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THE EXPERIENCE OF MY SANCTIFICATION
I feel much impressed to relate my experience of sanctification. Before I do, I just want to
remind you of the revelation God gave me when seeking for knowledge in my early Christian experience. This was the step of faith. Neighbor, I have been thoroughly convinced through years of experience with God, that right here is the foundation by which to receive every benefit of the Atonement. Hallelujah! Not only have I found this to be so through personal experience, but the blessed Book tells us, “He that cometh to God, must believe that he is (God) and t hat he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” The first verse of the eleventh chapter of Hebrews says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hallelujah! Thank God for a faith in God. Also I think about the beginning of the ministry of Christ as Mark relates it in the first chapter. After John was put in prison, Jesus came preaching the kingdom of God and saying, “Repent and believe the Gospel.”
There were several years between my saved experience and my sanctified experience. As
you remember God gave me such a wonderful experience of saving grace, making me a brand, spanking new creature and living in a brand new world, that I lived a life of almost complete victory over the old Adamic nature for several years. I felt like I had just about all that I could have of the blessing of God. I would shout the praises of God, run the aisles and testify to the realities of the new birth in such a way that my heart would be overwhelmed with the joy of this new found way, to such an extent that the churches and others had confidence that I was sanctified. I knew I had wonderful victory in God, but was still conscious of the fact I had never experienced the eradication of the Old Man, and that there was still the old Adamic nature somewhere down in my unworthy heart. Neighbor, one thing I want you to remember; even though the Old Man can be suppressed and even pretend to be dead, as long as he is allowed, he will remain in our hearts. We are not responsible for the old Adamic nature being in our heart, because we’re born in sin, the writer said, “shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me.” On the other hand, when
we come to the age of accountability and realize the effect of sin but still go on and dabble into it, then we become responsible for every transgression we commit. This is why we ought to ask God’s forgiveness and repent and let God make us new creatures. In spite of all the victorious life we may have keeping the Old Man suppressed, by the grace of God, yet he still remains. There is no way out other than a complete crucifixion and an eradication; and the Old Man does not care to die! Thank God, in spite of everything, for victory over sin and the devil! After a few years of victory over the devil, I had an experience in my daily work which made me realize the danger of the Old Man and that he will misbehave in spite of everything, just when we want to be at our best for God. My livelihood was fishing, as it was of others also. We had various places to fish, and we would sometimes share those places with our neighbors. They would have the place one time and then we would have it next. Someway through a misunderstanding, my brother and I were getting ready to make a fishing haul when another fellow came in and was doing likewise. We began to investigate and found that he was under the impression it was his day to use this place. I was confident, dead-sure, it was our day and there was a contention between us, even though this other party was brother-in-law to my elder brother. The contention got so bad that one said he was going to use the place and the other said that he was going to use the place, which couldn’t be done both at the same time.
My brother and I were saved men. Since my brother was high-tempered and we worked
together, I would encourage him, “Brother, stand true to God come what may, and go what may!” Yet under the pressure of this experience, it looked like there was going to be trouble for both of us. All at once, even though he had been calm as calm could be, I saw my brother go after his brother-in-law, who was going backwards up over the hill. Before I knew anything, that old Adamic nature erupted, and I was running behind my brother with my fist doubled up and telling him to stick it down his throat.” I “came to myself” and you’ll never know the condemnation that fell on my heart! Nevertheless, I thank God for that experience and for the day in my life when I became conscious that the only way out was for the Old Man to be crucified! I was so under conviction from that act that I lay in the hills and dug sand and begged God to forgive me. I pled the blood and did everything I possibly could.
I was under condemnation, thinking about how that man used to have confidence in us.
You’ll never know the battle I had. God forgave me and showed me that the old nature would have to be, dealt with and the only possible way it could ever be done was through the shed blood of the Son of God… Hallelujah! AMEN! I sought from that day on, at every opportunity, to get back in fellowship with this man. The day did come, thank God, when He gave me an opportunity to do something out of my heart for that man to show him that I had nothing against him. I began to hunger and thirst after righteousness. and to seek God. The blessed old Book gave me encouragement, “He that hungereth and thirsteth after righteousness shall be filled.” There was quite a period of time before the day came that I was. sanctified but thank God, He takes notice of an earnest heart. Though we may not understand what it is all about, there’s hope for an honest heart. I had quite a bit of experience with people telling me they got sanctified so easy; yet there was a deep yearning, down in my heart. I didn’t want any substitute. I wanted the realities of the crucifixion, the eradication of the Old Man and the incoming of the Holy Ghost as a second definite work of grace. Hallelujah!
Thank God for the old-fashioned, second blessing, instantaneous work of grace wrought in
man’s heart after regeneration. I began to do everything possible, pray, meditate,. hold on and believe God. I would go to revival after revival but never felt definitely led to go to the altar. No doubt I didn’t have the proper faith at that time. I felt that when I went to the altar, I wanted the work don! But one day I came to the right time. I don’t know why God has been so good to me. I’ve already related in the forepart of this story how God extended His mercy toward me in saving me, and how it came about with a special service. Well, God gave me another special service. I hope no one gets the impression that God has any pets. I’m just trying to express the goodness and the faithfulness of God toward a sincere, hungry, seeking heart. At this particular time, there was a revival of another faith in progress. I was willing to go anywhere, anytime, any place that God would open the door of opportunity to seek Him for sanctifying power. I was like a drowning man grabbing at a straw. My brother and myself were hunting together and I well remember the day. I was meditating as I walked watching for game. I was in a state of expectancy and felt like David when he said, “As the hart panteth after the water brook, so my soul panteth after Thee, O God.” Several different times as the evening began to come on, I would remind my brother of the service that night and say, “Brother, let’s not run overtime and be late for service. Let’s be sure we get home in time to go to the house of God,” which we did.
He had to go a little early for some particular business before service, so I was left to go
on my way toward the church alone, yet not alone, as I meditated with the great God of the sky. In those days we didn’t have any concrete roads, just little old sandy, dusty roads and very few cars and I didn’t have one. There weren’t many neighbors around yet and it was just natural to get out and walk two or three miles; we didn’t mind it a bit in the world. I well remember as I was making my way on up the road a right good little span from my home, just walking and expressing my hunger to God, that all at once I saw a car coming around the turn of the road. When it would hit those sandy places, the sand would spin up over the tops of the trees. When the car came to where I was, it stopped all of a sudden and I noticed the driver was my wife’s sister (the one I referred to in my experience of the ptomaine poisoning) with her mother-in-law. They stopped the car and opening the door said, “Get in, you’re just the very fellow we’re looking for!” I got in the car and said, “What is the matter?” They said, “We have found one of the greatest little preachers that has ever been!”
That aroused my curiosity, so they began to explain to me that a little preacher came over
here on the mail boat and just then was at the home of the head of our church, which at that time was called the “sanctified” group. This was the first time he had ever been on Harker’s Island and up to this particular time he hadn’t even known anything about such a place. After he had expressed his doctrine, a fellow of another faith got hold of him and said he would take him to the man who was the head of our prayer band and ran a little grocery store on the other end of the island. He was taking him up the road when he met old Uncle Jimmy Lewis, the old fellow who was in my room when I saw the vision of Jesus and who was one of our group. This fellow turned the preacher over to Uncle Jimmy. He came on up to the store with the preacher, who began telling his experience. He was down this way through a misunderstanding. He thought he was coming for a revival in Morehead City, a little community not too far from where we lived. When he got there, he found it was a mistake; and they weren’t expecting to have a revival. No one had asked him to stay, so he slept that night on the porch floor of an old house that was unoccupied. Somehow the next day, he got in contact with somebody who referred him to Harker’s Island. He felt definitely
led to come here. He began to make inquiry and found he could get here on the old mail boat. He didn’t know what it was all about, but I’m confident to this day that it was the goodness and faithfulness of God on my behalf to meet the need of my own hungry heart. Amen. There were several of our group in the store when this preacher arrived, my sister-in-law, her mother- in-law, Uncle Jimmy, and Luther Yeomans, who was our leader at that time.
We had what they called a “Ladies’ Aid” which met on Monday night. Eager to go to a
revival, they had agreed to meet together and have their Ladies’ Aid early that evening, so they could go to the service at this other Church. So they began to question this preacher a little bit and asked him of the possibility of speaking to them a little bit right after the Ladies’ Aid service. He said, “Well, we’ll talk to the Father about it.” He fell right down on the dirt floor of that old country store and they said that man prayed a hole right through to Heaven! He agreed to speak for them just a little while after the ladies’ meeting. My wife’s sister said, “We’ve come after you. We wanted you to be there and meet him. They drove me up to the old condemned theater building where we were holding our services, since we had left the old Methodist Church because of its compromise and disapproval of the “realities of God.” My, this old building would fill up; people would weep, get blessed and get saved. God’s anointing was on it.
This preacher wasn’t there when we arrived so another fellow and I went in and sat down
and waited for him to come. Finally, somebody came in and said, “The little preacher is out in the yard.” We couldn’t wait! We went out where he was and somebody introduced us to him. He was just a little fellow, small in stature; I imagine somewhat like Zaccheaus; but nevertheless he had the blessing of God on him. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a man who had more anointing than that man. He did acknowledge us a little bit, but seemed so lost in God that we mattered but little to him. We hadn’t been standing around too long when he turned around to some of us and said, “Is there not a place around here to pray?” We were accustomed to gathering and going out into the woods to pray and get “a hold” of God, so that wasn’t anything unusual to us. We said, “Yes, there is a place to pray,” and we started down the old Ferry Road. At that time there were few homes on that road, but one was being built not too far from the entrance. It had been closed in and the porch floor was laid. He took the lead and was just like a prancing horse. As he started across the road I well remember what he said, “We don’t have to go too far; we don’t have to pray too loud; we just want to talk to our Heavenly Father.” I said, “Well, it’s not necessary that we go on down to the woods,” and I referred to this new building. “Let’s just go up here on this porch and here we’ll pray.” In this little group was a Sunday school teacher, one of the main leaders of our group, Uncle Jimmy Lewis, my elder brother, a fellow by the name of Sam Salters, the little preacher and myself. One started praying; when he got through someone else would start, and on it went until it came the preacher’s time. Because of Uncle Jimmy Lewis’ years of experience in serving God, and his example, my elder brother and I had always felt reverent when we were praying and seldom ever looked up. I managed to keep my head down in spite of all that was going on, but later Uncle Jimmy said they couldn’t help but watch that fellow. He said it reminded him in his imagination of old Elijah! They said there were times when that man’s shoe toes were the only things that were touching the porch as he prayed and called on God. After it was over, we noticed all the people were out in the store yard and at the scattered houses along the road as far as we could see. God blessed him and I’ve never witnessed anything just like it! I was told afterward, that some of them at the store and elsewhere felt as though there was a lasso around their neck and somebody down
that road on the other end just pulling it! Hallelujah. That man had prayed through to Heaven. Amen! We got up from our knees and went back to the old theater.
The Ladies’ Aid wasn’t finished with its business, so we went in and sat down. That little
old fellow could hardly sit still, and ever so often he’d slip down at the seat to pray; then up he’d get and down he’d go again, he did this several times before they got through with their meeting. Finally, the ladies turned around to this fellow and said, “All right, preacher, it’s yours.” I can’t remember right now, but possibly they sang a song or two, and then they gave it over to him to preach. I’ll never forget that old theater. It had a high old stage with about four steps on either side, and I can see him now as he sprang out of that seat almost in a half run, unbuttoning his vest as he went up the stairs and hit the stage! His text was, “Ye must be born again.” I got rather unsettled over the man using that text, when as far as I knew, there wasn=t an unsaved person in the congregation. He began to preach as if everybody in that little old church house was on his way to hell. No man ever preached a more sincere message than he did. When he completed the first work of grace, he paused a few minutes and then said, “I would like to cap this with the second instantaneous work of grace called sanctification.” Brother, if ever a man preached old-fashioned holiness, that fellow preached it! When he got through, for the first time I saw my way perfectly clear to go through with God. I’ll never forget that meeting, as long as I live. I sat back about five pews from the front row and when he gave the invitation, I looked around to see if anybody felt like I felt. I saw my sister-in-law, whom I have referred to before, pitch her baby over to another woman and head for the altar. I didn’t stop to go around the end of the seat, but I went over the back of the seats and hit that altar, which was erected out of two by sixes lying on two chairs. I’ve told my experience many times through the years of getting saved on a creosote log, and sanctified on a two by six! There were quite a few more praying for God to sanctify them. I had settled the question; and when I got to the altar of prayer, I said, “Lord God, I’m never leaving this altar until you sanctify me.” Even though the “old man” didn’t want to die and the old enemy fought me, I counted the cost and consecrated one thing right after another which God brought to my mind, even things which might not have been “light,” until I had everything on the altar except SELF. Then God began to question me about the possibility of going to Africa! You talk about a call to Africa; it could not have been more real than if God would have demanded me to have gone right then. I wrestled with that until finally I said, “Yes Lord, I’ll go to Africa.” With God leading, I was there an hour and a half consecrating, agonizing and praying “through,” waiting for God to sanctify my unworthy heart. I came to the completeness of an eternal “yes”; and just like stamping some important paper with a government seal, God put the stamp on my consecration for time and eternity. Then God said to me, ”You sing that old song, I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go.”
I’m not a fellow that sings and seldom even try. I just can’t do anything at it; nevertheless
God had said for me to sing this old song. I felt it was just a suggestion and so turned around to our song leader and said, “Sing, I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go.” I am confident the woman wasn’t telling a story. I believe God just took the memory of that tune out of her mind; for she turned to me and said, “I don’t know it.” I began to wonder what to do when God said, “Haven’t you just told me you’d go to Africa?” I said, “Yes, Lord, I will.” “Well,” He said, “I just asked you to sing this song and it seems that you don’t want to do it.” I woke up to the fact that it was God asking me to do this thing, so I said, “Yes, Lord, I’ll do as You have said.” I didn’t sing any “so-low,” I sang a ”so-high!” You could, no doubt, have heard me a half-mile down the road singing that old hymn,
“I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go.” We boys used to run around in the water and then keep on our clothes that were wet with salt water, so we were accustomed to having what we call a “blood boil.” They would come on different parts of our limbs and were terrible things, and would go from bad to worse until that old center core, which was causing all the trouble, would get what my mother used to call “ripe.” just as long as that old core stayed in there that boil would just rage and surge until the time would come when my mother would take her two thumbs and lay them along-side of that old “ripe” boil. She’d just press down a little bit and that core would pop out and it would get well. When I got through with that song, I felt the Holy Ghost of God, just as my mother had done many times, lay His thumbs on either side of my old carnal heart and press a little bit, and I felt the old Adamic nature pop out, tap-root and all, like the core out of that blood boil. In my imagination, it looked almost like an octopus with bunches of stuff in the old taproot.
I felt so clean. Hallelujah, I never will forget it as long as I live! I have also expressed it as
being like a new joint of stove pipe with the air drawin through it. But there is not language on earth or words in Webster’s Dictionary whereby we can express this cleansing. Thank God, for a pure heart! God had purified my heart by faith through my determination never to leave the altar until He sanctified my soul. The blessed Book tells how Peter told of the experience at Cornelius’ house and ,explained to the Church, “Their hearts were purified by faith, even as ours. The Holy Ghost spoke to me, “Get up, and tell this crowd you’re sanctified.” While God had been dealing with me and cleansing my heart, everything had gotten mighty quiet. I stood up, turned around and just quiet-like said, “The Lord sanctified me tonight.” Hallelujah, something happened in the upper sky. Something broke loose and came down through the top of that old building and hit me in the bottom of my soul. HALLELUJAH! When I came to myself, I was about midway in that old theater, jumping just as high as I could, praising God for the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost. That whole atmosphere was charged with the presence of God. This may sound a little bit fanatical, but that old building was nearly “plumb full” of blue smoke so that you could hardly tell one from the other. That night was Monday night, the Fourth of July. They were having fireworks over at Atlantic Beach, which we could see from the little island where we were; and while they had fireworks over there, we were having fireworks. over here! For days afterward, different ones testified that the atmosphere out on the highway was charged with the presence of God. Hallelujah for the realities of sanctified heart.
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Source: “An Earnest Contender,” the Autobiography of Ed Rose
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts