ORVAL J. NEASE
(A Nazarene General Superintendent)

February 9, 2017 // Story

 

ORVAL J. NEASE
(A Nazarene General Superintendent)

Orval J. Nease served as a pastor, evangelist, college professor, college president, writer,

and as general superintendent in the Church of the Nazarene.

My father, William O. Nease, was converted when a young man at the altars of a revival in

an Evangelical church and was called from between plow handles to preach the gospel. In the
early days of his ministry, he fought with an inward foe that often brought him to the verge of
despair. Privileged providentially to attend one service of a small camp meeting in western
Michigan, he heard a Wesleyan Methodist evangelist by the name of E. T. Jenning preach a
message on “A Pure Heart.” Father’s request of the speaker for a book he could take with him that
would give him added light resulted in his purchase of The Better Way, by Beverly Carradine.

Sitting by the kitchen stove a few mornings later, he suddenly closed his recently purchased

book and said, “Mother, I knew there must be a better heart experience than I have known, and I am
determined not only to seek until I obtain, but I propose to begin now.”

There beside the kitchen range, Father emptied out the uncleanness of his heart. In telling

this experience, I have often heard him say that as the Holy Spirit revealed to him his heart, he
confessed the impure tendencies of his nature to God as truly as he had confessed the wrong acts of
his life when he came to Christ for pardon.

A kindly neighbor lady, a member of Father’s church, was called in to join in the prayer.

When she witnessed the deep struggle of Father’s soul and the accompanying earnestness of
physical expression, she became alarmed and said to my mother, “Mrs. Nease, there is something
terribly the matter with Brother Nease. I think you should call a doctor.” Mother replied more
wisely than she knew, “No, I shall not call a doctor. I really do not understand all this, but God got
him into it and God will have to bring him out.”

 

And God did bring him out! When he had made a complete abandonment of himself to God,

the Holy Spirit took possession of his all, and calm assurance reigned within his being.

Father then was deeply concerned that Mother receive this same sanctifying grace that was

so abundantly his. Together they attended God’s Revivalist Camp Meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio,
where the Rev. C. E. Cornell was one of the workers. At the conclusion of an afternoon message
preached by Rev. Cornell, Mother knelt at the humble altar with Miss Mary Storey, a returned
missionary, the evangelist and Father kneeling with her to encourage with their prayers and
guidance.

Mother had not sought long until she lost sight of all about her, so absorbed was she in her

heart transaction with the Holy Spirit. It seemed to her that God placed a casket of consecration
before her; and as the affairs of life, over which she had control, marched by in solemn review,
she placed them one by one in utter commitment into the hands of God. Children, husband, home,
family name, future — her all in the hands of Deity. This she did by an act of will as real to her as
though by physical act she had relinquished her grasp upon things earthly in death.

She tells of a sense of rest that came to her. Mary Storey, wise altar worker that she was,

began to quote scripture to aid Mother’s faith. Putting an Old Testament portion with a New
Testament selection, she quoted, “Whatsoever toucheth the altar is holy … the altar that sanctifieth
the gift.” It was the avenue of assurance Mother needed, and with firm confidence she said, “That
being true, on the authority of God’s Word, I am sanctified.”

Rev. Cornell, quick to sense God’s dealing, said, “Mrs. Nease, will you tell everyone you

meet between now and the evening service what you have just said to us?” Her reply was, “I will!”

When Mother and Father walked down the aisle to find a seat at the time of the evening

service, Rev. Cornell saw them and got to his feet, quieted the audience, and said, “Mrs. Nease,
how is it now with your soul?” Mother raised a hand toward heaven and with a clear voice
exclaimed, “On the authority of God’s Word, I am sanctified.” And Heaven broke in upon her soul.
The Holy Spirit had come to abide.

With such rich heritage of experience and testimony, it is not difficult to understand how

my brother Floyd and I came early in our Christian experience to face a similar crisis in
consecration. Lads of high school age, we had been graciously converted and gave frequent
testimony to the forgiveness of sins; yet within our hearts was waged a warfare between opposing
forces, from which conflict we had often sought deliverance. Again and again at private and public
altars we sought for the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit. Either our faith faltered or our
commitment was incomplete, for we failed to receive Him for whom our hearts craved. Brother
and I were the janitors at the little holiness church of which our family were members. It was on
Saturday as we were cleaning the church for Sunday that I reminded him that on the next day a
revival began. He replied, “Yes, I was just thinking about that.” I then suggested to him that the
good man who was coming as evangelist would preach holiness and that we were not in a position
to feel in harmony with such an emphasis.

 

I shall never forget his answer. “Well, Orval, I have thought of that too, and I have made up

my mind to seek the experience at every opportunity until I obtain it or die in the attempt.” The
gleam of earnestness in his eyes found a response in my heart, and I exclaimed, “Floyd, I will join
you with all there is of me.”

The evangelist came, and Brother and I were seekers at the first service but did not meet

victory. We sought at the evening service and at every succeeding service for ten days. Not that
there was virtue or necessity in our repeated coming, except that it gave expression to the
determination of our hearts to know the “fulness of the blessing.”

It was on Thursday night of the second week we knelt side by side praying that the Holy

Spirit might possess our lives, when I sensed a deepening earnestness and faith in my brother’s
intercession. I ceased my own praying to listen to him, for I was almost as interested in his
receiving the Spirit as I was in obtaining it myself. It was not that he prayed loudly, but that he
prayed “deeply.”

All at once his praying ceased, his great blue eyes opened, a smile of satisfaction lighted

up his face. I knew before he spoke that the Holy Spirit had met his need. Slapping me on the
shoulder he shouted, “Pray on, Orval. You can have the Holy Spirit, for He has come to me.”

The next morning after the breakfast hour, my father asked me to hurry to the village store

for nails that he might do some needed repair work. He instructed me to hurry lest we be late for
the morning service, for the revival in full swing was being conducted with two services a day.

Father felt I consumed more time in the errand than I should and came to meet me, intending

to reprimand me for my tardiness. One look at my face and he knew something disturbed me. “Son,
what is wrong? Are you ill?” I replied, “No, Father, but I want the Holy Spirit more than I want
anything or anybody else in all the world. It seems I will die if the Holy Spirit does not get to me
very soon.”

We sought God that morning rather than driving nails. That night again at the altar, my

faithful brother at my side praying for me, I reached the place of total abandonment. Faith became
operative, and the faithful Holy Spirit did His office work in my heart. Not much of demonstration,
but the quiet assurance that I had gotten to the end of self filled me. The Holy Spirit had taken
control.

That initial experience took place more than thirty-five years ago. The way has not always

been smooth. I have made many mistakes. The enemy of man’s soul has harassed; but may I testify
to the glory of God before three worlds that my heart has never wavered from the commitment of
that night and that the Holy Spirit abides in my heart today.

Source: “Living Flames of Fire” by Bernie Smith

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THE END

 

 

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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN
(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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