The Gates We Need
July 29, 2018 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig,
is a book about REBUILDING things. Fixing things. Mending things. Repairing,
Restoring things – not leaving things as they are
is exactly what is needed today!
believing Christians do not just look on, as the world tears itself apart – we
get busy doing something to slow it down and fix those who have been broken by
B. We are
looking way back at about 445 years Before the birth of Christ (B.C.) – that’s
2,462 years ago!
was wrong with the city of Jerusalem?
and piles of rubbish everywhere throughout the city streets of Jerusalem
were OLD wastes - they had been there for a long time – almost 160 years!
was the Result of a load of SIN on the part of God’s people (2Chron 36:11-21)
4. 3km of
15 foot thick walls that were broken through, and thrown down and piled up into
heaps of burnt stones…
like something so far removed from our “normal” life now, BUT…
D. So many
things are broken TODAY!
is broken – been that way for a very long time
MINDS are broken – unable to sleep, forgive, reason and think through their
TRUST is constantly broken – no one takes responsibility anymore for ANYTHING!
Always blaming others!
HEARTS are broken – haven’t been happy for so many years
FAITH is broken – trusting in themselves, and in religious icons, and priests
and prayers, and in fairies, and angels, and Bitcoins! Only to be constantly
is broken – believing that abortion is a good thing, and Same Sex Marriage is
fine and dandy, and that no one should have to work! BROKEN!
ONE OF THESE ARE REPARABLE – REBUILDABLE! God’s way!
the first Sunday in January, we have worked verse by verse so far through the
Book of Nehemiah up until chapter 7, verse 1.
B. What Was Everybody Rebuilding? Three
1. They were repairing a long winding protective Wall around
2. They were repairing Ten Main Gates into and out of the city
3. And Ultimately, they were rebuilding their Nation
C. There was more to those walls and gates than just brick and wood (Isaiah 60:18 “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land,
wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls
Salvation, and thy gates Praise.”)
D. What was so important about Walls and Gates?
1. They control what comes in and goes out
2. Every HOME has WALLS, and GATES
doors, windows, fences
b. Why do
we think that just because modern cities don’t have walls anymore, that we
don’t need walls still?
let the world talk you into just letting anything and everything into your home
and heart and lives in the name of diversity and open mindedness!
d. The TV
and internet have been THE greatest invader of the home in history!
BODY has walls and gates
SKIN is a wall, backed up by both bone and muscle
body has basically 5 gates in and out of your body
6) And a
these gates don’t work, and crumble under attack (from germs, or abuse) you become
crippled, or YOU DIE!
TEN GATES KEPT THINGS DECENT, AND ORDERLY in Jerusalem
a. It is
like having several main doors AND delivery doors going into and out of a
wouldn’t want rubbish to be taken out through the main front doors!
would be awful!
there are specified gates for specific purposes
goes out the DUNG Gate… NOT the Fish Gate!
come in the gate where they are expected, and inspected – not in one end of the
city only to get lost on the way to the market at the other end of the city
3) Made it
so that people didn’t mix fresh fish with dung – kept things very healthy
Bible is amazing! God didn’t have to explain germs and microbes and bacterial –
He just commanded His people to do things that kept them very healthy compared
to the other cities of the ancient world!
here, in Nehemiah’s Journal, as he is looking out at all the people, it must
have been awesome to see hundreds and hundreds of people gather every morning,
and take their places and work from sun-up to sun down, on a HUGE task; on
something very hard, and get it done!
E. Nehemiah dedicates an entire chapter to repairing and rebuilding
the Gates and Doors of the City – working counter-clockwise
1. I am not going to claim that I understand these things perfectly
2. I just want to give you some fundamental truths about the gates
that amazingly still apply to you and me in the 21st century as believers
3. Because amazingly, we all have the same gates that need to be
III. Message – Let’s turn our focus on the GATES They Worked On
Sheep Gate (3:1) – Enter it for Forgiveness
was NOT the main entrance into this capital city. It was not the biggest gate
2. But it
was the ONLY ENTRANCE into Jerusalem for the sheep from Bethlehem that were
used in the substitutionary sacrifice of innocent for the guilty.
was the priority gate – the first gate that had to be fixed – ahead of all
other gates into and out of the city
kept their worship going!
