Participants: Roy Brown
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000316
00:30 We are delighted today to welcome you
00:33 to Faith Chapel. A place where the word of God
00:36 is preached and hearts are faithfully lead by Him.
00:43 My name is Roy R. Brown, retired President of the
00:47 South Eastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
00:51 And my sermon for today is entitled
00:53 Behind Closed Doors. Let us pray.
00:59 Father, we thank you for your great love,
01:03 we thank you for all the gifts you give.
01:06 Thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit.
01:09 Into this Chapel today, bless each one
01:12 we ask in Christ name amen.
01:17 When we walk with the Lord, in the light of his word,
01:23 what a glory he sheds on our way.
01:26 When we walk with the Lord we sometimes
01:29 run into situations and problems and
01:35 experiences that we've not had before.
01:41 God in an attempt to raise us to another
01:45 level causes or permits or allows
01:51 certain things to happen in our lives.
01:55 And only when we get to heaven by his
01:59 grace will we fully understand the wise.
02:05 So until then we have to press on, we have to
02:08 hold on, we have to keep faith with God
02:12 whatever our situations. The polishing of a diamond,
02:19 the removal of dust from gold is not an easy lovely
02:27 process although the end result is wonderful.
02:33 I would like for you to read with me in
02:34 the Book of Second Kings, the 4th chapter,
02:39 an amazing experience the Bible says,
02:42 A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the
02:46 prophets cried out to Elisha, saying,
02:49 "Your servant my husband is dead, and
02:53 you know that your servant feared the Lord.
02:57 And the creditor is coming to take my
03:00 two sons to be his slaves. So Elisha said to her,
03:04 "What shall I do for you? Tell me,
03:07 what do you have in the house?" And she said,
03:11 "Your servant has nothing in the
03:13 house but a jar of oil." Then he said,
03:18 "Go borrow vessels from everywhere,
03:20 from all your neighbors, empty vessels;
03:24 do not gather just a few. And when you come in
03:30 you shall shut the door behind you and your sons;
03:34 and pour into all those vessels,
03:37 and set aside the full ones."
03:39 So she went from him and shut the door behind her
03:43 and her sons, and brought the vessels to her;
03:46 and poured it out. Now it came to pass,
03:50 when the vessels were full, that she said to her son,
03:53 "Bring me another vessel." And he said to her,
03:56 "There is not another vessel."
03:59 So the oil ceased. Then she came and
04:02 told the man of God. And he said,
04:05 "Go, sell the oil and pay your debt;
04:11 and you and your sons live on the rest."
04:16 This is a simple, touching story of a poor widow
04:22 woman on whom the world smiled
04:25 in her days of prosperity,
04:28 but you know the world can get fickle.
04:31 In her distress when the tough times
04:35 came her friends, her family discarded her,
04:40 in fact helpless forthcoming from nowhere.
04:44 Her two sons were almost ready to become
04:47 slaves to this creditor who demanded
04:50 the money that was owed.
04:53 She was plunged into unprecedented debt.
04:57 Just how she got there, we can not say,
05:01 but I know she was poor, for she had no
05:05 furniture to give back, she had no land to sell
05:09 and there was absolutely no money in the bank,
05:12 she was in unprecedented debt.
05:18 We may assume that plastic money
05:20 was her problem, credit cards,
05:23 American Express and Visa and Discover.
05:27 Easy credit maybe, poor budgeting,
05:31 maybe keeping up with the Jones' was her problem.
05:35 Covetousness, not having good stewardship,
05:39 any all of these could have drowned her
05:41 in a sea of debt. We like her discover however
05:46 everyday we do not have the way without
05:51 to meet the debt of sin that we owe and we
05:56 have to cry out not to Elisha, but we have to
06:00 cry out to our savior, owe to grace
06:02 how great a debtor, daily, I'm constrained to be,
06:07 let thy goodness like a fetter bind me
06:11 closer still to thee. Praise the Lord.
