GATEWAY CITIES – Part 2
by Nathan Shaw
Jerusalem is the most important gateway city on the earth. The first time Jerusalem is mentioned in the bible it is ruled by a man called Melchizedek. Melchizedek was not only king of Jerusalem but also priest of God Most High (Genesis 14:18). In other words His authority connected both natural and spiritual realms. The book of Genesis records only one meeting between Melchizedek and Abram. This meeting didn't happen by chance. It was divinely ordained. Melchizedek blessed Abram (Genesis 14:19, Hebrews 7:1). The following four points paint the full picture.
- Abram dwelt in Hebron.
- Melchizedek dwelt in Jerusalem.
- Through Abram all the nations of the earth would be blessed.
- Through Melchizedek Abram was blessed.
Melchizedek's significance is made very clear when you understand that the greater always blesses the lesser (Hebrews 7:7). The relationship between Abram and Melchizedek is very significant. It also shows the significance of the future relationship between Hebron and Jerusalem as gateway cities.
Fast forward about 600 years. Israel has conquered the promised land. Although all the surrounding territory was captured the stronghold of Jerusalem remained in the hands of the Jebusites. It wasn't until another 400 or so years later that Jerusalem was captured by king David. Both Hebron and Jerusalem were difficult to capture. Hebron was difficult to capture because it was occupied by the sons of Anak. Jerusalem was difficult to capture because of its geography. The fortress at Jerusalem seemed so impregnable that the Jebusites taunted David saying, “There is no way you can enter here!” (2 Samuel 5:6).
Hebron Then Jerusalem
When Caleb took Hebron from the three sons of Anak he became a national hero. Today young boys look up to imaginary heros such as Superman or Spiderman. In bible days young Jewish boys looked up to heros such as Caleb and Samson. It is almost certain that Caleb was a major hero in young David's life, particularly as David grew up in the region of Bethlehem which is between Jerusalem and Hebron.
Caleb was a giant killer. As a teenager David followed in Caleb's footsteps by confronting and defeating the giant Goliath (1 Samuel 15). David's bold faith to confront Goliath was inspired partly by Caleb's confrontation of the sons of Anak. Both the sons of Anak and Goliath had an intimidating effect that paralyzed the whole nation of Israel. After killing Goliath, David became a national hero. King Saul became jealous of him and tried to kill him. David had to flee for his life and spent over ten years hiding from Saul. For most of this period he lived in the rugged and remote Judean wilderness. During this time his faith and courage was imparted to those who became known as David's mighty men. The parallels between Caleb and David are striking:
- Caleb and David were both giant killers.
- Caleb and David both trained up an army of fighting men who took a gateway city.
Eventually Saul was killed in battle. David was then welcomed as king by only one of the twelve tribes—the tribe of Judah. Hebron was the main city in the territory of Judah. David and his mighty men lived in Hebron for the next seven and a half years. Not only was David inspired by Caleb's example of faith, he was also living in the gateway city that Caleb had captured. Every day when David and his mighty men woke up they were strengthened, inspired and equipped by Caleb's spiritual legacy of faith.
After this seven and a half year period David was made king of the entire nation of Israel. It was at this point that he made the decision to conquer Jerusalem and make it his capital. God had been preparing David and his mighty men for this destiny for some time. There were two phases to this preparation. Firstly the years of adversity and hiddenness in the Judean wilderness. Secondly the years of blessing living in Hebron. Hebron was more than a city that had been conquered. It was a gateway city. The blessing of heaven poured through the gateway. The atmosphere was charged with faith.
Hebron was strategic for taking Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the greater gateway. After learning to keep the gateway open in Hebron for over seven years David and his mighty men were ready to conquer and maintain the Jerusalem gateway.
Today many gateways are in the hands of the enemy. Faith is necessary to wrest the gateway from the enemy. But faith is then necessary to keep the gateway open. To conquer a gateway and not have the faith to keep it open accomplishes little. That's why it's important to understand that God prepares us not only to conquer the enemy but also to keep the gateway open.
Caleb knew the significance of Hebron. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—the three sons of covenant—lived there, and were buried there. Hebron wasn't significant because there were three bodies buried in the ground. It was significant because Abraham, Isaac and Jacob's burial there was a statement of faith in the promises of God.
