Written by Schalk and Elsa
You may wonder what is meant by the title of this article. To possess the gates of your enemy, in ancient times, meant to have control over your enemy. It does, however, also have a spiritual meaning. If so, what are these gates and who is our enemy? These gates we are referring to are spiritual gateways and our enemy is satan and his hordes. It is written:
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
This scripture is about spiritual warfare, a war we signed up for when we became believers. The purpose of this article is to show you, firstly what these gates are and secondly, how you too can possess the gates of your enemy in order to curb the destruction that satan has planned for you.
We first need to establish a firm foundation which we find in Scripture.
Part of the blessing given to Abraham was that his seed would possess the gates of their enemy.
17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.
A similar blessing was pronounced over Rebekah by her family on her departure to become the bride of Isaac, son of Abraham.
60 They blessed Rebekah and said to her, “May you, our sister, Become thousands of ten thousands, And may your descendants possess The gate of those who hate them.”
Take note that the same Hebrew word “zera” is used in both the blessing YHVH gave Abraham and the blessing given to Rebekkah by her brothers. The Hebrew word is in both cases in singular form even though it was translated differently. It can be translated as seed, offspring or descendants.
Let’s specifically look at the blessing YHVH gave Abraham. Who is the seed of Abraham YHVH is referring to here? To answer this, we will use scripture to interpret scripture. Paul gives an interpretation in the letter to the Galatians.
16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Messiah.
From this interpretation, it is clear that Y’shua is the One who possesses the gates of the enemy, He has all authority. Y’shua confirmed this:
18 And Y’shua came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
10 so that at the name of Y’shua every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Y’shua Messiah is Lord, to the glory of Elohim the Father.
We also learn from scripture that Y’shua has given us authority over the enemy.
19 “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.
The context of this verse is spiritual warfare. The seventy, who were sent out exclaimed on return to Y’shua that even the demons obeyed them in His Name. This was Y’shua’s reply to them. Y’shua has given this authority to us too.
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
This is a topic that is not spoken of much, and to our detriment, for in not standing in the authority Y’shua has given us, we allow the enemy to have free reign in our lives. This can be changed…
Now that we have established authority, we need to understand what these gates are.
We learn the following from scripture about physical gateways:
- Gateways provided access
Gates provided access into towns and villages, temples and houses. Gates serve both to allow and to limit access. Gates provided a physical barrier.
- Gates were for protection.
Watchmen were placed high up on the walls by the gate in order to give alarm when danger approached (2 Sam 18:24). Gates were made of wood, sometimes covered with metal (bronze) with iron bars. Gates like this were seen as indestructible.
15 Let them give thanks to YHVH for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! 16 For He has shattered gates of bronze And cut bars of iron asunder.
“I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars.
- Gates were places where judgement was spoken.
People would go to the gates when a determination was to be made regarding right and wrong. It was at the gate that government and law was decided on and communicated to the people. Here judicial decisions were made. The king often had a seat or throne in the gate for these purposes. (2 Sam 19:8; 1 Kin 22:10)
- Elders gathered in the gates to make rulings and decisions. (Is 29:20-21; Amos 5:10; Deut 21:18-19)
18 “If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them, 19 then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his hometown.
- Key decisions were made in the gates
A good example is found in Ruth 4:1-2. here boaz went to the elders in the gate as Ruth’s kinsman redeemer. This is explained in Deut 25:7
‘He shall flee to one of these cities, and shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city and state his case in the hearing of the elders of that city; and they shall take him into the city to them and give him a place, so that he may dwell among them.
- The gate was also a general meeting place
Gateways were the social fibre of the community – here norms and values were determined. Friendships and social connections were made.
Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.
Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.
11 When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them. 12 Those who sit in the gate talk about me, And I am the song of the drunkards.
See also Est 2:21–22; Gen 19:1; Neh 8:3
- The gateway was the market place
The economy was controlled in the gateway.
2 Kings 7:1
Then Elisha said, “Listen to the word of YHVH; thus says YHVH, ‘Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.’ ”
See also Neh 8:16; Neh13:19
There are many references in scripture to gates. Gates were significant in the Bible. When we consider how gates functioned, we understand how important it was for a city or community to be in possession of their own gateways. If their enemy had possession, the enemy would be able to control every facet of their lives.
We also know that the spiritual always mirrors the physical. Understanding the physical gives us insight into the spiritual realm. So, when we go further and consider these physical gateways as representative to spiritual gateways, we understand how essential it is for us to possess our own gates and not to let it slip into possession of the enemy. Allowing this would allow the enemy to have control over every facet of our lives: our economy or finances, our social norms and values, friendships and social connections, everyday key decisions, government and laws, and our physical protection. A gateway in ancient context had a major influence over the lives of the people within the gates. So, whoever controlled the gateway controlled the lives of the people.
Other gates mentioned in scripture are: the gate of heaven (Gen 28:17), the gates of Hades (Matt 16:18); gates of righteousness (Ps 118:19); gates of death (Job 38:17). These references confirm that gates can indeed be spiritual.
We can define gateways as places of dominion. By “dominion” we mean a territory or sphere of influence or control.
Gateways can be very personal. We individually have spiritual, soul and bodily gateways.
Our spiritual gateways are that which connect us with YHVH like: seeing YHVH’s hand in our lives, also known as Divine providence, faith, prayer, worship, revelation, obedience.
When we become believers, our spirit is born-again, but our soul and bodies need to be sanctified. Our soul consists of mind, will and emotions. All the baggage needs to be dealt with after we become believers and this process is called sanctification. We have previously written about this. You can read: what is sanctification and why we need it? and The process of sanctification and The results of sanctification.
Our body, for example, has five gateways: touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.
All our gateways must be subject to Y’shua’s authority. Defilement of any of these gateways will not only affect our lives but also our relationship with YHVH. We certainly wouldn’t knowingly allow the enemy to have access or control of our gateways. Yet, we allow him access because we are not watchmen on the walls of our own gateways. Satan knows these spiritual principles and work hard to control us. Sadly we allow it, due to our ignorance.
We will now share with you what we have learned about possessing gates, our own and that of our enemy using the most powerful weapons we have, YHVH’s word and prayer.
Possessing our gates
When we pray regularly to YHVH, at a specific place, a prayer altar is established. We have written in detail about this in a previous article. We will just recap for you and show you the connection between prayer altars and gateways.
In our article about prayer altars http://www.setapartpeople.com/dispelling-spiritual-darkness we expand on the nature of both godly and ungodly altars and on how we can create godly prayer altars and so dispell spiritual darkness and effect change through prayer.
Just to recap, we will show you a very good example in scripture of how a prayer altar creates a gateway to heaven.
The Altar at Bet-El
In Genesis 12:8, we read of Abraham building an altar and calling upon the name of YHVH.
8 Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to YHVH and called upon the name of YHVH.
The land of Canaan was inhabited by people who did not know YHVH. We read in Genesis 12:6 “ At the time the Canaanites were in the land” From this statement we know what can be expected spiritually. The people of the land worshipped other gods, practiced witchcraft and all kinds of other ungodly practices. What the people did and worshipped was attracting dark spirits and gave these spirits legal authority over the land. The land of Canaan was under a another spiritual principality.
In building altars, Abram was contending with this spiritual darkness, preparing the land spiritually for change. These altars drew the presence of YHVH and broke the powers of darkness. They were like beacons in the physical and spiritual realm, showing that the spiritual authority and atmosphere was changing. Abram was taking territory from the forces of darkness and claiming it for the kingdom of YHVH. This is what spiritual warfare is about. We don’t exist in a spiritual vacuum, we are affected spiritually by what goes on in our area and the country we live in. There is no neutral ground, it is either part of the kingdom of YHVH or the kingdom of darkness. We are fighting a spiritual battle, fighting for territory. Territory equals influence and if we lose territory, YHVH’s kingdom loses influence.2
Then, in Genesis 28:11, we read about Jacob:
11 He came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. 12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of Elohim were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, YHVH stood above it and said, “I am YHVH, the Elohim of your father Abraham and the Elohim of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. 14 “Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely YHVH is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of Elohim, and this is the gate of heaven.” 18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz.
It is written that Jacob came to “a certain place”. This place was where Abraham previously built an altar to YHVH. This altar created a gateway to heaven and Jacob saw it in his dream.
When Jacob came hither on his way to Paddan-aram we are told that he lighted upon “the place” (Genesis 28:11. Hebrew). The Hebrew maqom, like the cognate Arabic maqam, denotes a sacred place or sanctuary. The maqom was doubtless that at which Abraham had sacrificed, East of the town.3
This gateway to heaven was first established by Abraham when he called on YHVH’s name at that place. This gateway was experienced by Jacob in a dream.
When we call upon YHVH’s name, which means to worship Him and pray to Him, a prayer altar is established and a gateway is formed into the heavenlies. It is often said of Jerusalem that there is an “open heaven.” We have experienced it every time we were there. I believe it is because so many people there pray to YHVH, there are lots of prayer altars and as a result gateways into heaven. The “kotel” or Western wall is a very good example of such a gateway. There are almost always believers there, “servicing the altar.” After Solomon dedicated the Temple to YHVH, YHVH answered Him as follows:
2 Chronicles 7:15–16
15 “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. 16 “For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.
The Temple has been broken down, but the prayer altar remains. We seldom used to go to the wall when we were in Jerusalem because we were of the erroneous belief that the Temple stood where the city of David now is. However, we have investigated this further and based on all the evidence found, changed our opinion. Just before we wrote the article on prayer altars, we were in Jerusalem and we stood at the point looking out over the Western wall and I believe YHVH showed me that this was a portal into heaven, a spiritual gateway. It is a special place, no wonder there is so much conflict about it. Just re-read the above scripture – YHVH said that His name will be there forever, His eyes and heart will be there perpetually. YHVH knew when He said this that the Temple would not stand forever. The future is known to Him. He could have said that His Name, eyes and heart would be there until the Temple’s destruction, but He did not. He used the words forever and perpetually. Could this be the reason why the kingdom of darkness is forever fighting to gain control over it? They want to neutralize this prayer altar. Did you know there is a Masonic lodge under temple mount? That says something…
Prayer altars need not only be corporate but can be within communities, homes and even individuals. Every place where we regularly pray to and worship YHVH is a prayer altar and regular service of it will create a gateway into the third heaven. Similarly, a gateway is created to the second heaven with ungodly altars. Did you know we can have both godly and ungodly altars in ourselves, our home or area. Any sin for example: using drugs, or excessive use of alcohol, listening to ungodly music, viewing pornography, viewing films with immoral scenes and themes, any occultic activities like yoga, defile our bodily gateways (read hand over to the enemy) and establish an ungodly prayer altar. This gives satan free access into your life and will invite destruction.
9 “Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols; and they will loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed, for all their abominations. 10 “Then they will know that I am YHVH; I have not said in vain that I would inflict this disaster on them.” ’
We cannot experience YHVH’s presence or blessing when we worship satan in this way, even if we claim to be a believer of YHVH. The Israelites often mixed their worship of YHVH with idol worship, and YHVH was never happy with it.
31 “When you offer your gifts, when you cause your sons to pass through the fire, you are defiling yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live,” declares the YHVH Elohim, “I will not be inquired of by you.
There are but two Kingdoms, that of YHVH and that of satan. We cannot serve two masters.
13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
Every false religion originates from the kingdom of darkness. They may go by different names, ideologies and doctrines, but their essence is from satan’s kingdom. He caters for every fancy with the aim to possess a soul and destroy it. So, every time we choose to expose ourselves to these and related activities, we service satan’s altar, not YHVH’s.
However, if we devote ourselves to prayer and worship of YHVH, we push back this darkness and open a gateway to receive from YHVH. We have to be consistent and return to our altar regularly in order to strenghten it. By doing this we create a space for YHVH to dwell and connect with us. Servicing our prayer altar, in other words, is working on our relationship with YHVH.
24 ‘You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.
Building and maintaining a prayer altar takes practice and discipline. As we study YHVH’s word, pray to Him and wait on Him, we are transformed due to His presence. We are to remind YHVH and ourselves of His promises by proclaiming His word. We do not remind YHVH of His promises because He is forgetful, but to strengthen our faith.
26 Remind me, when we argue our case together—state your case, so you may be proved right. (TLV)
14 “Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which YHVH your Elohim spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed.
Our consistency will ensure divine favour from YHVH, victory in battle, provision, promotion and divine protection. This is not a formula to prosperity, but a consistent purity of heart.
We are in covenant with YHVH through Y’shua our Saviour. This covenant is inactive without an altar of prayer. We cannot claim to have a relationship with somebody and have the benefits of a relationship if we don’t speak to him. It is the same with YHVH, we are to be in a relationship with Him in order to be His children, in active covenant with Him. There are certain terms or conditions of this covenant.
12 “And because you listen to these rules and keep and do them, YHVH your Elohim will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that he swore to your fathers. 13 He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock, in the land that he swore to your fathers to give you. (ESV)
It is important to know that our salvation is from YHVH, through Y’shua, not through our works. So, although YHVH requires obedience from us, our offer on our spiritual altar to YHVH is our lives as a living sacrifice. When we wholly offer ourselves, we will grow deeper in our relationship with YHVH.
Let us summarize: A prayer altar creates a gateway into the heavenlies. A prayer altar can reach into the second or the third heaven. The third heaven (2 Cor 12:2) is the realm where YHVH dwells and the second is where heavenly beings like angels, satan, nephillim, fallen angels, and demons dwell and operate. It is in second heaven that spiritual warfare takes place.
Gateways to the third heaven are formed by godly altars, while gateways to the second heaven are formed by ungodly or satanic altars. Through these gates, spiritual power is “downloaded” to earth.
Second heaven power can cause chaos, destruction, effect curses and cause illness to name a few examples. It can affect or even control every one of the facets of our lives: our finances, government, decisions, safety etc. Satanists are very aware of how this operates and use it to their advantage. Second heaven power can also be used for healing and so-called good, but the source would be demonic.
We as believers, are mostly ignorant of this and fall prey to satan’s schemes of destruction against us. Our ignorance does not make his plans ineffective, on the contrary, it makes us vulnerable to his schemes. The enemy knows how to possess the heavenly gates and so have access to power that can cause calamity and destruction on earth especially over YHVH’s people. Our ignorance gives them free reign as their power is mostly unopposed.
7 Wisdom is too exalted for a fool, He does not open his mouth in the gate.
This needs to change! We are not to be counted among the fools, but the wise.
In a future article, we will focus more on how we, as believers, can be wise by possessing these spiritual gates.
- All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD and Y’shua for Jesus
- Mulinde, John; Daniel, Mark. Prayer Altars: A Strategy That Is Changing Nations (Kindle Locations 948-950). World Trumpet Mission. Kindle Edition.