"And to the captains over hundreds did the priest give King David's spears and shields, that were in the temple of the Lord " II Kings 11:10
Ahaziah had been the king of Judah. Ahaziah had a son who was just a baby. His name was Joash. Ahaziah died. His mother, Athaliah, decided she was going to destroy all the potential heirs of the throne, and she became the queen of Judah. However, they hid one of Ahaziah's boys, little Joash, in the temple for almost seven years. During these seven years, the mother of the deceased king assumed the throne and became the queen of Judah. Bear in mind her grandson, Joash, is hidden in the temple, awaiting the ripening of his years so that he can become the king.
The day came when they felt that they should kill Athaliah, the wicked grandmother of the little boy, and the mother of the deceased king. The time is come to take the throne from her and give it to the right heir, Joash, who now is a young boy - no longer an infant. Here is a little boy who is going to be the king. He has been hidden for seven years almost, and now they are going to destroy the wicked grandmother, take the throne from her, and place the little boy on the throne, for rightly it is his.
They take the bodyguards and put them around the boy, and they say, "Watch hill when he goes out. Watch him when he comes in. Protect the boy." However, they have no weapons. How can they defeat the wicked queen, and bow can they destroy the wicked grandmother, without weapons?
Somebody remembers a beautiful truth: King David had deposited his weapons in the temple. Now, maybe there was a particular room, I do not know, but David would take the weapons of war that he had used to fight the battles against evil and for God, and would deposit those in the temple. For these many years, these weapons of King David had been in the temple. Suddenly, somebody gets the idea, "Why don't we get those weapons and use them? We are about to have a revolution. We are about to have an insurrection."
The queen came in, and the people had the weapons of David, the old warrior, the great king, the greatest king that ever sat on Israel's throne. He is the one likened to the One that someday shall sit on His throne and be King of kings and Lord of lords for 1,000 years and rule and reign on the earth.
King David's weapons were on the walls, so somebody grabbed the weapons. The queen came in. She saw the weapons. She saw the bodyguards. To her surprise, she saw the young boy Joash. She cries, "Treason! Treason! Treason!" It is to no avail, for they took her, and the wicked queen was killed. Joash assumed the throne that was rightly his.
Here is the wonderful thing: The right king could never have been vindicated, had it not been for the people using the weapons of David. David's spears, David's shields, David's swords were taken years after his death, and used to win the battle for God and for good and for right, because David had left the swords, the spears and the shields in the House of God.
In this story, there is a beautiful truth. I preached last Sunday night on some things that I feel the First Baptist Church will realize in the next few years. I said last Sunday night that l believe the First Baptist Church ought to be running, within a matter of a few years, 10,000 in Sunday School, and with all of my heart I believe we will!
I said last Sunday night that I want First Baptist Church of Hammond to build an elementary school here, and to build a new high school out on our property. I want us to build a great network of Christian schools, where boys and girls who want to come and be taught not only of proper things from education courses, but the Word of God, decency and patriotism. I want them to be tough, respect for law and order, and to say "Yes, sir" and "Yes, ma'am" and "No, sir" and "No, ma'am". I want them to know how to behave, and have morals and decency. I want a place where they will not be led toward the new morality, and the new orthodoxy, and all the rest of the things that are destroying our nation. I said, "I want God to give us a great network of Christian elementary schools around this area, flooding the graduates into one great high school."
I believe with all of my soul, within 10 years, the largest high school in the Calumet region will sit out yonder on that property we have right now. I said "I think we ought to build an apartment house for senior citizens." I said that the day ought to come in the next few years when we start a college, and train our preacher-boys, our young people, bus workers, Christian teachers, and principals for Christian schools. I said, "I think we ought to have an orphanage' and a home for wayward boys." I gave, last Sunday night, the vision that God has given me in recent days.
Somebody called in last Monday morning on the broadcast, when I read the prayer requests. They said, "Thank God for the vision our pastor had last t," I did not have any visions. There are two green men that follow me everywhere go, but I am having no visions.
But I will tell you what I do see. I see, in the next few years, here, one of the greatest colleges in America. I see here a great home for senior citizens. I see here a network of Christian elementary schools. I see here 10,000 people, Bibles in hand, every Sunday morning to study the Word of God in the great Sunday school of the First Baptist Church, but here is what I want to say: Regardless of what we build here, we will use the same old weapons we have used for 83 years. We will keep on using the same methods and the same weapons we have always used.
