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THE NEW BAPTIST TABERNACLE!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, July 3, 2016

“Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence” (Isaiah 64:1).


We are returning again to this great passage of Scripture. The prophet Isaiah was praying. He was praying for God to tear open the heavens and come down. Dr. Lloyd-Jones said, “It is right, of course, always to pray to God to bless us, to look upon us and be gracious unto us, that should be our constant prayer. But this goes beyond that, and it is here that we see the difference between what the church should always be praying for, and the special, peculiar, urgent prayer for a visitation of God’s Spirit in revival” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Revival, Crossway Books, 1992, p. 305).

Two Sunday nights ago I preached a sermon called “Rise Up, Young Men!” I felt the power of God come down during the sermon. When Mr. Olivacce and I were editing the video I watched it all the way through. I sensed that the presence of God came down, and I felt this was God’s message to our church that night.

One of the men sent his monthly contribution to our Internet ministry. His name is Rod. I thanked him and hyperlinked that sermon for him to watch. I said, “I think your socks will be blessed off your feet.” He wrote back to me. He said, “Dr. Hymers, I’m not so sure my socks were blessed off, but that sermon certainly blew my mind! In a word it was WOW!...I prayed for boldness to consume pastors and church leaders, knowing that God didn’t give us a spirit of fear...Dr. Hymers, stay strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, Rod.”

Dr. Cagan and his family were in Dallas, Texas on vacation last week. They attended two Baptist churches there last Sunday. Dr. Cagan told me that both services were disappointing. It’s that way in churches all across America. God help us! We are in a sad and sorry state. Dr. Lloyd-Jones said,

We have passed through one of the most barren [lifeless] periods in the long history of the church...We have been in bondage, we have been in fear, we have suffered persecution and derision, and it is still going on. We are still in the wilderness. Do not believe [anyone] that suggests we are out of it, we are not. The church is in the wilderness (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Revival, Crossway Books, 1992 edition, page 129).

The prophet Isaiah was living in a time like ours. The prophet said,

“Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire: and all our pleasant things are laid waste. Wilt thou refrain thyself for these things, O Lord? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore?” (Isaiah 64:10-12).

In that terrible situation, Isaiah prayed,

“Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence” (Isaiah 64:1).

It is my hope that God will lay that burden on the hearts of some of you here this morning. We need to pray again and again – and again and again – and yet again and again – shamelessly asking for God’s presence – seeking for God’s presence – knocking on the door of Heaven for God’s presence. Keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking – until God sends down His holy presence among us! Jesus Himself told us to do that. Jesus said,

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:9-13).

And I want you to be as determined as Jacob, when he cried out to God, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (Genesis 32:26). Pray to God – “I will not let thee go, except thou answer me and send down Thy Spirit on our church!” Do it! Do it! Mr. Griffith, help me to sing “Teach Me to Pray” to the new tune.

Power in prayer, Lord, power in prayer,
   Here ‘mid earth’s sin and sorrow and care:
Men lost and dying, souls in despair;
   O give me power, power in prayer!
Living in Thee, Lord, and Thou in me;
   Constant abiding, this is my plea;
Grant me Thy power, boundless and free;
   Power with men and power with Thee.
(“Teach Me to Pray” by Albert S. Reitz, 1879-1966; to the tune of
        “Fill All My Vision” by Avis Burgeson Christiansen, 1895-1985).

It’s number 7 on your song sheet. Sing it with us! It’s stanza 2, of hymn number 7!

Power in prayer, Lord, power in prayer,
   Here ‘mid earth’s sin and sorrow and care:
Men lost and dying, souls in despair;
   O give me power, power in prayer!
Living in Thee, Lord, and Thou in me;
   Constant abiding, this is my plea;
Grant me Thy power, boundless and free;
   Power with men and power with Thee.

You may be seated.

I believe God is already answering our prayers for His presence and guidance. As I was writing this sermon the Spirit of God came down in my study – and I almost felt that I was lifted up into the third Heaven! A few hours later, my son Leslie told me that some of you see me as a “desperate, dying old man that’s trying to take advantage of them and trick them.” He said, “You have to make them see you differently.” Oh, yes! I pray that you will begin to see me as a courageous old man.

If I am not courageous, how come I have been in so many fights – standing for the truth, when other preachers were afraid, fighting for the inerrancy of the Bible, fighting against abortion, fighting against that blasphemous movie, “The Last Temptation of Christ”? Fighting against the downgrading of the Blood of Christ by Dr. John MacArthur and his followers. If I am not courageous I would never have written a book against the heresy of Ruckmanism! Every other fundamental preacher in America was afraid to write a book like Ruckmanism Exposed! It cost me two big speaking engagements to write and advertise that book. But I learned long ago to count the honors and accolades of men as “dung” that I might have the approval of Christ, my hero and my King! If I am not courageous, why would I pick two young men, both over six feet tall, both built like football players, to preach in this pulpit – starting next Sunday? Why would I have John Cagan and Noah Song preach in this pulpit if I were not a courageous old man? Somebody said to me, “What if they become greater preachers than you, Dr. Hymers?” I said, “I want them to become greater preachers than me. I want them to become great men of God – and great preachers of the Gospel!” John, Noah, I want you men to strive like soldiers to become great preachers for the glory of God. I want to be proud of you two young men!

If I am not courageous why am I making all these changes in our church instead of staying home to watch Fox News on the TV? No, I am a courageous old man who wants to see a complete renovation and reconstruction and renewal and restoration and reanimation of our church! That’s it! That’s what we must have! A renovation, and reconstruction, and renewal, and restoration, and reanimation of this church – the new Baptist Tabernacle! We need the Holy Spirit to release us from the prison house of the church split and its aftermath. Only God can set us free and cause us to live again in His sight!

Old men are usually afraid of taking risks. But this old man has dreamed dreams and has seen visions! This old man knows we have to take a risk! This old man knows we have to have a new vision and a new strategy. This old man knows that cannot happen after I am dead. Yes, I am the founder of this church. Yes, I am the man who led you through the wilderness of the great church split. But, unlike Moses, I am the old man who must guide you into a new way, into the promised land, into the NEW Baptist Tabernacle! Yes, the NEW Baptist Tabernacle! I must help you get there!

We learned many good things in the wilderness of the great church split. We learned to stick together. We learned to depend on God in prayer. We were refined like gold. We learned how to overcome and stamp out the errors of “decisionism.” We learned how to do evangelism. These were good things to learn.

But there were bad things as well. Out of the fear of losing people, our church became timid, introverted, weak, and inefficient. We retreated into our castle, surrounded by a moat, and we pulled up the drawbridge and settled down in solitude. Sure, we kept trying to bring in new people – but we were not attractive to most of them any more. Who wants to join an introspective, fearful, and timid church? Nobody that’s courageous, outgoing and bold! Nobody that’s young and adventurous and brave!

Our own “church kids” were wounded, they didn’t enjoy being here. Some of them became bitter and skeptical. The sermons all began to sound alike to them. They kept coming because they loved their parents. But they no longer saw any hope for our church. Some of them left in disillusionment and despair. I didn’t know how to turn the church around. I kept trying the same things, and they weren’t working any more. And I was facing death from cancer. My mind was filled with despair and hopelessness.

Then three of our young men started meeting together to pray. After a while I asked them to come and pray with me in the study of my house. As we prayed together I began to have a new vision of our church. I began to pray in a new way, a continuous prayer throughout each day. All day, and into the night, I began to sing a song that was new to me then,

Fill all my vision, Saviour, I pray,
   Let me see only Jesus today;
Though through the valley Thou leadest me,
   Thy fadeless glory encompasseth me.
Fill all my vision, Saviour divine,
   Till with Thy glory my spirit shall shine.
Fill all my vision, that all may see
   Thy holy Image reflected in me.

Instead of thinking about dying all day, now I was thinking about Christ constantly, and I was praying for God to give me a new vision for our church.

Fill all my vision, Saviour divine,
   Till with Thy glory my spirit shall shine.
Fill all my vision, that all may see
   Thy holy Image reflected in me.

And as I sang those words God began to show me a new vision for our church. I began to see that we needed to throw out some things, and we needed to take some risks, and try some new things, and throw open the doors of our church and let God lead us in a new direction.

Therefore I am going to close the inquiry room for the rest of the summer and fall. We will continue to preach hard-hitting evangelistic sermons, but there will be no inquiry room at all for several months. We will simply preach the Gospel and let the lost people think about the sermons without further counsel. Noah Song and John Cagan will preach most of the sermons on Sunday mornings.

