The Lord Jesus Christ said, "....I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (St. Matthew 16:18). What do the
gates of hell signify?
The Jews had the custom of gathering under the leadership of their elders, by the city gates, for the discussion of political, legal and social
questions. These meetings were the last appeal of all litigation, and here all divine commandments were announced.
They were vested with a definite authority among the people.
This Jewish custom of meeting at the city gates is mentioned in the Book of Ruth (IV:1,11).
A description of an active wife in the Book of Proverbs (31: 23) says that, "Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of
the land." He is invested with the trust of society and takes an active part in important meetings. (Prof. V.V. Bolotoff).
The "gates" of hell" signifies not only the forces of hell, but in general staff of Hell's power.
Their most important meeting is dedicated to developing a plan for a general battle with the Church.
The Church and Hell are represented as two warring powers. And in this war with Hell, according to Christ's words, the Church will remain
Hell's war plan with the Church is called the "Mystery of Iniquity" in the Holy Scriptures (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
The iniquity has been working for centuries and will have its culmination in the appearance of the Antichrist ( 2 Thessalonians 2:8).
The Antichrist can come only as a result of universal Apostasy, that is, the abjuration of the people from God and His paths, when God's grace will
withdraw from the people.
"And in the latter times of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark
sentences, shall stand up." (Daniel 8:23)
"Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders...." (2 Thessalonians 2:9
FROM THE THIRTEENTH CHAPTER
1. "And I saw a beast rising up from the sea, like unto a leopard." This signifies the kingdom of that time of Antichrist, and the people mingled
with the variety of nations.
2. "His feet were as the feet of a bear." A strong and most unclean beast, the feet are to be understood as his leaders.
"And his mouth as the mouth of a lion." That is, his mouth armed for blood is his bidding, and a tongue which will proceed to nothing else than to
the shedding of blood.
18. "His number is the name of a man, and his number is six hundred threescore and six."
As they have it reckoned from the Greek characters, they thus find it among many to be teitan, for teitan has this number, which the Gentiles call Sol
and Phoebus; and it is reckoned in Greek thus: t three hundred, e five, i ten, t three hundred, a one, t fifty ? which taken together become six
hundred and sixty-six. For as far as belongs to the Greek letters, they fill up this number and name.
If you wish to turn this name into Latin, it is understood by the antiphrase DICLUX, which letters are reckoned in this manner: since D figures five
hundred, I one, C a hundred, L fifty, V five, X ten ? which by the reckoning up of the letters makes similarly six hundred and sixty-six, that is,
what in Greek gives teitan, to wit, what in Latin is called DICLUX; by which name, expressed by anti-phrases, we understand Antichrist, who, although
he be cut off from the supernal light, and deprived thereof, yet transforms himself into an angel of light, daring to call himself light.