bear upon the soul and God is sanctified in the man.  If the Church at large has yet to have experienced this event, then it must be regarded as a; future, second, or subsequent work of the Holy Spirit.  Clearly, there is a basis in the prophets for the Wesleyan position of a second definite work.

v. The Witness Christ’s Teachings

The teachings of Christ include allusions to the Divine life as progressing through three distinctive stages of development.  In His parable of the seed, the Lord relates that . . .Wheat White on Black

 “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; & goes to bed at night & gets up by day, & the seed sprouts up & grows – how, he himself does not know.  The soil produces crops by itself; First the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.          Mark 4:26-29

Therefore Jesus taught a three-phase process of; 1st the blade, 2nd the head, and 3rd the mature grain.  What does the bare blade represent?  The blade indicates life albeit without fruit.  It signifies life in the Spirit absent the true fruit of righteousness that is our entering into the kingdom of God.  This represents justification by faith rather than by works that the righteousness may be shown clearly as coming from God.

The Lord marks a second stage of development characterized by the forming of fruit within the stalk.  This relates to the fruit of righteousness that comes with sanctification through having had an encounter with Jesus Christ.  This experience allows us to see Christ when we could not before.  This begins the growth of the grain and represents sanctification by faith.

Thirdly, something occurs that signifies the end is about to come.  We grow into the maturity of sanctification that is the image of the Son of God.  This is the “mature grain”, which the apostle Paul referred to as the “mature man”, and as the “fullness of Christ” when he wrote:

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, & of the knowledge of the Son of God,  unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:                                                                                      Eph. 4:13

Herein reveals the mystery of earth’s witness of; Spirit, Water, and Blood.  Once mature, there is a third phase of the “sickle,” wherein we lay down our lives for the purposes of Christ, ie. the witness of “Blood.”  Thus our Lord Himself taught three distinctive phases of the kingdom of God.  While some may counter that a seed conveys rather a progressive quality; that it does.  But how is this anywise inconsistent with Wesleyan holiness teaching?  Wesley taught both event and process in regards to sanctification.

During the Lord’s earthly ministry, Peter had received the revelation that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”[17]  Yet the Lord refers to a future day when Peter would himself be truly “converted” (Luke 22:32).  In fact, the Lord spoke to all of His disciples on the eve of His crucifixion in such a manner as to suggest they had not all entered as yet upon their establishment (John 14:29).  The Lord taught a conversion experience wherein the heart becomes as a little child (Matt. 18:3), an experience the disciples had not apparently come into during the Lord’s earthly ministry.  Clearly, there is a basis in the teachings of Christ for the Wesleyan position of a second definite work.

vi.  The Witness of the Apostolic Writings

  John

When we overlay the parable of the seed atop John’s first epistle it is easy to see the congruity of this principle of kingdom growth as an unfolding revelation of Jesus Christ.   The manifestation of the Spirit’s work in the earth is the sanctification of the Church.  Sanctification manifests in the love of God; the laying down our own lives for the sake of His body.  Thus John writes:

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.                                                                                      I John 3:16

This is a chief quality of the unity of the Holy Spirit; when those advanced in the kingdom of God (ie. “fathers”) remember what they perceived in the very beginning when they were but spiritual “children.”  Thus John writes:

I write unto you, fathers, because you have known Him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one.   I write unto you, little children, because you have known the Father.                                                                                      I John 2:13

Thus John’s allusion to “fathers” represents the full-circle return of the witness of the Holy Spirit.  The revelation of Christ brings realization of the same grace of God which justified us as “little children” spiritually-speaking.  In the absence of this grace we could not have been saved.  John clearly taught a phased-sanctification.  Clearly, there is a basis in Johannine teaching for the Wesleyan position of a second definite work.

