The Twelve Gates Of The Holy City
(The Tenth Gate of The City, Naphtali)
Gen. 30: 7-8 says,
"And Bilhah, Rachel's maid, conceived again and bare Jacob a second son. And Rachel said, `With wrestling, have I wrestled with my sister and I have prevailed and she called his nameNaphtali."
The name Naphtali means to obtain by wrestling. It comes from a root word that means to entwine yourself around something and to struggle. The word means simply, wrestling. The Apostle Paul made several mentions of wrestling in his writings and in his day, it meant to wrestle to the death of one of the wrestlers. So when Paul talked about wrestling in the spiritual realm, you can see how serious it really was. When he said in Eph 6:12,
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms," he knew that we must wrestle in order to win and subdue them and do away with them so Jesus can reign supreme in the world. In our wrestling against evil, either we will prevail over evil or evil will prevail over us.
If you come through this tenth gate you will overcome God. I realize that this is a very strange statement, but let me explain. The truth of Naphtali is that you are an overcomer and a prevailer. There has been a release of the creative word in you when you come through this tenth gate.
I would like to first take a look at the negative side of this account of the birth of Naphtali. Have you noticed that there has always been a struggle between Rachel and Leah? Leah speaks of the law and legalism but Rachel speaks of grace. Leah speaks of the bond woman but Rachel speaks of the free woman. This is similar to Hannah and Peninnah of I Samuel 1. Peninnah had all the children and provoked Hannah, because Hannah, like Rachel, was barren. You can also liken Leah to the old covenant and Rachel to the new covenant. Leah to the flesh. Rachel to the Spirit.
Paul said in Gal 5:17,
"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."
This Greek word for `contrary' means that they are adversaries. Enemies. Naphtali got his name from the fact that Rachel and Leah were always struggling. There is a fleshly wrestling. Paul said in Eph. 6:12, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood." What were Leah and Rachel doing here? Wrestling against flesh and blood.
Literally, Naphtali was born out of frustration and trouble and struggling. There is a real nugget of revelation in this statement I have just made. It is going to take some frustration if we are to become like Jesus. God is going to have to absolutely frustrate us (in the way we think) if we are going to see this City become a reality in our walk.
Naphtali was born as a result of sister wrestling against sister. Naphtali was the sixth son born to Jacob. However, Naphtali ended up on the breastplate of the high priest in the number twelve position. LAST!!! He went from half-way to last. Do you know why he ended up last? Because if you fight your sister you will end up on the bottom. Go ahead and argue with your brother and sister, you will end up last.
Naphtali and Dan belonged to the same denomination. They had the same mother. Dan means to judge. Those who are always judging and criticizing, are always wrestling. This City we are talking about is a people, and I will not get to be a part of this City by wrestling against you. Here we have two sisters or two churches wrestling.
Like Hannah and Peninnah, one church has all the people, and so the pastor gets up and talks about the other church which doesn't have as many. They are just making fools of themselves. Leah is the one that is producing children, and you do not have to make her barren. She will stop producing the minute Joseph is born. The minute Jesus was born the law was annulled. His life and ministry annulled it. If you can ever get Joseph and Benjamin born in your fellowship, you won't have to be concerned about the harlot churches producing, because they will become barren.
"Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband. Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities."
This will happen the minute Joseph and Benjamin are born. There is a harlot system out there and God has her right where he wants her. She will produce only as long as God allows her to produce. I don't have to fight her nor do I need to sit in judgement of her. I don't need to say one word. All I need to do is to allow Joseph and Benjamin to be brought forth in me. Joseph means (Let him add.) Benjamin means (Son of the right hand.)
We don't have time to wrestle with our brother because we don't want to end up on the bottom. Jesus did not come preaching and teaching against the Pharisees. He came preaching and teaching the Kingdom of God. The kingdom moved the Pharisees.
Dan fell five places to the tenth spot and Naphtali fell six places to the twelfth spot. 6+5 = 11 Eleven is the number of confusion, and if you judge and wrestle your brethren this is where you end up. IN CONFUSION!!
Dan and Naphtali's mother was Bilhah and Bilhah means timid, fearful, old, troubled and confused. This is the kind of system that produces a people who are always fighting and judging one another.
I made a statement earlier that if you come through this experience of Naphtali you will have wrestled with God and overcome Him. Let me explain. There are two natures and they are struggling in the womb of your mind, and this Christ nature is kicking hard to be born. Here in Gen. 32 Jacob overcame God in this sense. He was bold to take his inheritance when he was tested.
The angel of the Lord said to Jacob, "Let go of me!" But Jacob said, "I'm not going to let go of you until you bless me." The only way you can overcome God is to refuse to let go of Him. The number 10 is the number of responsibility and the number of testing. God will put you through His final testing of your character in order for your character to be as His is.
Gen. 32:24 says, "So Jacob was left alone---" If you make it to gate 10 in your maturing process, you will find yourself alone in the trials and in the decisions you will have to make. No one else will understand what God has specifically designed for you to walk through, because there is no one else like you.
