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Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 032512
Nehemiah. Part 14.
A tour of the walls of Jerusalem with Nehemiah

Before we continue with the calling of the Gentiles and God’s plan for them in ROM 9:24, we need to note that the following chart is an illustration of the gates of Nehemiah. We will note them by their title and then their message. We will begin with our chart and its title and message.

THE GATES OF NEHEMIAH CHART

ORDER               NAME                    MESSAGE

  1. Sheep Gate - Salvation
    2. Fish Gate  Witnessing
    3. Old Gate -      Strong foundation
    4. Valley Gate - Suffering for spiritual growth
    5. Dung Gate - Garbage in the soul removed
    6. Fountain Gate - living water
    7. Water Gate - Advance doctrine
    8. Horse Gate - Endurance-strength
    9. East Gate -   Prosperity
    10.Inspection Gate - personal destiny
    11.Gate of Ephraim - supergrace blessing
    12. Prison Gate - dying grace -eternal blessing

Now, one I failed to mention was the Ephraim Gate.

“Ephraim” means “fruitfulness” or “doubly fruitful.” As the believer progresses, there will be a choice symbolically: two more gates, the Old Gate and the gate of Ephraim. There are now choices to be made. As Moses said to the Jews, choose life and not death.

DEU 30:15-20, “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command or order you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments [orders] and His statutes [covenants] and His judgments His evaluations, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You shall not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

The point is that when a person is first saved, the first few days, months, maybe years are absolutely amazing and challenging. The scales have fallen off their eyes. Now they see the truth. But after awhile they begin to think: Is this what I really want to commit myself to? Is this really the way I want to live my life? Is this really for real? Then the social pressures begin. Old friends become a hindrance, wanting you not to change. Old desires begin to rear heir ugly head, and within a short time you’re confronted with a choice. It’s like Matthew 13, it’s sought of like our Lord’s parable, the sower and the seed.

In Mat 13, Three out of four seeds don’t end up so well. Notice how three out of four went negative.

First, the individuals who go negative because they did not listen or concentrate on the teaching of the word of God when it was.

The second category are those with no soil of character, and so when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it. These are the ones who have no root or endurance and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.- they can’t take the pressure.

Third, the people who hear the Word, but the weeds of worry and illusions about getting more and wanting everything under the sun strangle what was heard, and nothing comes of it. These individuals go negative because they are in bondage to the details of life. Those are the ones who stop or turn back at the old gate and do not go forward to the newness of life through the gate Of Ephraim.

Fourth, the ones who are positive, mentioned and illustrated in verse 23 and fulfill the calling of God upon their life as mentioned in JOH 15:8.

MAT 13:23, “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

They also fulfill our Lord’s desire to glorify His Father.

JOH 15:8, By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and {so} prove to be My disciples.

So, there is one of the gates I missed because in reality it is part of the first one mentioned under category three, the Old Gate, referring to the Death of the old man, while it, the Gate of Ephraim, refers to the new life that results. So, as the believer progresses from the Sheep Gate and the Fish Gate, there will be a choice: two more gates, the Old Gate and the Gate of Ephraim. Now, I’m not teaching this as a doctrine, I’m just saying this as an observation, it’s not a bad number to consider that one out of every four people seem to faithful to Him long term. Just think, God lost more than one third of His congregation according to REV 12:4, And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth.

Then there are also those in Rev 9, the first demon army, REV 9:11, They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon [destruction], and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon [exterminator].

REV 9:14, one commanding the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels [that is the demon army commanders] who have been imprisoned at the great river Euphrates.”

There are four demon generals, who rule thousands upon thousands of angels.

REV 9:15, And the four angels [the demon generals commanding this second assault army group], who had been kept in state of readiness for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they might kill a third of mankind.

The point is that just like the members of the Jewish race stop at the old Gate, many of the fallen angels did the same in their own PPOG for their period of time.

And so, if three out of four individuals fall away from our ministry, I’m sorry they do, especially when they only come a few times and make their evaluation of 6,413 messages and more based upon just a few that they’ve heard. But, they did it to God, they will definitely do it to me and other Pastors as well. As our Lord said in JOH 15:20, “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” I can tell you this: The people that I’ve seen stay the most faithful to Christ are the ones who were willing to pay the price for it, people who had to count the cost ahead of time. You see this in a lot of places.

You see it in Noah’s day, 1PE 3:20, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.

We’ve seen it in Moses’s day when over two million turned on Moses. We saw it in Caleb’s day when 10 out of the 12 spies came and gave a bad report, the exception was Caleb and Joshua.

NUM 13:30-32, Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we shall surely overcome it. But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size.”

Finally there is The Prison Gate found in NEH 12:31, and above the Gate of Ephraim, by the Old Gate, by the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel, and the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Sheep Gate, and they stopped at the Gate of the Guard. This last gate is like the epitome of our experiences with Christ. Remember how it was at the end of his life that Paul referred to himself as ‘A prisoner of the Lord Jesus Christ’? For example, in EPH 3:1, For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles. Or in EPH 4:1, I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,

A prisoner does not have a will of his own for he can only do what the Jailer decides. ‘Not my will be done, but Thine’ was the example that Jesus gave us. We will experience going through this gate when we know that we have been apprehended (arrested) by Christ-Jesus.

PHI 3:12, Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

A prisoner always has a broken and a contrite heart and will find himself being changed from glory to glory into the image of God’s only Son.

2CO 3:17-18, Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

John was a prisoner on the Isle of Patmos and it was there that he came forth with such revelation from the heart of God. Remember that in the parable of Joseph back in Genesis, as a type and pattern he went from the prison to the throne. No prison experience will lead to, no throne experience. Being a prisoner declares that one is truly free! This brief look at the twelve gates that the Lord had Nehemiah record just touches the ‘Headlines’ of God’s dealings with each because of His love for each. Having passed through these twelve gates, one can now reckon that they are a part of the city of God, the New Jerusalem. God must frustrate our energy at its source. He wears down our noble determination through the frustrations of life and He squeezes out of us every piece of our self‑confidence by disappointment and defeat. He allows our goals and dreams fall apart or sink in the swamp of human power and strength. He teaches us through our flops and failures until we learn that most precious of all God’s premises: We can’t. And then, when can‑do becomes can’t, He shows us that He can, and therefore we can.

JOB 23:14, “For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such decrees are with Him.”

1TH 5:24, Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

 

The demands that have been placed on us are now demands on Him; The pressures and problems are His.

First of all, just a simple statement of fact, 1CO 3:16 says, Do you not know that you are a temple  of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

1CO 6:19-20, Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

These passages teach that we are the Temple of God and we are like the New Jerusalem in the analogy.

The PPOG is the place of the working of the superior power of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit and the different stages of spiritual growth and the P.S.D.’s signified by the gates and the walls of the book of Nehemiah.

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