Guardians of the Gate
I Chronicles 26:13-19 – “And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate."
“And the lot eastward fell to Shelemiah. Then for Zechariah his son, a wise counsellor, they cast lots; and his lot came out northward."
“To Obed-edom southward; and to his sons the house of Asuppim."
“To Shuppim and Hosah the lot came forth westward, with the gate Shallecheth, by the causeway of the going up, ward against ward."
“Eastward were six Levites, northward four a day, southward four a day, and toward Asuppim two and two."
“At Parbar westward, four at the causeway, and two at Parbar."
“These are the divisions of the porters among the sons of Kore, and among the sons of Merari.”
As one reads Verses 13 through 19 of I Chronicles, Chapter 26, I’m sure that most reading would pass over the significance of the Text and how it applies to us today.
The purpose of the Text pertains to information regarding the building of Solomon’s Temple. The plans for the building of the Temple were given by God to David. Though not allowed to build the Temple, everything given to him by God was passed on to Solomon. The reason for this has to do with both David and Solomon as Types of Christ. David serves as a Type of the “Conquering Christ,” while Solomon was a Type of the “Victorious Christ” resting in beauty, splendor, and peace. Solomon’s rule is a Type of the coming “Kingdom Age” when Christ, victorious over the anti-Christ and his vast armies, will rule in Jerusalem in majesty, power, splendor, and peace.
In regard to the construction of the Temple, it is important to understand that the Plans for its construction were all of God and not man. There is absolutely no expression of David or Solomon found in the plans.
This tells us that the Spiritual plans for the building of the Temple of the Believer is a plan devised by the Lord and carried out by the Holy Spirit and not by a church, a denomination, or a preacher. The work in our hearts is all of God and God Alone.
The Text tells us of the four gates that allowed access to the Temple. These gates faced north, south, east, and west. Six Levites were to be posted in front of the four gates. Their only responsibility was to guard the gates of the Temple night and day. The purpose of this was that these Levites, as guardians of the gates, were to see to it that no evil would enter into the Temple of God.
Their sole duty was to make the people aware of the practical limits of Holiness, for anyone entering the Sanctuary of God unlawfully did so under the penalty of death. Some examples would be those who were unclean, such as lepers. Those that were enemies to the House of God, even priests, were to be denied entrance to God’s House in a state of uncleanness. In all of this, we see how much God hates everything that is not sanctioned by Him. That which is Holy must be protected, watched over, and guarded, hence, “Guardians of the Gates.”
THE MEANING FOR TODAY
In the New Covenant, there is no physical temple that one goes to regarding worship. The Believer today is the Temple of God (I Cor. 3:16). The physical building that we call Church is just a building, a building though that is to be dedicated to the worship of God; therefore, we must be careful as to what we allow to take place in the building. As there were guardians for the gates of the Temple, there are guardians today. These Guardians are to be those whom God has Called into the fivefold Ministry Gifts (Eph. 4:11). It is the job of the God-called minister to Spiritually stand our watch as “Guardians of the Gate” (i.e., the heart of the Believer that the Lord has given us the responsibility for their Spiritual development). We are to stand guard to make sure that that which is evil — false doctrine, Biblical error, the world, etc. — does not gain entrance to defile the heart of the Christian, thereby, polluting the Church.
THE FAILURE OF TODAY’S GUARDIANS
I think that an honest heart has to acknowledge that the church of today is not healthy. Actually, I believe that one has to look no farther than Isaiah, Chapter 1, Verses 2 through 6, for a proper description of the modern church, which is summed up in Verse 5, “… the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.” Instead of being a “Guardian of the Gate,” too many preachers have deserted their posts, opened the gates wide, and are bringing the unclean into the House of God; false doctrine, false worship, worldliness, etc. Simply put, I lay the blame not at the feet of the laity, but at the feet of the preachers behind the pulpit. The Church is what it is because the pulpit no longer stands for anything.
Of course, that does not pertain to all, but, sad to say, it does cover the majority.
Several months ago, I happened to be sharing a meal with a younger minister ordained by a fairly well-known Pentecostal denomination. As we shared a meal, I began to ask him questions regarding those of his generation, their beliefs, and why they do what they do. I was informed that the vast majority in his age group reject preachers such as myself, the reason being, “I am too dogmatic,” I deal in “absolutes,” and to them, there is no place for any preaching or teaching that is “dogmatic” and “absolute,” for to do so may offend someone. Of course, I already knew this was the case. However, never forget that the Bible is not a Book of diplomacy and neither is the Gospel. The Word of God plainly says, “… choose you this day whom you will serve …” (Josh. 24:15). To be a true minister of the Gospel, we must be dogmatic as it pertains to God’s Word. If the Bible is truly God’s Word (and it is), then we must be faithful, resolute and, yes, dogmatic.
FOUR MAJOR BIBLE DOCTRINES UNDER ATTACK
As we talked, he gave me four major Doctrines of the Bible that are being pushed aside by many of the younger generation of ministers.
- Tongues: Many are wanting to do away with Tongues as the initial physical evidence that one has received the Infilling of the Holy Spirit. This I already knew, but then he stated that some are wanting to do away with Tongues completely as part of our worship and distinction as a “Pentecostal.” They say, “What’s the big deal about Tongues?” Well, the big deal is this: Acts 2:11 plainly states that when one prays in Tongues, he is speaking “… the wonderful Works of God.” Hear me very carefully. “The wonderful Works of God” are a “big deal.” Salvation is a “big deal,” Justification and Sanctification is a “big deal,” Divine Healing is a “big deal,” Holiness is a “big deal,” Grace is a “big deal,” ALL of “the wonderful Works of God” are a “big deal” and to ask, “What’s the big deal?” is the same as saying of the Lord Jesus Christ, “What’s the big deal?” The “big deal” is Heaven or Hell.
- Eschatology: This word means Prophecy, the study of future events according to the Bible. It used to be that there was much debate about the Rapture, but many of the younger generation are going further by identifying themselves as “Amillennialists,” which is a denial of the Millennial Reign of Christ, the coming Kingdom Age.
As space limits my response, I will simply say this: to deny the Rapture and the coming Kingdom Age leaves the Child of God with nothing to look forward to, and if the present time is the best that we have to look forward to, then God help us. No, my friend, I am looking forward to and for “the Blessed Hope,” Jesus Christ and what He has in store for us in a time yet to come.
- Homosexuality: This is their position: “Yes, homosexuality is a sin, but so too is lying, stealing, etc., so why are you so focused on homosexuality?” While it is true that all sin is an affront to God, still, the Bible makes it clear that some sins are looked at by the Lord as worse than others, and homosexuality is one of those sins. Let me remind these younger preachers that there is no Biblical record of God destroying whole cities for lying, stealing, cheating, or any other sin save for homosexuality. In fact, the Lord destroyed four cities for the sin of homosexuality: Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim (Deut. 29:23). I think that says it all.
- Alcohol: The mantra for these young preachers is “moderation.” It’s okay to drink, just don’t get drunk. Drink in moderation. Let me pose a question regarding moderation. We now have some states that have legalized the smoking of marijuana. So, if it’s legal, then as a Christian, can I smoke pot as long as it’s in moderation? Just because something is considered legal doesn’t mean it’s not a sin. As well, consider this, every day in America 28 people die as a result of drunk driving. That’s more than 10,000 people a year. This amounts to one death every 48 minutes with an annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totaling more than 51 billion dollars. Also, consider this, adultery is considered a crime in 23 states but is rarely ever enforced. So, in the 27 states that adultery is legal, does that mean as a Christian I can commit adultery in moderation? As long as it’s only once every three years, and it doesn’t last for more than two or three months, then it’s okay? Any sensible Christian knows that it’s still sin because God says it’s sin. So the “moderation” argument is absurd. Who determines what “moderation” is? For one, “moderation” may mean one glass of wine, but for another, it may be two or three drinks, as long as one is not driving. Let’s get real here. The argument is not “moderation,” it’s license. They want license to drink, plain and simple. So, my answer to them is this: “Go ahead with your glass of wine, your one beer, your frozen daiquiris, your Mai Tai. Drink it all the way to Hell because that’s where you’re headed.”
If you are called to preach, you are a “Guardian of the Gate,” you are a “Watchman,” you have a God-called, God-ordained responsibility to stand in front of the gate, to stand on the wall, and to stop anything that is contrary to God’s Word from coming in and deceiving God’s People. I am a “Guardian of the Gate” and “… woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel!” (I Cor. 9:16).
Preachers, take up your posts, don’t break rank, hold onto the Word of God and don’t waver but hold fast, and great will be your reward.
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