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The Gates of Hell

I've been camping on Gary's Open Your Eyes post from 10 days ago and the nearness of October 31st.  I have some additional thoughts that have come to mind after my sister Rebekah refocused my attention on the Barley harvest and 10/31 that I will share here.

October 31st: this would be the true Day of Atonement if the barley wasn't aviv as expected thus bringing into focus the jubilee trumpet theory.  It also happens to be Halloween (All Saints' Eve) and the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, both of which are central to the Church and its meaning.  This Halloween happens to be 40 days after Yom Teruah (if it wasn't delayed), thus we see a possible 40-day repentance window.  It sure would be a way for God to take back the day the devil has stolen! 

Some of you are familiar with the work of Ray Vander Laan.  I have been blessed, moved and changed as this Biblical archaeologist and founder of That the World May Know Ministries makes the living Word of God come alive, through carefully teaching in the context in which the Word was written.


Background

In the early days of Jesus' ministry He was something of what we might call a rockstar or celebrity. The lame walk, the blind see, the dead are raised, radical powerful heart of the matter teaching, shaking up the establishment, demons cast out, feeding thousands all in the safety of the northern reaches of Galilee.

Some verses that highlight the point:

Matthew 4:23-ff (NASB)

Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.

The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.

(leading into the Sermon on the Mount - chapters 5,6 & 7)

Matthew 8:1-3 (NASB)

When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. 2 And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 3 Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Luke 8:4 (NASB)

When a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him, He spoke by way of a parable:

Here the tone changes.  As if Jesus begins to show His band of twelve the cost of discipleship and what faith looks like.  Boot camp.  They're going to need it.

Here we get the account of the storm on the Sea of Galilee in the night and the man filled with a legion of demons in Gadarenes.

These fishing boats were not U.S. Coast Guard-approved.  These were homemade boats.  There were no approved floating devices, rescue boats, lighting, flares, weather radio, two way radios, rescue beacons, cell phones or satellite phones.

There was then a natural fear of the water.  It was believed by many to be the abyss, the home of the demons.

Worst possible scenario - out in the middle of the Galilee, in the dark, at night, in a storm.  Suddenly the Son of the Most High God wakes from His sleep in the bow of the boat and announces to the wind and the waves "Peace be still".  They were in awe.  "Who is this that commands even the wind and the waves".  He of course is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He spoke the universe into existence and without Him nothing was made that has been made.  He is Lord of the deep and Lord of the abyss.

If this wasn't traumatic enought they get out of the boat to find themselves in a place where no good Jewish boy would go.  A Gadarene cemetery face to face with a naked man, who was out of his mind, who broke chains and who was filled with a legion of demons.

Imagine the deepest horror movie voice and when you reply and ask "what is your name?", the reply is the deepest, most-nerve-rattling-demonic "we are legion for we are many".

SCARY!

Suddenly the cost of discipleship grows higher and confusion sets in.  We liked prosperity Jesus, the big crowds, big meals and big popularity better.  (IMHO - I suppose this is what did Judas in.  He thought He could push Jesus into a confrontation and He would throw off the Lamb and become the Lion - maybe not, don't know).  Much of the church is dead, powerless, practicing a form of godliness, but denying its' power.


Caesarea Philippi

In Matthew 16 and Mark 8 we receive the account of Jesus taking the disciples far into the north of the Galilee to Caesarea Philippi.  Not a Jewish place at all.  A Roman city full of the most despicable idol worship, worship of the "god" Pan and Ba'al, orgies, temple prostitutes and infanticide.

All of these mythic practicies were designed to excite the gods, into bringing fertility to the area.  If I can be so pornographic to say, that if there was enough orgy, prostitution, idols, and statues of sex and fertility, perhaps the gods would be aroused enough to ejaculate rain and bring life.  It was a place of utter wickedness.

Caesarea Philippi sits below Mount Hermon.  Mount Hermon is the hightest point in Israel.  Snow accumulates in winter and the spring and summer melt feeds the Jordan River.  Of course the Jordan is life to all of Israel.  The headwaters of the Jordan are right here.  At one time they came out of the mouth of this cave, although an old earthquake closed this passage and rerouted the head waters of the Jordan.

Caesarea Philippi was a red light district.  This was definitely a place where no follower of Elohim would be caught dead.

That the world may know article - link

From the picture above you see the mouth of the Jordan and where the holes in the rock face where once stood idols to Pan.

Pan was the half man / half goat.  Certainly a shadow of the gateway where the goats will be sent once the sheep and goats are divided.

It was commonly thought that this was the place of demons, that the deep abyss could be found in the cave and that this was in fact the gateway to hell.

It is in this place where Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 (NIV):

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Of course a large dogma and system have been built around Peter from this one verse.  This was not about Peter.

Jesus is saying I'm not hiding at Trinity Christian Academy in Jerusalem, Israel.  You won't find the battle at the First Christian Church in Jerusalem.  The battle is here.  And where the battle is that is where you will find me.

Much of dead Christendom hides in their buildings, clamouring for their 501(c)(3) status, while doing nothing to reach a dead and dying world.

Where sin rages.  Where the homeless are.  Where the disinfrancished can be found.  Where the lonely, hurting, sick and distraught are - there He is.

This job has been passed along to the Church and to my point:

The Church (the true Church) is knocking down the front door of hell.  We (the body) knocked down strong holds, we pointed people from death to life, from sin to holiness and through the collective work of the Church "greater things than these are performed".  The sick were healed, the blind received sight, where there was conflict you find peace, where there was brokenness you find wholeness and where there was loss we find gain.

In the words of Mark 5:15 we find those who were formerly far from God "seated, clothed and in their right mind".

It was the Church that built the orphanages and the hospitals.

The Church kept hell pinned back and the gates of hell did not prevail.  Once again God's prophetic word proved true.

Now as Halloween approaches, I'm reminded that we the Church, the body, are leaving and the gates of hell will open again as the Restrainer leaves and this world enters Daniel's 70th week and it will be one very demonic place.

Be ready.

Share the hope that lies within you.  That's all you can take with you.

Grateful for what Hillary reminded us of yesterday (my grandmother's 100th birthday - she went home 4 years ago), 1947, 1948, 1967 are past.  The Chernobyl type and shadow of the Wormwood star is old news.  The giving of the Gaza Strip is old news, as is the 2014/2015 blood moons, 8/21 eclipse, 9/23 - Rev 12:1-2 and the Fall festivals in 2017.  The hour is exceedingly late.


Ray Vandeer Laan - That the World May Know - Volume 5

It would be fascinating if Christ's return for the bride was on Halloween.  Regardless, I am reminded to stay on mission no matter what happens.

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27 comments :

  1. Also reminded that Ceserea-phillipi is in the Golan Heights where Israel is receiving much of her trouble from Syria, Russia, Lebanon, Hamas and Hezbollah. Hell is trying to break through.

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    1. The virgin of Israel is fallen Amos 5:2

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  2. A powerful article & I can feel the weight of it all...along with this beautiful truth: "Where sin rages. Where the homeless are. Where the disinfrancished can be found. Where the lonely, huring, sick and distraught are - there He is." There He is. And soon we too will be saying this as our own eyes behold His appearing. Thanks so much, Greg.

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  3. Awesome Greg. Yes - as the world grows darker, our light will become more obvious to see...only where we don't have our lamps covered. I am grateful for the opportunity to share with a delegation I was with this past week, on the powers of darkness vs Jesus blood. I had been praying for an opportunity to discuss Jesus with the team, and low and behold, the conversation over dinner turned to their fascination with horror movies, and one of the team opened up about his issues with poltergeists...awesome...that was my in. The Holy Spirit brought about conviction and the individual acknowledged that this was exactly what he needed to hear etc. God is so faithful, but we have to be willing to be in constant prayer, spiritual warfare, and allowing God to move. He is faithful, and He is coming soon! Hallelujah!!!!

    Ryan

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  4. What a great article! It's (sadly) rare that I find other believers who understand the importance of our action - our "kicking down the door" as you put it.

    My wife and I have started a blog to write about such things, and the Lord told us to write a book as well, addressed to the sleeping church. We're in the process of that book even right now - I took a break from writing to read your post.

