Nehemiah 3:14- 32

The Message of the Gates Part 2


In my parents house as I was growing up – we had something that most of you probably had – we have one in my house today

A) An Unofficial growth Chart –Unofficial because it was just markings in pencil on the wall – The date a line – a number – 4’11 / 5’2


B) For my brother and I it was one of those things – we always wanted to see – Have I grown – Am I getting taller - Have I made Progress

1) As young people we look for that Progress – We want to see growth in our Stature / in our intellect as well as in Character


C) What about in our Spirituality – are we progressing ? Are we growing are we getting bigger/ stronger / faster as a believer


Nehemiah Chapter 3 is a picture of that growth – REALLY?

A)Now if you weren’t here last week I mentioned that at first glance this chapter – seems a bit mundane


B) A long list of names telling where the families worked as they re-built the wall – Each family positioned by a different gate .


C)  But if you have been a student of the Bible for any length of time you know that God never does anything by accident

1) Often times what seems like a mundane list – or incidental information – contains a message behind the INFORMATION


D) What we have here is what we might call the message of the gates

1) The progress of the believer from Salvation to the Great white throne Judgment –


We started in v. 1 at the SHEEP GATE = SALVATION

A) Jesus declared in John 10 – He was the Sheep Gate – the door into the sheep fold of God – He is the entry point  Salvation begins with Him


B) After the Sheep gate comes the FISH GATE = Our Calling to be Fishers of men, to be salt of the earth & lights to the world

1) Matt 4:19 Jesus declared Follow me and I will make you ….. of men!


C) After the Fish Gate comes the OLD GATE = speaks of the Timeless truth’s of the word of God and the need for every believer to get grounded in God’s word


1 Peter 1:24-25 "All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away,

25 But the word of the LORD endures forever."


After the Old Gate comes the Valley Gate – trials that come into our lives –

A) We all go thru trials – Deep dark Valleys Times of testing / times of temptations / times of difficulties


B) Times where you wonder – what is going on – but those times of trial are necessary – They Produce several things in us !!


James 1:2-5 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.


#1 Trials Produce patience & help us to become complete in the Lord


1 Peter 1: 6-9 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,9 receiving the end of your faith -- the salvation of your souls.


#2 Trials reveal if our faith is genuine – if it is real

A) What happens to Plastic in Fire? – It burns up – it dissolves


B) You can take a piece of Plastic and shape it like a gold brick / paint it gold – and put it into the Fire – guess what – going to burn up

1) Reveals that it is not gold at all


C) That is what happens to Plastic faith – in the fire – not real


D) True faith – like gold when put into the fire it melts – It becomes liquefied so that the goldsmith can mold & shape it

1) So Trials Produce patience & help us to become complete in the Lord

     Trials reveal if our faith is genuine


#3 Trials also reveal to us a new side of the Lord and his Presence in our lives – Psa 23 Shepherd who is with us in the Valley of the …. Death

A) Shadrach ………. Jesus is with them in the Fire


B) It is in the times of trial that we discover that He is Jehovah Jireh – the God who provides

1) That He is Jehovah Shalom – the Lord our peace who gives to us a peace that surpasses all understanding


C) It is in the Valley times that we discover that He is Jehovah Tsidkenu the Lord our righteousness

1) SO The trials produce in us a deeper Revelation of the Lord !!


Now there is a 4th thing that happens to us in times of trial – Trials reveal where we still need to grow!

A) There is another thing happens to the gold when it goes into the fire – the first thing that happens is the impurities rise to the surface


B) That is what happens when we go thru the Valley’s { Our -  Impurities come out – { BIG GULP} bumps


B) Although we don’t deny or abandon our faith – sometimes we don’t pass the Test -  

1) What is revealed is our Impurities – we say things that we shouldn’t

We react in ways that are not proper


C) Have you ever thought – I am past this – certain attitude that plagued you or sinful habit that you felt bond to

1) Then you have some times of Victory – you think –great I am over this


D) Then something happens & You find that sin/ that attitude is still buried deep w/ in you – in the mist of the trial it rises to the surface

1) I HATE when that happens – Think – I thought I was thru with this

only to find out – I still need to stay on guard


In the mist of the Valley’s Our sin becomes apparent – And the areas where we still need to grow are revealed

A) Which brings us to the next gate –V.14 Refuse Gate -  Even lower than the Valley gate was the Refuse or Dung gate


B) Lowest point in the city – See in those days they didn’t have a sewer system like we have today { Raw waste & trash would run out this gate


C) It would be taken out of the Refuse gate and deposited in the Valley of Gehena outside the city walls -  It was smelly – dirty place


D) Imagine being the guys who got assigned to work on this gate

1) Every day must have been a Challenge just dealing with the smell


E) When studying this week  I wondered  if they were the first ones to finish their gate – just to get away from that place ?