David knew the significance of Jerusalem. Melchizedek—the priest-king—lived there. David wrote about Melchizedek with great insight in Psalm 110. Once again the significance wasn't that Melchizedek lived in Jerusalem. The significance was that Melchizedek lived there in faith and under divine mandate.
Hebron And Jerusalem
Spiritual unity between two people is very powerful. Likewise, spiritual unity between two gateway cities is very powerful. The greatest kingdom advance came when both gateways—Hebron and Jerusalem—were opened. David brought the ark of God's presence into Jerusalem and established continuous praise and proclamation. The increase in governmental authority was profound. In a short period of time David conquered all the surrounding nations. The wealth from the plunder was used to establish Jerusalem as a witness to all the world.
The gateway in Hebron supported and strengthened the gateway at Jerusalem.
Likewise, once the gateway at Jerusalem was opened the gateway at Hebron was strengthened.
Lessons for Today
Davids and Calebs are being trained to take gateways in our generation. Some are in hiddenness and contending with heavy demonic assignments designed to take them out. Some are occupying significant gateways and from there are being strengthened and positioned to take even greater gateways. Some of the most powerful gateway cities are not yet open. If we are to advance into the fullness that God has for us we must understand the importance of spiritual vision and also the reality of being citizens of two realms.
1. Spiritual Vision
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were seers. David was a seer. They could all see things in the spirit realm. This helped them discern gateways. The role of seers is important today. Seers help the body of Christ discern both demonic and heavenly gateways. But more than this many also have an authority to equip Christians with increased spiritual vision. All new covenant believers are called to walk in an increased measure of the seer anointing (Acts 2:17).
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all had profound experiences in which they encountered God directly. But being a seer is more than this. It involves seeing spiritual realities as more real than natural realities.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:8-10 NIV).
This is the type of faith that opens gateways.
2. Citizens of Two Realms
New covenant believers are citizens of two realms. Not only are we citizens of two realms we are to connect the two realms. This revelation is strategically important if we want to see gateways opened. We are citizens of both earth and heaven! Each citizenship gives us unique authority. We are to walk in the authority of both citizenships. Melchizedek was a prophetic forerunner of this reality. He was not only a king over a city, he was a priest in a gateway. That's why he had such great authority to bless Abram.
Humans have been given authority over the earth (Genesis 1:26, 28). This is not an unspiritual reality. It is part of God's plan. God gave authority over the earth to Adam and Eve. Ultimately it is God's authority and He can give it to whomever He chooses. God made this choice before the earth was even created. Satan stole this authority but it rightfully belongs to humans. Ultimately this authority will be fully restored to those for whom it was intended.
After Jesus' death and resurrection He told His disciples, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18 italics added). Jesus could legitimately say “and on earth” because when He was conceived in Mary's womb He became a man. Jesus commanded His disciples to operate in this authority. In other words Jesus took the authority from Satan and restored it back to humans. But that's not all. As Christians we are also seated with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) and seated is a position of rulership.
It Is Time
It is time for the seer anointing to increase our spiritual vision.
It is time for us to discover what it means to walk as citizens of both earth and heaven.
Revelation about Melchizedek and the dual citizenship of believers is about to become much more prominent.
The gateways over Hebron and Jerusalem were opened unexpectedly by those who walked in faith and spiritual vision. Once they were taken it completely changed the game plan. The same is about to happen.
It is time for gateway cities to open.
Nathan Shaw helps bring individuals and churches into dynamic encounters with God's indescribable love. Nathan's passion is to equip churches so that they can move in the Spirit, access heavenly realms, encounter God's heart and release His Kingdom on the earth. Over the last twenty years he has been instrumental in ushering in significant moves of the Spirit in over ten different nations. Many have experienced life changing prophetic encounters and dramatic visitations from God. Nathan is the author of two books: Passion and Fire and Unto the Least of These and he is the senior pastor at Fire and Destiny Centre www.fireanddestiny.org, Dunedin and Celebration Church, Mosgiel www.celebrationchurch.xyz.
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