Now, what are these weapons? Here is a young king. He needs to fight the battle, win the victory. Here is a wicked queen who has taken over the throne. Somebody says, "What will we use? What weapons?" Somebody answers, "Grab the old weapons David used to use. If David can take those weapons and kill a bear; if David can take a slingshot and kill a giant; if David can take those spears and kill a lion; if David can win the battles against the Moabites and the Philistines; if David can defeat the enemies of Israel with those weapons, we will still use them!"
I am convinced with all of my heart today, that the New Testament church had better trade her new weapons for the old weapons that our country was built upon, and our churches were built upon.
This morning, we will keep fighting the battle, but thank God our forefathers have placed on the walls of this building, the weapons that we can use. This warfare is not fought with carnal weapons, but righteous weapons. We can use weapons of the spiritual warfare given to us by those who have gone before.
Now, what are these weapons? What are these weapons?
1. God's Word. I can hardly think about this Book without just wiggling all over. I have been consumed all morning with what a wonderful Book this is. Blessed be God! I hold in my hand God's Book, from Heaven. God's Word is inspired by the God who made the world. What a weapon to use!
For these 25 years, Dr. Billings, I have stood behind pulpits, and I have done it when I was tired and when I was fresh. I have done it when I was weak and when I was strong. For three and a half times a day for these last 15 years, and averaging two or three sermons a day for the last 25 years, I have stood behind Pulpits up and down this country, and I have never found anything yet that will beat just the preaching of the Word of God.
I am convinced that if we have 10,000 people in Sunday school, and have the school we ought to have, and the college, and the senior citizens' home, and the high school, and the junior high school, and all the rest of it, we will just use the old weapon of the preaching of the Word of God.
Do not get the idea that we are going to have a war on poverty-brother, we are going to have a war on the Devil. Do not get the idea we are going to have a social Gospel, when that senior citizens' home rises, and that new high school is built. I have talked to somebody this last week about borrowing some money. (If anybody here has about $3 million, see me after the service, please, in my office. I need it desperately, as a down payment on the rest of the money I need.) As all that rises, the old First Baptist Church of Hammond will still preach the message, "Ye must be born again!" We will still preach the message of a Heaven that is real and a Hell that is hot, and a New Birth that is a necessity, and of the judgment of God that is going to come. We will still build this church and build every work and every phase of our church on the old weapon that God has left in this building - the preaching of the Word of God.
I thank God that years ago, I found out that the great secret of God's work is His Word. Everything that God has ever done, He has done through His Word When God created the world, He spoke, and the world came into being. Ten times in Genesis 1, you find these words, "And God said ... and God said ... and God said ... and God said ... and God said ... and God said ... and God said ... and God said ... and God said ... and God said." Everything that God made in creation's dawn was made by the Word of God.
It says in II Thessalonians 2:8, when He comes again to put down the antichrist, He will do it "with the spirit of His mouth," (His Word) and "the brightness of His coming." Everything that God has ever done, He has done through this book right here. His Word. Everything that is lasting, that will ever be done for God, must be done through this Word. I thank God I learned that as a young preacher.
Many of you have heard me tell this simple story. I was called to pastor my first fulltime church - that means the first church that paid me enough money so that I did not have to work on the side. They paid me $20 a week, plus my house and my bills, and that is the first time I had ever made enough money that I did not have to work on the side. There were only three deacons, and all three of them hated my insides. Now all of our 81 deacons here love me dearly, I am sure. (You better, or I will eat your hide tonight.)
These three deacons hated me because I was too young. Why, I was 21, and that is as old as a fellow would ever get. They did not want me to pastor the church, so they would make faces. They would sit on the second or third row right in the middle and make faces at me while I was preaching. I stood and preached the first Sunday, and I did not know what was going to happen. I would preach over here awhile, and then I would go over here and preach over here awhile. Every time I would look, there would be those three deacons , making faces at me. Nobody could see them but me. We did not have a choir in those days. If we had had a choir, we would not have had a congregation. So there those three deacons would sit, making faces at me.
One night I had taken all I could take. I was preaching of Elijah, and I prayed, "Lord, I just cannot take it anymore! For seven weeks those deacons have been making faces at me -Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. I cannot take it anymore." So I decided to just thumb through the Bible while I was preaching. So I was just thumbing through, and would look over here awhile, and look over here awhile, and look down here awhile, and then look there and there, and then look over here and over here.
