The ruinous Doctrine of Entire Sanctification


And in this confidence I intended to come to you before, that you might have a second benefit 2Cor1:15


The Great Reformation (as it’s known in history 1700-1900) was basically divided between two distinct Systems of theology. One based on the Puritan, Lutheran centered theology of TULIP wholly expressed in the Westminster Confession of 1639 and the other originating with Arminian theology mainly taken up by John Wesley, called the ‘holiness movement. (1703-1791) The Protestant Reformation (as it is sometimes called) was a result of the religious and political tyranny of the Roman Catholic Church that had spread its demonic tentacles over most of Europe throughout the Middles ages and into the Renaissance. Many date its origin in 1517 when Luther issued his Ninety Five theses in Wittenberg Germany protesting the abuse of indulgences being sold by the Church. But I place it squarely on the invention of the Printing Press in Germany around 1450, because that was when the common people were finally able to obtain a copy of the Scriptures in their own language and discovered they actually had to OBEY Jesus to inherit His Kingdom NOT adhere to heaps of tyrannical rituals invented by the Church.


Here’s the bases of the great dilemma faced by the so-called Reformers (on both sides of the doctrinal debate) they understood that ‘Without holiness’ no one would see the Lord, so a Righteous and chaste life was absolutely necessary to enter His Kingdom. BUT man was Born into a Morally Depraved Condition (called original sin by most) wholly disabled and incapable of achieving such holiness. Although the Reformers despised hard-core Catholicism they NEVER completely abandon the Augustinian principles deeply engrained into its core theology, namely the Doctrine of Original Sin. Therefore all the major players throughout this period of history agreed that was man born ‘Dead in his sins, morally depraved and wholly incapable of obeying God. And it’s from that flawed premise they Preached the Gospel of Repentance and Faith.


On the Luther, Puritan (Calvin, call it what you wish) side of theology they had no difficulty reconciling the concept of moral depravity with their beliefs. Their TULIP defined it all, if you were born ‘Morally Depraved, that meant God had to ‘Unconditional elect or condemn you from the foundation of the world, which made Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross a ‘Limited Atonement (only for the elect) who would inevitable be saved by ‘Irresistible Grace and then ‘Preserve to the end no matter what. Under this arrangement man essentially had no Free Will or ability to choose his own eternal destiny and was subject entirely to the Sovereignty of God without question. The bases of these erroneous beliefs originated with Augustine in 4th Century Rome and formulated Catholic (and Protestant) Doctrine into the Reformation. (and of course heavily influences it even now)


The great difficulty arises on the holiness side of theology that recognized the harmful influence of Luther-Calvin and their cohorts realizing they were basically preaching ‘Lawlessness when you removed all the fluff and rhetoric. They called this (back then) antinomianism, meaning: ‘against the Law. The Wesleyans especially took up the cause against this type of preaching and wrote reams of material in opposition among which is probably the most notable work by John Fletcher called: ‘Checks to antinomianism. (which many today embroiled in the Calvin Arminian debate still use and post on their webs sites) BUT this is NOT an in house debate between two Systems of theology! Rather it’s an attempt to uncover the flaws on BOTH sides of the debate and show you how the vestiges of ‘Moral depravity (or original sin) has crept into present day teaching among those OUTSIDE the apostate System of professing Christianity.


We can all agree that the moral climate in the 1700-1800’s was vastly different than today. Many types of behavior that are common place today among the professing Church were considered anathema back then; although people were obviously as vile then as now, the ‘Church still frowned on such behavior and preached against it. You’ve probably heard of hell-fire & brim-stone preaching even among the (so-called) Calvinists, ‘sinner’s in the hands of an angry God and such dire warnings of God’s Judgment.

Therefore the reality of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment was present in the land and people feared God realizing there were consequences to their actions; however that doesn’t mean they would readily come to their senses repent and forsake their wrong doings because God was going to ‘get them’ in the end. People were just as addicted to drunkenness, perversions and uncleanness as they are today, the only difference was the organized ‘Church didn’t condone such activities. (which is the reverse of today) If a person made a profession of faith then, they would at least adhere to the ‘sacramental means of Grace and express a degree of ‘sorrow for their sins, but it was universally understood that man was born in a ‘morally depraved condition and wholly incapable of true holiness and purity of heart.


On the Calvin-Luther side this wasn’t a problem: ‘The Elect WILL live a holy and righteous life and preserve to the end, if not they were ‘never elect. BUT for the Wesleyans this presented a problem. They read Heb12:14 literally and believed ‘that without holiness no one would see the Lord’, and they realized the ‘supposed holiness of the Calvin-Luther crowd was a façade lacking the actual substance of holiness within. HOWEVER they still agreed with Westminster that Justification was by ‘faith alone in the finished work (Provision) of Jesus Christ and man remained under the influence of his inbred depravity. To complicate matters even more, they taught a ‘form of free will (unlike their Calvinist cohorts who taught flat out there was no such thing as free will) but since man was born into a state of total degeneracy God had to some how off-set his wantonness and allow him a semblance of choice. This was called: Prevenient Grace, extended to all men ‘enabling those who will to ‘turn form their sin receive pardon and the provisional cleansing that would supposedly purity their hearts preparing them for good works. In Calvin-Lutheranism it was ‘Common Grace (universal) extended to all mankind to sustain them in a relative ‘civilized manner. It has nothing to do with anyone turning from sin, for that they invented ‘Irresistible Grace specifically for the elect who would receive the ‘effectual call at God’s discretion.


So there you have it in a nut-shell, the similarities between the two are more than obvious. Basically the only thing that separates them is ‘Prevenient Grace. They BOTH held to the major tenets of Substitution (imputed righteousness, moral transfer, finished work) and preached Justification by faith alone. They agreed that good works would follow ‘real faith but since man was ‘saved in his sins to begin with HOW these ‘good works were to come about was always subject to much debate. The ‘holiness preachers were always struggling to define heart purity and righteous living in contrast to the ‘sinful nature that severely limited man’s ability to do what was Right. Had they returned to the Apostolic foundation of unhindered free will and ability and presented the Gospel from that premise the outcome of history would be radically altered from the colossal mess we have today. But they didn’t!


My premise through a long and exhaustive study of Reformed Doctrine is that the specter of ‘inability STILL severely hinders the Preaching of Repentance and faith Proven by Deeds even among those who have escaped the vast System of error we call the ‘Church. They may indeed preach against ‘Original sin but most of them still insist something ‘in man hinders his ability to fully amend his ways and come clean in Repentance unless God helps. It’s not enough that God is ALREADY at work Convicting the world of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment through His Holy Spirit and He’s not willing any perish, His arm is outstretched all day long to a stiff-necked rebellious people and His Messengers are constantly warning everyone to Repent or perish. NO! He has to actually Repent for them!


Our last bastion of hope is among the FEW who have escaped the System of error and are now in the wilderness hungering and thirsting for Righteousness. (and sound teaching!) But unfortunately many of them have fallen prey to a ‘mixture of theologies based on the past holiness reformers who stressed Purity and right living. They fail to understand what’s behind this theology and the fact that it is underscored by the exact same errors they escaped from in the System. As a result they go about disseminating the Gospel through the filters of human inability. They insist people must Stop Sinning to enter the Kingdom, but in the same breath they say it isn’t possible until their ‘Born again! Some ‘form of inbred nature that hinders man from doing what is Right in his Natural human state still exists in their minds because they can’t attribute this kind of ability to him lest he be able to ‘save himself without God’s help.

In this they fall directly in line with the holiness reformers, only the terminology has changed. Wesleyans called this magical stroke of the Holy Spirit Entire Sanctification and built an all-embracing System of theology around it. Holiness Pundits today call it simply ‘Redemption, where the helpless sinner comes to Jesus in sorrow for his ‘sinfulness and ‘receives the Spirit in order to Cleanse him of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. They skipped the ‘second act of grace part but retained the inability of man to follow the directives of Scripture and: ‘Cleanse himself of all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, before he can receive the implanted word that can save his soul!’


