Sydney Holt - Mellowdale - Friday Afternoon, July 5, 2002

Hymn 251


II Kings 6:15-18, “And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, 'Alas, my master! How shall we do?' And he answered, 'Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.' And Elisha prayed, and said, 'LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see.' And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, 'Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness.' And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.” John 9:39-41, "And Jesus said, 'For judgement I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.' And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, 'Are we blind, also?' Jesus said unto them, 'If ye were blind, ye should have no sin but now ye say, "We see," therefore your sin remaineth.'” The king of Syria was seeking the life of God’s servant Elisha. The Syrian army was blinded. Elisha told his servant, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” God wants us to see all He has for us. God told Moses to send 12 spies to the promised land to spy out the land. What was there was hid from 10 of them — they returned sowing the seeds of discontentment. All they saw was obstacles. Two saw what was for them (Joshua and Caleb).

We have against us the world, the flesh, and the devil.  The world tries to break in, the flesh tries to break out, and the devil tries to break down. Nehemiah faced a three-fold enemy that was trying to hinder God’s work:

1.        Sanballat in Nehemiah 2 and 13:28. His name means “the god of sin has given life.” We can disobey God and still have life.

2.        Tobiah in Nehemiah 2:10 and 4:3-6. He was an Ammonite — the product of a wrong relationship between Lot and his daughter.

3.        Geshem the Arabian was a type of the world.

 We want to talk about what’s for us. We have seven-fold  of help for us, but only a three-fold enemy:

1.  I Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Jesus is for us – the man Christ Jesus. He understands and feels for our struggles because He’s been there. He lived as a man. He is interceding for us. 


    Revelation 12:10-11, “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, 'Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our Lord day and night.' And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” The enemy is against us. He’ll accuse us of things that aren’t true, but God knows our testimony. 

    I Corinthians 15:9, “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” There’s a fine line in letting our past discourage us, or humble us. 

    Ephesians 3:8, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” I Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” If we’re not humble, we can’t be useful, but don’t let Satan discourage you about your past. 

    Luke 22:31-32, “And the Lord said, 'Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not, and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” There were many avenues Jesus had to help Peter. Prayer was his first resort.  Prayer brings intersession on our behalf from Jesus. I was talking to an Army Commander for one of our friends who’d been called into service. The commander said, “I owe my life to a medic who was a conscientious objector so I have a soft spot for them.” He was able to feel for the boys position and therefore could intercede on his behalf.

2.  The prayers of our parents. Job 1, Job prayed for his children often and offered up burnt offerings for them in case they sinned. “This did Job continually.” Job put God first, his family second, and himself and his possessions last. His family was fortunate in that Job prayed for them. I wonder how much his children appreciated his care for them. They maybe didn’t know how fortunate they were to have a father like that. God’s testimony of Job was very good. He called him a perfect man. 

    Verse 8, sometimes the accuser accuses us of things that are not true. We overcome these by our testimony. I’m sure Satan often plagued Paul about his past.

    In I Corinthians 15:9-10, “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” I Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” Paul let his past humble him rather than discourage him. It’s one thing when we give testimony of ourselves, it’s another thing when others give testimony of us, but a greater thing when God gives testimony of us.

3. We’re a people prayed for. We’re thankful for the prayers of People. Luke 22:31-32, “And the Lord said, 'Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Acts 12, Peter was in prison under maximum security. Verse 5, Acts, “Peter therefore was kept in prison, but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” Peter therefore was kept in prison, but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. He was prayed for and God heard their prayer, and freed Peter. In verse 12, “And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.” He came right to the house where they were gathered praying for him.

4. We have the elders who are concerned about us. Do you value your elder? Do you call when you won’t be there, or when you are bringing others? Acts 20:28-30, “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after My departure, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.” Your elder is responsible for everyone in his flock. 

    In verse 28, it speaks to the elders, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves...” Take heed to yourself, for if you’re not right, you can’t be a help to anyone else. We shouldn’t preach when we pray. Appreciate your elder who has bread — which the “Holy Ghost has made overseers.” We as ministers appoint, but the Holy Ghost makes elders into overseers. There’s a partnership between elders and workers. Elders have responsibility for the flock and to have bread for the meeting. Testimonies should be brief. We shouldn’t preach when we pray — it should be right from the heart, to God. The sheep are not our sheep — they were purchased with His own blood. Dangers to the flesh — wolves from within seeking to destroy and scatter. Of your own selves, there will be those who rise up seeking to have followers. These will have a wrong influence. Philemon is a letter from a worker to an elder. Paul mentions a faithful wife. He called him a fellow laborer, partner, and brother. There was wonderful working relationship between the servant and elder. A partner is one who carries on faithfully while the other is away. Elders take the same interest in the flock and care for it as if we were there.

5.  The workers. Ezekiel 33, the watchmen over the city. Verses 7-8, “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warm them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Smoke alarms don’t put the fire out, but they will warn of the fire. Do you appreciate the warning of the watchmen? God’s servants are not policemen, but watchmen. There is quite a difference. There was recently a story of a family that was annoyed by the beeping of a fire alarm when its battery was low. They took the battery out and later all died in a fire because there was no warning.

6. Angels as ministering spirits. Psalm 34:7, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.” Jacob saw angels going up and down the ladder. When Lot was in Sodom, the Lord sent two angels. In Genesis 24, the angel of the Lord led Abraham’s servant to find a bride for Isaac. How do we know where to go? How do we know who has been praying?

    I remember one experience when we went to a new field. We had a list of contacts. One Saturday, we went to call on them. There was young couple we called on and this was their story. The young man had a faithful father, but didn’t want truth for himself. He married and they were expecting their first child when things started to go wrong. They had a little boy two months prematurely, who had a condition of his body twinning with a tumor. It required an eight-hour surgery. The young man cried all night and prayed if the Lord would spare their child, he would go to the meetings. The wife prayed that if the child was spared, they’d go to church. Four months later, the wife said to the husband, “Do you remember the vows we made? Four months have passed.” The angel of the Lord led us to that home at that very time. It speaks about angels many times in the Word of God. In Daniel, the angel shut the lions’ mouths. They brought Peter out of prison. The angels strengthened Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane.

7.  The Holy Spirit. Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” So many times, I feel I don’t know how to pray, but the Spirit still is interceding when we attempt to meet with God in prayer.


Hymn 374