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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nehemiah Part 13

Nehemiah Part 13
East Gate

          The Fountain Gate, Water Gate, Horse Gate, Inspection Gate and the East Gate all face the Mount of Olives. The East Gate is also called the Golden Gate. Jesus passed through this Gate many times as He walked the earth. Nehemiah 3:29 says that Shemaiah, son of Shecaniah, who was the guard of the East Gate, repaired a portion of the wall near the East Gate. This Gate did not need repair but the wall near it did. Shemaiah means “heard by Jehovah.” He was a prophet from the tribe of Judah. The name of his father is Shecaniah which means “dweller with Jehovah.” Zadok which means “righteous” worked next to Shemaiah. Zadok was a priest who descended from Aaron the first high priest. The son of the father who dwelt with God and is the righteous prophet and high priest who is heard by God guards the East Gate. This is a picture of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, righteous High Priest and Prophet and the Son of the Father who dwells with God. Jesus will open this gate so all who believe in Him can enter into God's holy city –the New Jerusalem.
God showed the prophet Ezekiel that this gate is shut and only the Prince can open it. 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. (east is the direction of the rising "sun") 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.” God is giving Ezekiel a vision of what is to come in Jesus Christ. Jesus entered this gate when He was about to be crucified. This Prince will “provide the burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings....at the festivals, the New Moons and the Sabbaths—at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel.” Ezekiel 45:17  This Prince will also provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel. Jesus is the fulfillment of all of these offerings also. Jesus provided these through His sinless shed blood on the cross bringing them to completion and perfection because He is complete and perfect!
Jesus entered this Gate when He was about to be crucified. He became the burnt offering for the atonement of the whole world. He is also the grain offering as the Divine, Sinless Bread of Heaven. He fulfilled the drink offering when He poured out the water and blood of His Body to birth His Bride. He is the sin offering for all and the peace offering that restores us to eternal peace and rest with the Father. Jesus indeed provided these things for all. All of these requirements are alive and fulfilled in Him. Ezekiel's vision was a picture of what Jesus would do once-for-all, eternally and spiritually. The Older Testament burnt offerings, grain offerings, drink offerings, sin offerings and fellowship offerings couldn't give us eternal life. Jesus had to fulfill them so they would live eternally in Him and be fulfilled (brought to completion and perfection). Jesus became these things for us fully and completely. We are made eternal in Him because He is Eternal. The same is true of the Law and the Prophets. They are made eternal in Him because He fulfilled it all. Now we enter the Door of the Holy Temple in heaven through His pure, perfect offering of His body and blood and His resurrected life.
The East Gate is shut today. The Jews, based on Ezekiel's vision, believe that the Messiah will enter into the city of Jerusalem through this Gate. The Muslims shut it because they want to stop the Messiah from coming and entering in. No one will stop the Lord of glory Jesus.
This Gate has double-doors. It is the two testaments of the written Word that reveal the Living Word – Jesus. God gave us a double-portion of Truth to reveal His Son to us. He also gave us the double-portion of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to teach us and reveal His Son Jesus, and to empower us to walk in His ways to the glory of His Name. No one will be able to shut Jesus out when He comes again. “What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open.” Revelation 3:7 Jesus said in John 10:7, “I tell you the Truth, I am the Door for the sheep.” Jesus because He is God does not lie. He is the Door through which all must go to enter the heavenly temple of God. Jesus opened the door by His shed blood on the cross that fulfilled all of the other offerings in scripture. Jesus told the church of brotherly love (Philadelphia )see I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.” Rev. 3:7 The East Gate into earthly Jerusalem is shut today, but Jesus will open it when He comes as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the Prince of Peace that God showed Ezekiel in a vision. No one will open that door except King Jesus.
The East Gate faces the Mount of Olives. Jesus left to return to His Heavenly Father from the Mount of Olives. He will return there when He comes again to establish His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. The first is last and the last is first! Jesus stood on the Mount of Olives as He spoke to His disciples of the signs of His second coming . (see Matthew 24 and Mark 13:3-4). Jesus also went to the Mount of Olives right after He ate the Lord's Supper with His chosen twelve. There He agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane over what He was about to endure to save the world. When He descended down the hill of Mount Olives on the road toward the Holy City and Temple, the whole crowd of disciples began to joyfully praise God for the miracles they had seen. (see Luke 19:37) When Jesus saw the City of Jerusalem, “He wept over it.” His heart was saddened because He knew some would reject and kill Him. He also knew that the Temple and Holy City would be brought to ruins once again, just as it was in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah because God's people were disobedient to His Word and rejected the very one God sent to pay the price of the penalty for disobedience of the Law and save them. This is the heart of God for disobedient children and the lost.
God gave the prophet Zechariah a vision regarding the Mount of Olives. (see Zechariah 14:4-5) God was showing Zechariah what was to come far into the future! When Jesus comes on His white horse dressed in His white robe (righteousness) with His army dressed in white robes (righteous), He will come in great glory and power not as a mere Man but as the Lord of glory. His feet will touch down on the Mount of Olives and it will split leaving a great chasm and valley west to east toward the City of Jerusalem. No mere Man would have the power to do this! Jesus will create a great chasm between the north and south that no one can cross except through the valley that leads east to God's dwelling place (Jerusalem). This valley will extend to Azal which is near Jerusalem. Azal means “reserved.” This valley leads to the East Gate in the wall around Jerusalem which is reserved for the Prince of peace, Jesus. Jesus and all with Him will enter through this gate into the city of God's dwelling place and temple. The vision given Zechariah goes on to say in 14:8, 9, “On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and winter. The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and His name the only name.” Living, spiritual life-giving water will flow from the city of Jerusalem to the east and the west. Jesus sent forth the living water of the Holy Spirit after shedding His blood and ascending to the Father in glory. When He comes again in glory and as King of all kings and Lord of all lords, He will send forth the living water of His Holy Spirit and Word to breathe spiritual life into all who come to Him as far as the east is from the west. Summer and winter are seasons when water is sparse. There will be no scarcity of this living water at this time. Jesus who is the Living Pure Truth and full of the Holy Spirit will send forth His Anointed Word that will give spiritual life to all who see and hear it.
Zechariah 14:16: The survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. The fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles is in Jesus. He is the tabernacle of God who is with man. All—both Jew and Gentile—will go “up” continually to worship King Jesus, the Eternal Tabernacle of God. We will celebrate with Jesus forever rejoicing in who He is and what He has done for us.
Jesus warned His disciples of the signs of His coming again. Matthew 24:30: At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. The people of the earth will mourn their decision to reject Jesus. Another separation will take place. Jesus will gather His own to Himself from one end of the heavens to the other. In the meantime, Jesus is using the trumpet of His Holy Word and the wind of His Holy Spirit to call people from every nation, tribe and tongue to Him—the only way to eternal life in the Heavenly New Jerusalem. The Door to this place is open to all, but one day it will be shut just as God closed the door behind Noah when he and his family were safe in the Ark of God's salvation. Noah didn't know the day or hour of God's judgment, but he was prepared. He had built the Ark of salvation and safety from God's judgment according to God's Word and gathered His family and two of all living things into it. The Bible says that Noah was a righteous man. Genesis 6:9 He was not a nominal believer. He walked with God in obedience to His Word.
Before celebrating the passover meal that became the Lord's Supper with His chosen twelve, Jesus was approaching Jerusalem. He came to a village on the Mount of Olives named Bethphage. Bethphage means “house of unripe figs.” He sent two of His disciples to the village ahead of them and told them they would find a donkey there with her colt beside her tied to a tree. (Matthew 21:1-2) A donkey according to the Law is an unclean animal that must be redeemed by a lamb. (Exodus 34:20) Jesus instructs His disciples to “untie them (both the young and the old) and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” vv3-4 Jesus wants us to go out two by two in agreement and set free the bound by bringing them to Him. Jesus will set these free from the sin that binds them and then use them to carry out His Kingdom purpose. He has need of them. They will become co-laborers with Him in carrying out His Kingdom work.
As there were twelve gates mentioned in Nehemiah, there are twelve gates in the New Jerusalem in heaven with each having one of the twelve tribes of Israel written above them. The names of Jacob's sons have the message of Jesus in the Hebrew meaning of their names.
Reuben "Behold a Son"
Simeon "God hears"
Levi "joined"
Judah "praise"
Dan "vindicate"
Naphtali "overcomer"
Gad "blessings"
Asher "joy"
Issachar "reward"
Zebulun "dwelling together"
Joseph "fruitful one"
Benjamin "son of the right hand"

