By Joe D. Sizemore
Text: Nehemiah 3:1; 32
Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel . . . And between thegoing up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants.
(Sermon begins with a message in tongues.)
Thus saith the Lord thy God, “I feel that virtue has gone out of Me. Those hands that have touched My garment tonight,” saith God, “will be blessed and honored. Those that are reaching out even now to touch Me so that I can touch them,” saith God, “I have kept My promise and My Word through the ages, and I will not leave thee nor forsake thee, but I will go with thee always, even unto the end of the world. My garment is close enough for you to touch it. I seek thee,” saith God, “Out of the many, many, many millions that populate Mine earth, I seek thee to bless thee, to heal thee, and to strengthen thee. Reach out thine hand and touch Me,” saith God, “and I will in turn let the virtues of My mighty power flow through your life to the healing and blessing that you desire,” saith the Lord thy God. Amen!
What can we really say after the abundance of God’s blessings have been showered upon us? We are coming into the intensity of great Pentecostal euphoria. God is reaching out to address us. He allowed this thought to come into my heart this evening, and I want to bring it to you now. I never saw this before, and I have never preached this before. Let me bring something to you tonight that has blessed my spirit.
Now, I realize those two scriptures (Refer to the text.) probably don’t mean a thing to you right now, but I hope they will here in a minute. I want to preach about “Turning the Corner.” Sounds a little odd, but let me bring it to you anyway. All of us have studied about Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. It was a great venture, a beautiful venture, and a great portrayal of God’s ability to bring His forces back into power. You know the story of Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian captivity. And the Jews came back to build the walls of Jerusalem that had been torn down and trodden down.
Nehemiah was one of the finest characters in the Old Testament. Being of the house of Judah, Persia was his birthplace and home. And when the Jews returned after the exile, many of them preferred to stay in Babylonia, and in one of those families that stayed behind, Nehemiah was a child in that family, and he spent most of his impressionable years in the bosom of a pagan land. Morals were loose. There were very low ideals of life. Moses’ law was mocked, but this young person in the very heart of all the evil never forgot his deep religious connections. In this pagan land, his heart turned toward Jerusalem and turned there as steadily as the eye of the needle in the compass would automatically turn to the north. He just had a sense of the will and the wisdom of God in his early life. That lets me know that these impressionable years that young people are growing up in our own society … you can still keep the compass focused in the right direction by the will of God, and your early, deep religious convictions are about to show, more than you ever dreamed that they would show.
The time came that he (Nehemiah) would be used by the Almighty in addressing the needs of leading this group to rebuild those walls. Of course, the first part of this reads, they started the building of this wall at the sheep gate. Now I counted these. How many know that between the first verse and the thirty-second verse there are forty names that were mentioned? Forty of them! Forty is a great number to follow in the Word. After he repaired this wall, a foursquare wall, he at the sheep gate. Now that isn’t so interesting until you realize that it was through the sheep gate that they brought -_-_e animals for sacrifice. So they begin at the sheep They went up to the first corner, and they had to turn that corner go around to the next one. Then they came to the next ,:)rner. I could probably build a brick wall if I knew how tourn the corner. I don’t know how. I could probably lay the middle, but I don’t know how to place the blocks and the bricks so it will turn correctly and properly. The corner is hard. The turning is a difficult thing. I read how that they turned the first corner, and there are several references to it.
Palal the son of Usai, over against the turning of the wall, and the tower which lieth out from the king’s high house, that was by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh. [Nehemiah 3:25]
Here he turned the corner and goes all the way around the wall and turns that corner. Well, still it seems like there is not too much there to get excited about, but these thirty-nine groups repaired the part of the wall that was over against their own house, starting at the sheep gate. When they turned the last corner between the going up of the corner . . . And between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants. . . . they used the goldsmiths. Now the goldsmith was employed as one who worked in metal who formed corporate bodies in ancient times, and the market people or merchants were working in the last section of the wall as well.
Let us look more closely at this restoration process. Let’s look at where we are in the time element tonight. The thirty-nine and forty has a meaning, for from the time that Abel made his sacrifice in the beginning, starting with that sacrifice, there is four thousand years from Adam even unto Christ. It started with sacrifice; it ended in the New Testament arrangement of Jesus being the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. I feel like the turning of the four corners in restoration has certainly been obvious in the record keepers of religious history.
I want to remind you tonight that we have to come back to the completion of those years that we have been deprived of, and we are in the last section of the wall so to speak until we get back to the sheep gate on this time to the coming of the Lord. Let’s draw the analogy for a moment. I’m taking a few minutes to tell this. Whenever the church started on the day of Pentecost some two thousand years ago, and they heralded the good message, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,” it wasn’t long after that until we enter into a time called the days of Dark Ages. They turned a corner there, and it looked as though the whole Christian church was out of sight. The devil rushed in, broke down the walls, and difficulties arose. But around the fifteenth century, there was another turning of that corner. Martin Luther walked up and nailed his thesis to the door and said, “The just shall live by faith.” While there was no evidence of a great religious persuasion there during those times, he (Luther) turned that corner and put in a part of the restoration, if I may say, that brought us back to light and to truth.
In the second turning of that second corner brings us around to the turn of the century (1900s) when the light of water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ became so real and wonderful — the oneness of God in Christ. There were workers working on the wall. There were people bringing back into harmony what God had planned through the ages. They turned that corner and that was the corner where it becomes a little bit more modern for us and our times — people who have beaten the paths of Pentecostalism out through the tattered tents and the brush arbors. Praise God! They turned the corner and are helping to bring it on around to completion. You see, God never starts something without He completes it! I love Him!
