In this article we will be focusing on the 10 gates of the Kingdom, as represented in the book of Nehemiah – Jerusalem being the earthly Zion which reflects the Heavenly City of God, Zion. We will concentrate on the significance of the repairing or restoring of the city’s ten gates. Just before we jump into the article of the gates, I want to touch base on the walls of Jerusalem, which represents the walls in our Christian lives.
We must reflect on our own lives from time to time to assess our walls. Our walls sometimes are broken down, in areas of finances, work, social life, school, marriages, relationships, and even in areas of church life and ministry. What the walls represent in our lives is a place of safety. Looking at the cities of old, these cities had big, high, broad fortified walls. It served as protection for it inhabitants from bad that was lurking on the outside of the city. It also served as a barrier or shield against attacks. These walls in scripture relates to our salvation. When we come into our salvation which the Lord calls us unto, we are separated from this world unto God (1 Peter 2:9). Getting to know God and all He has done for us brings us into a city with fortified falls; a place of safety.
However, I want to concentrate on the restoring of the gates in our lives in a relationship with God. The aim of the restoring of the gates in our lives is to bring us into the glory of God which also ushers us into the greater truth. Reflecting on the gates in our lives, we need to understand what gates do for us. Like the gates in olden days, they were big, strong, reinforced objects that signified power. Power also signifies authority. Gates in general keep out what you don’t want inside, it also controls traffic in and out of the city. This we can say is the traffic of right and wrong doctrine which enters through our minds. The Bible tells us to guard our hearts, but we can only guard our hearts when our gates has been restored.
The book of Nehemiah leads us along side they steps we must follow in restoring the gates in our Christian walk with God. There is ten gates in the walls of Jerusalem, the first gate is…
The Sheep Gate:
This is the entrance level of every born again Christian’s life. We must first come to God as His sheep – we hear His voice and submit ourselves to Him as the sheep of His pasture, for He is the Shepherd of our souls. (Rom.12:1) we ought to give ourself to God as a living sacrifice.
Don’t ask God to bless your plans and follow you wherever you want to go! It’s supposed to be the other way around. A shepherd pulls his sheep into line with the rod, leading them to good pastures (Ps.23:4). You are a sheep of God’s pasture, He is not a Shepherd of your pasture – He leads you, you don’t lead Him. (Prov.3:5 & 16:25). Build the sheep gate in your life through submission and worship, admiration and love (Ps.141:2/Heb.13:15,21).
The Fish Gate:
When you submit yourself unto God, you are taken to the fish gate. This shows that you’ve been brought into the sheep gate to be a soul winner – to bring in fish/souls. (Matt.4:18-19)
In scripture, rivers and seas refer to multitudes… Here it is the nations and cities of the world. As the fishermen brought fish from the river of Jordan and sea of Galilee to Jerusalem, so to we must bring people throughout the world unto the sheep gate to worship God at His city in Zion.
Soul winning is simple, we only need to follow Jesus and He will make us fishermen of men. To the Christian, soul winning is not an opinion, it is an essential and vital part of our work.
The Old Gate:
Here you are founded on the Word of God – Truth. As a soul winner, you will have many new converts to your credit. These are brought to the Old Gate to be taught the truths and principles of the Kingdom.
The old gate was situated on the North side along with the main entrance into the city. This shows that souls only get to know God when they come into the old gate, for God’s throne is in the North (Ps.48:1-2). The old gate is a place of learning for all Christians (Mal.2:7). The Glory of God is accompanied by the old gate (2 Cort.3:8+18).
The Glory of God follows the Word of God, both in the lives of the hearers and teachers.
The Valley Gate:
This gate represents the valleys of life, this is when everything seems to be against you.
There’s two kinds of experiences at the valley gate: one helps the new convert become more patient, while the other brings the older Christian in faith to a place of humility.
The Dung Gate:
The dung was taken out of the city by this gate. The word ‘dung’ refers to worthless and useless things; that must be removed for purity and cleanliness to be maintained. Because of the valley gate experience, it leaves you with alot of complaining and murmuring which deposits wrong things into you, so you need to get it out at the dung gate.
