If someone comes to your house to visit you, they don’t attempt to walk through the wall—they look for the door. To enter any enclosure, it is necessary to find the opening or gate where entrance is possible. This is not something we agonize or worry over; it is just how one enters a building. In John 10, Yeshua states that the shepherd enters through the gate. Anyone who tries to get into the sheepfold another way is a thief and a robber.
The Temple or Tabernacle was the place where God met with His people. Similarly, when we approach the Creator, we have doors or gates to pass through to enjoy an audience with Him. The Tabernacle (mishkan) in the wilderness had a screen to pass through to enter the Outer Court, a screen that opened to allow the priest into the Holy Place and finally the shielding curtain or paroketh that admitted the High Priest to enter the Most Holy Place.
The bride of Messiah is described in Revelation 21 as the “New” Jerusalem. The city is built on the foundations of the 12 apostles and entrance granted through 12 gates named after the 12 tribes of Israel. This prophetic city represented the place where “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them” (Revelation 21:3b) There will be no need of a specific structure to meet with Him because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb will be its temple. This city or bride represents the end of the curse initiated in Genesis when Adam and Eve sinned and were evicted from the Garden and lost access to the Tree of Life and fellowship with Yahweh. Rev 22: 14 declares, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the Tree of Life, and may enter the city by the gates.”
An interesting feature of these gates into the New Jerusalem, the bride, is that each gate is a single pearl, according to Revelation 21: 21, “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl.” Pearls are beautiful gems but are unique in that they are not stones but calcium carbonate formations similar in composition to oyster shells. They are created in oysters and do not need to be polished. They form within the oyster in response to attacks by parasites. A finished pearl takes years to fully form and is the only gem found in a living organism. The beauty of the pearl springs directly from the oyster’s response to the parasitic attack on itself.
Many times, our gate into the courtyard is fashioned by our response to adversity or hardship. “I will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter his courts with praise.” (Psalm 100:4) Our response to things that try to destroy us can produce beauty and lead to increased intimacy with the Almighty. Our Father yearns for intimacy and connection with His children. But we must use the proper gates provided to enter His presence. The ultimate gateway is our Messiah Yeshua—”I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6) Often things that seem designed to destroy us are tools in the Father’s hands to usher us into his intimate Presence.