Acts 15:8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;

9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

3a For we which have believed do enter into rest.

10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.


MEMORY VERSE: Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus…Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  —Hebrews 10:19, 22


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The blessing of Abraham and the promise of the Father—the Holy Spirit—was given to the disciples and to the believing Gentiles to whom the apostles preached. He is given to us when we, having been cleansed from sin, take hold of the promise of the Spirit by faith, enter into the holiest place and the promised land of rest, cease from our own works of righteousness, rely fully on the righteousness which is given us through faith and receive the purification which comes by the refining power of the Holy Spirit.




Hebrews 4:11 “Labour”: to make haste; give diligence; make every effort.

Hebrews 10:19 “Boldness”: assurance; confidence.

Hebrews 10:22 “Full assurance”: conviction; most certain confidence.

Hebrews 10:22 “Washed”: a complete bathing to cleanse the entire person.




The fifteenth chapter of Acts records Peter’s discussion with certain believing Pharisees who felt it was needful to circumcise all the believing Gentiles. Peter settled the dispute by alluding to the account of the conversion of the Roman centurion, Cornelius, and his other relatives and friends, all of whom, it is evident, were believers in the true God, and who, upon hearing the gospel, believed in Jesus, were baptized, and filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter pointed out the similarities between their baptism of the Holy Spirit and that of the other apostles on the day of Pentecost, including this detail, that the Holy Spirit purified their hearts by faith—a spiritual circumcision.

In our last lesson we read from Paul’s epistle to the Romans about the blessing given to Abraham that is now ours through faith; today’s discussion includes his message to the Galatians about Abraham’s faith and the inheritance promised to him, which the apostle clearly indicates is the same as Jesus’ promise in Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4-5. Jesus promised the believers the Holy Spirit, Who He said would guide them, teach them, endue them with power from on high, and make them witnesses unto the whole world.

The writer to the Hebrews, who is generally agreed to be Paul, also spoke about the Holy Spirit when he spoke of the promise of entering into Jesus’ rest, drawing a parallel between the true soul rest that Christ has promised believers and that literal land of promise, Canaan. As the Israelites, hindered by their unbelief, refused to confidently enter Canaan, and were condemned to forty years in the wilderness, he warns that we also, through unbelief, can forfeit our rest in the promised land of the Holy Spirit. This rest, he explains, involves ceasing from our own works. Paul mentions these works in Romans 10, when he describes the Jews’ “own” righteousness of the law, contrasting it with the righteousness which is “by faith.” He also speaks of his “own” righteousness in Philippians 3:9, desiring to count it as worthless to obtain the righteousness of God by faith.

Our memory verse is a most encouraging exhortation; we as believers can boldly and confidently come to God in full assurance of faith, seeking to enter into the holiest place, which the scriptures clearly show, by type and shadow, is that place of sanctification (holiness) given through the Holy Spirit.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




  1. What Can He Do For You? Share the promises given in Scripture of what the Holy Spirit will do in our lives.
  2. With Faith For My Cleansing: Our lesson speaks of people whose hearts were “purified by faith.” Of whom was this speaking?
  3. Come Over Into the Canaan Land: Of what is Canaan a type? Can you name some of the parallels?
  4. Only Believe: What hindered the Israelites from entering Canaan? What hinders us today from receiving the promise of the Father?






The same “persuasion” with which God wooed and drew your soul to Him, convicting you of sin and revealing Christ as your substitute and sacrifice is the same convicting persuasion that will reveal and open up to your heart the wonderful promise offered you by the coming of the Holy Spirit into your heart in His fullness. In the literal type, the Canaan land, the Israelites were called to scout out the land, to investigate its cities, people, kingdoms, agriculture, and land features. Today God invites you to investigate the glorious possibilities of life in the Spirit. The battles, the kingdoms, the fruit, the conquest.

The question is, will you draw back in unbelief when you view the lay of the land? Will you believe the negative reports? “You can’t overcome.” “You’ll always be plagued by that weakness.”

We are challenged in our lesson to draw near, not draw back. To come in full assurance of faith. To have faith for our cleansing, as did the believing Gentiles in Cornelius’ house. We can see what the Spirit did for Peter, Paul, Stephen, Philip, John, and countless others. The kingdoms of fear, doubt, timidity, self-promotion and self-righteousness were toppled in the lives of these disciples just as Israel toppled Canaan’s kingdoms by faith.

Many religious teachers and belief systems dismiss this possibility. Canaan is portrayed as being Heaven; holiness is scorned; the Holy Spirit, Who is clearly promised to fill believers after they are saved, is believed to have already come into their hearts at conversion.

In coming to the Father, asking for the gift of His Holy Spirit, a crucial part of our faith is that we lay ourselves on the altar as a sacrifice to God; completely and totally surrender to His will, and give Him permission to do the cleansing and purifying of our souls. Not until we know that we have abandoned everything to God can we have faith to believe that He accepts our sacrifice and places His seal on that which is now completely His. The scriptures let us know that the seal is His Holy Spirit. When we reach that point in surrender, God sends His holy fire. By faith we can conquer in the promised land.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




“Why is it that the scriptures teach a sinless life as the test of the new birth, and yet the world is full of men and women who know they have been born again, and yet cannot measure up to that standard? They cannot deny that they have met with a change, and others see its manifestation in their lives. And yet they are conscious of committing sin, more or less daily. Here is a point where experience seems to conflict with revelation. We see the same thing ascribed to some of the New Testament congregations. Some of them have sins alleged to them, others not, while all are urged on to the ‘fullness of the blessing of the Gospel.’ Those who had sinned, of course, had incurred the necessity of repentance and pardon, before they could inherit the blessing of perfect love.”

“A consideration of these facts, together with the scripture teaching, lead us to the conclusion that while repentance and regeneration begin a life of freedom from the commission of sin, entire sanctification is the summit condition of perpetuating that sinless life. The fact that ‘whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin’ is based upon the holy ‘seed’ that abides in him, which cries out for the destruction of the unholy Adamic nature, that wars against it; and upon the fact that grace provides for, and all the promises of God point to the present, entire destruction of the inward foe. In other words, the absence of sinning in the new-born life, is secured by the provisions that God has made for that life, the most important of which is the second work, of removing all tendency of evil out of our nature. This ‘unites the heart,’ the will, and the whole realm of our moral nature, with all the appetites and propensities of the body, into sweet accord with God, and into natural, and easy resistance of all outward evil. This is the plane of victory upon which the ‘born again’ soul is expected to move forward without committing sin throughout life. Hence, justification is a mere transition state. Here men quit sinning, while they press on to perfection, but relapse into sin as soon as they undertake to stand there. ‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand’ (Romans 5:1-2). Peace with God, through justification, is a glorious experience; but to find a place to ‘stand,’ we must pass on, by a second grasp of faith, to a higher plane. Hence also Paul urges the Hebrew Christians ‘on to perfection,’ clearly intimating that a failure to do so will surely ‘lay a foundation for repentance from dead works’ (Hebrews 6:1). Behold also the Apostle Paul’s great anxiety to bring the ‘fullness of the blessing of the Gospel’ to the various congregations of young converts, ‘to the end they may be established’ (Romans. 1:11). ‘To the end He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God’ (1 Thessalonians 3:13). All these, and other scriptures, clearly point to perfect holiness of heart, an experience to be gained after justification, as the sure footing of complete inward salvation, and outward victory.”—D. S. Warner in “Problem Solved,” The Gospel Trumpet, Sept. 15, 1883)

“Have you ever felt the power of the Pentecostal fire

Burning up all carnal nature, cleansing out all base desire,

Going through and through your spirit, cleansing all its stain away?

Oh, I’m glad, so glad to tell you it is for us all today.

“You may now receive the Spirit as a sanctifying flame,

If with all your heart you seek Him, having faith in Jesus name;

On the cross He bought this blessing, He will never say us Nay;

He is waiting now to give it, why not claim it, friend, today?”

—L. L. Picket, 1897


—Bro. Harlan Sorrell