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105: The Primacy of Peter

Since the most ancient of times,  great empires and even small kingdoms  had the problem of controlling their people, at the same time every kind of people followed their own gods. 

Rulers quickly learned that it was a big help to have oneself also declared a god; which would be accepted by most people because after all you would still be only one god among many gods.  

When the people thought that you were a mere man they might risk physical death to rise up, but if they thought you were a god who had power over eternity, most would not dare to rise up against a god. 

If a ruler were only a physical man, some would risk the death of the flesh for the hope of success; but if the ruler were a god who had the power to give eternal life and eternal blessings, or to consign to  sternal death or worse eternal torment: That was real power that very few would dare to resist.  

Then along came a man named Paul who turned the whole Roman world upside down by declaring that there was only one God and that the Roman emperor was not God.

As this new religion began to spread and the idea that the emperor was not God took hold even among unbelievers, the Roman emperors fought as hard as they could to destroy this upstart sect. 

The reason for the persecution of Christians had nothing to do with their God or doctrines because after all they were only one religion among many; the reason they were persecuted was the fact that they rejected the Emperor as a God and also rejected all the other gods of the people. 

The Roman emperor’s felt trapped in the position of persecuting the Christians who were good citizens or facing the possibility of widespread revolt if they admitted that they were not gods. 

The tragic situation is made clear in Pliney’s letter to Emperor Trajan and his response. 



 

Letters of Pliny the Younger and the Emperor Trajan

Translated by William Whiston

These letters concern an episode which marks the first time the Roman government recognized Christianity as a religion separate from Judaism, and sets a precedent for the massive persecution of Christians that takes place in the second and third centuries.

In the year 112 A.D., Pliny the Younger was faced with a dilemma. He was the governor in the Roman province of Bithynia (modern day Turkey) when a number of Christians were brought into his court. It is unclear what the initial charges are, but he ultimately decided, despite the fact that the Christians seemed generally harmless to him, that he should execute them if they refused to recant their faith. Because he is unsure as to whether he can kill them legally for no other crime than their faith, he writes to his friend the Emperor for advice. The Emperor replies that he did the right thing in excecuting them, but advises him not to seek out Christians for prosecution.

PLINY’S EPISTLE TO TRAJAN ABOUT 112 CE

Sir,

It is my constant method to apply myself to you for the resolution of all my doubts; for who can better govern my dilatory way of proceeding or instruct my ignorance? I have never been present at the examination of the Christians [by others], on which account I am unacquainted with what uses to be inquired into, and what, and how far they used to be punished; nor are my doubts small, whether there be not a distinction to be made between the ages [of the accused]? and whether tender youth ought to have the same punishment with strong men? Whether there be not room for pardon upon repentance?” or whether it may not be an advantage to one that had been a Christian, that he has forsaken Christianity? Whether the bare name, without any crimes besides, or the crimes adhering to that name, be to be punished?

In the meantime, I have taken this course about those who have been brought before me as Christians. I asked them whether they were Christians or not? If they confessed that they were Christians, I asked them again, and a third time, intermixing threatenings with the questions. If they persevered in their confession, I ordered them to be executed; for I did not doubt but, let their confession be of any sort whatsoever, this positiveness and inflexible obstinacy deserved to be punished.

There have been some of this mad sect whom I took notice of in particular as Roman citizens, that they might be sent to that city. After some time, as is usual in such examinations, the crime spread itself and many more cases came before me. A libel was sent to me, though without an author, containing many names [of persons accused]. These denied that they were Christians now, or ever had been. They called upon the gods, and supplicated to your image, which I caused to be brought to me for that purpose, with frankincense and wine; they also cursed Christ; none of which things, it is said, can any of those that are ready Christians be compelled to do; so I thought fit to let them go.

Others of them that were named in the libel, said they were Christians, but presently denied it again; that indeed they had been Christians, but had ceased to be so, some three years, some many more; and one there was that said he had not been so these twenty years. All these worshipped your image, and the images of our gods; these also cursed Christ. However, they assured me that the main of their fault, or of their mistake was this:-That they were wont, on a stated day, to meet together before it was light, and to sing a hymn to Christ, as to a god, alternately; and to oblige themselves by a sacrament [or oath], not to do anything that was ill: but that they would commit no theft, or pilfering, or adultery; that they would not break their promises, or deny what was deposited with them, when it was required back again; after which it was their custom to depart, and to meet again at a common but innocent meal, which they had left off upon that edict which I published at your command, and wherein I had forbidden any such conventicles. These examinations made me think it necessary to inquire by torments what the truth was; which I did of two servant maids, who were called Deaconesses: but still I discovered no more than that they were addicted to a bad and to an extravagant superstition.

