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All Christian teachers agree that Israel ’s bondage in Egypt represents the vassalage of sin. Their deliverance under Moses, (who was a figure of Christ), their passage through the Red Sea , and song of praise foreshadow the joy of pardon; and that the sojourn in the wilderness typifies the life of the justified Christian.
Thus far all agree because they have come over the road; but there is not such harmony as to the spiritual counterpart of the land of Canaan .
All can see that it relates to a state beyond mere justification and, ignorant of the perfected Christ-life in the soul, the wilderness saint sees no Beulah Land between him and heaven; hence is forced to make it the antitype of Canaan . There is, however, no Scripture for this application, and but little analogy.
Heaven is a holy place and Canaan represents holiness. Otherwise Canaan would not be a true type of heaven at all. We will not find heaven filled with idolatrous worshipers; we will have no battles to fight nor foes to exterminate there. Canaan represents a state of conflicts and victories; a state of probation. See Deuteronomy 4:25-26, 8:19-20, and 30:17-20.
As time dispels the haze that partially obscures prophetic truth, so experience lifts the veil from the heart and enlightens the eyes of our understanding in the wonders of grace “that we may know what is the hope of His calling and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”
It is a remarkable fact that every believer who passes through the all-cleansing blood of Jesus at once adopts the language of Canaan and recognizes the “land where milk and honey flows.” They cease to sing of the “foe that dwells within,” and the “howling wilderness,” etc., and they sing a new song of the land of cloudless day.
A land of rest from inbred sin,
Where Jesus lives and reigns within.
If the Bible does not point to entire sanctification as our spiritual Canaan , then all our songs and human testimony will amount to nothing. Do you think, dear reader, that this will be difficult to prove by the Bible? Indeed; we have on this point the most precious and extensive veins of divine truth.
Jesus denominated the gift of the Holy Ghost the “Promise of the Father” (Luke 24:29; Acts 1:4-5). Hence, this great blessing must have been, in a very special manner, promised by the Father.
When and to whom was this promise made? This question leads us into a blessed region of divine light. I humbly and gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness to the Holy Spirit for conducting me into this “large place,” of glorious Bible truth.
We have a direct answer to the above inquiry in Galatians 3:13-18: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law being made a curse for us . . . that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; thought it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man dissannulleth or addeth thereto. Now, to Abraham and his seed were the promises made . . . For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise. So we see that the gift of the Holy Ghost was originally promised by God himself to Abraham: therefore is called by Christ the promise of the Father.”
Paul also informs us that this “promise of the Spirit” was included in the covenant that God made with Abraham. This covenant you will find in Genesis 12:1-7 and 17:1-8. The blessings therein vouchsafed may be summed up in the following three promises:
In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.
I will multiply thy seed until they become as numerous as the stars of heaven, and as the sand upon the seashore.
And I will give unto the and unto thy seed all the land of Canaan , for an everlasting possession.
Now, as Paul by inspiration points to the “everlasting covenant” as containing the “promise of the Father,” we must so interpret one of these three promises; but, fortunately, they are all interpreted by the Apostle himself:
Thy seed, (in the singular) which is Christ. (Galatians 3:16)
But what of the innumerable seed promised to Abraham? His literal descendents were, indeed, numerous, but does this promise refer to them particularly? Paul says not. See Romans 9:7-8. Who then? “Therefore it is of faith that it might be by grace, to the end, that promise might be sure to all the seed; not that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (Romans 4:16). “Know ye therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” “And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).
Every convert of the cross from the dawn of the Gospel to the close of time constitutes this great family. Thank the Lord, dear Christian reader, that we are included in the promised seed!
Now, to father Abraham and all this spiritual seed, God has in the most solemn manner covenanted and sworn by himself to “give the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession.” How shall we understand this? Have you, dear reader, taken up your abode in Canaan —your new birthright?
We have seen so far that the covenant had a spiritual import; does this point form an exception and refer to literal Canaan ? If so, there was no “promise of the Spirit” in this covenant. But Paul says there is, and does not so interpret either of the preceding promises; hence the one under consideration must be so applied, unless we conclude that Paul was mistaken.
But would a literal application comport with the facts in the case? Did God really give Abraham a perpetual abode in the land of Canaan ? Nay “He gave him none inheritance in it; no, not so much as to set his foot on” (Acts 7:5).
When he pitched his tent there, he did not recognize it as the promised inheritance, but “he sojourned in the land of promise as in a strange country.” He understood the promise in a spiritual sense; “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:9-10).