06:16 We are sold under sin, but we have a
06:21 mighty savior who will pay the debt we owe.
06:27 The hardhearted creditor, that cruel man
06:32 threatened to take her two sons and sell
06:36 them for the money that was owed in order to
06:38 redeem what she had owed, what a sorrowful plight.
06:44 There was not an ounce of human
06:48 kindness coursing through this man's vein.
06:53 And yet all of us need to know how to mingle
06:58 justice with mercy that's being God like.
07:03 God really does not like ugly.
07:06 In the book of Exodus, the chapter is 22
07:10 and in verses 22 to 24 I read, You shall not
07:17 afflict any widow or fatherless child.
07:22 If you afflict them in anyway,
07:25 and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear
07:29 their cry; and My wrath will become hot,
07:34 and I will kill you with the sword;
07:36 your wives shall be widows,
07:38 and your children fatherless.
07:40 God says we ought to be careful how we treat
07:44 those who are in great need
07:46 and under depressing situations.
07:49 And I praise God for his word in Faith Chapel,
07:52 this morning as we discuss the subject
07:54 Behind Closed Doors, I praise God that the
07:58 Bible is a book for everyone and for every age.
08:03 It says our God has a vital interest in our
08:09 personal struggles, it says irrespective of
08:14 how you got where you are, it says we
08:18 can by the grace of God make it.
08:22 This woman was in a destitute condition,
08:27 but God offered grace. She called upon the help
08:31 and the care and the understanding
08:34 and the sympathy of Elisha.
08:37 She said her husband was a one who feared the Lord.
08:42 Her husband might have been one of those prophets
08:46 who were slaughtered by Jezebel.
08:50 But Elisha turned to her and he asked her,
08:54 what shall I do for you, tell me,
08:59 what do you have in your house?
09:02 This sounds almost like God and Moses,
09:07 as they were out there in Midian.
09:09 God asked Moses, what is that in your hand.
09:14 All this lady had was a jar of oil.
09:20 Poor as she was than the Widow of Zarephath,
09:25 but property is not an obstacle
09:27 in the presence of God's fullness.
09:30 Property you see is not a disgrace.
09:33 The Bible says we'll have poor always with us,
09:36 God will and God can use what we have however,
09:42 because man's extremity is God's opportunity.
09:46 Her particular case warranted
09:49 the interposition of heaven.
09:52 God therefore entered her experience
09:55 when her sorrow was the heaviest
09:59 and her outlook was the darkest.
10:03 In the Book of Psalms 68 and verse 5
10:07 the Bible says, A father of the fatherless,
10:12 a defender of widows is God in His holy habitation.
10:19 And then in Psalms 37 and verse 25,
10:24 Psalm has said, I have been young,
10:28 and now am old; Yet I have not seen
10:33 the righteous forsaken,
10:35 nor his descendants begging for bread.
10:39 For you see the mercy of the Lord
10:43 is from everlasting to everlasting.
10:46 Elisha's command is rather strange to this lady.
10:51 He says to her, go and borrow vessels from
10:56 everywhere, from all your neighbors,
11:01 borrow some empty vessels and do not just get a few,
11:06 get a lot of vessels. And the woman thinks to
11:10 herself borrow again, I'm already in debt.
11:15 But my friends God's ways are paths finding out.
11:23 Borrowing was an exercise of faith.
11:29 And not only an exercise of faith but to think big,
11:35 not a few, do not limit God, why not full ones.
11:41 God knows she was in debt but his interest
11:47 was in her faith. God knows that when we pray
11:53 we ought to believe despite
11:55 all the contrary evidences, because
11:58 without faith it is impossible to please God.
12:02 This woman had great faith, she accepted
12:07 the prophet's words and she acted upon them.
12:12 Because you see my friends, if you see it,
12:16 it is not faith. Can you see her now as she
12:21 goes through her neighborhood and
12:24 friends everywhere are addressed as she
12:28 borrows all of these vessels?
