AMOS L. HAYWOOD
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THE DEFINITENESS OF HIS SALVATION
I will ever thank the Lord for a definite, positive, know-so experience, I will ever be glad,
I can say with the poet:
“There is a spot to me more dear, Than native vale and mountain. A spot from which affection’s tear, Springs grateful from its fountain.
“‘Tis not where kindred souls abound, Though that is almost heaven, But where I first my Savior found, And felt my sins forgiven.”
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I WAS BLESSED
The blessing of God maketh rich. (Pro. 10:22)
We used to sing, “It is good for soul and body.” Nehemiah said, “The joy of the Lord is our
strength.” There isn’t any question but what the Lord wants his children to be happy. Isaiah said, ”Cry out and shout thou inhabitant of Zion for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of Thee.” Jesus said, “I came that ye might have life and that ye might have it more abundantly.”
I was greatly surprised when I was converted. I thought if I became a Christian I would
have to live a sedate, sanctimonious, joyless life. But to my great surprise God filled my heart to overflowing with joy unspeakable and full of glory. I arose from the family altar and went up stairs to get ready to go to church. Hardly knowing what I was doing, I fell on my knees, prayed and praised the Lord.
I started down the road on foot for church which was about one and one-half miles and
laughed about all the way. This I think was the first time I had ever been able to laugh the laugh I had always wanted to and could not. It seemed to come without any effort. Other times it would tire me but this time it seemed to laugh itself. It seemed to come spontaneously, bubbling up and rippling from the lips like a bubbling spring or a babbling brook.
I sat in a front seat that day. While the preacher preached I laughed him in the face and was
so ashamed of myself. I said, “You shouldn’t do this, these people know you have been getting religion the last few days. You ought to be sedate and sanctimonious.” I tried to smooth the wrinkles out of my face hardly knowing where the good feeling came from. The more I tried to suppress it in my ignorance, the more it bubbled up.
Then they gave an altar call and of all the people under the sun, I went to the altar. God
came in mighty power and gave me a jumping blessing. I had a record in that country as a high jumper, but think I might have broke my record that day. I don’t know how high I jumped but I remember one time on my way down I lighted on top of the altar rail. As far as I ever knew I went through that whole performance without making one break and had never rehearsed it once.
Well did it pay me to go to the altar that day? I think it did for I received a jumping
blessing. I had a laughing blessing on the way to church and now I get a jumping blessing which makes two types of blessing on my first day as a Christian, and that is more than some seem to get in forty years.
After my conversion I made a practice of praying in secret three times a day, and besides I
had a special season of praying through down in a certain fence corner in the pasture field in the evening. The Lord would bless me much and often during the day, but especially in the fence corner where I went with the express purpose of praying through and getting blessed out in my soul. The Lord did not disappoint me and often I was so blessed I would jump to my feet and shout. When the blessing became so great I could not express myself by merely shouting I would take a run around and around the field, and when I could not seem to express myself satisfactorily by running, I would jump way up in the air as high as I could jump and whoop something like a wild Indian. What seasons of refreshing we had down in the old pasture field.
I was converted in the spring, of the year and soon after it came time to have the big Fourth
of July celebration at wicked old Gun Lake resort. The people all knew I was about the biggest picnic and Fourth of July fan in the whole country. When the young people began driving by on their way to Gun Lake on the Fourth of July and saw me out in the field mowing hay they knew a great change had taken place. As they rode by they shouted and called, and the devil said to me, ”See what you are missing! Did not I tell you,” but by that time I had learned the source of true joy and I said, “Whoa” to the horses. I rolled down off the mowing machine seat, slipped over under a
hickory tree, fell on my knees and about the time my knees hit the sand the glory of God struck my soul and I had a whole Fourth of July celebration, fire works and all, in my soul inside of five minutes. I arose and went on my way singing.
“How oft when I’m tempted to turn from the track, I think of my Savior, my mind wanders back, To the place where they nailed him, on Calvary’s tree, I hear a voice saying, ‘I suffered for thee.’ I love Him far better than in days of yore, I will serve Him more truly than ever before.”
