Prof Johan Malan – A Gospel of Works – Second Work of Grace (Part 5)
4) Prof Johan Malan believes in the false teaching of a ‘Second Work of Grace’
Prof Malan says:
“7. The foolishness of a carnal lifestyle
Many Christians act foolishly by neglecting to seek after the second work of grace of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Consequently, they are still dominated by the flesh (their old nature) and therefore do not lead Spirit-filled lives which are under the full control of the Holy Spirit. Paul said to the carnal Corinthians: “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” (1 Cor. 3:1-3)….
The foolish virgins of Matthew 25:1-13 tried to practise religion without the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. In this parable the oil refers to the Holy Spirit. These five virgins did not take extra oil in their vessels with them, so their lamps went out at midnight. Christians who neglect to be filled with the Holy Spirit will find that they are not spiritually prepared and ready for the second coming of Christ. Something still lacks in their lives and that is holiness without which no one will see the Lord Jesus as Bridegroom (Heb. 12:14; 2 Cor. 7:1). How foolish to be negligent in fulfilling this important need!”
In another article Prof Johan Malan – A Gospel of Works – The Error of Partial Rapture (Part 4) I mention that Prof Malan believes in a Partial Rapture, in other words only the very holy get to go with Jesus and the not so holy remain behind. I noted the following from Wikipedia:
The holiness movement refers to a set of beliefs and practices emerging from 19th-century Methodism, and to a number of evangelical Christian denominations who emphasize those beliefs as a central doctrine. The movement is distinguished by its emphasis on John Wesley’s “Christian perfection” teaching-the belief that it is possible to live free of voluntary sin, and particularly by the belief that this may be accomplished instantaneously through a second work of grace. [ Emphasis added] —http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holiness_movement
What is this second work of grace you ask?
[Emphasis added] According to some Christian traditions, a second work of grace is a transforming interaction with God which may occur in the life of a Christian. The defining characteristics of this event are that it is separate from and subsequent to salvation (the first work of grace), and that it brings about significant changes in the life of the believer.
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, taught that there were two distinct phases in the Christian experience. During the first phase, conversion, the believer received forgiveness and became a Christian. During the second phase, sanctification, the believer was purified and made holy. Wesley taught both that sanctification could be an instantaneous experience, and that it could be a gradual process.
After Wesley’s death, mainstream Methodism emphasized sanctification as a gradual experience, and over time it became less prominent in Methodist teaching. The Holiness Movement emerged in the 1860s in the USA with the desire to re-emphasize Wesley’s sanctification doctrine. Holiness preachers taught that sanctification was an instantaneous experience.
Later, the Pentecostal Movement emerged from the Holiness Movement, teaching that the believer could, in addition to becoming sanctified, receive power from God and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. In early Pentecostal thought this was sometimes considered to be a third work of grace but over time it has come to be perceived as the major component of the second experience.
The Holiness Movement
In the Holiness movement, the second work of grace is considered to be a cleansing from the tendency to commit sin, an experience called entire sanctification which leads to Christian perfection.
Pentecost was born out of the Holiness Movement. Charles Fox Parham and William Seymour were both Holiness Ministers and used by God to restore Pentecost to the Church.
This is not true, there are not two distinct phases of the Christian faith. When you are genuinely born again at that moment the Holy Spirit comes to abide in you and the work of the Holy Spirit begins in your life; sanctification begins – it is not something you need to seek. The word sanctification means to be ‘set apart’ or be ‘separate’. God is setting you apart from the world for His divine purpose. The moment you are saved in Jesus Christ you are immediately sanctified and you begin to conform to be like Christ. “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14)
Sanctification is however different than salvation (justification). Justification is another word for sanctification. When you are born again because you believed in Jesus Christ who gave His life on the cross for you as a sacrifice for your sins and you sincerely asked forgiveness of your sins, the blood of Jesus then immediately washes way your sins and you are forgiven. You can’t earn salvation, it is a gift from of God. At the moment you were converted, the moment you became a new creature in Jesus Christ, sanctification began, because this was when the Holy Spirit came to abide in you. We no longer belong to the world, we are separate, saved by grace and the Holy Spirit seals you until the day of redemption.
