From the Pulpit of a Holiness Preacher "Entire Sanctification"
From the Pulpit of a Holiness Preacher
An email newsletter ministry of Richard D Swift, publishing the sermons of Rev
Reed A Swift (1899-1973), a holiness preacher
This sermon of Rev Swift's was preached more times and in more places than any
of the sermons I have in my collection. He preached it in every church he
pastored. Free Methodist and Bible Missionary, from his pastorate in
W.Hollywood, CA (March '35-'38) to his ministry in GeorgeTown, St Vincent
(April-July, 1968). The list of places where this was preached is too lengthy to
give a complete list, but it was preached 69 times, 15 times in Bible Missionary
Churches (4 times in Cucamonga, CA and 3 times in Pomona, CA)- 1957-'68 and 54
times in Free Methodist Churches. Most times were apparently in revivals but
every pastorate heard it at least once! Thus, this sermon marks my grandfather,
Rev Reed Swift as a definite holiness preacher as this appears to be his
favorite sermon. Some of you members of his immediate family may remember him
preaching this or at least remember the sermon! Well, how about this:
1. He preached this sermon in the BMC for the first time in Pasadena,CA in '57.
2. Preached at the Monmouth Ill. BMC June 26, 1960.
3. Preached in Anchorage Alaska BMC in '67.
4. Preached in Clovis, New Mexico BMC, Dec. 25, 1966. Now, I remember that
Christmas of '66 in Clovis. I was 8 yrs old and remember my grandparents being
at our house, but I don't remember him preaching!
I Thessalonians 4:1-7 and 5:14-28
Someone said, "Don't make holiness a hobby." Webster says, "A hobby is a
favorite pursuit." So, if you make holiness your favorite pursuit, you will know
doubt make heaven your eternal home.
"Holiness is for us in this life. If you aren't ready for a holy heaven here in
this life, you won't be ready for it after death, because death is no friend of
grace to lead us onto God. Now is the time to be cleansed and filled with the
Spirit. His Spirit will bear witness with with our spirit that we Wholly and
Holy His. Jesus came to destroy sin in the flesh. We donot have absolute
perfection but we may have Christian perfection where we can love God and man
out of a pure heart. We are subject to mistakes and sicknesses which were not in
Adam until after the fall. What a man cannot help, he is not counted a sinner
for not helping, but 'to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it
is sin.' and he will be condemned to do it. Are you free from condmnation?
"Holiness is health and health is necessary to robust life. Sickly persons may
grow in what they have but they will grow in a sickly way. Cure the disease of
sin and remove the decay of formality, and take out all the rotteness of inbred
sin, and let 'Son of Righteousness arise' upon your soul 'with healing in His
wings' and then 'ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall.' "
-Robert Lowery, Methodist
"Redemption is the science and song
of all eternity; Archangels day and night, into its glories look; the saints,
The elders round the throne, old in the years of Heaven examine it perpetually,
and every hour get clearer, ampler views of right and wrong, see virtue's beauty
and daily love with more perfect love."-(sing)
Introduction- Sin is two fold:
1. The sin principle born into the human race thru the fall of Adam
2. The willful sins or transgressions of commission or ommission.
It takes a two-fold work of grace to make us holy in heart as adam was in Eden.
But it is not Adamic perfection; it is Christian perfection!
It is being pure in heart and motive and love.
I would like to preach on Holiness this A.M. Tell When and How obtained and What
it will do for us.
All people believe we should be holy for heaven.
1.Calvinists believe sin is inb the flesh, not the heart and we obtain holiness
2. Catholics believe we are made holy thru purgatorial fire.
3. Methodists are Arminian in belief and believe sin is in the heart and can be
purged out by faith right here and now.
I would rather have mine now and not trust death. Jesus said, "That ye may live
righteously in this present world."
Read I Thess. 4:1-7 and 5:14-24.
Text I Thess. 5:23- "And the very God of Peace Sanctify you Wholly [and holy]"
I. What does it mean?
There are various phases as Heart Purity, Christian Perfection, Holiness, and
Sanctification, but they all mean the same. To be sanctified wholly and holy is
an experience beyond that of justification.
For example, the tree of evil is cut down in justification, but its roots are
taken out in sanctification. The strong man is bound in justification, but is
cast out in sanctification. Now don't worry about this but keep blessed and walk
in the light.
