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The Lord's Favorite Place

The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
-Psalm 87:2

The Lord has a favorite place on earth.  His favorite place is the place where people come into His presence.  That is what the gates of Zion means.

The gates of Zion is God's Golden Gate Bridge.

Zion is a place, a mountain, that is real and symbolic.  Zion is the hill that Jerusalem is built on and Zion is the mountain that the temple is built on.  But today it is a place that points to something.

Zion today, is a word that signifies the people of God.  The Lord loves the gates of His people.  The gates signify the entryway and authority of Christ that believers live in with the Lord.

The gates are the ways and the means.  That is to say, the Lord loves the gates of Zion, because the Lord loves people who are living in Christ.  God's plan has always been for people to come and be transformed and then to go out with Him, into the world.

The gates of Zion are the place where people are transformed.  People come into Christ, through the gates.  Then people go out into the world as God's missionaries in Christ, through those same gates.

The gates of Zion signify the authority given by Jesus to his church.  Jesus said, 
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
-Matthew 28:18-20
Notice that baptism comes before teaching.  The beginning of discipleship is baptism.  This is something I learned recently, from a Baptist friend, who is insightful.

The great commision is to go out and make disciples. And the first thing a disciple does is to get baptized.

Jesus method is to go out and find people, make them disciples and baptize them, where they live.

Baptism is part of mission and evangelism.  I think that if you study baptism in the NT, you will find that it always happens outside of the more formal meetings.  As soon as you become a disciple, you get baptized.

It is natural, powerful and solemn; with prayer, and in the authority of Jesus, which all believers possess.

Jesus simply said, "go out into the world, in my authority. You are all authorized, as missionaries, to make disciples.  And first baptise them."  There is no mention from him of getting people into the church (meeting houses) first or through catechism or confirmatory classes before the event of baptism.

The gates of Zion, are the authority to say, "you are in", to people.  And baptising someone, where you find them, says, or is symbolic of, "you're in".  Every Christian is authorized by Jesus, to go out, into the world, and find people; to make them disciples and immediately baptize them.

That is the great commission.  That is the assignment from Jesus to all Christians.  This is permission.

The gates of Zion signify coming and going.  Coming into Christ and going out with Christ.  And we do both, through his authority.

And there is also an enemy of Christ in the world.  He also has a kingdom and authority.  A battle is going on between God's and Satan's kingdoms.

Jesus said,
"I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it"                                                           -Matthew 16:18b (ESV)
The gates of Zion prevail over the gates of hell.  The gates of hell means the comings and goings or the commerce of the forces of darkness.  Gates also means power or force, and hell also means hades.

The church has authority over the spiritual forces of darkness in the world today, through Jesus.  There is a battle going on and we are on God's side.

The authority or authorization that Jesus gives his people, is to take territory and capture people out from the hands or clutches of the enemy.  As the church Jesus builds expands, it also extends into areas or spheres where the enemy has held influence, and takes that territory or spheres of influence away from the enemy and takes it for the kingdom of God.

The church and the people in the church, believers; are the soldiers of God, in the world, who put their feet on the ground and take the territory that Christ makes a way to be taken.  The church was never meant to be just a house of refuge, but the mountain that is Zion, and has authority from Jesus.

The way for the world to be evangelized is to take the church into the world.  And this is part of the destiny, calling and inheritance of the church that Jesus has had in mind.

The Lord has a favorite place on earth.  His favorite place is the place where people come into His presence.  That is what the gates of Zion means.

The gates of Zion is God's Golden Gate Bridge.

Zion is a place, a mountain, that is real and symbolic.  Zion is the hill that Jerusalem is built on and Zion is the mountain that the temple is built on.  But today it is a place that points to something.

Zion today, is a word that signifies the people of God.  The Lord loves the gates of His people.  The gates signify the entryway and authority of Christ that believers live in with the Lord.
 

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