The Twelve Gates of The Holy City
(The Third Gate of The City, Levi)
The third gate of the City is Levi. When we think of the word Levi, most of us immediately think of the priesthood and we are not too far off. The meaning of the word Levi means `Spiritual Ministry'. It is a ministry of and by the Holy Spirit in union with our spirit.
The actual meaning of the word Levi is union or attached. Two things being entwined. Something joined together. Adhesive. To adhere to. To cleave. For this cause shall a man leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife. This union that the word Levi speaks of is both vertical and horizontal. I am in union with God, by the Spirit, and in union with man, by the Spirit. Unfortunately, most live their entire life on earth only connected to one another by the flesh.
The purpose of the second experience, that of being filled with the Holy Spirit, is so I can have union with God. Paul said, "He who is joined with the Lord is one Spirit with him." God wants us to first of all be in union with Him, and then we can be in union with one another. We can minister unto Him and we can minister unto one another.
Paul said in Eph. 4:15-16,
"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by ever supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."
And in I Cor. 12:7, "Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good."
One of the biggest problems in the local church today is that people don't know one another by the Spirit. We have not matured and our judgments are in the flesh. In II Cor. 5:16 Paul says, (NIV)
"So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. (KJV - Henceforth know we no man after the flesh) Though we once knew Christ in this way, we do so no longer."
If, when I mention Christ and all you can think about is the man who walked in Galilee, then you don't understand this verse. We have all been told the stories about Calvary that make men cry and we are reminded of the historical Jesus, however, all this does is to move our flesh. As a result, most people don’t know Jesus after the Spirit. For example, when you partake of the communion does your mind go back to Calvary and see Jesus being crucified on the cross. Paul said in 1 Cor. 11:29,
"He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body."
Have you ever considered whether he was talking about the Lord's physical body or His Spiritual body? Paul also said in 1 Cor. 12-13,
"For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."
We have all been baptized into the Spiritual Body of Christ and He is the head of this Spiritual Body. When we fail to recognize one another by the spirit we do not discern the Body of Christ. This is something you should think about.
Let's take a look at His title and I think you will be able to see what I mean. Jesus Christ the Lord. Jesus is the man, and most people just know Him in that dimension. Someone who lived two thousand years ago and is now somewhere out there in heaven, where ever that is. How many people have moved into the second dimension and know Him as the Christ, which means the anointed one? This same anointing is in you and it abides. The third dimension is knowing Him as Lord!
The amplified version of II Cor. 5:16 says,
"Consequently, from now on we estimate and regard no one from a purely human point of view - in terms of natural standards of value. No, even though we once did estimate Christ from a human view point and as a man, yet now we have such knowledge of Him that we know Him no longer in terms of the flesh."
Now, listen very carefully to what I am about to say: "You and I can not go through this third gate until we learn to discern one another after the Spirit and not after the flesh!" Most Spirit-filled people have not gone any further than Simeon. Once you are filled with the Holy Ghost, you must move on into Spiritual ministry, because this is the whole purpose of being filled with the Holy Ghost. I am not talking about the pulpit ministry because very few are called by God to be in this ministry, but I am talking about everyone learning how to minister to one another effectively in the Spirit.
You can be a channel of supply through the gifts of the Spirit, you can come into a service, not primarily to be ministered to, but to minister to others and to give of that Christ life that is within you. I want to become so in union with Him and so in union with you, brother, that I don't know anyone in the flesh and I am not moved by what I see with my eyes, nor am I governed by what I hear with my ears, but I can flow with a clear pure Spiritual ministry.
Most of the time when I am talking to another person I am not even looking at their outward appearance because I am looking at the vibes they are transmitting. I can't help it because there is a radar set on the inside of me. Most of you would be amazed by just how sensitive it can be. When I meet you, I want to tune in to your spirit. What I hear you say can just be a cover up, a mask, of what is really there. The purpose of the gift of discerning of spirits is to distinguish what kind of a spirit is motivating a certain action or behavior. The Greek literally means a seeing through.
What would happen in your fellowship next Sunday if everyone all came with the attitude that this morning I am coming ready to minister? This teaching is not profound; it is very practical. It will change your life now, if you will apply it. This will bring commitment and responsibility.