Hereupon I have put off any further examinations, and have recourse to you, for the affair seems to be well worth consultation, especially on account of the number of those that are in danger; for there are many of every age, of every rank, and of both sexes, who are now and hereafter likely to be called to account, and to be in danger; for this superstition is spread like a contagion, not only into cities and towns, but into country villages also, which yet there is reason to hope may be stopped and corrected.

To be sure, the temples [of the gods], which were almost forsaken, begin already to be frequented; and the holy solemnities [of the pagan gods like the Saturnalia and Astarte’s Day], which were long intermitted not kept], begin to be revived. The sacrifices begin to sell well everywhere, of which very few purchasers had of late appeared; whereby it is easy to suppose how great a multitude of men may be amended, if place for repentance be admitted.

TRAJAN’S EPISTLE TO PLINY

My Pliny,

You have taken the method which you ought in examining the causes of those that had been accused as Christians, for indeed no certain and general form of judging can be ordained in this case. These people are not to be sought for; but if they be accused and convicted, they are to be punished; but with this caution, that he who denies himself to be a Christian, and makes it plain that he is not so by supplicating to our gods [anyone who accepts that the Emperor is a god and who acknowledges the gods of the people as being Gods will be pardoned], although he had been so formerly, may be allowed pardon, upon his repentance. As for libels sent without an author, they ought to have no place in any accusation whatsoever, for that would be a thing of very ill example, and not agreeable to my reign.

From The Works of Josephus,
translated by William Whiston
Hendrickson Publishers, 1987 



All of the persecutions of Rome could not avail against this new revelation that the emperor was not a god, and a new method of controlling the people needed to be found.

The problem was finally resolved with the emperors backing up the popes and the popes declaring that the Emperor was CHOSEN by God; and the Holy Roman Empire System of ancient Babylon was transferred to Rome. 

This was the system used by Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon as the head of the statue of Daniel 2 – the Babylonian Mystery Religion church state empire system – and adopted by all the empires which followed Babylon; Media-Persia, Greece and finally the Holy Roman Empire.

From that time forward the Roman Emperor was no longer a god, but he was now considered  God’s choice and to rebel against him was the same as rebelling against God.  

In modern times many religious leaders including in the Ekklesia have adopted this same deception that they are God’s chosen and therefore must be obeyed no matter what they do. 

In proving any issue always watch that premise!  Today’s Ekklesia claims to be God’s chosen; that is their premise!  Is this true? 

The truth is that if someone was the servant of God, he would never make any decision contrary to God’s Word,  he would be faithfully living by – and teaching – every Word of God

Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

If we are the servants of God: we would be doing whatever God’s Word says and we would NEVER do what we want instead!  If we are not living and teaching every Word of God: WE ARE NOT God’ SERVANTS!

Its just that simple!  The premise that men are the servants of God is false; if they teach or live contrary to the Word of God!

The ultimate power that any man can have over his fellow man, is for people to allow him to come between them and God as their Ultimate Moral Authority in place of the Word of God. 

The usual means of religious deception today is to proclaim that some person or persons are God’s ministers or priests and must be obeyed as if they were God in the absence of God; of course this is not true since God is not absent at all.  God is present in his people through God’s Holy Spirit and through the Word of God. 

Deceivers will falsely claim that since they are God’s choice; to disagree with them – even when they disagree with God’s Word – is to disagree with God, and finally they will claim that Jesus Christ gave them the moral authority to Bind and Loose the Word of God as they see fit. 

Those who believe these things have fallen victim to the ultimate deception, that a man or priesthood holds a position between men and God; as a kind of gatekeeper and can provide access to God or prevent such access; so that all who believe this must obey them as if they were God; and if we bow to this deception we have made them our gods indeed, by exalting them as our idols above the Word of the Eternal. 

Claiming the power to deny or facilitate access to God and therefore the power to keep people out of or allow people access into an eternal life of blessings; these deceivers hold the ultimate power over those who believe them.  

Binding and Loosing

If some man were to proclaim “follow me for I am greater than God and I know better than God does,” he would have very few followers; very few people would think that he was a sane and intelligent man.  Yet, large numbers of people believe this very thing because the issue is presented in  a much more subtle way.

