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AT THE GATES OF HELL…HADES
18κἀγὼ δέ σοι λέγω ὅτι σὺ εἶ Πέτρος καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησί
αν καὶ πύλαι ᾅδου οὐ κατισχύσουσιν αὐτῆς
18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and [the] gates of
Hades will not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18
The phrase the “gates of hell” is translated in some versions as the “gates of Hades.” “Gates of hell” or “gates of
Hades” is found only once in the entire Scriptures, in Matthew 16:18. In this passage, Jesus is referring to the
building of His church: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
At that time Jesus had not yet established His church. In fact, this is the first instance of the word church in the New
Testament. The word church, as used by Jesus, is derived from the Greek ekklasia, which means the “called out” or
“assembly.” In other words, the church that Jesus is referencing as His church is the assembly of people who have
been called out of the world by the gospel of Christ.
Bible scholars debate the actual meaning of the phrase “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” One of
the better interpretations to the meaning of this phrase is as follows. In ancient times, the cities were surrounded
by walls with gates, and in battles the gates of these cities would usually be the first place their enemies assaulted.
This was because the protection of the city was determined by the strength or power of its gates.
As such, the “gates of hell” or “gates of Hades” means the power of Hades. The name “Hades” was originally the
name of the god who presided over the realm of the dead and was often referred to as the “house of Hades.” It
designated the place to which everyone who departs this life descends, regardless of their moral character. In the
New Testament, Hades is the realm of the dead, and in this verse Hades or hell is represented as a mighty city with
its gates representing its power.
Jesus refers here to His impending death. Though He would be crucified and buried, He would rise from the dead
and build His church. Jesus is emphasizing the fact that the powers of death could not hold Him in. Not only would
the church be established in spite of the powers of Hades or hell, but the church would thrive in spite of these
powers. The church will never fail, though generation after generation succumbs to the power of physical death,
yet other generations will arise to perpetuate the church. And it will continue until it has fulfilled its mission on
earth as Jesus has commanded:
65 From THE LIVE RAGGED EDGE RADIO BROADCAST/SHATTER LIVE TV WEBINAR RUSS DIZDAR ©
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I
have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18–20). HERE
HADES IS: THE GATES OF HADES WILL NOT PREVAIL
GATES …pýlē (a feminine noun) – a large door; an entrance-gate to a city or fortress; a doorgate. 4439 /pýlē ("a door-gate") typically refers to the exit people go out, i.e. focusing on what proceeds out of it.
Phonetic Spelling: (hah'-dace) Definition: Hades, the abode of departed spirits
Usage: Hades, the unseen world. 86 hádēs (from 1 /A "not" and idein/eidō, "see") – properly, the "unseen
place," referring to the (invisible) realm in which all the dead reside, i.e. the present dwelling place of all the
departed (deceased); Hades.
Katischuó Phonetic Spelling: (kat-is-khoo'-o) Definition: to overpower Usage: I prevail against, overpower, get the upper
katischusousin Root: κατισχύω
1) to be strong to another's detriment, to prevail against 2) to be superior in strength 3) to overcome 4)
to prevail/ net bible
“…the gates of hades represent the apex and forefront of the sum total of the powers of
darkness…all that they are, what they do, who they are against and what is their ultimate goal.
The gates hades is the violent, evil, front line of all the satanic-demonic powers that are active
and raging.” rd
In the days of Jesus, hell was a literal place, more specifically hell was a garbage dump in Jerusalem, a local incinerator,
known as a place of perpetual burning. Spiritually, according to Matthew 25:41, hell is a place prepared for the devil
and demons and its final resting place of torment, forever.
Hades, however, means “underworld’, a place of death. In Greek mythology, which was very popular in Jesus’s day,
Hade’s responsibility was to govern and rule the underworld and death. His two brothers were Zeus and Poseidon.
Zeus, was the supreme ruler on earth and Poseidon, was the ruler of the waters. Together, these three made up a
triune rulership over the universe.
Hades and the Ekklesia
Hades then represents, the domain of Satan, and the kingdom of darkness, because all things that contribute to death
are part of Satan’s realm having his influence in every sphere of society.
This gives the Ekklesia greater clarity about its role and assignment.
Picture Jesus standing with his young disciples in this dark, demonically infested region, pointing to the Gates of
Hades as the target of His Ekklesia!
In full view of these Gates, Jesus provides the mission and mandate of His Ekklesia. He was very strategic and made
sure he took the twelve to this exact point so there would be no misinterpretation or confusion about what He is
calling them to do. Christ’s Ekklesia is to co-labor with Him to access the Gates of Hades and bring heaven to earth.
The Gates of Hades represents all that opposes God’s will. Crime, corruption, lying, sexual immorality, pornography,
ungodly ways of doing business, humanism, abortion, to name a few. All these, and more, have come out of these
gates into our society. Our responsibility is co-labor with Jesus and bring the gospel to these “gates,” redeeming and
reclaiming lives and systems.
Jesus Enters These Very Gates First
What must be noted here is that upon Jesus’ death and resurrection, He enters through these very gates ahead of
His disciples. The Bible says that Jesus passed into Hades, preached salvation, and defeated death,