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Amazing Grace Ministries

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June 99

 

The Gates of the City

Pastor John Doonan

The Dung Gate #6

Nehemiah 3:14 But the Dung Gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Beth-haccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

God has provided many doorways for us to freely enter the city of God. When we enter in honestly, we realize that we’ve not so changed that everything we do is unerringly perfect. We wake up ascertaining even as Christians we need to purge our lives of sin and bad habits. The Dung Gate is where all the filth and unwanted debris was removed from the city. God loves us too much to condemn us and leave us without relief.

God in His great wisdom provided one gate for the dung to go out. Praise God we don’t have to stink up the place!

What would happen to the city of God if we entered in just as we are? We would stink it up. Not being aware of the Dung Gate that is provided to purge the filth that touches our lives in this earth puts us in terrible turmoil. Our unawareness of a system of release puts us in the attitude of having to maintain appearances and hold all of it in. Well, that is what defiles heaven, our churches, our relationships among family, friends, and our work place just to name a few problem areas.

There is a part of everything we take in that we must siphon off. We need to do an honest reality check occasionally to see if it’s time to get rid of any impurities or excess we may be carrying. We live in this unsettled world full of death, and distortion. Everyday we become more aware of the negative things in this earth. Think about it, everything we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell influences our lives with this death. We take it in through radio, reading the newspaper, and watching TV. These things touch our lives. It definitely is not edifying, neither does it train up our children or adult minds in the way we should go. Now, can you understand why the Dung Gate is probably the most important and most frequently used gate in the city?

There are some things we should not take into the presence of God. Don’t enter into the presence of God with arrogance, bringing before Him all of the depressing things of this world. No, this is what the Dung Gate is for. There are many things that are not wholesome or seasoned with grace like the curses, death, perversion, poverty, and sickness which touches our lives. We are to put the weak thoughts and damaging circumstances of our lives away before coming into the presence of God. We are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so what we are is brought to His presence. If we don’t have a way to remedy a bad situation or relieve ourselves what happens is our entire relationship with God and all we do for Him begins to stink of the flesh. We spoil God’s throne with our own little agendas and unholy desires. It’s not about us, but all about Jesus Christ. There is a Dung Gate that deals with us.

Paul said he counted everything he had accomplished prior to Christ as dung. He knew there was a gate, a way to come into the presence of God not for self-justification or to say worthless foolish and ugly things. There is a beauty in heaven of God’s own perfection. In this great city the beauty is not about the things which do appear here on earth but that which we build in heaven. We use the things of this earth to live out our life here. However, the key is we prevail, living in this world by faith. In our earthly warfare, we use the things of this earth but we employ them in faith. Faith purifies the negative things in this world.

Reality check! We all have a flesh, we live in this world, and everything in it affects us. It’s not meant for us to hold in, all the bitterness, hatred, and striving in our heart. God has given us a way to release our pain. He has given us something so beautiful, for every gate of heaven is made out of one large beautiful pearl; there is no muck there. God made the same gate that takes out the dung as like every other gate— one large beautiful pearl. It’s something that can’t be made by the hands of man. We’re only able to use this door by faith.

We pray, submitting ourselves to God, and making our petitions known. However, we don’t come to God just to wear out His ear about everything that is wrong with out lives. We never pray the problem. We pray the answer. The only way I know to pray the answer is by using God’s word and not my negative emotions.

Some things are voluntary; some are not. We find we just don’t have control over many things including time. How long can a body hold back before needing to eliminate? When ya gotta go ya gotta go. Of course, each person varies in ability but if we deny ourselves, we become transparent to those around us. Anticipation and anxiety begin to settle in on us as it builds inside of us, eventually spilling outwardly. This is real and it happens to everybody, no one wants to talk about it but it’s a part of life.

Just as our flesh needs to purge the rubbish out so also do we need to unload our selves of unbelief and sin in our lives so that we can enter into the presence of our Heavenly Father. We all relate to the process of elimination and can clearly understand why it is important to do so not just physically but also emotionally, and spiritually. It is a private time that each one of us must come to alone. Everybody does it and you don’t hear anyone bragging about this essential need. Plain and simple it is healthy to periodically stop and do a reality check. It’s not about who’s more holy or who has perfected their life. When it’s time to relieve oneself, it’s time to relieve. When we are in the presence of God nothing else matters but Him.

The anxiety in our life caused by trying to maintain high levels of holiness in our own ability stops us from entering into the presence of God with a free heart. It’s better to know that God has made a way. Here at Amazing Grace we call it Grace. Everybody has their own moments of privacy, a bedchamber where they take their personal matters. Understand though it’s not about white-washing those personal things, it’s about taking time to purge before they have a chance to back up in our systems. God has made a doorway expressly designed for our most special needs. Though the Dung Gate is not the most popular gate to speak of, it is our necessary "facts of life" checkpoint.

We come into the presence of God with praise, worship, prayer, and the word of God. All of these forms of worship are revitalizing. We approach, set free in our hearts by the works of Christ, and by that which is fulfilled in His glo-rified body. Yet, we still live in a physical body and battle for our material needs, even as the darkness infringes upon all. There are many Christians sequestered in communes hidden in forests, deserts, and on mountains where they dig holes storing food, guns and supplies. This fearful behavior is not truth. The truth is we live in this world amidst its fears being designed to come before God in worship. We are not given a spirit of fear causing us to be fretful about getting dirty or simply being human. However, we are given the ability, to confidently come before God in His abundant provision.

Truth— when we put on the armor of God we put on His truth. Truth is worn about our loins. Truth concerns the Dung Gate and perceiving there are two parts of us that we should be mindful of. We have the ability to reproduce in kind and we have the ability to let go of that, which is of no good use. That is why we cover ourselves with truth. Truth about our sins is a private issue between God and each individual. Yes, the Bible instructs us to confess our faults one to another, and this is the result of a healthy faithful lifestyle. More often though we don’t for fear of being misunderstood. What if no one understands what we’re walking through or what if they are offended by our confession making us feel ashamed and embarrassed? We come into the presence of God with confidence not shame, because we know our Heavenly Father gave us specific provision allowing us entry without the fear of fouling up heaven. God provided us a way so that we won’t bring down the church and all of our relationships at home and work.

There is not a different truth for everyone, there is one truth. It is the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ and the relationship we have with Him. We must put the truth on and step into the presence of God. It is because of God’s purpose for the Dung Gate and who Christ Jesus is in us that causes us not to fail. Find the Dung Gate; don’t try to divert to the fish gate because it is more widely accepted and more commendable to others. "Well God if I do more fishing and talk more about the Sheep Gate no one will notice…" Sorry no fluff here, everybody will notice because we become transparent and there is no way of hiding it. Believers have to recognize how important it is to come before God with a pure heart. What is done here on earth is dirty and impure. We come before our God honestly and humbly, by faith alone. Whatever is done without faith is already sin. We all need a Dung Gate. Who lives by faith 24 hours a day? If we say we have no sin God says we deceive our own self. Our body doesn’t even work that way! Truth, reality checks. It’s our flesh. God provided this particular gate for us to use so that we would never be ashamed or stink up heaven with our rubbish. Faith is the great eliminator of failure, fear, and fault.

We privately go before God touched by the curses of this earth to have our lives purged. We must come before the Great I AM with our hearts and lives free from anxiety, fear, and shame. We can then stand before Him relaxed, refreshed, ready to receive the good gifts of our Father. God’s instructions and provision for how to live a prosperous, healthy, and victorious life here today is very simple. In Christ Jesus, life is much more abundant.

Is God ashamed of us? No.
Did God design our body? Yes.
Did God make a mistake when creating our body to have the needs we have? No.
Does God’s word speak of something better? Of course it does.

The Bible speaks of a gateway that is in heaven. A place where we have been given the privilege to cross the threshold of Purity and Holiness into the Father’s presence. God is not worried about what is going to happen to us, for He has provided a place to eliminate the excess baggage that corrupts our lives.

If we eat all garbage physically, mentally, or spiritually our lives are what we eat. If we eat nothing at all our lives are empty and weak. If however, we take in and digest healthy, nutritional foods, and truth it will replace the garbage, and the benefits are much better in that we obtain a victorious life. If we don’t know that God has provided a doorway for us to purge the trash we take in, or we become too high minded to use it, we walk around aimlessly in the wastelands. God has given us a way of escape. Escape from our fear, failure, and faults in that He has made a gateway not for entering in by but for the garbage to go out of.

The distractions of this world’s needs keep us from growing and receiving the fullness of Gods blessings and miracles for our lives. In finding that doorway and using it we find that we have a God that gives us relief; He is the God that cares for us and knows exactly what we need. When we are double minded we render ourselves unable to receive from God, and our lives can only survive by the things of this world, which make us unstable in all our ways. Humbling ourselves before God, we can admit the truth. We need our Savior.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Cleansing the flesh is a continual process because the flesh is unholy. If we try to perfect our flesh, fix it up trying and make it acceptable we end up fighting God because He cursed our flesh. He said everything that is born of the dust of this earth is going to create thistles and thorns. I don’t know about your flesh but my flesh is made of the dust of this earth, and I can try to make it holy but it’s going to keep producing thistles and thorns. You just can’t fight God, but you must find His provision.

By faith we use the Dung Gate cleansing ourselves, and by faith stand before God without a consciousness of sin. In our text I understand filthiness of flesh, but I wondered about the spirit. In searching the scriptures I found spirit here means "an accumulated force" not a foul demon spirit. We could read as follows: "Cleansing ourselves of all the filthiness of our flesh by an accumulated force of the Spirit." When we come into the presence of God there is a miracle working power that manifests in our life. There is a doorway of revelation opened to us when coming before the Spirit of God that literally purges our sin. Every time we come before God there is a power of the Spirit that is added to us. The more we stay in the presence of God the more of this accumulated force of the Spirit is added to us. Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness. In other words, it’s not going to happen auto-matically, we have to let it happen by faith. When we get before the Lord, we have to let Him cleanse us of all filthiness of flesh it comes by an accu-mulated force of the spirit per-fecting holiness in us. It’s not us that does it. It is a miracle from God, all we have to do is let God be God, and get in His presence and the force of His spirit automatically causes us to be holy. We are not to let the flesh get in the way of our relationship with God.

The liberty of Grace we walk in is not about maintaining perfection but humbly letting go by faith. It is not about us, or our great works of will power. It’s about faith, it’s about Jesus. Know that what is in heaven is not dirty or impure. He is the Great I AM.

Instead of running to God when pressed from all sides with troubles, we run from Him. Our guilt, shame, and fear keep us from receiving His grace. Feel-ing defeated we wonder how God could ac-cept us, for we are deceived and imprisoned in our guilt. There is no place else to go with the sin in our life except to God, for all we get going to the world is rejected and thrown away. The world doesn’t care about our circumstances and certainly can’t purify us. God alone has granted us this wonderful doorway of revelation for us to enter spotlessly, through the washing of His word. God doesn’t reject us when we come running to Him; He receives us with open arms, confident in His ability to keep us.

There is nothing in this world more important then the anointing of God that breaks every yoke of bondage. As the anointing flows and the accumulated force of His Spirit begins to work in our lives we are relieved of our anxieties and adversity. In the Lords presence is His peace that satisfies. In His presence and empowered by His Spirit, we don’t ever have to ever be ashamed again.

2 Timothy 2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20 But in a great house these are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Gods house will never fall, the purpose and plan He has for His people will never be defeated or lost. The foundation of God stands sure. The Lord knows those that are His, for everyone that nameth the name of Jesus Christ departs from iniquity, being systematically purged by the accumulated power of the Spirit. Call on the Lord not in arrogance thinking we’re better than others are, but in humbleness realizing in His presence, we stand on a sure foundation where we can be purged of all uncleanness. If we are afraid of loosing something from our life, or filled with guilt and fear we will never enter in. Staying on the outside disqualifies us from these necessary cleansing.

Reality check— iniquity aboundeth and one day everyone will stand before God, for everyone is accountable for themselves. There are no excuses. If we don’t allow ourselves to go through the purging process God designed for us gangrene sets in at the very center of our being and begins to destroy; not us alone, but everyone and everything around us. Let us, let God. Believers know there is a purging of fire that is continually perfecting those He loves. Wood, hay and stubble, or gold, silver, and precious stone— every work is tested by that fire. Purging is a natural process that God designed, it’s not about pain, misery, or self-sacrifice but relates to relief. Peace, joy, and the love of God, found in His presence, purges us of our personal and selfish interests. Youth and the foolish impertinence of youth places no regard in the eternal issues of God. I could be 90 years old and still believe my life revolves around me. Foolishly we could believe we have some kind of purpose in this world other than Jesus Christ. Flee those youthful lusts and seek after righteousness. We seek God so we may find Him, and His power with a pure heart.

A pure heart is honest; it’s a faithful heart that stands before God purged by His Spirit, and set free. How can we serve God if we’re in guilt and fear all the time? How can we believe for a miracle when we are in fear instead of faith? How can we pray for someone who is battling awful things in their life if we’re not sure our life in Christ is working? If we never find this revealed truth or the liberty we have in using it, our physical and spiritual system will be on overload instead of tasting the victory of being set free. We can stand as an undefeated workman of God allowing His infrastructure of power to finish what it started in us.

The Dung Gate is real and many are not aware of this door therefore standing in their own merit only to fail becoming ashamed before God, the church, friends, and family. Don’t get confused or high minded it’s a Dung Gate, and it is not God who has the problem. He designed the door for us to use so that we will never have to be ashamed again.

According to Nehemiah 3:14; He built it; one verse— one man. A ruler built the Dung Gate. It doesn’t matter if we’re rich, poor, famous or not. It doesn’t matter if we are powerful or not, everyone of us has to go before that gate, and do what that gate demands of us. There is no one that enters before God’s throne without receiving this automatic release. We don’t come into this place worried about purging for it is not a shameful thing to us— it’s natural.

