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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Nehemiah and the wall and gates Part 4

Nehemiah Part 4

Rebuilding the Wall and Gates

           The wall around the city of Jerusalem will keep the wrong people out (enemies of God's people) and the right people in (God's people). Every faithful worker did his part in completing the wall of protection and repairing its gates. God's people were responsible for repairing the breach of God's city and covenant. Not everyone liked the rubbish being removed at the time of Nehemiah and Ezra. There was opposition from those who were in power—Sanballat, Geshem and Tobiah.
Keep in mind that the “natural” speaks in the “spiritual,” so this wall represents Jesus and the Anointed Word of God in the spiritual. First the rubble must be removed so the wall can be built on a firm foundation. Building a wall on rubble would make it unstable! The same is true in our spiritual walk with Jesus. We must allow the Godhead to remove the rubble in our lives and make Jesus our firm foundation. The Word of God who is Jesus is our wall of protection. King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 25:28 that a man who has no control over his spirit is like a city broken into and without walls. The prophet Isaiah said in 26:1-2, “He sets walls for security. Open the gates that the righteous might enter, the one that remains faithful.” The wall was for the security of God's people just as the Word is our boundary that keeps us from falling for the enemy's traps that would bring His Church to ruins. The gates were the entrance into God's dwelling place and city. It is my hope that I can show you the spiritual journey to a deeper walk with Jesus through these gates.
I spoke last week on the Sheep Gate which is the first gate mentioned and repaired and the last gate dedicated. The gates go full circle just as Jesus and the Word go full circle. The end is in the beginning.  Jesus is the Sheep Gate. He said in John 10:7, “I am the gate/door of the sheep.” Jesus is also the first and last – the beginning point and the finishing point. He is the full circle of the Word of God.
After the Sheep Gate is repaired by the High Priest and priest, the next gate to be repaired is the Fish Gate. 

Fish Gate

           After entering through the Sheep Gate on our spiritual journey, we come to the Fish Gate. We must be covered by the blood of the sacrificed Lamb and cleansed at the Sheep Gate. The Fish Gate is the closest gate to the fish market. Fishermen from Galilee and the Jordan River brought their fish through this gate to be marketed. Jesus called fishermen to “Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Mt. 4:19-20 Jesus will use their “natural” ability supernaturally. Instead of fish, Jesus will teach them how to catch people into His Kingdom. In other words, all believers are evangelists. They are to tell others about Jesus and bring them to Him like the early disciples and Samaritan woman at the well did. Both Jews and Gentiles worked together to repair the Fish Gate. Some Tekoites (Gentiles) worked with the Jews to repair this gate, but some of the nobles of the Tekoites wouldn't work. (see Nehemiah 3:5) These leaders of the Gentiles didn't want their power threatened.
Jesus' first and last instruction to His disciples was to bring others to Him for eternal life. First Jesus said “Come, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men” His last directive to His disciples was to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Mt. 28:19-20  We must first “come” to Jesus and let Him teach us and then we can “go” and make disciples (students). A disciple during the time of Jesus would attach to a teacher (rabbi) to learn from him not only through his teachings but also his life example. The disciples would leave their home, business and family to learn and identify with their teacher. They left all to follow him. It was an honor to be chosen to follow a Rabbi. Consider how much greater is the honor of following the Son of God. J esus wants His character and Kingdom to expand throughout the earth now that He paid the price for the sin of the world and poured out the Holy Spirit power. Jesus wants us to attach to Him and learn of Him through His Word and His example.
When Jesus walked the earth the first time, He was only in the small territory of Israel and its surrounding land, but after His death, resurrection, ascension and outpouring of the Holy Spirit, “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for ALL peoples; the nations will rally to Him, and His place of rest will be glorious.” Isaiah 11:9-10  God did not want to confine His grace and truth through His Son Jesus to just Israel. It was always His plan to include the whole world. Jesus came through the Jews to fulfill scripture but now His territory is expanded to the heavens and the whole earth. 
All of the repairers and restorers of the various gates and portion of the wall worked side by side whether Jew or Gentile to bring the task to completion.

·         The Sheep Gate was repaired by the High Priest and the priests. At the Sheep Gate the blood of the lamb has been shed and we are called to the Shepherd as His sheep. Jesus our Great High Priest and His fivefold ministry will build His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. 

·         The Fish Gate was repaired by Jewish brothers and sons as well as some gentiles. At the Fish Gate, believers are caught like fish from all nations! All followers of Christ are brothers, sons and daughters, whether Jew or Gentile. Jesus broke down the wall of partition and made us one wall of protection around His temple in the hearts of those who love and follow Him.

Jesus came to earth to save, restore and rebuild us just as Ezra, the High Priest and teacher of the Word, and Nehemiah, the cup-bearer and ruler, did. Jesus is our Great High Priest, the Word of God and Teacher from beginning to end. (Ezra) Jesus drank the cup of suffering for all so all who believe in Him can come before the presence of God. He is ruler over all of God's people who have accepted His finished work on the cross. (Nehemiah) With Jesus leading, teaching and guiding us, we will save, repair and restore all that is damaged and in ruins.
            Jesus was revealed first in the New Testament as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”  Then He told His first followers to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men.  This is the fulfillment of the Sheep Gate and the Fish Gate. 

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