5. So, OUR
work MUST begin on OUR Sheep Gate
have a sheep gate yourself
b. It is
the gate into your Heart and Soul – the real you UNDER your skin
guard it all too well!
someone you let in, hurt you, you slam it shut and keep them out for the rest
of their lives!
2) But the
worst effect is that it never gets opened anymore
towards the Lord Jesus Christ
is the Lamb of God
heart is where Jesus enters – not your head, or your stomach (Acts 8:35-37; Rom
8:35-37 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and
preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a
certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to
be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.
And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt
believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
f. Let the
Lamb of God right into our soul – that’s how you get born again! Saved!
Forgiven from all sins! (Revelation 3:20)
is blocking His clear entrance needs to be cleared away
you have locked and closed off from Him, needs to be released, and surrendered
to His presence
g. And He
will SAVE, and Restore, and Rebuild from THERE
B. The FISH Gate (3:3) – for Purpose – to catch men and bring them IN
1. Then the very next gate to be repaired is the Fish Gate
2. This gate was right next to the fish market in the city
3. Repaired by the sons of Hassenaah – an unknown family
They rebuilt everything necessary to make a solid,
fully functioning Gate
b. So that people could go out to the surrounding lakes and rivers
and return with fish!
5. The FIRST THING that Jesus does in the life of a follower is make
them into fishers of men (Matt 4:18,19).
Not make then intellectuals
b. Not wealthy
d. Not healthy
But people who would watch Jesus, how he loved people,
and learn from Him how to win souls to faith in Jesus!
6. We need this gate repaired
Christians used to be burdened about the lost, about
the souls of men and women, boys and girls without Christ!
b. The world, sin, and the devil hardens our thinking against the
need for fishing for men!
d. You would think the disciples never got numb about soul-winning,
but they sometimes did (John 21:1-6,19)
And many of you are so numb towards the lost – and
ashamed of Christ, and too embarrassed about going out door-to-door and
engaging people with the GOSPEL!
7. Every Church needs a FISH GATE that people are going out and
coming back in with FISH! With new believers! That’s what Soul-Winning is – an
open gate to the lost!
8. Let’s keep it open and let’s keep going out and bringing people
C. The OLD Gate (3:6) – For Stability
1. Now Nehemiah notices the work going on at the OLD Gate of
2. Two men rebuilt the entire gate and adjacent walls: Jehoiada
and Meshullam, and their families
3. This was a very ancient gate that had been part of the original
city that Joshua conquered about a thousand years earlier when this city was
4. It was evidently necessary to keep that old gate – AMEN
Maybe out of respect
b. Maybe as a reminder of their long history – that each generation
needs to know that many generations came before them, and don’t need to be
treated like they were so stupid, but are necessary to still honour all their
5. This is the kind of gate that new believers need to go through –
not ever despising some very old things you will find in Christianity, but keeping
with some old ways.
When I got saved, I thought this King James Bible was
SOOO weird, so old
b. I was young. I wanted a newer Bible.
I even tried my hand at rewriting the King’s English
into my own English. I still have the books I “rewrote” into my own words – so
arrogant I was
d. It took a few years of me complaining to my pastor and to some of
my teachers that the ‘thee’s’ and ‘thou’s’ were not my thing, before I was
challenged to look at the HISTORY of the work of translation, and the facts
Just like the 8th Amendment – there was a load of work
that went into that amendment, and was thoroughly fought over
And no “new” generation ought to take it lightly
thinking that it needs to just be dumped for some newer improved version!
g. So goes with the old hymns, and simple church meetings
Not everything new is better
b. Not all history should to be forgotten!