I have never wanted to go to a Fourth of July celebration since.
Soon after I was converted they sent us a new pastor whose name was Rev. Burt. Sister
Burt was soon taken sick and was very ill. The Lord told me He wanted me to go stewarding for them and told me I could not go to the members but must go to the outsiders. I had not been elected steward by the church but God appointed me one for this occasion and oh, what a heavy cross it was for that bashful backward boy. It seemed almost more than I could carry.
I made a practice of tackling any and everything the Lord told me to do, and if I could not
do well I would do the best I could. That is all an angel could do. I started east from our house and stopped first at Bill Robinson’s. I took my cross and he gave me fifty cents and I went on my way encouraged. I then started on toward Sam Andrew’s home. On the way there the Lord spoke to me and said, “You may be preaching the gospel some time. Your wife may be sick in bed and in destitute circumstances.” I got blessed and shouted and shouted along the road. Later, I could hardly figure out what there was about my wife being sick in bed and me being hard up that would cause me to get blessed and shout along the road. There have been many times through the years of my ministry, when my wife has been sick in bed, and I have been in close circumstances, but I did not see anything on those occasions to shout about. The pilgrims where I worshipped taught us, or at least I received the impression, we ought to get blessed every time we went to meeting. To my surprise and sorrow, some of them were not blessed. I thought it was so wonderful to be blessed. I felt very sorry for those who sat there dry-eyed and cold-hearted, while a few of us were having such a wonderful time praising the Lord. For that matter, I feel the same way yet.
In my ignorance, for I was, indeed, very ignorant, I seemed to get the idea the Lord started
in with a few of us up in the Amen Corner, and went as far as he could with what he had on hand, and would run out before he could get all around. I was very much concerned about those unblessed church members, and I am yet, and I made it a special subject of prayer that week down in my fence corner in the pasture field. I prayed and prayed until I thought I prayed through and God had answered. I looked forward with anticipation to the next service. After we had assembled in the little Gregoryville church for our next service, sure enough, God came and poured out His Spirit, and the saints began to get blessed. I was having such a wonderful time watching the others praising the Lord, I forgot myself and the first thing I knew I was shouting as loud or louder than most of the others. That day God taught me the lesson, that after He was all through blessing me, He had enough left to go all around and give the others their meat in due season. In those days, we all went to church expecting to see an outpouring of God’s Spirit. Many were the mighty
outpourings of God’s power, and marvelous the manifestations and demonstrations of His Spirit. Today, I am homesick to go back once more and witness those scenes of the supernatural, such as we saw before and after our conversion in the old home church. Where is the Lord God of Elijah today?
“Is not His grace as mighty now, As when Elijah felt His power, When glory beamed from Moses brow; Or Job endured his trying hour?”
I believe it is, if we will but pay the price and let God have His way.
After the Lord had taken my first wife, Grace, home to be with Him, I was doing
evangelistic work and happened to be home for a few days. They were having a tent meeting down in a pine groove across from the church. A young lady evangelist, by the name of Mary Mieras, later became my [wife and] co-worker in the vineyard of the Lord, and has labored faithfully by my side on several circuits and one district. For over twenty years she has gone with me in the evangelistic work across the United States and Canada, ever praying and holding up my hands. That day she sang as a special, “Every Bridge is Burned Behind Me.” She used as a text, “Launch out into the deep.” I was wonderfully blessed in the service. After the service closed, the blessing and power still lingered. When I started for home, the blessing and power of God surged and throbbed until it seemed I scarcely had to put forth any effort in lifting my feet and putting them down again. Thus I walked about a mile and a half in the strength of that blessing, and if I had not reached my destination at that time, I suppose I might have been going yet.
On one of our circuits, there lived a wicked man who would come to church, testify, and
then go out and live as the devil wanted him to. We dealt with him, forbidding him taking part in the services until he straightened up. He became very angry and decided to come to the parsonage and thrash the preacher or do something drastic. A sister was ironing for us that day and all at once I felt like having prayer. I asked the sister to leave her work while we prayed, and God came and poured out His Spirit. We prayed on and on praying and praising God. It seemed this man came to the back door about the time we began to pray. He waited and waited, and listened and became more and more nervous and possibly frightened until, when we came to the door after praying, he seemed to be whipped. He could hardly talk. God’s blessings are always timely. God really wants to come and bless us all far above ourselves, surroundings, and circumstances. This will make backsliders and sinners hungry for God. Until we get more of the blessing and joy of the Lord than we can hold, others will not get much good out of our religion.