That’s my major contention and purpose of doing this article. I have yet to find more than a select FEW escapees from the System who understands any of this and how the holiness reformed errors remain in effect contaminating almost everything written, posted and preached as contention against the System. By mixing the theology of their beloved holiness reformers into their present teaching they have added another level of confusion to complicate the simple message of Repentance and remove the imperative of honest hearted obedience that God commands. Unless they abandon this theology entirely they will NEVER be able to pull down the Strongholds keeping people in bondage to the ‘saved in sin lie.


The Doctrine of Entire Sanctification was invented solely for the purpose of ‘cleansing man from the inward corruption of sin inherited by birth. However it had to happen Subsequent to Regeneration (by faith alone) and entirely at the discretion of the Holy Spirit, man having ‘nothing to do with it. Defined it is said to bring the person into a State of entire devotement to God and a holy obedience of perfect love, washing away the ‘Stain remaining in his heart as a result of original sin. (you would still be subject to outward temptation but no longer pledged by inward lust of the flesh) Of course we would call this ‘Crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires, that occurs in Repentance proven by deeds, but the ‘inability pundits don’t believe man is capable of Producing these deeds, so they have God doing it for them. This isn’t far off from what the Repentance Preachers outside the System are Preaching today; although they reject the notion of a subsequent work in Salvation they still refuse to give man any credit to put forth his diligent effort to ‘Cleanse himself in humble repentance. (so what’s the difference? Both agree man can’t do as God commands without some kind of special intervention, only the terms have changed)


From here try to understand that when you read and study the holiness reformers that their entire concept of Salvation, faith, repentance, deeds is based on this flawed premise that man is incapable of ‘cleansing himself as God Commanded. Certainly they said a lot of good things about loving God, obey His Word and keeping yourself pure, but it was all based on the VERY doctrines you escaped from in the Churches! They all held to the tenets of: Faith alone, Substitution in some form, moral transfer of virtue, inbred sin, many forms of grace and the ‘saved in sin concept. You can’t ‘chew the meat and spit out the bones’ in their teachings. It’s ALL tainted with these errors! As a little leaven leavens the whole lump, a little error (and these are FAR from little!) defeats your Purpose in exposing error. Bottom line we DON’T want to be responsible at the Judgment for ‘Shutting up the doors to the Kingdom against men’ and Transgressing the Doctrine of Christ. It’s better to Part Ways with these teachers now than risk ‘sharing in their sins at the Judgment. (Mat23:13, 2Jh7-11, 1Tim5:22)


Certainly Wesley and the holiness pundits didn’t think they were ‘transgressing the doctrine of Christ, by believing in original sin, but they erred nonetheless. The entire base of their theology was necessitated by this myth and as a result the holiness movement spread this erroneous teaching throughout the entire world. In simple terms this Doctrines was another alterative to obedience, it gave the supposedly ‘saved person an excuse to sit back (in their failures) and wait for God to ‘Sanctify them. The Preachers taught them continually that this was the ONLY way they could ever expect to Walk Worthy of the Lord and achieve real heart purity. Some did manage to attain this state of ‘perfection (as they called it) but it was always ‘tentative at best because it was still subject to human failure; meaning it could be lost on occasion and regained at another time. (however not everyone agreed on this) In reality their concept of Salvation was flawed by belief in the mythical ‘sin nature. They were always waiting for something to prompt them as a stimulus toward obedience and purity of heart, instead of taking the initiative and doing the right thing to begin with. But since they were all initially saved by faith alone not many of them found real repentance and eventually gave up the quest for the ‘holy grail of entire Sanctification (which was really true Salvation that comes after repentance proven by deeds) and fell into the lethargy of Churchianity inevitably handing down the legacy of apostasy we see today.


Next time you pick up a holiness book by your favorite reformer, try to remember that ‘everything they said about purity of heart and victory over sin was ‘reserved for the ‘entirely Sanctified, not the initial convert. All the seeming ‘good stuff’, you love so much was said from this point of view, never from the premise of Producing Deeds Worthy of Repentance. In their minds it was a foregone conclusion: ‘HOW could man be held responsible for a nature born into him? Where’s the possibility going to come from to ‘Cleanse himself of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit? God alone is the only answer and that’s why from then to NOW these type of Preachers have not be able to tell anyone they must first ‘Cleanse themselves of all wickedness in repentance BEFORE God will extend His Mercy.