We have a liberty here, for there is an equalizing power of the Spirit of God that makes us all the same allowing us to stand shoulder to shoulder— rich man, poor man, powerful or weak, with no distinction of color, or creed. It doesn’t matter what station the world has given us in Christ we are all the same. There is no one less significant and less worthy in the kingdom of God. I don’t care if your fifty years old or five years old when we come into the presence we are equal in the sight of God through His Spirit that sets us free. There is a liberty in His presence all we have to do is by faith come before the Father. The only way to receive the Spirit, and power of life is when Gods miracle working power purges us. If God doesn’t purge us we are not purged. He said He knows those who belong to Him.

How does He know?

Believers are the only ones that can stand by the gift of faith with a pure heart ready to be purged. The purging of iniquity is not something to be afraid of, or ashamed of, gritting our teeth, bearing it. Eliminating is a natural process God created for us. We know in the Fathers presence there is great freedom and passion. Great lives are thus manifested in service to God. The Spirit of God is peaceable, loving, kind, and good so the purging is really a most pleasant and the satisfying part of our relationship. Without faith we’ll never run to God, we’ll never find that place in the Spirit, or this relationship with God. It’s a doorway to God’s presence, not a doorway of entrance but one to set us free, driving out all that hinders our relationship in Christ. We have the privilege to come before God and be accepted simply because allow God to take care of the problem.

Let us, Let God!

We have had such a tremedous response to this series that we want to let you know it is a 12 part series and will take some time to get it all into print. However, it is available on audio cassette tape for $70.00. Call us today!


--To the Front of the Bus--

Could the spontaneous prayer at a Maryland graduation ceremony spark a new civil-rights revolution? By Cal Thomas

Something quite remarkable happened last week at a high school graduation in Calvert County, Md. It wasn’t that the American Civil Liberties Union had intervened on behalf of a lone student who said he would be offended if a fellow graduate went ahead with her plans to deliver an invocation at commencement.

The religious version of "ethnic cleansing" happens all the time, from the courthouse to the schoolhouse. Seventeen-year-old Julie Schenk, who wanted to deliver the invocation, compromised and announced that she would instead call for a "time for reflection" that did not mention God.

That seemed fine with everybody, including the ACLU. But when Miss Schenk asked for 30 seconds of silence and the crowd of 4,000 rose, a single loud male voice began reciting the Lord’s Prayer, which begins, "Our Father, who art in heaven." The prayer was quickly picked up by others in the audience until it rolled like thunder across the room.

The student who had protested the offering of an audible prayer, 18-year-old Nick Becker, walked out.

When he tried to reenter to receive his diploma, he was barred by authorities under a school policy that forbids students from returning to an assembly once they have left.

Mr. Becker has been described as having an independent streak. Last year he was forced to wash his hair when he came to school with it in spikes resembling the Statue of Liberty, and he had also refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and was about to be disciplined when the ACLU intervened.

He was put in a patrol car until commencement ended. Mr. Becker was also barred from a post-graduation boat cruise that was limited to those who had participated in the ceremony.

What amazes about this incident is that the audience reaction seems to have been spontaneous. Indeed, an ACLU spokesperson appeared frustrated when she noted the corporate prayer wasn’t initiated by graduates or school officials. Nor did the prayer specifically mention "God," only "Our Father," so technically it might be said to have been in compliance. Perhaps this is the "virtue" empire striking back at the ravenously and increasingly secularized culture that seems powerless to stem the tide of violence and corruption among us. For decades we have been told that the price we all must pay for a healthy First Amendment is the toleration of the most disgusting filth oozing through every pore of our society and culture.

Creeps, louts, pornographers, blasphemers, alternative lifestylers, fornicators, adulterers, liars, slanderers, and others enjoy the full protection of the law. But those who believe in God and order their lives accordingly, and who wish to participate in the pluralism and diversity that they hear so much about (but which never seems to apply to them) are increasingly losing their rights to be heard in the same public places occupied by those dedicated to tearing down, not building up, society.

What these Maryland parents and friends of graduates discovered was a power they had forgotten they had. Frustrated by the aimlessness of Washington and its inability to do anything except focus on the self-preservation and survival of the politically unfit, the audience at the Calvert County graduation decided to practice what "We the people" actually means. As their forebears did with immoral and tyrannical British rule, they stood up and spoke out for, and to, an Authority higher than the state. When those Marylanders were told they had no right to speak of God publicly, they chose to speak to God.

When Rosa Parks decided she would not obey an immoral law that required her to sit at the back of the bus because her skin color was not white, she inspired the civil-rights movement.

Those prayer protesters are the Rosa Parkses of the secularist ’90s. When the people speak, there’s nothing the ACLU or anyone else can do about it.

- 1999, Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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Published by Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Distributed by Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Unless otherwise indicated all Scripture quotations are from the Authorized / King James Version (KJV)  No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission except for brief quotation in books and critical reviews. For information write Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Inc.--198 Burnett St.--Yorkville, IL 60560--708/223-0070

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