They tell us Egypt would have been a parched desert had it not been for the overflowing of
the Nile. Is it not true that many of the dry parched souls around us are thus dry because some of us never overflow?
Time and space fail and forbid us to tell of the many, many times when and where the Lord
so richly blessed us, but suffice it to say, that through all the years the rich blessings of God have attended and at times the showers have been so great there has not been room to receive them. I
have felt many times like the little girl who said, “I can’t hold very much but I can run over a lot.” Or, as expressed in the poem written by E. E. Shelhamer:
Master, Thou knowest what I need: Not fame, nor friends, nor foes to bleed, Not pelf, nor pleasure — and the rest, But, oh, I need my soul well blest!
Others may pray for great success, And — ’tis a proper thing, I guess; But, Lord, here is my heart-request: Please daily keep my soul well blest!
Without Thy presence I am poor, And trivial trials cannot endure; But I can weather every test If Thou wilt only keep me blest!
Then let the criticisms come; Let friends deprive me of my home; And let me be nobody’s guest – But, Spirit, kindly keep me blest!”
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But if we walk in the light, as He is in light, we have fellowship, one with another; and the
blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin. (I John 1:7).
After I was converted, I began to take up my cross and walk in all the light. I had no books
to read to help me in getting the experience. There was no one to teach me, but still we believe, if one will walk in all of the light after he is converted, the Holy Spirit will lead him definitely and unerringly into this wonderful experience of entire sanctification. Before my conversion, I had been keeping company for some time with a very nice girl, who of course, was unsaved. A few days after I was saved, the Lord spoke to me, saying, “Now you are converted, you cannot keep company with unsaved young people.” I did not know at that time that the Bible plainly forbade it, but the Holy Spirit spoke to me, and I believe He will [speak] to all, who are willing to listen. Oh, how many young people we have known, who have made a shipwreck of life and faith, all because they did not separate themselves and come out from among the worldly companions, as the Bible commands. I thought of going to this young lady and telling her I could not keep company with her any longer. It was so hard for me, I feared I could not talk and say what I wanted to when I arrived there. I decided to write on paper what I wanted to say and hand it to her. I, accordingly, rode my bicycle over there, handed it to her and rode away with the blessing of God on my soul.
One day while plowing, I felt the Lord wanted me to go up the road and pray with an
unsaved neighbor. I almost sank to the ground and cried, “Oh, God, you will have to help me.” The Lord blessed my soul, and I think right there behind the plow, as it was with Elisha — the Lord hinted or whispered something about preaching the Gospel. I could eat no supper that night, but took my Bible and started up the hill. It was less than a half mile, but it took me quite a while to get there. It seemed I prayed in almost every fence corner on the way, fearing I wouldn’t have grace enough to bear the cross. I had yet to learn I did not need strength to kill the lion until I came to where the lion was.
In due time I arrived at the house, and looking through the window, I saw an unsaved
neighbor boy there, and feared I only had grace enough just for the family. That was all I had in mind when I prayed, and accordingly, in my ignorance, I went back over the hill prayed for a little extra grace, to take care of the neighbor boy. Then I staggered up the hill, weak and getting weaker all the time. I walked into the house, and lo, the Spirit of the Lord came upon me and stirred me in the Camp of Dan. God gave me grace and enabled me to bear my cross, and oh, what a time I had on the way home, shouting, and praising God.
A few days after my conversion, God put a heavy burden on my heart for an old friend and
comrade in sin. I took my horse and buggy one night, went to this party’s home, got him into my buggy and started down the road. I began trying to talk about salvation, but did not know how.