Christianity does not revolve around YOU and your
likes and dislikes
d. If you are a new creature in Christ like the Bible says - changed
on the inside to love the things that GOD loves…
Then, stick with old ways that worked
1) Like Bible preaching from a straight up preacher of God’s word
instead of a nice, fancy talking, politically correct “minister”
2) Like one man, one woman, for life
3) Like sticking with a King James Bible
4) Like making PRAYER a priority instead of performance and
5) Like emphasizing repentance and humble serving one another
6) Like soul-winning – going out into the highways and hedges
D. The VALLEY Gate (3:13) – Open to the Will of God
1. Two groups – two work crews – were busy repairing this gate and
Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah – a small town
about 16 km west of Jerusalem
b. I like these little tid-bits of testimonies about these workers
throughout this chapter!
Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah all just got along
together, and built the gate together, and set up the doors together,
the locks thereof, and the bars thereof
d. AND they kept working and finished MORE than just their Gate –
they repaired the wall for an additional thousand cubits until they reached
‘the dung gate’.
In other words, they built their assigned gate, AND
kept going, building 1,500 feet of 15 foot thick wall! That is a lot of work!
2. But here is the thought about the Gate itself…
3. This was a gate that led out into a valley
The valley of Hinnom
b. Joshua 15:8 And the border went up by the valley of the son of
Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the
border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of
Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward
A rather large ravine that would become known as a
place to avoid because the people threw every piece of rubbish and trash into
it and burnt it there
4. Sometimes, THAT was the direction God’s people needed to go
Valleys generally were beautiful
b. They are where most crops were grown, and lilies bloomed
But, it was NOT always pleasant to travel through a
d. Valleys are where battles were fought – not on mountaintops
And where you will find dangers, and the hard times,
and the scum of life
When a Christian starts living by the world of God,
and settles for the old, right ways, they will immediately find themselves
often alone, in a valley, and facing enemies (giants) like David did (1Sam 17;
1) 1Sa 17:3 And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one
side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley
2) Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow
of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they
5. Don’t be afraid to go through the gate into the valleys the Lord
has for you to walk through!
It is out in those valleys that we spend the best time
with Jesus! (Heb 13:13)
b. So, Keep that gate into the will of God always open and ready to
E. The DUNG Gate (3:14) – we need this Gate to Dump Any Filth that
Builds Up in Us
1. A yukky thought
2. But this was a very necessary gate in the life of a city
There were no underground sewage pipes in those days
b. People had to hand-carry out all their wastes – could NOT just
leave that stuff around – attracted flies and diseases and death
It was through this gate that all forms of ‘dung’ were
carried OUT of the city and dumped on a burning pile of rubbish out in the
valley of Hinnom
3. Amazingly, a LARGE number of people volunteered to repair this
Nope! Only one man and his family rebuilt this gate!
Malchiah the son of
Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem;
1) He built it (oversaw it), and set up the doors thereof, the locks
thereof, and the bars thereof.
2) There is so much I wish I could teach you right now about this
guy. Even though he was the ruler of a part of a nearby town, he is so humble,
because he was raised by such a godly, god-fearing family called the
3) You should learn all about them in Jeremiah chapter 35!
4) They owed their very lives to the grace and mercy of the God of
Israel; and Jerusalem was their place of salvation
5) And he was willing to rebuild the lowest of the gates, out of
4. Thank God for people who care not where they work, but simply wish
to serve and be a help! Like at MEN’S CAMP and YOUTH CAMP, and BIBLE CLUB!
Serving in the Kitchen, helping with Sports, preaching, praying, cleaning up, …
5. What does this Dung gate mean for US as Christians?
We need to make sure we have a direct route and an
open gate to someplace we can dump our shame and our filthy thoughts, and our
evil communications out of our mouths!
b. The cross
This gate leads to purging (Heb 9:14)
1) What does your house smell like when you DON’T flush the toilet?
2) What does it smell like when you ignore the buildup of rubbish in
3) Well… What do you think your mind and heart smell like to GOD when
we keep all that dead and dying stuff around inside?
Philp 3:7-9 tells us how we should see all the “good”
that we think is in us
As well as Isaiah 64:6
g. Evidently we all need a very big gate to keep the filth flowing
OUT of your thinking and feeling that is just pure garbage, rubbish, dung
h. You PURGE, eliminate, dump, clear out, flush all that stuff OUT
Never bringing any of it back in!
It is IN you whether you admit it or not (Mark
k. So, Grab whatever is stinking right now in your heart, or in your
thinking and throw it away (2Cor 10:4,5) like you would dung!
Especially the dung of…
1) Your own Pride and arrogance – thinking so highly of yourself. I
find this so very hard!
2) Wrath and constant anger
3) Lust and pornography
4) Greed and discontentment
6. Let’s take a moment right now and check and see if OUR dung gate
is sealed shut or open, and let’s determine to take out the rubbish right now!
7. That’s what REPENTANCE is – throwing away and even burying the
rubbish of our past habits and sinfulness – out the dung gate, and onto the
8. Pro 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but
whoso confesseth and forsaketh them (dumps them on the cross) shall have
F. The FOUNTAIN Gate (3:15) – For Drinking
1. A man named Shallun the son of
Colhozeh, and his helpers built the wall and repaired its gate right next to
the pool of Siloah
Shallum was the ruler (mayor) of part of the nearby
town of Mizpah – famous for being where Saul had been crowned the first king of
b. And yet, here he was, down and dirty in the grunt work of heavy
lifting and block laying and sweating and back breaking work
2. There were fresh water fountains under Jerusalem that fed into
pools used for water inside the city of Jerusalem
This was fresh clean filtered water from deep
b. It fed into a pool called the Pool of Siloam
The water was used for drinking, and special washings
3. But the GATE accessed THE FOUNTAIN just outside the city walls!
4. Here is the truth!
This is a picture of letting the Holy Spirit flow
freely in your life
b. Jesus invites all to come to HIM and DRINK (John 7:37-39) In
the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If
any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as
the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living
water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him
should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was
not yet glorified.)
After you have dumped/put off the old man and his
sins, you can drink from a clear fountain – that fills you and satisfies your thirsts
d. See John 4:4-18 The woman needed living water, but needed to face
and let go of the dung/sin in her life – that is when she tasted of the WELL of
When you realise that it is THE SIN YOU LOVE that is keeping you from loving God
and His words – and you decide to HATE those sins - well, THAT’S when this
Bible will become precious to you, and you will LOVE reading it and drinking
G. The WATER Gate (3:26,27) – For Washing
1. This gate was rebuilt by more of the Tekoites (Cf 3:5) – we
saw them already hard at work on the Fish gate and wall
2. This Water gate opened out to the small river called the Kidron
brook, where the general population went to get water to wash with
This was washing water – not really for drinking
b. It was used as bath water and for washing clothes
You would often find hundreds of people on the sides
of the river washing their family clothes
d. And you would find people carrying buckets of the water back home
for weekly baths
3. The word of God is OUR source of washing (Eph 5:25,26; Ps 119:9)
4. Every Christian needs access to a good bath on the inside
5. We often neglect to get the water of the word and only take dry
baths – which don’t work
6. We need to let the word of God wash through us and over our
thoughts and worries and frustrations
7. Your water gate is your time just reading the Bible
8. There is no other way to explain it or describe it – it just
H. The HORSE Gate (3:28) – for the King’s Use
1. The horse is the strongest and most versatile work-animal for sure
It can do so many things on a farm
2. But the Jews didn’t normally keep many horses. They had donkeys
for most of their work.