Listen now, I want to shock you and cause you to, hopefully, wake up. I declare to you that the reason we don't see more of Levi (Spiritual ministry) is because so much of our fellowship is in the natural and not Spiritual. The minute you start wanting to be spiritual, natural people will say, "Who do you think you are?" "Don't you want to talk about anything except the things of God?" The answer is NO!!!!
The things in the natural are dying and will soon pass away. If it is not eternal, if it is not of the Spirit, it is passing away. We call ourselves spiritual, but we are hung up on houses, cars, lands and everything in the world except Levi. Why is it that we think we can come into a service, get ourselves a cheerleader and sing choruses for forty five minutes and then we are in the Spirit?
Now, I know that with thanksgiving and praise it gets deeper as you go and I don't want to be one of those that are so heavenly minded they are no earthly good, but God is not interested in natural fellowship, natural worship. The reason your worship service is so fleshly sometimes, is because you live, walk and talk that way all week. If you do that all week, there is no way you can come to church and in forty five minutes get into the Spirit by singing choruses. We are to walk in the Spirit at all times.
I have seen people come through both of the first two gates that are ever learning, but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. (II Tim. 3:7) People will come our way and enter into the presence of the anointed Word and get into heavenly places in Christ Jesus, but there is never any change in their lifestyle. The reason being; they have stopped at the second gate. When ever you see the word `knowledge', you can think of Levi, because Levi means union. The word knowledge (EPIGINOSKO #1921) means to become fully acquainted with, and to have full discernment. When you have full knowledge of something or somebody you have actually come into union with them, because you have taken the time to get to know them.
I Cor. 13:12 says,
"We see through a glass darkly but then face to face; now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known."
The first time the word known is used here, it is the Greek word (GINOSKO #1097), and means here that my understanding is in part. The second time the word know is used in this verse, it is the Greek word (EPIGINOSKO #1921), and means that I will be fully acquainted with Jesus, even as He is fully acquainted with me. There has been a growth, a development even as in a marriage relationship, it is a learning experience.
Jesus extended to us, as believers, the covenant relationship of love, and He said, "Come all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Come and learn of Me (He compared Himself to an ox) for I am meek and lowly in heart (then He invited you to marry Him) take My yoke upon you and learn of Me." Marriage is a learning process and your relationship with Jesus can be compared with the relationship between you and your wife; you are a team of oxen yoked together.
Do you want to know what causes strife between you and Jesus? He wants to move and you just want to sit, or He wants to rest and you are rearing to go. What happens then, is that you just go around in circles. God wants everyone of us to demonstrate spiritual ministry. Here are ten examples of this.
1. We are many boards. Ex. 26:15-20
2. We are many stones. I Peter 2:5
3. We are many teeth. Ca. 4:2 This describes the teeth of the Bride. He says they are like a flock that has just come up from the washings (she has just brushed her teeth) they are even shorn, they all bear twins, and there is none barren among them. (no cavities) A tooth is a living thing, and if you don't believe in the principle that when one suffers we all suffer, just get a tooth ache. Did you know that the teeth in your mouth actually represents the body of Christ? If one gets bad enough you just get rid of it. The trouble with most churches is that they are made up of just a lot of false teeth.
4. We are many crumbs. I Cor. 10:17 "For we being many are one bread."
5. We are many joints. Eph. 4:16
6. We are many flames. Matt. 5:14 Lights
7. We are many grapes. Is. 65:8 New wine in the cluster.
8. We are many soldiers. Joel 2:1-11
9. We are many grains of salt. Matt. 5:13-16
10. We are many clouds. Rev. 1:7
All these terms reveal just one thing, and that is ministry. Each one of these terms have to supply, each one has to give, each one has to minister in order for the whole thing to work. In Levi, God wants every one to come into union with Himself and with his fellow man, until each one can be a joint of supply.
Genesis 49:5-7 says about Simeon and Levi, (NIV)
Simeon and Levi are brothers— (Simeon means to
be filled with the Spirit and Levi means to minister) their swords are weapons of
violence. Let me not enter their council, let me not join their
assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they
Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel."
