In the last great conflict in the controversy with Satan those who are loyal to God will see every earthly support cut off. Because they refuse to break His law in obedience to earthly powers they will be forbidden to buy or sell.–DA 121, 122 (1898).
Satan says . . . “For fear of wanting food and clothing they will join with the world in transgressing God’s law. The earth will be wholly under my dominion.”–PK 183, 184 (c. 1914).
If we are called to suffer for Christ’s sake, we shall be able to go to prison trusting in Him as a little child trusts in its parents. Now is the time to cultivate faith in God.–OHC 357 (1892).
The best thing for us is to come into close connection with God and, if He would have us be martyrs for the truth’s sake, it may be the means of bringing many more into the truth.–3SM 420 (1886).
We are not to have the courage and fortitude of martyrs of old until brought into the position they were in. . . . Should there be a return of persecution there would be grace given to arouse every energy of the soul to show a true heroism.–OHC 125 (1889).
The disciples were not endowed with the courage and fortitude of the martyrs until such grace was needed.–DA 354 (1898).
#VICTORYOVERSIN: In the spring of 1843, Fitch preached a sermon entitled, “Come Out of Her My People.” He “contended that Babylon was no longer limited to the Roman Catholic Church, as held back in Protestant Reformation days, but now included also the great body of Protestant Christendom. He maintained that, by their rejection of the light of the advent, both branches of Christendom had fallen from the high estate of pure Christianity. Protestantism was either cold to the doctrine of the second advent or had spiritualized it away.” ibid., 544.
#VICTORYOVERSIN: Permit me then to commence by saying that I find myself, in my natural state, a transgressor of God’s most holy and righteous law; so guilty as to deserve to be “punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:9. I also find myself totally unable to make the least atonement for one of all my ten thousand sins, or to find for one of them the least excuse or palliation [relief or soothing]. In myself, I stand, and must ever stand before the universe, a hopeless reprobate, irrecoverably bound over the damnation of hell. However, I learn in the Life and gospel that the Lord Jesus Christ, by His atoning sacrifice, has rendered full satisfaction to the justice of God for my sins, and thus opened a way whereby the punishment of my sins may be escaped, provided I have that “holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12: 14. Charles Fitch “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: I am indeed told that I may be saved from sin at death; but that is the hope of the Universalist. I may be told that the Universalist has never been born again, and that he who has been born again will surely be saved from sin when he leaves the world; but I know of nothing on which I can safely rest the belief that death is to be regarded as the means, or the time, of sanctification. I believe that, “where the tree falleth, there it shall be” (Ecclesiastes 11:3), that “there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10); and that if a man leaves the world in his sins, he remains a sinner forever. I believe that this is my only probation, that I must here be saved from sin, or never see God’s face in peace. I believe, therefore, that my everlasting interests are pending on the questions of whether God has made provision to save me from sin before I leave this world. To prevent all misconception, I will here say that I am very far from believing that the regenerate man, with the remains of sin, is in the same condition with the Universalist who has never been renewed, but that neither has any reason to believe that death will make any change in his character. If there is no salvation from sin before death, I expect to be lost. Charles Fitch “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: I do find then, most clearly and satisfactorily to my own mind, that God, in the economy of His grace, has made provision to “save his people from their sins.” I hail this salvation, therefore, as a salvation exactly adapted to my necessities as a fallen being, and while I utterly despair of ever saving myself from sin, I hail the Lord Jesus Christ as a Savior, manifested to take away my sins, to write His law in my heart, to redeem me from all iniquity, to make me holy and without blame before Him in love, to sanctify and cleanse me with the washing of water by the Word, that He may present me to Himself, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and without blemish. “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: It may perhaps be said that a person may reckon himself dead to sin who has once repented, though he now continues to sin every day. However, if I should find a man every day intoxicated, I should not regard him as dead to that sin, whatever he might say respecting past repentance–and the same is true of every other sin in thought, word, or deed. No man is dead to sin who commits sin–and as Christ who died once, dies no more, so he, who is dead to sin, sins no more. If he falls into sin, he is no longer dead to sin. Such were the sentiments of Paul, and as I cannot accuse him of the gross inconsistency of preaching what he did not practical must believe that he was dead to sin and alive unto God, and that being free from condemnation in Christ Jesus, he did so abide in Him that he