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A Cry from the Fish Gate
   "And there shall be on that day," says the Lord, "The sound of a mournful cry from the Fish Gate, a wailing from the Second Quarter, and a loud crashing from the hills.  Zephaniah 1:10
   The word of the Lord came to me out of the clear blue the other day as I was in a hospital waiting room. I was thumbing through the pages of a Gideon's bible when the Lord began to speak to me about the Fish Gate in Zephaniah. I don't ever remember studying or even hearing anything about the Fish Gate. As I searched the scriptures and my study guides I found that there wasn't much written about this gate.
   In ancient times cities were enclosed by defensive walls and the entry to the city would be through various gates often named according to destination or according to the purpose of the gate. The Fish Gate was an entrance that opened up into a market that bought and sold fish. I remember when I was in the Philippines we visited a fish market and I saw first hand how primitive people handled food with no refrigeration and no ice and it smelled to high heaven!
   It seems that every biblical mention of the Fish Gate involved corruption because the people were buying and selling on the Sabbath and evidently God caught the stench of it and was very displeased. Many years later when Jesus arrived at the temple He was grieved by the sight of the money changers and merchants selling their wares in the house of God. The results that followed were the wrath of God being dealt out through His Son in such fury that it tore up all the religious leaders. "What would Jesus find today if He walked into most church buildings?"
   Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves..
   And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer, ' but you have made it a den of thieves.'" Matthew 21:12,13
   Today's modern day consumer driven religious organization has erected a multi-billion dollar industry and the successful merchandising of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The self-help, feel good, prosperity gospel sells very well and sales are up. Millions are sent to hell on a regular basis because of these false prophets watering down the truth and exploiting innocent seekers to believe a lie by being sucked up into their schemes. Sow a seed, reap a Cadillac, give a Lear jet, reap a Gulfstream. How would the Son of God react in the midst of these abominations today if He returned to this man-made mess? I think He would do more than just upset some tables, don't you?
   Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who make My people stray; who chant "Peace" while they chew with their teeth, but who prepare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths: "Therefore you shall have night without vision and you shall have darkness without divination; the sun shall go down on the prophets, and the day shall be dark for them." Micah 3:5,6
   Jesus warned that in the last days there would be many false prophets even saying that He was the Christ, the anointed Son of God, but deceiving many. Pride, selfish ambition and greed permeate the airwaves with pollution, whitewashing the gospel and deceiving people with the notion that wealth is a gauge for spirituality. If that were the case the Mafia would be a brotherhood of saints.
   Everywhere you look there is a new gimmick for fleecing the saints, from prayer cloths to anointing oil everyone wants a piece of the religious pie. Its one of the largest industries in the world. Billions of dollars for tapes, books and teaching materials sold worldwide and yet the harvest of lost souls still awaits the harvesters. Paul warned that they are always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
   The end of all things, according to the word of God and the signs of the times are upon us and the world is waiting for the true gospel to be preached around the world so that Jesus can return. The entire planet is being shaken to its very foundations with poverty, disease and war. America has sunk to its lowest spiritual state in a hundred years because the preachers have quit preaching the true gospel and people are not being saved. Politics won't save us, being good moral folks won't save us, only repentance from sin and dead works will bring about everlasting forgiveness through the shed blood of Christ!
   Imagine the stench of a fish market 2000 years ago at the very gate of the city. People engaged in all types of commerce, buying and selling fish, selling their wares on the Sabbath and not giving God a second thought. Living like there is no tomorrow, as we are today, just like the days of Noah, eating and drinking and giving in marriage until the flood came and took them all away. I can tell you the flood is here and millions are being swept into hell, unaware of their spiritual state, thinking they were saved but in fact they were lost. Trusting in an organization and not a Savior, clinging to their membership but rejecting His discipleship, sinking into a deep pit of religious ritual , but denying the Master that bought them.
   May God have mercy on us and on those that have perverted the way of salvation and have put their trust in riches and not in Christ, in religion and not relationship, in membership and not true discipleship. May God not have to smell the stench of our dead religious works any longer and cleanse us from our filthiness.
   But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of the truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. II Peter 2:1-3