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“A HIGHER PLANE THAN I HAVE FOUND”

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.,
Pastor Emeritus

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, February 23, 2020


Dr. A. W. Tozer was called a prophet in his own lifetime. Dr. Tozer said, “I believe that the imperative need of our day is not simply revival, but a radical reformation that will root out our moral and spiritual maladies, and deal with causes, with the disease rather than symptoms.” The following interview with Dr. Tozer appeared in a 1954 issue of Christian Life magazine:

Question: Dr. Tozer, exactly how would you define the “deeper life?”

Dr. Tozer: It means a spiritual life with an intensity of purity and fruitfulness far greater than the average Christian life. It involves complete separation from the world, not only in practice but in spirit, and a full devotion to God without reservations.

Question: How is this “deeper life” obtained?

Dr. Tozer: I believe it is the result of a crisis rather than a slow growth in grace. A fine example may be found in the life of Jacob. He met God at Bethel. “And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place…this is the house of God… And he called the name of that place Bethel (the house of God)” (Genesis 28:16, 17, 19; p. 42 Scofield). This encounter with God was real and to some degree satisfying. Then, after wandering for 20 years, during which he was up and down, sometimes victorious but mostly in defeat, he met God again at Bethel, but now he called it Elbethel (“the God of the House of God,” Genesis 35:7; p. 51). This second crisis resulted in a complete moral and spiritual transformation that stayed with him for the remainder of his life.

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These two crises in the life of Jacob can be compared to the two crises in the life of Christ’s Disciples. They “received the Holy Ghost” on the night that Christ rose from the dead (John 20:22; p. 1144). That is when they were born again. But they were “baptized with the Holy Ghost” 50 days later, right before Pentecost (Acts 1:5, 8; pp. 1147, 1148).

Now turn in the Bible to I Corinthians 1:10 (p. 1212). Stand and read it out loud together.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Corinthians 1:10).

You may be seated. Mr. Song, please read it in Chinese (he reads it).

This is a picture of a church that has experienced revival. It is not the method of revival, however. It is the goal of revival, but not the method to seek revival. If we try to copy I Corinthians 1:10 we will certainly not experience revival.

Great Spurgeon said, “Most of the great truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us by the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them.”

That was exactly what Miss Marie Monsen learned in China. The revival that God sent in her ministry came from the application of three passages of the Bible.

(1)  Psalm 139:23, 24 (turn to it, p. 667)

“Search me, O God, 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).

(2)  Proverbs 28:13 (p. 692)

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

(3)  James 5:16 (p. 1310)

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed” (James 5:16).

The first time Miss Monsen saw the effects of applying these verses, was to a group of Chinese women who had aborted their babies. One woman cried for hours, confessed the murder of her baby daughter, and was healed of her sin. Others followed. Miss Monsen went on to apply these verses to many Chinese people. Even preachers and missionaries experienced revival! In one place, a hardened group of pirates were converted and revived. So were a large group of Chinese students, and many others. The revival we still see in the house churches of China came out of Miss Monsen’s God-inspired revivals. Amen!

Can we have at least a “touch” of revival in our church today? Yes – but only if we take very seriously those three verses now. The Devil may say to you, “It didn’t work before.” Well, of course it didn’t!!! Kreighton’s people did not do what those verses said!!! Of course it didn’t work! But how about you? Will you do what the verses say?

(1) “Search me, O God, 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).

How about abortion? How about stealing? How about pornography? How about not tithing? How about dirty jokes? How about secret sins that no one knows about? How about rebelling against the pastor? How about rebelling against church authority? How about bitterness against someone in the church? How about something I have not mentioned? Say the verses again,

“Search me, O God, 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).

(2) “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

Are you willing to confess and give up your secret sins? If not, you will never be revived!!!

(3) “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed” (James 5:16).

