Upon this Rock [petra] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

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Upon this Rock [petra] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Continuing: the above is from Matthew 16:18 and comes as the LORD is describing the gates of hell and what defeats them. The chapter begins by telling us it is when the powerful who were sitting in the judgments seats, in God’s place, came to the LORD and asked for a sign from heaven. His first response was in chastising them for not seeing the signs of the time in the events that were as a gathering storm, which all knew was coming. He goes on to tell His followers of the blindness of the time, why men were unable to understand the signs, saying it was a result of the doctrines of these men (which they had worked in as leaven, until the whole lump was corrupt).

The LORD next mentions the bread that he had given them, a description in which he is telling them how he increased it: His understanding causing the loaves to expand. This is again a contrast between the corruption of those sitting in God’s place that caused blindness to the signs and times, and the expansion of the unleavened word of God that restored sight to the blind.

The passage that follows is extremely deep, and is the LORD telling those who believe God is in Him speaking, which is Christ, the Rock Paul plainly tells us of in 1 Corinthians 10:4, and confessing this truth they become the same Rock (Christ in them) upon which He will build His church. Simon Bar-Jonah, who after His confession/witness the LORD renames Peter (petra), is called the son of Jonah (Bar-Jonah) because he is the first to come from the belly of the fish, which Jonah calls the belly of hell.

As we’ve seen in previous posts, the word rendered fish in Jonah is the Hebrew word dag, from the word da’ag, meaning to be agitated. In this, we see the fish is telling of what was in the sea, under the surface causing the storm, which we understand is speaking of the underlying cause of ignorance and the resulting agitation of the people of Nineveh. These are those to whom Jonah was sent, and fleeing His God-appointed duty the same storm he fled consumed him.

Jonah 2
1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly,
2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and you heard my voice.
3 For you had cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all your billows and your waves passed over me.
4 Then I said, I am cast out of your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.
5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.
6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet have you brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.
7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto you, into your holy temple.
8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
9 But I will sacrifice unto you with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.
10 And the LORD spoke unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

When the LORD elsewhere (Matthew 12:40) tells of His being in the belly of the earth (hell) as Jonah was in the belly of the “whale” He uses the Greek word ketos, which only appears this one time. It is from the word chasma, which also only appears one time (Luke 16:26), rendered “gulf” in describing the great expanse between heaven and hell, that can’t be crossed over.

In both places we are being told of the gates of hell, what caused the agitation (the opposite of peace) and keeps people from rising into life. The Hebrew and Greek words used to describe this each tell of a wide-open mouth (as in the mouth of a whale), the false doctrines of those sitting in God’s place, and the lying vanities Jonah speaks of above in Jonah 2:8.

Friends, these are the keys of heaven, the keys of David, which God has given me to give to you. By faith, belief, in this truth, and confession of it, you are, as I am, the Sons (Children) of God and the Rock upon which He builds His habitation (church). I know who I am, and I know who you are. Believe me when I tell you, if Christ is you then you are His body and the children of God.

1 John 3
1 Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.
4 Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
5 And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
6 Whosoever abides in him sins not: whosoever sins has not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8 He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death.
15 Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren [we must take up our cross].
17 But whoso has this world’s good [God’s life-giving word], and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion [from where the living waters flow] from him, how dwells the love of God in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
24 And he that keeps his commandments dwells in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.

Matthew 16
1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would show them a sign from heaven.
2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, you say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O you hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky; but can you not discern the signs of the times?
4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah. And he left them, and departed.
5 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.
8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O you of little faith, why reason you among yourselves, because you have brought no bread?
9 Do you not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up?
10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up?
11 How is it that you do not understand that I spoke it not to you concerning bread, that you should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi [service due to His love], he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.
15 He said unto them, But whom say you that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah [son of Jonah]: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto you, That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
21 From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from you, LORD: this shall not be unto you.
23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get you behind me, Satan: you are an offense unto me: for you savor not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross [Satan – hates the cross, the sacrifice needed to overcome his gates, which we understand are the doctrines of those sitting in God’s seats, judging unjustly], and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
28 Truly I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Ephesians 2
1 And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;)
6 And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.
11 Wherefore remember, that you being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto a holy temple in the LORD:
22 In whom you also are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.

