It is written and we have already learned in this great Book of Matthew that not everyone who says "Lord, Lord" shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Let's review Christ's words in Matthew chapter seven:
This is speaking of many of those who profess to be Christians, i.e. those who profess to know Jesus Christ! They shall NOT enter into the kingdom of heaven because the door will be closed to them. You see, they never had the "keys of the kingdom of heaven" that we will read about in Mat. 16:19 that would have opened it to them.Matthew 7:21-23
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
What were these people doing in the name of Christ? Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
They were simply going to church and following what their churches and denominations taught them to do, which is to follow after the traditions of the elders. Uh oh! Didn't we learn that the traditions of men make void the Word of God? Yes we did (Mat. 15:6)! However, the sad fact is that many Christian churches, which should be houses of God (Bethels) built and established upon the foundation stone which is the Rock, the Word of God, are built upon the traditions of men which are likened unto sand that quickly erodes and washes away when the floods come and the winds blow and the rains beat down upon the houses (Mat. 7:27).
So you "see", the problem with those who cried Lord, Lord, Jesus is Lord, Praise the Lord, is that they were so busy doing their wonderful works in the name of Christ that they never quite got around to studying and knowing the Word of God that they might come to really know Him.
One MUST understand that in order to come to know the Living Word of God and the works He would have us do one must come to know the Written Word of God! Here is what Christ will say to those who do not know Him when they try to cash in on their "wonderful works":
Again, and this is of paramount importance,Christ never knew them because even though they may have been real active in church affairs and activities, etc., etc., they never came to Him through His Word to get to know Him. And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
(He never saw their faces in the pages of His Bible, so therefore; He doesn't recoginize them)
So the question to be considered and answered in today's study is, "Do you know who Jesus Christ is?"
Jesus Christ was on His way to the other Caesarea, i.e. Caesarea Philippi, for a specific reason, which was to teach us how one comes to know "that Spiritual Rock which is Christ" (1 Cor. 10:4), the foundation upon which His church is built! Notice that Jesus uses the phrase "Son of man", whereas the word "man" is "anthropos" (flesh man) in Greek, for this shall be in contrast to how Peter "sees" Him in verse 16 below.Matthew 16:13
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?
Question: How do you suppose most of our brothers and sisters today "see" Jesus Christ? As a man? Well, it should be obvious from their works, not their words "Lord, Lord", that they do not relate Him to the Word of God for it is that Word which they ignore. To wit, it is beyond dispute that the multitudes who profess Christianity are almost totally Biblically illiterate. Think about it as we continue with Christ's teachings.
You may recall that Herod the Great was among those who thought that Jesus Christ was John the Baptist (whom he beheaded) "risen from the dead" (Mat. 14:2). But notice in ALL cases listed above as to whom the multitudes thought Jesus Christ was. They all SAW Him as a man... a good man, yes... a prophet, yes... but nevertheless a man! Herein lies the basis for the great lesson Christ is teaching us.But, they did not see Him as God! And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
Are you a disciple of Jesus Christ? If so, then this question is asked of you! He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
This is a profound statement of "seeing" and understanding which is in stark contrast to the "seeing" in verse 14. Also, it should be pointed out that the 1611 Authorized Version reads "Thou art Christ" instead of "Thou art the Christ". Of course "Christ" means "Anointed" as in the "Anointed One" who was the "Son of the living God", i.e. Messiah, the One who was written of and foretold of in Father's Word, in both the Law and the Prophets... and Peter knew it! And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
How did Peter know that Jesus was Christ, the Son of the Living God? Did some man tell him? No! Did some preacher tell him? No! You "see", flesh and blood, as in "anthropos", cannot reveal it unto you! Peter KNEW who Jesus Christ was because he had ears to hear the Father which is in heaven who revealed it to him! And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Perhaps we can gain some insight into this by understanding the name by which Jesus purposely and teachfully referred to Peter. He said "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona. Simon means "hearing", Bar means "son of", and Jona (Jonah) means "Dove" which is symbolic of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 1:32). Simon Bar-Jonah thus means “The hearing of the Spirit” or “One who hears the Spirit”! Kind of reminds you of what Christ said to all seven churches in Rev. 2 & 3: "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith...". Nevertheless, because Simon Bar-Jonah did hear he became a rock, petros, Peter, and was blessed (fortunate, happy) indeed! For that matter, whosoever will open their ears and hear the Word of God and keep it, shall be blessed!
But He said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
That means you can go to church religiously and listen to men ad infinitum spout off about Jesus Christ being Lord, but you will never come to KNOW HIM until you hear and absorb His Spirit through the Word of God.
With that understanding and to that end, Christ is now going to teach us how His church is built up!
The name "Peter" in Greek is "petros" which means a movable rock while the word used for "rock" is "petra" which means an immovable rock. You might therefore say that Peter was a chip off the ol' Rock.Matthew 16:18
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
It is written in the Book of John that Jesus changed Simon the son of Jona's name to "Cephas" which by interpretation means Peter, petros.petros, pet'-ros, Greek 4074; apparently a primary word; a (piece of) rock (larger than Greek 3037 (lithos)); as a name, Petrus, an apostle :- Peter, rock. Compare Greek 2786 (Kephas).
petra, pet'-ra, Greek 4073; feminine of the same as Greek 4074 (Petros); a (mass of) rock (literal or figurative) :- rock.
Here is your documentation:
So in Matthew 16:18 following Christ's statement that it was the Father who revealed Christ to Peter, Jesus added to that by stating that upon "this rock (petra)", of whom Peter was now a "petros", He would establish His church. Now, lest anyone misunderstand what Christ said and think that Peter was the "petra" Christ referred to instead of Himself, that Spiritual Rock and foundation upon whom the church is built and established, let us "see" what Father's Word reveals to us. You "see", it was prophesied long before this time concerning who the "foundation stone" was... and it was NOT Peter!John 1:42
And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, He said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
Peter fully understood this which is documented and confirmed by the fact that he quoted this very verse from Isaiah in chapter two of his first epistle where he also talks about the building up of the church, i.e. the house of God.Isaiah 28:16
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
Jesus Christ was that stone which was disallowed, i.e. rejected, of men!1 Peter 2:4-6
To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
If your faith has been built upon the solid, immovable Spiritual Rock, which is the Word of God, then you are a "living stone" even as was Peter, and you know what? That makes you part of the spiritual house! Here is where Peter now quotes from Isaiah concerning the foundation, the chief corner stone on whom we believe. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Again, if your house is NOT established upon that chief corner stone, that Spiritual Rock which is Christ, then it cannot possibly have a solid foundation and it will not stand in the storm of the great tribulation! Your house will fall (Mat. 7:26-27) and you shall be "confounded" at His coming, which means you will be ashamed! If therefore your church claims to be founded upon an "anthropos", a mere "man", and thus perpetuates the traditions of men, then be it known unto you that you are on real shaky ground! Remember what Christ said about the building of your house? Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded.
Notice that in order to be considered wise one has to not only "hear" the Word of God, but be a "doer" of that Word. (We will see an example of this second part in tomorrow's study.) Nevertheless, it is also what you stand upon that constitutes your faith. Paul teaches us that so well in Hebrews 11:1 where he says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." "Sub-stance" is "hupo-stasis" in Greek which means "the support under you", i.e. that upon which you stand. Hopefully you have that solid Rock under (hupo) you upon which to stand (stasis)!Matthew 7:24-25
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
If your house is built upon the immovable Petra, then it cannot be shaken! It is... as the saying goes, Rock Solid! And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
We should also take note of the fact that there is a false rock, which unfortunately is the rock which most Christians "see", i.e. those who are Biblically illiterate and follow after the traditions of men which blinds them to the true Rock. This apostate rock is known as the king of Tyre in Ezekiel 28 and is none other that the soon coming false messiah, the son of perdition, Satan himself, who shall appear and deceive the whole world with his signs and great wonders which he shall perform in the sight of men (Rev. 13:13-14). Do you know what Tyre means in Hebrew? Would you believe "rock"?
Tyre, Tsor, tsore, Hebrew 6865; or Tsowr, tsore; the same as Hebrew 6864 (tsor); a rock; Tsor, a place in Palestine :- Tyre, Tyrus.
Which one do you "see"?
The rock most see and follow is not the Rock we follow!
By the way, Peter also speaks about those who stumble at the rock because they stumble at the Word of God!Deut. 32:31
For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.
Again, "How is it one can come to know Christ?" (Matthew 16:17)
Without knowing and understanding the Word of God, Jesus Christ actually becomes a stone of stumbling, a stumbling rock.1 Peter 2:8
And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
And by now you should know that to be disobedient is to follow the traditions of men (which are contrary to and make void the Word of God) and do it in the name of Christianity!
In our next study we will read and understand how truly blessed those are whose houses are founded upon the Rock! In fact, we will discover that Jesus Christ, the Word of God, actually gives them "the keys of the kingdom of heaven"!
Wow! How would like to have those? You can you know!
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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