Sanctification is an ongoing process, it does not stop after you get saved because people are sinners and they will sin. “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) We give our whole life over to God, total surrender. (Romans 12:1,2; Matthew 6:33; Luke 14:25-33; 2 Corinthians 5:14,15.) Even though we are God’s children we still sin, and this is were the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives comes in. When we sin, the Holy Spirit chastises us and He brings us before Jesus that we ask for forgiveness for our sins and go and sin no more. We also ask Jesus to help us to overcome areas of sin in our lives that we are struggling with and with His power He will help us. Repentance is part and parcel of obeying God’s commandments.
As Christians there is a battle waging on between our old nature and our new nature, and in the beginning as a baby Christian the battle we wage is a hefty one but as time goes by with the Holy Spirit leading the battle we overcome and grow in holiness. Paul said regarding the inner struggle “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would..” (Galatians 5:17) Our flesh is weak but we desire to please God, but it is a constant struggle.
So what is sanctification really? Sanctification is the process where God brings about change, i.e. holiness in the life of a Christian through the workings of the Holy Spirit. All Christians will be at different stages in their life dealing with different matters and God deals with each Christians differently. But one thing is for sure, sanctification is not something that is to be sought after, an experience, it is not a so called second work of grace. This is false teaching. Seeking after sanctification or looking for to be ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’ as mentioned above forms part of the charismatic ‘seeker sensitive’ movement where they expect a ‘sign’ of sort in their life to know if they are saved or not.
[Tom’s note: Second work of grace? What utter nonsense. If carnality was the result of the negligence of a second work of grace, Jesus would never have commanded us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. And this, as you know, is a daily on-going process until the day we die or when Jesus returns at the Rapture. Malan assumes that carnality can be totally overcome by a second blessing so that the saint may be completely free from any vestiges of carnality. The irony is that he is actually promoting carnality by suggesting that saints should seek after a second work of grace. Most Christians who seek after a second work of grace (or second blessing) are easily deceived. Why? Because the devil counterfeits what they deem to be a second blessing. I call it a “religious demon” (“godsdiens gees”). It is a false holiness perpetrated by a false humility. It is dangerous, to say the least.
Our duty is not to seek after or covet a second work of grace but to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him. Paul says that we have already been baptized into his death ONCE. Therefore, it is a fait accompli. IT IS FINISHED. What we need to do is to reckon that we are dead to our carnal nature and to live in newness of life through Jesus Christ. How on earth can we be baptized into his death again to gain a second work of grace? Malan is denying the efficacy of Christ’s very first work of grace when we were saved.
Malan says: “Something still lacks in their lives and that is holiness without which no one will see the Lord Jesus as Bridegroom (Heb. 12:14; 2 Cor. 7:1).” What he actually means is that carnal Christians are not going to be raptured. If they remain behind then the following is a mockery “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 1 Corinthians 3:14-16.” The works that are going to be burned are works done in and through the flesh.]