Not only does all these things happen when you refuse to go any further than just being filled with the Spirit, but they also happen if you stop after learning to minister in the Spirit. Have you ever been in a church where prophecy flowed, yet these things were happening? Don't think that just because we prophesy in church on Sunday Morning that we have arrived. We have just begun.
You see, if I stop and am content to just prophesy in part and if I stop and I only want to know in part, if I am content to just work some miracles and see some gifts of healing operate, then the chances of these bad things happening in my ministry are great.
Simeon did not change, but Levi did change. Much like the two thieves on the cross. Saul was not as great a sinner as David because David was an adulterer and a murderer. Yet David was a man after God's own heart because he was quick to repent. He was willing to change.
In the 25th chapter of Numbers, a descendent of Simeon was involved in whoring after the Gods of the Moabites and with having sexual immorality with the Moabite women. This is the last reference to the tribe of Simeon for they are not mentioned in Deuteronomy where Moses blesses the tribes of Israel.
In Exodus 32:26 Moses said, "Who is on the Lord's side? Let him come to me. And all the Levites rallied around him."
There are some people who will just sit and say, "I probably never will move into spiritual ministry." If You want to move into spiritual ministry, you will; if you don't you won't. I want you to notice something; both Simeon and Levi had a chance to prove themselves, and they did.
One changed his fate, and the other did not. We must grow up. Once we understand that we have passed through the gate of being born again and have also passed through the second gate of receiving the Holy Spirit, we must go on and learn to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit and this is not just an option. As a matter of fact if you continue to seek the Kingdom of God, you will not be able to help yourself, because this ministry will flow naturally through you. If you continue to pursue God and are not satisfied with stopping at the second gate, then all of a sudden from within you a real ministry will start to flow.
In Deuteronomy 33:8-11, Moses said to Levi, (NKJV)
“Let Your Thummim and Your
Urim be with Your holy one, Whom You tested at Massah, And with
whom You contended at the waters of Meribah,
Who says of his father and mother, ‘I have not seen them’; Nor did he acknowledge his brothers, Or know his own children; For they have observed Your word And kept Your covenant. They shall teach Jacob Your judgments, And Israel Your law. They shall put incense before You, And a whole burnt sacrifice on Your altar. Bless his substance, Lord, And accept the work of his hands; Strike the loins of those who rise against him, And of those who hate him, that they rise not again.”
In the book of Exodus when Moses came down from the mountain and saw the golden calf that the people had talked Aaron into making, he said in Exodus 32:26,
“Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.”
Even before Simeon and Levi were born the Lord choose Levi and his Tribe to be the priestly tribe who would represent Him. Paul said something very powerful in Rom. 11:28-29, (NIV)
"As far as the gospel is
concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is
concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,
for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable."
King James version says, "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."
In other words, when God selects someone to be used for His purposes He is full well capable of inspiring them to do His will. This is why we need to learn to discern one another's spirit. We have had in the past few years several nationally known ministers fall from grace in the eyes of the Church because of some deed that was discovered they have done. So many Christians want to criticize and judge them and pass all manor of judgments against them.
Before you fall prey to this kind of thinking, you should consider how David reacted toward Saul. Even though David knew that God had selected him to replace Saul he would not touch God's anointed one. He even put to death the young man who assisted in the death of Soul because he had dared to touch God's anointed. David quoted the Lord in Psalm 105:15 when He said,
"Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm."
It is so important that we learn to discern each other's spirit.
In Numbers 1:49-54 when Moses was numbering the Twelve Tribes the Lord said to him,
“Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel: But you shall appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it: they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle. And when the tabernacle goes forward, the Levites shall take it down: and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up: and the stranger that comes nigh it shall be put to death.Only you shall not number the tribe of
And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents, every man by his own camp, and every man by his own standard, throughout their hosts. But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel: and the Levites shall keep the charge of the tabernacle of testimony. And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they.
Even though Simeon and Levi had done terrible things before the Lord, the Lord chose the Levites to be His priest. This is an example to us that when the Lord chooses someone according to His purposes, even though they have done terrible things, the Lord is well able to inspire them to do what pleases Him. This is why we must learn not to judge according to the flesh but learn to discern one another’s spirit. David is also a prime example of the Lord’s forgiveness and His anointing power in one’s life.