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April 99

The Gates of the City

Pastor John Doonan

The Fish Gate #3

This series is about the 12 gates to the city of God. It is important to have an understanding of each entryway we go through as we come into God’s presence. Last month we spoke of the sheep gate and about how we, by faith, build things on this earth. Everything we touch in this earth is already cursed and the only thing that causes anything we do to be pure is when it’s done by faith. At the same time, as we build in this earth, placing one stone upon another, the heavenly stones are unlike those we deal with on this earth. The Spirit of God has purified, cleansed, and sanctified them. As we build a house here on earth, we are building a house in heaven. As we build a place of worship here in earth, we are building a place of worship in Heaven. We know that while here on earth, everything we do in faith is building a heavenly city where the walls are pure; so pure you can see through them. We know this by faith even though the things we build on earth are made with corrupted materials and seem rather insignificant compared to the power of God. What we build in heaven is so wonderful, pure and so perfect in its holiness that nothing can defile or take away from its perfect purpose in Christ. In that city is our eternal reward, the measure of our work in this earth. It is Christ who prepares a place for us, using His body to place each stone in place. Only He in His wisdom can direct His body (us) to place each stone where it needs to be. For He alone can see what we cannot see, and perfect what we do in faith. One day we will see this great heavenly city come down to the earth and it will be made known to all men what each of us has built.

For this reason, we put our hands to the task of building that which is before us, without being faint-hearted. We do it in faith because we know that as long as we are dealing with the things of this world, we are judged in those things in their corruptible form. As we deal with powers or authorities, we are judged by our endeavors. As everything we touch in this world is already dirtied, whether money, authority, or possession, yet there is an agent, only one, that purifies what we do. This is when we take hold of the holiness, which comes through pureness of faith as we are building in the Lord, as unto the Lord, and in truth. It requires faith to build.

It is important to understand as we begin to study another gate, that man is separated from God by a wall God has made. Yet, it is also God who has made a way for us to enter in, not just one way, but twelve.

Let’s discuss administration, the administration of the Body of Christ. As humans, we know we are weak and frail in our ability, but God has placed us in this earth as the Body of Christ. If Jesus is the door, the entrance to the city, than we also are that door. As humbling as the things are we deal with on this earth, we do so by faith believing in the treasure we’re building in heaven.

It begins with the ability to truly look at yourself, humbling yourself, and to know that you really have nothing to offer but the Word of God. You come to the point where you realize that you have no great talents or abilities yet God has called you to build this treasure. It is important and very liberating to know that it’s not about some people who do greater things than other people. It takes the same faith for one person to do a small thing as another person to do a great thing. It’s not about what we decide we are going to do for God but rather what he has chosen for us to do. The same thing it takes for a great evangelist to reach a million people is the same faith it takes for a little old lady to set aside her life and pray in her prayer closet for that evangelist.

It is significant to remember that as we build before the Lord and fulfill His call in our lives, that it takes only one person to believe and build by faith, to make the doorway a reality. It becomes the way that people are allowed to enter in. Therefore, God uses us, in our weakness and frailty, through obedience because we believe in something greater than what we can see we do with our hands. We believe in a vision, a power and in what God has prescribed for us in His Word. God will put to good use anyone who uses faith. Our faith becomes the doorway and the authority that allows ourselves, and others, to enter in.

Nehemiah 3:3 But the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate, who laid its beams and set up its doors, its locks, and its bars.

As we come to the fish gate we realize it is distinctly different from the sheep gate and has a different purpose. Dis-tinctly different but nonetheless Christ. Thus, it is an added facet of Christ, glim-mering with the revelation of His person.

It was the people of Jericho, the cursed, fallen city who worked on this gate. In their labors, they worked next to the priests but on the fish gate. These men were allowed to work on the gate through no merit or achievement of their own, but simply because God can use anybody who turns to the Lord and puts their hands to the work before them. Notice that the noble had no part of working on this gate. They seemed "too good" for the work that needed to be done. Yet the humble men who were cursed and really a "no people" at all were separated by God and found a place where they could be accepted. God readily accepted them for completing their work at the Fish Gate.

Matthew 4:17, 18 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent! For the kingdom of Heaven is at hand. And walking by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea. For they were fishermen.

Lets look at what Jesus has to say about the Fish Gate. Another way of access into the city, another doorway, another glorious gem of great price is found.

Within the administration God has given us as believers is found the ability to draw people to the truth and to the reality of the heavenly city. We know that when we come to the city we are as those who have been, and know what it is to be fallen. We are those that were lost and cast into the sea somewhere even as the fish are, and needed to be gathered into one place through the ministry of others who understand and operate in their purpose as the fish gate.

We stand at this gate before the world by the authority of the great commission. Jesus said, "I will make you fishers of men". Jesus was the greatest fisherman of all time and as His body, we continue to fulfill His purpose on the earth today, until He returns. As we work in faith before the Lord we realize that we are ministering to a world that is being gathered in a great net of salvation. There is a great catch awaiting the net of the Gospel to be cast out.

So, as workers, we come before the Lord not because we’re great, wonderful, especially gifted, or talented but because we know how to fish. Fishing isn’t really hard, is it? It’s pretty simple. Now, I can get confused about running a church or anything else that is complicated in this world, because I’m easily confused. Yet fishing isn’t very complicated at all. You in essence throw the net out and draw it back in. It’s not up to you to make anything happen in the net. If you continue to do this, somehow it just works. I don’t know who designed the nets or how they are supposed to work, but they do. We simply cast our nets out and draw them back in as unto the Lord. If we do it in hope and love, something has to happen. In fact, it becomes a doorway we’ve built purified by our faith.

If you look at it from the viewpoint of this earth, it seems kind of crazy. How many people do you know that hand out tracts? It seems nuts, as they stand out on the corner all day and give them away. What are they really accomplishing?

All I know is they’re casting out the net. How many people do you know who are just always talking about the Lord and His salvation that’s manifested in their hearts? To them, it doesn’t matter what you seem to hear, understand, or even what you think about what they say. They simply speak of Him because it is part of their being. What you do by faith is not your ability to get people saved or your knowledge and ability to make it happen. Rather, it is your faith in casting out the net that brings in the great increase. Faith purifies the works we do and creates the doorway to the city people need to enter in by. Now it would be nice if everyone could build on the Front Gate, but some of us have to be at the fish gate. We realize that the things we do in this earth are about simplicity and faithfulness.

It is faith that purifies our works when we share the gospel. People will try to go around to find another way to enter. They see this wonderful, beautiful city with its high wall of holiness and looking for a more dignified entrance they miss the one made for all of us who were cast into a sea of sin and loss.

For this reason, we faithfully cast out the net at the fish gate. God has given us the capability to cast the net out. Every time we do it we place one stone upon another, we set the beams, and we set the poles and bars so this doorway becomes a reality. It doesn’t seem like much in this earth, but when measured by the things of God, it is a great door, offering great peace, to those who enter by this gateway. It is Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "I will make you fishers of men." It’s something God makes each of us. As we cast out the net, we are making an eternal difference and fulfilling an eternal revelation of salvation to all who come humbly by and through faith.

The thing that gives power to those that are around you when you speak the gospel out of your mouth is your faith. Anybody can spout words or talk philosophy. Anybody can talk about interesting things and many of them to the world are much more interesting than talking about the gospel. You are working in faith when you speak of the cross of Christ and of the forgiveness that comes from repentance. You are in faith when you come before the world as one that has been gathered and called by God to be a fisher of men. You simply believe in who you are and what you are doing and you’re not concerned with whether or not the fish complain. If you’ve caught 500 fish and one of them is complaining should you, reject them? NO. What does a fish know?

You work and move by faith building a heavenly structure, something you don’t see or fully understand today, yet you know in no way, will you ever lose your reward as you do it by faith.

You see the world can’t see the heavenly city. They can’t see the great pearl door you crack open nor the glory of the Lord inside. Yet every time we throw the net out, we speak His name or we share the very essence of our being, Jesus Christ. We know the door has opened. They may not see it, but they may sense we see it and that we hear it. They sense the presence upon us as we become the great pearl, the great doorway, and the way for them to enter the city. I have seen people witness badly. Nevertheless, I would rather they witness with a pure heart and do it badly then not witness at all. I want to hear the Lord say that my name is written on the doorpost of the Fish Gate. That every stone I placed on the gate is established as a reality in heaven. Those who do this work believe that this doorway is a place of the most meritorious reward and richness in the world. An investment into the evangelical work of ministry has the highest return available on your investment. Though the natural eye sees fish, the faithful eye sees great men and women of God coming into the kingdom of God. Do the work by faith.


He is Risen

Rev. Dianne Doonan

Tis Easter morn’...the Breaking of the dawn
Has caused the earth
And all its fullness to
Sing a symphony of praise....

The Creator of the universe Has become one, once again With the Truth of the Word,
His Son, Jesus.

The reason for life and of it’s Beginning has completed
Its task....
The battle has been won
The enemy defeated.

The angelic being who once
Was called Morning Star laughed as they crucified
The King of Glory
In his ignorance and folly...
“It is finished.”

Jesus the man,
Born of a virgin
Conceived of the Spirit, Became flesh to put an end
To sin and death.

As His life’s blood flowed
Innocently on the ground,
The purity of His being
Took on the filth and desecration of sin itself.

He who knew no sin....
Became sin, that we may
Be made the righteousness
Of God in Christ.

His soul being one,
Always full of
The goodness of I Am
Became a tortured mind.

Suffering the hurt,
The pain and every Conceivable emotion
That sin and death produce.

 

His Spirit separated,
Death touching
Something Eternal
It had never known before.