    Here are some links to some of the posts on our blog. Also, my wife is a great musician and has some free music for anyone to download and listen to. She calls it "message music" - music that is meant to stir up people to live out our Great Commission. You can find the music for free by clicking around the website. It's under "Free Resources"

    https://www.actsinitiative.com/single-post/2017/10/04/Faith-Alone
    https://www.actsinitiative.com/single-post/2017/09/25/Love-is-not-a-feeling
    https://www.actsinitiative.com/single-post/2017/10/01/The-Prayer-of-a-Righteous-Person
    https://www.actsinitiative.com/single-post/2017/10/03/The-World-Will-Know

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    1. Very good stuff! When I get some time here soon I'd like to read through your articles and study your ministry out further.

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  5. Our pastor has written a good book on awakening the church

    Come and See....by Todd Wagner

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  6. Wonderful study! Very nice perspective and history lesson!

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  7. Wouldn't it be something if the Hubble Space Telescope or any of the orbiting satellites captured images of the Rapture ? That sure would blow up the deception of alien abduction.

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    1. :-)

      good thinking.


      Security cameras around the world are going to catch it, though. It's gonna be bizarre. People literally disappearing off camera and no where to be found ... all over the world.

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    2. Remember what Abraham replied to the rich man in Luke 16: People won't care even if there was somebody resurrected from the dead right before their eyes. Same to a rapture livestream. :) Blessings!

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  8. What a blessed assurance that we don't have to jump through hoops or act a fool to capture His attention. He knows our every breath and has done all the work.

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  9. Great article and I love Ray Vander Laan's insight. Yes, indeed - Jesus will build His Church right at the gates of hell because hell will not prevail.

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  10. Greg, beautifully done and a real reminder. Often we, certainly myself, are so much more comfortable in our academic discourse of scripture. We love our Savior and we long for His appearing so much we want to think of every angle, every day, every potential connection when He might return for us. Yet, I'm made to wonder today if I have elected to stay with the adoring crowds (though frankly they haven't been very adoring), the massive tables of food we've been served by the Watchmen in the Northern Galilee where crowds are being ministered to by healing and deliverance, yet Yeshua pushed them on into Caeserea Philippi - to the seamy side of life. So many of us spent time on that seamy side and it is so detestable to our spirit we do not wish to return, even to minister. Is it possible to "Come Out of Her" too much? Only the Spirit can advise, but I think we have to ask the questions.

    Blessings - Sherry

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    1. I remember someone once saying that the command to 'come out of her' referred to either the Rapture or the apostate/fake tribulation churches. Whether that is the intended understanding is something I think only God knows, but it seems likely given it's position in Revelation. (The chapter with the woman riding the beast...)

      Life is life though, and as Paul said, when in Rome, do as the Romans. Go where you feel comfortable and meet people where they are. Some might have strong enough faith to walk into the greatest dens of iniquity and rescue the slaves of sin within, without being tempted themselves. Others shouldn't and should find such people when they are not in the bars and other places 'Christians shouldn't be seen in.' And if you're introverted like Moses, the internet has plenty of places where one can discuss things in an open manner. Unsealed, YouTube, even some of the major news sites all allow discussion of the stories, and this can be a way to reach people. Even people in church need reminders here and there, a great place to give and receive encouragement.

      Go as your heart and the Holy Ghost lead you, and I don't think you can go wrong. Even if you mess up, God can work all things to the good if you love Him. :-)

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  11. Sherry,

    Thank you for your well stated sentiments.

    As an aside, I've been surprised and saddened, by how many have come here over the last 7 years to debate and seek support & justification for some particular escatalogical understanding and how few have been motivated to love and good deeds.

    I'm soberly reminded of my failings in this area and grateful for the complete and finished work of the cross.

    Blessings

    Greg

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    1. Greg,

      Just because you can't see someone's good deeds does not mean there isn't any. Remember Jesus also advised us to do our good deeds in secret, and not to boast. (So we don't get rewarded by men, but by the Father instead...) Take heart, good works are being done :-)

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    2. “I'm soberly reminded of my failings in this area and grateful for the complete and finished work of the cross.” —� I could not have said this better. I actually grieve over all the time and opportunities I’ve wasted — sometimes I’m so caught up in the stress and cares of this world that I wonder if I am serving the Lord at all. I’m so thankful for His mercy and pray that He gives us all chances to exponentially redeem the time and supernaturally recover what the locusts have eaten. I don’t want to be part of the dead and dying church. I want to be alive, serving the needy and helping to lead others away from the gates of hell!

