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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : W.P. Nicholson - Hindrances To Holiness (transcript)

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 W.P. Nicholson - Hindrances To Holiness (transcript)

{transcribed from audio sermon}

[b]W.P. Nicholson - Hindrances To Holiness[/b]

Act 1, And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, just a sound, from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind. There was no mighty rushing wind, there was just a sound from heaven. And it filled all the house where they were sitting, that is the sound, and there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

I want to speak this evening to you, dear friend, on the hindrances to this baptism of the Spirit of God, or this Spirit-filled, victorious, holy, sanctified, and victorious life. In Acts chapter 8 and verse 14, when Phillip had gone down here to Samaria, we read that there was a great revival broke out and great numbers were brought to Christ, and were baptized. But that's all as far as Phillip could take them. And so he sent to Jerusalem and told the disciples there about these many converts and that they had not yet received the Holy Ghost. So they, Peter and John came down, and who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. And so we're told, "For as yet the Holy Ghost was fallen upon none of them, only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost."

I have no doubt, dear friends, that in your life, again and again, there has come to you the yearning and the longing for a really a life of holy, satisified, and victorious living day by day. And you've decided again and again that this would be your blessing and your possession. And yet in spite of your deciding and in spite of your desire, and in spite of your determination, and in spite of you making openly known to others, as well as to yourself, the failure and defeat and dissatisfication and discontent that there have been in your heart and life ever since you've been saved.

You see, dear friends, if you hadn't that and live the way you are now living, I would question whether you've ever been born again or not. You cannot be born again, you cannot be born again, and not know it in some degree and some measure and some constancy. And you can't be born again, dear friends, without a coming of a hatred of sin, and a loathing of sin, and a longing for a life of fulness, and power, and blessing; as it's revealed in the Word of God. You couldn't, you couldn't. Just as sure a you live, when you accepted Jesus Christ, you became a new creation, a new creature. And where you instictively and naturally began to hate sin and wish to God you had victory over sin. And where you were irksome, and where you were annoyed and disgusted at the fact of your defeat and failure, day in and day out. These are evidences of the new nature. These are the evidences that you're a new creature. If anybody can tell you that there's just as much fun and just as much feeling of content in a picture show as they have in a prayer meeting, they're just revealing that they're still children of the devil and never have been born again. When you're born again you become a new creation, a new creature altogether. And old things pass away and all things become new. You believe that, dear friend, and you've felt that. And you've struggled on with it, for days and for weeks and months, aye, and probably years. You've struggled on and tried to do your best, to live a decent, respectable Christian life that you wouldn't be ashamed of, and that would be a blessing to those you know and those you meet. And, yet, in spite of it all, you've seem defeated and nothing but failure resulting of your decision again and again. You've gone to conventions and you've gone to holiness meetings and you've gone to conferences, and conventions. And you've really longed and yearned and cried eye and prayed as well as desired, that this blessing might be yours. You've even put your feet upon the neck of your own nervousness and your own shyness, and you've made a public spectacle of yourself, by going down to a meeting and kneeling down at the altar, confessing your defeat and failure as a Christian, and your yearning for this life of fulness. And someone has instructed you and someone has prayed for you and prayed with you and you've prayed yourself, and, yet, some way or another, after it's all over, it hasn't been long till you're back into the old kinda up-and down defeated life again.

There must be a reason for all this, dear friend. You couldn't get fire without heat, you couldn't get frost and snow and ice without cold, and you couldn't make 2x2 anything else but 4. These are facts. And here's facts in your life. The defeat and failure in spite of your desire, in spite of your decision, in spite of your determination, in spite of your praying, and yearning and longing, here you are still living a life discontented, defeated, and although devoted to your Lord. There must be a reason for it.

And, so, dear friend, today I want to help you, lovingly and kindly, and yet as plain as I know how and as personal as I can possibly make it. I want to try and help you this evening. Do not turn away and feel angry and disgusted because I'm speaking to you as if though there was nobody else, and I'm revealing facts to you, facts that you know, although they may have been hidden to your mind and heart, within your heart. Do not be annoyed. If a young boy comes with a telegram to you and it's bringing bad news, you don't begin to kick the messenger, do you ? And if I'm bringing to you, it's not bad news I'm bringing, but it will be bad news in the sense that these things have been hindering your fulness and blessing. And maybe it annoys you to hear about it and to think about it. Dear friend, don't let it be that way. May you be humbled and broken before the Word of God and may you really confess your need, and let what God reveals that hinders, accept it, renounce it, and have done with it and come into a life of fulness and satisfaction that will be a joy to your own heart, a pleasure to God, pleasing God as you walk along, and a means of blessing in your day and generation.

Now you'll find, dear friends, that if you're still in that life of defeat and failure, in spite of all your willingness, and all your effort to try and live a different kind of life. You'll find that it's caused many a time, and, first of all, by an unwillingness on your part to have done with all known sin. Now let me repeat that to you again. An unwillingness to have done with all KNOWN sin. KNOWN sin, KNOWN sin. You can't have done with all sin that you don't know anything about, but known sin. You'll find that whenever those who are seeking fulness of blessing and longing for a life of holiness and victory, you'll find that there is something there in their heart and life that they're unwilling to renounce and to have done with. It's just like a big Goliath in the midst of the children of Israel. And it's out there again and again and again and again. You've come to this point of determination and desire and that thing has faced you and you've failed to go through with it. Not willing to have done with it. I don't know what your Goliath may be, I don't know the nature of it, but, dear friends, there's something in there that is hindering you, you're unwilling to let that one particular thing go. It may be a besetting sin, it may be a kind of a nibble of something that you roll under your tongue, or something that brings pleasure and delight to you. Or something that brings profit to you in your life, but there it is. And you know that that thing is in there, a known thing, and it has been there every time you've come to the altar, and have faced this thing, that thing has come up and you've never turned your back on it.

The Lord says in His word, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." ____ But when it's regard for iniquity in the heart. It isn't that you've any willingness and delight in it, but you regard it. You may be frightened of it. You say, Well, now, I've tried in vain and I've only made a mess. I've tried to give it up, I've tried to do the right, I've tried to get the wrong righted. And you've just failed every time. And there's an inward regard there caused by fear that you've made a mess of it. You've tried in vain and you made a mess of it. You've tried again and again and you've made a mess of it. And so you say, "Well, there is that thing, I'm willing to give up everything and have done with everything but this one thing, this besetting sin, that there is in my heart and life, it doesn't seem possible." Some particular personal private sin in the heart and life. Some filthiness and sexual thing in the life that has caused like a bloody flux in your Christian testimony. And in spite of all that you want and you desire, that thing remains and you're not willing to take sides with God against it. Well, dear friend, until the crack of doom, you'll never, your prayer will never be heard. You're never get heard of your bondage, failure and fear until that thing is settled between you and God.

And that you'll take sides with God in that thing, whatever shape or form it may be, and say, By the grace and power of God, I renounce it, and have done with it forever from this moment. Until you get there, dear friend, you'll never get towards the life of fulness and victory. How can you expect God to answer your cry and bring you into deliverance and victory while you have a secret sympathetic alliance with the very enemy of God ? You've entered into a secret alliance with that thing, you make a continual allowance for the thing. Whenever it crops up, you say, Alright, I'm defeated, I've tried, I couldn't give it up, I've tried but I couldn't do it. And the thing has crept in there and you've entered into a secret alliance with that thing and you make continual allowance of it. You'll never get anywhere, dear friend.

Is there any sin that Jesus Christ has not died to atone for ? Is there any temptation that has overcome Jesus Christ ? And that He's not able to give you any victory over ? Is there any sin in your heart and life and mind that we know of, that Jesus Christ couldn't break the power of, and set us free from ?

My, it's a terrible thing. Why, entering into an alliance with this thing and making an allowance for it. How could we expect that God would hear ? How could we expect any deliverance from it ? When we're into a secret sympathy and alliance with this accursed thing.

You may have inherited kinda of a violent temper. And you say, Here it is, and I've tried again. And certainly you have. But it doesn't mean that Jesus Christ can't control that temper. There's nothing wrong with the temper, it's the uncontrolling of it. And you He knows right well, and you know that you can't control it. But you're not willing to let Him _____. If you'll take your sides with it and say, I'm a defeated failure in the face of it, but I believe Jesus Christ can conquer it in my life and I now have done with it and I take sides with Christ against it. Until you get there, dear friend, you will never get anywhere else. And you will never know anything else but a life of defeat and failure, day in and day out.

You could never get God to take sides with you against your sin. You never can. God never forgives sin. A Holy God couldn't forgive sin. God hates sin. God abhors sin, God punishes sin. And God says He'll blot it out and bury it in hell with the devil and his angels for all eternity. Why, if God could have at any time ever forgiven sin, it was when Jesus Christ on the cross was made sin, he wasn't a sinner but he was made sin, he was made sin. And when God saw sin on His dear Son, He turned His back on him, and left him, cursed him. And Jesus died, crying out, "My God, why hast thou forsaken me ?" And do you imagine, dear friends, that you could get God to forgive sin and to make an allowance for it in your life and enter into you with a sympathy about the matter ? God abhors, God hates sin, and if you'll take your sides with God against it, and have done with it altogether, glory to God, you're not far from the blessing.

And so you find that many are kept out of this blessing, they've prayed, and they've been desiring it, they've decided for it. They've made confession of it and yet nothing has come of it simply because there was an unwillingness for some one particular sin, there may be 5,000 others but one particular sin. If you could drop the sun out of the solar system, everything would collapse and if that one particular thing, dear friend, that you know, that one personal, particular thing, if you're willing to have done with that, and get that thing settled, glory to God, every other sin will be settled, too.

Well, I can imagine you saying, Alright, Lord, I take sides with Thee against every known sin, I make no allowance for anything along that line. I enter into no secret sympathy or allowance for it. Lord, I take sides with Thee, and claim Thy victory over it. That's the first step, and until you get there, dear friend, you'll never get any further. But I've seen people get the sin question settled and get to the place where they've really have taken sides with God against sin, the sin that they know of. And yet why have they not entered into this victory ?

Another hindrance is this. There is a reservation in our surrender to the Lord. You'll remember Ananias and Sapphira in Acts chapter 5. You remember how Ananias and Sapphira, they came before Peter and those in the church. And a certain man named Ananias with his wife Sapphira sold a possession. That wasn't wrong, they had a right to the possession, and they had a right to sell it. But here is where the thing was wrong. They'd promised God that they would make a covenant with God and give this to Him, evidently. And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy in it. And brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles feet. Do you see ? It was just a part, instead of all. And Peter said to Ananias, Why has Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost and keep back part of the price ? And, friend, you'll generally find, that when we're seeking this fulness of blessing and we get done honestly and fully as far we know how with the sin question. Settle that between you and God, now there comes this matter of surrender. The Lord demands a complete unconditional surrender. There's no terms of any kind or condition of any kind allowed. It's got to be a complete and unconditional surrender. You remember during the last war there, that we Allies got in with our enemies and the one slogan of all the battles and the slogan of all the days of that war, an unconditional surrender. That's just exactly, dear friend, what the Lord demands. You see, you're not your own, anyhow. When you accepted Christ, you were bought with a price, the precious blood of Jesus Christ. And if He hasn't possession of all He purchased, you are robbing God. You are robbing God. You're playing the game of Ananias and Sapphira. You've given something, but you've kept back part of the price. You've given a good many things up, and you given yourself in a certain way up, and you've given other things up, but you haven't kept the whole surrender, you haven't made the entire surrender. You've kept back part of the price.

And, friend, as you get to the altar, you know when you get there, you know what it is that keeps you back in that attitude of surrender. When thou comest to the altar, and there remember that thy brother has ought against thee, first be reconciled to thy brother. And then come, and then come and offer thy gift. It's got to be an unconditional surrender. What was it crops up whenever you got to the altar and when you got through, and got to the place where all sin question was settled ? What wasthe next thing that faced you ? Something on your part that you're unwilling to have done with. Some grudge or bitterness that you had in your heart toward some other believer. Some act of restitution that you had got to make. Some bad= debt a way back yonder, many years back, that you never made and never made. When you left the old town a way back there, you left a debt behind you. And you never never made that thing right. And now as you come before the altar, that thing springs up to your mind, right before you, and there is where the surrender begins, there's where the fighting begins, there's where the struggle takes place. That's what old Jacob had yonder at Jabbok. All night he wrestled with the angel. Why ? Because he had to make restitution to his brother, of whom he had robbed and wronged long 30 years before. And, friend, as you get to the altar tonight, What is it that crops up ? When thou comest to the altar, and there remember. What are you remembering ? Some debt that's got to be paid. Has your grocer been paid ? Has your butcher been paid ? Has your tailor been paid ? Has your doctor been paid ? Let me ask you, Have you paid God ? You remember that you made a vow to God that you would be a tither, that you would give 1/10th, two shillings out of every pound. You'd lay that on the altar and let that belong to God. Everything belongs to God, but you made a covenant with God and God made a covenant with you, regarding the tithing, regarding the tenth, regarding two shillings out of a pound. And it went on for a time, and then you began to prosper, and the tithe began to look big and Satan entered your heart, and you began to rob God. And now as you come to the altar, it crops up to your memory. Until that thing is settled, dear friend, your surrender will never be entire and complete I remember in a country we were in, talking along this line one Sunday afternoon in a large audience. A big businessman there had been a Christian, and was a Christian, but living a life of defeat and failure. And whenever he got on Monday to his office, he said to his secretary, "I want you to turn up the books and find out when I stopped tithing, when I stopped giving God two shillings to the pound as I covenanted. And whenever he found out the certain years, and he made out the check for the whole bunch and got it settled. Then he got the surrender question settled. Will a man rob God ? Yes, says God, you've robbed me with tithes, as well as offerings. And bring me all the tithes, every bit of it, bring it all, going back to where you robbed God, bring all the tithes into the storehouse, and prove me, says God, give me a chance, and see whether I will not baptize and fill and flood you with the Holy Ghost. Maybe it is that something that happened between you and one of your relatives. Someone has wronged you, wronged you of your estate, wronged you of what was yours in the will of your parents. And you've felt a bitterness towards them. You've felt a root of bitterness cropping up in you. I'm not making light of the wrong they've done. But what's hurt you is you've allowed bitterness to come in, like a root there within your heart. And friend, when thou comest to the altar and there remember that thy brother.....that's got to be settled there between you and that brother. Some way or another, some time or another. There's got to be that reconcilation made. There's got to be that restitution made. You've got to get these things settled as you come before the Lord.

You hear some say, Well, all you got to do is receive by faith. That's all right, but, dear friend, you've got to put the wrongs right, you've got to make them right, if you're going to know this act of full surrender. And then I've seen them get the sin question settled, and the surrender question settled, and still not free. You'll find that it's disobedience to light that has come. The Lord has revealed something in the heart and life that got to be rectified and remedied. And you've kicked against it, you've rebelled against it, you've sworn that you would never do it or wouldn't make it. Well, you'll never get any farther, dear friends. That thing's got to be settled, whatever it is. You've got to make it right with God. And you've got to be right with your fellow man if you're going to know this life of fulness and blessing.

Then again, others are kept from this blessing by impurity of motives. You remember old Simon the sorcerer. He said, Give me this blessing so that I may do just exactly as the apostles have done. And you may want it for the sake of noteriety or the sake of success in your ambition or the sake of this, that or the other. And while that impurity is there, you'll never get any further in it. There's got to be that the Spirit of God would crucify self and glorify Christ, and until that's so, you will never get any further.

But I've seen them even get that further, settling the sin question, settling the surrender question, settling this reconcilation question business and restitution and getting the motives settled where God alone is to be glorified and Christ preeminently in the heart and life. And yet they failed. Why ? Because they were ignorant of God's light of faith and God's giving by faith. They wanted some tongues, they wanted a spasm of their backbone, they wanted some kind of a glorified fit, they wanted some kind of strange transcendental experience, they wanted some feeling, some queer kind of vision or another. Friend, you've got to take it by faith. And leave to God what the feeling will be and what the experience will be, and what the nature of that will be, and when that will be. But you've got to come by simple faith. I take the promised Holy Ghost, the power of Pentecost, to fill me now to the uttermost, I take, He undertakes, and, glory to God, as He does, blessing will be yours and you'll know the joy and fulness of it day in and day out.


Search me, O God! my actions try,
And let my life appear
As seen by Thine all-searching eye
To mine my ways make clear.

Search all my sense, and know my heart
Who only canst make known,
And let the deep, the hidden part
To me be fully shown.

Throw light into the darkened cells,
Where passion reigns within;
Quicken my conscience till it feels
The loathsomeness of sin.

Search all my thoughts,
The secret motives that control;
The chambers where polluted things
Hold empire o'er my soul.

Search, till Thy fiery glance has cast
Its holy light through all,
And I by grace am brought at last
Before Thy face to fall.

Thus prostrate I shall learn of Thee,
What now I feebly prove,
That God alone in Christ can be
Unutterable love!

O friend, don't be frightened to come to the Lord. He's not a policeman, He's not here with a club in his hand. He doesn't come to tease and torment. He doesn't bring these things up that we might be annoyed and disturbed. No ! He wants to get us right, right from the very heart out. Past, present, and future, so that we may walk with God, as Enoch walked with God, in the light as He is in the light, and the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleansing us from all sin.

I remember whenever I was seeking this blessing, dear friends. I got awful frightened of God. Things began to crop up. Things of a past that needed to be rectified and put right began to crop up. And, my, my, what fear filled my heart and how I was accepting the lies of the devil, when he would say God's a monster, God's a tyrant, God's a harsh master, reaping where He has not sown, and gathering where He has not strawed, and I had this hard, hard feeling in the mind, at in my heart. I thought God was teasing and tormenting me about these things. I went to an old Christian, an older Christian that might have known better, you want to watch who you go to when you come about these things.

And I said, Brother, I'm in trouble. I want a life that wholly's the Lord's and sanctified, and baptized, and filled by the Holy Ghost. And I said, in spite of my prayers and desires, it doesn't anything seem to happens. I said, things begin to crop up in the heart life, that I can't get any with, it happened a ways back, years and years ago. Oh, he says, Nicholson, that's the devil tormenting a sensitive conscience. ____ for a time. But it didn't give me any peace. When I got down before the throne, before the Lord, that thing cropped up again. Until at last, with confession and restitution, and making amends, I got right with them, and then right with God. Now, dear friend, whatever it is that is coming in, if it some sin that you're indulging in, if it's a lack of full surrender on your part; because your fear of letting everything go. If it something there that's got to be rectified, God has put his finger on something that you know is wrong. Or is it the wrong motives have cropped in there ? You want to be brave and open and a Bible student and a great preacher and a great soul-winner. Something or another along those lines. Or maybe it's just that you're not willing to take in simple faith the gift that Jesus Christ offers, God's gift to the world was the unspeakable gift of Christ and Christ's gift to you, the Church, is the Holy Spirit. And you're not willing to take. O dear friend, just now as you are, lay everything aside, get right with God about everything from beginning to end, and right now.

Lord, I take the promised Holy Ghost, I take the power of Pentecost, to fill me now to uttermost. I take, He undertakes, and, glory to God, He will


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