By Pastor Alphonze
Psalms 24: 1-10
This psalm is simply titled A Psalm of David.
Many think this psalm was written upon the occasion of the entrance of the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem during the reign of David (2 Samuel 6). Yet Charles Spurgeon correctly wrote, “The eye of the Psalmist looked, however, beyond the typical upgoing of the ark to the sublime ascension of the King of glory.”
David begins by stating the ownership of the earth and all that is in it.
He formed it and established it; in other words, the issue of the earth’s ownership is settled and since the earth and all that is in it are His, He alone determines what happens to it.
Everything came from God, there was a time There was nothing present and it was only God. ~ Proverbs 8:23-26
We know that everything was in God – time, the rocks, the lions, the eagles, the waters, the bread, the light, the wind, the vines. It’s a small wonder He is identified and called by these names.
The ‘fulness’ of the earth may mean its harvests, its wealth, its life, or its worship; in all these, the Most High God is Possessor of all.
There is a sense in which the “world” belongs to Satan. Satan is called the god of this age (2 Cor 4:4), and when he tempted Jesus with the promise of giving Him the kingdoms of this world, Jesus did not question the devil’s ability to do so. Yet Satan can only do anything at God’s allowance, so God’s ultimate ownership is true.
Paul reiterates this truth twice (1 Corinthians 10:26, 10:28) to establish the principle that no food is in itself unclean, and that there is in fact nothing that actually belongs to the false gods the pagans made offerings to.
God’s ownership of the earth extends to the people who live upon it.
Through the rights of creation and continued provision, God has a claim upon every person who has ever lived. Then it informs us how to and who can access that God in Verse 4. Verse 5 informs us what kind of a person will receive; Just as Isaiah 45:19 and Hebrews 11:6 tells us that seeking God cannot be in vain.
There are people who think they determine what happens to this world-they don’t. There are also Spiritual forces and fallen angels including Satan that try to set and determine the projection of the cosmos and what happens to it. The bible states emphatically the earth has an owner. The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof.
One example of a king (Nebuchardnezer) who thought he had power to do what he wished and desired found out pretty quick who is in control-the watchers decreed that he will be like the beast of the earth walking on all fours and eating grass for years.
This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. ~ Daniel 4:17
SONS OF GOD
God had created angelic beings to rule with him and gave them territories to manage
In Psalms 82 we see God reprimanding them for not doing what is right.
In Genesis 6 we see them trying to corrupt and tarnish humanity that will later produce the lineage of the son of God Jesus. The bible says Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord. In other words, he was not corrupted nor tarnished by this intermingling of the celestial beings with the terrestrial. Genesis 6:8 – Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord.
Eventually this resulted in God sending the flood to destroy humanity that was tarnished because of the intermingling of the two dimensions of life which are not supposed to mingle. This account is chronicled in the following scriptures: Genesis 6 – The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair, and they took wives of all they desired and chose. 1Peter 3:19 – In which He went and preached to the spirits in prison.
What are these “spirits in prison”?
Many people reading the word “spirits” in this passage translate it in their minds to dead people who supposedly live now (as spirits) in a prison. Such an understanding however is not founded on the Word of God, and here is why: the Word of God does not use the word “spirit” to denote dead, non-resurrected, men.
To understand what are the spirits in prison, we need to look at the Word of God and see how it uses this word plus to take into consideration other references of the Bible on the subject described in the above verses of I Peter. For indeed the Word of God speaks not in just one but in four different places about what I Peter 3:19 speaks about. But first of all, let’s see what these spirits in prison are. As we said, they could NOT be dead men.
Despite the fact that our age uses the word spirit for dead men that are supposedly living somewhere without resurrection, the Bible does not use this word with such a meaning. It does however use this word to denote angelic beings. As Hebrews 1:13-14 and Hebrews 1:7 says. Angelic beings were created by God and they are spirit beings. They are “spirits”. Could then be that these “spirits in prison” are fallen angels in prison? Yes. But let’s first get some background information.
[As we have seen, angels are spirit beings. Though all of them were created by God not all remained with God. Some of them rebelled against Him and fell from their position. The chief fallen angel is the devil or Satan. Two passages that describe his rebellion and fall are: Ezekiel 28:11-19 and Isaiah 14:3-23. However, the above passage of I Peter 3:19 does not refer to this fall. I Peter 3:20 sets the time to the “days of Noah”. The devil had rebelled long before those days as we see him active in the garden of Eden. Besides that, he and his angels are not in a prison now. Instead the devil is described as “prince of the air” and he and his fallen angels as “principalities…powers…rulers of the darkness of this age.. spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”. Spiritual hosts of wickedness are literally hosts of wicked spirits –and this is what fallen angels are – that are now active in the heavenly places. I Peter 3:19 therefore does not refer to the devil’s fall but to another rebellion of angels that occurred “in the days of Noah” and before the Flood. These fallen spirits ended up in a prison and we will read more on this in II Peter and in Jude.]
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment. ~ 2 Peter 2:4
The phrase “cast them down to hell” is one word in the Greek text ‘tartaroo’ and it means “to cast down to ‘Tartarus’ . ‘Tartarus’ is a Greek word not used elsewhere or at all in the Septuagint. Tartarus is the prison of the Titans, or giants, who rebelled against Zeus (The Companion Bible, Appendix 131). The verb tartaroo, translated “cast down to hell” in 2 Peter 2:4 signifies to consign to Tartarus, which is neither Sheol or Hades nor Hell, but the place where those angels whose special sin is referred to in that passage are confined “to be reserved unto judgment;” the region is described as pits of darkness” . Tartarus is to be understood therefore as a prison and in this prison, as Peter says, were cast the angels that sinned, to be reserved in judgment. They are in this prison of darkness reserved for the day of judgment. See that what follows this reference of II Peter is Noah and the reference to the Flood. This is not accidental as both these events are connected and happened not long from each other. But let’s also see the evidence from Jude who also speaks about the same subject:
And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling–these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. ~ Jude 1:6
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Declare to Me, if you have and know understanding. When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy. ~ Job 38:4-7
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. ~ Job 1:6
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. ~ Job 2:1
Not all angelic beings who rebelled were locked up.
Some set themselves in heavenly territories and have raised up “GATES’’ to control this territories and thus dominating circumstances and livelihoods. Paul lists them in Colossians as Invisible: thrones, dominions and principalities.
For by Him were all things created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him. ~ Colossians 1:16
For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.
~ Ephesians 6:12 (AMP)
Their celestial spirits raised “gates” but they will not prosper for we know how this story ends.
God said that He will have his pleasure.
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. ~ Isaiah 46:10
Everywhere Jesus went was strategic and intentional. This is why Jesus went to Caesare of Philippi…
Jesus came to Caesarea of Philippi this are is the same area where Mt Herman is situated, Mt Herman is the Portal where the Fallen angels came through. Jesus Went there and said upon this Rock, this mountain he will build a church that will prevail against the gates of darkness. ~ Matthew 16:13-18
‘Gates’ in biblical Israel weren’t just a doorway into the city. They were where prophets cried out and kings judged, and people met. In the old times, decisions and legislation were made at the gate. Whoever controlled the gates controlled the city.
The elders have ceased gathering at the gate, And the young men from their music. ~ Lamentations 5:14
Gates were places for legislation
It was in the city gate, through which people constantly flowed, that agreements were verbally sealed in the presence of witnesses, a necessity in an era before the written contract. In Genesis 23 it references this; “it passed to Abraham as a possession in the presence of all who went in at the gate of his city”.
The same is repeated in the case of Boaz and Ruth
In the 4th chapter of Ruth Boaz took ten men of the elders of the city and sat them down in the gate. When the exchange between the two kinsmen ended to Boaz’s satisfaction, Boaz addressed the crowd: Today you are witnesses. Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, ‘We are witnesses”.
Gates were places for Justice
The gate of the city was also a podium for the Israelite prophets of old, the feisty social reformers of their day. “Hate evil and love good,” declared Amos, “and establish justice in the gate.”
As the maxim has it: not only must justice be done, it must be seen to be done. And for the ancient Israelites, the one place in the city where transparency was guaranteed was the city gate.
It was an extraordinarily progressive judicial system for its day, but apparently could not entirely prevent official corruption. “They hate the one who reproves in the gate,” Amos scathingly noted, presumably referring to himself; and he raged against those “who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and push aside the needy in the gate” (Amos 5).
The same with David
Then the king got up and took his seat in the gate. The troops were all told, ‘See, the king is sitting in the gate’; and all the troops came before the king. ~ 2 Sam 18 & 19
Gates are very important. Just as in the natural realm gates are used for security and protection, God uses spiritual gates which you can’t see with your physical eyes to secure, protect and fortify people’s lives as well.
Gates were primarily for protection.
They were open during the day but closed at night (Joshua 2:5). Gatekeepers were posted to keep intruders out (Neh 7:1-3). Sometimes gates even became personified as living guardians and representatives of a city: “Lift your heads, you gates. Be lifted, you ancient doors, so that the king of glory may come in” (Ps 24:7). The opening of a gate symbolized a royal welcome. Conversely, a city without a gate was the ultimate target: “Attack the nation living peacefully and securely, declares the LORD. It is a nation with no gates or bars” (Jer 49:31).
The devil too has spiritual gates that are in operation – Invisible gates.
These evil spiritual gates existed in the time of Abraham and other Bible characters.
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the GATE of his enemies. ~ Genesis 22:17
Gates also serve as entry points; entry points to a house (Luke 16:20), city (1 Kings 17:10), palace (Esther 5:13), church (Acts 3:2), or a person’s life (Isaiah 60:11). While God has gates He uses to pass or release blessings and good things into our lives, the devil uses his own evil gates to pass or introduce sin, problems, afflictions and all manner of evil into people’s lives.
One of the blessings God gave Abraham which is ours in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:14) is the blessing of possessing the gates of our enemies (Genesis 22:17). Our enemies have gates that are to be possessed, captured and destroyed. If we don’t possess these gates, if we don’t destroy them, they can hinder us from progressing in life, they can prevent us from getting to where God has destined for us.
Today we are going to possess or destroy every gate of the enemy contending and fighting against us. What are these gates?
Stay tuned for Part 2 of THE GATES…