And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Mat 16:18)
Jesus promised, that He would build His church upon the testimony of Peter, and that’s what happened. On the testimony of Peter, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus has built His church. Jesus still builds His church on this testimony. Jesus promised, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His church.
When Jesus died on the cross and took all the sins and iniquities of the world upon Him, He entered Hades (death). But the death wasn’t strong enough to keep Him there, because after 3 days, Jesus was risen from the death! Through His death, He destroyed the devil, who had power of the death (Heb 2:14). Jesus had conquered death and legally took back the keys of hell and death.
Jesus has the highest authority in Heavens and on earth. He is the faithful Witness, the first Begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth (Rev 1:5). As long as His church is seated in Him, and stays in Him, His church also has the highest authority and also has power over hell and death; the kingdom of the devil. The church of Jesus Christ is the most powerful spiritual organisation upon this earth and the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Body of Jesus Christ; the church. This is the truth and this is the way it should be. But how come that many times we don’t see this and experience satanic powers prevailing against local churches and congregations? What can we do to ensure that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church?
An embassy of the Kingdom of Heaven
The church is an assembly of believers, who are born again in Jesus Christ by water and Spirit. The church is the connection on this earth between man and the Kingdom of Heaven. The assembly of Jesus Christ represents God’s spiritual Kingdom on this earth.
We might say, that the church is an embassy of the Kingdom of Heaven, that is appointed and founded on this earth and acts on behalf of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Head and out of Him the church is being controlled by His Word and the Holy Spirit.
The faithless church
The church of Jesus Christ is being led and controlled by the Word and the Holy Spirit. Without Them, the church is nothing more than a (social) humanist organisation, that is spiritually death. Without the Word and the Holy Spirit, the church will be a worldly organisation, that is being controlled and affected by worldly knowledge and wisdom; human wisdom, knowledge, philosophies and strategies. In other words, the church shall be controlled by the darkness and not by the Light.
The church shall walk after the flesh, and shall be led by her carnal senses, emotions, feelings and intelligence. Because of that, man shall be the center of the church. The church shall be focused upon man instead of Jesus Christ. She shall be occupied with the things of this world and shall join the trends of this world. The church shall tolerant sin and adjust the Word to the lusts, desires and the will and lives of man.
Therefore the church shall resist and rebel against the Truth and shall affect and defile the gospel of Jesus Christ with the world; darkness. Instead that the church is being occupied with the things of the Kingdom of God and instruct and correct the believers in the Word, so that they will adjust their lives to the Word and the will of God, and grow up as sons of God.
Because of the fact that the church is carnal and not spiritual, the church will operate in the natural realm instead of the spiritual (unseen) realm. The church shall have a lot of head knowledge, but shall be spiritual ignorant and death. Because of that, the spirits of this world shall unnoticed enter the church and shall take their place without restraint.
The church shall try to take authority over the evil powers of darkness, but it’s swimming against the tide. Because they are being dominated and controlled by the same powers as which they seek to dominate.
A carnal church is not able to take her position in the spiritual realm. It is even dangerous when the church tries to enter the spiritual realm out of the soul. Because without the protection of Jesus Christ, the church shall in no time be overwhelmed, by the evil powers of the kingdom of darkness. This shall become visible in the decisions, that are made by the church regarding the way of life, that go against the will of God and His Word, and in the lives of the people themselves.
When the church is being disconnected from the Word and becomes worldly and allow and tolerate sin in the church, than the gates of hell shall prevail against the church. Yes, through sin the devil and hell shall take dominion over the church.
The gates represent entrance, authority, power, dominion, wisdom, and counsel (because the elders of a city were gathered in the gates to give counsel and to make important decisions). When the church is being disconnected from the Word, then through sin, the gates of hell shall prevail against the church. The counsels of the church shall be inspired by the kingdom of darkness, and shall go against the Word of God and His will.
The faithful church
But when a church stays faithful to Jesus; the Word and the Holy Spirit, and keep walking in the law of Christ, then the church shall walk in the authority of Jesus Christ and shall represent and bring the Kingdom of Heaven, on this earth. The church shall walk in dominion and shall have dominion over the darkness, instead of the darkness having dominion over the church. The gates of hell shall not prevail against the church. Therefore the life will reign instead of the death.
The faithful church shall take her spiritual position in this world and shall spiritually reign over areas and claiming territory and souls for the Kingdom of God. The church shall claim as many souls as possible out of the hands of the devil; the prince of this world.
In churches where the Holy Spirit is present in the lives of the believers, the people, who live in sin and are devoted to sin, will be confronted with their sins. Because the Holy Spirit reproves the world of sin. When the Holy Spirit reproves them of their sins and their sinful state, they can make a decision to repent of their sins, turn their lives to Jesus Christ and to serve and follow Him or to continue living in sin, and stay obedient to the devil and serve him.
That’s why the church should take her place in Jesus Christ, in the spirit, in the heavenly places, and reign from that position and protect the church against the evil forces of darkness.
The church should be guided by the Word and the Holy Spirit, so that the world will be reproved of sin. It is important that the assembly of Jesus Christ know the Word and the will of God, so that the congregation can pray according to the will of God and intercede not only for the believers, but also for the people, who don’t know Jesus, and for villages, cities and countries and claim them for the Kingdom of God.
