“Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.” (Psalm 48:12-13).
Zion was another name for the city of Jerusalem. Sometimes it meant Mount Zion, Temple, or the entire city of Jerusalem.
Israel was going into captivity, that seventy-year period that is mentioned so often. They were in captivity to the Babylonians. When they left, their beloved Temple had been destroyed, their walls had been torn down, their palaces were destroyed, their high towers were decimated, the entire city was leveled, and God had warned the previous generation of this impending doom.
He told them it would not be long until the palaces are leveled. Thus, God said to them I want you to mark ye well and tell. I want you to look at the palaces carefully, the Temple carefully, the high towers carefully, the walls carefully, and the entire city carefully. It will not be long until the bulwarks, or walls, are destroyed and leveled so I want you to learn all you can about those bulwarks. It will not be long until the towers are destroyed.
God is saying to the fathers and leaders mark ye well and tell. Learn all you can while you have the bulwarks, towers, Temple, palaces, and city. Learn all you can about Jerusalem, Zion, palaces, bulwarks, and high towers.
Why? Because in captivity you will have children born and they will not know a thing about Jerusalem, Zion, Palaces, bulwarks, Temple, and high towers. Mark ye well and tell! Fathers, mothers, pastors, and teachers must examine carefully to be able to tell the next generation of the greatness of what they possessed.
God is saying I want you to be able to tell about them, the wonders of the palaces, the magnificence of the walls, and about the importance of the towers. Mark ye well and tell the next generation!
Many of you reading this have never heard nor knew some of the greatest men of God of the twentieth century. Dr. John R. Rice was one of those men who rocked the traditional Baptist world with his pen.
I surrendered to give my life to full time service at a “Sword of the Lord Conference” hosted by the Grace Baptist Church of South Bend, Indiana, under the preaching of Dr. Jack Hyles and Dr. John R. Rice. I cut my teeth on the preaching and teaching of these two men of God.
Dr. G. B. Vick was another of these men of God. He pastored the world’s largest church at one time. I traveled to Detroit to attend his services. I had the honor of shaking his hand and spending a little time with him. I saw the Temple Baptist Church of Detroit in its heyday.
Dr. R. G. Lee, pastor of the Bellevue Baptist Church of Memphis, Tennessee, was one of those great men. I heard him preach often. He preached at Hyles-Anderson College and I was able to spend some time with him. He wrote a hand written letter to my dear wife who hosted him. My wife was Dr. Wendell Evans’ secretary. I was privileged to be able to have lunch with him and visited his church often.
Evangelist Lester Roloff was one of those influential and unusual men of God you would ever meet. He was a resurrected John the Baptist with his special diet. He called me at 2:00am on a Monday morning and TOLD me he would be preaching in my church on Monday and Tuesday night.
I loved that man! He was amazing for he could preach at Bob Jones one day, Tennessee Temple the next day, Piedmont the next day, Liberty University, Pillsbury College, and finish up at HAC the next day. He would get a standing ovation at all of them. People would travel hundreds of miles to hear him preach against TV and they all owned two a piece.
Dr. Jack Hyles was the man who gave to the past generation the most complete church ministry in history. He actually built the first mega Sunday school in America and was recognized for such by Dr. Elmer Towns. Dr. Hyles’ church ran an average of 20,000 in attendance in all of his Sunday schools.
In actuality he built hundreds of Sunday schools that fed the church attendance. All of this was as a result of personal soul winning and baptizing great numbers of converts. I believe that the man of God who was a composite of all of the other great men put together was Dr. Jack Hyles.
Dr. Curtis Hutson was a great man of God who built the largest church in Georgia at the Forrest Hills Baptist Church, outside of Atlanta. He later became the successor to Dr. John R. Rice as Editor of The Sword of the Lord periodical and conducted hundreds of citywide campaigns.
B. R. Lakin was a wonderful down home pulpiteer. He was a true southern evangelist. I not only was honored to hear him, but I was able to spend time with him and had dinner with him.
Dr. Bill Rice was one of the most charming and dynamic evangelists that ever lived. Dr. Ford Porter was a giant prayer warrior. There were others like Hyman Appleman, Oswald J. Smith, Oliver B. Green, etc. plus many who will in the history books of fundamentalism.
The sad part of this is this generation knows hardly anything of these great men of the past three decades! I think it would be to our benefit to study these great men and especially a Dr. Jack Hyles.
So many of you reading this never knew John R. Rice, Bill Rice, Lester Roloff, B. R. Lakin, G. B. Vick, Ford Porter, Hyman Appleman, Oliver B. Green, Oswald J. Smith, Curtis Hutson, Carl Hatch, Lee Roberson or my favorite Dr. Jack Hyles.
I make no apologies; the Longview Baptist Temple was a product of Dr. Jack Hyles. I studied Dr. Hyles, his life, his ministries, and his principles. Although I never thought of myself in the league I can and did attempt to put into practice those principles he taught into LBT.
I make no bones about it I am proud to declare to be a rock ribbed, Hell-fire, damnation, sin hating, King James only, independent, premillennial, and temperamental Baptist preacher! I claim proudly my heritage and I refuse to disassociate myself from the principles of a Dr. Hyles.
Mark ye well and tell it to the next generation is the plea from God himself. I constantly impressed upon those at LBT to learn what built LBT and what built this movement. Mark ye well and tell the next generation.
This is not the time to apologize for the great men of the past, but to promote what they stood for.
God is saying to his people in the forty-eighth Psalm the day is going to come when you will find the walls leveled, palaces destroyed, towers broken down, Temple torn down, and you need to learn everything you can about the bulwarks, towers, palaces, and Temple.
While you and your people are in captivity and there are no walls you can relive what you learned in your mind and tell it to the next generation. Mark ye well and tell!
While you are in captivity and there are no such towers you can tell the next generation about those towers, or bulwarks, or palaces, or Temple. You at least will be able to tell the next generation what it was like and what made the greatness happen. God wanted them to keep their eyes open and learn like many of us have learned from Lester Roloff, John R. Rice, Bill Rice, B. R. Lakin, G. B. Vick, Lee Roberson, Ford Porter, Curtis Hutson, Carl Hatch, and Jack Hyles. Mark ye well and tell!
The best thing this generation can do is to study those who have preceded us and the principles they used that allowed them to be used of God. Mark ye well and tell! We must be influenced by their greatness.
Dr. John R. Rice’s love, compassion, and conviction ought to be influencing this generation. Dr. Bill Rice’s humor, wit, and charm ought to be influencing this generation. Lester Roloff’s walk with God, faith, and fearlessness ought to be an influence felt in this generation. R. G. Lee’s mind, vocabulary, and sermons ought to be studied by this generation.
Dr. Ford Porter’s prayer life ought to be studied by this generation. Dr. G. B. Vick’s administrative abilities, organizational skills, and art of delegation ought to be an influence to this generation. Evangelist Oliver B. Green’s pungent spirit should be examined by this generation. Hyman Appleman’s evangelistic spirit should be an influence to this generation.
That is why men like Dr. Jack Hyles ought to be studied and their principles incorporated into the ministries of this generation. Mark well and tell!
LESSONS FROM THE GREAT MEN OF GOD
- They were personal soul winners
- They were personally holy men
- They were local church
- They were ecclesiastical separatists
- They were independent minded
- They were budget conscious
- They were King James only
- They baptized great numbers
- They started churches
- They were mission minded
- They loved and reached the poor
- They were filled with the Spirit of God
- They were very courteous
- They were generous with their money and time
- They were unselfish