The Gates of Hell

On February 28, 2020 we went to Mt Hermon, one of the highest places in Israel. You can find it mentioned in Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, I Chronicles, Psalm and Song of Solomon.

Mt Hermon, Israel

I admit this was one of those places we visited where initially I was like “Why?” It has remnants of several temples to false gods. The large cave, we were told is called the Gates of Hell. People believed this was the entrance to the underworld. We were told people would put their sacrifice in the pool of water inside the cave. If the sacrifice sank or did not come flowing out of the rushing water, then the gods of the underworld had accepted their sacrifice. If the sacrifice came out in the spring, the gods had rejected their sacrifice.

As I looked around, I was not sure why we were brought to this site. The River of Dan runs through the land, and it really had a lot of beauty to it. There were many people around, and one group that stood and sung praise to Lord in another language. Still, there was darkness to this area. There were remnants of a temple to Pan, Zeus, and to goats.

One of the pastor’s mentioned it is also the possible site where Jesus met with three of his disciples, Peter, James and John as well as Moses and Elijah and was transfigured.

 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Matthew 17:1-3

These were the same disciples that Jesus took with him to the Garden of Gethsemane. They saw Jesus as a man and then as the transformed glorified Christ. Pastor Robbie mentioned that Elijah represents those alive in Christ because he was taken up in a chariot and had never died.

And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. 2 Kings 2:10-12

Moses represented the dead in Christ, as He was buried by God.

So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord,  and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day.  Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. Deuteronomy 34:5-7

The pastor shared that he believed that having Moses and Elijah there was to feed His spirit man for what lied ahead. Moses and Elijah are also believed to be His witnesses prophesying at the temple mentioned in Revelations 11:1-3. Another one of the ladies present mentioned she thought Moses represented the law and Elijah the prophets, and that Christ fulfilled both. Imagining that this was a place where Christ had been transfigured, I could only think how hell must have shuttered at His presence.

The other thing that stood out to me about this location is that it was the source of the six day war. Syria plugged up the River of Dan and is located on the opposite valley of the mountain. As I stood there looking at the gates of hell, I remembered. Jesus might have also had the conversation with his disciples while at the southwestern base of this mountain, looking up towards these false god’s temples.

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:13‭-‬19 NKJV

As the church stood looking in, I realized Syria didn’t defeat Israel in the war because Christ said the gates of hell will not prevail. I saw people, churches, The Church, standing there looking. This picture of all the people standing at the mouth of the cave it likely one of my favorite pictures from Israel. I love this picture because it is The Church collectively standing at the Gates of Hell. Reminding the enemy that he will not prevail.

It was not the physical location where Christ would build His Church, but on the revelation of who He is. Upon that revelation, the gates of hell would not prevail.

We need to start declaring who Christ is if we don’t want the enemy prevailing in our society. People are dying daily without Him. When we rise up in unity, in the truth of who God is, the enemy can not prevail. Heaven is open and we can bind and loose on earth as it is in Heaven. We must start standing and declaring who God is. He is not the author of chaos. He is love. He is our healing. He is our provision. He is our protector. We need to be loosing His power on earth and binding the work of the enemy. We need to be careful what we are declaring because our words have power. We can stand in the place of victory.

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