Only when the church takes her position in the spirit and be led by Word and the Holy Spirit, the church shall know and recognise her enemy. The works of the devil and hell shall become visible by the Word. The devil shall come and shall try to enter as an angel of light, via the lives of the believers. But if the church is able to discern the spirits, the church shall close the spiritual gates for the devil and his minions, so that they cannot enter the church.
Jesus has all authority in the heavens and on earth
And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all. (Eph 1:22-23)
Jesus has all authority in the heavens and on the earth, and He has given all authority to His church; His body. Now it’s up to us, what we do with this responsibility and authority upon this earth.
We shall represent Jesus Christ and shall do what Jesus has commanded us to do (i.e. Mat 28:18-19, Mar 16:15-18, Jn 20:23). Only when we stay in His Word, the gates of hell, that represent the kingdom of the devil, shall not prevail.
That’s the promise, that Jesus gave to His church; the assembly of believers, who walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh.
Jesus knew the devil and knew what His work at the cross and His resurrection from the death would cause. He knew that the devil would be furious, if Jesus would take all authority from him. Therefore Jesus knew that the devil would try anything to attack His body; His church and destroy His body. That’s why Jesus gave the church His Word and His promise, that as long as we would stay in Him, the gates of hell should not prevail against the church.
The attack of the devil and hell on the church
The devil knows how dangerous a living victorious church is, that walks after the Spirit in the authority of Jesus Christ. A church that isn’t focused upon the people, and the enrichment and prosperity of themselves, but that is focused upon Jesus Christ and the mission of the Kingdom of God.
The devil doesn’t want his kingdom to be destroyed, and that’s why he has one mission and that is to extinguish the Light.
How does he do that? By removing the testimony of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, which is the foundation of the church and replace it with worldly knowledge and wisdom of man. The devil wants to build the church upon human knowledge and powers, because he knows that without Jesus; the Word, the church has no power at all. Besides that it will ensure that the believers, who are the church, shall depart from the Word and keep living in sin.
Sin gives access and power to the devil and hell. The more the church tolerates and allows sin, the more power will be given to the devil and his kingdom. As long as believers keep living in sin, the kingdom of darkness; the devil and hell, shall have power and dominion over their lives, and therefore he has authority and power over the church. The church shall live in darkness and shall be controlled by the powers of darkness, through the wisdom and knowledge of this world. Because this wisdom and knowledge of the world rebels against the Word and the will of God.
What happens when the gates of hell have prevailed
against the church?
The counselors of the kingdom of darkness shall inspire the leaders of the congregation, so that they shall be deceived and shall deviate from the Word and a holy lifestyle. The church thinks that she is inspired by the Holy Spirit and thinks that she lives in freedom. But the truth is that she is bound by hell. Yes, through their lifestyle they have given access to the devil and hell. They will be inspired by the evil spirits of darkness and they shall follow-up their counsel. The church shall become lukewarm and tolerant. She shall no longer guard the spiritual gates of the church, but shall leave the gates wide open for sin and death to enter.
Because of this human behaviour, the Body of Christ is being affected by sin and death. Sin proliferates like cancer in the Body.
Everything that takes place in the spiritual world, will eventually become visible in the church, in the lives of the believers. Therefore if the gates of hell have prevailed against the church, this shall become visible in the lives of the members of the church and the fruit they bear.
They shall keep living in sin and therefore live in rebellion against the Word. They shall be lukewarm, and spiritual slumber. Their tongue shall be an instrument of the devil and shall be used for his kingdom. They shall live like the world, complain and be unforgiving. They shall be unhappy, depressed, overwhelmed by fear, self-pity, self-rejection, suicidal (thoughts). They’ll divorce, commit adultery and other sexual uncleanness and perversion, and they will be affected with sickness, which leads to death.
When these things occurs in a church or congregation, it’s not God’s or Jesus His fault. But it is the fault of the church, that didn’t stay loyal and faithful to the Word and the Holy Spirit, but has been led astray and has entered self chosen paths. The church has put the counsel of the world above the counsel of the Lord.
Therefore let the church of Jesus Christ repent and renounce sin, by removing the sin out of her midst. This means, that the church shall not allow herself to be led by her carnal senses, feelings, emotions, opinion, and intellect (flesh). But that the church shall be led by the Word and the Holy Spirit.
The responsibility of the church of Jesus Christ
If there are members in the congregation, who don’t live according to the Word, and do things that go against the will of God, than it’s the church’s responsibility and task to confront the person. So that, the person is able to repent of the sin on the testimony of the Word. But it the person is not willing to repent, than it’s the responsibility of the church to remove the person out of the church, and deliver the person to satan. This may sound harsh, but it’s necessary. Because through the sin of the person, the devil and hell shall enter the church, and shall affect the lives of the other believers. That’s why it’s so important to remove the sin out of the Body of Christ.
Let the church return to the Word, remove the sins and iniquities out of her midst and take her position in Jesus Christ. So that, the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church. But that the church shall become a living militant and victorious church, that is seated in Jesus Christ.
If you want to read more about the devil’s tactics and his attack on the church, you can click on the following links:
‘The world church is being prepared for the antichrist’
‘Doctrines of devils are killing the church; the Body of Christ’
‘Jesus thrown out of the church’
‘The church seated in darkness’
‘What is wrong with the church?’
‘False prophets, how do you recognise them in our time?’
‘Many pastors are leading the sheep to the abyss’
‘The power of the devil is powered by sin’
‘Be the salt of the earth’