The Spirit Filled Believer
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"The gates of hell shall not prevail..." (Matt. 16:18).

In Bible days the gates of the city were the ordinary place for transacting business, administering justice and conducting trials. People met there to discuss news, engage in commerce (buying and selling), and make communal plans.

Lot sat in the gates of Sodom. Abraham negotiated a land purchase with Ephron in the gates of the city (Gen. 23:10). Sometimes the word gates (or gate) conveys the idea of people meeting in a forum setting to discuss and decide outcomes of certain issues.

In Genesis 34:20, two men, Hamor and Shechem, came to the gate and in a forum asked if Israel would approve of a marriage between Shechem and Dinah. Boaz conducted the kinsman redemption of Ruth with the elders in the gates (Ruth 4:1). Eli conducted priestly administration in the gates (1 Sam. 4:13).

Absalom made kingly decisions in the gates while stealing the hearts of the people away from his father David (2 Sam. 15:2). Nehemiah 8:1 tells us that Ezra the scribe read the law to the people gathered together in the broad place before the water gate.

The Greek word translated gates in Matthew 16:18 is pule (poo'-lay). The gates stood for those who governed or administered justice there. Jesus was telling us that neither the plots and strategies nor the strength of Satan and his angels will ever prevail against His Church.

The gates of death are a citadel. The Church of Jesus Christ is a stronghold built on a firm foundation: "All the plots, stratagems and crafty plans of the enemies of the Church shall not overcome it." This promise has been remarkably fulfilled.

Source: The Spirit-Filled Believer's Daily Devotional by Dick Mills
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

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The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

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