David A. Rice D.Div.
Matthew 16: 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock[a] I will build my church, and the gates of hell[b] shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[c] in heaven.”
Revelation 13:7 And he was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. He was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation.Bible
The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Church, but the Beast is permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them…. Did you get that?
That conundrum is not without answer.
- When Noah got off the ark, God said, “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” (Genesis 9:3)
- When the Law came, God said, “The pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you.” (Leviticus 11:7)
- Then, in the New Testament, speaking of food, Scripture tells us that “Nothing is unclean in itself.” (Romans 14:14) God does not change but covenants do… Under the Noahic Covenant, eating pork was okay. Under the Law, eating pork was prohibited. Under Grace, eating pork is okay as long as your conscience is not violated…
Again, covenants change. Much of what you feel free to do as a Christian, would have been okay, even for Jews, before the Law was given. Under the Law, they were forbidden to Jews (and gentiles living in Israel), but not to anyone else. Many of those things are still prohibited to unsaved Jews, and also to gentiles who choose (of their own volition) to place themselves under the Law, thereby severing themselves from Christ and falling from grace.
The same is true of the enigma with which we started. In the Church Age, under the New Covenant, the gates of Hell cannot prevail against the Church. However, the Age of the Gentiles and the New Covenant end on the day that the Tribulation starts. Those who are saved, remain saved but salvation reverts to the Jews and All Israel is saved. (Read Romans 11 ten times and call me tomorrow). In the Tribulation, the Beast is given permission to wage war against the saints and to conquer them.
The end of the New Covenant, the Age of the Gentiles and the Covenant of Grace are ended… And that, is the difference.