The more I tried to talk the more I became burdened, and soon I became so broken up, I
could hardly talk at all. Then I began to get numb all over, I was frightened, fearing I was getting a stroke or something like that. I knew nothing about a burden, and before I was hardly a week old spiritually, God was putting a burden on me for a soul. Strangely enough, some who profess to be saved and sanctified, go on year after year, seemingly without much concern for lost souls.
I stopped my horse, climbed out of the buggy, walked and stamped around trying to limber
up and get rid of that strange feeling. I could not stamp it off, climbed back into the buggy, and drove on to the church to the revival meeting. I managed to get my horse tied, staggered into the church, slumped into a seat and did not seem to know enough to take off my overcoat. I don’t think we knew much about what the preacher was talking about. When the invitation was given there were two souls who fell at the altar, side by side. I was one, and the other was the first soul God enabled this poor ignorant country boy to bring to Christ in a public way. Satan might have said, ”You can’t pray for this soul, you don’t even know the Lord’s prayer.” I did not pay any attention to him, but fell on my knees with a heart breaking burden on my soul.
No one accused me of praying a great prayer that night, but some one said, you roared just
like a lion. There is really no excuse for anyone saying, “I just can’t pray at the altar, I am not gifted in prayer.” Well, they ought to be able to roar, or weep. I have always been so glad I listened to the voice of God that night, went out and brought that soul to Christ for that precious soul has been in heaven many years.
While working one day the Lord spoke to me saying, “After the work for the day is done,
drive about five miles and talk about salvation to an old comrade in sin. Oh, what a cross that was but I said, “I will, Lord, if you will only go with me, strengthen, and give me grace.” This was
about the heaviest cross I had ever borne. I went, called the party outside and talked to him the best I knew how. I don’t know that it did the person any good but I am sure it did me good. Sometimes I think God asks us to do things for our own good, as well as for the good of others.
When I went back to the buggy the Lord was standing there, as it were, waiting for me and
when I climbed in, He sat down by my side, rode and talked with me all the way home. And did not my heart burn within me as we rode and talked by the way?
On the way home He said to me, “You ought to be holy,” as if He were talking it over with
- I drove on home having a wonderful time, went to bed, had a peaceful night’s sleep, getting more rest no doubt, than if I had refused to make the ten mile trip and had gone to bed and tried to sleep on a smiting conscience. The next morning I was wonderfully blessed, and went out to help my father dig potatoes. While digging away the Lord spoke to me definitely saying, “YOU OUGHT TO BE HOLY!” This was in the form of a call.
Some seem to think they have to be about half backslidden while fighting carnality before
they are candidates for holiness, but this is a mistake. They need, instead, to have a sky-blue experience in justification. I did that day, for I don’t think I was ever more blessed in my life. I tell all of this to prove to you, reader, that, even though we do not have books to read or much of any teaching, if we walk the light as He is in the light He will lead us right up to, and over into the experience of heart cleaning. I could relate many other stories about making confessions and restitution and such, but this will suffice to show that if we are willing to bear our cross and follow the Spirit, He will lead honest, earnest souls on to definite victory.
The Lord spoke to me saying, “YOU OUGHT TO BE HOLY!” I dropped my hoe. I had
something more important to do than dig potatoes, and when God speaks to any of us, calling us to this high and holy calling, this matter is more important than anything else in our lives. I did not have anyone to sing or exhort to me. I did not need it, for when one is in earnest he doesn’t need any coaxing. I might have said, “I will wait until next Sunday or until camp meeting time,” but I knew enough to know that when God speaks it is time to obey. If more people would obey promptly when God speaks it would be much easier to get through. When God said, “YOU OUGHT TO BE HOLY!” I answered, “And by the grace of God, I will be holy.” I dropped my hoe and started across the hayfield to the brush in the back fields. I have often thought I would like to have a moving picture of that boy [that I then was] marching down across that field, saying, with every step, “AND BY THE GRACE OF GOD I WILL BE HOLY.” I rather think the devil saw the whole picture, and calling the other little devils around him said, “Boys, I want to teach you a lesson. Look at that determined walk. You can’t do anything with a walk like that. We might as well let him go. He will get it in spite of all of us.”
