Audio Quality: Poor
A transcript of this message was kindly provided by Juanita Gearheart.
Most people think that you can?t be perfect. How few are ready to acknowledge that we as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ ought to be perfect.
In the libraries of this world and tingling in the upper air of the universe are sounds of great words that have been spoken; words of Socrates, words of Plato and many others. Surely though there were never such words spoken as those spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ himself, “Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”. If we would not believe those of the Apostle Paul; surely we ought to believe those of the Lord Jesus. He said with such plainness, and with authority: “Be ye therefore perfect as your heavenly Father.” (Matt. 5:48) If we read the rest of His words and all of the words He has inspired, we will find out that this is the thing we have our earthly probation for, to become perfect even as our heavenly Father is perfect. How may I become perfect? It is that He left us something. We have something by which we may know how to become perfect. It?s probably this verse; maybe the most important of all the verses in the wonderful Bible: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Tim.3:16,17)
Anyone who really wants to be perfect, and will use the Bible that way, will attain perfection. We all really do have doctrines. The scriptures will tell us which is the correct doctrine and if we use them, as they should be used, they will unerringly reprove us and correct us for the things we are doing wrong, and know about, and for those which we don?t know about, there will follow that general instruction of righteousness which is what we all need to come into the path of perfection and advance therein by His power. I read, “You can never do in eternity what you?re supposed to do in time.” There’s food for thought in the expression even if it is not correct. Here we are living in our semester of school, to prepare for that great eternity which hath no end. Life is something. It?s not a grim thing but it?s something you should be very earnest over. There may be more truth than you think in the assertion that if we don’t do it here maybe all eternity will be different for us. Life is real, life is earnest, and the grave is not a school.
I wonder how people can waste their time in our short semester. If we are willing for the words of the Master, not of Socrates: “Be ye therefore perfect as your heavenly father is perfect,” — I will tell you a story about some people who found out about perfection.
There were 120 on the green hill in the land of man?s own desire. They had a good time. They danced in the Spirit and they sang choruses; they laughed in the Spirit and enjoyed their experiences. One day one of them said: “I think so often about my aunt Laura. She was a Holiness woman and said: „we ought to journey to the palace of perfection?”. A man said: “My mother was a primitive Methodist and she said one day that John Wesley said someone else said, “The other day when I was praying I saw the spires of the palace of perfection and something in my soul made me feel we ought to be journeying thither.” Another man said: “When I was a boy I remember hearing again and again, „holiness or hell, holiness or hell.? ”Someone else said,” It?s such a long ways and we probably won?t get there anyway.” Another said: “Let?s look and see if we can see it now.” They all looked eastward as far as they could and they saw the minarets and the domes and spires of the palace of perfection. Some thought they should go. There were 20 who decided to take the journey and the others were going to wait and see how the 20 got along.
The 20 started from the hill and found themselves in the valley of decision. There was a great and beautiful archway. Someone standing there said: “This is the plain of consecration.” “They read these words over the archway: “All who enter here must endure as seeing Him who is invisible.” (Heb. 11:27) Some of the 20 went back. The others went into the plain of consecration.
After awhile they came to another archway and there was a sign that said: “Leave behind all your possessions and all your positions.” Some went back but the others went on. There were many trials but each time they thought about enduring as seeing Him who is invisible, they felt the strength of the Most High. As often as they were discouraged and thought this they were taken forward on the wings of the wind. Soon they came to another archway which said: “Leave behind all created beings.” They heard an angel whisper: “He who thinks more of Father or Mother than of me.” (Matt. 10:27) And they heard faintly something about aunts and uncles and cousins and sweethearts. Hardly anybody passed through the archway of detachment. There were two who went on. How upheld they were in the awful trials and awful furnaces they came to, by just remembering they must endure as seeing Him who is invisible. They came to an archway that said: “Leave behind all things.” One of the men went back and only the saint was left.
There he saw between him and the spires of the palace, flowing graciously toward the sea, a wonderful river. It flowed peacefully along to empty into the sea of self annihilation. He wandered how he?d be able to cross the river. Finally, renouncing all things he saw a narrow bridge. The little archway over this very narrow bridge said: “The name of the bridge is exact obedience”. A sign said: “If your right eye offends you pluck it out.” (Matt. 5:29) (Well, mine does.) If your right hand offends you cut it off. He felt as if he just couldn’t. The way was kind of lonesome. He thought about the “girl” he left behind. Then he remembered: “enduring as seeing Him, who is invisible.” Then he felt he had the strength to step on the bridge. Then a fear griped him because the bridge didn’t seem solid. How he loved Him whom he had seen and he thought again of enduring as seeing Him who is invisible. Then the bridge seemed to get solid. By and by he was clear across the bridge and he knew in his soul that there was only one more archway.