Sometimes in the Valley – the refuse / the Dung comes out of our lives

Causing one of two reactions –

A) You can immediately deal with the Dung – Lord help – forgive cleanse –

         Or You just get used to it !! Learn to live with it !

B)  In Kenya there in Africa there was a Refuse spot – place where the waste from the houses & apartments ran down into pond



C)  Everyday on our way to the Church – we would drive over this bridge over this area – Smell was Putrid { Sickening


This is what amazed me – there were people who lived by that place

A) There were people who worked by that place – people who daily walked right by


B) In fact there was an outdoor entertainment place – Club , right above that place – Friday nights packed

1) How could this be – OBVIOUS – They had grown immune to the smell – immune to the waste – Used to it


C) It had to be unhealthy for them to be breathing those fumes

1) Many in that area are very sick – Disease is rampant


Listen friends we need to watch that – when the refuse is revealed in our lives – that we don’t get used to it – don’t get immune

A) We need to deal with it quickly – affectively – Repent


B) We need to be careful as the world around us becomes more and more of a REFUSE PILE – more and more corrupt – ungodly


C) That we don’t grow used to the smell - - that we don’t get used to the stink – If we do – we are going to be Unhealthy !

1) Sick and weak Church


D) May the Lord burn within our hearts a Conviction for righteousness

1) We see it that we would confess it & deal with it KNOWING

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


Well once confession is made and the Dung is carried out – we come to the next gate: THE FOUNTAIN GATE = Renewal

A) The Fountain Gate speaks of our need to be filled with the Spirit !


John 7:37-39

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers

[ fountains] of living water."39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.


B) After we blow it and are forgiven we are in the place of LONGING for a DEEPER work of the Spirit, a FRESH touch of God’s Spirit.


C) Once the dung is carried out we REALIZE: “Lord, I KNOW you. I want to SERVE You as a fisher of souls.

1) I am IN THE WORD, those foundational truths of the faith.


D)  I have gone through the VALLEYS and I have made CONFESSION of sin. But something is missing -

1) Aware of this important Fact -  I NEED more POWER and LIFE.



EX. D.L. Moody locked himself into a hotel room in New York City

and said: ‘I will not come out of this room until I have the power of the

Holy Spirit in my life.”        

A) He came out of the room three days later & the world was never the same.-  THAT is the kind of touch that you and I need.


B) The FOUNTAIN GATE is the place where we say: “Father, I am NOT going to stop seeking You for that overflowing experience of the Spirit.


C)  Two Problems in the Church today: #1 Too many believers walking around trying to live the Christian life & serve the Lord in own Power.

#2 There are many people who are trying to be filled but they have not yet been emptied –

A) They haven’t gotten rid of the Dung – hasn’t been confession


B) There hasn’t been repentance { That has to happen first before the Fountain can be poured out !!!

1) Pivotal growth spot in the life of a Christian when he/she realizes I can’t consistently live for God / serve God – w/out the HS Power !!!


C) After the Fountain Gate we come to Richard Nixon’s favorite Gate

THE WATER GATE V. 26 = Refreshment from the Word


One of the things that often happens in the life of a Believer after they have been filled with the Spirit – greater thirst for the Word

Col 3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,

A) Where the Old Gate spoke of the Doctrinal side of the Word of the God – Knowing the truth’s of the Word


B) The Water Gate speaks of the Devotional side of the Word

1) The need that we all have to sit and allow the Word to touch us in the deepest parts of our hearts


C) It is one thing to study the WORD to become equipped – that is important

1) But it is an entirely different thing to have the Lord’s word speak to and Refresh your heart


Ps 119:25   My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.

A) God’s word has a way of reviving our souls – I miss devotions a couple of days or have a couple of days – devotions are dry – I feel horrible


B) But then I have a day where God’s word speaks to me deeply – Nesthe Plunge – standing under a water fall on a blazing hot day – Refreshed

1) Prompts this kind of response in my heart


Ps 119:162 I rejoice at Your word  As one who finds great treasure.