Now you have learned that without God you nothing, you need Him now to clean the mess out. (Phil.3:7-9 & Gal.2:20).
By now, you should not be afraid of what happens in the valley. After all, being born again means that you are dead, you only alive now because of the Greater One Who now lives in you. A dead man can’t fear anything!
Rom.5:3-5; the hope that comes to you when you realize that greater glory comes from looking unto Jesus instead of your own abilities leads you to the next gate.
The Fountain Gate:
Inside the fountain gate was the pool of Siloam. The pool at Siloam was where the man that was sent by Jesus to go wash after Jesus made eyes from clay by spitting on the ground to make clay out of the sand and placed it in the sockets of the blind man (John 9:1-7). You will come to this gate to be washed and made clean, because the despondency resulting from murmuring and complaining are overcome by the welling up of life afresh from within you.
John 4:4 You will experience the life of God in you like you newly born again. God washes you after coming from the dung gate and make you fresh again (Rev.2:3-5).
This is also a place of fresh revelation. Jesus wants us to be stirred up (Rev.3:15-18) and not for us to be lukewarm. Its also a place that brings fervency and renewed power to your prayer. This takes you through to the water gate.
Nehemiah 3:15 also speak of another significant feature at the gate Fountain Gate, “…and he rebuilt the wall as far as the stairs that descend from the City of David.” Although the verse mention stairs descending from David’s city, it also means by entering the gate you will be climbing up the stairs to David’s city. Now David was a man after God’s own heart (which I will speaking about in the next article). In other words, at the Fountain Gate, you will also experience a higher level as you start worshiping and praising God. This is what David did in his city – he worshiped and praised God.
The Water Gate:
The water gate refers to the Holy Spirit. The water gate was at Gihon, we read of the anointing of King Solomon in 1 Kings 1:32-35. We see through this that the water gate speaks of a place of anointing. As you receive fresh revelation at the fountain gate, fresh anointing also comes with it. We can experience this by praying and walking in the consciousness of the Holy Spirit (John 7:38). This is where speaking in tongues is important (1 Cort.14:4) – it brings forth a new unction as you are edified.
The Horse Gate:
In scripture, horses represents strength, might, power and authority – it brings us into the consciousness of who we are and what is ours in Christ, we start reigning in life. Here you start speaking words of power (1 Cort.2:12).
The East Gate:
The sun rises from the east and this gate represents God’s glory. You are brought into the glory of God here. Matt.5:16 tells us what the glory does in our lives when we make use of it.
The Miphkad Gate or Appointed Place:
It’s a place of commissioning and also inspection for reward. In Matt.28:16-20, Jesus made an appointment with His disciples to meet with Him at an appointed place. Jesus commissioned them to take the Gospel to the world. Find out what Jesus wants you to do and start doing it.
It is also a place of inspection of works for reward (Gal.6:9). Our works will be inspected by Jesus and we will be rewarded for it.
An expression of excellence:
After going through the ten gates, you come back to the sheep gate where the cycle continues. This is necessary for us to continually move from glory to glory. In this Christian life, it is important to know that you have a role to play. It goes both ways, between you and God. God gave us free will, so it is up to us to do what God ask and instruct us to do. For us to experience a life of glory and excellence.
Like Nehemiah, we must develop a strong desire to build up our lives and others too, so that the glory of God can be seen through us. People will talk about ‘the case of the unexpected’, but God has chosen you for the expected end (Col.1:27) – Christ in you, the hope of glory!
When you don’t experience the glory of God in your life, it’s like a city broken down, and Nehemiah is crying out: “Let’s rebuild the wall and gates!” Start today to focus on the realm of glory, then you will think, talk and live in the realm of glory, and your life will be the expression of God’s excellence!
Our next article, ‘Rebuilding the Temple of the Lord’, will take you a bit deeper into the truth and surely higher as well in understanding what God wants you to do.
God bless you!