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Sermon No: 75366-Our thought life - Part 5


SERMON TOPIC: Our thought life - Part 5

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 14 August 2020


Sermon synopsis: Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers,
The Reliance Test: whatever is true,
The Respect Test: whatever is honorable,
The Rightness Test: whatever is just,
The Reverence Test: whatever is pure,
The Relationship Test: whatever is lovely,
The Refinement Test: whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

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Our thought life Part 5.

In Matthew we read how Jesus holds them responsible for their 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?

Jaffa Gate – Whatever is True.

Let’s connect the Jaffa Gate with the True Gate.

Ask yourself. Is this thought true? Am I thinking about something that is a lie?Is my meditation in accord with what is true? Only thoughts that are true are allowed to enter my ‘Jaffa Gate.’

David’s Psalm of repentance.

Psalm 51:6.

You desire truth in the inward parts.


I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.

The Zion Gate-Whatever is Noble.

Titus 2:3.

Likewise, teach the older womento be reverentin the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.

That is the filter for what you allow in this gate.

Whatever is reverent, honorable, worthy of respect.

Satan loves to fill our thoughts with shameful things that we think no one else will know about.

Ask yourself, is this thought honorable or noble, if not, don’t admit it into your mind.

3. Dung Gate – Whatever is Just.

Viewing the map of all the gates, you will notice that the dung gate is at the lowest point (southern most point), with several gates to its north.

In a Believers life it typifies the valley experience that can carry on for some time but the result of that experience is evident at the next gate (The Dung Gate).

This is where all the Garbage or Refuse is removed. Valley experiences are used by the Lord to clear away the rubbish so that true faith, refined by the fire, can come forth and produce fruit.

Only thoughts that are just must be allowed to enter this gate.

4. Golden Gate – What is Pure.

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

Only pure thoughts can enter this gate.

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.

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

The Lions Gate- Lovely thoughts.

Arrow slots like narrow windows and are visible just above the two carved lions on each side of the gate.

This gate, also known as Stephen’s Gate is situated near the Pool of Bethesda.

The protruding stone work above the gate is for pouring burning oil down or dropping stones on the attacking soldiers as they would try to break down or burn down the gate.

Originally, the Lions Gate was an L-shaped gate that required a person to enter and turn left. The back wall of the gate was removed by the British in order to allow traffic to enter the Old City. The original arch and remaining part of the gate can still be seen to the left inside the gate.

We know that the location of this gate has not changed from the time of Herod, and it is close to the location where Stephen was martyred, so it is likely the same gate that Stephen was taken out of to be stoned in the Kidron Valley.

8 Gates to the mind.

Philippians 4:8:

Finally, brothers,

The Reliance Test:whatever is true,

The Respect Test: whatever is honorable,

The Rightness Test:whatever is just,

The Reverence Test: whatever is pure,

The Relationship Test: whatever is lovely,

The Refinement Test: whatever is commendable,

if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Love worth finding ministries(Adrian Rogers)

Tobacco manufacturers put a warning on cigarette packages that smoking may be hazardous to your health. I want to tell you, in the same way, that wrong thinking can be hazardous to your health. Here's a spiritual test to help you gain control of your thought life so you can live a holy life.

The Reliance Test — True

Is the thought you are having right now true? Can you rely on it? We live in a generation today that doesn't ask, "Is it true?" Instead, they ask, "Does it work?" Don't let anything consciously dwell in your mind that isn't true.

Don't dwell on it, don't entertain it. Don't let it be a part of your thought patterns if it is not true.

Love worth finding ministries(Adrian Rogers)

The Respect Test — Honest

Is your thought an honest thought? Now the word "honest" literally means honorable.

We are to be thinking things that are honorable.

Do you let dishonorable things get into your mind?

Are there things you think about that are not worthy of your respect?

Some things are not bad because they are vile.

They're bad because they are inane.

Just silly, stupid thoughts and not worth our time, but we entertain them anyway.

Love worth finding ministries(Adrian Rogers)

The Rightness Test — Just

We're to be thinking about things that are "just."

This word means straight as opposed to crooked.

Don't let any crooked thinking enter your mind.

In my Bible study, preaching and devotional life I try to think in a straight line.

Paul says there are certain thoughts that are not to get through the gate.

Anything that is unreliable, disrespectful, or not right should not come through the gate.

Ask yourself, is this thought right?

Love worth finding ministries(Adrian Rogers)

The Reverence Test — Pure We are to be thinking about things which are pure. This word means free of contamination.

Originally, this word was used to describe whether an animal or object was pure enough to be used in worship? That is, could it be offered to God? Could I take this thought and say, "Lord, I worship You with this thought"?

The Relationship Test — Lovely

The word lovely here doesn't mean beautiful. It literally means causing you to love. Does this thought cause you to love? Or does it cause you to criticize unjustly? Or bring division between human beings? Then, it is wrong. We are to think about things that cause us to move out in love toward our others.

The Lions Gate- Lovely thoughts.

Sometimes lovely thoughts are difficult thoughts.

Stephen died for Christ because of his great love for Him. He gave the greatest gift he could for His Savior ~ his life. When he died, Stephen saw Jesus, seated at the right hand of the Father, and his dying works echoed the love of God to those who were stoning him.

Acts 7:59-60.

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Then he fell on his knees and cried out, Lord, do not hold this sin against them. When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Matthew 7:43-48.

You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Only allow thoughts that cause you to love.

Romans 12:21.

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Learn to think God's thoughts about others, and use Paul's standard mentioned in Philippians 4:8. as the grid through which everything must come before it finds lodging in your mind.

8 Gates to the mind.

Philippians 4:8:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true,

whatever is honorable,

whatever is just,

whatever is pure,

whatever is lovely,

whatever is commendable, (of good report)

if there is any excellence,

if there is anything worthy of praise,

think about these things.

Herod’s Gate.

It was also called the “Flowered Gate” (Bab ez- Zahr) because of the flower on the tower wall above it.

Herod's Gate is part of the northern wall of the Old City of Jerusalem and connects the Muslim Quarter inside the Old City to the Palestinian district.

Herod's Gate is the Christian name associated with the Bible, according to which Pontius Pilate sent Jesus to Herod Antipas, whose palace reportedly stood on the site nearby now marked by the Greek Orthodox Church of St Nicodemus. Another tradition claims that the prison in which Peter was held by Herod Agrippa, nephew of Herod Antipas was here.

In Hebrew, the gate is called Flowers Gate, associated with the blooming flower stone rosette adorning the gate tower.

Herod (The Great).

Herod the Great was the son of Antipater. He was the procurator of Judah, under Julius Caesar, and king, under Augustus, and reigned as an appointed king for 33 years (37-4 BC).

He made outstanding contributions to the architecture of his day. At Samaria and Caesarea he founded entire cities and built many others. He built temples, theatres and fortresses.

Shortly after Jesus was born, Herod was visited by men from the east. The men told Herod that they had seen a sign in the sky signifying that the King of the Jews had been born and that they wanted to visit with him.

When the Magi did not return, he ordered the butchering of all male babies under 2 years old in Bethlehem

Herod became increasing cruel toward the end of his reign. Thinking that his own family was about to overthrow him he murdered one of his wives (Mariamne), her mother, two of her sons, and his own eldest son.

This led the Roman Emperor Augustus to comment that it would be safer to be Herod's pig (hus in Greek) than his son (huios).

Upon Herod's death, the Romans divided his kingdom among three of his sons and his sister:

Archelaus became ethnarch of Judea, Samaria, and Idumea (Edom)

Herod Antipasbecame tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea.

Philip became tetrarch of territories north and east of the Jordan, mainly gentile territories.

Salome I was given a toparchy including the cities of Jabneh, Ashdod, and Phasaelis in the Gaza area.

Herod Archelaus (The Ethnarch).

He was the eldest son and principal heir of Herod I the Great.(born 22 bc, Judaea—died c. ad 18, Gaul)

Herod Archelaus was ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea (Edom), including the cities Caesarea and Jaffa, for a period of nine years. Antipas and Philip were made tetrarchs of the remaining provinces, the former receiving Galilee and Perea, and the latter the other lands east of the Jordan.

His reign was so treacherous that it inspired the Jews and Samaritans, who otherwise were contentious enemies, to unite and lobby Rome to have Archelaus removed as leader. He was deposed by Roman Emperor Augustus, and banished to Vienne in Gaul, where, where he lived for the remainder of his days.

Herod Antipas (The Tetrarch).

Herod Antipater

(born before 20 BC – died after 39 AD)

He was known by the nickname Antipas, and was ruler of Galilee and Perea. He is referred to as both "Herod the Tetrarch" and "King Herod" in the New Testament.

He is widely known today for accounts in the New Testament of his role in events that led to the executions of John the Baptist and Jesus.

In 39 AD Antipas was accused by his nephew Agrippa I of conspiracy against the new Roman emperor Caligula, who sent him into exile in Spain, according to Josephus. Accompanied there by Herodias, he died at an unknown date.

Herod Philip (Philip the Tetrarch).

