SERMON DATE AND TITLE:20110925: "Storming Hell's Gates"

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        Did you know that in the past 4,000 years, mankind has only known only 268 years in which a war has not been fought? Spiritually speaking, since the creation
of Adam and Eve, there has not been one day where a war has not taken place. If you are a born again Christian, you are to be in active duty in the Lord's army, and living by the marching orders that God has

given to you.
        ChristiaNet.com, a large Christian portal with eight million monthly page loads, recently asked, "Have you ever experienced spiritual warfare?" President of ChristiaNet, Bill Cooper, stated,

"The Bible states that all Christians, at some point in time, will experience spiritual warfare."
        Out of 1,200 Christians surveyed, an overwhelming 84% believed that they had indeed experienced some type of spiritual warfare in their lives. Most in this group felt that experiencing spiritual warfare was actually a confirming sign that they were true believers in Christ,

"Even Jesus was tempted by Satan in the Bible. If we are for God, then we are against the Devil and that creates a spiritual war."

Others chose to define their individual experiences, "Fighting the addiction of drugs and alcohol is considered spiritual warfare. This is how the Devil tempts us not to trust God."

Another poll taker responded,

"All Christians experience the war between good and evil. We will always experience it as long as we live on earth and have a human body."

Pastor Phil  <><<


September 25, 2011

pastor Phil Roland, Sheepfold Ministries



MaTTHEW 16:13-18

"To overcome the Gates of Hell, you have to advance into enemy territory. The bold declaration of our faith in Christ at the enemy's gates  will bring us victory and overcoming power."                                                  Pastor Phil  <><<


"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." Verse 18



          A. NT "Koine A" Greek is Alexander's dialect and origin

                        1. Devised for Battlefield use

                        2. "Koine A' Greek is famous for its precision

            B. "Sin" is translated from "HAR-MA-TA-NO"

                        1. Means "Missing the mark"

2. For all have "har-ma-ta-no" and fallen short of God's mark

            C. "Forgiveness" is translated from "A-PHA-CES"

                        1. It means releasing something that has been bound

                        2. To loose and arrow from a bow

                        3. To release a stone from a sling

            D. Numerous phrases alluding to warfare of the time

                        1. Strongholds

                        2. Firey Darts

                        3. Adversary / Enemy

                        4. Whole Armor of God



          A. Evangelical Christianity is Crisis-Oriented

                        1. Revivalism creates Crisis through Conviction

                                    a. Offers great "Fire Insurance"

                                    b. People seek Christ for a set of "Asbestos Underwear"

                                    c. Concern about escaping God's Wrath and Hell

                        2. Rooted in testimony, "Here's what God did for me. . ."

            Revelation 12:11
                        "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word

                         of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."

            B. Believers today ask, "Can God bail me out of my problem?"

1. Bail me out of Marriage Crisis?

                        2. Bail me out of Financial Crisis?

                        3. Bail me out of Vocational Crisis

                        4. Bail me out of Consequences of Conscience-less Behavior?

                        "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows,                           that he will also reap."  Galatians 6:7



          C. We respond to the Crisis Call with, "Jesus is the Answer. . ."

1. Jesus can meet your Deepest Need

                        2. Jesus can Calm Your Heart's Greatest Fears

                        3. He can come with His Peace into your Storm


          A. The moment you step into God's Kingdom

                        1. God's Word convicts you of Sin

                        2. You Repent and then the Holy Spirit joins in

                        3. Strongholds are pulled down through Jesus' Name

                        4. Daily Struggle and Battlefield

                        5. No one is exempt, unless you belong to the adversary

            B. The Irony here is that most people HATE CONFLICT

                        1. Pulpits filled with "Rev. Wonderfuls"/"Feel-Good Sermons"

                        2. Pews manned by passive "Saints" and "Itching Ears"

                        3. Don't want to actively engage sin and get into the Battle

                        4. Bland, Vanilla Christianity 



            A. We use Five Deadly (to the enemy) Spiritual Weapons

                        1. The Word of God - Luke 4  - “It is written. . . “ 

                        2. The Blood of Jesus - Rev. 12:11a

                        “They overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb”

                        3. The Word of Testimony - Rev. 12:11b

                        “and the word of their testimony.”

                        4. Praises to God – Neh. 8:10; Acts 16:25

                        “. . .the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

                        “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God:                         and the prisoners heard them.”

                        5. The Name of Jesus - Phil. 2:9-11

                        “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name

                        which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee

                        should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those

                        under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus

                        Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

            B. The Christian Life Struggle is for the Active, the Vigilant, the Brave



        A. Ancient Walls were thick and strong

                        1. Walls had to Withstand enemy's attacks

                        2. Walls had to be Hard to Storm

                        3. Jerusalem's Walls were wide enough for Charioteers

            B. Gates were a Defensive Armament

                        1. Defend the City Against Undesirables

                        2. Protect Inhabitants within

            C. Warfare happened at the Gates of the City

                    1. Strongholds were near the gates



                        2. Weapons of all sorts rained down on attackers  

        D. Power in the city was concentrated at it's gates

                        1. City Gates Screened out enemies and undesirables

                        2. People met at the gates for Commerce

                        3. People met friends and relatives at the gates

                        4. Elders sat in Judgment at the gates



        A. Two Pagan Temples of Depravity

                        1. Temple to Caesar, a presumed Living God

                        2. Temple to Hell's Gate, an ancient cave

                                    a. Local legend and Myth

                                    b. Ancients Believed Deceased Souls passed thru there

                        3. Worship there was Licentious and Disgusting

                                    a. Bestiality involving Goats

                                    b. Temple Prostitution

                        4. Hell's Gate's worshippers were Spectators to Debacle

                                    a. Sit and Watch Sin's Parade

                                    b. Enjoy looking into the Devil's Cesspool

            B. It's in Caesarea Philippi Jesus boldly declared, Matt. 16:18

            "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."

1. Jesus' "Rock" is Peter's Amazing Statement of Faith

                        "Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the

                         living God." Matt. 16:15

2. Peter is renouncing Caesar as the Living God

                        3. Jesus is renouncing Hell's Gates entry to the spiritual world

                        4. Peter is affirming that in Jesus is BOTH!

            C. Hell's Gates cannot prevail / stand as we boldly take Faith's Stand

                        1. We actively Storm them and Overpower them

                        2. False Gods fall and shatter before our Faith in Jesus

            D. WHAT ABOUT YOU? Have you made Peter's Faith Statement?
            Luke 9:23-26
            23 Then He (Jesus) said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let              him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
            24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life              for My sake will save it.
            25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself                 destroyed or lost?
            26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will              be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of                the holy angels.




          I've spent my life thinking one way about a scripture and then something comes and blows up my neat little theological world. Today's text is like that. The bowling ball that wasted my neat, orderly theological pins is archaeology. If you can picture in your mind these two ancient temples: one to the Living God, the Roman Caesar; and the other to the Gates of Hades. See them in close proximity to each other. See them hewn from the same exposed cliff face, a redish rock.

          The Old Testament word for "Hell" is Sheol. It was believed to be the place where the dead go after this life. Sheol was also translated, "the Pit," or, "the Abyss," or "the Grave." It was believed to be a place of darkness where souls go after they are removed from this life and God's light.

          When the Hebrew scriptures were translated into Greek in ancient Alexandria around 200 BCE the word, "Hades" (underworld) was substituted for "Sheol." The resulting Greek Old Testament translation is called the "Septuagint."           The new Testament was written in Koine Greek. It also uses "Hades" to refer to the abode of the dead.

          In Jesus' day it was believed that Hades had two huge gates. These gates remained locked awaiting the day the Messiah would come and set the captives free. Now picture Jesus giving this wonderful teaching about who he is. Jesus' back is to the Temple of Caesar, the living god, and the disciples, including Peter have their back to the Gates of Hades.

          The dialogue between Jesus and Peter completely destroys these two false gods. It crushes Hell's Gates and wipes out the Caesar god cult completely. Jesus establishes two massive faith-based gates through which we enter His Kingdom:

1) Unreserved faith on our part that He is the Son of the Living God; and

2) Our standing on the "Peter-Exampled" rock of Faith in Jesus and Him alone as our Messiah and the Rock of our Salvation.


Pastor Phil  <><<


Matthew 16:13-18 (NKJV)

13 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?"
14 So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17 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.
18 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.