SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

“Test All Things!”

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.”

Introduction - In the words of the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Thessalonica, we find the title of this lesson. Why would he demand that they “Test All Things”? Paul knew and would share with these brethren that Christians would not remain satisfied with the truth. In fact, in the second letter, the Apostle to the Gentiles would use this as a dating system to give the Christians in Thessalonica comfort concerning the return of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).

As time would go by, history would bear out that the falling away would occur, in spite of the warnings of the Apostles of Christ. It is additionally alive and well to this very day, even in the body of Christ!

This is a universal result of the complete lack of study of the book that so many claim to be the true [Word of God]! Because of this, many buy into the false words that the Bible is full of mysteries that cannot be understood by the average person. Dependence on so called religious leaders to practice hermeneutics (the science of interpretation), and exegeses (explanation and critical interpretation), has become the foundations for what so-called Christians place their trust into.

All of this is born of Christians failing to obey this command given to all Christians concerning the need to “Test All Things”!

Would Paul through the Holy Spirit give a command that we were unable to complete? Certainly not! In fact, Paul knew that all of God’s word is tenable (capable of being defended or held to scrutiny, survive the test!) too those who apply themselves to know it.  

2 Timothy 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Paul knew that when Christians read God’s word for themselves, they could have his knowledge concerning the mysteries of Christ (only called that because it was in the process of being revealed).

Ephesians 3:3-4 “how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)”

The approved worker - trusts the true source for knowledge that guides him! The word of God!

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

He learns - to apply the proper dispensation. God only speaks to us now through His Son – Hebrews 1:1-2. The only way to have a relationship with God is through the doctrine of Christ - 2 John 9. This by its very foundation excludes Moses and the law given to Israel as a viable system of righteousness (we however, have much to learn from the Law of Moses as a school master to Christ, such as the true nature of God, types and shadows, etc…). 

He learns - that context is everything. Always asking and answering the questions; who, what, and why this being written, and at times even the when it was written is also important.  

He learns – that the unity of scripture is also vital to know all the truth on a given subject of righteousness. To literally compile a complete understanding on a subject before application is practiced.

Jesus used an inductive method of presenting righteousness (taking all pertinent information of a given subject in order to come to the proper conclusion), when He taught the Jews, who often challenged Him because they themselves were untaught in this process – see: Matthew 12:1-13 concerning doing well to others on the Sabbath vs. the traditions of the Pharisees. He knew what the original commands of God were concerning the Sabbath (Exodus 31:15), which He always observed, then gave examples from their own approved history (3-5), taught the original precepts (7), see also: Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:8; all showing that God gave the Sabbath for the benefit of Israel, not the detriment. Punishment was to be met out to the one who purposefully chose to fail to observe this command of God and had nothing to do with showing mercy on those who needed it.  

Here is another inductive exercise:

Law of Silence: Absence of direct commands, approved examples, and necessary inferences in any given matter, by its very existence demands that anything else is excluded! Period!

We always think there is a better way, or an easier way than that which God established as righteousness. This had led to a myriad of practices in the church that are by this standard apostate!

What we always forget, is that everything God has given us to accomplish is an issue of submission! To obey what has been given is to demonstrate the willingness to submit to Him as Supreme and to show appreciation for His love!

1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

By the very use of the word Baptism (for example), submergence into water is commanded (Acts 8:38), and by the absence of any other command negates sprinkling, dabbing, or anything other than submergence!

If it is not of the commands of God, no matter how much easier it is, no matter how much better an idea someone thinks it is, it does not stand up to the test of righteousness (being right with God). We dare not want, in that day, to stand before our creator and have to answer for why we thought His wisdom was insufficient!

Conclusion – The Lord’s body is being bombarded with a stripped down and perverted form of exegeses, introduced by men who have not had to face the testing process. This has led to an evolutionary stage of application that leads to the concept of [no system of law]; therefore, thinking in terms of keeping the commandments of God is untenable!

When these who have perverted the truth are tested and faced with contradictions to the pure word of God, they levy personal attacks; “you’re just a bunch of anti’s”.

They instead turn to a foreign form of exegesis that Paul wrote would come:

2 Timothy 3:5 “having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

This process of deviation from the standard established through the Apostles of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:42; Ephesians 2:20), is going to continue to increase until no one will recognize the body of Christ that He shed His blood for! Or, until the members of the body of Christ rise up and educate ourselves to the truth and test everything for book, chapter, and verse. Strong elders and evangelists are not enough, who will take their places if we remain ignorant, who will support them if we cannot stand for the truth ourselves? How can we even have them, if no one knows what strong and faithful elders are, or evangelists? Every Christian must adhere to the self -test first!

1 John 2:3-6 “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”

Then, Test All Things!