BLANCHE PERRY FUHRMAN
Sanctification is a cleansing from inbred sin. When we are converted God forgives every
sin we ever committed and removes them as far as the East is from the West but there is still something in the heart which causes trouble. If the reader has been born again he will know what I mean. I think I can best illustrate that by my own testimony. Back on the farm after the Lord saved me that evening on the hillside my whole life was changed. I knew God and often had great times of fellowship in communion with Him. I did love Him and wanted very much to please Him. There was only one thing wrong — my temper.
About the time of my conversion my sister, Mae, who is just older than I, was saved, too.
We took our stand for Christ in the home. We started returning thanks at the table for our food, which was something our family never did before. Then we felt we should establish family altar. We did so in the face of much opposition.
Soon two other sisters were saved and we helped each other stand for our convictions.
Usually where there is a large family there is likely to be a clashing of wills. Such was the
case with Mae and me. Both of us had wills of iron. My sister always had her way — except when I had mine! Even though we were both genuinely converted and were a help to each other, sometimes our clashes were quite vehement. I shall relate one such incident.
One evening Mae and I were milking as usual, when something came up (I do not
remember what). Anyway both of us lost our temper and she said, “You simply didn’t tell the truth!”
“I did so!” I said emphatically.
“You did not!” she said more emphatically.
“If anybody lied, you did!” I retorted.
One word followed another as anger heightened until we called each other ugly names. We
suddenly came to ourselves and became very quiet. Then she said, “This is a pretty way for Christians to act.”
“I know it,” I answered meekly.
Ashamed, we finished the milking in silence. Then asked another sister to take the milk into
the house. She went one direction into the woods and I went another. Away from everyone else, I knelt by a stump and told God how sorry I was. I said, “Lord, if you’ll forgive me, I’ll never do it again.” And I meant it. Soon peace came back to my heart, and I emerged from the woods to find Mae with red eyes and a humble heart. Evidently she had prayed through, too.
All went well for a couple of weeks. One day Mae had just scrubbed the kitchen when I
returned from hauling wood. It was raining and plenty of Kentucky clay was sticking to my feet. I removed my rubbers and set them inside the kitchen door.
“Get those things out of here!” Mae called in no uncertain tones.
“But they’ll get wet outside,” I protested.
“You heard what I said!” she cried with determination.
“I will not,” I simply stated, refusing to move. Whereupon she grabbed my rubbers and
threw them outside in the mud.
“Now go get them,” she said triumphantly.
“I’ll not do it,” I said emphatically, then, changing my mind, I walked outside, picked up the
rubbers and threw them into the kitchen. When I looked at Mae next she looked like I felt — rather chagrined. We were ashamed. Finally Mae said, “Isn’t there anything better in religion for us than this?”
Under an old apple tree that night I was ashamed to pray. I said, “Lord, I’m ashamed to ask
forgiveness again. I’ve broken my promise. I just keep on acting ugly. Can’t you give me something till I won’t do this?” Again the dear Lord forgave me but as time went on, to my utter dismay I found myself having to repent bitterly for flares of unholy temper. Truly I found that “when I would do good evil was present with me,” Rom. 7:21.
During my sophomore year in high school my sister was sanctified. I wondered if it would
work, so tried to provoke her to anger (she doesn’t know this), but there was such a change in her and she remained so sweet that I became convinced and hungry. However, the devil came along and said, “Now you live better than most of these folks and there is no need to humiliate yourself by going to a public altar. Just ask God for power to suppress the ‘old man’.” I had already tried that and it hadn’t worked. I’d like to see anyone who preaches suppression of inbred sin live up to it! It can’t be done!
Finally throwing away my pride I went to an altar at a camp meeting August 27, 1938, and
told the dear Lord about my condition. I told Him I loved Him and wanted His will, but I couldn’t love Him with all my spirit, soul, and mind unless I had something more. I asked Him to cleanse me of that thing which had betrayed Him so often. I became willing to do or be anything He asked. Then I dared take Him at His word. I believed Him to cleanse me and He did! I can testify to His glory that since that time there have been no outbreaks of unholy temper. I’m sure I deserve no credit but “For this purpose was the Son of man manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” I John 3:8. If He cannot cleanse us from evil temper then He died in vain. God did not take my temper out, but He did take the evil out of my temper. My sister will bear out my testimony that we have lived together without the former trouble since both of us have been sanctified. “Thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ!” (II Cor. 2:4.) We still do not always agree on everything, but we do not fuss.
Again, sanctification is an infilling of the Holy Spirit. It is Divine love. No human being
can live up to the first and second commandments without this experience of Divine love. Note: ”Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind… and thy neighbor as thyself,” (Matt. 22:37-39). That is a high standard. Many have said it is too high. I’m asking you, could God be consistent and command us poor frail human beings to live up to something impossible? No. It is true we can’t do it in our own strength, but He can fix us up till we can do it. Friends, God can so fill you with divine love that you hold no grudges toward your neighbor. In your own family when one member does something unbecoming, the family doesn’t broadcast it. For instance, imagine some mother at Ladies Aid saying, “Oh, have you heard about my Junior? Now I don’t want my name in it but you know he was found drunk on the streets last week and he’s been in jail ever since. I always thought his parents were nice people; surely it couldn’t have been a fault of his training. If you tell it, please don’t have my name in it.?’ No, she would be so ashamed she would never mention it. Just so this second experience gives us a love for our neighbor that keeps us from delighting in his mistakes and gossiping about them. You need this experience to help you live up to I Cor. 13. In this glorious experience self dies and Jesus becomes our all. He rules our lives and enables us to fulfill His commandments.
In conclusion I might say this second experience of cleansing from sin and infilling of love
is only the beginning. There are heights and depths unknown yet to be explored. Some have said, ”Well, since you have been cleansed from all sin how could you sin again?” I ask you how Satan sinned in the beginning. He was created a perfect being. Also Adam had a perfect heart and he sinned. Just so can we if we yield our wills.
This gracious experience does not make us mature — it only makes us pure. Then by
gradually keeping a check on ourselves, (or keeping our bodies under) reading God’s Word, praying, and witnessing we grow to be more and more like Him.
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Source: “Deliverance From A Flash Flood” by Blanche Perry Fuhrman
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts