From The Preacher's Magazine, 1929


The Fiery Manifestations of God

When Tears Turn to Joy

The Land Without a Sea

The Latter Glory

Flood Gates of Divine Glory

Floodgates of Glory

The Supreme Beauty of Christ

The Triumphant Christ

When Jesus Wrote on the Sand


The Fiery Manifestations of God

TEXT -- For our God is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29).

Introduction: God's manifestations have been manifestations of fire. To Moses in the burning bush; to Israel as a pillar of fire; at temple dedication in shekinah fire; as fire on Carmel's height; as radiant fire at the transfiguration; as holy fire at Pentecost.

1. Our God is a blotting out fire. Fire blots out. "I will blot out your transgressions."

2. Our God is a purifying fire. Fire purifies. Refining gold with fire. Purifying fire of Pentecost.

3. Our God is a glorifying fire. Fire is glory. The glory fire on Sinai's height radiant from face of Moses.

Conclusion: God as holy fire will blot out the transgressions, purify the soul, and glorify the life.

When Tears Turn to Joy

TEXT -- Woman, why weepest thou? (John 20:13).

Introduction: The scene in the garden. The dawning light. The weeping woman; the assuring voice of the Master, tears turned to joy.

1. Tears turn to joy when Christ walks in the garden of one's life.

2. Tears turn to joy when the dawning light of salvation breaks into the soul.

3. Tears turn to joy when Christ is the ever-abiding companion. Better with Him as a friend than the earth's wisest philosophers, sweetest singers, or greatest kings.

Conclusion: Christ will dry the bitterest tears, cleanse the darkest heart, ennoble the lowest life, and empower the weakest soul.

The Land Without a Sea

TEXT--There was no more sea (Rev. 21:1).

Introduction: A new picture of heaven, the land without a sea. Picture what the sea meant to the ancient -- separation -- raging tempests -- an uncharted unknown. Heaven lacks all of the sorrow and horror of the sea.

1. No sea of separation. Good-byes unknown, heartaches of lost loved ones past forever, death's final separation removed, etc.

2. No sea of trouble. Man born to ills, subject to the ravages of disease, distrust, suspicion. In heaven all such are removed.

3. No sea that is ruffled with life's wildest storms. Storms here rage, blighting winds blow, the desert is our lot -- but heaven is the land of eternal calm.

Conclusion: "Good-bye, fair world, I am going home." Paint the heavenly city in terms of beauty, glory and bliss.

The Latter Glory

TEXT: The glory of this latter ... shall be greater than of the former (Hag. 2:9).

INTRODUCTION: The glory of the house of Israel -- prosperity, magnificence, importance, abundant and lavish treasures. Glory is synonymous with prosperity, favor with God and man, abundance of the things desirable, peace, etc. This is true of the Church of the mighty God -- its glory is its prosperity, its purity, its power, its mighty revivals, its splendor in things divine and eternal, With Israel there were three periods -- prosperity, captivity, and the surpassing glory. For the Church these periods of glory -- prosperity in glory, captivity by the world, and God has promised a latter glory which shall surpass the former. This glory is to be achieved by:

1. MAN CO-OPERATING WITH GOD. God calls for the service of man -- Livingstone and God mapped dark Africa -- Finney and God stirred America and brought more than a million soul into the fountain of living waters. Man without God, however great his efforts, or powerful his influence, is without divine glory. Man with God, laboring in lines of service indicated by the divine will, will achieve a surpassing glory. God and you -- a clerk in the shop, a mechanic in the factory, a preacher in the pulpit, a mother in the home -- will bring glory to humanity, the touch of the divine.

2. MEN WITH BROKEN HEARTS. Broken hearts indicative of the power to weep with the down-cast, to touch the sinner, to give a light when all else fails. Broken hearted men are mellow, sympathetic, filled with divine love. Their hands reach those outstretched for aid. Their eyes sparkle with a holy luster for the hungry souls. This is the call of the world today -- for men who can weep as did Christ with the sinner, for Christians who can dare to go even to the outcasts of the slums, or to the rulers of the nations, with the power of God in their lives. This will bring the surpassing glory, the prosperity of God, revivals, seeking souls, hungry hearts.

3. A FAITHFUL FEW TO WHOM GOD CAN TALK. Elijah alone with God, listening to the divine voice, John in the wilderness communing with the Father, Paul in Arabia alone tuning the heartstrings to the messages of God, Jonathan Edwards in his study on his knees receiving a divine message -- are worth more to the Church than multitudes of lukewarm followers. One on his knees in the secret place of communion will stir a Church to activity. One waiting on God to speak will fire an entire community with revival glory. God speaks to the small multitudes that they might act as His firebrands. Be one of these faithful souls, and the surpassing glory will be achieved for your soul, your church, yes, for the kingdom.

CONCLUSION: The departed glory can be regained by the Church -- the lost radiance can be found -- the forsaking power can be discovered once more. Oh, that the world would see a Church ablaze with divine glory -- with prosperity from heaven-power from above -- with a holy splendor that will attract the lost to Christ. Such latter glory can be achieved if we meet God's conditions.


Flood Gates of Divine Glory

TEXT: And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east (Ezek. 43:4).

INTRODUCTION: In ancient Peru, among the Incas who were sun worshipers, at the old capital in Cuzco was their temple of the sun god. Facing the east so that the sun when it first arose in the morning could throw its glorious beams through the door into the interior, stood this famous place of worship. At the far end a shield of pure gold was so placed that the first beams of the sun would strike it and be reflected to the entire building. Records have come down to us of the beauty of the sun's rays as they were thrown throughout the place of prayer. It was a scene of majesty-golden rays, streaked with purple -- symbolical of the old temple where Ezekiel saw the glory of God as it filled the entire building, or as Isaiah beheld it when the train of the Lord came within at the hour of prayer. The glory of God can thus come to His church or temple today. But there are certain gates through which this glory shall come. They are:

I. GATE OF UNDAUNTED FAITH. Faith will achieve the impossible -- faith will bring God and man together -- faith will send that holy effulgence, that divine afflatus, called unction, to the house of God. But this faith must be undaunted by years of no answers, by trials, by a seeming lack of achievement it must remain unmoved though unanswered, unchanging in face of the impossible. But it will bring the glorious splendor of God to the house of worship -- the glory of prosperity, of seeking souls, and elated finders of God.

2. GATE OF BURNING HEARTS. "Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked with us by the way?" -- this is the burning heart experience. It is so living in contact with Christ that one will be consumed with love for the lost -- so being where God can commune with the heart, that the life will be spent in the service of the Master. As Cornell used to say, "It is a heart hot for God." May our hearts be burning to see men saved, burning to send the gospel to the ends of the earth, burning that we might serve another, that we might see the shine of forgiveness burst from the countenance of some sinner. This will bring the glory of God to the temple of the heart.

3. GATE OF BEHOLDING THE GLORY OF JESUS. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory" (2 Cor. 3:18). This is the secret of bringing the glory of the Lord to the church -- through the way of beholding the glory of the Lord, having His radiance shed upon our souls, dwelling in constant communion with Him, then we are changed into an increasing glory, we rise from glory to glory -- from prosperity, magnificence, power in things spiritual, to higher realms of holy splendor, divine grace.

CONCLUSION: Oh, that the Church of today would behold the vision of Ezekiel when he saw the glory of the Lord filling the temple, or of Solomon at the day of dedication when the glory filled the temple, or of Isaiah when he worshipped and saw the Lord high and lifted up, and behold His divine, radiant glory. Let us then open these gates that the glory of the Lord may come in.


Floodgates of Glory

TEXT: And the glory of the Lord filled the house (Ezek. 43:5).