It is scarcely necessary to add that a literal application would not be true of the seed. There is nothing in the Bible nor in the history of the church that would support the idea that God ever intended that, from all the nations of the earth, men and women should migrate to the land of Canaan , on becoming Christians.
As proof that the promise does not mean the literal Canaan, nor yet heaven, observe that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob dwelt in that land, died and went to heaven: nevertheless they “received not the promise; God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:39-40).
This is plain. The promised inheritance refers to some special blessing that is peculiar to the present Holy Ghost dispensation. Therefore, until manifest in these last days for which it was designed, the exact meaning of the promise was a secret, locked up in the divine mind. It was the “glory that was to follow the suffering of Christ which the prophets so “diligently searched” into, and even the “angels desired to look into” (1 Peter 1:10).
This Canaan state, which the prophets died without seeing, is also spoken of in Hebrews 9:8; “The Holy Ghost, thus signifying that the way into the way into the holiest of all, was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.” But the “veil is done away in Christ,” and Paul announces to this Hebrew brethren that we “have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way” (Hebrews 10:19-20).
The spiritual city—Abraham’s ideal of the promised Canaan; for which he looked—Paul says we have finally “come unto,” even the “Church of the First Born”—of course, in its normal state of perfect holiness. “The darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.” The long expected, but incomprehensible reign of the Spirit of God has appeared. As announced to the Ephesians, God “has made known unto us the mystery of His will;” doubtless, that which he committed to Abraham wherein He promised to give His seed the land of Canaan: for the Apostle adds that it consists in the perfect unification of things in heaven and on earth, even in “Christ, in whom also we have obtained an inheritance” (Ephesians 1:10-11).
What beautiful harmony we see in the blessed Bible. The unmanifest way into “the holiest,” the great “salvation” or glory that was to follow the suffering of Christ, even the promised Canaan inheritance that was so long veiled in mystery is at last made know to us as the moral state of perfect holiness, or perfect oneness with Heaven.
The Word of God places this truth beyond doubt or cavil. Paul positively affirms that, in the covenant God made with Abraham, there was a certain “blessing that came on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ,” and, in order to define the same, he immediately adds, “that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith;” which he identifies with the inheritance God gave to Abraham by promise.
Now, there was no inheritance promised in that covenant but Canaan . Therefore, it follows that the land of Canaan promised to all the seed of Abraham (all believers in Christ) is the “promise of the Father,” or the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Therefore all that are “filled with the Spirit,” “that dwell in love,” and “in God,” and “God in them,” have taken up their God-given abode on the temple side of Jordan. Hallelujah! Amen!!
Now, this land must be entered from the wilderness, and not directly from Egypt . As God opened the water twice in bringing Israel from Egypt to Canaan —a wilderness life intervening between the two miraculous passages, where there was a great deal of internal strife and murmuring, but where they also had sweet manna. So, divine power delivers from the bondage of sin and guilt. Then follows the mixed state of nature and grace; where “the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh.” But, “He giveth more grace.” As soon as we are willing to die to sin, we leave the wilderness and inherit the land of full and everlasting rest in God.
SANCTIFICATION THE INHERITANCE
Having seen that the oracles of God clearly teach that the land of Canaan is typical of the full possession of the Sprit, which is identical with the sanctified state, we now observe that for this reason the Apostle speaks of sanctification as an inheritance to be entered after justification, but in this life:
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among them which are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)
The sanctified are here represented as possessing an inheritance peculiar to them. The persons addressed being “brethren,” have access to the same.
It was not a development of the grace already possessed by them, but something that God was to “give” them through the “word of His grace.” It was, therefore, a Gospel privilege—a Bible state of grace.
We are told that Christ commissioned Paul a special herald of His Gospel to the Gentiles. “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God; that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me” (Acts 26:18).
Here, again, the sanctified are said to have entered an inheritance. And, through the light and power of the Gospel committed to Paul, the people were to receive:
FIRST—“The forgiveness of sin.”
SECOND—“An inheritance among them that are sanctified.”
To say that these are identical in essence would be a direct contradiction of the Word, for the coordinate conjunction “and” connects dissimilar elements. To say that they are one in point of time is contrary to the whole tenor of the Scripture, as well as universal experience.
In witnessing the conversion of several hundred souls, I do not recollect of hearing one profess entire sanctification in connection with pardon. Indeed, I have never known preachers and old disciples to venture the assertion, until they came in contact with, and in opposition to those who witness to it as a distinct attainment.
Now I ask, does not our Heavenly Father give us the witness of the Spirit to all that He does for us? Philemon 6.
Again, does not a Bible experience usually find utterance in Bible language? Why then do converts say, “The Lord has pardoned all my sins?” “I have found peace with God,” etc., but never say, “The God of Peace has sanctified me wholly,” “Washed me whiter than snow,” “Perfected me in love,” etc? This can only be accounted for by the fact that they have received the former experience; but not that represented by the latter terms.
If entire sanctification is coincident with pardon, do not all who profess the latter and not the former, dishonor God by confessing but a part of what he has done for them? And yet I know of no minister who insists upon believers acknowledging the sanctifying grace of God, except such as have themselves “received the Holy Ghost since they believed.”
Some, observing that in the Bible order this inheritance of sanctification is entered after pardon, conclude that it refers to heaven; but it should be observed that it sustains the same relation to Paul’s preaching that pardon does. If, therefore, the one is the direct effect of the Gospel, the other is also; each of course, to be induced by their respective Scripture promises and in their proper order.
Therefore, under this commission the great Missionary says: “I showed first unto them of Damascus , and at Jerusalem , and throughout all the coasts of Judea , and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”
I leave out the italic “then,” it not being in the original, nor other versions. The meaning evidently is that in all these places he preached repentance first. The translators, knowing nothing of the successive degrees in Gospel salvation, thought it necessary to insert “then” to complete the Apostle’s meaning.
Jesus did not say “an inheritance among them who had gone to heaven,” nor yet “among them that were sanctified at death,” as some would teach; but “among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me.”
So this inheritance is entered by faith. “Now faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It is, therefore, a Gospel privilege something in the Father’s will for His children—yes, “this is the will of God, even your sanctification!” This Canaan of perfect love, being only accessible by faith in the preached Gospel, must be entered in this life.
After acknowledging that the Ephesians had been “quickened,” “saved by grace,” and were “fellow citizens with the saints,” the Apostle speaks to them of an “abounding wisdom” of God and the deep mystery of His will, “according to His good pleasure, which He hath purposed in Himself.” “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him in whom also we have obtained an inheritance” (Ephesians 1:8-11).
The Apostle, thinking it probable that some of these brethren had not yet entered this promised land, and ever solicitous for the “perfecting of the saints,” adds, “Wherefore, I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of this inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:15-18).
It appears to me that I should emphasize every thought in this wonderful prayer that was offered for these members of the household of God. Is not here a second work taught? Paul had heard of their “faith and love,” and then prays that God would give them a knowledge of this glorious inheritance of wisdom, light and power, which implies an experience of the same.
Parallel with this is the Apostle’s prayer for the Colossians. Having learned of Epaphras their “love in the Spirit,” he says: “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Colossians 1:8-9).
The object of this second and wonderful grace, we are informed, is “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good word, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
When the heart is made “pure even as He (Christ) is pure,” we can “walk even as He walked.” When God “walks in us,” it will be “all pleasing” in His sight, not up and down, crooked and straight, now pleasing, then displeasing. The purged vine will also produce all good and more abundant fruit and “increase” more rapidly than before. Paul continues the description of the higher life thus: “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering, with joyfulness, giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light (Ephesians 1:11-12). Halleluiah! What a land of wonders and full of the excellent glory!
Those who have crossed the Jordan of death to sin are in the “inheritance of the saints in light.” What does this mean? Why “the Lord thy God is thy everlasting light;” for “he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him,” and “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” And in those who have advanced from the wilderness or mixed state to the “new commandment” of “perfect love,” we are told, “the darkness is past and the true light now shineth.”
Again, “if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” The inheritance of the saints consists, therefore, in dwelling in the pure light of God and freedom from all sin.
Let us follow the Apostle a little farther. He tells us that the great burthen of his ministry was not for sinners, but “for you to fulfill the word of God,” or preach the fullness of the Gospel of salvation; “even the mystery, which hath been hid from ages, and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints—to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery—among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory; whom we preach, warning every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:25-29).
Here the mysterious inheritance is said to consist in having “Christ in you—the hope of glory”—and being made “perfect in Christ Jesus.” What a magnificent picture of this delectable land the blessed Spirit has drawn in these two chapters! It appears to me that all the wisdom and energy of the Holy Ghost has been employed in efforts to find language adequate to describe the greatness an absolute importance of this higher Christian grace, and sublime enough to portray its exceeding beauty.
Behold, it is “all patience,” “longsuffering with joyfulness,” “all wisdom and prudence,” and the very “Spirit of wisdom,” it is the “inheritance of the saints in light,” yea, “the riches of the glory of the inheritance,” and it is “all might, according to His glorious power.” “The working of His might power,” even the “exceeding greatness of His power.”
We may conclude that glorious description with Ephesians 1:4, “That we be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Can you not see, dear reader, that an experience combining all these is of paramount importance? Is it not the chief good of the kingdom of grace?
The above perfectly agrees with the promises of Christ to His disciples and the sublime experience they received on the Day of Pentecost and exemplified in after life. Through this “glorious power,” the world was brought down before God in penitence. No wonder, therefore, that God would make known to al the saints “the riches of the glory of this mystery.” No wonder that Paul “also labored, striving according to His working” to “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus,” and it is no wonder that Satan rages whenever this glorious inheritance is presented to the people in its Gospel light, because it is the very power that is to demolish his vile kingdom.
Thus far, I have shown that the Canaan inheritance presented to all the seed of Abraham—all Christians—is positively declared to be the gift of the Holy Ghost; and sanctification, and these are inclusive of each other. Now for the edification of the reader, let us look at this
INHERITANCE AS SET FORTH IN THE PROPHETS.
The prophetic eye of Israel ’s sweet Psalmist saw this delectable land and exclaimed: “O, ye seed of Abraham, His servants, ye children of Jacob, His chosen. He is the Lord our God. His judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant, He made with Abraham, and His oath unto Isaac; and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and unto Israel for an everlasting covenant; saying unto thee, will I give the Land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance” (Psalm 105:6-11.).
The only reasonable interpretation of this language is that the seed addressed are spiritual seed or believers; and Canaan the spiritual “inheritance of the saints in light.” Who would suppose that one spot of earth were so much better than all else as to be the subject of such a sacred and oft repeated promise solemnized even by the oath of the Almighty. A covenant vouchsafing a portion of land could not be everlasting for the “ earth shall be burned up.”
This covenant, we are told, God “confirmed unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant saying, “unto thee will I give the land of Canaan .” The covenant concerning the land of Canaan , a law for Jacob—the church! How is this? Simply thus: entire sanctification is identical with perfect love; and “love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10). “Yea, all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Galatians 5:14).
You see, dear reader, that precious country where “flows milk and honey” is love, “sweet love, out of a pure heart.” “He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” O! Blissful “inheritance of the saints in light,” for God is light!
In Isaiah 32:1-2 Christ is announced as a “King that shall reign in righteousness,” as “a hiding place,” “rivers of water,” “shadow of a great rock.” Then follows the desolation of the dark age “when upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briars.” This shall continue “until the Spirit be poured on us from on high,” and, as a result, we are told “the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful fields be counted for a forest” (Isaiah 32:13-15). This is very plain truth for our day. The bareness of the church terminates with the outpouring of the Spirit when she merges from a wilderness state into that of a fruitful field.
But, when the original life and power is thus restored she shall be hated and persecuted by the old serpent, the “accuser of the brethren.” She will excite much suspicion and be renounced as a “forest”—a jungle of fanaticism. “But wisdom is justified of her children.” Let all who thus renounce this work consider the result, for “Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness and righteousness remain in the fruitful field” (Isaiah 32:16).
When the light comes and the command to “pass over” this Jordan, and the “promised land possess—the land of perfect holiness”—all who refuse will find “judgment in the wilderness.” Darkness is the inevitable result of rejecting the light of full salvation. Refusing the “more grace,” “that which they have shall be taken away from them.” With many, indeed, it is only “that which they seem to have”—the mere “name to live”—that vanishes before the searching light of the pure Gospel of God.
He who will take the pains to notice will find, as a rule, that complaints of the church’s deadness and failure of revival efforts constitute the reports that come from places where holiness had been definitely preached and rejected. Though men brand this as confusion and an evil work, the Prophet has declared “the work of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.” And, praise God, all who have ceased form the wilderness,
Roam through weary years
Of inbred sin, and doubts and fears.
Now “dwell in a peaceful habitation, and in sure dwelling, and in quiet resting places” (Isaiah 32:16-19).
This chapter clearly teaches the transition of the church from a wilderness to a glorious and fruitful state and identifies that change with the “promise of the Father,” or outpouring of the Spirit.