12:30 They were laughing and joking and wondering
12:35 what is going on and then maybe on the
12:38 telephone calling each other and asking,
12:40 did Mrs. X borrow a few empty vessels from you?
12:46 And some of those who were in the house
12:48 were raising blames as they walk the streets,
12:52 she and her sons and asking wonder
12:55 what is she doing with all of these vessels.
12:59 May I say to us, when God has given us instructions,
13:05 do not become concerned about what people say,
13:11 do not become interested in their devices,
13:14 simply go ahead and do what God demands of you.
13:19 We need a similar faith like this woman
13:22 to know that God can, that God will,
13:24 that God is able and that God does supply
13:28 all of our needs according to his riches in glory.
13:33 We need a faith not in idleness
13:36 but we need a faith in action.
13:39 It was a great crisis in this lady's life.
13:44 Oh yes it was, it seemed like mission impossible.
13:50 But is there anything too hard
13:53 for the Lord to do for us.
13:56 The poverty like Jericho's impregnable walls
14:02 must be shouted down by grace and faith
14:08 and prayer and a wonderful God.
14:11 Problems seem to block the way,
14:14 problems seemed to bring about
14:16 the opposition that she was having.
14:19 But the poverty is not a problem for our God,
14:23 Hallelujah. Greater is He that is in us
14:27 than he that is in the world.
14:29 Here is the instruction of the prophet,
14:33 borrow the vessels,
14:35 go inside the house and shut the doors.
14:39 In the book of Matthew,
14:40 the chapter is 6 and verse 6, here is what
14:45 the Bible says in Matthew 6 and verse 6,
14:50 a beautiful text of scripture it says,
14:54 But you, when you pray, go into your room,
15:00 and when you have shut your door,
15:02 pray to your Father who is in the secret place;
15:07 and your Father who sees in the secret place
15:11 will reward you openly.
15:15 So the woman followed the instructions
15:17 as precisely as she could, she went and closed
15:21 the doors behind her and prayed to her Father
15:24 who was in secret. I understand that
15:27 during the OJ Simpson's trial that is Bruno Magli
15:32 footprints were found on the walkways
15:36 to his house by experts. My question is,
15:41 can the almighty God who send angels
15:44 to be our guardians, find knee prints in your house
15:50 where you meet with God at the instruction of God
15:53 to shut the doors behind you and pray to God.
15:56 Can angels find your knee prints?
15:59 Oh friends what great power there is in prayer.
16:03 Hezekiah went to God's house and he took
16:06 the letter from Sennacherib, laid it
16:09 in the presence of almighty God
16:11 in his temple and prayed and God answered.
16:15 Hannah went to the house of God,
16:17 prayed for a child and God gave her Samuel,
16:21 he answered her prayers. Daniel and his friends
16:24 prayed and God in that night revealed onto them
16:28 Nebuchadnezzar's secret vision.
16:31 The Bible says that we ought to ask of God.
16:34 Sometimes we don't ask at all but God demands
16:37 that we should ask of him.
16:39 And he said when you ask you will receive
16:42 so that your joy might be full.
16:46 When we pray I just like to think on bended knee
16:50 that God somehow when he listens to our prayers
16:53 in heaven, slides over on his palace chair looks
16:57 over the balcony of heaven and sees us on our knees
17:02 in our prayer and when we mention
17:04 the name of Jesus our personal representative
17:07 God does some awesome things for us.
17:12 You see my friends, the name Rockefeller or
17:15 Bill Gates will open doors of finance.
17:20 The name of Einstein will open doors of Science.
17:25 Call the name of Brahms, or Bach or Beethoven
17:29 they open doors of the musicals. But if you call
17:33 the name of Jesus the gates of heaven swing
17:37 wide open and the gates of hell are slammed
17:40 shut by a loving God, oh the name of Jesus
17:43 such a marvelous name. It's a saving name,
17:47 it is a justifying name.