INTRODUCTION: A morning scene, Ezekiel climbs the hills of the Lord, his vision is opened, he beholds the glory of the Lord as it rushes into the temple of the Lord through the open gate whose prospect is toward the east. He dreams on of the mornings of time as they come and beholds the many temples of worship, made of bricks and stones, clay and mortar, or of human hearts, and sees the glory as it rushes in through the opened gates of:

1. FIRST LOVE ENTHUSIASM. "You have forgotten your first love -- you are lukewarm and will spew you out of my mouth" -- direful words from the Lord. No glory without the first love enthusiasm for God. Let us then fan the embers of divine love to a holy flame, to white heat for the Lord, and the glory will rush into the tempi the soul, and men will behold its wonder an beauty.

2. THE GATE WITH PROSPECT TOWARD THE DAWN OF THE DAY. The night is on -- the stars of hope have gone out -- but the day will dawn -- eternity will rush in. Let us then look toward eternity, dwell much in the heavenlies, have a vision filled with the Lord. Then we will live holier, seek better to serve the Master, forget the driveling affairs of time. A vision of the present may exclude a vision of eternity. Many times when one sees the possessions of time he fails to behold the beauty of the treasures laid up in the skies. There is then no glory -- the gate through which the glory will rush in is closed. Open the door, let the floodgates and let the glory break into the soul.

3. THE GATE OF A CONSUMING PASSION TO WIN MEN. When this passion is lacking, revival fires go out -- when it is dead, the church decays in spiritual power. Fan it into a flame, live for on consuming desire to win the lost to Christ, and men will be saved -- the lost will call upon the name of the Lord. The secret of the glory of Moody, Bresee, Spurgeon, Finney, Luther, Paul was this burning passion to win men for the Master. Gain such a passion, and men will yield seek to win others, and you will be dissatisfied with a life barren of service for Christ and the unsaved. Would you have the glory of God in your soul, in your church, then open this gate, be fired with zeal to touch others, and the glory will come.

CONCLUSION: Are the gates of glory closed? There will be no glory until they are opened -- but once they are opened, naught can shut out the glory of God. Burn with your first love, look to eternity as source of life, and be fired with a desire to win men -- then the glory will fill your soul

The Supreme Beauty of Christ

TEXT: "Thou art fairer than the children of men" (Psa. 45:2).

Introduction: Outside the temple stood the congregation singing the favorite psalms at the time of worship. They strike out upon "The Lord is my shepherd," and sing on from psalm to psalm, "The heavens declare the glory of God," "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High," until David under the spell of divine prophecy sings, "Thou art fairer than the sons of men." Christ is the incomparable One, outshining in glory the brightest sons of the race, surpassing in power and majesty all others. There is no standard by which man can measure Christ. He is:

1. FAIRER AS A REDEEMER. Christian Science says "Think beautiful thoughts and be saved." The cathedral at learning says, "Delve into science, chart the heavens, train the mind, and be saved." Morality affirms, "Live according to accepted ethical standards; and be saved." Pleasure, garbed with the glitter of gold, teaches, "Devote thine all to the altar of lust." But Christ, amid the clamoring voices of the age cries out, "Come unto me ... and I will give you rest." He is the Savior incomparable, the only Savior of the world.

2. FAIRER AS AN ANCHOR OF THE SOUL. Life is a sea whipped into wild frenzies by the raging tempests. Round about everywhere the storm rises higher -- they sink souls drift -- strike the shoals -- and go down in despair. Ah, there is an anchor which will hold amid the wildest storms of passion, the tempests of financial strain, the overwhelming floods of temptation. 'Tis the Anchor, Christ Jesus. No other anchor holds so securely in life's storms as Christ. Place your confidence in education -- and life becomes an empty shell; in gold -- and it disappears in thin air; in friendships -- and when the hours of grief rush in as a tide, human hands are too frail to bear thee up. Christ is the Anchor all-sufficient, unmovable!

