|Matthew 16 |
1 Then the Pharisees and the Sadducees came to tempt him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.
2 And he answered and said to them, "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.'
3 And in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' O you hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky; can you not discern the signs of the times?
4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks a sign; and there will no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah." And he left them and went away.
5 Now when his disciples came to the other side, they had forgotten to bring bread.
6 Then Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."
7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have brought no bread."
8 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves that it is because you have brought no bread?
9 Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets full you gathered up?
10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many remaining baskets you gathered up?
11 How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread, but that you should beware the yeast of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?"
12 Then they understood that he did not command them to beware the yeast of bread, but to beware the doctrines of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
13 Now when Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, "Whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am?"
14 And they said, "Some say that you are John the Baptist, some Elijah; and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15 He said to them, "But whom do you say that I am?"
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17 Then Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. [We too must recognize the Word of God within our hearts as Jesus by revelation from the Lord.]
18 And I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church;1 and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
20 Then he charged his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
21 From that time forth Jesus began to show his disciples how he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22 Then Peter took him aside, and began to rebuke him, saying, "Let this not be, Lord; this must not happen to you."
23 But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan!2 You are a stumbling block to me because you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but on man’s.” [Peter was speaking under control of the spirit of Satan, which all men are until their evil, selfish, satanic spirit has been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial.]
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any man desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. [To follow Christ you must persistently (daily) and patiently go to Him to sit in humble silence as you wait on Him, listening and watching for his word within your heart; when you hear Him, then you must obey Him. To obey is to follow. Self-denial occurs by obeying the Lord's spoken commands heard instead of your will, (His will, not your will); this is taking up the cross, which is the power of God to free you from sin. The cross is to your will and your carnal mind, which must be denied.]
25 For whoever will save his life, shall lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it.3 [if you live after the flesh (the sinful nature), you will die; but if through the Spirit you mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, you will live. Rom 8:13. To find the superior life of God, you must crucify your selfish life on the inward cross of self-denial, and thereby find the Life of God in union with God.]
26 For what benefit is it to a man, if he should gain the whole world, but lose his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"4
27 For the Son of man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he will reward every man according to his works. [From the word of the Lord within: "Everyone is expecting Jesus to be their excuse. Do you agree with any who in their arrogance have stated that God excuses evil in believers? It's not fair, but they don't care. No man is promoted or excused that repeats sin. You are without excuse O man. People must stand the price for their very brazen behavior. All men are without excuse; if I were silent, they would have an excuse. I've warned them and given them the requirements and preached the exclusions; they should not expect anything else or conclusion. The way is clear: listen and obey. There are two things I hate: pride and an excuse for failure."]
28 Truly I say to you, There are some standing here, who shall not taste death, until they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom."5
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
1 "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. The Roman sect professes that the rock in this scripture is Peter himself. From George Fox's Doctrine:
"Jesus said to his disciples, 'But whom do you say that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are Christ, the son of the living God;’ and Jesus answered and said, 'You are blessed Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven; and I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church,’ (mark, he said upon this rock, which flesh and blood had not revealed, he does not say upon you Peter), ‘and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it.’ Mat 16:13-18. And Jesus showed to his disciples how he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 'Then Peter took Christ, and began to rebuke him, saying, 'Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!' Then Christ turned and said to Peter, Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’ Mat 21-23. Now here you may clearly see that Christ does not build his church upon Peter, as a man of flesh and blood, or that which flesh and blood reveals, but upon that rock which flesh and blood had not revealed unto Peter, but the Father who is in heaven. And so I say again, it is clear, that Christ does not build his church upon Peter and his outward name, as a man of flesh and blood, nor upon that which flesh and blood may reveal, or did reveal unto Peter; but he builds his church upon that rock which the Father who is in heaven had revealed to Peter, which was, ‘You are Christ the son of the living God.’ This is the rock and foundation that the true church is built upon, Christ who bruises the serpent's head, and destroys the devil and his works; so that the gates of hell cannot, nor shall not prevail against Christ's church, and him the rock and foundation, which his church is built upon."
The Lord speaks of this same rock of understanding in Luke Whoever comes to me and listens to my words and does [practices, obeys] them, I will show you what he is like. He is like a man who built a house, and dug deep and laid the foundation securely on a rock; and when the flood arose, the torrent beat violently upon that house, but could not shake it, because it was founded on a rock. Luke 6:47-48
Jesus builds his Church on the rock solid foundation of faith by revelation. He builds himself (his church, his temple in your heart) in you on a rock solid foundation of the revelation to you of He who is in you being Jesus Christ; this is the beginning of true faith, the foundation of His church, His temple within your heart. If you go to Him (the word within you), and listen to his words, and then obey them, you have identified the speaker as Christ — just like Peter did in the physical realm, except your identification of Christ is in the spiritual realm within you. And just like Peter, it is your Father in heaven who reveals this truth to you when you hear Christ speak.
