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All Things Are Possible With God's Help!

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Arise And Build!  All Things Are Possible With God’s Help

All Things Are Possible With God’s Help!

Nehemiah 6:15-7:3

The Supreme Motive

       A little first-grader beamed with satisfaction about a spelling test on which his teacher had written a large “100--Good work!”  The boy said, “I showed this to my Dad and Mom, because I knew it would please them.”  Can’t you just see him riding home on the bus, hardly able to wait for the moment when his parents would express their excitement with how well he had done?  His desire to make Dad and Mom happy was obviously a very important motivating factor in his life.

       Well, what is the motivating factor in your life?  Paul summed up what should be the supreme motivation of a Christian’s life in

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NASB-U), “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

       Whatever we do, we should do it to and for the glory of God!  Tell somebody right now, “It’s not about me; it’s not about you; it’s about the Kingdom!”  It’s not about what you eat; it’s not about what you drink; it’s not about anything that you do; it’s all about the glory of God; it’s all about His Kingdom!  Thy Kingdom come and Thy will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven!!!

It is probably most difficult for us to remember this, when God has just blessed us.  There is a real temptation to forget about God or take credit ourselves.  In my Christian life, I have tried to be very careful about that.  One of my life’s mottoes is, “To God be the glory great things He hath done!”  Why?  Besides, I realize that I cannot do one thing without ‘Him.’

Without Christ I could do nothing.

Without Christ I would fail.

Without Christ my life would be drifting

Like a ship without a sail.

I know that I must abide in Him.  For He said, “Without me you can do nothing!”  So I praise God for accolades, notoriety, and honor, but, “Hallelujah, salvation and glory and all honor and power belong unto the Lord our God.  For the Lord our God is mighty; for the Lord our God is omnipotent; for the Lord our God is wonderful!”

       In the passage before us, Nehemiah has accomplished one of the greatest feats in Jewish history, but he gives the glory to God.

(Notice with me please Nehemiah 6:15-7:3.  In this verse we see:)

I.     The Answer To Prayer (vs. 15).

The Wall is completed in 52 days.  What a miracle!

But, let’s go back to the beginning for a moment.

·        Nehemiah had prayed for this.

·        Nehemiah had given up his position as cupbearer to the king for this.

·        Nehemiah had physically worked for this.

·        Nehemiah had personally sacrificed for this.

·        Nehemiah had suffered for this.

The wall had been in ruins for over a hundred years, yet Nehemiah had accomplished in 52 days what people had said was impossible.  This was no ordinary wall.  This wall symbolized peace and security to Jerusalem and the Jewish people.  God had seen fit to restore a measure of His blessings to His covenant people.  What a miracle!

       Likewise, on a much smaller scale, what a miracle has occurred at The House of the Lord!

·        I have prayed for this.

·        I have given up secular employment for this.

·        I have worked hard, physically, for this.

·        I have personally sacrificed for this, in many ways.

·        I have suffered for this.

I have looked forward to the day when we could see the saving of souls be a top priority and build our own buildings, on our own land; and what a miracle!  You sit in one of the New Season, New Apostolic Reformation churches of America where souls are being saved, people are being filled with the Spirit, new buildings are being built, with miracles, signs, and wonders.  What a miracle!

(And what can we say to these things:)

II.    To God Be The Glory (vs. 16).

The enemies of Nehemiah, no doubt, were gaining in confidence as they worked against him and the people who were working on the wall.  Then, they heard that the wall was completed, and went to check it out for themselves.  When their enemies and the surrounding nations saw what had been accomplished, they lost their confidence.  Why?  Nehemiah says they recognized the work that had been accomplished had been accomplished with the help of God.  Not only did Nehemiah give God the glory, but everyone who saw what had been accomplished gave God the glory.

       According to my enemies and false brethren, we are a cult, or we are off the mark, or we are not quite right, etc.  But,

·        One thing that must be said, when you see the number of people who have been saved;

·        One thing that must be said, when you see the number of lives that have been changed;

·        One thing that must be said, when you see the movement of the Holy Spirit through miracles, signs, and wonders;

·        One thing that must be said, when you see the nationwide and even worldwide impact our ministry is having;

·        One thing that must be said, when you see the land that God has given to us;

·        One thing that must be said, when you see the buildings that God has given to us;

·        One thing that must be said, when you see the leaders that God has given to us:

“To God be the glory!”

       But, there is another prayer that I often prayed in the beginning of this ministry.  It was the prayer that some of the OT. prophets would pray, “Lord, let it be known that there is a God in Akron.  Let it be known that there is a man of God in Akron and that I have done all these things according to your will.”  Now those who pass through here, even our enemies, have had to say, “Certainly God has blessed you!”  Do what God wants you to do and eventually even your enemies must acknowledge that God is working in your life.  Nicodemus a potential enemy of Jesus, who no doubt became a follower of Jesus, the Christ, is quoted in

John 3:2 (NASB-U), “This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’”

Jesus Himself gave His works as the proof of His Messianic identity, when John the Baptizer questioned him.  The Bible reads in

Matthew 11:2-6 (NASB-U), “Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples [3] and said to Him, ‘Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?’ [4] Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and report to John what you hear and see: [5] the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. [6] And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.’”

David put it this way,

Psalm 23:5 (NASB-U),”You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.”

Let the work speak for itself and give God the glory!

(But don’t go to sleep!  Just because God has blessed you and you have accomplished a few of your goals, doesn’t mean that Satan has given up.  In the next few verse we see:)

III.   The Continued Opposition (vv. 17-19).

(The battle was won, but the war was not over!  The Christian life is a constant warfare, a campaign, not a single battle.  In the wilderness, there was wandering and resting, with brief periods of warfare.  But, in the Promised Land there was constant warfare with brief periods of rest!  Satan is still opposed to all that Nehemiah and the Jews are doing.  In these verse we see:)

A.    External Opposition (vs. 17).

Tobiah still wasn’t finished.  Even though He did not live in Jerusalem, he found a way to keep up his opposition against Nehemiah.

       Our enemies find a way to keep up opposition, even though they no longer go to this church!!!

(Not only was there external opposition, there was:)

B.    Internal Opposition (vv. 17-19).

Letters were going back and forth between Tobiah and the nobles of Judah.  What kind of letters?  Maybe letters of communication to keep Tobiah informed about the progress that the Jews were making.

·        Leaders in Judah were informing the enemy about what was going on!

·        Paul said that he was in perils from being among false brethren.

·        The church is also in danger from false brethren on the inside.

       Tobiah was related to a lot of people in Judah.  Evidently, he had bound them to some type of oath.  Even though Tobiah did not live in Jerusalem, he was using his relatives to try to lift himself up and discredit Nehemiah.

       Beware of relatives!  Relatives, it seems as many times as not, keep us from doing God’s will.  Jesus said,

“A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”

You must do what God says, not what your relatives say!

You must do what God says, not what your enemies say!

       Evidently, Tobiah’s relatives were coming to speak well of him in the presence of Nehemiah.  It appears that Nehemiah, knowing the true intentions of Tobiah, had said some harsh things to say about him.  So, Tobiah resorted to one of his old tricks.  He sent some more letters to try to frighten Nehemiah.

       Satan has nothing new in his bag of tricks.  Paul said of Satan,

“We are not ignorant of his devices.”

(Because of the continued opposition against Nehemiah and the Jews, they kept a continued vigilance.)

IV.   The Continued Vigilance (7:1-3).

The word that is translated ‘doors’ actually represents the gates.  The gates of a city were very important.  Can you remember the first report of Jerusalem that Nehemiah received from his brother, Hanani, in

Nehemiah 1:3 (NASB-U), “They said to me, ‘The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire.’”

“The gate was the place for great assemblies of the people as they passed into and out of the city.  This naturally led to the custom of using gates as places for public deliberation; reading the law and proclamations; holding court; gathering news and gossip; attracting the attention of the sovereign or dignitary at his going out or coming in.  The priests and prophets seem to have delivered their discourses, admonitions, and prophecies at the gates.  Criminals were punished outside the gates.  Being positions of great importance the gates of cities were carefully guarded and closed at nightfall.  Gates are thus sometimes taken as representing the city itself” (Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 392).

