The Gates Of Hell Part III
ollowing the identity thread of the Gates of Hell in the first two parts of the present work, we showed how Christ stated that “Hell” is to be the opponent of His church – even as he flatly stated that wicked power would not prevail against what He identified as “my church” – the operative phrase n the text:
“…upon this rock [the profession that Jesus is indeed the Christ], I will build mychurch; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
Most believers have accepted the common usage of the word “church,” as the culture has redefined it into a specifically religious form, with the most common application found in reference to Christian fellowships and/or denominations. Although language, culture, and usage changes, the Word of God does not, so it is incumbent on the student of Scripture to probe just what Christ said, in the context of His words at the time.
Most know the basic structure of the underlying word translated church is ekklesia, and it speaks of a group that has been called out from someplace else, and gathered into a body of people. The Greek literature of the era shows ekklesia used to describe a crowd assembled for a sporting event (at a gymnasium, another Greek word), or a political gathering, or other occasions; but the word took on a religious connotation over a period of time.
This means the context of a Scripture which uses the word ekklesia (“church” in the English), is particularly important. Thus, we would do well to remember that when Christ said the Gates of Hell would not prevail, He specified the object that Hell would not prevail against, was “my church,” as opposed to “theChurch.”
Further, in the very same verse, Jesus said that He would “build” His assembly on the foundational belief that He is indeed the Saviour of Israel, promised by God the Father.
“And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ” (Mark 8:29).
Bible schools include a subject called ekklesiology – or classes which study the doctrine of the church. This is not dissimilar to the study of the Rapture – a fictional event – but the subject is vested with a Scripturally undeserved degree of legitimacy by virtue of the fact that people have chosen to study it. I’ve previously pointed out that whenever someone caught in the Rapture Cult says they will seriously study the subject of the “Rapture,” they will usually find it (even if it does not exist), as they’ve brought the concept into their world view, because they’ve assumed its existence by looking for it.
This is actually related to the occult phenomena known as projection, in that the practitioner Spiritually projects a reality based upon the desires in their heart (Ezekiel 13:2), and then they mystically move themselves into that projection, and their existence is conformed to it. Most of the so called “mind sciences” are related to this systemic approach, and many people use this process to envision themselves as prosperous and successful – having been taught that this technique will unleash an inner power.
As a result, whenever I encounter a believer who has become suspicious about what they’ve been taught (especially doctrinally crucial issues such as those concealed within the Rapture Cult), we suggest they study the resurrection – for there is no ambiguity whatsoever in the text concerning it. Jesus rose from the dead, the Bible plainly teaches it, and He repeatedly promised that those who are in Him will also be raised from the dead:
“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:25, 26)
To reiterate the point, a thorough familiarity with theresurrection eliminates several faulty theologies – such as the Rapturist doctrinal system -- which have crept in to the body of Christ (Jude 1:4). Unfortunately, young believers make the choice as to whose tutelage they will study under, while they are not yet in a position of maturity which will enable them to make such a decision! However, we have a great God and Saviour, and He states in His Word – the Word that never changes – that if we truly trust in Him, He will supernaturally direct our paths:
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6).
All of this was said to re-affirm the basic fact that the word ekklesia simply means an assembly, of any kind. Indeed, I remember in public school, there was a procedure called an assembly, in which the entire student body was required to “assemble” in the school auditorium, for certain special events. My school was named Valencia (a dysfunctional high school if there ever was one), and it would be inappropriate to say I was a member of “the assembly,” as other schools had assemblies as well – gatherings in which I had no association whatsoever.
It could be said that when Valencia initiated anassembly, during the relatively brief time I attended the school, I was present. Thus, we could say that, I was a member of the “Valencia assembly,” at the specific times it existed. You would not say, I was a member of the assembly.
When Jesus said He would build His “church,” He asserted He would assemble a body of believers – an ekklesia, or called out ones – but most students of the Scriptures forget that He had already stated justwhere that body would be called out from.
“I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24).
In fact, as Jesus instructed His disciples, He specifically told them to avoid the Gentiles and, as His followers assisted Him in building his “church,” they were to call out people from among the lost sheep of the house of Israel:
“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:5,6).
Thus, regardless of the percentage of the success rate in calling people out of the larger body of Israel, to come to the Messiah, and be assembled into the body of believers in Him, the “church” of Jesus Christ would be 100% identified with Israel. In other words, the larger group that was not gathered was “lost” Israel, and the smaller group which was called out, was (and is) “saved” Israel.
“For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (Romans 9:6).
-- James Lloyd
The LORD has chosen this ministry to declare things which are destined to be widely rejected by this evil generation – and the sad truth is, those who will not hear us largely consist of the existing “Church” – a group which desperately needs to turn away from the false prophets who continue to deceive them. The fact that we already know vast numbers of believers willnot hear this call does not change our mission. Another look at the False Prophet, and how this Hellish power seduces the multitude (those who dwell on the earth), is found in the James Lloyd 2 hour CD, MAKING THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST.