In The King's Gold Mine: Or, The Conversion and Sanctification of the Disciples, Bud Robinson puts all of his eggs in one basket. He declares that if Luke 24:49 describes a second work of grace everyone else is wrong. If it does not, the holiness preachers are in error.
You will find the text in Luke 24:49, 'And behold I send the promise of my Father upon you but tarry ye in the City of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.' Now, if the disciples had never been converted, and were still in their sins at the time the Lord made this promises, then the promise of the Father and the enduement of power is nothing more or less than the new birth, but if they had been converted and were at that time the children of God, and not in a backslidden state, then the promise of the Father and the enduement of power is a blessing or a work of grace received by faith by the disciples subsequent to regeneration.
Now if the disciples had not been converted before Pentecost, then we Second Blessing people are without a Scriptural warrant for our doctrine and we are preaching heresy and we are false teachers, and every church in the land ought to be branded as a set of heretics and fanatics and hobby riders, who ride a hobby without eyes or ears or legs, but listen to me, folks, just a minute. If the disciples had been converted before Pentecost and were not backslidden at Pentecost, then we Second Blessing people are Scriptural and orthodox, and the crowd that is preaching that the disciples were never converted until Pentecost are unscriptural and unorthodox, and are false teachers and the churches ought to be closed in their faces and every church in the land ought to be open to us.
Robinson assumes the disciples to be regenerated and that the fulfillment of this promise at Pentecost constitutes a second work of grace.
The holiness movement seems unwilling to admit that they use Wesley's name, but do not teach his doctrine. In this sermon by Richard Watson, no such equation is made of Pentecost and a second work of grace. It is ironic that Uncle Bud thought he was contending for Wesleyan doctrine and in so doing indicted the father of Wesleyan theology as a heretic. This is not the last time students of Wesley have been attacked as not being Wesleyan by men who have never read Wesley.
Here is an edited version of "Power from on High," sermon #66 in Watson's two-volume Sermons and Sketches of Sermons. That Watson believed in entire sanctification is evident from reading chapter 29 in his Theological Institutes, entitled "Further Benefits of Redemption." However, Watson correctly understands "sanctification" as being a broader term. It is "that work of God's grace by which we are renewed after the image of God, set apart for his service, and enabled to die unto sin and live unto righteousness" [Richard Watson, A Biblical and Theological Dictionary, p. 841].
While this sermon is condensed, nothing has been inserted or omitted which would change Watson's interpretation of Luke 24:49. We must conclude that what the early Methodists described as the new birth, the later holiness movement described as a second work. We must also conclude that Pentecostalism did not rise out of Methodist theology. If the holiness movement had not tampered with the truth, there would have been no Pentecostal movement.
Power from on High
These words are addressed by our Lord to the eleven and those that were with them. He was about to leave them, so he renews the promise and bids them wait in Jerusalem.
They did wait, as all must wait, for this heavenly gift. Just as they tossed this promise around in their minds while they waited for its fulfillment, so we may profitably direct our attention to its importance. May we be influenced to seek the same gift which, in His ordinary operations, is promised to us.
I propose to illustrate this description of the blessed Spirit by the extraordinary effects produced on the Apostles and by the ordinary influence exerted on all true Christians.
While we see in all these circumstances a demonstration of the Apostles' mission, we also see what God can make man when he gives him the gift of His Spirit.
The gift of the Spirit is still "power from on high." It is true that the gifts most mentioned were extraordinary. Their purpose was to make the glory of God visible to all. When attention was aroused and Christianity could appeal to these demonstrations as matters of historical fact, the work was left to be carried on by more secret and invisible influences. When the cloud of glory descended on the temple, "the priests could not stand to minister, because of the cloud." Yet God was not less the mighty God of Israel, when invisible. The Spirit is now in the Church, working all in all.
We have been told that since the extraordinary gifts are not longer being dispensed, the direct influence of the Holy Spirit did not continue. Let me refute this.
It confused the extraordinary with the ordinary gifts. One does not necessarily imply the other. All who received the Holy Spirit as teacher and comforter did not work miracles. Some who had gifts did not have renewing grace.
If the Apostles needed the direct influence of the Holy Spirit to make them Christians, so do we. We are called to be all that the gospel requires. Now either we can attain this without the Spirit or we cannot. If we can, man can be saved without God. If we cannot attain it, the gospel is no longer "the power of God unto salvation."
But these objections are dispelled by the words of Christ, "I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter that he may abide with you forever." Thank God, if we wait, we too shall be "endued with power from on high." Let us consider, then, how this power manifests itself.
What if this sleep is broken? What if the ear listens at last to the reproving voice of alarm? What if the danger becomes visible? What if fears are aroused? What is the heart breaks under a sense of its ingratitude? What change at Pentecost was greater than this?
Does man awaken himself? does he pierce his own conscience? Does he render himself miserable and wretched? It is impossible. It is the "power from on high" that produces this.
But even where the contrast is as great as possible, love shall grow in the heart that was hating and malignant. Let it be gloomy and dark, here joy shall spring up. Let it be turbulent and restless, here peace shall establish her dominion. This is also a miracle. It is "power from on high."