For those of you who still think the Roman sect is the true church, see Francis Howgill's outstanding writing, Of the Entering in of the Apostasy, and Decline from Purity of Doctrine, Worship, and Practice — from that Time to the Present Time, which shows how the Roman Catholic church was never in the wilderness, (neither were any of the Protestants sects in the wilderness for 1260 years), and and so neither the Roman sect or the Protestant sects can be the true church for the true church was forced by the devil to flee into the wilderness for 1260 days, (years by Bible reference). The true church was forced to flee by the persecutions of the false church in which Satan rules, aided by the crushing boot of the Roman army. So the true church was no longer seen in the world, no longer organized, but instead became a few isolated individuals. Other than the Apostles' church of the 1st Century, (lasting until 388 AD), and the early Quakers of the 17th Century, (beginning in 1648, lasting until 1880), there has never been any sect that was founded by Christ or represented true Christianity; and it is the same today, as spoken by the Word of the Lord within: "Christianity has no idea what I am or for what I stand. Just like Judaism was taken over by the enemy, so has Christianity, which is corrupt through and through. There is no church in the world that Christ set up specifically; none of the churches reflect true Christianity."
2 From George Fox's Doctrine:
"And though Christ blessed Peter in Mat 16:17, after his revelation, yet in the later verse, Mat 16:23, Christ said unto Peter, ‘Get you behind me Satan, you are an offence unto me, for you savor not the things which be of God, but those that be of men.’ So here it is clear, Christ did not build his church upon Peter, nor his outward name Peter, as a man of flesh and blood, nor the revelation of flesh and blood, nor upon Satan, for he bruises Satan the serpent's head; so he was not likely to build his church upon him. Therefore, any who are to succeed Peter, must receive what the Father revealed from heaven, (namely), ‘you are Christ the son of the living God,’ ‘upon this rock will I build my church;’ but when Peter rebuked Christ, saying, ‘Be it far from you Lord; this shall not be unto you,’ (namely, when Christ told him and the rest that he should suffer and be killed, and rise again the third day), Christ called Peter Satan, and told him get him behind him, as before."
So, Peter is still a man of the flesh, his chaffy flesh not yet consumed by the unquenchable fire of the Holy Sprit, which occurred at Pentecost after Jesus was crucified. So first Peter was lauded in identifying Christ as the Messiah, and then he was rebuked for speaking the words of Satan and not being mindful of the things of God — hardly a state of man that Jesus would build his church upon.
3 For whoever will save his life, shall lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it. To attain salvation is to be free from sin. To attain salvation is to find the new life in God, to put on the incorruptible, to have become an entirely new creature, to have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature] with its passions and desires [lusts and affections] on the inward cross of self-denial. But if you try to please God, while holding onto your pleasures, pastimes, lusts, affections, selfish behaviors, etc., you will lose your soul and the life of God, to be banished from heaven. You must lose your fleshly life, to find the life of God. From the Word of the Lord within: "The sacrifice of life has been given to the few who would lose their life to save it"... I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service and worship. Rom 12:1. The life to be found is the life of God, which is the light in men; and when found, man no longer walks in spiritual darkness, following his own will, but walks in the light, performing God-directed works to the glory of God.
4 For what benefit is it to a man, if he should gain the whole world, but lose his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Notice! NOTICE! The Lord has just told us that to own the whole world is less valuable than a man's soul. The soul is move valuable than all the wealth, all the power, all the pleasures, and all the sought after exotic locations in the world combined. We have no idea what we have been given — the soul — because we cannot see what can become of that soul if we carry our cross to the death of our sinful nature. As Paul has said: But as it is written, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has there entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for those who love him." From the Word of the Lord within:
"Truly, I say to you, all the truth is magnificent; you will marvel when you see it.
There are very few people who, when they see what God is, would turn down union with him. "
Stephen Crisp spoke these words in his recorded sermon:
Where there is a great deal of pride, malice and envy, the spirit of Christ will root it up, and all that evil that the enemy has planted in men, he will pluck it up, and bring in everlasting righteousness, and plant love in the same soul, and establish and settle it. Such a one will have more joy, pleasure and delight, under the government of the Spirit of Christ in one day, than anyone can have that is governed by the evil spirit in a thousand days.
From the Word of the Lord within: "The potential fulfillment of the soul is beyond your ability to grasp. No soul is immortal apart from me."
The fulfillment of the soul's potential is beyond man's wildest imaginations; it offers something to every man that is beyond our ability to grasp. If we fail to become free of sin in this life, when we see what we could have become, we will be devastated. Everyone will be devastated at what they could have obtained while living on the earth; and those who thought they had loved God will be further devastated over what they failed to give to Him in their life on earth, which was to deny their selfish nature, seek his guidance, follow it; thus to then bring honor and glory to Him by producing the fruit of the Spirit. To miss the opportunity to bring honor and glory to your creator, who created you and of all the universe and heavens, is to miss your lifetime's opportunity.
Those who die in their sins will shudder with deep sorrow when they look back at their petty, worthless, ridiculous pursuits while they were on the earth, when they could have followed God's promptings and realized the rewards that they then see and understand, but which will forever be unattainable for them. That sorrow will never leave those who fail to attain the kingdom in this life on earth.
Further, from the Word of the Lord within: "After death there is a sense of regret over their life. Everyone will be known by what they have said and done."
5 Notice: In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded as saying that some then standing with him, 2000 years ago, would see his glorious coming with the Kingdom before they died. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded as saying that all the end times prophesies would be fulfilled before the generation of 2000 years ago died, (click here to see all). These are six attestations, which prove to us that the kingdom has been available to all generations, but only to those who seize the true hope of seeing him while still living on the earth.
When he appears, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And every man who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he [Jesus] is pure. 1 John 3:2-3. The heart is purified by faith in the operation of the Spirit, who convicts one of sin, and then removes the desire for that sin from one's heart.
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter