The Twelve Tribes of Israel
Levi was the third son born to Jacob and is the name of the third gate of The Holy City. 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 Third Dimension is the dimension of Power. The Kingdom of God can only be built in the Third Dimension!
The angel told Zecheriah in Zech 4:6:
"Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."
Three dimensions are spoken of here and the third dimension is where thepower is. Not by might! First dimension. Personal ability. Not by power! Second dimension. Accumulation of force. You can't do it yourself and you can't do it by assembling a lot of people around you. But by My Spirit. Third Dimension! All God! is.
The actual meaning of the word Levi is union or attached. This speaks of two things being entwined or 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.
The purpose of this Gate of Levi 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 is that people don't know one another by the Spirit. Most have not matured and their judgments are in the flesh.
In II Cor. 5:16 Paul says,
"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, all you can think about is the man who walked in Galilee, then you don't understand this verse. 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 which the gifts of the Spirit flows. You should come into a church, not primarily to be ministered to, but to minister to others and to give of that Christ life that is within you.
Jacob said of both Simeon and Levi in Gen 49:5-7 (KJV):
"Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel."
In order to understand this harsh prophecy against Simeon and Levi you must be familiar with what they did to anger their father. Gen chapter 34 tells of how a Hivite named Schechem took Dinah, Simeon and Levi's sister, and made love to her. When I was in South Africa I learned that among the various tribes when a young man wanted a wife he would lay in wait along the path where the neighbors girls would pass by. He would then grab the girl that he wanted and have his way with her. If he did this her father would demand a diary be given to him for the price of his daughter.
As far as we know Schechem was honorable and wanted to marry Dinah so he asked her brothers for their permission. They told him that they would not only consent to this and allow other marriages to take place among the Israelites and Hivites, if the Hivite men would be circumcised. The Hivite men consented to this and on the third day after they were circumcised when the men were unable to fight, Simeon and Levi went to their city and slew all the men and took all they had. They took their riches, their cattle, their wives and their children.
Jacob was very angry with them and thus the prophecy. This is a great lesson for Simeonites and Levites. There is a tendency in these two tribes to transfer spiritual symbols to those to whom they don't belong and then use the sword of the Word to slay these very ones.
To say this another way: Christians who have been born again and filled with the Spirit oft times have the tendency to want to bind the truths of God's Word and moral character to those who are not in the family of God. What governs Christians in their conduct does not necessarily bind those who are not Christians.
Paul said in 1 Cor 6:12,
"All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."
Those who are of the Tribes of Semion and Levi must be careful or they will misuse the privilege of being a child of God and filled with His Spirit to condemn others instead of ministering life to them.
In Jacob's prophecy four words,cruelty, anger, self-will and wrath stand out. Cruelty means not only maltreatment, damage and injustice but even wrong thoughts or imaginations. The outward manifestations of cruelty are only the expressions of the wrong imaginations within the heart.
The word 'anger ' in the Hebrew means 'nose'. As one becomes angry often his nostrils will dilate in ire. Spiritually speaking, the nose speaks of discernment of the truth. However, that discernment can very easily be turned into angry judgment.
The word 'wrath' comes from the root of a Hebrew word meaning the region beyond, on the opposite side, against, beyond, and is usually used for indicating the east side of Jordan. This is the side opposite the promised side. It is the wilderness side.
Simeonites and Levites often find themselves on the wrong side of the fence on an issue and will defend their position with wraith and vengeance. The word 'self-will' means self delight, self desire, self affections, self approval and self consent.
It is quite natural in Adam for the self to think that it can run its own life in the way it chooses regardless of who it hurts. Self-will can even be clothed in the false robes of strength of character, determination, ability, etc. All of Israel have trouble with this area and only in compliance with the Lord Jesus Christ can this be overcome.
I have pointed out these weaknesses in Simeon and Levi as a challenge in them to allow these things to be rooted out by His Spirit. The positive side of these things, or the West side of the Jordan, is to allow His love to flow through ones self which will cause these negative things to loose their hold and be driven out.
Simeonites and Levites are capable of some of the worse kind of actions but this same ability, if under the control of the Spirit, will cause them to be overflowing with the full extent of God's love. If we consider the location of love or it's opposite force, we are brought to the conclusion that this is determined in the heart of the individual. Love flows out of the heart and so does anger, bitterness, jealously, revenge and cruelty.
We have learned previously that Simeon and Levi are located in the breast of the figure of a man representing the Church. It is in this area of the human body that the vital organs of the heart and lungs dwell.
Proverbs 4:23 (KJV) says,
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."
Jesus said in Luke 6:45 (KJV),
"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh."
Simeonites and Levites have a tremendous capacity hearing and speaking forth the truths of the Lord with much love and compassion. There is a condition, however, if this is to flow with this love and compassion. They must be under the control of the Holy Spirit.
Caution Simeonites and Levites!
The breastplate of the High Priest with its enclosed Urim and Thimmim covers the chest or breast. This is the same place that Simeonites and Levites occupy. This breastplate contains the twelve stones with the names of the Twelve Tribes inscribed on them. Simeonites and Levites who are resting in Him have a deep seated compassion and love for the rest of the Tribes of Israel. They have deep discernment for the Body of Christ which transcends denominational barriers and even includes the those who have yet to confess that Jesus is Lord. They have a tremendous ability to hear and to minister God's love to ALL PEOPLE!
In Deuteronomy 33:8-11, Moses said to the Lord,
"Your Thummim and Urim belong to the man you favored. You tested him at Massah; you contended with him at the waters of Meribah. He said of his father and mother, I have no regard for them. He did not recognize his brothers or acknowledge his own children, but he watched over your word and guarded your covenant. He teaches your precepts to Jacob and your law to Israel. He offers incense before you and whole burnt offerings on your altar. Bless all his skills, O Lord, and be pleased with the work of his hands. Smite the loins of those who arise up against him; strike his foes till they rise no more."
Levi's name does not appear upon the breastplate of the High Priest because the High Priest comes out of his tribe. God favored Levi and Levi responded even to the point of putting the Lord above his own mother and father and above his brothers. Even his own children.
Levites who have passed through the Twelve Gates will put God first in their lives and watch over and teach and demonstrate to all people the truths of God's words. The blessings of the Lord will be on all of the Tribe of Levi who put the Lord first.
During their wilderness journey the Tribe of Levi camped just outside the tabernacle on the North, the West, the South, and the East. Moses and Aaron and their families were encamped on the Eastern side of the Tabernacle.