The primary scriptures used to support the claim that some man has the authority to bind or loose [to change] any part of the Word of God are found in Matthew 16 and 18.  

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [a pebble], and upon this rock [a huge bolder; Jesus Christ the Rock of our Salvation] I will build my church [Ekklesia, the faithful]; and the gates of hell [the grave, death] shall not prevail against [A prophecy of the resurrection; the grave will not prevail against Christ and the faithful to God] it.

The Rock Revealed

When you study the Greek text you will find that the word “Peter” and the word “Rock” on which Christ was to build His church; are two separate and distinct words, each having a different meaning.

The word Peter in in Greek is petros, which means “a piece of rock; a stone; a single stone; movable, insecure, shifting, or roll­ing, a pebble.”

The word “rock” in Greek is petra, which means “a rock; a cliff; a projecting rock; a huge mother rock; huge mass; solid formation; fixed; immovable; figurative of enduring; a MOUNTAIN of strength {Dan 2) .”

Petros in the Greek [Peter]  is in the masculine gender; and the word Petra for the ROCK is in the feminine gender.

Petros [pebble] and Petra [mountain] are therefore two distinct words in the Greek. Petros [Peter] is a shifting, rolling, or insecure stone, a pebble; while Petra is a solid, immov­able, huge rock.

In the English language the gender is not specified by the article. We say the fork, the spoon, and the knife. The three words have the same article; but in the Greek, as in many languages, each noun and corresponding article; is in the masculine, feminine, or neuter gender. In many cases it is an arbitrary arrangement, regardless of sex.

The article in Greek is important. If a noun is in the masculine, it must have a mas­culine article; and if the noun is in the feminine gender, it must have a feminine article.

The text of Mat 16:18-19 in the Greek shows that Petros [Peter, pebble] is in the masculine, and petra [a Rock] is in the feminine; thus PROVING that they are two distinct words; and each one has a distinctly different meaning.

Now the question is, on which of the two, Petros [Peter] or Petra [Christ the Rock] , did Christ establish His church?

Was it on [Peter] the petros, a movable stone, a small pebble, or is the Ekklesia built on the immovable Petra [the huge immovable Rock of Christ]?

Let us quote the text again: “I say also unto thee [to Peter], That thou art Peter [petros, masculine gender, small pebble], and upon this Rock [petra, feminine gender, unmovable mountain (Dan 2)] I will build My church; and the gates of hell [the grave] shall not prevail against it” (Mat 16:18).

The text indi­cates clearly that the Ekklesia is built on Petra the ROCK of our Salvation and not on Petros [the tiny pebble Peter].

Now, who is this Petra or Great ROCK on which the Ekklesia is built?

Let the Holy Bible again give the answer. If the Bible gives the answer, we make no mistake in accepting it; because the definition is authentic. 

Who is sovereign God or some man?

Psalm 98:1   O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock [Jesus Christ] of our salvation98:2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 

The Rock is the Great God [the Rock is a member of the YHVH (eternal) family of Elohim (Mighty Ones)] and is the very Implementing Creator

98:3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 98:4 In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. 98:5 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. 98:6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

Here is the Roman Catholic Church’s own Douay version defining the Rock as being Christ and not Peter: 

1 Corinthians 10:4  They drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock [petra, in the Greek] was Christ

The Ekklesia is to be founded on the chief corner stone [Rock of Salvation]!

Ephesians 2:20  Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone

Deuteronomy 32:1   Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.  32:2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:  32:3 Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. [The Rock [Petra] is God] 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Long before Jesus was born He was called the Rock and the FOUNDATION of the faithful.

Isaiah 28:16: “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cor­nerstone, a sure foundation”.

Peter applies this prophecy to Christ.

1 Peter 2:6: “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief Cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded” (1 Peter 2:6).

David said:  Psalm 61:2  Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I

Psalm 62:1 Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. 62:2 He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.

If the church was built on Peter; then Peter would be the head of the church.  However, Peter was not the head of the church.  Jesus Christ is the immediate and direct HEAD of the church under God the Father.

1  Corinthians 11:3   But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

Instead of having the disciples, apostles, and other believers call Peter pope, or Father Peter, or Holy Father Peter, Jesus said that we are not to use ecclesiastical titles which exalt any man above the Rock Jesus Christ and God the Father:

Matthew 23:8   But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is [God] in heaven. 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

If Jesus had delegated Peter to be the head of the church, why did the other disciples quarrel among themselves as to who would be the greatest?