To help you better understand the basics of this teaching here’s a summary of terminology:

Entire Sanctification is also known as: Christian Perfection, Perfect love, heart purity, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the fullness of the blessing. (depending on whose book you’re reading)

It always occurred after a person was Saved by ‘faith alone’ and was a work entirely wrought by the Holy Spirit at His discretion, provided by the Blood of Jesus Christ and could happen either instantaneously or gradually. The person however still had to consecrate themselves in prayer, fasting and dedication to receive this blessing. (a blatant contradiction of course, but taught nonetheless) 


You will be hard pressed to find a consensus of agreement among the holiness teachers on this subject in how it actually occurred, what it meant to the believer and whether or not a person would still inherit the Kingdom without receiving it. That’s why it’s so complicated to explain and difficult to grasp within the framework of Scripture and trying to reconcile it with Reformed holiness teachings today. BUT if you understand that their ENTIRE System of Doctrine was underscored by the FLAWED premise of Original Sin it will begin to clarify their many errors in the fundamentals and the reason they could NEVER demand Repentance and Faith Proven by Deeds form the principle that man could Produce those deeds in his unregenerate state. (it’s very rare to find anyone even today who believes its possible for man to do anything right in his unregenerate ‘natural state)


Doctrinally from the Luther-Calvin side:
Man was Saved by ‘faith alone, this faith given him by God and would subsequently produce the evidence of ‘good works proving he was elect and chosen. Hence; no ‘good works, no faith, no election. But bottom line since ‘Only God knows who is elect, man could emulate these works of faith and still be condemned in the end because he was never numbered among the elect.


From the Wesleyan side:
Man was Justified by faith alone, faith prompted in him by ‘Prevenient Grace, of which ‘good works would follow. He still retained the ‘Stain of original sin in his heart and was subject to inward and outward temptations to which he would often times succumb and could suffer ‘ultimate loss if he died in a state of ruin. (they were never quite clear on what types of sin or how deeply involved in sin this supposed state of ruin meant) Thus a new convert was instantly prompted to seek after the ‘Second blessing of Entire Sanctification to ensure a state of well being in which he could ‘work out his Salvation, Make his calling sure and Run the race with endurance. (and of course Walk in the Spirit not in the flesh)




Biblical inconsistencies with Reformed Doctrine:

First of all the doctrine of Entire Sanctification subsequent to Salvation makes redemption a two act play. It’s saying that God lacks the Power to entirely Cleanse a person in initial Salvation and must leave them in a precarious state of limbo until such time He decides to Wash away the ‘Stain remaining in them. Christ taught no such thing in His ministry, He said who the Son sets Free is free indeed! Redemption itself means; ‘Release from bondage by payment of Ransom’, but when Salvation is a ‘Provision (as the reformers taught) sin is no longer an issue because it falls under the finished work and by implication is ‘forgiven in advance. This was a sticking point with some in the Wesleyan movement, because this state of ‘entire devotement to God could easily be seen in Scripture as initial Salvation arrived at subsequent to the process of Repentance proven by deeds. Adam Clarke especially disagreed with the idea that something was left undone by God in initial Salvation and said if it is so (the stain must be washed away) then it must be done instantaneously in the primary act of Salvation. He still believed in a ‘sinful nature of sorts but did not believed it required another act of God in order to purity the heart.
(He purified their hearts by faith Acts15:9)

They all believed in the Lutheran heresy of Justification by faith alone. Wesley himself testifies of this method of Salvation when he says his heart was ‘Strangely warmed after hearing a reading of Luther’s commentary on Romans at one of his holiness meetings. But since the ‘Stain of original sin still remained in his heart he erroneously believed that his own ‘Natural inclinations were sinful, or as described in the Bible the ‘lust of the flesh’, understood to him as concupiscence. (desire mistranslated in the KJV Rom7:8) That means any desire you may have within can be called ‘sinful because it will inevitably lead to self-indulgence. This makes ‘Temptation itself a sin, because the ‘tempter (evil desire, concupiscence) is dwelling in you and only this ‘additional work of the Holy Spirit (called entire sanctification) could wash it away so you could have confidence that your ‘natural inclinations were no longer naughty but nice.


Rather than Crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires in Repentance (as the Bible directs, Rom6:4-6, Gal5:24) it had to occur through a ‘Process of Sanctification. This is why many today (subject to this teaching) speak of a ‘gradual Sanctification taking place over time as God slowly changes the ‘desires from evil to good. The Reformers claimed that when this entirety occurred, the inner Stain was entirely removed! But that presented some serious problems because at the same time they ALL understood that this state of being could be ‘lost through human failure. So the obvious question remains; HOW could something ‘washed and cleansed away by God return and gain control of the inners desires again!? (the only explanation I could find reading their books & Journals was; ‘you must work to keep the desires of the flesh ‘under {mortified} or they will revive and take control of you again)  {absolute foolishness!}

In Scripture it’s obvious (to anyone not blinded by these fallacies) that the evil desires are Crucified in the process of Repentance Proven by Deeds, NOT through the process of Sanctification. Growth in Grace does occur after Salvation, but the SIN has already Ceased in repentance. There is no mystical concupiscence’ dwelling in the flesh only ‘evil desires given over to self-indulgence that must be crucified once and for all so you are no longer a Slave to sin. Man is born with a Moral Conscience and Natural inclinations, he gave his ‘desires over to the indulgence of sin by CHOICE not in birth! Repentance is the ONLY remedy!

Trusting in a ‘Provision by faith (alone) cannot make amends for the evil of his doings. THIS is where the holiness Reformers went so far askew of Scripture and made human DEEDS Worthy of Repentance unattainable! You are ‘Washed, Sanctified and Justified’ in Regeneration (1Cor6:11) It’s not a process but an instantaneous act that occurs in Repentance Proven by deeds. (Acts26:18-21) There’s no ‘Stain remaining in him when he approaches the Mercy Seat and is finally Reconciled to God by faith. It all happens here: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Heb9:14





Without a doubt most of the holiness Pundits  lived devote lives and did not indulge in actual sins of the flesh that would disqualify them from the Kingdom. BUT they were their own worst enemy! On one hand they stressed holy living, purity of heart, dedication to Christ, but on the other they would condemn themselves for their ‘inward inclinations to seek rest from weariness, consume more substance, feel resentment toward their detractors, even get married and raise a family! None of these things were actually acted out as sin, but because of their flawed understanding of man’s Nature they walked around in this state of constant apprehension, believing that the ‘slightest slip in conscience meant they would forfeit the bliss of Entire Sanctification. Some of these men would practically STARVE themselves into a state of physical weakness because they thought having an extra glass of warm milk or another potato meant they were indulging their sinful desires. (I believe many of these men died out on the trail merely because of this of belief in this horrible doctrine that made every passing thought a sin in their minds) When in reality most of them were a Walking testimony of Obedience to God’s Word!


The damage done to themselves and others by teaching these erroneous Doctrines can hardly be measured in the passage of time. But TRY to comprehend the legacy we’ve inherited in our generation in the Apostate Babylonian Church System and beyond. Every realm of human endeavor has been affected by this teaching. If the Standards of Christianity can no longer hold man accountable for his sins against God, WHO CAN!? Where is the conscience of human Responsibility going to come from if not the preaching of Righteousness, Self-Control and the Judgment to come! If God can’t demand accountability from man (because he’s born disabled) then anything goes. The holiness reformers may have adhered to a standard of morality in their time with a decent ‘appearance of godliness, BUT their day has passed; the outcome of their Doctrines (no matter how you slice the cake!) has man ‘Saved in his sins’ and in ‘some manner, ‘sinning until God stops him by magically ‘changing his desires and ‘taking away the evil influence causing him to stumble. The Reason behind this is ALWAYS …. LACK of ABILITY on his part to DO what God has Commanded to begin with!


That’s why many of you today in the various camps outside the System are repeating their errors to this present generation. You say you’ve Come out of the corrupted System, BUT unconsciously you’re still in, only ‘slightly altered, yet without true discernment. You reject the notions of: ‘original sin, transferred virtue, eternal security and even entire sanctification, but you teach: ‘corrupted nature, sinful nature, corrupted flesh, adamic nature; all equaling ‘human inability to produce deeds of repentance in the natural ‘unregenerate state. (as man is called to do) In WHAT manner do you differ from the average Church? Bottom line a person STILL has to be ‘Born again BEFORE he can come clean with God (cleanse himself!) in Repentance. (so he’s ‘saved in his sins’)


 I firmly believe this is essentially the main reason the holiness revivals failed to make any sufficient impact on society or had any lasting effect on future generations. The entire System inevitably deteriorated into what we see today all around us. The holiness Reformers defeated their own Purpose by persuading the people they were all ‘born defective and then told them the remedy was to ‘receive Jesus (the Provision) and trust that He would make everything fine by magically purifying their hearts of sinful desires. According to their Journals and books it was common to see a great deal of excitement when the preacher came around and held a revival. Many would respond and cry out to God for deliverance, in some instances it was as though the Holy Spirit had descended and was rending their hearts in conviction. But they failed every time because of the belief that the people were not capable of fully amending their ways and coming clean with God (as all the Prophets had said again and again) until He decided to ‘Sanctify them and Wash away their ‘inbred malady of original sin.


Thus many today follow their legacy. The terminology is different, the theology mixed but the results remain the same. You get ‘Saved first and ‘Washed later …. It may not be because of original sin, but what’s the difference? If man’s isn’t ABLE to ‘Cleanse himself of all his filthiness and overflow of wicked behavior in the process of Repentance (still unregenerate) you are still caught in the same web of lies and

may as well join up with the general System among whom you differ only slightly in the ‘details. You say I’m the one splitting hairs here because I call for separation. But the facts speak for themselves! You can’t argue with the outcome of history, the Gospel has failed to impact society at large in our generation for the EXACT same reasons it failed in ages past. The REFUSAL to cast these ancient fallacies back into the Pit of hell from whence they came! If we could roll back the cosmic clock and hold a massive tribunal in 4th Century Rome in which the Apostles and early Fathers versus Augustine and his cohorts and weigh the evidence on both sides, WHO would be found wanting in the end with Jesus Christ Himself as the final Judge? I challenge ANYONE to produce hard evidence that Christ’s Doctrine of Redemption suggests even the ‘slightest note of human inability to Obey what He Commanded. (good luck!)


So in the end it’s time to Put up or Shut up! You’re arguments of human inability are sounding brass and clanging cymbals. Give them up in Light of the truth and go tell the people to own up for their sins with an honest heart emptied of deceit. God’s knows their able because He created them with free will, its man who stripped himself of his ability to do what is Right so he could blame God and escape his responsibility to Obey Him. It works great until its time to answer for all the excuses.


Scarlet Sinners are able to REASON with God in repentance. Draw near to Him in broken humility. Come Clean with Him in sincerity! NOTHING hinders them from doing these things but their OWN stubborn hearts unwilling to change. By offering them way to escape their responsibility to clean up their act, you frustrate God’s Purpose in Demanding a decision. He said: ‘If the Wicked will forsake his ways and the unrighteous their thoughts, then they will find MERCY!’ Isa55:7. But men say: ‘That’s not Fair! I’m born of Adam and cannot change!’  So God gets the Blame again and man is Justified in his sins.


What more can God do then He has already done? He Calls, you refuse. He Stretches forth His hand, no one regards, He sends Messengers of Truth, you hold them in contempt. You despise His Warnings and will have none of His reproof and then you create a System of Doctrine that blames Him for your unwillingness to obey what He said! Poor, Blind and Naked is the only way to describe those who cling to these fallacies and hold the men who invented them in high regard.