Standing at the Gates of Hell

In Matt. 16:13, Jesus is standing in Caesarea Philippi, before a cave where the half man half goat deity Pan was worshipped and sacrificed too. His demonic temple was called the gates of hell, noted by the deep bloody red water that occurred when the sacrificial goat was slaughtered and thrown in the water. Pan was known for his loud roar as he came out of the cave. This roar caused much Panic in all the people as they ran for their lives. It was here, Jesus asks a question to His disciples, “Who do people say that I, the Son of Man, am?” In asking the question, Jesus declares His identity within the question, I Am, is who Jesus truly is. Within the cave, the demon Pan and all of hell heard Jesus decree His identity, I Am. Jesus and the demons were now waiting to hear who men said Jesus was. Their responses, “some say”, held no truth or authority. So Jesus asks a second time, who do you say I Am, to which Peter responds, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This spoken declaration was heard throughout hell and changed everything. Jesus could’ve chosen anywhere to decree His authority, our authority and the churches authority but He chose to stand before the cave of Pan and the Gates of Hell to declare it.

Christ’s response established the authority, we the church, have over all of hell and what it tries to put on us. This authority is found in the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven that Christ says, we all have as believers. Keys are the Key to understanding this passage of scripture. 1st Key, is the ability to stand (take a position) just like Jesus did before the cave of the Gates of Hell. We are to put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:13) that we may be able to stand when the days of evil come and against the wiles of the devil. 2nd Key, is a complete understanding of the authority found in the Name of Jesus and the power we have in declaring it. In Luke 9:1-2, we see Jesus calling His 12 disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3rd Key: is understanding who we are as His church in this world. Eph. 3:10, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Since we don’t struggle with flesh and blood, but against rulers and authorities, against powers of this dark world and spiritual forces of evil all found in heavenly realms.

The result of these 3 keys to His kingdom are we have the authority to Bind (put a stop to, hold back, to restrict) and to Loose (untie, unlock, to forgive, to free) here in lies our authority. It’s with this authority that believers need to start setting people free in Jesus’ name. It’s interesting that we often hear from the media during this pandemic to “plan and not panic.” Gods plan is clearly set before us in Matt. 16:13-19.

Question: Is it time for each one of us to stop or resist panicking and start following Gods plan?

Key Thought: Gods plan, found in His word, is first to take a stand as you position yourself to win a fight. Second, know who you are in Christ and start declaring it with confidence. Third, to understand who we are as the Body of Christ and the authority we can display as we walk in unity as His church.

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