       Therefore, Nehemiah’s job could not be considered completed, until he had the gates hung and their tradition reestablished.

       Likewise, my job will not be considered to be complete, until the buildings and campus are complete.

Now, to fully establish the tradition of the gates Nehemiah needed to establish the leaders.

       Likewise, I am establishing leaders, because buildings are of no use without people.  We are not building big buildings.  We are building big Saints!!!

(So, we see in the next two verses that:)

A.    Nehemiah Established The Leaders (vv. 1-2).

(The question remains, “What did Nehemiah establish the leaders to do?”  Well, we can see that he established the leaders:)

1.     To protect and oversee the gates.

Nehemiah established leaders to set up a constant vigilance and guard over the gates!!!

Initially, we can see that Nehemiah appointed three important groups of people:  gatekeepers, singers, and Levites, and there is a great typology here.

       Even as the gates of Jerusalem were broken down and on fire, the gates of the Church are broken down and on fire.

Likewise, even as Nehemiah had been called and anointed to rebuild them; I have been called and anointed to rebuild the gates of the Church.

Furthermore, as I enlist the leadership of this church to help me with this restoration project, we need the same three groups of people to be established and help in the project.

1)    We need appointed and anointed gatekeepers to guard the gates of the local church.

You will know if you are one of the ones God has chosen to guard a particular gate of this church.  Remember a gate is a point of entrance and exit, a point of government, of social interaction, of preaching and teaching.  We need you to keep watch for any demonic enemies that might attack the church.

2)    We need appointed and anointed singers to lift up the praises of God.

We need appointed and anointed singers to lead us into the presence of God through intercessory and prophetic praise and worship.  Musicians and singers, you must consecrate yourselves and be filled with the Spirit!!!  And,

3)    We need appointed and anointed Levites, priests, to represent us before God.

We need all the Saints and especially the prayer warriors to go to God for us in prayer.  We need to serve before God in the ministry of intercession:  lifting up individuals and the congregation before God in prayer.

(Nehemiah also established leaders:)

2.     To protect and oversee the city.

Nehemiah put his brother, Hanani, and the commander of the fortress, Hananiah in charge of Jerusalem.  The fortress was a place of fortification from which the Temple was protected.

       We need security personal and administrative leaders to protect and oversee us and what God has given us.

Now, please notice the two requirements that Nehemiah considers important in leadership:  (1) faithfulness; and (2) the fear of God.

We tend to choose leaders from the wrong criteria:  i.e. intelligence, personality, skills, etc.  The most important qualities of a godly leader—or a godly person for that matter—is faithfulness and the fear of God!!!

       We talked about how relatives can lead us astray, but when our relatives are serious Christians they can be of great service to us!!!  When our relatives are faithful and they fear the Lord, they can be trusted both naturally and spiritually.  We can entrust them with jobs and confidence without misgivings.

       I thank God for my relatives, who are very faithful in their attendance and support.

(Not only did Nehemiah establish some leaders, but:)

B.    Nehemiah Exhorted The Leaders (vs. 3).

Nehemiah’s exhortation probably has to do with the security of the city.  H.G.M. Williamson says in his commentary on Ezra and Nehemiah, “The few hours from approximately midday onwards were ones of particular vulnerability, owning to the sleepy atmosphere familiar even today in Mediterranean countries.”  Therefore, during this time Nehemiah exhorted them to:

1.     Not open the gates until the sun was hot.

2.     Make sure a guard is standing at the gate.

3.     Shut and bolt the gates when they are not in use.  And,

4.     Those who houses were either on the wall or close to the wall were to keep watch at those points on a rotation system.

       The moral of these instructions is to remain alert!!!  We must remain alert because of our enemy, Satan.

1 Peter 5:8 (NASB-U), “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

       As we come to the end of this short passage of Scripture and the end of this series of messages, there are three great lessons that we should note:

1.     Great things can be accomplished when we rely on God, through prayer.  “All things are possible with God’s Help!!!”

2.     When those things are accomplished, give the glory to God.

3.     Don’t become complacent or negligent because God is blessing you, be alert.  Satan is prowling.

(Now is the Day of Salvation.  Come to Jesus, now!)


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