Here again Prof Malan speaks about a partial rapture and that only the really holy who have acquired holiness through a second work of grace will make it into being raptured. Please see this article that explains Prof Malan’s belief in the false teaching of a partial rapture and proper explanation for the parable of the Ten Virgins:
Prof Johan Malan – A Gospel of Works – The Error of Partial Rapture (Part 4)
We find a concept here that goes by many names – baptism with the Holy Spirit [HS], second work of grace, being filled by the Spirit, second blessing, etc. As I understand it, and experienced it in my own life, we definitely receive the HS at conversion in full – we become a new being: everything is there, but it is like a puzzle – the full picture is on the outside of the box, but when you open it, it is a bit of a mess. We have all of the Holy Spirit but the Holy Spirit does not have all of us. Depending on what you understand, or how you are taught, some people make a total commitment at conversion, and truly submit everything of self, and they have a deep consciousness of God’s presence [they are not sinless, but truly given over to obedience with all their heart, like a handmaid with her eye on the master]. Others still reserve part of their will, and they do not have that deep awareness of the HS. Some gradually give over the aspects of their lives, and gradually become more aware of the HS’s presence. Others continue in carnality for a time, trying to be Christ like in their own strength, and they fail miserably, until they get to the point where they hit rock bottom and they truly surrender up everything to Christ. That is when they become aware of the presence of the HS. For a lack of understanding or proper teaching, they truly experience it as a second work. Actually, people can have a number of such experiences in their lives. Many Christians indeed experience two phases for exactly the above reason. You find an analogy in the history of Israel. They start off as slaves [unsaved and doomed], they are redeemed by the blood of the lamb [saved by the blood of the Lamb], goes through the Red Sea [baptised with the HS], they are in the desert where their only source is God separated from the world, they receive the law, build the tabernacle with joy, experience God in their midst and they reach the promised land, but for a lack of faith in and submission to God, they refuse to enter knowing that they cannot possibly conquer in own strength, so they remain in the desert. The law is in stone and they battle to keep it [Christian trying in own flesh, not having yielded everything, without a victorious life – note: not sinless]. They remain in the desert, while they could have been in the promised land. Finally they come to the end of the fleshly generation, and they enter victoriously [total submission – experiencing the power of the HS]. Judah immediately takes possession of his share, but then the leaders die and some of the brothers compromise and they mix with Canaanites, or some even have to flee from the enemy [took back their total submission, though they were in the promised land]. Back to the puzzle – as you grow in knowledge and through your quiet times, you are being changed in the inner man and you submit more and more of your life – the puzzles pieces are being packed out and you see more of Christ and less of self.
That is a fantastic analogy, however just to be clear, sanctification begins at the moment of conversion and although it might appear like a second work it is not, just because the change in the person takes longer or slower from one person to the next does not mean we need to seek after this ‘experience’ called a second work of grace that will somehow make you ‘perfect’.
But thanks for your comment, I like it a lot:)
Analogies are always a good way to describe spiritual truths, such as the one you used. Nonetheless, many Christians make the mistake to use Israel’s wandering in the desert and their subsequent failure to enter the Promised Land because of their unbelief as an example to prove that many saints are not going to make it when the Rapture eventually occurs. Like most of the Israelite, they say, many saints are going to remain behind at the Rapture and will have to bear the brunt of the Antichrist’s wrath during the Great Tribulation. The fact, however, is that the saints who are going to be beheaded during the Great Tribulation are not some of the carnally minded saints who now make up the Bride of Christ and who allegedly are going to remain behind because they never sought to achieve a second work of grace (or blessing), as Malan claims; they are gentiles and Jews who are going to be saved during the tribulation.
Please bear in mind that the majority of the Israelite did not enter the Promised Land because of carnality but because of unbelief (Hebrews 3:19; Hebrews 4:6; Hebrews 4:11). Malan’s argument involves carnality due to the lack of a second work of grace (or blessing) and not unbelief. Therefore, the analogy cannot be applied to the present day saints who now make up the Bride of Christ because they are not in unbelief. Yes, some of them do not believe in the Rapture per se but it does not nullify their belief in Jesus Christ as their Saviour. They are going to be raptured whether they believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture or not.
If a repentant sinner becomes a completely new creation at his/her new birth (2 Corinthians 5: 17) then every single saint is on par with God’s standard of holiness (encapsulated wholly, completely and perfectly in the new creation). In God’s view all of us are brand new creatures in Christ Jesus – nothing more and nothing less. I’m not saying that saints are already perfect in holiness and sanctification. Far from it. I’m saying that God sees his saints in Christ Jesus and as such He already sees them as perfectly holy beings in Christ when He returns at the Rapture. In the very same way God already sees us in Christ in heaven where we are seated with Him at the right hand of God, despite the fact that we are still here on earth. (Ephesians 2:3-6). But what about Hebrews 12:14 which says that no one will see God without holiness (hagiasmos). Does that mean a saint’s degree of holiness, now in this life, determines whether he or she may see God or not and whether he/she is going to be raptured or not? Perish the thought. God’s perfect holiness demands nothing less than that we too be perfectly holy so that we may be granted the privilege to see Him. Are any of us already perfectly holy? I don’t think so. There is not a single saint on earth who can boast that he/she is already perfectly holy and therefore perfectly ready to see God. Saints will only be perfectly holy and hence perfectly ready to see God when their corruptible bodies are changed to incorruptible bodies (like unto the body of Jesus’ resurrected body). This will occur at the Pre-Trib Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).
