Pastor John Doonan
The Sheep Gate #2
As we recall from our last issue God has created a city of refuge filled with the beauty of His holiness. Though the enemies of the cross have mounted a full scale attack causing a great deal of damage, God has called us to rebuild. In our current state of we know we build a wall that is pure and holy and through which we have no right to enter, because of our sin. Thus we build by faith believing that God will make a way. Our loving Father has assigned us the task of rebuilding these gates of the city. Thus through faith we may enter on Gods gracious terms.
Nehemiah 3:1 Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Hananeel.
The Sheep Gate is the entryway in which sheep were lead through to be offered up as sacrifices to the Lord at the brazen altar. This gate was the first and most important door, and the priests were assigned to rebuild this gateway. They had the responsibility of administering the word of God to man and direct the need of man back to God, thus standing in their priestly roll between man and God. Their charge was to offer sacrifices to God so that the sins of men might be forgiven.
The sheep gate is that doorway into the fold that is Jesus Christ. It is the ability to come and walk before the Lord.
Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
The pearl of great price established the way for us to enter in. Because Jesus entered in, we find that all we have to do is follow and in faith know that He will hold us; we wont be left outside alone, unattended, broken, afraid or faithless. We can follow by rising up and walking after Him.
The gateway is simple and complete. Jesus, the Word, was established in this world so we might understand who He is and what he has for our lives. As he fulfills those promises, there is power that is made apparent by that door. The door we look to, and through, is one of truth, and mercy. The sheep gate is the gate where the sacrifice for sin takes place. The truth, when coming into the presence of God, is that we are with sin. The truth is that we have to stop running away from our sin and deal with it. The truth is sin has disabled us and that has caused us to be weak and forced outside the wall. As we come before God, our need for a saviour, our need for a sacrifice becomes more real. To enter through this gate we need to come with a pure heart, and the purest of intentions. If there is no repentance, there is no forgiveness.
Truth comes in many forms. When I stood lost in this world, I tended to make little of my sin because it wasnt very important to me. God wasnt very important, and eternal life didnt mean anything because I only knew the things in my confining, petty world. There seemed to be nothing greater or more valuable then that of this world. But when I came before the Lord and to the Cross of Christ it wasnt about me being dishonest with myself anymore. All the things I had always considered little more than insignificant little problems in my life suddenly loomed into shapeless mountains that I couldnt bear the weight of. It was then I needed a sacrifice and realized the sheep gate was for those who know truth, those who know how to deal with truth, and the reality of who we are.
If we cant humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God there will be no release and no entrance into His presence. We need to fasten our eyes on this city that is pure, holy, and is absolute in its ability to contain itself against the evil that is outside. In order to reach the other side of the doorway into the holy city our sin must be washed away. We must know it is our doubt, fear, sickness, and our sin which causes us to be held back by God.
Many have gone before us with thoughts of: whats the use, or Im not strong enough to rise up in the truth. But, truth depends on mercy. How can we deal with the reality of what we are if there is no way out? So in the world they are deceived in themselves, they go blind to it because they cant deal with something that cant be dealt with.
The reality of our sin doesnt magically disappear, nor does it go away by itself. To enter into truth means we deal with it head on. We come before Jesus not looking for a pat on the back or an everythings going to be alright rather, its His mercy we need. When truth manifests and we come face to face with that wall, with that city, there is a humbling that takes place before God. In order to enter through the gateway and find the hope that is on the other side there must be someone that has gone before us. There must be a way of knowing if we enter through the sheep gate our sin will not completely destroy us. This is why there are many wandering around lost in darkness and fear, because they dont know the truth.. They figure why approach God if well end up in hell? Why bother?
The worlds answer is eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die. Live the best we can in what we have right here. This is so difficult for them as it requires honesty and truth, dealing with the fact of what we really are. Questions must be asked, such as, is that which is in us eternal? Or Is it just a great idea for a while? This gate is one solid pearl, one precious gem. Believers come to realize that door is the way and Jesus made that way, enabling us to walk through because the Lamb went first. He that went first became the shepherd of the flock. This gate is still a sheep gate today but is no longer a gate of sacrifice, for we have a Shepherd that leads us, and fulfills in Himself everything we need to be. There is no need to look upon the sheep gate anymore as fearsome or horrifying. The truth still remains, we can not enter in with our sin as there must be the removal of sins. The one and only way is simply through Jesus. He that entered in and remained alive opened the doorway for His flock, as He will not loose any sheep that belong to Him. Through that doorway we have the ability to come before the purity of God.
It takes true and pure faith to enter the door of sacrifice and not end up dead. The other truth we deal with upon coming to that gate is the truth of the Gospel. The Gospel is true because Jesus first entered in and fulfilled the truth and by faith we receive that truth.
Looking beyond ourselves, what we have built and what we can do intellectually or with our hands here on earth, is nothing in comparison to what is being built in heaven. Were to understand the importance of applying our hands by faith, in the building of the doorway, in terms of the eternal weight of glory, and know that the truth of the gospel is pure, true, whole and complete. It is the beginning of the administration that God has appointed for us to fulfill because He has placed us here on earth at the gateway. He placed those that stand in the roll of a priest on this earth to let people know there is a way to come in. These priest are commissioned to tell the world that there is a Saviour that went before us. All is fulfilled at the doorway. To preach the cross is the power of God. It is an eternally beautiful work of the Spirit. How beautiful are the feet of those that preach the good news. They came down from the mountainside, in truth, before all people of the earth. We can see the beauty that is being established in heaven instead of the works we do with our hands.
The faith to worship at this gateway is what maintains the purity of our hearts, our purpose, and vision. It fulfills the purity of our desire to see it all work together. There is only one Shepherd that can stand before His flock and allow us to come through that doorway. We can stand in this world knowing as we apply our hands to whatever is before us, with a pure motivation, that when we get to the sheep gate there is only one truth. There is only one purity, one power, and one ability given to us, enabling us to walk through. His Gospel is truth. Faith establishes truth and can stand, and is not shaken anymore when we deal with the foolishness of this world.
If we have truly entered in that gateway by faith and have seen the heavenly vision who can tarnish that or take it away? No one! Faith doesnt see, hear, taste, or feel. Faith simply knows! Faith sees with spiritual eyes something thats not made with the hands of man. It takes faith to believe that God works miracles and that they are for us here and now.
It takes faith to say, "I would be healed". If we can be healed simply because we believe then to believe is a truth we desired to understand. If we can believe and be released of all our fears and doubts because the reality of what we believe in, then the things we build with our hands, are well worth the effort. If but one person can look at that doorway weve built with our hands and see the glory that is manifested in the faith that we build with, then it stands; its complete, its finished. We have become the sheep of His flock who enter and go back and forth into worship before God because we understand the completeness of the door and we know that doorway is finished.
Lets look at John 10:1-10 Verily Verily I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have it more abundantly.
Jesus is talking about the sheep gate, the doorway He is. God was speaking in simple terms that could be understood, for it was difficult for Jesus disciples to understand something so wonderful and magnificent. What a wonder to have one voice that everybody could hear and understand. Once we know that voice is spoken in our lives we can follow that voice and never go astray, never wonder about or be discouraged about who we are or what we will be.
The disciples were confused. They didnt know exactly what Jesus was saying. Are we all going to be without confusion doubt and fear. Well not exactly. What He explained was that there are many voices, many people that have come their own way, to do their own thing. These people are thieves and robbers, and come in to steal, to kill, and to destroy. However, the certainty of your ability to know and understand Jesus, is when you find that Jesus is the doorway and your ability to distinguish one who enters the gateway and one who is crawling over the wall.
What is the doorway? What is the ability for man to enter into the purity, the presence, and power of God? Or do we simply go in to commit sacrilege, being temple robbers? Do we go in just to get whatever we want? Are we entering in the doorway established by God or are we climbing over the wall? When we enter in that doorway which God established we hear the voice of our Lord and we never have to be confused again about what course we are on, or the things we apply our hands to in this world. When we find a door, there is a voice that calls because that door was not made by the hands of man but by the hands of God. It is perfect. It is absolute and complete in itself.
Truth makes is easy to see the difference between what is pure and not pure, what is holy and not holy, What is truthful and what is not, and what is thievery and what is a gift of God. When we stand before God we realize the voice we listen to is the voice of Jesus Christ. There is a definite distinction between the voice of Jesus and the worlds voice, for when our Lord speaks, His message is always the same. He says, "I am the door way. Youre to enter in by faith". When you enter through that gate there is truth and life more abundantly because He gave His own life. We try to offer up to God what we build, our lives, and our things, but that is not of the truth. The point is not what we have offered to God, and what we can do. Its not even our duty fulfilled that builds.
We can build when we believe in that doorway and there is nothing left for us to do but enter in so that everybody we know and love will find that doorway too. This is when faith starts to happen. A doorway built without Jesus entry is not possible, but the doorway built with the foundation being Jesus is truly a doorway everyone has access to if they believe by faith. This doorway is more glorious and wonderful then we can imagine. Our labor and efforts are not about us or getting points, but about great rewards. It is about building something for everybody. It is about purity of heart, and purity of faith. It is about knowing when we put our hands to what is before us in this world there is something pure being built in heaven, when done by faith.
As we enter through the doorway, we listen for the voice. If that voice is not there, we step back. As we enter through that door we are entering into the presence of God which speaks of that sacrifice which is finished by faith. If we hear any other voice we are instructed not to listen to it. He says, "My sheep hear my voice". We know when were brought to this gate and that the fulfillment of this gate was fulfilled by the Shepherd. Jesus didnt find another way, or an easier way. He entered by way of the sheep gate. Jesus knew it was necessary for that door to be satisfied because if He had not entered in that doorway, as the perfect sheep, and had not fulfilled the perfect sacrifice that satisfied a perfect God, there would be no doorway at all.
We cannot steal from God. We can not rob or lie to God. We can not come without truth to God nor can we find a way to get into His presence without a door. Jesus says "I am the door". That doorway is about who Jesus is, not who we are. The doorway is about what He has built by the power of His body, His hands. We look to those who build that doorway and on that foundation, we look to those hands and to the faith it takes and know that it is a priestly duty which has been given to those that have been established by God. The priests names are forever recorded in Heaven and so shall ours be as we work upon that doorway, building the way for others to enter in. A heavenly doorway is being built that will forever have our names written across it. It is our entryway and is what we belong to. It is our administration before God. It is our entry into the presence of God and it is our truth and life.
We have been accepted into the presence of God and can enter with confidence that we will not die for we are now a part of the Shepherds flock. We are protected and established by the Shepherd Himself so as we come and go we know the things we do as believers on earth are not just hit and miss. When we come into the presence of God it is not just for us, but also for bringing the presence of God back to people. We are fulfilling the roll of a priest because we have found that door which has been established in Christ that is in us.
The work we do here on earth is not a waste of time, rather it is the beauty that one day our work will be established in heaven and our name will be written on it. We are complete and fulfilled in what God is doing in our lives. When the rewards are handed out and we walk through that doorway our names will be mentioned. Every stone, arch, pillar and beam that is established in that door is crystal, pure and complete in heaven. It is established by the working of our faith. Without faith there is no doorway and no one would know how to get through the door. If we are not used by faith and standing by faith, or if we were never tested, and tried by faith in this world, that doorway would have no meaning because no one would find it.
Faith is the key that unlocks, faith opens the door, and faith establishes what is on earth with that which is in heaven. We are priests of the High Priest who is Lord of Lords. We stand at the gate and unlock it for others to see what is temporal and what is eternal. The way has been made that enables us to deal with the truth of sin, poverty, sickness and the death that is here on earth. We can stand and say there is a greater truth that is fulfilled inside and we can open the doorway by faith, saying, "Come all ye that are weary and heavy laden and Jesus will give you rest."
We understand there is no credit we can take in our own name to what we build with our hands. All glory goes to Jesus in us that forever and eternally wrought in heaven the most beautiful doorway. There is only one voice that is true and that is Jesus Christ. He says if we enter in the sheep gate we will be saved. Unequivocally, absolutely, eternally, without any reason for doubt or fear we believe because Jesus established that doorway, and it is one that we will go through for the rest of our lives. When we do so we feel freedom to walk in and out, and we experience the freedom of our faith that makes certain the vision others will see. We go into the presence of God because the blood of the lamb cleanses us of all unrighteousness and heals our bodies. To be whole is what we all truly desire. Believers reach a point where they say, "Lord, I would be healed."
When our sin is so great and the truth of sin breaks us, it is the truth of the gospel that saves us. One truth does not erase another truth. The truth of heaven and earth is there is something ugly here on earth and there is something wonderful and beautiful in heaven. We listen to the command of the Lord as He says, "Come into my presence" and "Go ye into all the world". We listen to that voice and do whatever it says and realize what we do has, an eternal weight of glory that is established in our faith. The doorway is the eye of faith, the vision that sees through us, it is something different than what the world has to offer. The eye that sees through us, sees honesty, humility and simplicity and is seen through us as our faith builds a door. As we live and walk in this world we need not worry about what others may say or think because we unlock a doorway to truth.
Truth prevails, truth is light and has nothing to do with darkness. Truth does not attach itself to failure or sin. Truth is established because that truth is satisfied in Jesus Christ. As we walk in that truth we realize what has been established in our lives is nothing we could have ever done in our own might. God made a perfect doorway. This is not about our life but has everything to do with the life of Jesus. Yet, His life manifested in our life is another truth and that is the truth of mercy. When that mercy has been extended to us we realize we can come and go at will because we are saved by the hand and power of our Shepherd who went before us. We know that truth is grafted into our hearts and every aspect of our lives. Truth should mean a lot to all of us because without truth there is no God. We believe because God is true, His truth is established and the measure of faith that He gives us is what we use to build a doorway that is separate from the things of the world. His word says be transformed by the renewing of the mind, offering up presenting our body a living sacrifice that is Holy and acceptable unto God.
