You might ask yourself ,"What
will you take for your soul?"
So be careful what you do and who you follow!
We opened our last study with Matthew 7:21 where Christ said that not everyone who claims to be a Christian shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of His Father which is in heaven.
They who do His will are those Christians who have ears to hear Father's Word, as did Simon Barjona, and have come to KNOW Christ by becoming rock solid in their faith and belief through establishing their houses upon the foundation stone (Isa. 28:16), that chief cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:6), who is our Rock, Jesus Christ the Word of God. One who becomes such a petros and a "lively (living) stone (1 Pet. 2:4)", i.e. one who has life, is truly blessed of God even as Christ told Peter in Mat. 16:17!
You see, one must come to KNOW Christ as did Peter, which is why the Lord asked His disciples "Who do men say I am?" and "Who do you say I AM?" Those who follow after the traditions of men, never really come to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ. It is those who hunger and thirst and seek Him through studying Father's Word who do know Him and thus become "living stones".
Again, the point is that those who simply go to church and blindly listen to preachers and ministers who teach and follow after the traditions of the elders and then do the works they tell them to do, shall NOT enter into the kingdom of God. Why? Because as we have seen, those traditions are contrary to the Word of God which make them iniquitous indeed and they prevent our people from ever coming to a knowledge of the truth. Therefore, as it is written, those false shepherds "shut up the kingdom of heaven" to those who would enter in!John 17:3
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Here is your documentation:
By teaching false doctrines and promoting fairy tales, like snakes and apples, etc., they have "taken away the key of knowledge" to the truth of God's Word and thus they hinder (prevent) our brothers and sisters from ever knowing Him and entering into the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 23:13
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
And lest someone say that Christ is referring only to the Jews and their Rabbis, I challenge you to read the letter that the translators of the King James Bible, back in 1611, wrote unto you, the English reader, regarding this very subject of hindering (among many others).Luke 11:52
Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.hindered, koluo, ko-loo'-o, Greek 2967; from the base of Greek 2849 (kolazo); to estop, i.e. prevent (by word or act) :- forbid, hinder, keep from, let, not suffer, withstand.
Most Christians do not even know that this informative letter exists because the church systems have had it "taken away", removed from the preface of the Bibles so that you wouldn't read it. Why?
Because for one thing the translators expose the fact that back then in order for a member of the predominant church to gain access and read the scriptures, one had to obtain a "license."And in order to get that one had to show himself "approved" to his confessor! The bottom line was that they did NOT want the people to have access to God's Word whereby they could come to an understanding of the truth and be set free from the captivity of their traditions.
Here is an excerpt from that "Letter to the Reader":
"Now the Church [name of church withheld] would seem at the length to bear a motherly affection towards her children, and to allow them the Scriptures in their mother tongue: but indeed it is a gift, not deserving to be called a gift, an unprofitable gift: [Sophecles] they must first get a License in writing before they may use them, and to get that, they must approve themselves to their Confessor, that is, to be such as are, if not frozen in the dregs, yet soured with the leaven of their superstition. Howbeit, it seemed too much to Clement the Eighth that there should be any License granted to have them in the vulgar tongue, and therefore he overruleth and frustrateth the grant of Pius the Fourth. [See the observation (set forth by Clemen. His authority) upon the 4. rule of Pius the 4. his making in the index, lib. prohib. pag. 15. ver. 5.] So much are they afraid of the light of the Scripture, (Lucifugae Scripturarum, as Tertulian speaketh) that they will not trust the people with it, no not as it is set forth by their own sworn men, no not with the License of their own Bishops and Inquisitors. Yea, so unwilling they are to communicate the Scriptures to the people's understanding in any sort, that they are not ashamed to confess, that we forced them to translate it into English against their wills. This seemeth to argue a bad cause, or a bad conscience, or both. Sure we are, that it is not he that hath good gold, that is afraid to bring it to the touchstone, but he that hath the counterfeit; [Tertul. de resur. carnis.] neither is it the true man that shunneth the light, but the malefactor, lest his deeds should be reproved [John 3:20]: neither is it the plain dealing Merchant that is unwilling to have the weights, or the meteyard brought in place, but he that useth deceit. But we will let them alone for this fault, and return to translation."
With that background in mind, let us continue our study of Matthew 16 where Christ has just told Peter that He will build His church upon this Rock (Petra), which is Christ. Notice what He gives to those who know Him and are founded upon that Rock.