Jer 15:16  Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;

A) The Old gate speaks to us of the Worth of the Word – the water Gate speaks to us of the Word that works


B)  It refreshes us – it sustains us – it is that treasure that keeps us moving in the Lord


C) It is a key point in every believers life when they move from that place of going to the word – just for information

1) Looking at the word to discover how to be a better wife/ husband / parent

looking for answers to problems – all of which is important


D) The Bible is our guide book – it is our play book for living – but we are to read it for more than INFORMATION

1) It is also a book of INTIMACY – it is God’s love letter to us – He wants to speak to and minister to our hearts


Well after the Water Gate came the HORSE GATE V28 The Horse Gate speaks to us of the Rapture of the Church

1 Thess 4:16-18   .16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. { Believers comfort – No Tribulation { All believers accept 144,000 Jewish men – Special mission


1 Cor 15:51-54 

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed --52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

The Book of Revelation tells us that AFTER we have been taken up by Jesus into heaven, having spent seven years with Jesus in a honeymoon

A) During that time the earth is going to be going thru 7 yrs of intense tribulation – like the world has never seen


B) Everyone who didn’t believe in Jesus – wasn’t walking with Jesus is going to be left behind –

1) Endure this horrific time – If not shortened no flesh would survive


C) After which we are told in Revelation 19 that Jesus is going to come back to the earth riding on a white horse

1) We are going to be coming back with Him also riding on white Horses


D) Jesus is going to restore the earth – to it original beauty – we are going to rule and reign with Christ

1) LAST WEEK – This life the Prelude : the story before the story 1,000 yrs

   After that ALL OF ETERNITY


Now when Jesus returns we are told something radical in Zech 14:4

4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,

Which faces Jerusalem on the east.

And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,

From east to west,  Making a very large valley;

Half of the mountain shall move toward the north

And half of it toward the south.


A) Then, according to Ezekiel 44:2, Jesus will enter into the city of Jerusalem  through the East Gate.

1) Which is why This is the next gate mentioned. THE EAST GATE V.29


B) Upon His return, Jesus will enter the EAST GATE with His glory, and with authority.

1) When the Turks had heard this, around the year 1100 AD said: “If that is the gate that the Messiah of Israel is to enter upon His return, then we will seal it up so that He can not re-enter it.

C) But in so doing, they fulfilled the very prophecy of Ezekiel 44 which said that the EAST GATE will be sealed before He comes.

1) If you go there today, you can see that gate sealed up with brick.


D) But Jesus will return , the gate will be opened, He will rule the earth for 1,000 years, and we will be with Him.


What happens after this : The GATE OF MIPHKAD v.31

Miphkad = Judgment or inspection

A) 2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad


B) JUDGMENT SEAT is the Greek word “Bema”. It was the place where awards were given in athletic events.

1) It was NOT a judicial place where sentences were handed down. It was a place of rewards.


1 Cor 3:12-15  Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is.14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss;


C) So we who are in the Lord are going to be judged for our work here on the earth – MOTIVES – gold silver stone –that endures

1) Wrong MOTIVES - Wood hay stubble burned up


Now for those who don’t know the Lord they have a different Judgment that they are going to face {

A) Rev 20 – Most of the Chapter deals with this Judgment – God is going to gather everyone throughout history  small & great


B) They are going to be judged on the basis of rejecting His Son

C) Simple: Test is there name written in the Lambs book of life

1) Not in that book – they are going to be thrown into the Lake of fire

2nd Death – Experience eternity – living in place of torment


D) Outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth

1) This is what we commonly call – HELL


Wait how can a living God send people to a place like that ? Answer is He doesn’t – in fact Jesus said that it wasn’t made for man

A) But men are going to end up there – Because of their rejection of JC

     They will go there of their own FREE WILL


B) But I didn’t know someone might Protest – Well Revelation 20 also tells us that the Books are going to be opened

1) Play back of your life – every rotten thing – AND every time you had the opportunity to receive Christ and didn’t


C) As the books are opened it will be revealed why your name is not written in the lambs book of life !!!


Obvious question is how to I make sure that my name is written in the book of Life -  BACK TO THE SHEEP GATE

A) Full circle – Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega the Beginning and the end – the first & the Last Author & finisher of our Salvation


B) Starting point – the Door – the sheep gate – the shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep


C) The shepherd who leaves the 99 to go and find the one lost


Your heart today: Name in the Lambs book of Life


Living for Christ today ? Or have you become comfortable with the refuse in your life – the Dung –

                          Living for Now – Or the bigger picture – Eternity