So Jacob was left alone and a man wrestled with him till day break. You cannot tell me who this man was, and neither can I tell you who he was. He may have wrestled with himself. Notice: "There wrestled a man with him until the breaking---" Something had to break. If you make it to this tenth gate, you will wrestle until the breaking. Even as in Jacob's day, there is only one way to wrestle with God; until death occurs.
This final conflict between your will, your nature, your desire and His desire must occur in order for there to be only one will, one desire, one nature: HIS NATURE! In this wrestling match there is a paradox in that you overcome by submitting. You win by loosing. If you seek your life, you will loose it. If you loose your life, you will find it.
Jacob wrestled until the breaking of a new day. When you come into this relationship with God, He just might take some liberty with you. Like Job, for instance. Job was minding his own business, walking righteously before God. Have you considered My servant, Job? In Jacob's case it was God who was the aggressor, for it was He who started this wrestling match. Jacob had been running from this for twenty years.
In every man's life there comes that one time when you meet God face to face and get your name and nature changed or you wait another twenty years. I know ministry that is running from God because they are afraid to stop and change their nature, because they know what they are.
Verse 25 says, "When the man saw that he could not overpower Jacob, he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh." This word `touched' is the same word used when the bible says, Uzziah was smitten with leprosy in the forehead. It is the same word that says, Job was smitten. It is the same word in Isaiah 53 where Jesus was smitten. It was more than just a touch. He smote him in the hollow of his thigh. The area of the thigh is that area in which a man produces. The Jacob nature, or the old nature produces only that which is hollow. Because God loves us, He is going to wrestle with us until He completely touches all that is produced by our old nature.
Jesus sat on Jacob's well when the woman come to draw water from that well. We are much like the woman - we like to draw from our old nature. Jesus told her that if she would come to Him He would give her living water and she would thirst no more. Jesus said, "I am the well you are going to draw from." We are to draw from His nature that we may live.
Verse 26, "And he said, `Let me go the dawn breaketh.' And he said, `I will not let you go until you bless me.' And he said unto him, `What is your name?' And he said, `Jacob'."
He said my name or my nature is Jacob, I am a phony, a hypocrite, a supplanter. God said, "Yes I know, but you will no longer walk according to the flesh because I have put a stop to your production, and from this moment on you will be called Israel, for I have changed your nature. And as a prince you have power with God and with man and have prevailed over both."
The name `Israel' means, he shall rule as God. (#3478 or prince with God.)
There will come a time in your maturing process as you come to this Naphtali experience where you will tenaciously hold on to God until he touches you and changes your nature. From that moment on you will rule as God. I did not say "You will be God." I said, "You will rule as God." You will walk like, think like, act like and rule like God. First there must be that maturing of the nature of Christ within you. Naphtali is when you began to walk in your inheritance as a son of God.
Turn now to Gen. 49:21, "Naphtali is a hind (deer) let loose, he gives goodly words."
A hind is a female deer. The root word for hind means strength, or mighty man. Psalms 22 says,
"To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?"
Notice that this Psalm is written to the chief musician, Aijelith Shuhar. Aijelith Shahar means the hind of the morning. Some consider Jesus to be the hind of the resurrection morning and this Psalm is talking about Jesus in the first verse. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Psalms 29:9 says,
"The voice of the Lord makes the hinds to calve and discover the forest; and in his temple does everyone speak of his glory."
The spirit of the Lord is what will cause you to produce and bring forth fruit unto harvest. Nothing you produce outside of God will last. Psalms 18:33 says,
"He makes my feet like hinds feet, and sits upon my high places."
Habakkuk 3:19 says,
"The Lord is my strength and He will make my feet as hinds feet and he will make to walk upon my high places."
In Gen. 49:21 it says, "Naphtali was a hind let loose." Do you know why the church is always portrayed as a female - a hind - a doe - a bride - she - her - etc... Because a female has no seed in her - of her own. We can do nothing without the sperm of God that is within us, which is His word. - I Peter 1:23
The term, "Let Loose" means to be sent forth or to shoot forth or to sow as to plant seed. Naphtali speaks of a people who are going to be sent forth. Because I refuse to let go of God, I AM GOING TO BE SENT forth to produce. To speak God's words. I don't speak words unless I hear my Father say them. David said in Psalms 19:14,
"May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Oh God! My strength and redeemer."
Naphtali was the twelfth stone on the breastplate. The stone was made out of Jasper. A jasper stone is as clear as crystal and this speaks of the nature of Christ. In the Old Testament or the old order, the jasper stone, or the nature of Christ, was last. It was enclosed, hidden, shut up. However, in the New Testament the jasper stone is listed as first. (Rev. 21) The Christ nature is revealed.
If you successfully pass through the experience of Naphtali in your maturing process, you will become clear as crystal and the Christ nature in you will shine forth as the sun.