17:49 The name of Jesus is a conquering name.
17:53 It is a supplying name. The Bible says that
17:56 the name is a name that's above every
17:59 other name and it says that when we call upon
18:03 the name of Jesus heaven responds.
18:08 The woman is now going to demonstrate
18:11 full faith in what the Prophet's said.
18:14 She was behind closed doors and already now
18:17 she had been successful in having the oil,
18:22 a jar of oil, that's all she had.
18:25 And now she had all of these empty vessels
18:27 and I can see her in her mind, my mind's
18:30 eyes now she can not manufacture the oil
18:34 but she could hold the jar with the oil,
18:38 she could trust God and God is going to bless her
18:42 for what she is going to do.
18:44 The blessing was hindered according to the
18:46 scriptures only because there were no more vessels.
18:51 If we come to God with our empty lives God
18:55 can fulfill them but God is never running out of
19:00 the resources because God's resources are
19:03 never exhausted, God's resources
19:06 are never ever depleted. It's a marvelous thing
19:09 to see how God works in our behalf.
19:11 That He simply asks us to come and to seek him
19:16 and to find him. I can see the woman with the
19:18 jar of oil just pouring from
19:21 one vessel to another. What's a marvelous
19:23 experience that must have been as her
19:26 two sons joined her in this activity.
19:29 Here is the vessel she poured into it it's filled,
19:33 brings another one, the two sons are bringing,
19:35 fill from the one jar of oil and all of these
19:39 vessels are being filled until there was
19:41 no more to be filled. Her faith in God was
19:45 totally rewarded because God told her
19:49 fill those vessels behind those closed doors,
19:53 seek me and I'll open the windows of heaven
19:55 and pour you out a blessing.
19:58 And at the completion every vessel was full
20:04 to the overflowing.
20:06 We can call this a great act on the part of God.
20:12 The Bible says that the Prophet told her when
20:15 you get through the process he says
20:19 then you must go and sell the oil,
20:22 pay your debt and live on the rest.
20:26 Her mission impossible became
20:29 mission accomplished.
20:31 She made all of the claims,
20:33 the creditors were paid.
20:36 The buyers of the present need were supplied,
20:40 God took care of yesterday's debt,
20:43 he was going to take care of her sons and
20:46 her living from now onward and then
20:50 for the future to come God was going to
20:53 have her live on the rest. Her sons could not help
20:57 but know that this was a gift from God.
21:00 This was a gift from the almighty.
21:04 Because as they watched the oil pouring out
21:06 they could say that this
21:08 was not something that mother bought.
21:11 And sure that's what salvation is,
21:13 it's a gift from God. Faith is a gift from God,
21:17 because the Bible says God so loved the world
21:19 that he gave his only begotten son,
21:22 it's a gift from God. The same oil paid the debt,
21:27 the same oil took them out of slavery,
21:30 the same oil maintained them
21:32 for the rest of their lives.
21:33 Oh what a marvelous savior we serve.
21:36 He paid our sin debt, our God took care of all
21:41 our griefs and all of our sorrows, he carried them
21:45 and the marvelous thing is that God sustains us today
21:49 he took care of yesterday and he will
21:51 take care of us forever as we head towards
21:55 the promised land he has gone to prepare
21:57 for those who love and serve him.
21:59 If in life you are stripped of everything
22:02 you possess, and you like this lady feel that
22:07 you are only with a jar of oil and Jesus,
22:12 don't you worry, that is enough.
22:15 Like this woman, life might snatch from you
22:22 your health, your job, your money,
22:25 your family members, but nothing needs to worry
22:31 you providing you know that Jesus is with you,
22:35 even if you feel sad and dejected
22:38 and brokenhearted Jesus will sustain you,
22:42 Jesus will support you,
22:45 Jesus will take care of you, he said to the
22:48 Apostle Paul, my grace is sufficient.