When we burned the note on this building, I told you that you young people have to save the church. We saved the building, but you young people must save the church! Now is the time to start handing the church over to you. Therefore I have appointed Aaron Yancy, Jack Ngann, Noah Song and John Cagan as deacon candidates. They will sit on the platform with Ben Griffith every Sunday morning. Aaron Yancy will read the Scriptures and lead the opening prayer on Sunday morning. Jack Ngann will pray for those who are going on evangelism on Sunday afternoon. Ben Griffith will continue to sing the solos, and I will continue to lead the hymns and give the announcements every Sunday morning. Noah Song and John Cagan will preach on many Sundays. Dr. Chan will continue to preach on many Saturday nights. On Sunday nights the regular deacons and deacon candidates will sit on the platform and I will preach every Sunday night.

But that is only the beginning. I will be ready to discuss any other changes that are suggested to me. Every proposed change will be discussed with Dr. Cagan, to make sure we don’t throw out what is good – and there is a great deal that is good in our church! But we need a new strategy, a new vision, some new leaders, and in time, a new senior pastor. The things I have listed will be put into practice next Sunday morning, with John Cagan giving the sermon, and Noah Song giving the sermon the following Sunday morning. Also we will have phoning and evangelism on Wednesday and Thursday off and on for a few months, starting next week.

This may seem exciting at first – but it will really only be changes in the “machinery” of the church. It will not help us to make these changes unless the Holy Spirit is with us. Therefore we will have a day of fasting and prayer on many Saturdays. Beginning next Saturday we will fast and pray for God to come down and make our church live again in His sight! Everything must be done with a great deal of prayer or we will fail. We must pray with all our hearts,

“Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence” (Isaiah 64:1).

And when the Holy Spirit comes down, may He glorify and make Jesus Christ vividly clear to us, for that is what we need most of all! Jesus said when the Holy Spirit comes down, “even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” (John 15:26). The Spirit will bear witness to Jesus. The Spirit will reveal to us Jesus. The Spirit will magnify and glorify Jesus. And in that time we shall behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world! And in that time we shall behold the bleeding Saviour, dying on the Cross, shedding His holy Blood to cleanse our sins. And in that time we shall think of Jesus more, admire Jesus more, and our hearts and minds will be fixed on our beloved and beautiful Saviour, with the nail prints in His hands, pleading for us in Heaven, at the right hand of God! And we will love the Saviour much more than ever we have before! Please stand and sing hymn number 8 on your song sheet.

Fill all my vision, Saviour, I pray,
   Let me see only Jesus today;
Though through the valley Thou leadest me,
   Thy fadeless glory encompasseth me.
Fill all my vision, Saviour divine,
   Till with Thy glory my spirit shall shine.
Fill all my vision, that all may see
   Thy holy Image reflected in me.

Fill all my vision, every desire
   Keep for Thy glory; my soul inspire,
With Thy perfection, Thy holy love,
   Flooding my pathway with light from above.
Fill all my vision, Saviour divine,
   Till with Thy glory my spirit shall shine.
Fill all my vision, that all may see
   Thy holy Image reflected in me.

Fill all my vision, let naught of sin
   Shadow the brightness shining within.
Let me see only Thy blessed face,
   Feasting my soul on Thy infinite grace.
Fill all my vision, Saviour divine,
   Till with Thy glory my spirit shall shine.
Fill all my vision, that all may see
   Thy holy Image reflected in me.
(“Fill All My Vision” by Avis Burgeson Christiansen, 1895-1985).

Jesus Christ came down to earth to suffer and die on the Cross in the place of sinners. If you are not yet saved, you must turn away from your sinful and selfish life-style. You must repent and trust Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. Only He can wash away all your sins with His Blood. Only He can save you from the flames of Hell. Only Jesus can save you from your sins. There will be no inquiry room on Sunday for a long time. If you wish to be counselled you must make an appointment to see Dr. Cagan on Thursday night. You can phone him or talk to him about making an appointment to counsel with him after this service. Dr. Chan, please lead us in prayer. Amen.


If this sermon blessed you Dr. Hymers would like to hear from you. WHEN YOU WRITE TO DR. HYMERS YOU MUST TELL HIM WHAT COUNTRY YOU ARE WRITING FROM OR HE CANNOT ANSWER YOUR E-MAIL. If these sermons bless you send an e-mail to Dr. Hymers and tell him, but always include what country you are writing from. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is at rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net (click here). You can write to Dr. Hymers in any language, but write in English if you can. If you want to write to Dr. Hymers by postal mail, his address is P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. You may telephone him at (818)352-0452.

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: Isaiah 64:1-4.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Teach Me to Pray” (by Albert S. Reitz, 1879-1966; to the tune of
“Fill All My Vision” by Avis Burgeson Christiansen, 1895-1985).