Sanctified in Thy truth

The dictum of Auckland Park Theological Seminary (ATS) is “Sanctified in Thy truth”.  It dates back to around 1949 when Dr FP Möller (senior) created the first hand drawing of the logo.  I have over the years often thanked the Lord for the dictum Dr Möller had chosen so many years ago as it still directs our path today.  I have asked the Lord through his Holy Spirit to help us understand what this dictum means for a theological training institution within our present-day context of relativism (a belief that there is no truth – whatever you want to be true is true), fake news, and mass media.

The development of Auckland Park Theological Seminary’s logo over the years.

As an accredited institution of higher education ATS has many regulatory stipulations to fulfil and comply with. It takes month to prepare our annual report for the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and then, when the report has been completed and submitted, we look at each other and say the regulatory requirements are taken care of –  now we have to focus on the real work: to take the students the Lord has entrusted us with, and place them in front of Him, to be Sanctified in His truth.

The seed of a Pentecostal training institution was planted in Dr Möller’s heart, and I would like to believe, so was the dictum. Dr Möller trained as a theologian in the Reformed church.  He was baptised in the Holy Spirit and in 1945 the then president of the AFM church asked him to implement a theological correspondence course he was working on, for the church.  Auckland Park Theological Seminary is still making use of his classical Pentecostal Dogmatic and Ethics work – Words of Light and Life. These had developed over the years and later his son, Prof FP Möller (junior), continued the work. The name “Words of Light and Life” was again the choice of Dr FP Möller (sr) and the significance of the name becomes clear in the following chronicle (listen from 16:16):  At the end of his life while dying of colon cancer, his son Prof Möller asked him: “Dad, how does it feel to stare death in the face?” His clearly irritated answer was “Francois, I am not staring death in the face. I am looking straight through death seeing Light, Life and Love!” One of the old-time great Pentecostal theologians, who taught a young church to be Christ-centered and independent thinkers, started his career with Light and Life and ended it the same way but with the inclusion of Love.  By the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, he stayed the course even in the face of great resistance.

Dr FP Möller (senior, standing in the center) with the class of 1955

Auckland Park Theological Seminary’s dictum comes from our Lord’s last prayer in John 17:17-26 (KJV). “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”.  And then after this request Jesus continues with our own calling: “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word…”. That same night Jesus also said “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:13 NIV)  ATS believes that the baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues is part of our understanding and endeavour to be sanctified in thy truth.  Reading the Biblical text on the working of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ life tells us – who were sent like him – something about our calling and our equipping.  We fight the same battle against evil and sin, the same miracles must take place in people’s lives, therefore the same equipping by the Holy Spirit must constantly guide the believer. 

Our prayer at ATS is: Holy Spirit, sanctify us and our students in Thy truth!

1 Comment

  1. Mpho


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