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SHOW ME THY GLORY

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Saturday Evening, August 12, 2017


Please turn with me in your Bible to Exodus, chapter 33. It’s on page 115 of the Scofield Study Bible. Now stand and look at Exodus 33:18. Here is Moses’ prayer to God,

“And he said, I beseech thee [I beg thee], shew me thy glory”
        (Exodus 33:18).

You may be seated. If you remember John Samuel’s sermon, “Order and Argument in Prayer,” you can find several prayers like that in Exodus, chapters 32 and 33. Moses prays to God, culminating in verses 15 and 18. In verse 15 Moses says, “If thy presence shall not go with me, carry us up not hence.” In verse 18 Moses says, “I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.” The Hebrew word for “glory” is kavōd, meaning literally “the weight of God.” I personally have felt that “weight” a few times in my life. When I lay panting on the grass in Forest Lawn Cemetery when I was 15, I felt the soft weight of God come down on me like a light bed sheet. In the three different revivals I have witnessed, the kavōd could be felt in the air around me. Brian H. Edwards said, “The ‘presence’ of God defies human explanation, but it accounts for the exceptional experiences of revival” (Revival: A People Saturated With God, p. 136). “Adam and Eve hid from God’s presence, and Cain ‘went out from the presence of the Lord’” (ibid., p. 135). “In revival the presence of God becomes a tangible [touchable] felt experience” (ibid., p. 134). “In revival [the presence of God] becomes so evident that at times it is overwhelming” (ibid., p. 135).

“This is the key to understanding what revival is. If there is one aspect of worship today that is lacking, it is the felt presence of God...that is why we can behave so carelessly in worship. The deep work of the Spirit in revival is always noted for the experience that convinces us that God is present...Revival is different. God is known to be there, and even the unbeliever is compelled to admit ‘God is really among you,’ I Corinthians 14:25” (ibid., p. 134). “When the Spirit of God comes [down] He takes up the church’s prayers and breathes new life into them” (ibid., p. 129). “In revival, prayer becomes a delight and joy” (ibid., p. 128) after confessions have brought Christians to a new cleansing with the Blood of Christ.

At Saxony, “A sense of the nearness of Christ was given to us all at the same moment...what the Lord did [there], from that time till the winter of the same year, is inexpressible. The whole place appeared like a tabernacle of God with men” (ibid., p. 135). In Korea, in 1907, “Each [person] as he entered the church, felt that the room was full of God’s presence... that night there was a sense of God’s nearness impossible to describe” (ibid., pp. 135, 136).

In November of 1980 a friend and I went to Murfreesboro, Tennessee to interview Dr. John R. Rice for a television program we were making. Dr. Rice was very old, and crippled by a stroke. At 85 years old he was brought in to see us in a wheelchair. As they wheeled him in, my friend and I felt the “kavōd” come down like a light heaviness in the air. I know that God came down because it felt exactly the way it did in the three classical revivals I witnessed.

We had rented a camera and a cameraman in that town. The man operating the camera was from a Catholic background, but had left the church. As we interviewed Dr. Rice that cameraman had tears running down his cheeks, which he kept wiping off as Dr. Rice spoke haltingly about great evangelistic services he had conducted. Then the interview ended and they wheeled Dr. Rice out to a car. My friend and I were left alone in the room with the cameraman. He was still crying. He asked me about Dr. Rice, and I explained to him that he was a great man of God. As I spoke, I could feel the presence of God grow more tangible. The man was crying. All I said was, “Jesus loves you. Trust Him and He will cleanse you from your sins.” I didn’t have to tell him. He got down on his knees and trusted Jesus with tears flowing from his eyes. It was so easy because God’s presence was there. I thought of a Bible verse, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (II Corinthians 3:17). I know how easy it would be to have visitors converted, even first-time visitors, if we had the power of God’s Spirit like Dr. John R. Rice had!

But there is another great benefit in having the Lord’s presence. It is a foretaste of Heaven. I know Heaven seems unreal to many of you now. But when the “kavōd” of God comes down in our church, and when it touches you, you will feel what it’s like to go to Heaven. It will be “a foretaste of glory divine.” You will no longer think of Heaven as an abstract concept. When you enter our church and God is here, you will literally “taste” the reality and joy of Heaven. Then you will be able to sing John W. Peterson’s little song with great joy!

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole.
My sins were washed away, and my night was turned to day –
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul.
   (“Heaven Came Down” by John W. Peterson, 1921-2006).

Now I am not talking about the wild, unruly fanaticism of some Pentecostals, or the wrong ideas of some charismatics. Oh, no! They often try to get God’s Spirit to come by pounding on a drum or speaking in tongues. They may mean well, but that is not how God came down in meetings and revived the people prior to the beginning of Pentecostalism in 1905. We need to go back to the old way – because the old way was the true way – and it is still the true way!

We must not try to get the Kavōd to come down to us by falling on the floor, although someone may fall on the floor when God comes down. But we will not rejoice in emotional excess or screaming. Oh, no! We will rejoice when Christian people feel the sin that has crept into their lives, sin they are ashamed of, but sin that must be confessed to God – and faults that must be confessed to each other, that we may be spiritually healed by God, our heavenly Father! Please stand and sing hymn number 10 on your song sheet.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart:
Try me and know my thoughts:
And know my heart;
Try me and know my thoughts;
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.”
   (Psalm 139:23, 24).

Don’t be afraid! God loves you. He will not judge you when you confess. Don’t be afraid. No matter how bad your sin is, God can heal it. God can wash it clean with the Blood of Jesus. Come down here by the pulpit. Grab someone’s hands and pray for each other two by two. Pray for each other to make a confession tonight. I love you! God bless you! You are so well-loved here that no matter what you say tonight, we will not stop loving you! Trust us and don’t be afraid. Come back to Jesus, come back and confess your sins so you can be made clean by the Blood of our Saviour, Jesus. And then even if you are no longer young, you can come too this evening. I will have two chairs by the pulpit. If you think your confession shouldn’t be made publicly, come right up here and tell me about it, and I will be able to tell you whether you should give it.

Our brother Jack Ngann wrote the following words to me on my 76th birthday.

Dear Dr. Hymers,

        I would like to thank you for your faithfulness all these years. I have often thought that the reason there is a remnant during the Great Apostasy is [at least in part] because of God using you...the truths you preach may very well be a part of the spark that helps to light the flames of revival...May your ministry continue to blossom, and your preaching [on the Internet] echo throughout eternity. I love you, pastor.

Yours in Christ,
Jack Ngann

P.S. By the way, the reason we can close with the words “Yours in Christ” is because of your ministry [in leading us to salvation in Christ].

Brother Jack Ngann knows that I care deeply for our church, and for each one of you. That is why I emphasize the need for revival. No one can be successful in the Christian life by depending on their conversion testimony alone. You must grow in grace – and often that can be painful. You are confronted by the sins and faults that creep into your lives. You don’t like to think of the song, “Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me...” But you need to think about it. You need to examine yourselves, even if it is painful. You need to confess your sins and be cleansed again by the Blood of Jesus. Then you will experience the presence of God, the Kavōd, the thrilling experience of God in revival!

“I beseech thee, show me thy glory.”

Pray and confess and God will answer you as He answered Moses.


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(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Isaiah 64:1-3.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“May Jesus Christ be Praised” (translated by Edward Caswall, 1814-1878).