By Samuel O. Doku (Washington, DC). The Senior Pastor of Amazing Love Church Ministry Int’l tackled the penultimate gate in the hierarchy in his series on Christmas eve, and many members of the congregation who heard Pastor George Ntemi deliver the sermon, wondered what could have happened to Christ’s injunction to Christians to forgive our enemies infinitely.
The blessed man of God grounded his sermon on the Horse Gate, with the usual title, “Rebuilding the Gates of Your Life.” The horse gate is symbolic of spiritual warfare, so the consul of God enjoined Christians never to relent to enemies that attack them, but they must put on the armor of God and fight, fight, and fight until the enemies are vanquished into abeyance and inactivity. The fight of the apostle of God’s focus is spiritual because of the symbolic interpretation of the horse gate.
Pastor Ntemi read Nehemiah 3: 28, “Above the Horse Gate, the priests made repairs, each in front of his own house.” For the first time in the hierarchy of the gates, the priests concentrated on repairing their own gates because each individual must battle his or her own demons to circumvent the devil from taking over their lives.
As the blessed man of God stated, “Paul points out in Ephesians 6: 10-12, ‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of the Lord 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 spiritual forces in the heavenly realms.’”
Pastor Georges noted that in the olden days, the horse gate was where the horses and chariots were unleashed to go to war. “The life of a Christian is war because once you give your life to Christ, the devil will constantly be lurking to attack as soon as you lose your guard. Christ said ‘the world hated him. The world will hate you too.’ We have people who misuse their prayer by misdirecting it toward pastors. The word of God is good, but don’t misuse it.
“When the gates of your life are not where they are supposed to be, you need to mourn. However, there is a time to cry, but there is also a time to stop crying and act. The battle is fought everyday of your life. Fight against it; otherwise, it would destroy you. If you love your life, you would fight; don’t be afraid,” assured the apostle man of God.
In a physical manifestation for the audience to understand and appreciate the need for Christians to stand up for themselves, he recalled his youthful days when one day a bully at his school seized his lunch, but instead of making an attempt to get his food back, he ran home to complain to his father, erroneously thinking his dad would accompany him to school to get the lunch back for him.
The father asked him to return to school to retrieve his lunch from the bully. He went and since there was no food because the bully had already consumed it, it turned into brawl. Pastor Georges confessed that he lost the first couple of fights, but he never stopped fighting the bully on subsequent lunch days. He fought the bully for a week until he relented and promised never to touch his food again.
The interesting twist to the anecdote is that it was not only the bully who became afraid of him, but all the bad guys who were accustomed to ravenously pouncing on students’ to starve them became scared of him and started giving him respect. He added: “That is how the devil works. You must fight and outwit him, and he will leave you alone. That’s how you earn his respect. With God, you are in the majority,” said the apostle of God.
Psalm 144: 1 says, “Praise be to the Lord my Rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.” He continued with a
n analogy: “The Church of God is not a recreation center; it’s a war zone. The day you accepted Christ, you saw the light and something changed in you. Since the devil is the prince of darkness, you have become a threat to him, so he will come after you.”
His mention of the prince of darkness took him to Revelation 19: 11 and the second coming of Christ. John the revelator says, “I saw Heaven standing open, and there before me was a white horse whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.”
Pastor Georges then delved into a beautiful discourse of dualism to remind the congregation that “I AM” will surely come again: “The first time, Christ came as a baby, born in a manger; the second time, he will come as a mighty warrior and a powerful king. The first time, he was condemned by Herod and judged by Pontius Pilate; the second time, he will judge them all.
“The first time, he wore a crown of thorns; the second time, he will wear a resplendent crown and sit on his royal diadem, his royal throne where he will judge all and condemn sinners, including the beast and false prophets into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”
The blessed man of God assured the people of God that 2018 will be a year with a difference because the children of God will rise courageously and fight and triumph. “The Church of God will not make peace with the unGodly. Your struggles are indicative of the proof that the devil has not conquered you. Your struggles are signs that your miracle is on the way. Remember, the devil doesn’t attack those in his camp.”
He added that the crown comes only to those who fight the good fight of fate. In an allusion, Pastor Georges seems to be reminding the UN that when David and his army of 30,000 men descended on Jerusalem 3,000 years ago and conquered the Jebusites, he firmly placed the Ark of the Covenant there to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel, as the Almighty God had decreed.
Pastor Georges reiterated Ephesians 6: 10 saying, “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” He provided an analysis of the words “strength” and “power” and noted that strength is stored energy while power is the manifestation of the energy. “The battle is the Lord’s. He is the one taking you to battle just like he took David to face the Goliath. Don’t be afraid.”
He cited Deuteronomy 20: 1-4 and Deuteronomy 28 to affirm and encourage the people of God to trust in the Lord to fight their battles for them. “When people around you try to destroy you, thrust them into the Lord’s hands and He will fight for you.”
He recalled the story of Naomi and her two daughters-in-law, Ruth and Opah. When she was returning from the land of the Moabites where she and her family went during famine in Jerusalem, Ruth displayed total loyalty to her mother-in-law and accompanied her, but Opah decided to return to her parents. Ruth would go on to become the great grandmother of David.
“Between Ruth and Opah, Opah had a slave mentality, but Ruth displayed the firm loyalty of a warrior. Opah was just like the Jews that were enslaved in Egypt for 430 years. On the way to the land of their patriots from slavery, when they crossed the Red Sea and didn’t see meat, they wanted to return into slavery because of meat.
“They cried because of meat; they wanted to return because of meat. Because of that and coupled with their worshiping of idols, God killed all of them except Joshua and Caleb. Only those born in the Wilderness were able to reach the promised land,” said the blessed man of God.
Pastor Georges also mentioned Daniel’s loyalty to the Lord, resulting in his being thrown into the lion’s den by King Darius and Christ’s exhibition of supreme confidence in the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane when the 500 soldiers sent to arrest him fell on the ground when they asked of him and he said, “I AM.”
Finally, Pastor Georges lamented that the Church as an institution is dying because some shady characters are operating as pastors and what have you.
“Daniel prospered during the reigns of Darius and Cyrus because of his good character. Let us, Christians be of good character so that we don’t discourage new converts into our faith. We are fishers of men and the light of the world. Let us hold hands together as a sign of unity and strength, and we will prevail. Next year will be different, and you will be witnesses,” assured the blessed man of God, who acknowledged the loyalty and diligence of Pastor Jean Paul Ntap and Evangelist Walters Asah by donating the morning’s collection to the two preachers.
It was an unexpected Christmas bonus from the Senior Pastor to show the Church’s appreciation.