He withstood it all for
Three days,
The curse in a place designed to contain
The sin of men
And the evil ones
Who had fallen.

He went there to
Forever keep sin
In a place that can
Never be escaped.

Suddenly on that day of
First fruits, the Spirit of God,
Father of All, sees that
The atonement is complete.

Sin has been paid for,
Our Redemption
Draweth nigh.

A shout from heaven,
Splits the earth,
As it quakes with the
Voice of the Almighty God.
“Let Him Go!”

The chains break, the soul
Of our Savior agrees with
What He trusted and knew
His Father would do
“I am free!”

Physically now inside of
A man lives the fullness
Of the Godhead bodily.
The grave cannot contain
His greatness and Life
“He is born again.”

The stone rolls away,
He steps out in glory,
All of God in one man
Jesus Christ, King of the
Earth, Redeemer, Lord of all.

The veil was rent in two,
When his death occurred.
Now He takes His Blood and
Offers it on the mercy seat.

He is enthrowned;
Our sin is covered,
He looks to His Father,
The Spirit of Life,
And it is handed the
Scepter of Righteousness.
And is proclaimed God.
“Thy throne, Oh God
is Forever.”

His Spirit remains behind
To dwell in the hearts of men,
To fulfill the Word
And His plan
To beget life again.

Many, who are born,
Come to know
The reason for their design
And becomes a part of the
Body of Christ.

The earth still groans
In the expectation of
The day when He will walk
The earth again.
Now we are here...

Come celebrate His Life
For He has given us a gift
So great, so awesome, that
Only those with faith to believe,
Can receive the
Promise of eternal life.

Let the trees sing out...
Let all creatures declare...
Let the angels resound...
Let all who hath breath proclaim,

“Praise to the Lord of Glory”
“He is risen.”

 

The Eternal Value of Giving Ourselves

Rev Dianne Doonan

In giving of oneself to the Lord, it never ceases to amaze me that we cannot out give God. Considering that He is the life source of all that there is, in His being and the presence of His fellowship, we are able to receive everything we need.

I have found that in this life my contentment comes from the peaceful rest I receive in my quiet times with my Lord. These moments are so precious to me because there I am filled with the ability to walk in the beauty of His love.

As a pastor’s wife, I am questioned many times about how to receive the stability of the Lord in our lives, in a world that is so unstable. These issues are definitely relevant in today’s society. Do I send my child to a Christian or public school? How can I protect my family from outside influences that can harm them? How can I help a husband or a child that is wavering in their faith? Do I spend enough quality time with each member of my family, so they feel uniquely special? In these questions, I hear how do I give more, how can I be more, what difference can I make?

My dear friends in Christ...God sent us to be to this world, a light so bright and totally unhidden that all those around us are amazed at the reflection of who Christ is in us. Every performance of our faith, all the quality of the act of giving ourselves, has an eternal value. Our prayers; intercessory, and those of praise and thanksgiving release the angelic host of the Almighty God to work on behalf of those we love.

Our children are blessed with Godly virtues because they are in the household of Faith. The generational blessing is our gift to them. The world cannot claim them because our loved ones belong to Jesus. Our husbands, households, jobs and its income, our future and in every step we take, we give an abundance of blessing as we walk out in faith that which has been revealed to us in God’s Word.

The Bible says, "Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, shall men give unto your bosom."

Picture this: a measuring cup of say.... brown sugar. You fill it up, but then as you press it down it can be filled up even more. Shake it up and even more can be added, but if you have tried this, you know that the extra abundance causes it to run over. This is a good example of us as receptacles in receiving The Kingdom of God.

Whatever we have, we give and it is given back to us. The tender words we speak, the hope we give in calming any fear that faces our loved ones, has eternal value. Our words are eternal, and as we speak blessings in the name of Jesus, the giving of our lives, all that we are in Christ, has great eternal value and reward.

 

A Word From The Lord

Jesus is the Rock

Luke 6:47 Every one that cometh unto me, and heareth my words, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like:
48 he is like a man building a house, who digged and went deep, and laid a foundation upon the rock: and when a flood arose, the stream brake against that house, and could not shake it: because it had been well builded.
49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that built a house upon the earth without a foundation; against which the stream brake, and straightway it fell in; and the ruin of that house was great. 47 Every one that cometh unto me, and heareth my words, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like:
48 he is like a man building a house, who digged and went deep, and laid a foundation upon the rock: and when a flood arose, the stream brake against that house, and could not shake it: because it had been well builded.
49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that built a house upon the earth without a foundation; against which the stream brake, and straightway it fell in; and the ruin of that house was great.

It takes faith to keep digging through the avalanching sands of this earth; philosophy, science, and the religions of this world… to find the Rock foundation, an unchangeable truth that will truly support your life with stability and safety. The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God and that he is the rewarder of those who diligently search. Make sure your house will stand.

 

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
--708/23-9901

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