In connection with the preceding, read Ezekiel 36:25-29. Though addressed by the prophet to the Jewish nation, which was a type of the church; this is clearly the language of Gospel salvation. It denotes deliverance from the Babel of sectism and carnality, of which the return from Babylon was typical.
In this divine transformation we have the following features:
I will purify you from all “filthiness: and save “you from all uncleanness.”
2. “I will put my Spirit within you.” Here is a clear allusion to the covenanted promise of the Father to all the seed of Abraham, which Paul said “came on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ” (Galatians 3:14). If we were to apply this to the Jewish nation when returning from literal Babylon , it was not fulfilled. It is only in the “last days,” saith the Lord, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.”
3. “I will gather you out of all countries.” That is, I will unite them all in perfect love and “fellowship with the Father and with His Son,” and “one with another.” “For he that sanctifieth, and they which are sanctified are all of one” (Hebrews 2:11).
Perfect purity solves the problem of Christian union thoroughly. Though it does not at once remove all error from the head, it purges the heart from all carnality—the real source of all “envy, strife and division”—and thus “gathers out of all the disintegrated parties of Christendom a united force for God. They do not necessarily sever their former church relations but, what is far more important, they are completely emancipated from the inglorious coop of party spirit and party interest and united in the common cause of human salvation.
4. “I will bring you into your own land that I gave to your father.” Now Paul says that this land was given to all believers. He does not even interpret the covenant as including a promise to give the natural offspring of Abraham the literal Canaan . Neither did God feel Himself bound by His oath to give Abraham an inheritance therein.
The promise then, being spiritual, must be so understood in this Scripture, which beautifully harmonizes with the Bible throughout in identifying the “promised land: with perfect purity, “fullness: and “unity of the Spirit.”
The above interpretation is positively confirmed by the prophet in Amos 9:11-15, “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel , and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.” This prediction, all can see, is of the same import the two preceding are. If you turn to Acts 15:14-17, you will find that the Apostle James quotes from the above prophecy and applies it to the salvation of the Gentiles; hence we have inspired authority for applying these prophesies to full Gospel salvation.
Therefore, entering the land that God gave to the seed of Abraham simply means induction into the glorious state of entire sanctification.
But we must not close without giving the prophet Zechariah a chance to add his testimony in confirmation of the above fact. As he beholds from the mount of inspiration
The land of rest from inbred sin,
Where Jesus lives and reigns within.
His soul is filled with the music of praise and as if anticipating the joyful hallelujahs that incessantly go up from the church in this borderland of heaven, he cries out saying, “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of Hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the Lords shall inherit Judah , His portion in the holy land” (Zechariah 2:10-12).
As here foretold, the Lord has come many nations have been joined to Him; but not fathered into literal Canaan . Therefore, the “holy land” where Christ dwells in the midst of His people and inherits Judah—the church—a moral state as the name itself implies; for it is only when “the temple is holy” that “ye are the temple of God,” or that ye are indwelt of the Lord and have part in the holy land.
In chapter 13:1-2, we are told that “in that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem , for sin and uncleanness.”
This two-fold remedy justifies us from all the sins we have committed and, when light has revealed the impurity of our inherited nature, faith again touches the atonement and the soul is made “whiter than show.” Immediately following the above text, the prophet adds:
And it shall come to pass in that day (the day of the open fountain—Gospel day), saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.
When we come to this fountain of cleansing every idol, every Canaanite must be put to death and the land of our inheritance cleansed from every unclean spirit.
This holy seer concludes his sublime prophecy in the following beautiful and highly figurative language. “In that day,” after announcing the coming of Christ (Zechariah 2:10), every salient reference to the work of redemption is referred to “that day,” meaning of course the present reign of the Sprit of grace; see Zechariah 13:18, also 12:2-11, where it is anon used with reference to the destruction of Jerusalem: “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar; yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts . . . and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of Hosts” (Zechariah 14:20-12).
This is a lively picture of the all absorbing nature of perfect holiness in which the soul is so transported and swallowed up that it “shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting” praises to God and the “beauty of holiness.” Such will necessarily appear hobbyists. The whole “body being full of light; the eye will be single;” they shall see Jesus only. Yea, they determine to know nothing save Jesus, the uttermost Savior. Everything dwindles into insignificance before the crowning glory of holiness.
Being “pure in heart,” they “see God” in all His works and desire everything in the universe to bear the insignia of “holiness unto the Lord.” Instead of a precept of the divine law; a mere point in the way, the fully renewed soul finds that perfect “love” sums up ”all the law,” and holiness is the “highway” itself. Hence it properly enters into and governs every minutia of life.
Holiness a hobby! Why no person this side of hell has anything to do but drink in the holiness of God, fulfill its obligations in our several relations, and show forth its divine power and beauty. Yes, holiness shall be written upon the “bells of the horses, upon every pot in Jerusalem ”—the church—and “her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness unto the Lord” (Isaiah 23:18). It is the one only trademark in all God’s “holy mountain.” It shines in the kitchen and pervades all business, for we should cook, eat and drink and do all things to the glory of God and the promotion of holiness.
Now it is expressly said that “in that day, ” i.e., in the present Holy Spirit dispensation, and wherever this glorious reign of holiness is established. In that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of Hosts.
Holiness is here identified with the extermination of all Canaanites: hence the taking of the land of Canaan is typical of entering the state of perfect purity after leaving Egypt —the sinner’s bondage—and passing through the wilderness, or justified state. How, I ask, can we account for the idea of the Canaanites being in “the house of God, which is the church of the living God,” in this Gospel day, unless we interpret them as representing the manifestations of the flesh, or inbred depravity; which Paul says, “wars against the Spirit;” which “sin in the flesh,” Christ having “condemned,” is now under sentence to be “crucified” and entirely “destroyed;” just as God gave orders that not a Canaanite should be spared alive and every trace of their idolatrous worship should be blotted out of the land.
What a striking figure of the work of our Joshua, who leads us into the Canaan of perfect love; “destroys the works of the devil;” “makes and end of sin in us and perfects forever them which are sanctified.”
The passage of the Red Sea, as far as I am aware, is believed by all to represent justification, yet the Scriptures are for more explicit in applying the passage of Jordan to the entrance of perfect holiness.
In reading the exodus from Egypt the newborn soul looks into the mirror of his own experience. So all who have entered the rest of faith, the glorious Sabbath of the soul, find in the passage of Jordan and triumphs of Canaan , an exact counterpart to their experience.
But many yet “disbelieve the Lord in this thing,” and disobey His orders to drive out and destroy these inborn foes; hence, they infest the house of the Lord—pride, anger, malice, covetousness, self-will, impatience, unbelief, etc. These destroy the peace, canker all the fruit, and paralyze the power of the church; as the Lord hath said, “Those which ye have left remaining of them have become pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and snares, traps and vexing scourges” (Numbers 33:55, Joshua 23:13).
Hear again what the spirit saith:
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. (Luke 1:67-75)
Here we are told that, “in remembrance of His holy covenant,” God was “about to perform the mercy “promised to our fathers,” “the oath which He sware to Abraham.” Now, the great blessing vouchsafed in that covenant to the seed of Abraham (Christians, Galatians 3:7-20) was the land of Canaan, which the Holy Spirit thus interprets:
1. “That He would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of all our enemies”—i.e., Canaanites or inbred sin, for nothing but sin prevents from serving God. Therefore, says Paul, “Being made free from sin, and become servants to God, we have our fruit unto holiness.”
2. “Might serve God without fear,” that is, in “perfect love,” which “casts out fear.”
3. “In holiness and righteousness.” This is parallel with the passage in Zechariah, which identifies the reign of holiness with the extinction of all Canaanites. This interprets the promised Canaan as consisting in the possession of the Holy state.
4. “Before Him,” not before men who judge unrighteously, but before “God, who knoweth the hearts,” the holy can walk and be perfect.
5. “All the days of our life,”—praise God! In this “holy land” the purified are constantly “kept by the power of God,” “holy and without blame before Him in love.”
That you may see, dear reader, that the moral state just described, is the antitype of Canaan , I place side by side the covenant and its explanation by the Holy Ghost.
O, ye seed of Abraham, His servant, ye children of Jacob, His chosen. He is the Lord our God. He hath remembered his covenant forever . . . which covenant He made with Abraham, and His oath unto Isaac; and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant.
To perform the mercy promised to our father, and to remember His holy covenant: the oath which he sware to our father, Abraham.
Saying, unto thee will I give the land of Canaan , the lot of your inheritance. (Psalm 105:6-11)
That He would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life. (Luke 1:72-75)
Speaking of the same everlasting covenant, the Holy Spirit inserts deliverance and holiness just where the original has the land of Canaan; therefore, as already demonstrated, the real land of promise is holiness of heart and all its concomitant blessings.
This accounts for the fact that the prophets so often associated the idea of purification with bringing into the land, and also the New Testament frequently identifies sanctification with inheritance; and, as holiness is the everlasting inheritance of the saints, we can have it now. O, blessed truth!
We now the promised land possess,
The land of perfect holiness—
Where streams of milk and honey flow,
And rich supplies in plenty grow.
It is true, the final location of our “inheritance is reserved in heaven for us,” but the eternal state of our inheritance is perfect holiness, which must be entered now by faith, and through the blood of Christ. Heaven is both a state and place, and as no one can enter and enjoy that holy place who is not perfectly conformed thereto, there must, of necessity, be a complete assimilation of our present inheritance, or heaven state to our future inheritance, or heaven abode.
Therefore, “Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water, by the Word; that He might present it to Himself a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blame” (Ephesians 5:26-27). He brings her into the inheritance of the fully sanctified preparatory to her pure angelic home.
That the reader may take in at a glance this harmonious array of Bible truth, I close this chapter with a catechetical epitome of the same.
Question. What did God promise in the covenant He made with Abraham?
• In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.
• I will multiply thy seed until they become as numerous as the stars of heaven, and as the sands upon the sea shore.
• I will give unto thee and thy seed all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession.
Q. Who is the seed spoken of in the first promise?
A. He saith not, and to seeds as of many, but as of one. And to thy seed, which is Christ. (Galatians 3:16)
Q. Who are the numerous seed of the second promise?
A. All who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of all that believe (Romans 4:11-12). Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:7 and 29).
Every child of God from the beginning of the Gospel of Christ to the close of time constitutes this great family.
Q. What did God promise to give every one of His spiritual seed, or all Christians?
A. All the land of Canaan .
Q. How did Christ interpret this promise of the Father?
A. He applied it to the baptism of the Holy Ghost; power from on high. (Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4-5)
Q. When began the fulfillment of the promise?
A. On the Day of Pentecost.
Q. Have we positive proof that the promised Canaan is identical with the gift of the Spirit?
A. Yes. In the third of Galatians, Paul says: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit by faith. The blessing promised to Abraham for all believers is declared to be the promise of the Spirit; and, in verse 18, it is identified with the inheritance that God promised. Now, the inheritance promised was the land of Canaan , which, therefore, represents the full possession of the Spirit of God.
Q. Who have entered this inheritance?
A. Them that are sanctified. (Acts 20:32, 26:18)
Q. Is the baptism of the Spirit and entire sanctification one and the same thing?
A. Yes. By sanctification we are purified unto the Lord, and the Holy Spirit is the Refiner’s fire that takes away all our dross, or impurity.
Q. How do we enter this holy land?
A. By faith. That they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith. Therefore, it is by faith that it might be by grace, to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed (Romans 4:16). Purifying their hearts by faith (Acts 15:9).
Q. How is the inheritance conveyed to us?
A. It is bestowed on us by our Father in heaven, in His last will and testament. THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD, even your sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:3). By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ (Hebrews 10:10).
Q. Who are embraced in the will as entitled to enter this inheritance?
A. Such only who have already become the seed of Abraham or the children of God. To the end the promise might be sure to all the seed. And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29)
Q. Who did Christ say could not receive the promise of the Father?
A. The world—the unconverted. And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive; because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you (John 14:16-17).
Q. In New Testament order, what do we receive when we first believe on Christ?
A. The pardon of all our sins and adoption into the family of God.
Q. What after we believe?
A. After that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise; which is the earnest of our inheritance. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Q. What two events in the history of Israel typify the works of regeneration and entire sanctification?
A. First. The exit out of Egypt and passage of the Red Sea represent the soul’s emancipation from the bondage of sin and the converts’ song of joy and victory.
Second. The passage of Jordan represents our death to inbred sin and spiritual resurrection in the perfect image of Jesus. The falling of the walls of Jericho , to my mind, is a striking figure of the demolition of the partition walls of selfishness and sectarianism that so commonly obtain precedence in the impure heart.
Both the Red Sea and Jordan were parted by the miraculous power of God; as regeneration and entire sanctification are each distinctively the work of the Lord.
Q. What, in the history of Israel , correspond with the states of justification and perfect holiness?
A. The former grace is strikingly pre-figured by the wilderness life. There, they exulted in the past victory at the Red Sea , as the justified often animates his heart by singing:
When Jesus washed my sins away.
