Summary: The Gates of Hell will not prevail against the church, even if hell gets in you

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Upon this Rock I build my church and the Gates of Hell Shall not prevail against it!

Even if hell gets in you!!

Prophetess Tamiko Stewart – Sunday, March 26, 2006 – Living Word

Matthew 16:13-19

• God’s purpose will get accomplished!

• Peter had revelation knowledge!

• Peter means “Rock”

• Hades means “Hell”

• Over come it means “not prove stronger than it!”

• Keys to the kingdom of Heaven means “access!” Ex: If you have the pin number to your bank account you have ACCESS!

"When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter (Peter means rock) And On This Rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades (hell) will not overcome it (not prove stronger than it). I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be (have been) bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be (have been) loosed in heaven.’" [Matthew 16:13-19, NIV (parenthesis contain footnoted interpretations from NIV text)]

+ "Christ" means "anointed one." At the time of Jesus, the term "anointed one" had become synonymous with "king." By declaring Jesus to be the "Son of the living God," Simon has directed attention away from kingship (who would lead the people to victory on earth and liberate them from the Romans) to his divine relationship with God. This is the revelation to which Jesus refers when he says "this was not revealed to you by man . . . " Peter had just shown that God the Father is using him as an instrument of His revelation.

+ Only in this place in the four gospels is Simon identified as "son of Jonah"; in the two other occurrences where his father is identified, he is identified as John (John 1:42 and 21:15-17). Jesus has just used the title "Son of Man" for himself, which means "one like a man"; could it be that Jesus is saying that Simon is to be "one like Jonah?" Jonah was the one who preached the impending destruction of Nineveh and effected the repentance of the people. This was an early type of the role which Peter was to play in the Church, leading people to reconciliation with God.

It is clear that it is Jesus who was promising to establish a visible Church on earth with Peter, the Rock, as its visible earthly anchor. The Church was not to be established on Peter’s faith, which we know faltered when he denied Jesus 3 times, but upon Peter the individual who was leader of the Apostles and an instrument of the Father’s revelation. As it says in Ephesians 2:20:

"Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone" (NIV).

This means the church is not built on modern ideas, but rather on the spiritual heritage given to us by the early apostles and prophets of the Christian Church.

The rock on which Jesus would build his church has been identified as (1) Jesus himself (his work of salvation by dying for us on the cross); (2) Peter (the first great leader in the church at Jerusalem); (3) the confession of faith that Peter gave and that all subsequent true believers would give. It seems most likely that the rock refers to Peter as the leader of the church (for his function, not necessarily his character.) Just as Peter had revealed the true identity of Christ , so Jesus revealed Peter’s identity and role.

Later, Peter reminds Christians that they are the church built on the foundation of the Apostles and the Prophets, with Jesus Christ ad the chief cornerstone. You can read about that in 1 Peter 2:4-6). All believers are joined into this church by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, the same faith that Peter expressed here. You can read Ephesians 2:20-21. Jesus praised Peter for his confession of faith. It is faith like Peter’s that is the foundation of Christ kingdom.

+ "the gates of Hades will not overcome it" means, very simply, that death will not overtake the Church. Hades, translated in the footnote as "Hell" was the abode of the dead, Abraham’s bosom. It was the place where all departed souls went after their earthly life because heaven was not yet open (this event happened with Jesus’ death on the cross). When Peter died, the role of leader would be taken by another; the office would not cease when the occupant died. This means that there will always be a visible head who, like Peter, will be an instrument of the Father’s revelation and guidance; Satan will not be able to expropriate the office because it is divinely protected.

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