And when I look at it I see how they negotiated that turn in the century, and revelations began to appear and people
Legan to speak with other tongues as the evidence of receiving: he Holy Ghost. It has brought us on into our times, when we realize that we have been promised by Joel’s prophecy that in the last day saith God, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.” Let me tell you right now that we are in the midst of the last turn of the last corner and the section of the wall that leads us to the sheep gate. We are on the last leg of our journey to bring to full fruition what God promised on the day of Pentecost! You talk about signs and wonders and miracles — we have turned the corner, friend. This church right now, this congregation of people right now, has turned the last corner in this century. We are positioned to complete exactly what God wants to complete.
We cannot and we must not continue with our inept approach to the Almighty. We cannot continue with an impassionate regard to our salvation. This truth, this oneness of God in Christ is in the last section of the wall, and men have to hear that there is only one God. The whole religious system is in disarray, but I’m glad I stood it when we were turning the corner. The last section of the wall is being put into place.
And the goldsmith was involved in the last section of the wall. Starting at the sheep gate, got to that corner and turn, got the next corner and turn, and when the shofar would blow, all the family would come out of the house and begin to repair that wall right in front of them. In the very last section (we’re bringing it on back to the sheep gate), we’re coming back to where we will see the Lamb of God. The sheep gate was located on the northeastern part of the wall. Now I don’t know where to look for Him (Jesus), but I’m looking for Him. But I believe He shall appear in the northeastern skies, maybe.
Now in the last section of the restoration of the wall, we’re not dealing with just any sort of metal; we’re dealing with the operations of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and like gold, it is the very best metal. We are dealing with something that is going to be the very best for all of us who trust in the name of the Lord. You haven’t seen anything like it. You talk about people getting the Holy Ghost while they are sitting in their seat. You haven’t seen an outpouring like this. Listen, you are going to have to have it because old Sanballat and Tobiah are standing out there, and they are saying, “You can’t do it. You can’t have church in this type of environment,” but I promise you tonight that we are in the best that God ever had for man. We are turning the corner. We are working on the completion of the wall. We’re almost to the sheep gate (the coming of the Lord). We’re in the last section of the wall.
I’m looking for the day that they will be lined up to be baptized in Jesus name. Glory, glory, glory! We’re turning the corner. We’re not talking about just some common everyday, Pentecostal arrangement. You ought to get ready. Put it in your mind. Pray about it.
Now, I don’t know what those goldsmiths did. I don’t know why that old end of the wall ought to have the gold in it. I don’t even know where or how they placed it, but in the last section of the wall that Nehemiah built, you know who was waiting on the outside at the end when they got finished? No wonder the gold was placed where it was. Tribulations were about to start, but it won’t start until God completes His work.
If you will stay with the group that is finishing the last section of the wall, you’ll deal with gold, anointing, praise, revival, and your loved ones coming to Jesus. I can tell you right now, get ready for the party. There are some folks walking on the last section of the wall. It’s just about done. It’s just about over. I’m turning the corner, and I’m on my way home. Hallelujah! I feel like traveling on. I don’t want to turn around; I’m dealing with gold. I’ve turned the corner, and we’re putting up the last section of the wall. We’ve headed for the sheep gate. Who’s gonna be there? The Lamb of God is going to be there!
We’re building. Keep on singing; we’re headed for the sheep gate. It started with the sheep gate and it will end with the sheep gate. Start with the name of Jesus and end with the name of Jesus. Start born in the flame; end with a flame. You must end up at the same place where you started. No time for compromise now. It was born at the cross; it will be ending at :he cross. Who is waiting for me at the end of this wall? The Lamb of God is waiting for me. In the meantime, He has given me gold to finish up with. He hasn’t just given me any kind of metal or material to finish the job with. He has given me gold! My name is not “goldsmith,” but I’ve got a name greater than goldsmith.”
Let’s say, “I’ve turned the corner, and I’m on my way home.” And I’m gonna build in spite of Tobiah, in spite of Sanballat. I’m headed for the sheep gate, and Satan, get behind me, because I’m going to do my part to help bring restoration and to help bring miracles and to help bring signs and wonders so God can complete His work. He (God) said, “I don’t want you to be upset, and I don’t want you to be concerned about those who have gone on before. Cause one of these days, “He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed.”
If you’re sitting around waiting for the tribulation, I bid you adieu right now. I’m expecting the rapture of the church to take place any day.
Do you know what they did when they got to the end of the wall? They let the sheep in. Can you imagine what they must have felt like when that first sheep came through the sheep gate? And you can just imagine when this whole thing is completed . . . glory to God . . . and the first lamb walks through that door. I’m going to see Him face to face. I’m glad I turned the corner. I had a little hard time making the turn, someone said we wouldn’t make it, but when I got to the corner, I was dealing with reaching the goal to competition.
“The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God.” In the meantime, we will work with the gold. We haven’t just come to a pitiful little ole Pentecostal church. We haven’t come to just whine around. We’re handling gold. Once the last part of that wall was up, they handled gold. You can be a pauper, but I have some gold up here for you, and a person would be silly if they didn’t come for it. Go for the gold. I went for the gold, and I’m still going for gold. We’re working on the last sections of the wall headed for the sheep gate.
If I didn’t miss any, there were forty who finished that wall of restoration. That’s amazing. I can’t even pronounce the names of them that finished the wall. This is the last section of the wall; make the turn. I’m glad. And I know a lot of Pentecostals who didn’t make the turn at the beginning of this century. If they had, all who call themselves Pentecostal would understand and obey this message. But they didn’t make the curve of revelation. But a few said, “We are going to keep on the straight line. We’re going on ’til we make it to the sheep gate.”
The above article “Turning The Corner” is written by Bishop Joe D. Sizemore. This article was excerpted from Sizemore’s book Reflecting The Glory.
The material is copyrighted and should not be repainted under any other name or author. However, this material may freely be used for personal study or purposes.