sinned not. “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: In modern times, many godly men have seemed not fully to apprehend all the riches of the grace of God, and have maintained that no Christian ever did on earth “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” However, if a man can be cleansed from sin by faith in Christ for the fulfillment of God’s promises a moment before death, why not a day, a year, or twenty or fifty years? “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: He who trusts in Christ to be kept from sin is the man and the only man that does fear always. He not only fears, but knows that he never shall in any instance keep himself, and therefore always flies to Christ, while he who does not fear always, does not trust in Christ, and therefore falls into sin. I do therefore most fully believe that he who fears always is most safe provided his fears are sufficiently great to drive him to the Lord in whom alone he has righteousness and strength. This fear hath no torment—it is a sweet reliance in Christ. “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: The Word of God assures me that my Redeemer was called “JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” “that he was manifested to take away our sins…. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not” and to that Savior I must cleave as with the grasp of death; for I see a moment’s safety nowhere but under the shadow of His wing. “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth in the fulfillment of His own exceeding great and precious promises shall be thy shield and buckler.” Psalms 91:2-4. “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: From this very error of following impulses instead of the Word of God have grown up much of the inconsistencies, and in some cases, as I do not doubt, licentious practices of some called perfectionists. Instead of cleaving closely to the Word of God, making it their only rule of life, writing it on their hearts, and setting it always “as frontlets between thine eyes” (Deuteronomy 6:8), they have imbibed the idea that the Holy Spirit so dwells in them as to be an infallible guide without any reference to God’s plainly revealed will. Moreover, when a man steps on that ground, he may well expect, like he who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves, to find himself wounded, stripped of his raiment, and left, at least, half dead. He throws himself defenseless among mortal foes; for the Word of God should be to him a sword and a shield. He might as well cast away rudder, compass, chart, quadrant, and chronometer in mid-ocean, and expect God to guide him to his desired haven. Or as well, wandering among pitfalls in black midnight, cast away his oil lamp, and think to walk safely by faith. The Holy Spirit has indeed been given to guide us into all truth, but all the truth we need to know is in the Bible; and all the guidance we need is to a right understanding and practice of what the Bible contains. “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: I see a class of persons walking who cry out, “Away with the Sabbath days, ordinances and the written Word of God– away with all the laws and rules of conduct, both human and divine. We need no law, no rule of faith or practice, no means of grace, no private devotion and communion with our Father in secret, no domestic altars, no earnest, wrestling prayer, and faithful, preserving effort to convert a lost world to God. We dwell in Christ and He in us, and therefore we cannot sin; and whatever impulse we feel, we know to be the influence of the Holy Ghost who cannot err, and we may therefore safely follow wherever such an influence leads.” In the ears of such I would cry out at the top of my voice, Danger, danger, danger! Beware, beware! Go not in such a path! Avoid it–pass not by it–turn from it and pass away! Here are the class of men called perfectionists. Can I walk with them upon such ground? Not a hair’s breadth. So far from forsaking the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, the Bible tells you to “submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake” (1 Peter 2:13), that “the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God.” Romans 13:1-2. With such men on such subjects, I have, I can have, no sympathy. I believe there are some truly converted souls who fall into these errors, and are dreadfully led astray. I believe that others take up these notions, in whose hearts no fear of God ever for a moment had a place, and follow them out into all manner of licentious and criminal excess. Such become the most perfect and accomplished servants of Satan that he ever raised up to do his work. I cannot conceive that the arch deceiver can ever originate a worse set of principles than these. I could as soon sympathize with any form of infidelity that ever cursed the earth. “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: I see a multitude of professed believers walking who, through fear of going astray, dare not believe God when He tells us that He will cleanse you “from all your filthiness, and from all your idols” and when He swears to them 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 1:74-75. Can I sympathize with the unbelief of such? I believe that it is their privilege, and my privilege that we who “abideth in him sinneth not”–that “the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.” “All who thus believe in Christ shall dwell in a peaceful habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” Isaiah 