January February March 2000
Pastor John Doonan
As believers we appreciate the principles and doctrines laid forth in the study of the gates of the city. The gates are about being overcomers in this life as we stand on the rock of our foundation, Jesus Christ. We need no new doctrines. Trusting in Jesus is already an established principle, and works perfectly in producing Gods purposes in our lives. The principles and doctrines concerning these gates fulfill in us the ability to enter the presence of God with praise and with confidence. As we enter each gate, we understand it is Jesus. We are the body of Christ, and as human as we are, there is a miracle that exceeds our understanding as that which is Christ becomes us, and that which is us becomes as Christ. We need to experience and understand all the previous gates in order to understand the purpose of this gate. We need to understand the glory that is revealed in those that walk by faith, those that keep their purpose and focus entirely on Christ. There are great and wonderful gifts for those that have learned to enter the presence of God, receiving Him as Lord, humbling themselves before Him, receiving His spiritual empowerment in this life. We go forth to conquer, to fulfill and to finish our call in Christ.
Nehemiah3:31 "And after him repaired Malchiah, the goldsmiths son, unto the place of the Nethinims, and to the ascent of the corner."
This gate has a name (unlike the others)- the gate of Miphkad, which means "the appointed time of judgement." In Eastern tradition it was not uncommon for the disputes that took place among the people to be brought to trial before this specific gate. Some things were allowed within the walls of that city and others were kept out. As we approach this gate we understand that there is an appointed time for judgement. There is a time that we stand and look at those things that are manifested in this earth and at those things that are manifested in the temple, and we know that we transcend eternity, time and space. We are transfigured, standing in the gap. While standing in the midst of the earth, we stand in heavenly places. We often stand at this gate. The reality of our hope is that we will see Jesus face to face, manifesting the presence of God completely, and fulfilled in every thing we do. We stand before our God without shame. Each time we stand at this gate, we understand that it is leading us to the next place where all believers will stand. As I am accepted before the Lord, into the things that God wants for my life, I know the reality of my future is fulfilled in Jesus.
1Cor.3:12 "Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;(v.14) every mans works shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every mans works of what sort it is. (v.14) If any mans works abide which he hath built there upon, he shall receive a reward."
As we go to the Lord, we realize that judgement begins in the house of God and is a specific gate to the city of God. We know that we stand and operate in this earth by faith. We are blessed exceedingly because our faith gives us entrance into the presence of God. Our faith cleanses and purifies the work we do with our hands. We started at the Sheep gate and for every stone we lifted up of brick and mortar, there is an identical stone in Heaven that Jesus was setting upon that wall. The wall built here on earth was corrupt, broken and decayed- crushed by our doubts and failures. Yet the wall was rebuilt because we picked up that broken, discarded brick and set it back on the wall by faith; not because we were building some great tabernacle to God, or because we were building some monument to our faith. We set the blocks in place because we are obedient to God, and we know that the wall we build upon is building a city that is greater than we are. Many gates allow us into the presence of God. As we come to the gate of judgement we realize that some things we bring into the presence of God and some things we would not. All things are lawful for me, but not all things are expedient. We could build a great work in this world, but offering all of this up to God would mean nothing to Him because the pride of building it is not allowed in this city. We understand there is an appointed time of judgement. There is a moment when we come face to face with Jesus, with every work we have done, and our motives will be revealed.
Is there any evil in Heaven? No, because judgement starts at the house of God. There will not be any fornicators, adulterers, nor any evil thing in Heaven because they are separated at the gate of judgement. We go through a door that is made by the hand of God and in Christ we know that there is a completion, a judgement, a satisfaction and a separation. We dont go before God expecting to bring old baggage into the city. We go to God because we know that there is an appointed time of judgement. We come freely, by faith, knowing we dont have to be ashamed anymore when we stand before Him. What greater gate to have our name written above than the gate of judgement. The judgement didnt come from the wrath of God, but from the love of Christ. Judgement and the subsequent justice are not our enemies, but rather our friends. When we come before God we dont have to worry if He hates what we are, or that were trapped in sin, unforgiveness, or the death that is in the world. What pride would convince us that God couldnt help us? What vanity would be in our life that would say we are greater than what Gods power is to deliver us? God has an appointed gate, and it is for every one of us. Dont try to stay clear of the gate or walk around it. We enter this doorway by faith. We move past our doubts and fears knowing that God made provision for us. Judgement is not something to be afraid of. Judgement is a freedom. When we come to this gate something is going to happen, for there is a fire that burns. When we come face to face with Jesus Christ, we will not be ashamed. We will be rewarded for our works of faith. Let us encourage one another. Though we stand in this earth and the things that we have are broken, we come together, one to another, to confess our faults. Why? Because judgement begins in the house of God. We bring our faults and fears, not judging one another, but exhorting one another in love to holiness, knowing that we all go before the judgement gate.