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    3. I am very happy to see that others are too hoping for the time lost to serve!
      Maranatha

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  12. I wonder if any people who lived in Jerusalem (Romans, Temple priests, shopkeepers, pilgrims)saw the Transfiguration. Maybe some even recognized its importance, but couldn't fathom what had transpired.

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  13. Thank you Greg! If I may, two other connections with 10/31 below:

    = 70 days from the Total Solar Eclipse (on the 1st of Elul, period of repentance);

    = 10th of Cheshvan (or Mar Cheshvan), which is the very day Noah and family were "sealed into the ark." 7 days later the floods came and fountains burst forth (see Gen 7:11).

    Also note about Cheshvan, to the Jews, this is a "Bitter (thus, 'mar') month known for Judgement and Challenge. It is also a month with "nothing" going on, no feasts or fast.
    I posted more interesting info about Cheshvan under "Open Your Eyes."

    Lastly, I re-read Rev 12:1-2 in the Amplified (AMP) version today as I was reminded the AMP is the closest to the original Greek. Well, here it is from the AMP: "And a great sign (wonder)-[warning of future events of ominous significance] appeared in heaven: a woman..."

    I was excited with the extra detail or emphasis included as it let's us know or confirms rather it (the sign on 9/23) was a warning signal of "things" to come... As was the Bethlehem Star Re-appearing (6/30/2015), Blood Moon Tetrad, Total Solar Eclipse, etc. etc.

    Occupy, Fight, and Love until He comes...

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    1. Great comment Charlie in DC. Thanks for the additional information. And Greg. Thank you very much for the article. I was interested in the idea of the gates of hell when I consider the nearness of the rapture of the church. God started the conception of the church at Pentecost and it is a continuing today with more and more Christians ("born again" to new creatures) being saved by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. However the Church ends its earthly ministry and presence soon. The first task of the resurrected church is to travel though, in essence, Satan's territory. Where perhaps exist the gates used to come to earth. The rapture spawns a war in heaven never seen before. Satan and his fallen angels will be ejected from their territory and flung to earth. Fallen angels have been entering in to our world to conduct their evil deeds through gates in heaven. Since the fallen angels will soon be in hell, it is easy to see why in at least one respect, those gates in the heavens are the gates of hell. The raptured church (with the help of Michael and other angels) will vanquish those gates of hell as whatever gates there were will not stop the Church from being gathered to the throne. When we are told the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church, I look forward to being a part of the Church incorruptible because in those resurrected bodies, Satan and his minions will apparently have no defense. They have no chance. The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church.

      Blessings Saints. Soon we rise and shine.

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  14. What about Revelation 11????
    I'm all confused!?!?

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  15. Re: The Gates of Jerusalem

    I am trying to remember who I learned/heard this from, but the Gates around Jerusalem have significant "prophetic" meaning as well as purpose. In particular, it was the "Water Gate" that perked my prophetic ears:

    Bible Study on the Book of Nehemiah Chapter 3: The Gates of Jerusalem

    http://www.jesusplusnothing.com/studies/online/nehem3.htm

    http://www.biblicalarchaeologytruth.com/the-water-gate.html

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  16. Eat this so you can visuals me. Son of man eat this....and it was sweet as honey in the mouth but bitter in the belly....plenty of eating little things to hear and see the Lord in the Bible.

    Why not take a look into the entheogen Amanita Muscaria..?

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  17. The Article was exciting, informative and true. Just the kind of Faith and Believer I'm drawn to the most. Sadly, however, it's been my experience, after over 4 decades now, that the Church is no different, and is no better, than the world. Few and Far Between are the Choicest. And as long as it's here on this earth, and in the flesh, it will likely remain so.

    Tarry no longer, O Lord, the weeds do sicken Thy fields..

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