(Former President, Professor Bible Missionary Institute, BMC)

February 9, 2017 // Story


(Former President, Professor Bible Missionary Institute, BMC)

I entered my first pastorate with the testimony of being both saved and sanctified wholly,

but in fact I was carnal. I had as a lad, been gloriously saved beyond any shadow of a doubt.
Shortly after that I was just as clearly sanctified wholly. How ever, being ignorant of how to live a
day by day victorious life: became backslidden in heart but not in outward life, not having
committed outward sins. From the day God saved me I was never without a testimony long at any
time. But having lost the witness to entire sanctification I was plagued with doubts and fears
through my college days and post graduate studies. I sought God many times for the experience of
”full salvation” and just as many times claimed to have received this blessing of entire
sanctification. Many, many times I would rationalize my way back into a testimony of being
sanctified wholly. There was no doubt that I was volitionally all out for God and lived outwardly
an exemplary life. But as the song writer put it, “When the Spirit tried to tell me, I would not the
truth receive. I endeavored to be happy, and to make myself believe.”

I had obtained a Master’s Degree in Theology and was versed in the Wesleyan-Arminian

doctrine of the twofold nature of sin and the twofold cure as taught in Scripture. When doubts
assailed me I would go through the mental process — “I’m all on the altar, Christ is the altar, His
blood was shed not only for forgiveness but cleansing Mr. Devil, you can leave, I claim the
efficacy of the blood for the cleansing of my soul this very moment!” And, as Phoebe Palmer
preached, “If by faith, why not now!” I never kept count of how many times this process was

To calm my carnal heart I would reason, “Well, maybe I have been carnal, but from now on

I claim cleansing in the merit of the blood.” And so it was that I entered my first pastorate
professing the blessing of a sanctified heart but still possessing the carnal nature.

I began my pastoral ministry, a home mission project, with great zeal. I was not trying to

play the hypocrite and because of this God blessed my ministry with fruit. People were getting
saved and sanctified. But I was often in trouble myself. Symptoms of the carnal nature disturbed


my peace of mind and brought torment to my soul. At the same time my wife was not sanctified
either but, like me, she also professed to be. Two carnal people living together under the
profession of entire sanctification is a bad combination as we often found it to be.

As I have stated prior to this personal account, if the carnal nature is yet in the heart there

are sure to be symptoms of its existence. And yet it is the nature of a carnal heart to hide itself from
itself and rationalize its existence away. To what irrational extremes a carnal heart will go to
spare itself–all because of that primal sin of pride! It will prop itself up with all kinds of
explanations and reasonings: “It is my tensed up nerves, I am under undue pressure, I haven’t been
spending enough time in prayer, I need to read my Bible more.”

On and on the reasoning would go to justify my carnal uprisings. After wife and I would

have a carnal clash we would patch it up, ask forgiveness of each other and assure each other that
our “head-on” collision was caused by nervous tension brought on by the pressure of the ministry. I
would not stop long enough to allow the faithful Holy Spirit to probe me to the bottom, but I would
allow carnal reasonings to get my deep need off the hook. Later on I could see how the Spirit tried
to help me, but I had allowed myself to be brainwashed by carnality’s deceptiveness.

One day, however, with all praise and gratitude to God, I got tired of living such a life of

doubt and fear and went before the Lord alone with an open, honest heart. I saw very clearly that I
did not possess what the old time saints possessed and enjoyed. I was bound by the carnal mind
and void of liberty. What I professed to have wasn’t working in my own home or heart. When I
went before the Lord in all honesty as the Psalmist did when he prayed, “Search me, O God, and
know my hear: try me and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me …” (Psalm
139:23, 24), it was like a dam had broken and all the putrefaction of a carnal heart poured out in
willing confession. In the following words, H. A. Baldwin pictures what I was experiencing at that

“…When to one is given this deep view of the inward workings of carnality, he will just as

naturally confess it as he will confess his actual sins when seeking pardon. The fact is that such a
view of self will be accompanied by confession almost as inevitably as a person is accompanied
by his shadow; the discovery and confession can scarcely be separated in experience….
Confession of inherent sin is a Bible requirement, the doctrine of those “holy men of old” who
”spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