2. FAIRER AS AN INSPIRATION FOR AN ENNOBLED LIFE. Would man build a career? Devote his life to saving an unknown, and an unlovable tribe of earth's darkest spots? Live for service, sacrifice and loyalty? Then let him meet Christ, and hand in hand to the heights of service and sacrifice they will climb. No man in whose life Christ is enthroned can fail. Call the roll of earth's mightiest and they have bowed at the cross. Paul, Luther, Wesley -- preachers; Newton, Faraday, Kelvin -- scientists; Florence Nightingale, Livingstone, Carey -- the race's benefactors -- at the cross of Christ their lives began. None else has lifted man to the heights of renown as Christ. None else as He has placed the fire at achievement in man's blood.

Conclusion: In the terms of the song, soul, yield thine all to His tender embrace. From the paths of sin, go back to Calvary and begin life anew, transformed. On his face gaze and be redeemed.

When Jesus Wrote on the Sand

TEXT: "But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground" (John 8:6).

Introduction: Jesus was not a maker of books; but He is the inspiration of more books than any other character or event of the ages. He wrote no prefaces or introductions to the works of the famed men of His age; but the world's greatest have never tired writing of His deeds and glory. But once is it recorded that He wrote, and then it was not on the papyrus or vellum of His age, nor the clay tablets of earlier centuries; but on the shifting sands, so that the breath of the sea at the next moment obliterated His words. It might have been that He wrote a message of scorn for the Pharisees, or quoted a passage from the prophets. Putting His life in these few words, or His message to a sentence or merely a phrase or so, it might have been that He thus wrote:

1. A MESSAGE OF SALVATION -- or the remission of sins. A daughter had strayed, her virtue was stolen, others condemned, but Jesus consoled. Others would have stoned her; but Jesus forgave her. His message throughout life was one of forgiveness. For the soul, strayed, lost, out of the hounds of His tender mercy, today His message is one of salvation, release from sin.

2. A MESSAGE OF CONSOLING PEACE. Others did scorn her; but Christ only said, "Go in peace and sin no more." All that have come to Him have heard these same words of consolation, "Go in peace." We come to Him with turbulency in the breast, but we leave with a peace serene. We come laden with sin, but we go away with 'wings to the soul."

3. A MESSAGE OF FREEDOM FROM FUTURE ACQUISITION. The law says that man shall suffer for his transgressions, and after his penalty is inflicted, society still condemns. But when Christ blots out the transgressions, no more fingers of scorn can be pointed at one. This glorious gospel of Jesus effaces the past, purifies the soul, and sends one into the future as a new creature in Christ Jesus. The sinner and the saint are then placed on an equal standing. For Christ is enthroned within.

Conclusion: Whatever Christ wrote, it was a message of freedom from sin's yoke, peace from sin's tempest in the soul, release from sin's clanking chains upon the heart. So today would He meet man, and transform him.


The Triumphant Christ

TEXT: "I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev. 3:21).

Introduction: In every realm Christ is triumphant -- His person is supreme -- His empire of love is the world's mightiest -- His wisdom surpasses all others. As a warrior in the battle He overcame until victory is His. Over every foe He has triumphed. He conquered every enemy.

1. AT CALVARY Christ triumphs over sin -- here He purchased redemption -- here He battled the cohorts of hell -- but He is victor over sin.

2. AT PENTECOST Christ triumphs in the realm of moral and spiritual power and enthronement. The keynote of Christianity's progress, sweeping as a floodtide the nations of the ages, its power of triumph over nations and men is Pentecost. Here through the Spirit He was enthroned in His followers and surcharges them with power over every foe.

3. AT THE OPEN TOMB Christ triumphs over man's last mortal foe -- death. In answer to Job's question cry it aloud, "If a man die, he shall live again." Christ died and arose -- and as He so also shall we die, and arise again. At the open tomb Christ assures us of the future life of glory in the heavens.

Conclusion: Enthroned in the heart of man Christ makes out of him also a conqueror. There is victory when Christ is by one's side. Forty brave Christians to the last man died, as the Roman guard watched over them, promising life to anyone who would turn from Christ. When but one remained alive, turning to the guard he signified that he would worship Caesar. The guard said, "Give me thy clothes; let me take thy place; and for Christ I will give my life in thy stead, thou coward." Yes, Christ conquered, and still conquers.