Suddenly, as I was thumbing through, a verse jumped out at me. It said, "Be not dismayed at their faces." I said, "Huh?" It said again, "Be not dismayed at their faces." I stopped the service, and I said, "I want to say a few words." I said, "For seven weeks, these three men right here" -I was very tactful, I pointed them out -this man right here, this man right here, and this man right here for seven weeks, they have been making faces at me. I have been trying not to say anything. Tonight, I was going to quit, but I noticed it said in the Bible, `Be not dismayed at their faces."' I said, "Go ahead and make the faces. Go ahead and make yours, and go ahead and make yours, but I have a message from God, 'Be not dismayed at your faces."' I said, "Now, fasten your safety belts, because it is going to be a rough flight from here on in," and I preached. I found out as a kid preacher, God's Word has the answer for every need.
Ah, we have some great days ahead of us. We will just keep on using the old weapons. Thank God for those dear saints that have left the weapons for us in the House of God - the old weapons of the Word of God. You know, if God came to me and said, "Brother Hyles, son, I will give you a choice. I will let you take this crowd out to the Elwood Cemetery, and let you gather round the grave of Verlie Fields, that godly deacon that passed away a few weeks ago, and I will let You raise your hand over that grave and say, `Verlie, come forth!"' The Lord would say to me, "Son, I will cause that body that you loved, and that man that You miss so much, to rise out of the grave and walk about the streets of Hammond, and tell all of them what heaven is like."
0r the Lord would say, "Son, I will give you one other choice. I will let you stand there just like you are this morning and open the Word of God and preach the Word of God." I have so much faith in this Bible, Dr. Billings, I would rather Just Preach the Bible than raise Verlie from the dead. Ah, there is power in this blessed old Word! The power in this weapon! Our forefathers have placed this weapon on the wall, and when the battles come, what weapon do we use? We use the Word of God and the preaching of the Word of God.
Dr. Billings, for 25 years now, in my churches, not one time has the pulpit ever been moved off on a Sunday morning or a Sunday night, or a Wednesday night, for a cantata, or a movie, or a special program. We have just had the preaching of the Word of God. Oh, ladies and gentlemen, what this old nation of ours needs is some old-fashioned, Hell-fire and brimstone, new-birth Bible preachers, who will take the weapons our fathers have left us on the walls of the House of God, and use those weapons to put down the enemy.
2. Prayer and fasting. Oh, the weapon of prayer and fasting. I mean agonizing, I mean going without food. I mean hanging on to God. I mean, "Oh, God, I will not let You go!" I think about that dear Mrs. Mandell, who for 15 year would not let God alone. She just would not let God alone. Her husband war a well-known Jewish man, owner of the furniture store across the alley facie State Street. He was a man who was faithful to the synagogue, a man who was considered a leader of the synagogue. That little woman kept saying, "Dear God, save my husband! Dear God, save my husband! Dear God, save my husband!" Not only did she want God, but she would call me on the phone and say, "Pray for my husband. I think he is getting closer. Pray for my husband, Pray for my husband."
One night I said, "I am going to do it. I am going to do it." I got in my car and drove over in front of the Mandell Furniture Company. I parked in front of that place and I got out and leaned against the door and said, "Dear God, that lady has been praying for many years. Lord, you are going to have to answer he prayer. She just keeps on coming, and keeps on coming." I said, "I will not eat a bite for awhile, but I am going to pray for Mr. Mandell."
One night at one o'clock in the morning, I went over there. I guess for an hour I stayed against that door. I drove around that building, and I parked in that parking lot. Then last Sunday morning, to God be the glory, in the first service that man walked down the aisle and received Christ as his personal Savior.
I did not know this, but he had been going to the synagogue and leaving before it was over, and he came back and told his wife, "I do not get much out of the synagogue anymore." Do you know why? Because the Holy Ghost was working on him, that is why. Ah, thanks be to God! There is power in a New Testament church, that will grab the weapon of the preaching of the Word of God, and 4 grab the weapon of prayer, and will grab the weapon of fasting and prayer and say, "We will dare stand up in 1971, and we will say to the hippies and we will say to the Communists, and we will say to this old sin-cursed, wicked, vile, sinful world, it still can be done, just like it was down in David's day."
We will grab the weapons that God had placed on the walls of the old house and fight the war with the weapons of the King. It is as simple as cornbread and buttermilk.
3. Soul winning. I said to our visitation ladies last Friday morning, when I spoke a few words to them. "It does not matter what you build in the church, the church grows on soul winning. Just keep on going, just keep on knocking, just keep on witnessing, just keep on soul winning.
