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|THREE STAGES OF GRACE
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Notice how God makes it plain to us. And if that wasn't a--a great confirmation, a good--a great, loving blessing from God, when I see this and see that since a boy (first time ever Christ dealt with me), I still always taught those three stages of grace. Notice if it isn't true now.
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Now, the first step is repentance towards God, and then follows after that, is water baptism. Water baptism: "Repent and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ." See? Water baptism follows, showing that repentance was genuine, or, to remit our past sins. Now, that has nothing to do with future sin. It only remits. "Repent and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ." What for? Remission, taking away of past sin: has nothing to do with the future. Just your sin has been chopped off, what you did.
You can't repent for what Adam done. You never done it; Adam did. You just get forgiveness for what you done. The old nature is still there. Let me take this board just a minute. [Brother Branham steps to a blackboard to illustrate--Ed.]
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Now, here is a human heart. Now, I'm not... I'm a long ways from being an artist. See? Here is a human heart, and here is a human heart. Now, this one over here has a snake in it; that's sin. Here he has is life. This one over here has a Dove in it, which is the Holy Spirit. Here he has a life. Well, this one here he has malice, hatred, envy. That's what's causing it: this fellow here. Well, this one over here has love, and joy, and long-suffering, and that's what does it down here.
Now, when you're asked--or you are forgiven of your sins, you've only done this, taken that away. But the thing that made you do it is still there. That's the old root of evil. It's still there.
Notice, then you repent and are baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, that He forgave you of your sins.
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Notice, then secondly comes sanctification, which sets our mind in order for holiness: to think right, taking away. "Sanctification" is a compound Greek word which means "cleaned and set aside for service."
Then the next comes the baptism of the Fire and Holy Ghost that God might dwell in us, and the Fire of God cleanses our heart from sin and puts the Holy Ghost inside. Then we bring forth the same Life that this did, because that's in us.
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Notice, in the natural birth when a woman gives birth to a baby... The natural life types the spiritual life. When a woman gives birth to a baby, the natural, the first thing happens is breaking of water, then blood, and then the spirit: life. Grab the little fellow and spank him and away he goes, screaming. Water, blood, spirit...
And now, when a baby is borned into the Kingdom of God, it comes the same way: Water, Blood, Spirit.
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Now notice, sanctification, the third stage--second stage of it, cleanses the mind, sets the heart, the mind of the heart in order of holiness.
A man can repent of sin and he's still thinking of... Well, maybe he's a immoral man. Every immoral looking woman he finds; it's still there. Maybe he's a drunkard. Every time he smells a drink; it's still there. See? But then when he gets sanctified, that cleanses that desire out of him. See? It takes the want of it away. He can still be tempted, but He takes the want of it away. Still he's not right yet. Then he is baptized with the Holy Ghost and Fire, cleansed, burnt out, cleaned up, and then put into the service of God. Sanctification only sets him aside for service.
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And notice just exactly how that comes, the messages coming: Martin Luther, justification; John Wesley, sanctification; the Pentecostal, the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The messages, that's so where there can't be no more ages of it. See? We're at the end time. Three stages... Baptism cleanses the heart with the Holy Ghost.
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How striking now. He takes the place where we are to dwell in through the same process. Now He's called the Church through justification, called it through sanctification, then filled it with the Holy Ghost and Fire, and He took it through a process that He Himself, the Holy Spirit Himself, the Son of God, could dwell in the human heart. Now, it has to go through that before He can come into it. Notice, He done the world (where that Bride's going to live in) the same way, His same plan of--of salvation.Back to Main Page