Herod Philip, also known as Philip the tetrarch ("ruler of a quarter"), was son of Herod the Great and his fifth wife Cleopatra of Jerusalem. He was the half-brother of Herod Antipas and Herod Archelaus.

He lived from about 4 BC to about AD 34, during the time of Jesus and Pontius Pilate. Herod Philip is mentioned in Luke 3:1 as being the tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, which comprised a northeast portion of the land that his father had ruled over before his death.

Luke 3:1.

When Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene.

Herod Agrippa 1.

Herod Agrippa, also known as Herod or Agrippa I.

He was a King of Judea from 41 to 44 AD. His son was Herod Agrippa II, the last king from the Herodian dynasty.

Acts 12:1-2 &21-23.

It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, This is the voice of a god, not of a man. Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

Herod Agrippa 11.

Herod Agrippa II officially named Marcus Julius Agrippa and sometimes shortened to Agrippa.

He was the eighth and last ruler from the Herodian dynasty.

He was the fifth member of this dynasty to bear the title of king, but he reigned over territories outside of Judea only as a Roman client.

It was before Agrippa and his sister Berenice that, according to the New Testament, Paul the Apostle pleaded his case at Caesarea Maritima.

Agrippa was overthrown by his Jewish subjects in 66 and supported the Roman side in the First Jewish–Roman War.

Herod’s Gate.

Herod the Great was a renown builder in the Middle East in ancient times.

Although he did not build the Herod gate that is named after him, he built Masada as a palace, the city of Caesarea on the coast, the Herodium palace, and he rebuilt the second temple and the mount on which it sat.

The stones at the wailing wall today were laid by Herod. So although he was a wicked man, his building achievements were commendable.

Herod’s Gate- Commendable.

Commendable:Deserving, admirable, exemplary, creditable, laudable, meritorious.

This Commendable Gate must check whether my thoughts are constructive, innovative, and worthy of approval.I like the KJV rendering:Good Report

So much of what we see in the media is bad news, showing man’s base instincts.

Some times they will slip in a small piece of “good news” at the end of a bulletin filled with a barrage of bad things.

Bad news.

The Guardian.

Every day the news is filled with stories about war, terrorism, crime, pollution, inequality, drug abuse and oppression. Whether or not the world really is getting worse, the nature of news will interact with the nature of cognition to make us think that it is.

Plane crashes always make the news, but car crashes, which kill far more people, almost never do. Not surprisingly, many people have a fear of flying, but almost no one has a fear of driving. People rank tornadoes (which kill about 50 Americans a year) as a more common cause of death than asthma (which kills more than 4,000 Americans a year), presumably because tornadoes make for better television.

The consequences of negative news are themselves negative. Far from being better informed, heavy news watchers can become mis calibrated. They worry more about crime, even when rates are falling, and sometimes they part company with reality altogether:

Consumers of negative news, not surprisingly, become glum: a recent literature review cited “misperception of risk, anxiety, lower mood levels, learned helplessness, contempt and hostility towards others, desensitization, and in some cases, ... complete avoidance of the news.” And they become fatalistic, saying things like “Why should I vote? It’s not gonna help,” or “I could donate money, but there’s just gonna be another kid who’s starving next week.”

Love worth finding ministries(Adrian Rogers)

The Refinement Test — Good Report

The Greek translation of "good report" literally means for us to think about things which are high-toned.

That means that it sounds good. It is refined. This kind of thinking will shut down a gossip mill. Gossips spread bad reports. We are to be people known for spreading good reports and this comes from thinking good reports.

Let me close with this final thought, the way not to think bad thoughts is not by trying not to think bad thoughts. Let me illustrate. Try not to think of a submarine right now. Are you sure you're not thinking about a submarine? The only way not to think about a submarine is not by trying not to think about a submarine, but by thinking about something else.

Gossip is a bad report.

Are you allowing people to spread gossip without challenging it?

Our base nature wants to know the dirt on others, but the new nature should object and not allow demeaning things to be broadcast in our hearing.

Human perspective leads to a bad report.

Numbers 13:26-33.

They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”

Numbers 13:26-33.

Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”

And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored.

They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

The “Bad report” was given with a human perspective seen through the natural eye, whereas the “Good report” was given based on God’s perspective seeing with the eye of faith.

We need to have a Godly perspective and this only happens when we saturate our minds with God’s Word and are able to remind ourselves of the many times that the Lord has proved Himself faithful and has made a way, where there seems to be no way.

What kind of thoughts are you allowing into your mind to lodge?

Are the thoughts that you are entertaining “Things of good report, things that are commendable”?


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. (

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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