Dr. Jesse T. Peck, in his Central Idea of Christianity (pages 220-221) says: “But you will

find some stubborn difficulties in your way. There are some unavoidable implications in the
confessions you are called upon to make, that will be deeply humbling to the soul. You have
probably been long known and recognized as a Christian — perhaps a faithful, fervent Christian;
you have been a leader in the armies of Israel — a minister in the church of God — even an eminent
minister among your brethren. In either case it is not quite easy to confess that you have been all
this time without a pure heart — that your religion has been a religion of contests with yourself, as
well as with the world and Satan, and that, though you have advocated for years a religion of
purity, you have never yet fully availed yourself of the purifying provisions of the gospel…


“Nor is it upon any principle of penance, or self-mortification, or with any view of priestly

absolution, that confession is required. The grand principle of this whole concession is truth, truth
to the conscience; truth to the facts of the present and the past; truth to the vows you have made, and
the demands of the church; all of which requires, and must have, candid expression; and you will
be gratified, you will be thankful to God for the benefits it confers.”

Dr. Adam Clarke, in his comments on 1 John 1:9 says: “Guilt, to be forgiven, must be

confessed; and pollution, to be cleansed, must be confessed … Few are pardoned because they do
not feel and confess their sins; and few are sanctified or cleansed from all sin, because they do not
feel and confess their own sore, and the plague of their hearts.”

At that time I had not read the above. Yet all this I faced and it was so painfully true in my

case. To begin with, as I went before God in my study alone, but with an open heart seeking help
from God, I determined I would not leave a stone unturned in my quest for deliverance from inbred
sin and for the purifying, fiery baptism of the Holy Ghost on my heart. At this point I was
victorious in a regenerated experience.

Sunday was coming. I determined to face my church in all honesty and open confession of

my need. The Spirit was leading me unerringly to the land of perfect rest. God gave me a message
to preach on that particular Sunday morning on the subject of entire sanctification as a second
definite work of grace. When I finished preaching I confessed publicly to my church that I did not
possess the experience I had just been preaching about, but was a candidate for that experience of
heart holiness.

When I had gone that far in my quest for deliverance from the carnal nature and the

purification of my heart, God blessed me with one of the greatest blessings I had ever had up to
that time. Let me inject right here that with every move a soul makes toward God, He (God) will
bless that soul for it. How quick the wonderful Spirit of God is to bless and encourage an honest,
seeking heart. However, I was not seeking a blessing, but a pure heart. The devil would like to
have stopped me right there and had me prematurely claim deliverance from the sin nature.

I called an evangelist who came immediately to begin revival services in my church and I

became a seeker at my own altar. How long did I seek? The time element is not the significant
thing — I sought until the faithful Holy Spirit led me to the end of myself; until I saw and confessed
the depth of my own carnal heart. Behind jealousy, anger, carnal ambition, etc. — behind all these
so apparent carnal traits and from which they flowed was “carnal self.” I was all wrapped up in
self — I, me, mine! It took a divine revelation to reveal my “carnal self” to me. It was the first time
in all my seeking over the past years that I tarried long enough to allow the Holy Spirit to probe to
the bottom of my proud, carnal heart and help me to see and thoroughly confess what my heart was
really like.

Self held center stage — not God and His glory! I was aware of the moment I had reached

the end of confessing carnal self. I had a witness within myself of that fact, and just as suddenly my
faith claimed the blessing and then the Spirit Himself sealed with His witness that my heart was
cleansed. God had given me a promise to cling to (Heb. 4:9, “There remaineth therefore a rest to
the people of God.”). My heart had been so restless through those years of struggle! But at last I


was able by simple faith to enter into that rest through the merits of the blood of Christ that was
shed on Calvary’s cross.

Charles Wesley wrote about that rest in the second verse of that familiar song, “Love


Breathe, oh, breathe Thy loving Spirit
Into ev’ry troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit,
Let us find that second rest.

Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its beginning
Set our hearts at liberty.

Source: “Man’s Ascent To God” by I. Parker Maxey

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(A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts)
Compiled by Duane V. Maxey

Vol. I — Named Accounts

Interchurch Holiness Convention

18931 Route 522

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