ii.  Paul

Paul acknowledged his designation as the apostle to the Gentiles.[18]  Was he limiting this title to the common meaning of Gentile?  Paul Preaching 02For just as the term Jew has both a common and spiritual meaning,[19] so does the term Gentile.  The term Gentile is a prophetic allusion to the unregenerate sinner, as someone that has not been circumcised in their spiritual nature.  Therefore we find such allusions in Scripture as:

  We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the GentilesGal 2:15

For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousels, drinking parties, & abominable idolatries.     I Peter 4:3

Is a natural Gentile – within his nature – any less a sinner than is a natural Jew?  Of course not!  Both Paul and Peter are using the term Gentile in its allegorical and prophetic sense.  Paul’s great task was to present an offering unto God that God would sanctify; an operation of turning the sinner into the sanctified through redemptions processes.  Thus Paul writes:

That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God,  that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.                  Rom 15:16 

But there were those of the Church that had not yet become spiritual Jews via a work of the Holy Spirit.  Therefore Paul writes to the Corinthians:Paul in Prison 01

Awake to righteousness, and sin not;  for some have not the knowledge of God:  I speak this to your shame.        I Cor. 15:34

Therefore the concept of “Gentiles” as a prophetic principle relates to those of humanity yet to have the necessary revelation of Christ (ie. the true circumcision) unto the putting off of their sin nature.   Although the assembly at Corinth may have been “Gentiles according to the flesh”, they were made “Jews inwardly”[20] by virtue of the knowledge of God in Christ.  With the advent of the gospel in the first-century, the prophetic meaning of a Gentile was explained by the apostle Paul as a contrast to the spiritual meaning of a “Jew.”  The distinction is not one based upon race or national identity, but is a distinction based upon the principle of “circumcision,” which has its gospel fulfillment in the work of the Spirit upon the heart with the subjugation of sin’s authority to the authority of Christ within the believer, now rendered a true Jew.[21]

In light of these things, we must conclude that if sanctification is limited to a progressive work, so is circumcision.  For circumcision is that prophetic principle, the occurring of which empowers sanctification.  However, it seems clear that the circumcision of Christ is an event that may be anticipated by any believer having properly come into Christ. Thus Paul’s Gospel was event oriented as well as a message of progressive growth.  Else why would Paul point the Romans toward a day of their establishment

Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel & the preaching of Jesus Christ . . .                                Rom. 16:25

Clearly, there is a basis in Pauline teaching for the Wesleyan position of a second definite work.

            –   Peter

While Peter had the revelation of Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God”,[22] even Peter had a future work awaiting Him according to the Lord, who said to Peter:

But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted strengthen thy brethren.     Luke 22:32

And Peter speaks of an anticipated day of grace in the form of Christ’s revelation being brought to our heart; an event we may anticipate, facilitated by our continuous regard for God’s Word.  He writes:   Heaven 01

And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns & the morning star arises in your hearts.                       II Pet. 1:19

Was Peter speaking to unbelievers, or even to the converted but non-Spirit-baptized?  No.  He was speaking to them that had already “obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”[23]  Clearly, Peter is telling the church they may look forward to the happening of an event brought forth in their heart by the resident Spirit of Christ within them.  Clearly then, there is a basis in Petrine teaching for the Wesleyan position of a second definite work.

vii.  Conclusion

In the light of these things, it seems apparent that Wesley’s holiness system of theology which taught that the redemptive processes of God involved discrete dispensations of grace as Divinely-transacted events wrought throughout the course of a believer’s life was correct.  Therefore Durham was incorrect when asserting that Wesley had no Scriptural basis for a subsequent or second work of grace following initial regeneration.  Recall the protests of his 1911 article:Durham 01

. . there is not even one Scripture that teaches that sanctification is a second work of grace . . . To my mind the second work theory is one of the weakest, and most unscriptural doctrines that is being taught in the Pentecostal movement, and therefore ought to be ruled out as damaging. [24]

In fact, we hardly need a review of Scripture to determine Durham’s words as overstated as there were certainly doctrines then being taught within Pentecostalism far more unscriptural than Wesley’s!  Nonetheless, Durham would be absolutely correct if his statement was limited to the doctrine at issue, ie. the Pentecostal Second Work doctrine taught within Pentecostalism.  Unfortunately, Durham over-extended his attack when he pursued Holiness doctrine generally as implicated in the error of the Pentecostal Second Work.

Clearly, the main premise upon which the Pentecostal doctrine of the Second Work was theologically overthrown must be ruled invalid.  Nevertheless, even a full vindication of Wesleyan teaching would not amount to a vindication as well of the Pentecostal Second Work (aka Third Blessing) doctrine; for the Second Work was a specific application of Wesleyan teaching to Pentecost; an application that failed the test of good fruit in the early days of Pentecost until withdrawing to the fringes of Pentecostalism.  Therefore while the ship that was Wesleyan-Holiness was once seaworthy, it seems to have been dry-docked given its misuse by Second Work Pentecostals who treated it as a doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Spirit rather than as a doctrine of sanctification.

This study should force us to conclude Durham’s rejection of the Wesleyan concept of a salvation as involving a sequential a process consisting of distinctive events as unsupported in Old Testament type, prophecy, the teachings of Christ and the teachings of His apostles, was incorrect and constituted a shortsighted posture for the Church of Christ to assume.  Peter exhorts that the Church look to the prophetic writings until that day of revelation comes to us!

     And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns & the morning star arises in your hearts.                                        II Pet. 1:19

Traditionally, the Church has not looked to the prophetic word because the Church has not understood the prophetic word.  In fact, Peter’s word of exhortation may constitute some indication as to why the Finished Work doctrine has failed Pentecostalism as an incomplete grasp of God’s purposes in baptizing His Church. Reference Lampstand No Text0001

The lamp-stand model provides insight into why the Finished Work doctrine constitutes an incomplete model for Pentecost.


[1] Wesley’s doctrines wre developed upon his undertaking strenuous study of the Bible.  He begins his pivotal thesis A Plain Account of Christian Perfection by stating; “In the year 1729, I began not only to read, but to study the Bible, as the one, the only standard of truth, and the only model of pure religion.”

[2] From article in the Pentecostal Testimony entitled; Sanctification, by William Durham. (Cir. 1911) Vol. I, No. 8.

[3] A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, by John Wesley (1767-1777) within point 13.

[4] From article in the Pentecostal Testimony entitled; Sanctification, by William Durham. (Cir. 1911) Vol. I, No. 8.

[5] From article in the Pentecostal Testimony entitled; Sanctification, by William Durham. (Cir. 1911) Vol. I, No. 8.

[6] Isaiah 51:2

[7] Genesis 12:1-3

[8] Genesis 12:12-20

[9] Genesis 15:1

[10] Genesis 16:16

[11] Genesis 20:3

[12] Genesis 21:5

[13] Genesis 22:15-18

[14] Isaiah 51:2

[15] Joshua 5

[16] Hebrews 10:1

[17] Matthew 16:16

[18] Romans 11:13

[19] Romans 2:29, Philippians 3:3

[20] Romans 2:29  But he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

[21] See commentary on Isaiah 52:1  For the uncircumcised & the unclean will no more come into you.

[22] Matthew 16:16

[23] II Peter 1:1

[24] From article in the Pentecostal Testimony entitled; Sanctification, by William Durham. (Cir. 1911) Vol. I, No. 8.

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About Lamp-Stand

I was converted to the faith of Jesus Christ in 1982 at which time I received water baptism and Spirit baptism. In the Spring of 2008 I was led of the Spirit through a process of repentance upon which I had an encounter with Christ that worked a profound change upon my inner being. I became aware that I had been forgiven a great debt of sin. I soon felt the Lord's direction that I close my office that my energies not be divided from the study of doctrine.
This entry was posted in 3A. PENTECOSTAL RENEWAL (Application to Pentecostal Theology) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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