You must confess them before all, with heartfelt tears!!! You say, “It’s not easy!” Of course it isn’t! But you will not find inner peace and joy until you do! You will not be baptized with the Holy Spirit until you do!

The Bible says, “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” (Psalm 85:6; p. 641). You will not rejoice until you do!

How can you rejoice if you go out without confessing and forsaking your sins? Someone may even have physical sickness because of unconfessed sin! It may not be healed unless you get rid of your sin by confessing it openly. You say, “I can’t do that, I’m Chinese.” Don’t be a fool! People in China are doing that every day! That is why they have revival and we don’t have revival! Do it because the Bible tells you to do it!

Look at King David. He was a great king. Yet he confessed his sin openly. He even wrote it down in the Bible!!! Are you greater than King David? Why are you so stubborn? The King said,

“My sin is ever before me.”
“I have done this evil in thy sight.”
“Create in me a clean heart, O God.”
“Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God.”
“Restore unto me the joy of my salvation.”
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a
contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

These were the open confessions of King David. His sins were truly horrible, but he confessed them openly. Can you do less?

      In one of Dr. Jonathan Goforth’s revivals in China, a strict Presbyterian minister, who had never seen revival before, said this –

      Surely God has been in this place and we were conscious of it. I cannot attempt to tell you all I have seen, but will give simply some impressions.
      Dr. Goforth’s objective in these meetings was not a revival among the heathen but among Christians... Dr. Goforth’s sermons went straight to the heart, well illustrated with incidents from Korea, Manchuria, Shansi China and other places.
      After the sermon an opportunity was given for prayer. Several of the Chinese broke down in tears, unable to go on. Mr. Fan made a public confession of his sins and prayed for God to forgive him. Then a powerful appeal was made to everyone to allow nothing to keep them from receiving a blessing from the Holy Spirit.
      Then a scene occurred that I had never seen. A man started to pray. He had not said more than a few words when another person, then another joined in. In a moment the whole congregation was crying out loud to God for mercy. All of the emotions of a lifetime of sin seemed to be poured forth at that time. All the sins of the past were staring them in the face; and they were crying in anguish to God for mercy.
      There was a storm of prayer for help to confess their sins. There was no restraining it, and no attempt to do so. The men and women who came under the power of the Holy Spirit, confessed their sins, and received a new sense of pardon, peace and power.
      We saw one after the other [among the lost people] go forward and tell how God brought conviction of sin to their hearts.
      Great throngs, more than seven hundred, crowded to the front to confess their sins…It was one long meeting, lasting all day.
      It was awe-inspiring to see the distress of the men. They had been in the presence of God and His light had revealed them to themselves. One of our strongest men, a preacher, who had boasted that he would never shed a tear during the meetings, was discovered in his room sobbing in great agony of soul.
      It was a time when we were all brought very close together, not only missionary to missionary, but Chinese to Chinese, and Chinese to missionary. Christ was saying to us again, “That they all may be one…I in them and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one.” It was an inspiration to be in such an atmosphere.

Yet when Dr. Goforth preached later in Canada, the preachers rejected revival. That was the beginning of the end for the Presbyterian Church. In the next few years the denomination became almost totally liberal, as most Presbyterian churches are today.

I was there when revival came to the First Chinese Baptist Church. I have never forgotten it. I long to see God move like that as we start a new church in the San Gabriel Valley.

We must have a revival, or the new church will only be like the old one, full of rebellion and unconfessed sin.

Can we at least have a little revival in our new church? Yes, if only we will obey the three texts I have given,

(1) “Search me, O God, 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).

(2) “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

(3) “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed” (James 5:16).

“Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” (Psalm 85:6).

Stand and sing “Fill all my vision, let naught of sin, shadow the brightness shining within.”

Stand and sing it from memory!

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).

You may be seated.

Dr. Cagan and Mr. Song will pass out this sermon manuscript now. Fold it. Put it in your Bible now. Read it and pray for revival to come down among us. Do that every day next week. Amen!