When a sinner is convicted, he cries for deliverance and is saved. he obeys God
and is blessed. But sooner or later, carnal uprisings are felt in the heart. He
wants purity. Ps. 51:10-"Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit
within me." Eg. raising children, work on the farm, boss where you work.
He cooperates with God to have this foe cast out and have the blood to cleanse.
Pride and evil passions are under control in justification but are destroyed and
erradicated in sanctification. Then we can love God with the whole heart. (Love
not mixed with hatred or grudging; humility with pride; or patience with
impatience) We become the temple of the Holy Ghost inside and out with
II. How is this experience Obtained?
A sinner is pardoned or forgiven who repents and believes. A believer is
sanctified (carnality is purged out by fire) who abhores sin and believes.
Say, "Your terms Lord!" Trust the blood! "I remember the time; I know the place
where Jesus set me free!" Also, "I never shall forget how the fire the fell when
the Lord sanctified me."
It's not a matter of time with God. (Illustrations: T.Logan, the man and the
buggy, and the Dutchman) Venture out by faith into the the gulf and find the
Rock of Ages, a life in abundance there.
III. Results: Plenty!
Men will say you've lost your mind. Yes! You have the "mind of Christ"! Trials?
Yes, eg: Daniel, the three Hebrew boys, and Paul and Silas
Holy Ghost living is not popular today. Play house religion and programs are.
But "a rest remains to the people of God." "Blessed are the pure in heart, for
they shall see God." (Here and eternity) Hebrews 12:14-"Without holiness no man
shall see the Lord." Yet, comparitively few people press on into holiness. (Some
people think you can grow into it; I never grew weeds out of my garden.)
Holiness is not an achievement or an attainment, but a Definite, Instantaneous
work of Grace by Faith! Holy Ghost fire that sanctifies is white heat; it burns,
kindles, glows, and purifies the heart. Then the Holy Ghost comes in.
Jonathan Goforth said, "God never intends for Pentecost to start in the heart
and end in the flesh. Pentecost is for us now!
It is more than talking in tongues, gifts or works too. It fills, purifies the
heart, attracts, and bears fruit. A sweet apple tree is attractive. So many lose
their first love and become bitter-sweet, grumpy, grouchy, etc. I wouldn't give
2 cents for a car load of it! But I'd give alot to get rid of it in the church!
God's ways lead forwards, not backwards. Some wander 40 years in a wilderness
today. But God marked the way for the children of Israel to go from Egypt into
Canaan. God never intended for them to wander in the wilderness. I think the
only way for some to recover is for them to do their 1st works over again.
God never resists faith. An active appropriating faith comes by prayer and
obedience. The greatest thing in the world, the "will of God"."This is the will
of God, even your sanctification." The greatest hindrance to Sanctification is
self. A clearly justified soul is a candidate for holiness. Touchiness and
grudges are not a part of justification.
1. Purity is instantaneous; fruit bearing is gradual.
2. Sanctification is purity, not maturity.
3. Fruit bearing is by abiding, not by striving.
4. It is by trusting, not worrying.
5. It is by faith and works together.
6. It is by the Holy Ghost, not noise and fuss. The noise and fuss should be the
exhaust under a full head of steam. Praise God!
IV. holiness is for us Now!
Read I Thess. 3:12-4:12. 4:3-"For this is the will of God, even your
It is not optional with man. It did not begin with man. It is the will of God
Why be sanctified?
1. Because God willed it!
2. Necessary to please God in all things under all circumstances of life. Too
many people are victims of their circumstances. God wants us to be masters of
our circumstances and on top of them, not our circumstances on top of us! Right?
3. We should be sanctified because it cost God His only begotten Son to purchase
it for us.
"Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe,
sin had left a crimson stain, but He washed it white as snow."
Jesus gave His life on the ruel cross to redeem us from all iniquity and "to
purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Praise God!
Ephesians 2:6-9- especially verse 7- "That in the ages to come, He might show us
the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ
Jesus." Eternal progress! Hobby? A favorite pursuit! A good hobby is Holiness!
[ed note: How about it reader? Do you have this experience of Entire
Sanctification? Can you say with the song writer, "I never shall forget when the
fire fell when the Lord sanctified me!"? If not, "It is for us all today, if we
trust and truly pray." My grandfather used to say, "I was taught it; I sought
it; and I got it!"]
Yours for Radical Holiness,
Richard D. Swift