3. Horses were kept for one great purpose
For the king and his men to ride upon
b. 2Ki 11:16 And they … went by the way by the which the
horses came into the king's house…
This gate was only opened for the king’s horses to go
d. It was opened for war and for when the king travelled
Whenever this gate was opened, something big was going
4. The same is true in the Christian life
OUR Horse-Gate is Prayer, which OUR King uses to
defeat our every enemy
b. The horse gate is me allowing God to work through me as I pray
(Col 1:29) Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working,
which worketh in me mightily
1) Prayer is ME opening that gate and the Lord Jesus going to battle
2) Amazingly, He wars through my prayers
3) He can SPEAK through my lips
4) And best of all, he can use MY life (like a horse) for His purpose
When this gate is open, MY King can come and go as He
pleases and make my enemies flee
d. This horse-gate is my prayer life. It is how God works through the
likes of me
5. How broken down is your PRAYER gate?
The EASTERN Gate (3:29) – For Anticipation
1. This Gate faced exactly to the east from the Temple
2. It led out to a path to a garden at the base of a hill called the
Mount of Olives – the Garden was the Garden of Gethsemane
3. This gate was the gate the king entered after a battle to return
and sit down on his throne in victory!
4. Right now, even to this day, this gate is sealed shut
5. But One day, this gate will open for the King to enter!
Eze 44:1-3 Then he brought me back the way of
the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was
shut. Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be
opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel,
hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. It is for the
prince; the prince.
b. The prince is our Messiah, Jesus,who will break through this
closed and sealed door at His second coming!
One of the main themes of the whole book of Ezekiel is
THIS gate! And who will come blasting through it!
d. Mat 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east,
and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
6. The eastern gate is the look and the yearning of the believer for
the soon coming of the Son of God for His kingdom, and for His bride, the
Php 3:20,21 For our conversation is in
heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious
body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things
b. 2Ti 4:7,8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my
course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown
of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that
day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
J. The LAST Gate was the MIPHKAD Gate (3:31,32) – it means the
1. This was the gate where people from all over Israel could line up
and enter a courthouse just inside the city, where their cases would be heard
2. It led to a courtyard – where a COURT was held, and where people
3. To us, this Gate reminds us that one day WE will all have to face
Whether you like it or not, you will have to go
through this gate, and stand before the Lord Jesus Christ
b. Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but
after this the judgment
1) Not for our sins against God – that was placed on Jesus
2) But for our dealings with one another – whether we ever took our
second chance life seriously, or threw it away
2Co 5:10,11 For we must all appear before the
judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his
body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing
therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest
unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
4. So, Be Ready to pass through that gate – how?
REPAIR the concern you USED to have about how you
lived your life, how you have flippantly used your words, how you treated other
people, how flippantly you abused the name of the Lord… how barely you every
did anything for Jesus…
b. Know that you WILL have to face the consequences of such a
flippant, carnal life
Purge all that sin out the dung gate onto the cross!
d. And then hope to hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful
A. Ten Gates
1. They control what comes in and goes out
TEN GATES KEPT THINGS DECENT, AND ORDERLY in Jerusalem
are part of your Christian life now, and are under YOUR control
question is, are they working, or broken down?
B. This is
why Nehemiah dedicated the rest of his life – to the rebuilding and repairing
of these gates
1:3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there
in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem
also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
pastor has dedicated his life to helping YOU repair these same controls into
and out of YOUR life
– Have you let the LAMB OF GOD enter it for your Forgiveness?
D. The FISH Gate – that’s your FIRST Purpose –
to catch men and bring them IN
E. The OLD Gate – For Stability of your life
– not constantly reinventing the wheel, so to speak
F. The VALLEY Gate – be OPEN to the
Will of God, no matter where it leads
G. The DUNG Gate – we need this Gate to Dump
any filth that builds up in us
H. The FOUNTAIN Gate – For Drinking
and refreshing ourselves
The WATER Gate – For Washing
when we get dirty
The HORSE Gate – for Working and
K. The EASTERN Gate – For
L. The LAST Gate was the MIPHKAD Gate – it means the Judgment
Gate. You had better be ready to go through that gate one day soon!