The Twelve Gates Of The Holy City
(The First Gate of The City, Reuben)
Revelation 21:12-13 says:
"It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel."
"There were three gates on the North" ( Dan, Asher, and Naphtali)
"On the South side" (Reuben, Simeon and Gad)
"On the East side" (Judah, Issachar and Zebulun)
"On the West side" (Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh)
Ezekiel 48:30 lists these names differently as follows:
1. On the north; Reuben, Judah and Levi.
2. On the south; Simeon, Issachar and Zebulun.
3. On the east; Joseph, Benjamin and Dan.
4. On the west; Gad, Asher and Naphtali.
Genesis 49:1-29 lists these names in a different order and because this is the first place they are listed, this is the order we will use in our discussion of the twelve gates.
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Joseph and Benjamin.
By studying each of these names, we will be able to see a step by step growth and development in the life of a Christian. From Reuben to Benjamin we go from infancy to maturity. Each of the gates are a manifestation of this nature of God in you.
The firstborn son of Jacob was Reuben. You and I are not going to be a part of the City and the People described in Rev. 21 until we experience the meaning of Reuben.
Reuben means, "Behold a son!", or "See a son!" You must be born again to enter this City. The new birth is an importation of the divine nature in the form of a seed. You did not choose to become a Christian! You cannot make a decision for Christ! He chooses when you will be born both in the natural and in the spirit. I have been born again, I am being born again, and I shall be born again. The new birth is when God imparts and deposits Himself in us. The beginning of the divine nature is in the form of a seed.
Mary was confused about this in Luke 1:34-35 when she said:
"How can this be?" Mary asked the angel, "Since I am a virgin?" "The angel answered, `The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the HOLY One to be born will be called the Son of God.'"
This is exactly what happens to you when you are born again. The Holy Spirit overshadows you and births in you a new spirit and imparts in you the same nature and quality of seed and life that was deposited in the womb of that young virgin. Heb. 12:9 calls God the Father of Spirits, and you are a spirit being of which God is the Father.
I Peter 1:23 says:
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible seed; that is the living and abiding Word of God."
James 1:18 says:
"He chose to give us birth through the Word of truth, that we might be a kind of first- fruits of all He created."
Does this say He saved us so that we might do something for Him? No! He said, "That we might be something." A Kind! The word `kind' can be translated `species'. In Gen. chapter one, the seed was to produce after its own kind. You will produce the kind of Christian you are. This is a good word for pastors. We will produce the kind of Christian we are! The ministry I have, will for the most part, be reproduced in those I minister to.
The purpose of the new birth is so we can be a first fruit of His creation. John 1: 1-14 says:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize Him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children (sons) of God. Children (sons) born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
Man is spirit, has a soul and lives in a body. Adam's spirit was so in union with God's Spirit that there was perfect union. But when Adam sinned, this perfect union was broken and a separation took place between God's Spirit and Man's spirit, which resulted in death to man's spirit. With our spirit we make contact with God's Spirit.
When we are born of God, the Spirit of God lights the candle of our spirit, and we become the light of the world. John 1:9 says, "The true light, that gives light to every man, was coming into the world."
Prov 20:27 says, "The Spirit of man is the candle of the Lord."
Unless the Holy Spirit lights you, I do not care how many sinner's prayers you have repeated, you are not lit. Unless you have been drawn to Jesus by the Spirit of God, I do not care what you think or say, you are not born of God.
However, when this happens, my spirit is saved, my soul is in the process of being saved, and my body shall be saved. When I was born from above, my spirit passed from death to life. A resurrection took place, and now I have communication with the Father of Spirits, because he that is born of the Spirit is Spirit.
John 1:10-14 (KJV)
"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
He gave us the right to become Sons of God. You can get excited just preaching thirty fold salvation and you can get excited about preaching sixty fold but it is about time we have some ministries that preach a hundred fold salvation. There is only one way into the City, and that is through the gates. Anyone who tries to get in any other way is a thief and a robber.
Gate one is Reuben - "Behold a Son!" When God lights your candle, all of creation stands and sings the Hallelujah Chorus and says, "Behold, a son." Unto us a child is born, unto us a child is given.
In John 3:3 Jesus says,
"I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God."
Jesus said in John 6:44,
"No man can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up in the last days."
In verse 37 He says,
"All that the Father Gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away."
"For I have come down out of heaven not to do My will, but to do the will of Him who sent me. And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I lose none of all He has given Me, but to raise them up at the last day. For My Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day."
There is real danger in this day of easy believeism. Jesus did not come preaching just believe. When asked, "What are we to do?", Peter replied in acts 2:38, "Repent and be baptized." Repent means to have a change of heart. Turn from your way of thinking and acting. You cannot do this by yourself. It takes the power of God to change your way of thinking. Today there are too many trying to take the place of the Holy Spirit, and they talk of saving souls. "How many souls have you won to Jesus this year?" "We have to be soul winners for Jesus." In all of the years of my ministry, I have yet to save one soul for Jesus. I have not led one person to Jesus, and I never will, nor will you.
