The Gates

As we listened to Ray Hughes, we felt transported back into time. It was like we were hanging onto each word of the storyteller, his shadow casting images on the wild forest, campfire blazing in the chill of the Cumberland Gap, Daniel Boone country.

By the way, Cumberland Gap was named after Lord Cumberland who successfully led the government forces against the Scottish highlanders at the Battle of Culloden (Ray made reference to this battle). It was quick and bloody. It squashed for all time any Scottish uprisings. The lonesome sound found in the music of the Scottish immigrants to Kentucky came from this sad chapter in their ancestor’s lives.

Sensitivity to the land also weaved its way into the music and the psyche of those who dwell in the green hills of Appalachia. Ray Hughes brought the richness of this Scottish/Irish mountain heritage, mixed together with a deep understanding of revival history, worship, Scripture, and God’s Spirit, to all of our ears and hearts. It was spirit speaking to spirit, deep calling to deep.

It had that kind of feel: nuggets of wisdom being strewn into the atmosphere like some old time preacher preaching from the Wilderness Revivals of the early 1800’s. God laid down a challenge to all of us to get radically consumed by His awesomeness. It was nothing less than preparation for revival. We have to think this way. We have to prepare our hearts this way. Many from past revivals did not heed the exhortations from the prophets and missed their visitation from God. Let’s not make the same mistake.

On Wednesday night, our speaker had a specific word for our church. It was birthed in his spirit while ministering in Israel. He felt it was time for its release; he felt it was for our church. He talked about gates.

Gates in ancient times had many functions. It served as a place of assembly and commerce. Kings held audience and prophets proclaimed the Word of the Lord there (1 Kgs 22:10, Jer 17:19). Ezra read the Law in the gates to the people of Israel (Neh 8:1). Merchants sold their goods in this place; thus, the sheep gate was where they sold sheep; the fish gate was where they sold fish, and so on and so on.

The king and elders of a city also administered justice at the gate, even juridical transactions. Boaz secured his marriage to Ruth at a gate (Ruth 4:1).

A city’s security relied heavily on the strength of its main gate. Archaeological digs have found huge, ornate gates that once guarded places like Samaria and other Ancient Near Eastern Cities. It was the main point of attack by any invading force. To control the gate of a city is to control the city. It was that simple.

In the spiritual realm, the gates represented a place of authority and power over death and Hades (Ps 107:18, Isa, 38:10, Matt 16:18). It was also the narrow gate, rather than the main, that led people to eternal life (Matt 7:13).

As stated earlier, gates represented places of authority and power. 1 John 5:19 states, “We know we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:12 further states, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” What does all this mean?

We live in a world of light and darkness, good and evil, angels and demons, God and the Devil. The good and evil we see manifested in the physical world are sourced in this spiritual reality. HB 444 and other unrighteous legislation are sourced from the demonic realm, not our political leaders. Remember: we fight not against flesh and blood.

We, as Christians, are like the 101st airborne battalion being dropped into enemy occupied territory to transform our demonized earth into the righteousness of heaven. We are called to bring the reality of the not yet. We are called to bring the reality of the new heaven and the new earth before the bulk of the angelic forces and Jesus arrive. How do we do this? By coming against the spiritual places of authority or gates. These places of power hold the keys to breakthrough over Hawaii and other parts of the world.

The weapons of our warfare must be spiritual, not physical. 2 Cor 10:3 states, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” The spiritual weapons we possess can destroy fortresses, both physical and spiritual. What are they?

The Word, prayer, worship, the Holy Spirit, but more importantly, our relationship and access to our papa in heaven, the Lord of hosts. Hebrews 4:16 states, “Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” We have direct access to God’s throne room. We have gone past the gates, but into the highest realm of spiritual authority.

What does this mean in regards to taking down the authority structures and power of the enemy? First, we carry the presence and the power of God wherever we go. How does this happen? We can come before God’s throne room whenever and wherever. We have direct access to the King of Kings. He will answer when we call upon Him. He will manifest his power when we worship him in Spirit and in truth. It's this power that brings down the enemy's power. 

We also carry His Spirit within us. He dwells inside the temple of our body as a force greater than the demonic realm outside (1 John 4:4). We have power within and without to battle the enemy’s strongholds of this world. It’s a one-two punch against our adversary.

Whenever we worship Him, we proclaim him as King. We enthrone Him (Psalm 22:3). Jesus has already disarmed the power of the Devil (Col 1:15). He has overcome the world (John 16:33).

Wherever we go we carry the gate or the authority of God. When we come to an enemy stronghold and worship, The King of Kings manifests and stands at the demonic fortress and commands entrance. He is the Lord of Hosts (Psalm 24). The enemy must open the gate or God will tear off its hinges like Samson did to the Philistine gate (Judges 16:3). That is why the gates of hell cannot withstand the offensive onslaught of God’s church (Matthew 16:18). They cannot withstand God!

The weapon of worship unleashes the presence of God on the enemies of God’s people. Paul and Silas utilized this powerful weapon (Acts 16:25-30); Jehoshaphat placed singers in front of his army and God routed the enemies of Israel (1 Chron 20:21-22); David played his harp and the evil spirit oppressing Saul left (1 Sam 16:23). True worship of God has power.

What allows us access to God as Christians? We draw near to him from the heart (James 4:7-8); we call upon Him in truth (Psalm 145:18); we walk in obedience (Jn 14:23); we walk by faith (Heb 10:38). These things incorporated into our praise (tahila) will get us through the gate and release the favor of God on our lives. These things will smash down strongholds.

Today, we do not have physical gates around our cities, but we do have spiritual ones. These are places of authority that control the spiritual life of a city or region. Ray Hughes, through his message on Wednesday night, told us God was giving Unified… an authoritative sound over various spiritual gates in Hawaii and in the world. As we praise (tahila) the living God at these various gates (Psalm 24), God’s presence will take control and usher in a revival of great magnitude on this land. The Lord of Hosts will come to inhabit and control the gates again. He will flood into the city with his presence. He will answer the call of true worshippers.

These were the specific gates gleaned from Nehemiah 3:

1. The sheep gate: God will birth worship that will minister a new, prophetic song into the hearts of God’s people, his sheep – especially lost sheep. These are songs for the wounded and hurt. These are songs of green meadows and quiet waters. It will call the hurt ones from east and west, north and south, into a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with Him.

2. The fish gate: Some will birth worship that will specifically touch the hearts of the lost. It will bring in the fish. It will float into bars, open markets, the stages of this world, and bring in a gigantic harvest of soles (No pun intended. Actually, this was intended).

3. The old gate: Old familiar songs of remembrance will be released in this season to bless many. For instance, Here is Love is being resurrected at this time. Many more will be poured out.

4. The valley gate: These are songs that will reach people who dwell in the deep valleys of sorrow. It will lift them out and set them on their feet again.

5. The dung gate: Songs that will influence the dung of our society, the outcasts, the homeless, the dirty, the rejects. They will be touched and reached by these songs.

6. The fountain gate: Songs of joy and living water bubbling out into the world.

7. The water gate: This gate represents songs filled with reams of revelations from God to refresh and heal God’s people. These are Holy Spirit songs of refreshment. It will bubble out and burst forth.

8. The horse gate: This is the music of war. It will release the warhorses of God onto the land.

9. The east gate: This symbolizes the music of his glory.

10. The inspection gate: It’s the song of command and correction. These songs will search the hearts and minds of people. It will inspect our lives and get us ready to meet God.

These are just brief summaries of each gate. I encourage all to download the MP3 recordings from Wednesday night and the rest of the conference to get the full teaching.

Church, God is up to something very big. Ray Hughes exhorted us not to just sing songs of worship, but to be the song.

As I worshipped and danced before the Lord, I realized that my worship was wanting. Maybe some of you feel the same way about yourself. I am not raving mad for God like King David. He danced before the Ark in the position of a slave. Only the slaves marched in front of a procession, the kings stayed in the back. It was their rightful place of authority.

David took the position of a slave as a prophetic statement to his Kingdom that he was a servant of God first, the king of Israel second. He was so overjoyed about God’s presence entering the gates of Jerusalem that he danced for nine miles (the distance from Obed Edom's house to Jerusalem)! Life, joy, security, peace, love, Jehovah were making their home with David’s kingship. He rejoiced in this understanding.

Michal despised him because he took this humiliating position before his people. Little did she know that the king was dancing before The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Her criticalness left her barren. Her insensitivity to God’s ways aborted her destiny.

The religious and the irreligious will mock your worship of God. You may be humiliated before the people. You may be judged. Who cares? That’s their problem. Just dance before Abba and get lost in His love! You dance before the King. There is nothing dishonorable in this.

By the end of the conference, I felt more free and alive. Many felt the same way. Saturday night was mind blowing! I felt totally free to be undignified. Many flapped around, jumped up and down, skipped around the church, danced uncontrollably, spun with joy, and did the David thing. It was simply crazy. It was simply great!

I know I am just skimming the surface, but who can call themselves a pro when it comes to grasping the awesomeness of God? No one. We will always be learning and growing.

It’s time to get undignified for God in the streets of this world. It’s time to storm the gates! Love you folks!