Has the Church forgotten what a “gate” is? In many places, it would seem so.
You Talking to Me? – Part 44
Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 21, 24, 26, & 28 – And God said . . .
Our discussion today rests in Matthew 16:13-20. And the imagery of Jesus’s words was from a time in history not less than 2,000 years ago. Let’s discover what Jesus meant when He used the term “gates.” Jesus said He would build His Church upon the Rock of revelation knowledge of Who He was. He further stated that the “gates of hell” would not prevail against it (His Church).
Now the understanding of the word “gate” is really quite simple. It is a point of entry (or exit), depending upon whether you’re coming of going, Sadly, it seems that much of the 21st century Church ahs forgotten that a gate is a point of entry. In Jesus’s statement, He mentioned nothing about the gates of heaven, or the gates of the kingdom of God. He spoke only of the gates of hell. In the city of Caesarea Philippi where Jesus stood as He made His declaration of war, there were five pagan temples before Him, all in alignment side by side. There was the temple of Caesar Augustus (head of state), a temple of Pan (Greek god of shepherds and fields), temple of Zeus (chief of Greek gods), a second temple to Pan (a place of vile sexual debauchery), and a temple of Nemesis (Greek goddess of judgment). These all stood, side by side, at the foot of Mount Hermon, fountain head of the Jordan River, as blatant barriers to Jehovah God, the One True God. Inside the entrance to the temple to Augustus Caesar was the mouth of a great cave the Greeks had called “the gates of Hades,” hence, Jesus’s reference to “the gates of hell.”
Now you must keep in mind that a gate is a point of entry, and Jesus said that the points of entry into hell could not prevail against His Church. His expectance was NOT a church with barred gates into which hell could not break, but His Church, the army of the Lord, a fully commissioned army wearing the whole armor of God, an army “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners” marching into the gates of hell, unstoppable, undefeatable, and fully compliant with His will, defeating hell and bringing out the spoils of war in the form of newly born sons and daughters of God. Oh, what an amazing scene; a scene of the work of amazing grace that is so sweet a sound; a scene of hell shaking and crumbling beneath the feat of His great army of saints. There was to be no hiding of His church, no shyness or timidity, fear or trepidation. It was to be ablaze with the glory of God, armed with heaven’s supernatural weaponry, making the clouds the dust of His feet. Yes, I’m talking to you!
Manna for Today – Genesis 1; Psalm 119:89; Proverbs 4:20-23; Mark 11:22-26; Romans 3:4