The heart of this message is this: the Spirit of Truth, the power of His mercies, the grace that we live in today is the purpose we come before God. Listen to His voice, dont wait for the voice of an angel. Dont wait for somebody else to stir anything up. The doorway we have attained, the faith we walk in today is sufficient for us to eternally be known, to be recognized, and to build the way that others might find and see through our lives. All we must do to have that faith a reality in our lives is say, "Lord, I would be healed".
Forgiveness of sin and healing are the same thing, they are not and can not be separated. The two came to the doorway at the same time and Jesus would not and could not separate them. Remember Jesus said your sins are forgiven, rise up and walk. So what is easier to say? Rise and be healed or your sins are forgiven you? To Him, it was the same thing, not separated. In order for that which is truthfully sin, broken, and lost to walk in that which is pure requires an act of God, an act of forgiveness, an act of mercy and grace. Whether our bodies are sick or our hearts are heavy with sin it doesnt matter because when we come to truth the only solution is to confess, "Lord, we would be healed." We cant heal our sin and it is not possible for us to take away the penalty of that sin. We cant make ourselves be healthy when our sin demands that we remain sick. We cant live in blessings when our sin demands that we be cursed. The truth is there is no way out except by the sheep gate.
We humble ourselves before God without any qualifications attached what so ever and speak, "I would be healed". It is just that simple, it is that important, and it is not to be taken lightly. If we live today, it is because we would be healed because we enter through the sheep gate which is enough. It is the gateway through which Jesus saw that He could remove all our failure and sin, all of our doubts and all the mountains of evidence stacked up against us. He removed it all out of the way so we could be healed and rise up to be what God called us to be in the earth, to have the faith that manifests the vision, and makes it the reality.
The blocks we build with on this earth though burnt and broken down are built one stone upon the other. They may not be as beautiful as what is being built by faith in heaven but yet these heavenly blocks are as real as the earthly blocks in our earthly hands. By faith we build on that door setting those blocks in position saying, "I would be healed."
As He is, so are we in the earth. The vision of our healing, of the perfection and the vision of the entry in and out is fulfilled in Jesus Christ because when we come before Him we dont need to qualify ourselves or find some perfect reason in ourselves to do what God wants us to be. It is that simplicity of I would be healed and confessing it. It doesnt matter what battle we face or what situations we go through, what we need to do is position ourselves to listen to His voice and let Him know we want to come in and go out., saying "I will be healed". We cant fix our lives or anyone elses and we cant do many things but we can go through the doorway and every time we go through something beautiful takes place because our faith has established a truth.
A wise man listens to the voice of God and realizes there is only one way. When we look to that voice we know that the establishment of that in our lives is about our faith in the sheep gate and the Shepherd who stands over us. The truth is that is all we need to be healed, and to fulfill what we need to do in this earth. When we come before the Lord let it be with the simplicity of one voice, one word, just one simple faith saying, " Lord, I will be healed. Lord Im not as fast, or maybe not as smart as others but I know the doorway is there, so Im coming in. I would be healed". And the Lord will say,
" Rise And Be Healed, Follow Me!"
Rev. Dianne Doonan
|For you cannot stop Gods
As we all come together to work.
For in Gods precious promises,
Is the design to our success on earth.
The formula is very simple.
Gods man is like a farmer,
Remember the time to plant the seed is
For the gift our heavenly Father gives
It is pride to think God needs us
You cannot stop the Creator,
|"As He is so are we."
We know Gods word is stable and true.
Why waste His time in circles to run,
When there are so many mountains to move?
Trials come and
He wants to prevent our receiving
Our song of joy is heard through out
How can they stand? They have no Rock.
So dispel your doubts, assuage your fears,
In Memory of
Pastor John & Dianne Doonans 27 year old daughter Colleen passed away very suddenly over the holiday season. She left her three children Keith, Alyssa, and Brian in Gods care. We stand together in faith and prayer for the healing, and provision for all of us who loved her so very much.
We rejoice in her union with our Saviour and Lord Jesus. We covet your prayers that God will provide for all the needs before us at this very difficult time.
We apologize as we were late this month in the production of our news letter due to the emotional and financial trials before us.
Published by Amazing Grace Ministries
Evangelistic Association Publishing, Westchester. Illinois
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Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Publishing, Westchester. Illinois
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