The first person to see this document observed, "That picture doesn't look like the Gates of Hell". I said, "Yes. It doesn't." The reason it doesn't is that the visible Gates of Hell are not horrible, threatening, or frightening, to see. Mostly, they are actually attractive and appealing to humans. That is part of the great deception maintained on by Satan.
This is a personal study of an issue of extreme importance to saved Believers and even more importance for those who are not saved because of what their end will be. I am not presenting a scholarly work but rather a Spirit driven exploration of this topic. If you have a genuine interest in what awaits the self-condemned at the end of the age, plow on. It will take some time to understand what the Holy Spirit has shown me and connect it up in your mind.
The GATES of HELL
What does this mean ?
Where are these gates?
What exactly are they ?
How did become established ?
What can or should we do about them ?
These are some of the issues I plan to explore.
I realize that what I am about to cover next is already known to you. I just want to be sure we are on the same page ... thinking along the same lines.
At some point in cosmic history, one of the archangels, maybe named Lucifer, garnered support from one third of all the angels to join him and make a run at God's throne. They did not have the power to overthrow God and were banished by being "sent down to the earth", where we know the fallen leader as Satan, the devil, etc.
Before the angels there was only the Triune God existing in eternity. Through the second person, Christ to us, all creation was established. He created the Sons of God, the angels. The word son does not connote physical gender but rather relationship to the Father.
The angels obviously were created with free will, else Lucifer could not have rebelled. God chose to expel the rebels rather than destroy them. He determined their ultimate future to reside in a place called Hades. Sheol, Hell, or whatever familiar term you prefer. God established Hell and made it Satan's dominion. Hell already exists in the spiritual realm. The eternal fires and torment have not yet been turned on as they will be when God replaces the present cosmos with a new heavens and new earth.
Meanwhile, Hell is operational and has manifestations in the natural realm. Gates. Hell is gated to contain the occupants.
You know the flow of events in the Garden of Eden. After Adam's sin, God put curses on the serpent, the woman, the man, his descendants, and the planet earth. He then banished the humans, like He did the angels, and expelled them from the garden because the Tree of Life was there and they were no longer allowed to eat from it to sustain life. Eventually they died. It matters not whether the story is allegorical or literal. It represents the underlying truths.
They went to the "east of Eden", behind the gates of Hell. God obliterated Eden and all humanity has been born, lived, and died, prisoners behind the gates of hell with the master they chose to obey. No one escapes from Hell. The gates are firmly locked from the outside, confining all within.
God was not satisfied to leave it like this or to destroy His original entire creation. Instead, he launched a plan to redeem as many of mankind as were willing to reverse Adam's choice. Through earth time, He elected to rescue certain people and bring them out from behind the gates. These persons lived in both the natural and spiritual realms. To name a few so you see what I mean: Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David.
These are some of the remarkable characteristics of the "Gates of Hell":
1. In the natural world they are visible but not seen as what they are. I'll explain this later. In fact, they are very attractive to human perception. That's why I chose the pleasant roadway scene for title image. Behind the gates there is plenty of light ... natural and artificial.
2. In the spiritual world they are invisible to those behind the gates but visible to us who are saved and endowed with Spirit light by which we see them. The gates and surrounding walls admit NO light from the spiritual realm. All is darkness. The demons know this ... the humans do not. The humans are relying on their natural senses for all their discernments. Their spirits are essentially dead within them but able to be brought back to life by God according to His plans and methods.
3. Though the humans behind the gates cannot escape, and in fact don't know they are confined there because they are spiritually deaf and blind, the demons are free to go in and out and meddle in the affairs of the world. 4. True members of Christ's true church, empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit, can go through the gates at will. This is a very specific power which enables God, working through His children, to send in rescue teams who bring out such condemned as will accept the terms of redemption.
If you use an internet search engine to look for "gates of hell images" you will be confronted by more than 22,000,000 images like these at www.google.com/.
Since the beginning or visual art, Satan and Hell have been depicted in horrific views of fire and tormented human bodies.
We have no scriptural information telling us in what form the condemned will exist and I don't plan to speculate on that here. We do not know our own future eternal form of manifestation except that Paul says whatever Jesus is like we shall be also. Jesus mentioned preparing places for us in heaven where there are "many mansions" in the Father's house but we don't know if He meant that literally or figuratively.
This instruction from Jesus, Messiah, was given before He ascended into heaven and prior to the beginning of His church. We, the church, are to "go" and do what He said. He gave us His reasons in the following passage.
In this passage He explains His intentions ... to build His church on The Rock of these truths: (1) He is the Messiah, the Son of God sent to earth, and (2) the Father has revealed Him to be so in order that men many know and believe this truth.
If you are one of those convinced that His play on words with "rock" means He would build His church on Simon Peter, you have been mislead. The church is built on the revelation of the truth about Christ; not on any single human being. He did specifically recruit Paul to be His apostle to the Gentiles. He has anointed many through the ages to carry out His work in the world.
The subject of this discourse is His closing remarks stating that the Gates of Hell will not overcome it. Some translations read "not prevail against it" or similar wording. In my near forty year trying to walk in the light of the Spirit, I had always thought in terms of Satan and his evil empire constantly attacking the church; making us defenders.
Credit where due, I heard a sermon in which the preacher advocated for the opposite. He believes the "gates" are on the defensive now that the church exists. We are to be the attackers, invading the realm of evil and bringing out from behind hell's gates those who can be saved. This is not simple evangelizing but consciously taking the battle TO the enemy of man and God. I have pondered this for some time. I believe the Holy Spirit is urging me to recruit warriors for the battle, using my words to express the revelation I received.
AUTHORITY & POWER
The men (no women permitted) in the synagogue must have sat stunned, mouths agape, when Jesus announced that He Himself is the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy. "Freedom for the prisoners".
WHERE to GO
Obviously, through the "gates" to where the captives are.
Take a look at some of the "gates" which hold humanity spiritual prisoners. Some are obvious and familiar because we have been taught to associate them with sin.
The visible Gates of Hell are abundant to the spiritual sight of Believers. There are captives everywhere ... serving as dedicated nurses because of altruism but nevertheless lost behind Hell's Gates. Supermarket cashiers, policemen, soldiers, judges, doctors, plumbers ... where to stop ?
You are empowered to storm the Gates of Hell to some degree or other. What you think is the smallest contribution to this war may be great in the eyes of God. You have to search your heart and assess your personal gifts, skills, and talents to discover how to carry on the assault.
Storming the Gates of Hell is a task for any Believer, not just those with credentials, training, or membership. I was led to salvation by the example of an ordinary person I met. She had no training. She simply loved God and it showed in her life ... her joy and peace in Christ.
The one thing you do not need to worry about when you are face to face with a person who is seeking God or receptive to His message is what you will say.
WHEN you go, know with absolute certainty that HE goes with you every step of the way. Be sure to LISTEN to the guidance of the Holy Spirit whose task it is to convict. You can do nothing on your own. Do not leap out ahead of the Lord. He will nudge you when you come across a field to be plowed, or seeded, or cultivated, or possibly harvested. Just keep in mind that YOU are the worker ... the vineyard is His and He calls the shots.
God richly bless you as you go
Written by Wayne Hepburn, July 2012. I herewith place this document in the Public Domain