When I was fourteen years of age, I was baptized and united with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. At that time the outstanding truths of our message made a great impression upon my mind, and I believed them with a simple, trusting faith which has never wavered during any period of my experience. I suppose that my Christian experience during the years that I have been a member of the church and a minister of the gospel, carrying heavy responsibilities in connection with the work, has been much the same as that of the average believer. I accepted Christ as the one who had forgiven my sin; growth in the Christian life was always an interesting and precious theme to me; I never doubted God's love, purpose, or power. But somehow I did not, and seemingly could not, experience and claim that which it seemed to me the gospel provided and which salvation called for.
On making a more careful study of the instruction given by the spirit of prophecy, I found there, as an outstanding appeal, the call to a true inner-life experience, and I saw that the call for a revival and reformation in our midst is God's invitation to His remnant people to receive Christ as a personal Saviour to be enthroned in the heart.
About four years ago, I came to a realization of the precious truth that salvation is a gift, and that the gift is Christ. Gradually it dawned upon me that Christ is not only to be believed in, but that He is to be received; and that believing and receiving the theories and doctrines concerning Him is not receiving Him. Christ as a personal Saviour becomes my personal possession. "He hath become my salvation."
Receiving Him, I have righteousness, wisdom, power, life, love, and all that He is. " Christ in you the hope of glory," has become a reality. To be the " temple of the Holy Ghost " takes on a new meaning. There has come to me a new understanding of forgiveness, justification, sanctification, and victory; the completeness of God's salvation has become a great joy to me, and a fuller light shines upon every Bible truth. The special truths for this time are made to seem more important than before, and my love for them has greatly increased. The gift of the Holy Spirit is a precious provision in the gospel plan.
As I entered into this new experience, the message to the Laodicean church came as a mighty appeal to me, for I saw that the Laodicean state is a form of religion without the heart experience, and may include both faith and works without being founded upon love, and that it applies " to the people of God who profess to believe present truth." I realized with a new sense of meaning that we may be perfectly organized and officered, our membership may rapidly increase, we may operate in many lands and through many languages, we may have imposing institutions and millions of dollars invested; yet there may remain the need which can be supplied only by receiving the infinite gift of the indwelling Christ. Really, this Laodicean message never helped me much until I was able to believe that it described my condition. When I saw that lacked, then the offer of gold, white raiment, and anointing for my eyes became precious. I now receive them gladly. When I saw the externals so predominant, and the internal work of grace so neglected in my life, it was a great joy to me to sense the full force of the blessed words: " Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him."
This experience which God has so graciously given to me, and which is now coming to many individuals, is without question that added light and power promised for this time. It is the outpouring of the Spirit of God by which this message and movement is to swell into the loud cry. I esteem it a great privilege to be living in this time, and to be permitted to have a part in the closing experiences of this message.
A Union Conference President.