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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Saturday Evening, January 7, 2017

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (II Corinthians 10:4).

My friends, we are at war. It is not the kind of war the world speaks of. It is not a war with Muslim extremists. It is not a war between nations. It is a different kind of war. It is a war far greater than any of these. We cannot win this war with guns or hand grenades and bombs. Our grandfathers waged war against Hitler with these weapons. They won World War II, as Churchill put it, with “blood, toil, sweat and tears.” They won it against overwhelming odds. Hitler’s army was greater in power than the combined forces of England and America combined. If Hitler had won, he would have exterminated our way of life. He would have ended the long history of the Western world. We would now be living in a ravished state of hideous destruction and devastation – like a bombed-out garbage dump. Thank God for Churchill, Roosevelt, and our combined armies of military men who followed them, to destroy the tyrannical domination, created by the madness and fury of that fiendish man Adolf Hitler and his Nazi war machine.

I have only a dim memory of that war. It was etched on my childish brain by the blackouts, the sirens and the fear. Yet our text tells us of another type of war. It is not a war against a flesh and blood enemy. It is a far more insidious and disruptive war, a battle not against flesh and blood, but against far greater powers than most people imagine. It is a warfare against Satan and his hordes of demonic power.

The Apostle Paul makes that very plain. He says, “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh” – “We do not fight this battle according to the flesh” (II Corinthians 10:3). We are only men. We cannot vanquish this enemy by human means. No politician, no general or commander in chief – no Donald Trump, no man of flesh and blood can win this most evil of all wars.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (II Corinthians 10:4).

I. First, we must recognize that we are at war.

The average man does not even realize that this war is going on. He plays like a child on his little cell phone. He smokes his marijuana and never thinks of the evil it produces. He goes to play sex games with adulterous women, and perverted men. To him, as Dr. Tozer said so well, “The world is a playground rather than a battleground.”

Our churches also play games of various kinds. Our blinded preachers close their Sunday evening services. They never think of the young, who have nowhere to go but into the darkness of sin on Sunday nights. It makes no difference to these brain-dead preachers. They collect all the money they can on Sunday mornings – so they can have plenty of time on Sunday night to watch television, or lock themselves in their rooms to look without shame at the pornography, to which they are addicted. Even the once great Moody Bible Institute now allows the use of alcohol and tobacco for its faculty and staff. Biola University made a similar ruling last year (Don Boys, Ph.D., December 26, 2016). My wife and I were appalled when beer and wine were served and people danced at the wedding reception of a pastor’s son in a church of which I was the founder years ago. “Beer, Bible and Brotherhood” meets to study Rick Warren’s book in a church in Oxford, Connecticut. Such events are happening in churches all across America (Boys, ibid.).

Wild music is played in many of our churches for nearly an hour on Sunday mornings – followed by a fifteen-minute dry as dust verse-by-verse “teaching” with no Gospel or mention of Christ, no lost people brought in by evangelism, no mention of how a lost sinner can be saved! Yes, a great battle is going on while these church people are completely blind to it, as they play their little games and think they are real Christians. They never go to prayer meeting. They never bring in lost souls to hear the Gospel preached. “Come out from among them.” Never join a church like that. If you have already joined one, flee from it, as Lot fled from Sodom in that day of judgment.

I am old and grey. Some day I will not be here. But I charge each one of you who meet in our church never to give in to such madness. Never give in to such worldly stupidity. Never give in! Never! Never! Never. Never give up the old hymns from the revivals of the past. Never give up that grand old song Mr. Griffith sang a moment ago! It’s number 10 on your song sheet. It’s “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” Stand and sing it – loud and clear!

Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war,
   With the cross of Jesus Going on before;
Christ the royal Master Leads against the foe;
   Forward into battle, See His banners go.
Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war,
   With the cross of Jesus Going on before.

Like a mighty army Moves the church of God;
   Brothers, we are treading Where the saints have trod;
We are not divided, All one body we,
   One in hope and doctrine, One in charity.
Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war,
   With the cross of Jesus Going on before.

Crowns and thrones may perish, Kingdoms rise and wane,
   But the church of Jesus Constant will remain;
Gates of hell can never ‘Gainst that church prevail;
   We have Christ’s own promise, And that cannot fail.
Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war,
   With the cross of Jesus Going on before.
(“Onward, Christian Soldiers” by Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834-1924).

You may be seated.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (II Corinthians 10:4).

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, not human weapons. They are supernatural weapons. They must be supernatural weapons because we are fighting supernatural forces. We are fighting Satan and his demons. We are fighting “against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). We who are Christians are fighting against the schemes of the Devil. We are fighting against the devices and false ideas and twisted thinking. Thoughts that the Devil puts into the minds of those who are not converted. The Bible says, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the…powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil…” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV). We must fight against the Devil, and against the demons. We must fight the demons for every lost soul who we bring to church. He does not let go of them without a fight.

If you are not yet saved there are demons working in your mind right now! The Devil is at work right now, in this meeting. The Devil is putting his tricks and schemes into your mind right now, as I speak. The Devil is “the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 2:2 NIV). The Bible says that the Devil “is now at work” in your mind and heart.

Listen to what a girl named Julie said before she was saved. “Dr. Hymers told me I was lost and to go to the inquiry room. At this point I dreaded coming to church.” That was the Devil speaking in her mind and heart. Some of you right now are being deceived by the Devil. I say you are lost, but you don’t want to hear it. You don’t want to hear that you are lost, because you are listening to Satan’s thoughts, thoughts of the Devil. Julie said, “I thought I was good, and that was all I needed in my life.” She had been in church all her life, wasn’t that good enough? Why is Dr. Hymers telling me I’m lost? I was a good person. “I was proud not to have done the things other kids had done and I took…pride in myself when I thought that there was nothing wrong with me.” That was the Devil working in her heart.

Is that what you think too? Do you think you are good enough? The Bible says that the Devil “is now at work in the children of disobedience.” The Devil is now at work in you! In your mind and in your heart!

Julie said, “I was as good as I could be. What more do they want?...I was anxious before every sermon. I felt uneasy every single day of the week.” The Devil was working in her, telling her she was good. Telling her she didn’t need to be saved. That she was a good person. That others were more sinful than her. They needed to be saved. But not her! She was already a good enough person. That was from the Devil. She was held in the grip of Satan. She was a slave of the Devil. She was chained to the Devil, chained to him because she believed his lie that she was good enough, that others needed to be cleansed with the Blood of Christ. But not her. After all, she came to church every Sunday. After all, she read the Bible and prayed. “What more do they want?” And Julie did not like me telling her she was lost. Lost without the cleansing Blood of Jesus. But by the irresistible grace of God she was drawn back to our church again and again. Drawn back to hear the Gospel preached by God’s irresistible grace toward those He has chosen to be saved.

Why else did she keep coming back? A friend she brought with her to our church was so upset when I told her she needed to go to the inquiry room that she never came back. That girl listened to the Devil and went back to her old church, a church where no one ever told her she was lost. That other girl listened to the Devil and ran away from this church because she didn’t want to hear me preach against her sin. I was told by Julie’s father what that girl’s sin was. It was a dirty sin and she didn’t want to give it up. She ran away from the truth and may never be saved – because she obeyed her slave master, the Devil.

There are people in this room like her. You are chained up by the Devil. You love your sin. You love your pornography. You love your dirtiness. You love the way you are inside. Without even realizing it, you have made yourself a slave of the Devil!

But the worst sin you have is that you reject Jesus. He wants to save you and cleanse you from sin with His Blood. But you push all thoughts of Jesus out of your mind and go on in your sin.

II. Second, the weapons of our warfare.

Our text says, “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” The weapons we use against the Devil are primarily prayer and the law of God, the law that says you are a lost sinner. The law says you are sinful. Our prayers bring down the Holy Spirit to convict you of your sin.

That is why we must pray with all our heart for the lost to be convicted of their sin. There are people in this church tonight who will not be saved unless we pray. Unless we pray for them with great boldness and tears. Only when we pray with tears will we see lost sinners come under conviction of sin. Prayers without tears are seldom answered. We must pray as Isaiah did,

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

We must pray, as we have never prayed before, for God’s Spirit to come down and convict lost people of their sin. To convict them of the sin of looking at pornography. To convict them of the sin of hating their parents. To convict them of the sin of pride in their own goodness. To convict them of the sin of rejecting Jesus.

And we must preach the law to them. Prayer and law preaching are the main weapons of our war against the Devil. And I preached the law Sunday after Sunday to Julie. She said, “It was almost like Dr. Hymers began to preach directly against my sin. He preached about how sinful children [are] that turn against their parents, and I broke down in tears. That was a [sin] God began dealing on me with. I was [really] a horrible child, especially to my parents. It was an act to cover up my hatred towards my father. The Holy Spirit showed me that I was not really a good person. I wasn’t really a good person. I wasn’t really as good as people saw me, and as I thought myself to be. I was a terrible person, and I was selfish and was very proud, and I felt so ashamed of myself, and who I was deep inside. I desperately needed forgiveness, and yet I felt so undeserving of it. I felt sinful and wrong. How could anyone forgive such a deceiving sinner like me?” The weapons of prayer and the preaching of the law was killing the Devil’s power over her. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (II Corinthians 10:4). The strongholds of Satan are so powerful. They are the fortresses in your heart that keep you in Satan’s prison. It takes the power of God to pull down the walls of Satan’s prison and set you free.

He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
   He sets the prisoner free.
His blood can make the foulest clean,
   His blood availed for me.
(“O For a Thousand Tongues” by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

What is your stronghold? What keeps you locked up in the Devil’s prison? Is it pornography? Is it drugs? Is it the thought that you are good enough, the thought that you do not need to be converted because you come to church and read the Bible and pray? Is that the way the Devil keeps you locked up in his stronghold – in his prison?

Thank God that our people prayed hard for Julie to be set free! Thank God that I preached the law, and told her in every sermon that she was lost.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (II Corinthians 10:4).

Julie came to see me after one of my sermons. She said, “Dr. Hymers told me that Jesus died on the Cross in my place, and that [God’s] judgment fell on Him so it wouldn’t fall on me. Now I knew why I needed Jesus and His Blood…I needed Jesus so my sins could be completely washed away [by His Blood]. Dr. Hymers told me that Jesus loved me and that Jesus would save me no matter what sin there had been in my life. He told me to trust Jesus. I just could not take it anymore. My face was drenched in tears and I was ready to trust Christ…Kneeling down, I trusted Christ. I trusted Christ, not my goodness. I put my trust in Christ and His Blood…I no longer relied on how good I could be and I let go of my pride. I trusted Jesus and He saved me!”

What a wonderful testimony! Now Julie is saved, and she is my friend! I truly believe she is a Christian now. So does Dr. Cagan. And I will baptize her in the near future.

Did her words speak to you tonight? Have you felt how sinful you are? Have you seen your own need to trust Jesus and be cleansed from all your sin by the Blood He shed on the Cross? Jesus loves you so very much. Will you come down and speak with me, and John Cagan, and Dr. Cagan about trusting Jesus? While everyone else goes upstairs to have a meal, will you come down here and let us counsel you and pray with you? If you need to go to the restroom, go ahead and then come back here – or just come here right now while we sing. God bless the food and bless each person who trusts Jesus tonight! Amen!

Stand and sing hymn number eleven on your song sheet. Sing “Fill All My Vision.” It’s number eleven on the song sheet. While we sing, you come down here so I can counsel you and pray for you.

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, 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).


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 (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.

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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. John Samuel Cagan: II Corinthians 10:3-5.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
      “Onward, Christian Soldiers” (by Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834-1924;
stanzas and chorus, verses 1, 2 and 3).



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (II Corinthians 10:4).

(II Corinthians 10:3)

I.   First, we must recognize that we are at war, Ephesians 6:11, 12;
Ephesians 2:2.

II.  Second, the weapons of our warfare, Isaiah 64:1.