Christ's servants do not teach nor follow the traditions of men and therefore they do NOT as the false shepherds do and shut up the kingdom of heaven. They both "hear" and "do" their Father's will, which is to keep His Word. You see, it is Jesus Christ, the Word of God, that gives them "the keys of the kingdom of heaven", those keys to the door that leads to salvation, which is entrance into the kingdom of heaven. You "see", Jesus Christ is that "door"! John 10:9 "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." It is Christ, the Anointed One of God, who "binds up the broken hearted" and "opens the prison to them that are bound"! That is what the "binding" and "loosing" has to do with... salvation and entrance into the kingdom.Matthew 16:19
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Therefore BEWARE of false shepherds from any church or denomination who would tell you that Mat. 16:19 gives the authority to "men" to do as they please, to bind and loose their traditions and their false doctrines upon people! They place "yokes of bondage" upon our brothers and sisters in many areas of their lives and claim the very verse that tells us how to loose one from traditions and bind them to His truth as their authority! Good grief Charlie Brown! The keys of the kingdom which unlock the truth and pure knowledge of His Word give us "liberty" (Isa. 61:1) and free us from the yoke of bondage which are the traditions of men... NOT the other way around!Isaiah 61:1
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Do you know the truth of His Word? If you stand fast upon that Rock and believe Him, not preachers and men who come in the name of Christ and deceive the multitudes, then He will set you free indeed!John 8:32
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Again, the "keys" that are entrusted to His servants come directly from Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the One whose keys they are, and NOT from men and their traditions. Do not let the "scribes and Pharisees" and the scripture lawyers of today take away those precious keys of His truth and prevent you from entering in at the door! Luke 11:52 "Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered."Galatians 5:1
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Remember that the subject Christ has been addressing here in Matthew 16 concerning the "rock" and the "keys" is the building of the church. Let us document concerning those keys given to His church, that the opening and shutting on earth (to the truth of His Word) is done in heaven by the One who holds the keys.
By the way, here is Strong's definition of the word "keys".
keys, kleis, klice, Greek 2807; from Greek 2808 (kleio); a key (as shutting a lock), literal or figurative :- key.
The key of David is one of those keys of knowledge that one must receive from He that is holy, He that is true, He that has the keys to give out! And there are only two churches out of the seven (seven denotes completeness in Biblical numerics, i.e. all the churches) that have the key of David which unlocks the true lineage of Christ and the House of Israel and identifies the kenites, those who claim to be Jews and God's chosen people but who are not! Christ finds no fault with these two churches (Philadelphia and Smyrna) but the rest have some serious overcoming to do in order to please Him. "He that hath an ear, let him hear (Simon means hearing) what the Spirit (symbolized by the dove, Barjona) saith unto the churches.Rev. 3:7-8
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
Do you have that key of David?
The door (Jesus Christ) is open to His disciples, those students of His Word who both "keep His Word" and do not deny His name, meaning the authority of His Word. I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
Jesus Christ both knows and loves those of the church of Philadelphia and Smyrna for a very special reason!name, onoma, on'-om-ah, Greek 3686; from a presumed derivative of the base of Greek 1097 (ginosko) (compare Greek 3685 (oninemi)); a "name" (literal or figurative) [authority, character] :- called, (+ sur-) name (-d).
Behold,I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
It is because...
It is because they love to study His Word (i.e. hear the truth from Him) and they keep that Word (i.e. they do it). Therefore Christ gives them the keys that "unlock" the scriptures and reveal His truth to them. That's all there is to it and nothing more need be said. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Most scholars point out that at this time Christ had not paid the price on the cross and given the sign of Jonah, so that it was not time yet to declare that Christ was Messiah (See also Mat. 17:9). And while that is certainly true, consider also that the subject is still the building of His church and how one comes to know who Christ is. To that end, we just learned that He gives the keys of the kingdom of heaven which lock and unlock the truth which no man can open or shut to His servants. In other words, man cannot reveal to you who Christ is, only the Father which is in heaven... remember? That is how you become a "petros" and a "living stone". You "see", you can go around all you want and cry "Lord, Lord" and tell people that Jesus Christ is Messiah, even now after His crucifixion. But unless and until one receives the keys of the kingdom of heaven from Christ, that one shall not enter in! Therefore, share the keys of knowledge and truth with whosoever will hear and do Father's Word.Matthew 16:20
Then charged He His disciples that they should tell no man that He was Jesus the Christ.
Here (hear) then is something that was already revealed from heaven, meaning it was written in the scriptures.
"From that time forth" marks the beginning of "the third period of the Lord's ministry, the subject of which is the rejection of the Messiah" (See pg. 1346 and appendix 119 in the Companion Bible) . We begin that period by learning how easily Satan can use even a disciple's love for the Lord to interfere and hinder the will of God and His purposeful plan.Matthew 16:21
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Jesus Christ has just declared to His disciples the will of God, even that which was already written and foretold of in the Word of God, e.g. Psalms 22, in that He came to suffer and to pay the price on the cross! However, immediately upon hearing this, with Satan's influence Peter allows his emotions to be aroused by the fact that he did not want Christ to be harmed in anyway. He therefore began to rebuke (as in hinder) Jesus Christ, the Word of God. You could even say that by allowing the spirit of his emotions to take charge, because it seemed so negative and didn't "feel good", Peter would have locked the scriptures and prevent them from coming to pass. Imagine that! Peter didn't want the Lamb of God to be slain! Where would that have left you and me? Answer: Dead in our sins!
