The Gates of Hell

John David Clark, Sr. - May, 1997

And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

One evening after a good meal, King David rose from his couch and walked to his palace window, one that looked out over the streets of his beloved Jerusalem. Yes, God had "taken him from the sheepfolds. From following the ewes great with young. He brought him to feed Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance." Now here he was, established as Israel's king, with a heart like God's for these people.

It was dark now. No one could see the king upon the raised balcony of his great house. It was quiet, and Israel's leader stood silently in the night's cool shadows, contemplating the needs of the kingdom. The lights of fires in Jerusalem's homes gave the otherwise darkened streets a dim glow, and the familiar, pungent odor of meals being cooked and the bakeries at work circled about the city, though the smoke from those fires was invisible in the night air. Only here and there, as it passed in front of a window brightened by a fire inside, could the drifting smoke be seen. It was a calm and pleasant evening.

His sharp eyes followed the outline of buildings and houses along the avenues until he focused upon the house of a wealthy business man which stood near the palace and in full view of his perch. The man's wife, dressed as though she were a harlot, strutted shamelessly along the street outside her gate. She was not an Israelite but a "stranger", who over the years of her wantonness had made an art of flattery and seduction. Yes, the king saw, she knew well how to appeal to the natural desires of men. She continued her evening stroll in the direction of the palace, constantly looking about. The king, still unnoticed in the shadows, could even hear her footsteps now, could see her painted face when she turned it toward the fires of his servants' quarters, and, when the breeze was just right, he could even smell her perfume. She was on the prowl. How much like an animal of prey she seemed!

God now directed the king's attention to "a young man void of understanding, passing the street near her corner, and he went the way of her house." The king saw her approach the youth and kiss him, and she did not seem to be much concerned that her deceitful, flattering words could be heard.

"I have peace offerings with me; this day have I made my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning. Let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman [her husband] is not at home; he is gone on a long journey. He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed."

"With her much fair speech she caused him to yield; with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, till a dart strike through his liver, as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is his life."

This wretched scene was witnessed and described by the king of Israel, with this added exhortation, "Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart incline to her ways; go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded. Yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death."

The young man thought he was gaining a conquest, something to boast about to his friends the next day. Yes, her house was an attractive place, but he did not know that "the dead are there, and that her guests are in the depths of hell." Yes, the magnificently decorated gate outside her home was a gate to hell.

An unfaithful wife is the way God described Israel as she was lured from the simple and clean ways of God to follow the elaborate and magnificently decorated ways of heathen worship and living. But in her case, she became so full of desire for the ways of the heathen that she actually became worse than an harlot. So consumed with desire for heathen ways of worship and of living was she that instead of selling her wonderful God-given ways to them, she began to pay the heathen to come and corrupt her! Listen to Jehovah's cry against her:

"[Thou] hast not been as an harlot, in that thou scornest hire; but, [thou hast been] as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband. They [whoremongers] give gifts to all whores; but thou givest thy gifts unto thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee."

Of course, all this has a profound spiritual meaning. Jehovah was Israel's God, and the Israelites, as a whole, had begun to worship other gods. In the eyes of God, this was adultery, for Israel had promised when she was joined to God at Mount Sinai that she would "have no other gods" before Him (Ex.20:3). Her vows notwithstanding, heathen idols eventually covered the hills of Canaan's land. "Upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot", cried God through young Jeremiah. "According to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah. . . . I have not found it by secret search."

No, there was no need for God to send out spies to see if Israel had been faithful to Him or not. Nothing much was hidden. She flaunted her "liberty" from the old-fashioned ways of the Law of Moses in the most conspicuous of places. She was proud of her evil ways and built sites for the worship of other gods (whore houses in God's sight) in the most convenient of locations. "Thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thy high place in every street" (Ezek.16:31). How deeply the heart of God was pained! How He suffered because of His holy love for Israel! But Israel didn't know it, and didn't believe His prophets when they told her. One of Israel's sons, Hosea was sent by God to "Plead with your mother! Plead. . .that she put away her whoring from her face, and her adultery from between her breasts" (Hos.2:2). But she continued her search for lovers, wherever she could find them, confident that she would never be called into account.

Unnoticed by his beloved, foolish wife, the silent King of kings watched from His balcony in heaven as she burned His children alive on the red-hot altars of Molech. There was nothing she wouldn't do to please her "lovers", as He called those other gods. And there was no god on earth that she would turn away from her heart or her land. "Thou hast . . . opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms" (Ezek.16:24-25).

Those who entered the gates to the high places built by Israel for other gods did not know that by doing so they were entering the sacred bedchamber of the adulterous bride of the Lord. Just like the young men whom David watched from his balcony, they were taken in by the appearance and flattery of professional idolaters, completely unaware that they had entered into the gates of hell. Many of the high places, especially the older ones, were beautiful, pleasant places. Under the shade of huge oaks, from ornate altars, the inviting fragrance of incense chased away the ordinary and unappealing smells of ancient life. The priests of the most prestigious high places were clothed with rich garments and could make scribbles on parchments which actually had meaning, and could make meaning out of the scribbles of others. Priestesses, beautifully attired, were carried into trances; there were prophecies delivered at times; and lovely music often filled the air. The high places had all the appearance of divine approval and unction, and yet had all the spiritual filth of a brothel in the slums. The truth of God was avoided in these places like the plague; one actually took his life in his hand to proclaim it. The sophisticated priests of these groves made God's Law seem to be but a misguided attempt to find the right way, something to be smiled at and then ignored.

In Revelation, John was stunned by a vision of another elegantly dressed Whore. He wrote, ". . .and the woman was arrayed in purple, and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornications. And upon her forehead was name written: MYSTERY, BABYLON, THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I wondered with great amazement."

For centuries, Protestant Christians have understood that this Great Whore is the Catholic Church, which reigns on the seven hills of Rome (Rev.17:9) and has authoritative influence over the kings of the earth (17:18). What Protestant Christians have altogether missed, however, is that the Whore is "the mother of harlots", and that the harlots which sprang from the Great Whore are the Protestant faiths of Christianity. Catholicism is the greatest of whores because it is the most perfect form of Christianity. No other Christian faith can rival her ability to allure men. No other Christian faith has the money or the age (experience). As Uncle Joe once said about a small, run-down pentecostal church, which had cluttered the space (once used for prayer) at the altar with an ornate Christian communion table, "They can't be as wrong as the Catholics, no matter how hard they try." Yes, Uncle Joe, it takes a lot of money to be as wrong as the Catholics. But the daughters are growing in wealth, and are trying hard to be like their mother.

What Protestants need to ask God is, "What is it that makes Catholicism a whore in God's sight at all?" If they would do that, and if God would answer them, they would learn that the very thing which makes Catholicism a Whore also makes their denominations her daughters. The whorish spirit of Christianity inspired and permeates both Catholicism and Protestantism, and God's call to "Come out of her, My people!" is a call to escape from Christianity altogether.

One underlying, unifying element in Christianity--Catholic and Protestant--is the evil notion that one can be baptized with the Spirit, and thereby become a member of God's church, without speaking in tongues. Once that idea was promulgated, the sinner found that he had to rely on a man (priest, bishop, or some other cleric) to tell him that he had received the Spirit. But the baptism of the holy Ghost is an act of God, not of man. In Christianity, the woman (the church) has "usurped authority over the man" (Christ) and has made her own religion out of what should have been solely the work of God's Spirit. Christianity's churches can be joined; the kingdom of God can not. Jesus suffered to provide a "new and living way" for us. What's new about deciding to join something? What's new about water baptism? What's new about having a ceremonial communion meal using natural food? The heathen were doing that centuries before Christ. The way of Christ is the way of the Spirit; it is a way of serving God that was not made available to us before the sacrifice of Christ.

The lovely doors of Christian churches are the doors of harlots' houses. They are the much-revered high places of God's New Testament people. They are the Gates of Hell, and they shall not prevail against the truth of Jesus Christ. Christian churches are, like the eminent high places of Israel, at the head of every street, and along every road. You can almost always recognize them by the Roman tool of torture--the cross--lifted high on the tops of their spires! In these houses, the truths of God are avoided like the plague. Which of them will proclaim so much as the simple truth about the new birth? Instead, the perverse, appealing doctrines of Christianity are preached with conviction and zeal; and all who take the spirit of that religion into their bosom have started on the path of hell.

Long ago, the saints wandered from the right way of Christ and have struggled since that time to find it. They bought safety from persecution by merging with the Roman Empire; they bought relief from social scorn by adding philosophy to the gospel. They bought respectability by becoming respecters of persons. Their defenders were no longer apostles; they were "apologists": Justin Martyr, Origen, Augustine, and the other "early Church fathers". (This was the same Augustine, so loved by Christianity, who wrote that it was foolish to expect everyone who receives the Spirit to speak in tongues!) The mind of man, became the source of the saints' religious life, and the holy Ghost was relegated to the position of a divine Blob, a much-revered part of a larger divine Blob: Christianity's imaginary Trinity of persons who are not persons at all, but then again are, who are distinct from one another, but then again are not. You take your choice.

The children of God committed adultery with the Roman state ("the kings of the earth") and the result of that ungodly intercourse is what the world knows now as Christianity, the most adored religion that man has ever invented--and from God's perspective, the greatest whore that ever plied her trade on earth. Incredibly rich, overwhelmingly influential over the institutions and governments of many countries, she has perverted the whole earth with her sorceries. She boasts of her relationship with Jesus and is absolutely confident that she is "no widow, and will never see sorrow", not knowing that Jesus despised and divorced her long ago, and that a fate worse than hell awaits her and everyone who has intercourse with her. For this reason God is calling to His beloved children to "Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Let that whore try to influence His righteous judgment with flattery!

Sitting on her stolen throne as if she were the real bride of Christ, she has great power in the political life of this planet; she has great power over the minds of societies on earth; she has great power over the religious life of billions of earth's inhabitants. But her minsters are the ministers of Satan; her doctrines are doctrines of demons, and her doors are the Gates of Hell. But Jesus has a light which has yet to shine; he has a word for that whore which she will not be able to gainsay. Let him speak! Let Jesus speak to his anointed! Speak, Lord, and bring to nothing all the vanities of men! The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it!

You who are bearing at this time the word of truth for the people of God, do not be discouraged! Your light affliction, which is but for a moment, will pale to insignificance in the glory of God which you seek, and which you will find!

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