|Matthew 16:13-18 |
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.
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."