That portal looked kind of inviting and when he got there, there was a man by the gate wearing a cap with Saint Eugene written on it. This man said: “Go right on in.” There was just a little gate and he had to get clear down to go through. Saint Eugene said: “Get down, get down, you must despise your own life also.” The portal over the top said: “Death to self.” He was determined to get down low and when he did something caught on the top, and Saint Eugene said, pointing to the package on his back: “You’re just like a lot of others that can?t get in with that.” The saint looked and on the package was written: “Some little thing that is dearer to me than my own life.” Finally, the Saint striped off the package and threw it into the river.
Saint Eugene said: “You know you can’t keep a thing. If you?ve got even a pin it will stick you. You can’t keep even the clothes on your back.” He was just ready to divest himself of his robe. Of course, Saint Eugene meant he couldn’t claim his clothes, but he meant he could keep them on. He was just going to divest himself of his clothes when he felt the touch of a hand. It was a hand that was pierced through. The robe he had on had changed to white; white as the driven snow, and as he bent way down he saw the prince of the palace standing in the light before him. He saw the 5 wounds and heard His voice: “Be of good cheer, it has all been accomplished, there’s nothing for you to do but believe in these.” And He pointed to His hands and to His feet and to His side. The Saint fell to His feet, ravished with His love, and there he found himself on the other side of the portal.
Just as the Prince was about to raise him up and hold him close to His heart, he thought of the 119 way out there on the hills in the land of man’s own desires. And he hurried away to tell them, “Why it’s all done; there’s nothing you need to do; it’s all done; you only have to believe. He found them there on the hills and told them: “It’s all done; it’s all accomplished by the Prince of the palace. All you’ve to do is accept it.” They were glad to hear the good news, and he sped away back to the grounds of the palace. Someway things didn’t seem the same. He didn’t see the Prince. What was wrong? There was the palace; there were the blossoms of passion blooming in front of the palace, but things didn?t seem the same.
A man with a cap that said: “Senior warden”, introduced himself. The Saint asked what was wrong? I saw it was all done; and the Prince of the palace had provided everything; and I see I’m still wearing this white robe. The Senior Warden said: “You violated the very first law as soon as you entered this place. A dead person doesn?t do anything, and we’re all dead here. You shouldn’t have done anything except the Prince told you to do it. I thought the Prince would like to have me let them know. But dead people don’t like to think; they don’t do anything. What will I do? Just reckon yourself dead. That’s what I told them out there. But they are the ones who shouldn?t because they’re not dead, and you should because you are dead. He touched the saint and said: “these scars, this one that you received in the valley of decision, and that one that you got on the plain of consecration, don’t they mean anything to you? Do you suppose that without these scars; this one that you received in the valley of decision, and that one that you got on the plain of consecration, don’t they mean anything to you? Do you suppose that without those scars you could enter in? Do you suppose that without passing along that way, they would have the power to believe the Prince? Do you suppose they would have faith?
Then you reckon that you’re dead because you are dead, not in order to become dead. Exactly! But I want to see the Prince of the palace of perfection. We don?t always see Him here. A wonderful thing would have happened to you if you hadn’t rushed away. He would have shown you all around the grounds. What will I do now? Just reckon yourself dead. How long? Why would I need to reckon, if I am dead? The adversary of your soul is here still. So you need to reckon yourself dead. How long? The Holy Ghost starts to mortify your members as soon as you pass through the arch, and you reckon yourself dead, and yield your members to the mortifying power, and when he has completed His work, and allyour members are mortified and there?s nothing about you but the perfume of the cup, and the breeze from yonder cliffs of resurrection; then you may cease. I wish I knew my next lesson. Dead people don?t wish.
With that the Senior Warden walked away and left the Saint alone to reckon himself dead. About 6 months later the Senior Warden came around; asked the Saint how he got a long? I have discovered I have to unlearn all I have ever learned, and just learn Him now. The Senior Warden smiled and said: “You?re getting along alright”. Later the Saint said: “I don’t know for sure if I doeverything right or not, but the glory of the palace is fading, and I don’t seem to be glad that I’m here anymore. I don’t even seem to think about perfection. I don’t seem to think about anything except the Prince of the palace. Open the windows of heaven over all this people and make them love the Prince and long with all their hearts to know Him. I don?t seem to think about anything except the Prince of the palace. And it seems to me that the great appointment of the Father of us all is just to become identified with the Prince, and just become one with him, and not to think about anything else except the Prince himself. It was a great while after that the Saint found out through the Junior Warden that the Prince had a wonderful Father whose name was Ancient of Days. One day when the sun was going down and its rays fell aslant on the passion flowers in the garden in front of the Palace, the Father came, and they were to have supper together. Everything else faded away. Just before supper started the Senior Warden came and asked the saint if he had heard something? Yes, dimly he heard, coming from the hills in the land of man?s own desires the singing of the 119, the song he taught them: “We?re living in Canaan now; we?re living in Canaan now.”
In bringing many sons unto Glory it pleased Him to make the Captain of our salvation perfect through the things that He suffered. Surely it is through tribulation that we enter the Kingdom, have the supper and the irresistible power to speak the words, and have the mind of Christ.