Coming to this door is a time for cleansing, a time for purging the things that do not belong in the city. We do not have the power or strength to remove sin and its effects from our own life. God has provided a doorway; He alone can produce a miracle. There is a place where we go to look to the Word of God knowing that when God fulfills these things, what will be perfect, will be completely transparent. God is building for us a wall that is perfectly pure and holy. We are those stones, one placed upon another. He is not building a faulty wall. He is presenting a bride that has no spot or wrinkle. He has given us an entry, and faith is necessary to walk through this doorway. It takes faith to examine our hearts, and it takes discipline to know that coming to this door we will find many people as we are. We will find people with things that will be so horrifying to us that we will wonder how God could save them, but He did. We come to this gate together, humbly, not exalting ourselves for the wonderful works weve done, but realizing that there are things about ourselves that we cant go in His presence with. We have a decision to make in what materials we will use to build this house. Will it be gold, silver, wood, hay or stubble? When we are tested by this fire, when we come into the presence of the Spirit of the living God, some things naturally burn off. Yes, inside that fire is very hot, and not the most pleasant place to be, but we can have confidence that walking through with Christ there is always acceptance and the knowledge that if we stand, we will not be consumed.
There is an appointed time for judgement. There is a moment when every one of us will stand before Christ. If you are a son of God you will be chastened by God. It is a needful thing. Its about God bringing us to our appointed time where things begin to separate and change. We know that there is a gate, but until we are brought to this gate and have entrance through, its not going to happen. God knows the perfect time. Its not for us to know the hour or the day, and its not for anyone to render judgment on another for it would only destroy. Gods judgement is not hurtful and it will create in us a new heart and an ability to be released from shame, fear and doubt. There is a God who is able to miraculously deliver every single person who belongs to Him. We know that when we enter this gate it makes us more real, stronger and honest. There will be a judgement rendered; either the world will judge us or God will judge us. The more we run from Gods judgement the more we will feel pressure under the worlds judgement. There are times when everything we do is met with a struggle. We seek to enter His presence by way of the East gate or the Fish gate, but, to no avail. We will always end up at the Judgement gate. We need to meet this appointment. Its time to step through the door and understand what the doorway is all about. It is the entry to our worship. It is that doorway that will fulfill and satisfy our desires. It is then that we allow that purging to take place. It is the Lords desire for our name to be written on a stone, placed by the judgement gate in Heaven, saying, this one is judged already. Its once for man to be born, then to die, then judgment. There is an appointed time for judgement of all sin. He is preparing us to be judged free of guilt. Because we are the walls of the city, we are that which is pure and holy. We have by faith walked through that fire and finished what God started in us.
In the gospel of Mark is the story of the master who gave three servants, each to his own ability, talents to invest while he traveled to a far country. On his return he found that the first had used his five talents and gained another five. The second had done in kind and gained two more for the two he had. However, the third servant was afraid that his talent was not enough and hid it in the earth until his master returned. God has given us talents to be in charge of, to be used to glorify Him. Were not to hide the talents given to us or to be afraid that what we have is not enough. He has given us every tool we need. These talents are a precious gift from God to us and as we offer them back up we are able by faith to believe in what God has given us, and to know that those gifts not hidden produce in kind. If God gave us silver, gold and precious stones and we build on that foundation, then we will have the beauty and reward that comes with that. If we hide those gifts, only to build with the things of this world that have no value, our works will not stand. They will burn as wood, hay or stubble. These things do not belong in the house of God. No one really desires for their life to produce nothing and to go empty handed into our Fathers presence. We have been given the choice to produce what we shall be. It has been placed within our hands, the ability to be today what we believe we will be that day, so why put off manifesting that reward today? In our hands is the ability to come to this gate for the Lord to judge us. Paul says, I am judged of no man and I judge not myself, for I will be judged of God.
