Senior Pastor Georges William Ntemi continued his interpretation of the symbolic Gates of Jerusalem on Sunday with yet another powerful sermon that left many in the congregation in awe when he was done. He began his virtuoso performance by deductively reasoning that gates are meant for protection to stop enemies from attacking us so as not to create havoc and chaos in our lives.
“If the gates are destroyed, the enemy gets an opportunity to infiltrate our lives. If your gates of life are not set up, your life is exposed to the devil who will prey on you with his evil manipulations. As a child of God, you need to embody the patriotic zeal of Nehemiah, who on hearing that the Gates of Jerusalem had been razed to the ground, started weeping uncontrollably. You should weep bitterly if your gates of life have not been set up,” stated the blessed man of God emphatically.
He noted that the sequence of gates is symbolic of the importance God places in our lives. His confidence is us is signified by the Gates. “The Sheep Gate is indicative of the sacrifice Christ made on our behalf when he shed his blood on the cross that washed our sins for us to become whiter than snow. The Fish Gate espouses us that once we have given our lives to Christ, we must go out and share the gospel with others. The third Gate is the Old Gate, which is symbolic of the old body dying with our sins to give birth to a new body, fully conscious of Christ’s salvation and grace.”
The apostle of God then read Nehemiah 3: 6. After providing the meaning of the names of the men who led the effort in rebuilding the Old Gate, he observed: “The Old Gate is where you go through after going through the Sheep Gate and the Fish Gate. Once you have been saved by the blood of Christ, you have to go through the Old Gate to learn wisdom.”
The blessed man of God expounded that the Old Gate is also a gate of restriction that bars undesirables from entering. “God is unique, so there are certain behaviors not tolerated in his Kingdom. For example, from the beginning of time, the Lord decreed that marriage should be between a man and a woman, so it cannot and must not be otherwise. Christ is the Way and all who go to the Father go through Him. God is the ultimate authority, and anyone that questions His wisdom will lose,” declared the Senior Pastor.
Without any hint of being judgmental, he wondered why Scripture clearly says we must not covet and betray, yet there are people in the Church today who do just that, and that has weakened Christianity because people who do that are weak.
Furthermore, the apostle of God alluded to the Old Gate in Joshua 20: 4,”When they flee to one of these cities, they are to stand in the entrance of the city gate and state their case before the elders of that city, Then the elders are to admit the fugitives into their city and provide a place for them to live among them.”
He unpacked the verse thus: “The Old Gate is also where people seeking asylum are vetted. Criminals are not allowed in.” He encouraged the congregation to stand for justice, reminding us of Paul’s injunctions in Ephesians.
Reading Ephesians 6: 11-12, the blessed man of God noted, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.”
The apostle of God observed that when Boaz saw Ruth and became infatuated with her heavenly beauty, he went to the Old Gate and sought permission from the elders of the city to marry her, and the permission was granted because Ruth was not only beautiful but also a woman of excellent and flawless character. He cited Ruth 4: 11 as evidence to support his assertion.
“The elders of the city gave Boaz the approval because it was in accordance with the Lord. Then the elders and all the people said, ‘We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.”
As it has panned out, Boaz and Ruth not only became famous in Bethlehem but also throughout the world because they became the great grandparents of David and forbears of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Georges reminded the congregation that the only thing Christ did that exasperated the Jews to send him to the Cross was to boldly declare that God was His Father. The disciples suffered because they courageously declared that Christ was and is the Messiah.
“Therefore, as Christians, we are the salt and the light of this world. We are the standard bearers of justice, peace, love, unity, and righteousness. Don’t let the suffering of the disciples be in vain, especially that of John the revelator,” stated the blessed man of God.
He told of the suffering of John, the Revelator, who together with his followers valiantly refused to elevate the name of Caeser over that of Christ. For that they were arrested and sent to the Island of Patmos, the equivalent of modern day Alcatraz where he was tortured brutally. His eyes were gouged, and he was thrown into boiling oil but like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego before him, John didn’t die. In his blindness, he wrote the Book of Revelation and saw the celestial palace of Heaven in its magnificence and splendor.
In a firm conviction and affirmation of the Lord’s power and glory, Pastor George attested to the greatness of the Lord’s name who bore and died on the cross for the redemption of the sins of humanity.
He called on Christians everywhere to walk in the redeeming path of righteousness to be saved. “The old path is the good way. Follow it; if not, something is wrong. The blood spilled from Emmanuel is meant to wash away our sins. We are here to obey God’s word; we are not here to be confused about who Christ is. If you continue changing your mind about Christ, then, you are a yo-yo Christian.”
He regurgitated Psalm 121 and read Jeremiah 6:16 in addition to Psalm 3: 8, ”From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessings be on your people.” And, Malachi 3: 6 says, “I the Lord do not change. So, you the descendants of Jacob are not destroyed.”
Pastor Georges told the congregation to walk in the old path because it is the path of salvation. “Who are we?” he asked. “We have to go to the Old Gate because it is the gate of renewal that leads to the new city, the new Jerusalem, the foundation of peace. Let’s all stand for righteousness.”
The Senior Pastor and some members of the Church, including Min. Louis Pierre Wese and Deaconess Sandrine Tankeu will embark on a pilgrimage to Israel this week. Pray for them as they visit the land of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.