Thursday, 11 February 2010

Understanding the Gates of Hell (Part 2)

Matthew 16:15-19 (KJV)
15 “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18And 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. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”.

From my last note on this topic, I tried to show you that:

1. You are that church Jesus commits Himself to building; he took responsibility for building you up.
2. If Jesus is responsible for your life, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.
3. Also remember that the word is the rock on which Jesus is going to build you, so as long as you are ordering your life and affairs in the light of the word; on what He says, the devil can’t stop you. The devil cannot overcome the word of God.
4. It is important to note that as a believer, you have the keys of the kingdom; you have access into the will of God for your life. You can bring the government of heaven into your situation.
5. Anytime you hear from God and you understand it, it is a key. When you act on it, you allow heaven to open for you.
6. Also it is important to note that as a believer, you are surrounded by a wall called salvation, by a wall of fire and by a host of Angels. The devil cannot access you except he can plant the gate of hell into that wall.

Now let’s look at some of the things that can create the crack and allow room for Satan the enemy to erect the gates of hell. The essence for this is so that you will deal with them and not let the devil capitalise on them and take advantage of you.

1. Disobedience to divine leadership

Disobedience creates a crack - by divine leadership, I mean what God is instructing you to do. You need to know what the word of God says about everything that concerns you; you need to develop the attitude of listening and obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit that lives inside you. God speaks to us through:
1. His word – The Bible
2. Through word of prophecy
3. Through visions and dreams
4. Through the sermons and teachings we receive via His ministers

You give room to the devil when you ignore or set aside God’s instruction to you and walk in disobedience. By setting aside, I meaning knowing the will of God concerning something and ignoring it and doing what pleases you instead.

The devil steps in any time you are walking in disobedience because that is his territory, that is the atmosphere he operates in and nobody defeats him in his own territory.

You are only able to withstand the devil when you are walking in obedience with God.

2 Corinthians 10: 4-6
“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled”.

Actually disobedience equals to rebellion. Rebellion is equal to witchcraft. Witchcraft is about control, intimidation and manipulation. You allow the devil to be able to control, intimidate and manipulate your life, your affairs, even your destiny when you rebel against divine instruction.

You want to keep the devil out? Live in obedience with God and he – the devil - will never be able to stop you. He may try, but will never prevail. And remember, God will never lead you to do anything that will harm you.

Isaiah 48: 17
“Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go”

It may not really make sense, what He is saying to do, but if you can simply obey, you will put the devil where he belongs – under your feet.

2. Unforgiveness and bitterness
This falls under the law of harvest. We all know that God is a just God, and that He operates within His laws and principles. He has said whatever man sows, that shall he reap also. When you refuse to forgive somebody the wrong he has committed against you, God will not forgive you also.

Matthew 18: 23-35

If God won’t forgive you, he will be having something against you. If God has something against you, He will not bless you; he will not protect you and like what happened to that wicked servant in Matthew I8, God will release the unforgiving person to the tormentors.

The tormentors are demon spirits responsible for calamities. The tormentors can attack your health, can attack you in your mind and make you mentally ill, can cause depression, can attack your finances, and can even attack your relationship if they have the permission to do so. You cannot maximize your potentials; you cannot find full and genuine satisfaction in life if you are under the oppression of the tormentors and it’s your unforgiveness and bitterness that opens you up to them.

James 3:16
“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work”.

Actually, the devil has right of access into your affairs whenever there is sin hanging on you and God cannot do anything about it until He is able to forgive you and God won’t forgive you if you can’t forgive your brother.

3. Marital problems
This concerns married couples. The Bible says that when we disregard or fail to deal with our spouses according to the covenant of marriage, our prayers will be hindered.
1Pet. 3: 1-7

According to 1 Peter 3, the disregard for marital values can make room for the devil to put up a gate of hell and block the flow of blessing into the marriage.

If you want to see God’s favour especially upon your marriage, then you’ve got to deal with your spouse according to the word. The man must love his wife and must be a responsible husband and father and must provide for his immediate house. If he does not do that, he denies the faith.

The woman must be submit to her husband in all things, show the virtue of meek and quiet spirit like Sarah the wife of Abraham who called her husband my lord.

