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Sermon No: 74364-Our thought life - Part 4



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SERMON TOPIC: Our thought life - Part 4

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 2 August 2020

Topic Groups: THOUGHT LIFE, GATES OF JERUSALEM, PURITY

Sermon synopsis: Impure thoughts become sin when we entertain them. Everybody has impure thoughts of one type or another. That’s part of being human. Having an impure thought come into your mind is not a sin by itself; choosing to entertain the thought is a sin.

It is very appropriate for the Golden Gate or the Eastern Gate to be linked to the Pure Gate. This gate will be opened when the Pure and Holy One comes. The Messiah has already entered the predecessor of this gate once before riding on a donkey a few days before He died to pay for our sins.
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Our thought life Part 4.

We saw how Jesus holds us responsible for our thoughts.

Matthew 9:4. Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? (NIV)

And Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, Why are you harbouring evil thoughts in your hearts? (KJV)

You can’t stop the birds flying over your head, but you can stop them from making a nest in your hair. Chinese Proverb

Guard your Thought Life.

Proverbs 4:23.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

What have you got stored in your heart?

What Does it Mean to "Guard Your Heart”?

In the Old Testament the word “heart” is used more than 800 times, but more than 200 times it deals with one's thought life, emotions, those things that motivate and mold us.

The Bible calls that the heart. I’m calling it the thought life. Why is the thought life so important? Why did Solomon tell his son, “above all else, guard your heart; for out of it are the issues of life?”

Because your thought life controls your life.

If you tell me what you think, I’ll tell you who you are and the life you live. What you think is what you are.

Proverbs 23:7. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”

The state of the human heart.

Jeremiah 17:9.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.

Who can understand it? I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.

The difference between someone who is spiritual and someone who is carnal or worldly, is what they think about.

Romans 12:2.

Be not conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Our speech reveals what’s in our heart.

Luke 6:45.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Matthew 12:34.

The mouth is the overflow of the heart.

James 3:10-11.

Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?

What flows from your heart?

Sin starts in our thought life.

We should try to act and speak properly, but it starts by dealing with our thoughts and emotions, since they are the source of our sinful actions.

Matthew 23:26.

Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

Don’t fantasize about sin, thinking that your thoughts are harmless.

When you cherish sin in your heart, you drive a wedge between yourself and God.

Psalm 66:18.

If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

Sin starts in our thought life.

Impure thoughts become sin when we entertain them.

Everybody has impure thoughts of one type or another. That’s part of being human. Having an impure thought come into your mind is not a sin by itself; choosing to entertain the thought is a sin.

A good guideline is not to allow yourself to consider or dwell on anything God would not want you to do.

Don’t allow yourself to think about sinning or ways you could go about sinning.

Romans 13:14.

Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Sin starts in our thought life.

James 4:1.

What causes fights and quarrels among you?

Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?

Mark 7:21-22.

For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.

James 1:14-15.

Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.

Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Guard your heart.

We need the mind of Christ through conversion.

We must block out sources for sinful thoughts.

We must take in God’s Word from every source.

Expose your mind to the teaching and example of great Christians.

Sing and listen to wholesome music.

Guard your heart.

We put alarms on our houses and cars and put password protection on our computers and bank accounts.

Why then do we leave our hearts and minds unprotected and open to be infiltrated by envy, lust and bitterness as we expose ourselves to TV programs and magazines/books and bad company with advice and suggestions and ideas that are contrary to God’s Word.

Guard your heart against the love of money.

Luke 16:12-15.

And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.

You cannot serve both God and money. The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

Guard your heart against materialism.

Matthew 6:19-21.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.

Guard your heart against envy & selfish ambition.

James 3:13-16.

Who is wise and understanding among you?

Let him show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

Jeremiah 29:13.

And you shall seek me and you shall find me when you search for me with all your heart.

Guard your heart against lust.

1 John 2:15-17.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world ,the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Matthew 5:27-29.

You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

Guard your heart against lust.

Job 31:1.

