a sermon preached by Jack Hyles to his church (edited for readability)
II Kings 11:10 – And to the captains over hundreds did the priest give king David’s spears and shields, that were in the temple of the LORD.
Ahaziah had been the king of Judah. Ahaziah had a son who was just a baby, and his name was Joash. Ahaziah died, and his mother Athaliah decided she was going to destroy all of the potential heirs of the throne, making her 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 that her grandson Joash was hidden in the temple, awaiting the ripening of his years so that he could 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 was come to take the throne from her and give it to the right heir, Joash, who now was a young boy—he, no longer an infant, would be the king. He had been hidden for almost seven years, and now they were going to destroy the wicked grandmother, take the throne, and place the little boy on the throne, for rightly it was his.
They took the bodyguards and put them around the boy. They said, “Watch him when he goes out. Watch him when he comes in. Protect the boy.” However, they had no weapons. How could they defeat the wicked queen, and how could they destroy the wicked grandmother without weapons?
Somebody remembered a beautiful truth: King David had deposited his weapons in the temple. Perhaps there was a particular room—we 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. Now, someone had 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.”
When the queen came in the people had the weapons of David, the old warrior, the great king, the greatest king that ever sat on Israel’s throne. He was the one likened to the One Who 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. When the queen came in, she saw the weapons and the bodyguards. To her surprise, she also saw the young boy, Joash. She cried, “Treason! Treason! Treason!” It was 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, shields, and swords were taken years after his death and used to win the battle for God, good, and right. This could not have happened if David had not left the swords, spears, and shields in the house of God.
Now, what are these weapons?
A young king needed to fight the battle and to win the victory. A wicked queen had taken over the throne. Somebody said, “What will we use? What weapons?” Somebody answered, “Grab the old weapons that David once used. 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 upon which our country and our churches were built.
We will keep fighting the battle, but thank God our forefathers have placed on the walls of this church the weapons that we can use. This warfare is not fought with carnal weapons, but rather righteous weapons. We can use weapons of the spiritual warfare given to us by those who have gone before.
Now, what are OUR weapons?
I can hardly think about this Book without just wiggling all over! I have been consumed 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 many years, I have stood behind pulpits. I have done it when I was tired and when I was fresh. I have preached when I was weak and when I was strong. I have stood behind pulpits up and down this country, and I have never found anything yet that will beat simply preaching the Word of God.
I am convinced that if we want to grow the ministries that God wants us to have, we will just use the old weapon of the preaching of the Word of God.
We are going to have a war on the devil. I 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, of 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, we find these words, “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 His Word. Everything that is lasting and that will ever be done for God, must be done through this Word. I thank God that I learned that as a young preacher.
Many 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 guts. 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, I thought! They did not want me to pastor the church, so they would make faces. They would sit right in the middle on the second or third rows 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. Every time I would look, there would be those three deacons, making faces at me. Nobody could see them but me.
One night I had taken all I could take from those men. I was preaching of Elijah, and I prayed to myself, “Lord, I just cannot take it anymore! For seven weeks those deacons have been making faces at me. They have done it every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. I cannot take it anymore.” I decided to just thumb through the Bible while I was preaching.
Suddenly, as I was thumbing through, a verse jumped out at me. It was Jeremiah 1:17. 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 and pointed them out—“These men right here, for seven weeks, 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. I have a message from God, …be not dismayed at their faces,…” I said, “Now, fasten your seat belts because it is going to be a rough flight from here on in,” and I preached! I found out as a kid preacher that God’s Word has the answer for every need.
We as Christians have some great days ahead of us. We will just keep on using the old weapons.
Thank God for those dear saints who have left the weapons for us in the house of God. They have left us the old weapons of the Word of God. Our forefathers have placed this weapon on the wall. When the battles come, what weapon do we use? We use the Word of God and the preaching of the Word of God. What this old nation of ours needs is some old-fashioned, Hell-fire and brimstone, new-birth Bible preachers who will take the weapons that our fathers have left us on the walls of the House of God, and use those weapons to put down the enemy.
Prayer and fasting.
The weapon of prayer and fasting can be agonizing. It is going without food and hanging on to God. It is praying, “Oh, God, I will not let You go!” Mrs. Mandell for fifteen years would not leave God alone about her unsaved husband. Her husband was a well-known Jewish man, the owner of the furniture store in our city. He was a man who was faithful to the synagogue and 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!”
One night I got in my car and drove over in front of the Mandell Furniture Company. I parked in front of that place, got out of the car, and leaned against the door and prayed, “Dear God, that lady has been praying for many years. Lord, you are going to have to answer her prayer. She just keeps coming and will keep on coming.” I said, “I will not eat a bite for a while, but I am going to pray for Mr. Mandell.”
One night at one o’clock in the morning, I went over there again. I drove around that building, and I parked in that parking lot to pray. Then one Sunday morning—to God be the glory—that man walked down the aisle and received Christ as his personal Saviour!
I did not know this, but he had been going to the synagogue and leaving before it was over. He came back and told his wife, “I do not get much out of the synagogue anymore.” Do you know why? The Holy Ghost was working on him! 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, the weapon of prayer, and the weapon of fasting, and say, “We will dare stand up to this old, sin-cursed, wicked, vile, sinful world, and say that it still can be done just as it was done in David’s day!”
We will grab the weapons that God has placed on the walls of the old church house and fight the war with the weapons of the King!
I spoke a few words to a ladies’ soulwinning group. My advice to them was this: “It does not matter what you build in the church. The church grows on soulwinning. Just keep on going, just keep on knocking, just keep on witnessing, and just keep on soulwinning.”
May I say that we plan to keep using the weapons placed here! I mean the preaching of God’s Word, the soul-winning, the prayer and fasting, the old-fashioned Gospel, and the old-time religion. We must dedicate ourselves 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.”
Our Lord was here as David was here. Our Lord fought as David fought. He used soulwinning. 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 the young people that come behind us. I will say what I have said before:
If anybody ever stands behind this desk who does not believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible, 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, something must be done. If we do not believe the verbal inspiration, the virgin birth, in soulwinning, and in the old-time Gospel, I hope this building falls! The weapons of our warfare are not carnal.
I have something to say to those in Heaven who have served faithfully before us, to those who have sacrificed, given, bled, fought, and died for what was right. I say to those dear saints of God in Heaven, “We are going to keep using your weapons. Yes, we are. We are going to keep using the old weapons.”
I believe there is still a hope in America for a revival that will bring our nation back to some sanity. I think there are enough young preachers with their hearts aflame for God and His Word that can still help to save our nation. I believe God is going to use us 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 came a young boy, but on his shoulders rested the entire kingdom of Judah. It was he who sat on the throne as the king of all of Judah. What a responsibility! May I say to Joash, use David’s weapons! Do not get any new ones. Use the ones that David used. Get David’s shield. Get David’s sword. Get David’s spear. Use the King’s methods. He was the one Who established this kingdom.
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! We must not worry about any new weapons. Let the other churches try to build on dance halls; and let the other churches have their bingo parties. It will not affect us a bit. Let the rest of them have their carnivals and their big, worldly time; and let the rest of them try to build on bowling alleys and skating rinks and sensual pleasure. However, let there be one church that says, “We will grab the old weapons off of the wall and preach the Book!” With God helping us, there will be!
We will stand for this Book!
We will stand for it; we will study it; we will memorize it; and we will love it. We will weep over it, claim its promises, teach it, preach it, learn it, love it, know it, follow it, and obey it! There is also something else we will keep preaching: the fact that if man is not born again, he will perish in the fires of Hell forever and ever.
I believe that this Book and the Saviour about Whom it teaches are able to build a great work for God. I believe if the day ever comes that the church departs from this blessed Book and reaches up and grabs some weapons not placed there by our King, we are doomed to failure.
May we never forget that the weapons that we use are the weapons of our King—the Word of God and the preaching of the Word of God. The Bible is true and salvation is real. May God give us wisdom and lead us step-by-step as we pursue these courses.