"THIS SHALL NOT BE!" Peter, Peter! That's the plan... written in the scriptures, written in the Word of God, and even written in the stars! The Lamb of God shall be slain. If Christ would not have been crucified we would not have forgiveness and would be lost forever.The point to keep in mind as we read the next few verses is that it is a serious offence to hinder the plan of God for it affects the lives, even the eternal lives, of others. Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
Notice what happens next.
Christ speaks to Peter but is directly addressing Satan when He says, "Get thee behind me, Satan!" In other words, He is not calling Peter Satan but is rebuking Satan and driving him out, as in giving the old serpent the boot! You see, Satan was present and trying to "hinder" the Word of God through Peter! But He turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Here is the point Christ wants us to learn from the event we just witnessed:
"IF" you want to be a disciple and follow of Jesus Christ, then you better be willing to deny your own personal feelings and beliefs and take up your cross and teach and follow the Word of God as it is written... regardless of whether or not it pleases men, even you, yourself.You see, it is "thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven", NOT our will! In other words, a "cross" is taken up to be crucified upon. If you are not convicted to the point that you are willing to die for Him, for the truth of His Word, then you are not really convicted at all! This is Satan's hour and you had better expect persecution to come your way, if you are one who "keeps His Word"! That is not to say that you will be killed or crucified, but a true Christian and disciple of His does not fear those who can kill the flesh, but rather fears (loves and reveres) He who can kill both the soul and the body in "gehenna", i.e. in the lake of fire (Matthew 10:28). Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Persecution comes with the territory!John 15:20-21
Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Again, they do not know Christ, the Anointed One of God. Therefore as Christ would even say as He hung on His cross... "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not Him that sent me.
So the choice is yours.If you are willing to compromise with Satan to spare your own life then you are not worthy of Him for you are not a true follower of Christ, one who stands steadfast upon the Rock and cannot be shaken.Luke 23:33-34
And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
You might ask yourself ,"What will you take for your soul?" Satan will use whatever your individual desires and weaknesses are, even your love (phileo) for the Lord Jesus Christ or even your own family, to throw you off track and hinder you from following Jesus Christ and doing His Will. In fact, it is written in the great Book of Daniel that Satan as the false messiah who is cast out of heaven (Rev. 12:7-9) and comes to this earth to deceive the whole world, will enter in peaceably and prosperously with an entitlement program designed just for you! What will you take for your soul or to sell out your family and friends as so many of our religious leaders and politicians have already done? For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Consider carefully the hypothetical, "What if Satan offered you the whole world?" He did to Jesus Christ, you know? Remember back in Matthew chapter 4? For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
He will make you an offer also!Matthew 4:8-10
Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
 And saith unto Him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Christ said the same thing to Satan then as He said to Satan when he tried to influence Peter. "Scram, your outta here!" There were NO negotiations either! Do not argue nor compromise with Satan when he tries to tempt or hinder you! Even Michael, the archangel, when Satan confronted him he did not argue with him but said, "The Lord rebuke thee!" Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.
That's how it is done! Take heed and let Jesus Christ, the Word of God, rebuke Satan.Jude 1:9
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
So be careful what you do and who you follow! If you take the easy route and follow after the traditions of men, doing the "wonderful works" that preachers and pastors tell you to, then it is written (Mat. 7:21) that you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven! If you take up your cross and follow the Word of God and come to know Christ, then you shall be given the keys to the kingdom and the door shall be opened unto you and you shall become a "living stone" and make up the temple of God.
The choice is yours and when Christ returns you shall receive exactly what you have coming to you!
Hopefully your reward will be that which is given to the overcomers in Rev. 2 & 3, those of the churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia who both know Christ and keep His Word. Therefore, become familiar with the "works" of all seven of those churches Christ addressed and make sure your works align with His will and are not the iniquitous works of Churchianity made up of the traditions of men. Pay attention to the fact that He says to ALL seven churches, "I know your works"! That means He knows your works and my works and everyone else's too! So go to Him and seek Him and become established upon the Rock and He will give you the keys to kingdom of heaven and "the door" shall be opened unto you.Matthew 16:27
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works.
It is true that the disciples, all but Judas, saw Christ resurrected before they tasted death and in our next study Peter, James, and John will "see" Christ in His glory standing with Moses and Elijah (symbolic of the law and the prophets) on the mount of transfiguration. It is also true that Christ will return in the glory of His Father with His angels at the sound of the seventh trump and reward every man according to his works. However, let those with "eyes to see" and "ears to hear" also be reminded of the question Christ asked in verse 13 as He began this teaching: Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
The next question to Peter, His disciple, was, "Who do you say I am?" Well, if you know who Christ is, that means He has given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven... and the door has been opened to you, then you know also who makes up His kingdom, don't you?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?
In our next study we will see Jesus take some of His disciples "up into a high mountain"! I wonder just how "high" that mountain will be!
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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