I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.

Guard your heart against pride.

Daniel 5:20,21.

But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his throne and stripped of his glory.

He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like cattle; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the most high God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishes.

Proverbs 17:3.

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.

Guard your heart against worry and cares.

Psalm 55:22.

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

1 Peter 5:7.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you

Matthew 11:28-29.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,

and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Luke 12:22-34.

Then Jesus said to his disciples: Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.

For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.

Luke 12:22-34.

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, you of little faith!

And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.

But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Guard your heart against fear.

Luke 12;4-7.

I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Our attitude during trials and suffering.

Hebrews 12:1-4.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Constant focus on comfort and self preservation are a hinderance to the Christian.

Our attitude during trials and suffering.

James 1:2-4.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

The trials and tests that come our way are the agents that make us better or bitter, the choice is ours.

8 Gates to the mind.

These are the 8 gates that need to guard our minds.

True Gate ~ Jaffa

Honorable Gate ~ Zion

Just Gate ~ Dung

Pure Gate ~ Golden

Lovely Gate ~ Lion’s

Commendable Gate ~ Herod’s

Excellent Gate ~ Damascus

Praiseworthy Gate ~ New

1. Jaffa Gate – Whatever is True.

2. The Zion Gate- Whatever is Noble.

3. Dung Gate – Whatever is Just.

Whatever is pure.

Think about “Pure” things.

The Eastern Gate.

Arab graves fill the space in front of the entire length of the eastern wall.

The Golden or Eastern Gate, is on the eastern side of the Temple Mount and is the closest gate to the Temple site.

The Golden Gate is also called the Gate of Mercy and the Gate of Eternal Life. It faces the Mount of Olives and a Jewish cemetery.

This gate has two doorways, the southern part is known as the Gate of Mercy, and the northern part as the Gate of Repentance.

During the time of the First Temple (10th century BCE to 586 BCE) the eastern Gate was the main entrance into the Temple area, and is believed to be the same gate that Jesus entered on a humble donkey in His triumphal entry on Palm Sunday.

The Golden Gate was rebuilt around 640-705 AD by the last Byzantine ruler, or possibly the first of the Muslim rulers. In the 700s, this gate was sealed to prevent Jewish zealots from creating and promoting a messiah like political figure to rally around.

After the Crusader conquest in 1099, the walls were

rebuilt. The Crusaders kept the gate blocked, but

twice each year they would unblock and open it

for Palm Sunday in the spring and for a fall

festival called “Exaltation of the Cross.” This

gate has not been unblocked since the

Crusaders lost control of Jerusalem.

In 1535 AD Suleiman the Magnificent, longest reigning sultan of the Ottoman Empire, ordered the ruined walls of the City of Jerusalem to be rebuilt including the East Gate.

In 1541 AD, in the process of rebuilding, Suleiman had the new gate walled up and it has stayed that way until today. The Muslim conquerors added great stones to the Golden Gate and a cemetery was planted in front of it. Many believe this was done to prevent the entrance of the Jewish Messiah through that gate as was foretold in Old Testament prophecies, the reasoning being that the Jewish Messiah would not set foot in a cemetery.

The Eastern Gate in prophecy.

Ezekiel prophesied the shutting of this gate itself around 600 BCE: saying that it would be shut “because the LORD (Jehovah or Yahweh), the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.”

Ezekiel 44:1-3.

Then the man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east, and it was shut. The LORD said to me, This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered through it. The prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence of the LORD. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way.

The crowd of disciples had shouted “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matt 21:1-12). Note the words of the Messianic Psalm 118, which speaks of Jesus’ triumphal entry, the boughs, the praise, the procession to the temple and Jesus’ subsequent rejection:

Psalm 118:20-27. This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone... Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you. The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.

COMING OF ZION’S KING

Judeo-Christian significance of the Eastern Gate.