How then should we interpret Hebrews 12:14? It simply means that all the saints who are now engaged in a battle between the flesh and the spirit (Galatians 5:17) in order to live a holy (separated) life unto God shall be made perfectly holy when at last they shall see God in their perfectly holy and incorruptible bodies like unto that of Jesus. Henceforth, the verse rather conveys the fact that all sinners shall be perfectly holy (God’s ultimate standard) when they shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye at the Rapture and not that they should strive or seek for a second work of grace so that they may be holy enough this side of the grave in order to see God or to be raptured. The level of one’s victory over carnality lies not in the seeking after a second blessing (second work of grace) but in our daily obedience to Christ by denying ourselves, taking up our cross (dying to ourselves) and to follow Him. Are we all on par with God’s standard in this regard? I don’t think so because many saints either neglect the command to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Jesus or they have been taught incorrectly that taking up your cross pertains to a saint’s suffering, hardships and persecution. The cross has nothing to do with these latter things. It means one thing and one thing only – to die to one’s carnal nature.
If it were true that many saints are going to miss out on the Rapture because they missed the “second-blessing-boat” or forfeited a second work of grace, 1 Corinthians 3:11-16 would have been a complete misnomer. Note carefully that Paul is speaking to saints in whom the Holy Spirit dwells (verse 16). And yet there are some among those in whom the Holy Spirit dwells whose carnal disposition (building with wood, hay, stubble) will have an effect on their rewards but will not impede their being raptured in any way. As a matter of fact, the saints who built on the foundation (Jesus Christ) using wood, hay and stubble (all carnally imbued materials) will appear together with the rest who built on the foundation with gold, silver and precious stones (all Holy Spirit imbued materials) at the Bema Throne judgment which takes place in heaven after the Pre-Trib Rapture. So, it proves beyond any doubt that the carnally disposed saints are also going to be raptured despite Malan’s claim that they are going to remain behind because they never sought and attained a second work of grace. Furthermore, verse 16 which plainly says that the Holy Spirit dwells in both the spiritually mature and the spiritually immature (carnally minded Christians who build with wood, hay and stubble on the foundation) proves that both the mature and immature must of necessity be raptured. How do we know? Well, Paul provides the answer in 2 Thessalonians 2:6 “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.” There is only One Person who can withhold and restrain the Antichrist from being revealed and that is the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit dwells in both the spiritually mature and the spiritually immature (carnally minded) Christians as we’ve seen from 1 Corinthians 3:11-16, then both these groups (shall we call them the “gold, silver and precious stones” group and the “wood, hay and stubble group”) MUST of necessity be raptured. If the latter group were to remain behind because the door will allegedly be shut on them by virtue of their lack of a second work of grace, then the Holy Spirit will have to be taken out of the way only partially. That’s impossible.
Although there are different types of holiness, for me the holiness without which no one will see God of Hebrews 12:14, is the holiness that God grants us at the moment of believing in Jesus Christ, at the very moment of being saved. Because by believing in Christ we are holy.
That is my personal opinion.
Hi Bic. The command is “Be ye holy for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:13-16). God’s holiness amounts to 100% sinlessness. He is completely and utterly separated from sin, and that is why we cannot possibly see Him in our present and temporal earthly bodies. We need to be changed and given bodies like that of Jesus, i.e. completely sinless. Only then can we see God in heaven and be with Him forevermore. “Be ye holy” does not mean that we are already holy (sinless) (1 John 1:8-10). The word “ginomai” conveys the meaning of progressively becoming holy. We are not yet there but we shall be when Jesus returns at the Pre-trib Rapture.