This morning, my heart is filled with praise and thanksgiving for you dear, aged people in our church. Many of you have been here 35 and 40 years. Some of you were members of this church before I was born. The Baxter's have been married 80 years, so I do not know how long they have been here, but some of you were here before I was born. Here on this corner, for 83 years, there has been a church with an open Bible and a Gospel sermon and an invitation, and you placed on the walls of the temple of God, these weapons.
May I say this morning that as long as I am Pastor of this church, we plan to keep using the weapons you placed here. We plan to keep on using them. I mean the preaching of God's Word. I mean the soul-winning. I mean the prayer and fasting. I mean the old-fashioned Gospel. I mean the old-time religion. That is what I am talking about. We dedicate ourselves again, anew, to say, -Whatever we do, we will build it on this Book and on the Christ of this Book. We will use the weapons that our forefathers have used."
May I say a word to you young people? I pledge to you children, when I preach my last sermon behind this pulpit and lay down my armor and meet the Savior, for whom and about whom I have preached all these years, I promise you when you get into some battles, and some wicked queen is trying to take over the church and bring something behind this pulpit that which is not true, if you will look on these walls around here, you will find we will have left you some weapons. God can give you these weapons with which to fight and to put down the wicked queens and the wicked, vile, sensual people. I challenge you, I charge you, you keep this church always using the weapons of our King.
Our Lord was here, as David was here. Our Lord fought, as David fought. He used soul winning. He used prayer and fasting. He used the Word of God. Those weapons have been left here for our use, and we will leave them for yours. I will say what I have said before, in case I were to crash in a plane tomorrow, in case tonight I preach the last sermon that I preach in this pulpit, if anybody ever stands behind this desk that does not believe in the verbal inspiration of this Book and you find it out, kick him out!
If you cannot kick him out, and the day ever comes when this church does not use the weapons left by our King on the walls of His House, if we do not believe the verbal inspiration, and the virgin birth, and in soul winning, and in the old-time Gospel, I hope this building falls! The weapons of our warfare are not carnal.
Let me say something else. I say to those in Heaven, and I say to the man whose name is on the pulpit, Leonard Tudor, and may I say to Deacon Gifford, and may I say to Martha Hartman, and may I say to Mrs. Annis, and may I say to Verlie Fields, God bless you everyone. You have served faithfully here at this church. You have sacrificed and given and bled and died and fought for what yon thought was right. I say to you dear Saints of God in Heaven this morning,
"We are going to keep using your weapons. Yes, we are. We are going to keep using the old weapons.
I believe this morning there is still a hope in America for a decent revival that will bring our nation back to some sanity. I think, this morning, there are enough young preachers with their hearts aflame for God and His Word, that we still can save our nation. I believe God is going to use this corner as a great part of that revival, but if He does, He will do it because we keep using the weapons of our King.
Here comes a young boy. He is just a primary boy, but on his shoulders shall rest the entire kingdom of Judah. It is he who will sit on the throne as the king of all of Judah. What a responsibility! May I say to you, Joash, use David's weapons! Do not get any new ones. Use the ones David used. Get David's shield. Get David's sword. Get David's spear. Use the King's methods-the one who established this kingdom. May I say to you this morning, use the King's methods.
I walked one day through the "temple" as a kid-preacher, and as I walked through the "temple", I saw Billy Sunday's Bible. I saw it opened to Isaiah 61:1, "The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek..." I saw Billy Sunday's Bible, opened no longer by the fingers of the great Billy Sunday. I saw that Bible, and I saw the blood on that Bible, and I said, "I think it will still work. I believe old-fashioned Billy Sunday preaching will still work."
I got on my knees and said, "Dear God, I will use that kind of Bible, and that kind of preaching, and that kind of conviction." I still believe it will work.
I went to Spurgeon's Tabernacle. The first time I went there, I saw the museum room of Spurgeon's Tabernacle. My mind wandered back to that great man of God, who built that great tabernacle and church in London. I went back to the room that night, and I tossed and tumbled way into the morning. I said, "Oh my God, we need some Spurgeons today! Oh my God, we need some churches like that today!" I said, "I believe it can be done today. I mean now. It can still be done, if we will use the weapons that Spurgeon used."
I went to Wesley's Chapel. I believe that Wesley's religion can still be preached and I believe Wesley's power can still be had. I believe that power can still be had. I believe that Pentecostal power is still available.