This is the ministry of the Holy Spirit alone. You may be used from time to time to be His spokesman. You may think you are a spiritual midwife at the alter helping to pray someone through, but I have news for you. When a baby is ready to be born, it does not need anyone's help. I cannot lead anyone to the Lord, nor can I pray you through to anything. You say, "But Pastor, don't you train alter workers?" "No, I just feed sheep and they beget sheep."
Eccl. 3:2 says,
"There is a time to be born." Chapter 6:3-7 talks of being still born. "A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. It comes without meaning, it departs in darkness, and in darkness its name is shrouded. Though it never saw the sun or knew anything, it has more rest than does that man - even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails this prosperity. Do not all go to the same place? All man's efforts are for his mouth, yet his appetite is never satisfied."
He comes in darkness and obscurity, then goes out without knowing anything. This is speaking, in a spiritual sense, of those who have spiritual abortions and miscarriages. People who have been harassed and pressured by some Pharisee who has compassed land and sea to put another notch in their belt. As a result, it makes them twice the child of hell they once were. So many try to do the work that only the Holy Spirit can do.
The first Adam produced the beast of self-nature. At the new birth, we receive another nature that begins to overcome that beast. It begins to break his power and dominion until Christ in you is formed. The new birth, [the first gate] is the beginning of the descending of the New Jerusalem into the visible realm. Your family and your friends can begin to see the nature of God in you, because you are becoming different.
Six things the new birth is:
1. A birth
2. A cleaning
3. A quickening - bringing to life
4. A creation by the Spirit
5. A resurrection from the death of sin to a right relationship with Christ.
6. A translation from the dominion of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light - truth.
Gen. 49:1 says,
"And Jacob called his sons and said, `Gather yourselves together so I can tell you what will happen to you in the last days.'"
Notice he said, "last days".
"Gather yourselves together, sons of Jacob, and listen to Israel, your father. Reuben, you are my first-born, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellence of power: Unstable as water, you shall not excel because you went up to your father's bed then defiled it; he went up to my couch."
Amplified version says,
"Reuben, you're my first born, my might, the beginning [first fruits] of my manly strength and vigor; [your birthright gave you) the preeminence in dignity and the preeminence in power. But unstable and boiling over like water you shall not excel and have preeminence [of the first born], because you went to your father's bed; you defiled it; he went to my couch!"
From verse three we can see four aspects of what happens to us when we were born again. We receive might, strength, dignity, and power. All of these are in the seed that gave you birth and is your potential. When you plant a seed into the ground, you do not have the fruit nor can you yet see the potential of that seed. There must be a growing time. A developing time.
God has put Himself in us by His word and if allowed to grow it will manifest in the fruits of the Spirit as recorded in Galatians 5. If this is so, then why do we have so many problems? He says we are unstable as water. James 1:6-8 says:
"But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."
This tells you what a new Christian is: He is double minded and unstable in all his ways. Isn't this true also in natural birth? How can anyone who is unstable and double minded lead others? Paul said in Eph. 4:14-15:
"Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ."
This is the purpose of the five-fold ministry gifts. If you have only come through the first gate of the City, you are unstable. If you stay at this gate and do not go on into maturity, you will not excel. The word excel means to come over something.
Reuben, you will never be an overcomer as long as you just walk through one gate. If you only walk through one gate, even though the potential to succeed is in you, you will not be successful in this life by overcoming and all you can hope for is that there is a better life awaiting in the future.
In our area, there is church after church with hundreds of people in them with the divine seed of God in their lives, but they are unstable as water and will not excel as long as they remain in that place of refusing to mature.
Then Jacob said, "Because you went to your father's bed and defiled it;" Reuben's problem is pride and lust. Love of self. I want what I want and I want it now! I will scream or whatever else I can do until I get your attention!! If I want to go up to my father's house and lay with his concubine, I will do it. Reuben was not able to control his desires. Everyone, in the Reuben category is trying to live the Christian life by following the letter of the law, and it is humanly impossible to do it. This is why Reuben is flustered, confused, and unstable in all his ways.
In Gen. 35:22 we read,
"And it come to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah, his father's concubine, and Israel heard about it."
The word Bilhah means trouble. It can also be rendered as confusion. This is a perfect description of a young child or young Christian: They always want to join themselves to something or somebody that is going to get them into trouble. It seem as though they are always troubled and unstable in all they do.
Here is the Ninth Principle: As long as I am motivated by pride and lust and possess an inability to control my desires, I will want to lay with that thing that is trouble and join myself to it so that it becomes one with me. I will be constantly in trouble in my life and I will constantly be unstable, I will constantly be nervous, and I will be constantly flustered and will never be able to excel.