22:54 The instructions given to the widow woman was go,
22:58 shut the door behind you, behind closed doors,
23:01 talk to God and God will reward you openly
23:05 and Jesus says, see I have set before you an open
23:11 door and no one can shut it.
23:16 What God opens no one can close
23:19 and what God closes, no one can open.
23:23 And so I would like to say to you look
23:25 for the open door after the closed door,
23:28 if the creditors come as they did
23:30 to this lady look for an open door.
23:33 If the bills are high and the funds are low
23:36 look for an open door, if you are stressed
23:40 and discouraged and brokenhearted,
23:43 look for an open door.
23:46 If you are not where you think you ought to be
23:49 in your relationship with the Jesus,
23:51 look for an open door
23:53 don't look at the creditors, don't look at
23:55 life's outlook however discouraging and grim
23:59 they might be, don't look at the problems
24:01 or the causer of the problems, go to God
24:05 and God in his own perfect way
24:07 will supply your every need.
24:10 The promise is I've set before you an open door
24:14 and nobody will close it. Listen to me, whatever,
24:22 not exclusively this or exclusively that or
24:26 some of this or some of that, but whatever
24:28 the problems are, look to Jesus because
24:33 there is no exception with God however difficult
24:37 life becomes, God has a way of opening door,
24:42 God will find a solution to your problem
24:47 and then it will surprise you what God can do
24:50 for you because my friends you see
24:53 faith is the victory that overcomes the world.
24:59 I like to think that God entered into this lady's
25:03 experience in such a dynamic way that
25:07 she couldn't help but reclaim that
25:09 Jesus is one awesome savior.
25:13 She will never ever in life forgive where God
25:16 brought her from with all of the debt resting upon
25:20 her, inability to meet her demands yet and
25:24 still God said, I am not going to give you
25:27 some complex way in order to get to me,
25:31 it was as simple as we can get it.
25:34 Because what God does is really an attempt
25:38 to get as over as he did with Moses.
25:41 He takes whatever we have in our hands and God
25:44 knows that this woman needed help if there was
25:48 anyone who needed some help.
25:49 So God said to her here's what you do my sister,
25:52 all you need to do is to go behind those closed doors.
25:57 You go to God in prayer, talk to God in secret,
26:01 God is going to reward you openly.
26:04 What a blessed day that was when the woman
26:06 walked out with this oil in all of these vessels
26:10 having thought as big as she could and
26:13 she sold that oil, she had enough resources to pay
26:16 so that her children would not be enslaved.
26:19 She had enough money to take care of their
26:22 daily living and then if that were not enough,
26:25 this almighty God who we serve gave her enough
26:28 for her to live on as the days and the weeks
26:32 came toward her without fear
26:34 God was indeed taking care of this lady.
26:37 I like to think that my
26:38 God is a wonderful savior,
26:40 that he helps us beyond our kin,
26:43 that somehow God is such a super being
26:47 that he will provide, he will take care of us
26:50 and he will supply all of our needs and it is
26:53 contingent on just one thing, great faith.
26:57 Because the woman had to have great faith.
27:00 And the half about how good our savior is,
27:04 is never been told because my God is the way,
27:08 he is the truth, he is the life.
27:11 My God is a good shepherd,
27:12 my God is the lion of the tribe of Judah,
27:15 my God is the lamb slain from the
27:17 foundation of the world, my God is a rock of ages,
27:20 my God is the bright and morning star,
27:23 my God is the bread of life,
27:25 my God is the pearl of great price,
27:27 my God is the son of righteousness.
27:30 He opens blind eyes he unstop the deaf ears,
27:34 he heals withered hands, he makes the mutes sing,
27:37 he changes lives so that they can be
27:41 so marvelous in his sight.
27:43 My God is a wonderful God,
27:45 so my God the Bible says,
27:47 will provide for all of our needs, the woman
27:50 found it because great was her faith in God.