How have you entered the Kingdom?
“For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God”.1 Thessalonians 1:9 Most of us would say we came into the Kingdom by way of our family, friends, religion, denomination, tradition, minister, Pastor, evangelist, Priest, and the likes. All of these may have played a part, but what if there was another entry way that we have not considered. This entry way would also be the way that all the other categories that I just mentioned would have entered as well; so let’s look at the Kingdom of God the Holy Jerusalem. In the natural Jerusalem there are twelve gates by which you enter the city. In the Holy Jerusalem there are also twelve gates. The names of the Gates are Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulum, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. Revelation 21:12 is speaking of the Holy Jerusalem, and it says; “Also she had a great high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.”
The names above the gates in this picture are Gad, Reuben, and Simeon. These are not the only twelve gates. There was another set of twelve gates by which you would enter into the city of Jerusalem. They were the corner gate, the refuse gate, the gate of Ephraim; the fish gate, the horse gate, Benjamin’s gate, the gate of the Prison, the sheep gate, the upper Benjamin gate, the valley gate, and the water gate. What was amazing about the names of these gates is that they spoke of the redemptive work of the Lord. The corner gate represents Him as the Chief Cornerstone. 1 Peter 2:6 says; “Behold I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” The refuse gate represents the Lord who would be rejected. Isaiah 53:3 says; “He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.” The gate of Ephraim represents the meaning of his name which is fruitful, because just like Joseph God has made Him fruitful in the land of His suffering; Genesis 41:52. The fish gate represents all those who would be drawn out. Matthew 4:19 says; “Then He said to them, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” The horse gate represents the Lord’s return. Revelations 19:11 says; “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.” Benjamin’s gate represents the meaning of his name which is Son of the right hand. Psalm 110:1 says; “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” The gate of the Prison represents all those that the Son will set free. John 8:36 says; “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” The sheep gate represents the children of Israel. Matthew 15:24 says; “But He answered and said, I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house Israel.” The upper Benjamin gate represents the Lord as being the Most High. “The Lord is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, who dwells on high.” The valley gate represents His journey in low places. Luke 3: 4-5 says; “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” The water gate represents His blood being poured out. Psalm 22:14 says; “I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it has melted within Me.” After these there was one other gate that the Lord spoke of and that was the narrow gate which represents the path you are to walk on. That path is the path of His word, and His word alone. Psalm 119:105; “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Now that He has redeemed His people and laid the path; we are to praise Him, tell the world the good news, and be joined to Him; so what do the names of the sons of Israel tell us in regards to this work.
They tell us everything. That is why these names will stand forever. Since the Lord is our High Priest; these names are engraved over His heart as the breastplate, and on His shoulders as His government. It is when you praise the son of good fortune that you become happy because He has wrestled with the enemy so that your sins may be forgotten. When you hear this and receive it you are joined because of the man of hire that He has sent. Now that the Spirit of God dwells in you the Spirit may add the Son of the right hand to you. You can’t enter the kingdom by any other means. For example the church as we know it did not enter through Christianity; it entered through the gate of Benjamin because Paul was a Benjaminite. If you entered in through Moses you entered through the gate of Levi, because Moses was a levite, or if you entered through the Lord himself you entered through the gate of Judah, because He is of the tribe of Judah, and so on. The sons were scattered to the four corners of the earth so that no one would be left out. Mark 16:15 says; “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” I thank the Lord for the invitation He has given to all of us, and I thank Him for the gates that He has provided. Let us honor the words of Psalm100:4-5; “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good, and His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” Amen