When we stand before Gods judgement, He has made it very clear what he wants from us. He wants faith. That is the only thing that has any value to Him. He has given us His Word, the greatest treasure in the world, more valuable and precious than all the silver and gold in this world. God has declared us righteous, holy and pure, so we by faith lift those things up, by faith we stand, by faith we believe because we have the Word of God. God has judged us already in Christ and we have the full reward of that blessing manifested in us today. By faith we come to this doorway and say, if it is not Jesus, it is nothing. Our life should reflect the fullness of this gate because it is Jesus and we are the doorway to this earth, that others might know that we have been judged in Christ. What the world sees is not our life but the life of Jesus abiding in us. What is seen is not what we produced but what the Lord produced. We have today what we will see when we sit face to face with Jesus. Why should our faith today not magnify what we have in that presence? God is already all powerful, and if that is the Spirit that we have been given, then what we build with in this earth is not what we believe in ourselves to be, but we by faith stand before the Lord and say, let it be you. We put away our vanity and pride, put away those things that do not belong in the household of God. In His house there is only one throne and He sits on it. The only place for us is sitting within Him on that throne. We stand in this earth in the reality of our relationship to Jesus Christ. Today the judgement of God begins. Today we stand in Christ, because it is the same reality that is going to be in Heaven. Why should we be naked that day when we could be full? Why be in lack when we can have it all? Why should our faith be put off to sight when faith is a reality today? When we stand in judgement it is a challenge, it is the ability to be what God called us to be. We are holy because God is holy. Judgement is about purification and sanctification, of our life being changed. Judgement is about humbling ourselves before the Lord. Its not judging ourselves or our brother. We will submit ourselves to this doorway because we will come into His presence no matter what it takes. We have no life or place without the Lord.
Many Christians are afraid of God and do not understand that we cannot fail if we enter by faith. Noones life is so messed up that God cant heal it. God cares about us and would never leave us in our pain, sorrow and doubt. Do you know what its like to release your own judgement of yourself? What does Paul say? If your heart doesnt condemn you, you are not condemned. When we can go before the Lord and say that its not by our works or our will, but simply with a freedom, we can say, "Lord judge me, find in me a pure heart." Dont try to manipulate or make things our way. Be humble before God because He has the power to cleanse us, to set us free. Its the judgement of God and we are judged already. Its not about right or wrong; its about faith. We all have the same potential to receive the same liberty. Come humbly, without the pride, without a self-righteous attitude. We are simply like everybody else and we have a doorway in that city that has our name on it. God tells us to repair that door, to make it sound, to make it useable. As we enter that door we find that we can stand in this world without condemnation. There is plenty of condemnation in this world- family, friends- we take on guilt and fear continually. We become defensive, self-righteous, self-justifying, rising up in our own judgement of ourselves and the situations around us. In reality, it doesnt matter. If our own heart condemns us, and there is no way we can release our own heart from condemnation, we are forever bound by that death. We cant make someone else more guilty than us to release us from our own guilt and fear. Unless we allow judgement to come we will not be released from this power that condemns ourselves. We come before God because we need a Savior. This doorway is a place where guilt and condemnation is released from us. We lay our guilt at the doorway and say, "Lord, judge me." We dont want to take away from His glory- it must be Jesus. If we are judged and condemned, we will never be able to enter that doorway again.(?) This is a reality gate. We cant enter the city while holding onto death. When we can say, "Okay, Jesus, no more of me" we can enter.
If we are going to minister in the household of God, we need to have our heart purified. Its not about our life and what we can do to impress people. It is all about Jesus. It is the Jesus in us that fills our being with full authority and the empowerment that touches lives around us so that they may also have the full benefits the Lord has given us. The only way to worship and honor the Lord before His throne is if the Lord makes it possible. If the Spirit of God cannot preach through the Word, or cannot minister through the body the things God wants to do, there is no reason to do what we are doing. If the Spirit of God doesnt show up at church or is unable to create change, then what does it matter what we think we are? In reality we are in judgement ourselves and need to make an appointment with God to purify our hearts, to be set free, to become that doorway to worship. Judgement is not for us, but judgement begins in the house of God, and we are that house. We submit ourselves one to another that we might find our judgement in this house. God is purifying and building us, bringing us together. If any man refuses that judgement they are to be put out from us. These will not be judged of God and will not stand with unity in the body of Christ, therefore they come under the judgement of the world. There is nothing we can do. It doesnt mean that God doesnt love them. It means they have no place in the body of Christ, because judgement begins in the house of God. We need to come together with a freedom, with a pure heart, with the ability to stand and submit our lives one to another in the works of the Spirit and the faith of God, knowing that the ministry of the Spirit means more than anything in the world.
We must come to this gate. We must understand that God created this doorway to release man from sin and all of our guilt. Jesus died for our sins and for our iniquities, and for the guilt thereof. It is a dual process, and if we dont understand the whole salvation, then we stand miserably outside the door, never entering in because we fail at this gate. There is no other way in. We keep running into this gate. If we dont understand this doorway and we dont allow ourselves to be judged by God, then we stand condemned already. What better place to stand in this world than knowing we have been judged by God.
This doorway is not for the noble or pure of heart; it is for us to come in humility of heart.(?) Isaiah came to that doorway of judgement. He said, "Lord send I, but I am a man of unclean lips." God purged his lips with a coal of fire so he could no longer speak like a man. We have a more sure word of prophecy today because the reality of our salvation is burned by fire. We have a coal that is placed on us when we come to this door saying, "Lord send I, not in what I am or in what I can do. I am one of unclean lips and one that is impure. Lord cleanse me." The Lord sends the power of His Spirit, the power of His life to change, to manifest that presence, to release us from fears and doubts. It is Jesus that perfects and finishes, so we stand together without judgement of one another. Many stand at that doorway and beckon us to come in. We become that doorway because we are the body of Christ. Though what we have seems to be impure, what Jesus is, is pure and good. By faith we become that doorway in the earth. We stand in the gap and say, "Come, let Him purge you." Let Jesus purge you of all those dark areas that hold you back from entering into the full presence of God. Come, worship in freedom. Come before His throne for He will give you those things that are expedient for you. He will reward you in those things that you do by allowing you to build on a gateway with silver, gold and precious stones, without guilt, with a pure heart. Pureness of heart can only come when it is Jesus that speaks, when there is no other agenda but Jesus Christ. Pureness of heart is when you love purely. We love Jesus because He first loved us. As we love Jesus we become that doorway. We become the ability for all men to come without judgement, yet already judged; to come without fear of us because we are not part of the judgement. We are part of the release, the promise and the freedom, the ability to stand without condemnation because we have been judged already. We encourage them to come and to reap the glorious benefits of the other side, to walk side by side through that fire of judgement holding hands with Jesus. By nothing less than a miracle they will not be burned, but the wood, hay and stubble will be consumed. They will be left standing- refreshed, purged and set free with a pure heart. With humbleness of heart they will know the power of this door.
None of us in the body of Christ would ever submit one to another if we did not have the Holy Spirit, or if we did not have the faith to know that it is the Jesus in us that judges, not our flesh. The hand of God created a safe refuge. We are the house of God, the temple of the Holy Ghost, the body of Christ; that is why we submit one to another, coming to the throne of God in worship. If we put our life in the hands of God, He will render a judgement that sets us free from condemnation, guilt and death. We must be judged so that we do not judge or condemn those that come to this doorway. We must be judged, so we stand at this door, knowing that at this door the hand of God has created a miracle in Jesus Christ. He has set us free. Death will leave and His faith will rise up in us. By faith we stand and become that doorway. We proclaim that there is no condemnation for those who walk in Christ Jesus, not after the flesh but after the Spirit. To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Rom.8:1
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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