To paraphrase hidden message of Jesus in these names:

"Behold a Son who hears God and is joined to Him as One. We will praise Him and He will judge and vindicate us and make us a mighty army of overcomers who will be blessed and full of joy. We will be His reward, dwell together in unity and bear much fruit for the Son of the Right Hand -- Jesus. He is our exceedingly great reward and His joy will be our strength.

            Take note that the meaning of the names of the twelve tribes of Israel begin with a Son and end with the Son of the Right Hand. Jesus came to earth as the Son of God and returned to God as the Son of His right hand. It all begins and ends with Jesus. No one can enter into the heavenly Jerusalem except through the Body of Christ and His shed, sinless blood. He is the Pearl of Great Price who will roll the stone away so all can enter in freely.

I pray that the Body of Christ will be prepared like righteous, faithful Noah. Noah preached righteousness. I pray that the spiritual life-giving Anointed Word spoken through the mouths of Christ's faithful followers will bring others into the True Ark of Salvation--Jesus. Jesus said that before the flood, people were carrying on with everyday life. Even though Noah warned the wicked, they ignored him. They became the victims of the flood. Instead of life, death and destruction overcame them. I pray that the Body of Christ will be like Noah and be bold and courageous in speaking to the lost and spiritually dying about Jesus and His eternal salvation. I pray that our actions, words and deeds will reflect His love, grace, mercy and truth so they won't be victims but instead will be drawn to the Jesus in us and be safe and saved and resting in the everlasting arms of our Heavenly Father. Amen and Amen.

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