I walked on across the field toward the oak brush determined never to come out there until
I had my Pentecost. Plunging into the brush, I fell on my knees. I did not have an altar to lean on, I did not need one. I did not have anyone to say, “Now hold your head up.” I did not need anyone for, my head was up. I did not have anyone to say, “Now lead us in a little word of prayer,” for I was soon leading in a big word of prayer, so loud and earnest that the neighbors heard me, as well as my people. I became so absorbed in seeking God I forgot all about noise, everything and everybody else I soon passed on from the stage of earnestness to the stage of desperation. Since I
had no books on faith and did not know much about how to exercise it, God just had to do something about it, for He could not deny such earnestness and desperation. He accordingly gave me an unusual vision.
[No doubt the Lord gave Amos Haywood this unusual vision as a help to his faith, and it
did aid him in receiving the sanctifying Baptism of the Holy Ghost. However, this was a personal means given especially to him, and should not be taken as something others should expect while seeking for entire sanctification. — DVM]
I looked up into the sky and just over my head I saw Jesus about as we see Him in the
pictures, when He was taken up, while the disciples beheld Him. He seemed to have something in His hand like a rope or a cable all coiled up. As I looked up and saw Him, He looked down and saw me and then He loosed the cable, which was the cable of faith, and it came rolling and uncoiling itself, down to where I was. His aim was exact, for it came within my reach.
If we really get in earnest, and meet the conditions, we believe faith will come within the
reach of all. Jesus said to me, in effect, “Lay hold upon the cable of faith and pull. I will hold fast to the other end and as you pull, hand over hand, I will come nearer, and nearer, and when you get me down to where you are, you will have the victory.” I then laid hold upon the cable and began to pull hand over hand. As I pulled I would measure the distance, and I could see with every hand hold, He was coming nearer and so was the victory. When I saw I was gaining with every hand pull I became so interested, absorbed and possibly excited, I became lost to everything else, and made so much noise I woke up the neighborhood. Soon I had the Lord down where I could almost touch Him, and just then He said, “Now if you will reach up with both hands, take hold of the cable firmly, and give one last strong pull, you will. have Me and the victory. I reached up, laid hold firmly, gave one last mighty pull, and down He came and down I came, prostrate on the ground while the power of the Holy Ghost surged all through me, throbbing, purging, cleansing from all dross.
When praying so loudly and earnestly some of the neighbors heard me, as well as my
people at the house. When I fell to the ground and so suddenly became perfectly still, it nearly frightened them out of their wits. Our neighbors came ever to find out what could be the matter. My mother, father, and nephew became so frightened, my father and nephew came down across the field to find, out what could be the matter. They began to walk around in the brush calling my name, fearing they would find me dead, while my mother and the neighbors waited at the house for the sad news. All of this time, I lay on the ground under the power of God. It must have, been a long time. When I began to regain consciousness I heard them calling, and answered, “Here am I.” My father and nephew came up and fairly gasped their relief. My father exclaimed, “We thought you were dead.”
Little did my father know he spoke one of the greatest truths any prophet or sage ever
spoke, for that day I died — so dead I have never come to life through all the past years. I then arose from the ground never to be the same person through time and all eternity. I started to walk back across the field while the enduement of power from on high continued throbbing and pulsating through my being until I could feel it clear out in my finger tips. “Glory be to God,” I had received
my Pentecost, and it has stood the test of the years. He has enabled me to witness for Him in the demonstration of the Holy Ghost and power ever since.
This Pentecostal experience always has been and still is God’s equipment for service. E.
Stanley Jones, Dr. Connet. and Bishop B. T. Roberts said it is absolutely impossible to witness as we ought without it. —
“Come, Holy Ghost, our hearts inspire, Let us thine influence prove; Source of the old prophetic fire, Fountain of life and love.
Come, Holy Ghost, for moved by Thee The prophets wrote and spoke; Unlock the truth, Thyself the key; Unseal the sacred book.”
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Source: “My Life Story” b Amos L. Haywood
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All Rights Reserved By HDM For This Digital Publication Copyright 1994 Holiness Data Ministry
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts