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The Gates Of Hell

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18… I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
~ Matthew 16:18 (KJV)

18 … I will build My church, and the gates of hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it].
~ Matthew 16:18 (AMPC)

Gates of hell refers to the place of restriction for the unjust dead. The barrier that separates them from the paradise of the dead is the justice of God.[1] Hell, or spirit prison, is restricted because there is a great gulf fixed between the two places.[2]

The gates of hell are various places on the surface of the world that have acquired a legendary reputation for being entrances to the underworld. Often, they are found in regions of unusual geological activity, particularly volcanic areas, or sometimes at lakes, caves, or mountains. The gates of hell were commonly depicted as jaws, forming the Hellmouth, which was simultaneously the entrance to hell and the mouth of a huge monster.[3]

As such, the gates of hell or gates of Hades means the power of Hades. In the New Testament, Hades is the realm of the dead, and in this verse Hades, or hell, is represented as a mighty city with its gates representing its power.[4]

Cecilia Steyn frequently made references to Dante’s Inferno. Inferno is Italian for the word hell.

Dante’s Inferno describes his journey through hell. Hell is depicted as nine concentric circles of torment located within the Earth. Dante proceeds through the nine circles of hell. The circles are concentric, representing a gradual increase in wickedness, and culminating at the centre of the Earth, where satan is held in bondage. The sinners of each circle are punished for eternity in a fashion fitting their crimes.[5]

The First Circle (Limbo/Purgatory) contains the unbaptized and the virtuous pagans, who, although not sinful enough to warrant damnation, did not accept Christ.[6]

The Second Circle (Lust) are for all those who are condemned for active, deliberately willed sin. This circle of hell is for those who are overcome by lust. These carnal malefactors are condemned for allowing their appetites to sway their reason.[7]

The Third Circle (Gluttony) is for those who surrendered to sin because of mutual indulgence, led by an imperceptible degradation to solidary self-indulgence.[8]

The Fourth Circle (Greed) is for those who aimed towards material greed.[9]

The Fifth Circle (Wrath) is for “that which had its tender and romantic beginnings in the dalliance of indulged passion.”[10]

The Sixth Circle (Heresy) is for those who say, “the soul dies with the body.” It is for blasphemy.[11]

The Seventh Circle (Violence) is for the murderers, war-makers, plunderers, tyrants; those who attempted or committed suicide; and violence against God, art and nature.[12]

The Eight Circle (Fraud) is for those guilty of fraud… “the progressive disintegration of every social relationship, personal and public. Sexuality, ecclesiastical and civil office, language, ownership, counsel, authority, psychic influence, and material interdependence.” This circle is for the panderers, seducers, flatterers, simoniacs, sorcerers, barrators, hypocrites, thieves, counsellors of fraud, sewers of discord, and the falsifiers.[13]

The Ninth Circle (Treachery) is for guilty of treachery against those with whom they had special relationships. The traitors for betrayal to their family, community/country, guests, lords, and benefactors.[14]

The Centre of Hell, is for those condemned for committing the ultimate sin (personal treachery against God), is satan.[15]

Dante’s Inferno
Everything peduced to one plan[16]

Dante’s Inferno
The Chamber of Hell[17]