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Thursday, December 20 2012
The Messiah's Teachings About Gates
A "gate" may be defined as "a door-like movable barrier in a fence or wall." The Messiah taught about a righteous "strait" gate, which means narrow, rather than a "straight" gate, that can also be linear, but very wide - hence the reason that unrepentant sinners can go "straight to hell" (a Biblical principle that has been perverted into a profanity by those who have a wicked mind to do so; see also What Does Wicked Mean?) if they refuse to do what is necessary for entry through the narrow gate. One of the Messiah's most famous teachings so involved "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction."
"7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it [see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners].
Luke (see The Epistles: Luke and The Epistles: Acts) recorded the same teaching with additional detail. Notice that the "strait gate," as described above, is always open, to all who repent - but that it will one day be closed, when the "day" of opportunity has ended (see Repent, For The Kingdom Of Heaven Is At Hand).
"13:22 And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved?
"The twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass"
The Messiah was Sacrificed outside of the city gate ("Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate" - "without" there meaning outside), as an object-lesson portrayal of the outside of the New Jerusalem that is to come (as explained below). The Lamb of God then entered through the gate to the Throne of God, opening the way to salvation (see the Fact Finder question below) - hence His "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6 KJV).
"13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever [see The Kingdom Of The LORD God].
"21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men [see The Feast Of Tabernacles In History And Prophecy], and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
The only Biblical mention of the famous "pearly gates" is when they will be on Earth, in the New Jerusalem: "The twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass."
"21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone [see also The Jasper Of Heaven And Earth], clear as crystal; 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
"Blessed are they that do His Commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the City"
The gates of the New Jerusalem "shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there." Why? Because by that time there will be no unrepentant sinners in existence. "The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it," while "there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."
"21:22 And I saw no temple therein [see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Temple]: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 21:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Revelation 21:22-27 KJV)
The earliest kingdoms were cities - walled compounds that had grown from a family camp (the word "king" originated from a title of the leader of a kin, or family). The principle is identical to the coming Kingdom of God, in which the Father will be the King of all of His "born again" family (see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?).
"22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle [see Lampstands Or Candlesticks?], neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 22:1-5 KJV)
The "Book" of Revelation (see also The Epistles: Revelation) ends with the same command by the Messiah as He spoke in the "Gospel" Books: "Blessed are they that do His Commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."
"22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be [see Works Means Obedience]. 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Fact Finder: How and when did the Messiah open the gate of salvation for humanity?
This Day In History, December 20
69: Roman emperor Vitellius was murdered and his body was dragged through the streets by the supporters of his rival Vespian, who then became Emperor (see New Testament Roman Emperors and Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).
1046: At the Synod at Sutri in Italy, German Emperor Heinrich (the German version of Henry) III dismissed Pope Gregory VI (see Emperors and Popes and listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy). Four days later, Clement II was elected as pope.
1192: Richard the Lion-Heart was captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria while returning to England after signing a treaty with Saladin to end the Third crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1552: Katherine von Bora died at age 53. The former nun married Protestant reformer Martin Luther in 1525, when Luther was 42 and she was 26. They had 6 children.
1606: English settlers for the Virginia Company (a joint stock company chartered by King James I earlier that year) left London to establish colonies in the wilderness of "New England."
1699: Following the lead of the Church of Rome, Peter the Great announced a reorganization of the Russian calendar, decreeing that the new year would begin on January 1 instead of September 1.
1780: The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War (1780-1784) began.
1860: In defense of slavery, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union; it was not readmitted until 1868, after the Civil War.
1919: Canadian National Railways was established. It is today North America's longest railway with 31,000 miles / 50,000 kilometers of track.
1922: Fourteen Russian republics were combined as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The USSR lasted 70 years before collapsing to the failure of socialism as a viable economic system.
1924: Austrian-born German Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler was released from Landsberg Prison (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1933: The Nazi government of Germany announced that 400,000 citizens were to be sterilized because of "hereditary defects" (included in the "defects" were anyone who opposed the government).
1955: Cardiff was proclaimed the capital city of Wales, United Kingdom.
1973 In Spain, General Franco's prime minister and right-hand man, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, was assassinated as he rode through a Madrid street.
1983: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and 4,000 PLO ("Palestine Liberation Organization"; "Palestine" is a variant English translation of "Philistine") loyalists were evacuated from Lebanon during an Israeli invasion.
1987: A collision between the Philippine ferry Dona Paz and a tanker caused the deaths of 4,386 passengers and crew, all but 11 aboard the ferry - the worst peace-time tragedy at sea. The Dona Paz was licensed to carry just 1,500.
1989: The U.S. invaded Panama to install a new government after President Manuel Noriega began moving Panama toward a declaration of independence from the U.S.
1996: Astronomer Carl Sagan died at age 62 (listen to our Sermon The Creator of Cosmos).