You open your marriage, your family, and your business to the devil whenever you ignore or set aside Gods word regarding marriage and treat your spouse with lack of care, love or respect.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Understanding the Gates of Hell (Part 1)

Matthew 16:18-19 (KJV)
“18And 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. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”.

Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant when he made that declaration in the passage above? I’d like to share with you my take from the passage.

The church

The Church means the body of believers; you and I make up the Church. So by building the church, Jesus is meaning he will build you and me.

The very day somebody becomes a member of the body, the Church, Jesus takes over the responsibility of building him up. He has a plan for every one of us and in relationship with him, he works out something and he brings us to that place he intended for us from the very beginning. A believer should conquer the fear of the future and not worry about what the outcome of his life would be. And it does not matter the challenges you are going to encounter in life; Satan may attack you, and sometimes may seem to be interrupting your life and you may feel like you are not making any progress but Jesus says as he builds you up, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against you” irrespective of them all. So cheer up in the face of the odd and all, your destiny is a guarantee in Christ Jesus, hell cannot stop it.

The rock

The rock, I believe in this instance, means the word, the word we hear and receive from God.

Mathew 7: 24-25
“24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock”.

The word of God is the rock on which Jesus builds the Church. As a believer, it is important you know that the word is what will build and establish you. You can never set aside the word, live contrary to it and be victorious over Satan. As you walk in the light of the word, you are not only established, you are empowered above all the wiles of Satan also. You may experience the rain, the flood and the winds but they cannot stop your destiny.

Acts 20: 32
“32And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”

As long as you are ordering your life, and your affairs in the light of the word, you are as it were being built upon the rock, and nothing Satan does can prosper against you.

The keys

The words keys mean the right of access. The keys of the kingdom means the right to access the Kingdom of Heaven, the authority to bring down the Kingdom of Heaven into a place, it also means Divine wisdom and insight to handle the affairs of this life, the ability to walk in the will of God.

So as a child of God and as a part of the Church, you can connect with the authority of the Kingdom of Heaven; you can bring heaven into your environment or situation.

The keys of the Kingdom of Heaven are given to the believer when he hears the Rhema word regarding any situation. You receive the key of the Kingdom of Heaven anytime you receive specific word or instruction from God. And anytime you act upon that word, you bring heaven or the will of God into the situation. And this is how the Church is meant to operate. Knowing exactly what God is saying regarding a thing and doing exactly what God says enforces his will there.

The gates

The word gate simply means an opening, a door, a gateway, or the entrance into a place. I suppose the gates of hell will therefore mean the opening or gateway that the forces of hell have created to enable them have access into people’s lives or affairs.

The gates also serve as barrier to keep unauthorised people out. Which means if the devil can raise a gate around your life, he can control who and what comes in and out of your life and will also be able to manipulate and interrupt your destiny.

To understand the mystery of the gates of hell, you will need to know that the believer has a wall around him; the wall of protection:
I. Wall of salvation around you for protection- Isaiah 60: 18.
II. Angels encamped around you- Ps. 34: 7 (Heb. 1: 14.).
III. Wall of fire-Zechariah 2: 5.

And the gate of praise is meant to be the access into your life. So anytime you praise, you open your life to God and the blessing.

Isaiah 60:18
“Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise”.
And Jesus is also meant to be the door or gate into your life.

John 10: 6-9
“Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, 7 so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. 9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures”. (NLT)

Now, before the devil can have access into the believer’s affairs and spoil what God is doing, he will have to first of all crack the defences around him and put up gates of hell. Except the wall around you is broken, except the devil has got a loophole, he cannot attack you and prevail.

For the Bible says: “….and whosoever breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him”. Ecclesiastes 10: 8b.

Satan cannot have access into your affairs until you let him by breaking the edge.

If you are praying and are not getting result, it is possible that there is a gate of hell standing in the way of your prayer.

If things in your life continue to go wrong, if you continue to suffer loss, you start something and it continues to fail, it could be that Satan has an access into your affairs. May be he has put a gate so he can control what comes in.

Please note that I am not meaning that just a failure in a thing means there is a gate of hell into your life, we sometimes all fail in something and when we put more effort, we breakthrough. I am meaning when you feel like you are under a closed heaven and when you continue to experience a circle of failure or lose. I mean when things are just not walking despite all the effort, the prayers, the fasting and the seed of faith.

I will share with you in part two of this series how the gates of hell operate.