[Brother Hicks' Note: This is a testimony that I believe will minister to many people. So many today are told by "superficial professors of religion to believe" they are saved even though they know in their heart that sin and fleshly lusts still abide in them. They know they are not new creatures in Christ, but many over-ride this witness of the Spirit drawing them to true salvation through sanctification of the Spirit (2 Thessalonians 2:13). They just accept the testimony of false brethren telling them they are saved because they prayed a prayer or confessed some sins. Please do not let men and the devil they serve rob you of true salvation in this life. If your heart has not been made clean and sin still reigns in your life then you are not saved. You may have some experiences of God's grace but they are drawing you to salvation, not salvation itself. Please be blessed by this testimony.
Published on Thursday, 23 May 2013 22:34
Written by Brother Hicks
It should be noted that when he refers to "conversion" he means that exactly and not full salvation. In old holiness circles they all believed that without holiness/sanctification no one would see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14) and that people might be converted and start believing the truth, but until they are sanctified, they are not truly saved.]
It is somewhat contrary to the custom of the writer to say anything of himself; however, at this time, I feel impressed by the Spirit to give the reader a fragment of my experience, with the
sincere hope that God may in some way make it a blessing.
I will begin by saying, as far as memory serves me, I was under conviction every moment of my life since I was seven years of age. It is true, I was a very wicked lad up until the time of my
conversion; notwithstanding that fact, I was under conviction all the time and everywhere I went. Frequently, while in the ballrooms and gambling-dens, the spirit
of prayer would come upon me and I could not take part in what was going on, but cried to God in secret
to forgive my sins. Everything in nature seemed daily to remind me of God, eternity, heaven and hell.
The golden sun, the silver moon and all the twinkling stars seemed to have a resistless message for me; also the musing winds, the murmuring streams, the singing birds, the evergreen trees and the
Often when I wanted to do some mischievous act, I had to perform it quickly in order to get ahead of the monitor within. Strange as it may appear, I prayed nearly all the time, and the thought of
God and eternity stood before me night and day. I attended almost every revival that was within my reach and frequently went to the altar as a seeker, but failed to get through for the following
reasons: First. I did not utterly renounce sin and the world. Second. The altar workers did not know how to instruct a seeking soul. Almost as soon as I reached the altar, they began telling me
first one thing and
then another. One said, "Give up," but did not tell me what to give up. Another said, "Believe," but did not tell me how or what to believe. Finally, one night in a popular church in the city of
Chicago, after going to the altar for a whole week, I was persuaded by a company of superficial professors of religion to believe I was saved, without ever feeling the burden of sin roll away,
without realizing any change of heart or obtaining any witness whatever. They clapped their hands and sang such songs as, "I can, and I will, and I do believe," "He takes me as I am," and "Jesus
paid it all," but no fire fell. My heart was as dark and cold as it was before I ever prayed a single prayer. However, I accepted this
for religion and tried to make my heart believe it was; but in spite of all my plausible arguments, my heart looked up into my face and said, "This is not the old-time, heartfelt religion that
your father enjoyed and told about." Regardless of its strong protest, I joined the church, was baptized and became a zealous church worker. I attended all of the
services, paid my dues, prayed, testified, visited the sick, gave to the poor and was also an assistant class-leader, but my soul (from a spiritual standpoint) was dead as a stone. When I saw the
older Christians shouting, weeping and praising God, my heart would again say to me, "I told you that you did not have the old-time religion that makes soul and body
happy." And so it was, for, notwithstanding the other people's shouting and rejoicing, I did not feel any more of what they felt and enjoyed than a man who had died a hundred years before.
However, by and by, I was fully convinced of the fact that I was not saved, but was simply an empty, dry professor of religion. This caused me to earnestly seek the
Lord, day and night. One evening, while in a mission, lifting my voice to God in earnest prayer, the
windows of heaven fiew open and a landslide of glory dropped into my soul. I was so filled and so
thrilled with glory that as I went home I seemed to walk six feet above the ground. A few days later I received such an overwhelming blessing that the room seemed to be on fire. Then the
superficial, religious teachers told me that the blessing which I had received was sanctification, so they persuaded me to attend a shallow holiness meeting where I
claimed and testified to holiness. Thus I became one of their prominent workers. About this time it pleased God to put into my hands a copy of "Wesley's Plain Account of Christian Perfection," and
also some other books that treated on genuine spiritual holiness. I was also invited by a friend to a little meeting where the people had the genuine
article, and while attending this meeting, the light shone upon my heart why I needed holiness. If the
people had told me that I needed holiness to make me happy and give me joy, I would have told them
that I already had it, for I had all the joy I could handle and was as happy as a man could be and yet
live. I got blessed in every kind of meeting I attended, even in official meetings. But I noticed when these
people testified they spoke of how God had taken the uprisings of anger, jealousy, impatience, prejudice,
pride, etc., out of their hearts, and no matter how things went or how their wills were crossed, they
never felt the least stir. I had joy but I could not say that, for quite frequently, when spoken to sharply by my employer, I would feel something kink up in my soul that made me feel like talking
when some brother would be too sociable with wife, there was something in my soul that did not feel
normal but felt tremendously strange. And, whenever I gave a good testimony, prayed a good prayer or gave a good exhortation, I felt something in me that wanted to ask some one if I did well or
how it sounded. I was quite anxious to have some one speak about it.
These traits and many others convinced me of the fact that I still had in me the "old man" and was not sanctified; so I began seeking, by earnest prayer, fasting, self-abnegation and faith, for
about ten days, when suddenly, one beautiful April day (just seven months from the day of my conversion), a mighty power came upon me from heaven and swept the "old
man," root and branch, out of my soul and filled me with the Holy Ghost.
From that time I resolved, by the grace of God, to be wholly devoted to Him, soul, body and spirit, and walk in the clearest light.
This experience of being cleansed and filled with divine light and glory revealed to me my own nothingness and shallowness, until finally a mighty spirit of prayer came upon me in which I prayed
for six months, "Take me down deeper that I may magnify thy grace." During this time I ate nothing except bread and water, and lay prostrate before God in
prayer for three months, without going to bed a single time. The blessed Spirit seemed to hold me under such strict discipline and gave me such union with heaven that I found it difficult to live
in the world.
It is true, I have made many a blunder and grievous mistake, for all of which I humbly ask the human family to forgive me, but at all times my intentions and purposes were to please God in the
highest sense and walk in the narrowest of the nar-
row way that leads to the gates of pearl.