A key Scripture regarding our authority in Christ is Matthew 16:16-18: Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” A basic purpose of the body of Christ is to shut the gates of hell. As the Lord said, the gates of hell would not prevail against His church. A better translation here is the gates of hell will not “withstand” or “inhabit” a dwelling place against His church. This implies that the church will not be in an offensive position against the gates of hell, nor a defensive position, and the church will prevail. “Gates” are access points. The gates of hell are the places where hell has access to this world. The church has been given the authority to shut these gates. To do this, we must know where these gates are. Those who minister in deliverance seek to understand how demonic influence entered a person, so that “gate of hell” can be shut after the demon is cast out. The same is true in dealing with evil over cities, nations, and cultures. We must find evil’s entry points and close them.
Wars and other traumas can be demonic inroads over peoples and regions. Some are so great they release evil beyond the city or nation, which can become a “world ruler” or “world power” (see Ephesians 6:12). Two such national traumas that opened gates of hell to much of the world were the French and Bolshevik Revolutions. Both were led by atheists who vowed to remove God’s influence from the earth. By removing the Light from the places they conquered, a deep darkness settled there. In the French Revolution, the people revolted against the king and his authoritarian control, which quickly swung to the opposite extreme of anarchy. This opened the gates of hell for an even greater evil and intolerable oppression. They proclaimed anarchy the ultimate freedom, which quickly transformed into the worst authoritarian control to date and released an even more cruel and merciless intolerance for even the slightest hint of thinking contrary to mob rule. The French Revolutionaries sought to remove God from their country by exalting the god of human reason. Idols of reason were placed in churches to be worshipped. Those who would not bow to these or would express deviation of thought from that of “the people” were swiftly judged and beheaded. France descended into a terrible kind of chaos and depravity rarely seen through history. The whole world became appalled by what had transpired in France, and it took one of the world’s most powerful and ruthless dictators, Napoleon, to end the madness. The people turned to him when they realized even tyranny of a dictator was preferable to mob tyranny. Thus, the philosophies, teachings, and spiritual seeds of Marxism—the ultimate authoritarian and totalitarian control—entered the world through the trauma of the French Revolution. These seeds grew and matured in Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution. Jesus said there would be a harvest at the end of this age when all the seeds which have been sown, both good and evil, would mature. These seeds have since matured even further, and we are now entering the ultimate clash between the wheat and the tares sown in mankind—the ultimate battle between liberty and slavery. So, how do we find these gates of hell or points of entry to shut them? To date, many have tried to shut these gates of hell by exposing their evil or by countering these philosophies, which has not worked. This “god of reason” does not care about “reason,” thus it is not possible to reason with those under its dominion. However, we have weapons that are far more powerful, and we have many examples of how our “divinely powerful weapons” have worked throughout history. This battle will not be won in the arena of public opinion, politics, or through any government of this world, but by the Spirit of God and coming of His kingdom. We will not win by being drawn onto the battlefield of the enemy’s choosing. God’s greatest strategy for this ultimate battle is the highway of His choosing, Isaiah 40. God’s highway is the “higher way.” This highway will open the doors and windows of heaven, which will easily overpower the gates of hell. Rick Joyner
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