32:17-18. I long to have God’s people know and enjoy their high privilege of thus abiding in Christ, for I fully believe that it will redound [contribute] in the highest degree to God’s honor and their good. This view of sanctification, I claim, has nothing to do with the essential element of what is termed perfectionism. Their name and their principles I utterly disavow, and declare to the world that no man has a right to charge them upon me. However, when I look around upon the professed followers of my Savior, and see how little they know, apparently, and how little they seem to enjoy of this great salvation of our God, I feel like lifting the prayer. “Every weary, wandering spirit, Guide into Thy perfect peace.” And when I see how many bearing the name of Christ seem wandering among doubts and fears, and groping in thick darkness at noon-day, falling before spiritual enemies whom they know not how to vanquish, and weeping over repeated commission of sins which they know not how to overcome, I long to say to such–”Watchmen! let thy wandering cease, Hie [go quickly] thee to thy quiet home, Traveler! Lo! The Prince of Peace–Lo! The Son of God is come!” Look no longer like scattered unbelieving Israel for a Savior yet to come. Say, with believing Zacharias, “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 …. To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant; the oath … 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 1:68-75. “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: I love to look at my Savior, and to hold Him forth in all His fullness to my needy, perishing fellow men. However, in myself, aside from what the grace of God has done, and shall do for me, I find nothing but the dark and perfect lineaments [characteristic features] of Beelzebub, the prince of devils. I speak sincerely, my brother. I know that, if God should withdraw His grace from me and leave me to myself, there is not a sin within reach of my powers which I would not instantly commit and practice forever. Permit me to tell you what I think of the grace of God to His praise. God has promised to “dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God” and this I consider a pledge of every possible good which He can give me. “Having therefore these promises,” I expect, by trusting in Christ, that they will be fulfilled to me for His sake, to be cleansed “from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” My God has sworn that He will grant me that I, being delivered out of the hand of my enemies, may serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of my life, and He has raised up Jesus Christ to be my horn of salvation, to perform to me this mercy promised to our fathers, to remember this holy covenant, this oath which He swear. I do therefore expect through the strength and faithfulness of my Lord Jesus Christ in performing to me this holy covenant and oath of God, to be delivered out the hand of my enemies, and to serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of my life. I expect that He, according to His own promise, will be faithful to sanctify me wholly, and to preserve my whole spirit, soul, and body blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. In myself I am nothing but a miserable, lost sinner, but in my Savior “dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;” and He has made me “complete in him.” I therefore expect to abide in Him, and “whosoever abideth in him sinneth not.” “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: To what I expect to preach? I have only to say that I expect to uncover to my fellow men just so far and just so long as my God shall enable me, “a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” Zechariah 13:1. I expect to do all in my power to make my fellow men acquainted with “his holy covenant; the oath which he sware … 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;” and that Christ is our “horn of salvation” to perform this covenant. This oath of a covenant-keeping God, that His, and every other promise of God “are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” That He who hath called them is faithful to sanctify them wholly, and to preserve their whole spirit, soul, and body blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ gave Himself for us, that He might sanctify and cleanse us with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present us to Himself, a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that we should be holy and without blemish and that they have only like Paul to “believe God, that it shall be even as it was told them.” Acts 27:25. Like Abraham “staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith giving glory to God, and being fully persuaded that what he hath promised he was able also to perform” (Romans 4:20-21), and like Sarah to judge Him faithful that hath promised (Hebrews 11:11), and by placing this confidence in their Savior, they shall so receive the fulfillment of God’s exceeding great and precious promises as to “be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust, that having these promises and this faith in Christ for their fulfillment “let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” This, my brother, I regard as the glory, the crowning excellency of the gospel, the brightest star in the whole firmament of revealed truth and with my Savior’s permission, I expect to point my fellow men to this Day Star of hope until the hand that points them is