This morning, I simply declare afresh and anew, the simplicity, or the simple fact, of the wonder of the Word of God and the wonder of the power of God' As we face, I think, the greatest days our church has ever known, let's do not worry about any new weapons. Let the other churches try to build on dance halls; let the other churches have their bingo parties; let the legislature in Illinois say bingo is legal. It will not affect us a bit. Let the rest of them have their carnivals and their big worldly time; let the rest of them have their gambling parties; let the rest of them build on Knights of Columbus taverns; let the rest of them try to build on bowling alleys and skating rinks and sensual pleasure. But let there be one church in this area that says, "We will grab the old weapons off the wall and preach the Book!" God helping us, there will be.
We will stand for this Book, bless God for it! We will stand for it; we will study it; we will memorize it, and we will love it. We will eat the scroll, and put it next to our breast. We will weep over it, and claim its promises, and teach it, and preach it, and learn it, and love it, and know it, and follow it, and obey it! There is also something else we will keep preaching, and that is the fact that if man is not born again, he will perish in the fires of Hell forever and ever.
I was talking to a businessman Friday afternoon. He said, "How do you get all those crowds at First Baptist Church?" He sort of sneered while he said it. "How do you get all those crowds? What kind of gimmick you got?" I said, "We just preach Jesus and the Word of God." He said, "You must be a dynamic person." I said, "No, I have a dynamic Book."
Oh, let me say this morning, I believe this Book and the Savior about whom it teaches are able to build a great school, a great senior citizens' home, a great orphanage, a great college and elementary schools. I believe the day the First Baptist Church ever departs from this blessed Book and reaches up and grabs some weapons not placed there by our King, we are doomed to failure. This morning, I turn just in closing, to those of you who know not the Savior. I turn to those of you that never have been born again. I know what the world says. I know what they say. "Yeah, there is nothing to the old-time religion." They just do not know. "Well," they say, "being saved is okay for the poor white trash," but the rich white trash better get saved, or they are going to become poor white trash in Hell. You say, "I know, you talk about being saved." Yes, the Bible talks about being saved, too.
If you go to Heaven, you will get there the same way John the Baptist did - by getting born again. If you go to heaven, you will get there the same way that Dwight Moody did-by getting born again. If you go to Heaven, you will get there the same way that Billy Sunday did - by getting born again. Every person In this room this morning has to go out into eternity someday, and 100 years from now, you will be in Hell or in Heaven. You say, "Well, that is the Baptist way." No, it is the Bible way.
Yesterday morning, I had a funereal service in the Black Oak area. We talked before the service about the man who died -he was in his 60's, I think. One Year ago, he walked down these aisles, and he was breathing. He had emphysema and coal miners' lungs and who knows what else, but he wanted to receive Christ, and he did. After the service, he came to get baptized, and he walked up a few steps, and he would breathe heavily to get enough strength to walls up a bit more. He walked in the baptistry, and you could hear him as he breathed with his emphysema and coal miners' lung. He received Christ. He was born again, and he is in Heaven today.
Oh my beloved friend, if you do not know that you are saved, I plead with you in the name of Christ, come. Believe the old- fashioned Bible. Have an old-fashioned Savior who went to an old-fashioned cross and died an old-fashioned death to make an old-fashioned salvation possible. Come to Christ this morning.
You say, "But I do not want to be a Baptist." You do not have to be a Baptist. All you have to do is come to Christ. You say, "Preacher, I do not want to get baptized." You do not have to get baptized. All you have to do is come to Christ. Come to the old-fashioned Gospel. "There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel's veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains."
My appeal this morning is twofold: First, Dr. Billings, Brother Fisk, Brother Streeter, Brother Colsten, Brother Beebe, staff, deacons and members, as we face the great program before the First Baptist Church of Hammond, may we never forget that the weapons that we use are the weapons of our King-the Word of God, the preaching of the Word of God. The Bible is true, salvation is real. May God give us wisdom as we pursue these courses, and lead us step-by-step.
Then may I say to those of you who are not saved this morning, God loves you, and because He does, I do, and I want you to go to Heaven. Men-strong, intelligent, head of the house, strong of body - you have to get born again if you go to Heaven when you die. Lady-lovely, charming, gracious, poised-you have to get born again if you go to heaven. Teenager -all of life before you-you have to get born again if you go to Heaven. I beg you this morning, receive Christ and know that you are saved! Let us pray.
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