ARTHUR L. VESS
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MY OWN EXPERIENCE: God had dealt with me from my infancy, revealing unto me my
sinful and guilty condition before God, and creating a mighty hunger and longing for God’s smile of approval. At the age of four, alone on a mountain hill in western North Carolina, it seemed like a cloud from heaven settled down all around me, and I was definitely called to preach the everlasting Gospel. God’s presence followed me in all my younger years.
At the age of thirteen, in my own home, I was mightily convicted for my sins. I prayed and
pled for mercy and salvation, in and out of bed, and around my home, looking up into heaven, begging Jesus to spare me and save me from my life of sin before His coming.
After loathing, confessing and forsaking all my sins, I looked up to God in heaven by faith
in Jesus Christ and He suddenly and gloriously came into my heart, forgave my sins and made me his child. Immediately my heart was so full of joy and peace that my chest heaved with joy while I praised Him for saving a poor wretch like me. I had met the same Christ that Paul met on the road to Damascus, and he had transformed my life. I lived a very careful Christian life, with peace and joy, mingled with doubts and fears. I soon tired of these fears and doubts.
About three months later, in an old-fashioned Quaker meeting, I arose and said, “I
promised God when he saved me that I would go all the way; but I have gone as far as I can go without getting sanctified.” Mrs. A. G. Hadley, the Quaker minister in charge of the service, said, ”Well, Arthur, Come on to the altar and get sanctified.”
Immediately I bowed at the altar, praying earnestly and fervently for God to sanctify me.
The saints prayed for me an hour or more. After prayer, I arose and left the altar, not yet satisfied. On, my way walking home alone, the Spirit said, “Is your all on the altar a sacrifice made?” I replied, “Yes, Lord, the best I know how.” Then God said, “Why don’t you trust me to sanctify
you?” That seemed a new revelation, that God would actually sanctify a poor unworthy soul like me. But immediately, as a trusting child, I looked up toward heaven and said, “I to trust thee now to sanctify me.” That moment a great peace from heaven struck me and moved down through my whole being, purifying my heart by faith, and filling me with all the fullness of God. The work was complete, and there was no more room for fears and doubts, and they were all gone.
At once I began a life of constant peace and rest, free from all doubts and fears. The
blessed Holy Ghost, in Person, had come to dwell in my heart and life. I joined the other old-fashioned holiness people in testifying that “Jesus so sweetly saves, and the Holy Ghost completely sanctifies.”
To all who read these pages, may we say, that the great two-fold salvation will satisfy
every longing of your heart. It is not a mere theory or doctrine alone, but may become a glorious reality in your own heart, the moment you meet the conditions.
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Source: “Were the Disciples Born Again Before Pentecost” by Arthur L. Vess
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