But, like the merely justified, theirs was a mixed state; they were provided with manna from heaven and “drank of that spiritual rock, which was Christ,” and yet they were troubled with distrust; they murmured at the providences of God: they inclined to worship the work of their own hands and in heart turned back to Egypt . What a prototype of the pleasure that men take in blowing the trumpet of self praise in telling and often magnifying what great things were accomplished under their labors; and also of the large numbers who annually go back into servitude to sin.
But the Canaan life very fitly represents the entirely sanctified state, or that of “perfect love,” where the soul is subject to desperate assaults from the combined forces of darkness; and yet dwells in everlasting day and has constant victory over all sin. In this holy land “perfect love” reigns without a discordant element, the “mountains drop sweet wine,” and the tranquil soul drinks in the deep and everlasting river of God’s peace.
Another point of analogy is this: In Egypt they lived upon the natural products of the land; in the wilderness they were supernaturally fed; but when they reached Canaan the manna ceased and their wants were abundantly supplied in the rich products of the soil. What does this mean, if not the fact that the sinner’s life, though dark and unhappy, is the spontaneous outgrowth of the heart? It requires no effort to sin. He has no other proclivity. Indeed, he scarcely takes cognizance of his sin. The profane man will swear and not notice it. Sin dwelling in the heart will sin itself and, if unrestrained by the law of grace, the soul rushes on to destruction like a downgrade train with high steam and no brakes. But let the sinner come to Christ and obtain pardon; before entering upon the new life he imagines what a hero he will be for Christ; but he finds himself badly disappointed. Notwithstanding his warm love for Jesus and his fervent desire to serve Him, he finds in his nature a strong counter current. I have heard many say that they could formerly serve the devil with perfect ease; but find it up-hill work to serve the Lord, and yet they gave every evidence of justification.
It is true a new and loyal nature has been planted in the heart, but the old inbred nature remains; hence, his religious career is urged on against the tide of nature by a combination of powerful motives.
His is the religion of effort and not the spontaneous out-flow of his nature. But is this the best God can do for fallen humanity? If Satan can incline the heart of man to move with perfect ease in the drudgery of his will, cannot the Almighty give us an equal appetency for His sublime service? If the devil can make a man “free from righteousness” cannot God from unrighteousness?
Yea, verily, when the Jordan of death to sin is passed, devotion and obedience to the Lord becomes the natural out-flow of the soul; with David we can say, “All my springs are in Thee.” God is the spring of all our actions. “He unites our heart” to do His will; that is, He blends all our desires into perfect harmony with His holy law. Not a single point in our affections or wishes diverge from His. This is the perfect soundness of the soul; its normal attitude towards its Maker. All motives so essential to the support of the soul in the former sate are no more needed. We no more serve God because a duty, for the sake of the cause, for fear of hell or the desire of heaven.
If all these things were struck out of existence, the attitude of the soul in perfect love to God would remain unchanged, and its devotions flow on all the same. Because the soul is so enrapt with the Deity, so swallowed up in His will that it would keep right on delighting in and adoring the God of boundless love, its only center of attraction.
In this holy state the soul brings forth its rich fruitage of praise and glory to Jesus just as naturally and freely as the fertile valleys of Canaan produce the enormous cluster of vintage. Therefore, “he who has entered into his rest has ceased from his own works;” and God “works in him to will and to do of His good pleasure.” God is the source of every desire in the heart where He alone dwells; hence, to follow every inclination of the soul is but to fulfill all the will of God. Hallelujah! What unbounded freedom! This is religion made absolutely natural. Not second nature, but first nature; the full restoration of the moral image of the Creator.
In conclusion, let it be remembered that Canaan was entered subsequently to the wilderness; therefore, every text that we have adduced to prove that this land typifies perfect holiness proves that his glorious state is a distinct attainment after justification.
If the miraculous passage of the Red Sea represents a moral change—i.e., regeneration—is it not reasonable to believe that the parting of the waters of Jordan pre-figures a second moral change?
Since none but the “seed of Abraham,” “they that believe”—or “they that are Christ’s” (Galatians 3:7, 29)—are “heirs” of this “inheritance,” then it follows as the absolute and fixed order of God, that we must first enter the conditions of the will; must first be adopted into the family and thereby become an “heir of the promise,” before we can present our claim before God and obtain our “inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith.”
So reads the last will and testament of God. Who shall presume to change it?
O, ye that roam through weary years,
Of inbred sin and doubts and fears—
A bleak and toilsome wilderness,
Come to the land of rest and peace.