The Eastern Gate is an important gate of the Temple Mount, as on Yom Kippur the scapegoat that was chosen by the High Priest in front of the Temple, would have been led through the Court of the Women, down a stairway to and through the (Shushan Gate) Eastern gate and into the Kedron Valley. From there it was led over the Mount of Olives into the Wilderness of Judea.

In Jewish sources the eastern gate of the Temple compound is called the Shushan Gate. ... It is also said that Jesus, riding on a donkey, passed through this gate on Palm Sunday, in fulfillment of the Jewish prophecy concerning the Messiah. Wikipedia

Some interpret these passages in Ezekiel as references to the Lord Jesus Christ. GotQuestions.org

The glory of the Lord coming into the temple is seen as the triumphal entry (Ezekiel 43:2; Matthew 21:1–11). The command to permanently shut the gate because the Lord has entered it (Ezekiel 44:2) is seen as a prediction of the walling-up of the Eastern Gate by the Muslims in AD 1540. And, finally, the “prince” to whom the gate will be opened (Ezekiel 46:12) is seen as Christ Himself at the second coming.

The Prince of Peace will return to the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4) and enter Jerusalem by way of the re-opened Eastern Gate.

Zechariah 14:3-4 &8-9.

Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle.

On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south…….

On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter.

The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

The Eastern Gate and the dead sea.

The specific fault line, which passes through the Mount of Olives, can be seen in this map.

The positioning and orientation of this seismic fault line meets the exact requirements of Zechariah’s prophecy

So it is also possible that the Eastern Gate may be opened as a result of the earthquake which splits the Mount of Olives on Jesus’ return.

EASTERN GATE OPENED

Three consecutive Psalms speak of the past, present and future activities of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 22 speaks of his death in the past.

Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.

Psalm 23 speaks of his present ministry shepherding his people.

The LORD is my shepherd…

Psalm 24 speaks of his future triumphant return though the Eastern Gate.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates…. and the King of glory shall come in.

Psalm 24:7-8 Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

So the King enters through the ancient gates and – as in Isaiah 63 and Zech 14 - he has just come from battle.

The glory will then return to the newly built 3rd temple and Jesus will set up his Millennial kingdom reigning from Jerusalem for 1000 years:

Ezek 43:1-7 Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory… The glory of the LORD entered the temple through the gate facing east. … While the man was standing beside me, I heard someone speaking to me from inside the temple. He said: “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever.”

The current gate is located in the middle of the eastern side of the Temple Mount. In Jesus’ day, the gate was the main entrance into the Temple courtyards from the Kidron valley. Today you can still see the close proximity of the gate to the “Dome of the Rock” which is built on the Temple Mount.

Golden Gate – What is Pure.

It is very appropriate for the Golden Gate or the Eastern Gate to be linked to the Pure Gate.

This gate will be opened when the Pure and Holy One comes.

The Messiah has already entered the predecessor of this gate once before riding on a donkey a few days before He died to pay for our sins.

Soon He will return to claim His rightful kingdom.

Psalm 24:3-4.

Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.

A pure heart is attainable.

God sees us as we really are.

1 Sam. 16:7.

Man looks at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.

Matthew 5:8.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

The Greek word for “pure” in Matthew 5:8 is katharos.

It means to be “clean, blameless, unstained from guilt.” Interestingly, the word can refer specifically to that which is purified by fire or by pruning.

Think about “Pure” things.

Titus 1: 15.

To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.

1 John 3:3.

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

2 Timothy 2:22.

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

How to purify your heart.

We cannot change without God’s working in our lives.

Psalm 51:10.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

But action is needed on our part as well.

James 4:8-10.

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail.

Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

In myself, I cannot attain pure thoughts because of the sinful person that I am, but as I allow my Saviour to control my thoughts and renew my mind to be like His, pure thoughts will dominate.

The “Peace of God” guards our hearts and minds.

Psalm 119:9.

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

Philippians 4:6-8. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.

Peace in the storm.

Isaiah 26:3. KJV

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Our alarm for wrong thinking, is

“The Peace of God”

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.




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