Ephesians 3
1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2 If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6 That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our LORD:
12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
13 Wherefore I desire that you faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our LORD Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

When Paul tells of Christ, the Rock into whom we are baptized, by His own power working in us, he also speaks of coming out from among the corrupt. These idol, the corrupt and corrupting ideas of men, are the gates that keep men and the world in hell. Now, I say again, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (See Revelation 18:4)

1 Corinthians 10
1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
7 Neither be you idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
8 Neither let us commit fornication [interact with idols], as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
10 Neither murmur you, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
12 Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
13 There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.
14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
15 I speak as to wise men; judge you what I say.
16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?
19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?
20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils.
21 You cannot drink the cup of the LORD, and the cup of devils: you cannot be partakers of the LORD’s table, and of the table of devils.
22 Do we provoke the LORD to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.
25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles [the houses of dead flesh], that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
26 For the earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof.
27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and you be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
28 But if any man say unto you, this is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof:
29 Conscience, I say, not your own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?
30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
31 Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.
32 Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

These gates of hell are alluded to in mentioning Moab, and refers us to Isaiah 16.

Isaiah 16
1 Send you the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela [the rock, another name for Petra – the Rock who is Christ] to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion.
2 For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab [the gates of hell] shall be at the fords of Arnon [where we cross over the waters of strife].
3 Take counsel, execute judgment; make your shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wanders.
4 Let mine outcasts dwell with you, Moab; be you a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceases, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.
5 And in mercy shall the throne be established [the king line reestablished]: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.
6 We have heard of the pride of Moab [swelling {of Jordan} pride that carries all into death, at the gates of hell]; he is very proud: even of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath: but his lies shall not be so.
7 Therefore shall Moab howl for Moab, every one shall howl: for the foundations of Kirhareseth [wall of broken {earthen} vessels] shall you mourn; surely they are stricken.
8 For the fields of Heshbon [their strongholds – in which they put their trust] languish, and the vine of Sibmah [smell rotten]: the lords of the heathen have broken down the principal plants thereof, they are come even unto Jazer [where they need help], they wandered through the wilderness: her branches are stretched out, they are gone over the sea.
9 Therefore I will bewail with the weeping of Jazer the vine of Sibmah: I will water you with my tears, O Heshbon, and Elealeh [where God is rising]: for the shouting for your summer fruits and for your harvest is fallen.
10 And gladness is taken away, and joy out of the plentiful field; and in the vineyards there shall be no singing, neither shall there be shouting: the treaders shall tread out no wine in their presses; I have made their vintage shouting to cease.
11 Wherefore my bowels shall sound like an harp for Moab [the gates of hell], and mine inward parts for Kirharesh [for their brokenness].
12 And it shall come to pass, when it is seen that Moab is weary on the high place, that he shall come to his sanctuary to pray; but he shall not prevail.
13 This is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning Moab [the gates of hell] since that time.
14 But now the LORD has spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years of an hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be contemned [galah – understood to be without value], with all that great multitude [the agitated masses]; and the remnant shall be very small and feeble [without power/strength until they receive the report and the LORD] .

This “remnant” is the “residue” spoken of in Isaiah 28:5, the elect remnant who receive the LORD’s teaching and correction.

John 1
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
16 And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
18 No man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.

Isaiah 28
5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,
6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sits in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith you may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, you scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
15 Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
16 Therefore thus saith the LORD God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believes shall not make haste.
17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then you shall be trodden down by it.
19 From the time that it goes forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
20 For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.
21 For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim [the LORD has broken forth upon the enemies as a breaking of great waters {His word}], he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon [when He sent great hailstones upon the enemy, His water {word} frozen in heaven, reserved there to be released in this moment of war], that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.
22 Now therefore be you not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the LORD God of hosts a consumption [kalah], even determined [charats] upon the whole earth.
23 Give you ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.

Psalms 126
1 When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD has done great things for them.
3 The LORD has done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
4 Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.
5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
6 He that goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

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