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Life Sketches Manuscript

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    The “Cannot-sin” Theory

    During family prayer that night, the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and I was shown many things in vision. These men were presented to me as doing great injury to the cause of God. While professing sanctification, they were transgressing the sacred law. They were corrupt at heart, and those in union with them were under a satanic delusion, obeying their carnal instincts instead of the word of God.LSMS 120.1

    They held that those who are sanctified can not sin. And this naturally led to the belief that the affections and desires of the sanctified ones were always right, and never in danger of leading them into sin. In harmony with these sophistries, they were practicing the worst sins under the garb of sanctification and through their deceptive, mesmeric influence were gaining a strange power over some of their associates, who did not see the evil of these apparently beautiful but seductive theories.LSMS 120.2

    Terrible was their power over the people, for while holding their attention and winning their confidence through a mesmeric influence, they led the innocent and unsuspecting to believe that this influence was the Spirit of God. Therefore those who followed their teachings were deceived into the belief that they and their associates, who claimed to be wholly sanctified, could fulfill all the desires of their hearts without sin.LSMS 120.3

    Clearly the deceptions of these false teachers were laid open before me, and I saw the fearful account that stood against them in the book of records, and the terrible guilt that rested upon them for professing complete holiness while their daily acts were offensive in the sight of God. Some time after this, the characters of these persons were developed before the people and the vision given in reference to them was fully vindicated.LSMS 120.4

    “Believe in Christ,” was the cry of these claimants of sanctification. “Only believe; this is all that is required of you. Only have faith in Jesus.”LSMS 121.1

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