given to the worms. It is to my soul a fountain of living waters, a wellspring of life, and I expect to say to my fellow men, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1); and cease not until the lips that are allowed the high privilege of uttering such an invitation can speak no more. “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: Christ frequently goes a much plainer way to work, and by this means disconcerts all our preconceived notions and schemes of deliverance. Learn of me to be meek and lowly in heart, and thou shalt find rest to thy soul (see Matthew 11:29), the sweet rest of Christian perfection, of perfect humility, resignation and meekness. If thou wilt absolutely come to mount Zion in a triumphal chariot, or make thine entrance into the New Jerusalem upon a prancing horse, thou art likely never to come there. Leave then all thy worldly misconceptions behind, and humbly follow thy King, who makes His entry into the typical Jerusalem, meek and lowly, riding upon an ass, yea, upon a colt, the foal of an ass.” “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: When the Holy Spirit thus enlightened me respecting my privilege of reckoning myself dead indeed unto sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ my Lord, He that moment enabled me to avail myself of the privilege, and I instantly found myself more than restored to that blessed state of conscious purity of heart before God from which I had fallen by refusing to confess before men what my Savior had done for me. The love of the world was gone; no sinful indulgence had any charm for me. My whole heart was won by Christ, and filled with overflowing love to Him, and I feel that a thousand hearts, had they been mine, would have been most joyfully consecrated to His service. I had no will but His, and no desire of life or death or eternity, but to be disposed of in that way which would secure the highest possible praise to my Redeemer. I was now delivered from the fear of man, and as I had covenanted with the Lord to confess His faithfulness to the world, when He should give me evidence on which I could rely that I was redeemed from all iniquity, and as I had now found myself, and in a way so glorious and delightful beyond everything I had ever before conceived, made “dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” I had been so abundantly enlightened respecting the privilege of every Christian to be kept in that state by the faithfulness of the dear Redeemer, I could not for a moment hesitate. It was my duty to declare to the world that by the power of the Holy Spirit given me by my own blessed Savior, I was made “dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: I cannot desist from preaching the doctrine of sanctification, and from testifying to my own experience of it, for the very same reasons that you cannot desist from preaching the doctrine of regeneration, and testifying to your own experience of that. Suppose that you were to insist that “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3), but when asked whether you or any one else had enjoyed that blessing, should say, “By no means. It is an important and dangerous error for any man to think so; it never takes place until death.” How much influence would such preaching exert? How many would be born again through such instrumentality? “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: There seems to me to be a wonderful and strange inconsistency, in urging Christians to holiness of heart and life, and at the same time telling them that they never can be without sin while they live, and that if they think that Christ, who was manifested to take away their sins, will ever do it till He takes away their breath, they have embraced important and dangerous error. I feel constrained to say, in faithfulness to Christ and His dear people, though some may think it unkind, that those who attempt to maintain such ground, seem to me to be, and in a very important sense “shutting up of the kingdom of heaven against men: neither entering themselves, nor suffering those who would enter to go in” (Matthew 23:13). “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”
#VICTORYOVERSIN: When the watchmen of Israel cry out in the ears of the people, that no man ever did or will abide in Christ and sin not, on earth, that God who has sworn to do it, and raised up Christ our horn of salvation to perform the oath, never will “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 1:74-75), what can we expect, but that many who desire deliverance from sin, will despair of attaining it, nd submit in despondency to the will of their spiritual foes, and groan away their lives in grievous bondage, when they might be enjoying the liberty wherewith Christ would make them free; and that others, glad to have such an excuse for their sins, will comfort themselves in their worldliness, and their unhallowed indulgences by the feeling that they are not expected, while they live, to be free from sin. I will not attempt to conceal it, that this looks to me like a subtle and dangerous snare of the great enemy of Christ and His church. Herein it seems to me lies the “important and dangerous error,” and not in telling Christians that their Redeemer “is faithful to sanctify them wholly, and to preserve their whole spirit and soul and body blameless to His coming ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23), when they will believe in Him for that blessing. “Life and Christian Experience of Charles Fitch”