Luke 9:46 Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.

And again even at the last Passover?

Luke 22:24   And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.

If this decision had already been made by Christ, why should the others continue to fret about it?

The disciples would have accepted the decision of their Master. Thus it seems evi­dent that no such appointment had been made by Jesus.

Neither Peter nor any of his successors [whether Roman Catholic or in the Ekklesia] were heads of the true church.  Paul explains this when he says the religious head of men is Jesus Christ under God the Father: “The head of every man is Christ” (1 Cor. 11:3); NOT Peter and not James,

Jesus Christ was made the HEAD of the Ekklesia and no man is the head of the church of God, the spiritual; body of Christ!   No man is the head of the Ekklesia under Jesus Christ either!

Men may head corporate churches for the sake of a certain degree of corporate organization; but no man is the head of the spiritual Ekklesia.  Yes God provides a ministry to help the brethren to focus and learn about God, but their authority is limited to living by and teaching every Word of God; they have absolutely no authority to depart from the Word of God in any way.  

Then Jesus teaches that the Ekklesia [assembly or spiritual body of the faithful] is NOT built upon Peter or some other man; the Ekklesia is built upon Jesus Christ the Rock of our salvation and on every Word of God! 

The brethren of the true Ekklesia would NEVER follow any man contrary to anything in the Word of God!  They follow God the Father and Jesus Christ; and would only follow men, if and as such men are passionately faithful to God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son, and live by every Word of God. 

How does Jesus Christ exercise his Head-ship? 

By living in the faithful through the agency of the Holy Spirit and leading the faithful to live by every Word of God as Jesus did and does! 

We are responsible for what we know and we are responsible to continually learn and grow spiritually.  If we reject spiritual growth in the truth of God’s Word, we are rejecting the lead of the Holy Spirit and rejecting the Head-ship of Jesus Christ and God the Father. 

If we follow any person contrary to the Word of God we are rejecting the Head-ship of the authors who inspired that Word; God the Father and Jesus Christ!

 

The Keys of 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.

The keys of the Kingdom unlock the door of salvation, which is sincere repentance and the application of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and a commitment to “Go and sin NO more.”

The keys of the kingdom are the Gospel of truth, which opens the door to Salvation through Christ and reconciliation to God the Father. 

Keys provide access; they open the door of reconciliation to God the Father and eternal life; the key to that door is the Gospel of sincere repentance from sin and salvation by the ROCK [PETRA]  Jesus Christ!

To Peter and the other apostles was committed the preaching of the Gospel of Reconciliation to God the Father, and Salvation from sin by sincere repentance and a commitment to sin no more, followed by the application of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. 

It is the sincerely repentant who commit to “Go and SIN NO More” who will be justified by the application of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God

Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified [by the application of the sacrifice of Christ].

 

Making Judgments 

Were Peter and his successors given the authority to bind and loose what God has said in his Word?

Did Peter really have authority to change God’s Word or to interpret the Word of God according to his own wishes? And do his heirs and descendants ecclesiastically, really have such authority?  Or is this a misreading of the scriptures?  

Is it a twisting of the Word of God?  Jesus must have known that His words would be twisted; therefore, He went on to explain what He was getting at in Matthew 18:15 where he said:

Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Here we are commanded to do our best to work out our problems with each other.

If we are offended in any person; go directly to the person and seek to resolve the matter privately in humility. Do not go and say: “you evil man, you did such and such;” no, rather go to him and say “there is a matter that I do not understand, why did you do this?” Speak softly and seek peace.

Do not delay and allow the matter to fester and grow out of all proportion in your imagination; go immediately.

18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church [properly Ekklesia]: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

If he/she will not respond to a personal petition, then go to the elders of the Ekklesia [older wise men experienced in the faith] for a judgment; and if sin be found let the sinner be accounted wicked and rejected until he repents. 

The following about binding and loosing; has nothing to do with binding and loosing God’s Word!  Quite the contrary, it is referring to binding and loosing or judging DISPUTES among the brethren; based on God’s Word!  The context above is clearly about disputes among the brethren!

18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye [whatever dispute you bind according to the Word of God will be backed up by God] shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever [whatever dispute you loose according to the Word of God will be backed up by God] ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you [the faithful followers and zealous keepers of God’s Word]  shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall [lawfully and according to scripture] ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

Jesus is instructing us about settling disputes between brethren; and one responsibility of the elders is to properly apply the Word of God to such disputes! 

The context of this matter is that when those in the faith agree, based on God’s Word, concerning a matter of dispute among brethren; God will bind that decision.

Such a decision MUST be a matter of legitimate POOF based on God’s Word. This is about making decisions based on God’s Word; it is NOT about making decisions contrary to,  or outside of, or changing God’s Word.

Any decision made by those faithful to and zealous to live by every Word of God; which is based on God’s Word and consistent with God’s Word; will be bound and backed up by God Almighty. 

This “binding and loosing” instruction, is about the responsibility of the Called Out, to be faithful and loyal to God’s Word; which is the whole Word of God, and to make binding decision BASED upon God’s Word; this issue has nothing whatever to do with men having the right to change God’s Word.

The Ekklesia, has the authority to make decisions based on the whole Word of God; there is no authority whatever to change the Word of God; as some have done in changing God’s Biblical Sabbath to Sunday or changing the Biblical Festival Calendar!

The instructions of Jesus Christ are to do our best to work out our own problems and if we fail, we are to ask for a judgment based on God’s Word from the Ekklesia of the Called Out.

If some are gathered together in Christ’s name, and are acting faithfully according to God’s Word; He WILL back them up.

If they are acting contrary to God’s Word; God WILL NOT, NO NEVER, back anyone up in such a sin!

If we are the servants of Christ: we will be faithfully living by every Word of God!

If we are not living by every Word of God and teaching men to do likewise: we are NOT God’s servants!

Its just that simple!

Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

This friends, is talking about the responsibility to be faithful and loyal to God’s Word and to make binding decisions based upon that Word!  

Jesus Christ WAS NOT conferring upon Peter any kind of authority to change God’s Word; or to change God’s laws; to bind, or to loose, or to sit in judgment of the will and the Word of Almighty God! 

Jesus Christ was informing Peter that his authority was to properly apply God’s Word in all disputes which are appealed to him.  That is the limit of the authority of Peter and of the Church.  When we have disputes, we should try our best to resolve them; and if we cannot do so; we can appeal to older more experienced brothers in the faith for a decision which is to be based upon God’s Word.

Was Jesus saying anything new here? 

Of course not, He was merely quoting the law given to Moses.  

Deuteronomy 17:8 If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the LORD thy God shall choose;

Mosaic Israel was to go to the priests for just judgment because the priests were to know God’s Word and judge fairly by the Word of God; and the elders of today’s Ekklesia have the same authority to make judgments based on God’s Word today. 

All teachings and decisions are to be based solidly on every Word of God; and when the priests go astray, they are NOT to be obeyed contrary to the Word of God for they have departed from the truth; and when the elders and priests are zealous for the Word of God there is justice.

17:9 And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:

17:10 And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee:

All judgments MUST be made, based on and consistent with, and according to; the whole Word of God.

17:11 According to the sentence of the law [they are to teach us the judgment of the Word of God] which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left.

17:12 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, [and will not be subject to the Word of God taught by the faithful elder] even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.  17:13 And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.

There is authority in the ministry and in the priesthood to make decisions based upon God’s Word.  Their authority and power is to teach men about the things of God and to make judgments according to the Word of God.  

They have no authority to deviate from the Word of God in any way.  For it is written in Deuteronomy 13 that even miracles and fulfilled predictions are not proof of godliness or of being a messenger from God.  God’s messengers often do foretell events and do perform miracles by the power of God, but Satan’s agents also can do these things.  

No person has any authority whatsoever, except the innate authority of the Word of God which is the truth itself. 

When a person departs from the Word of God he has departed from the truth and he forfeits the authority of the Word which he has departed from. 

There is absolutely NO moral authority in any person; the moral authority is in the truth itself, and if a person departs from the truth he has forfeited all moral authority:  A person who teaches differently from the Word of God has absolutely NO moral authority whatsoever!

The faithful are subject to the authority of Jesus Christ and God’s Word; they do not have any right to bind or loose, or to teach and go contrary to the Word of God.

Deuteronomy 12:32   What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

We are not to follow anyone to make an idol of them and obey them in place of obeying God; and we are not to conceal those who seek to deceive the brethren into following themselves; but we are commanded by Almighty God to reveal this wickedness and warn the brethren. 

Man is nothing before God; man has neither the wisdom, or the understanding, nor the knowledge, nor the ability, nor the right, nor the power, nor the authority to sit in judgment of God’s Word; and decide for himself what commandments men should or should not obey.

What did Jesus really say to Peter in Matthew 16?  

He said: Caiaphas, you are Peter, a petros, a pebble, a tiny stone but it is upon this Rock [the great mountain, being Jesus Christ himself, the Chief Cornerstone, the Foundation Stone] that I will build my people and you must bind and loose according to God’s Word from heaven and you must settle disputes and make decisions based upon every Word of God.

The foundation of the Ekklesia is the Rock [Petra], Jesus Christ; not the pebble Peter, and not the pebble of any other man who claims to be an heir of Peter.  No man has the right to exalt himself  above God and God’s Word.  

No man should be looked to as an ultimate moral authority.

All men whether they be popes or prophets or apostles or ministers or evangelists or whoever they claim to be; should be tested according to every Word of God.  

1 Thessalonians 5:21  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

and speaking of the people of Berea: 

Acts 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

As Paul said, 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

We are to follow God the Father and Jesus Christ and live by every Word of God, regardless of what any man says.

No man, no human being; has any power whatsoever, to change the smallest part of the Word of God;

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil [to keep, and to make full by revealing the spirit and intent of the Word of God].

Christ came to keep and complete the Word of God by revealing the spirit and intent of God’s Word making it full; and making it binding in the letter and in the spirit!  

Jesus Christ did NOT come to destroy his Father’s commandments, but to reveal their spiritual intent: and to set an example that we are to follow, by personally zealously keeping the Whole Word of God in the letter and in the spirit and in its full intent!

5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle [the tiniest point]  shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

No part of God the Father’s Word will ever pass away, and ultimately all living human beings will be passionately keeping every Word of God in BOTH the letter and the spirit. Then the law and Word of God will be written on our hearts and not on tables of stone (Jeremiah 31).

As long as the Heavens and the Earth exist, all the commandments, all the law must be fulfilled [fully kept].  No man can change it ever. 

5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven [and he will only be there if he sincerely repents]: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

If anyone says that this or that is just physical, or only a “little thing”; consider these words.

Indeed, to break the law in any one point, is to break the whole law, therefore such a person will not even be in God’s Kingdom unless he repents, then he will be the least. Many, who think they are great now, may not even be chosen, or will be accounted least in the Kingdom of God; I say to you; only if you repent, will you even be there.  

5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees [who made God’s Word of no effect by their false traditions of men], ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

We were told that those teach contrary to the Word of God are wicked.

Daniel 7:25 shall speak great words against the most high and think to change times [including the Sabbath Day and the Biblical Calendar] and laws.  

It is the sons of wickedness who seek to change the Word of God, who claim authority to decide for themselves what is right and wrong.  

Remember how in the Garden of Eden the serpent beguiled Eve; telling her that she should decide for herself what is right and what is wrong.;And that in so doing, she would become a god unto herself.

Man has been trying to do this ever since; trying to decide for himself what is right and wrong to shove God’s Word aside for their own false ways.  

Men do not have the wisdom, or the right; to change the law of their Creator.  

The Eternal is God; not a man.  

The Eternal is the Sovereign Ultimate Moral Authority in the universe.  

If we say that we need only keep the Ten Commandments we condemn ourselves with our own lips for the commandment requires:

Deuteronomy 5:16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

If we want long [eternal] life, we must obey God the FATHER and keep his commandments and live by every Word of God; for only those who live by every Word of God shall have access to the tree of life and the right to eternal life.    

All men including Peter are to bind and loose in physical disputes or doctrinal controversies according to and completely consistent with; every Word of God.

 

 

The Mark of the Beast

Some have said that this mark of the beast is Sabbath pollution and the observance of Sunday; yet if one breaks one point of the law, one has broken the whole law. The mark of the Beast is the mark of Satan who is the arch rebel and the father of rebellion against God.

Every person who does not obey God fully, and makes excuses for sin, or compromises with God’s Word, is like Satan in his attitude of mind and his actions of rebellion against God!

This mark of rebellious attitude and action against God was first applied to mankind in the garden when Eve and then Adam rebelled against God and sought to become gods unto themselves, deciding right and wrong for themselves.

To bind and loose God’s Word according to our own pleasure or to follow those who do so, is to decide for ourselves what is right and wrong! Has the MARK OF THE BEAST [Satan].

ONLY those who are faithful to God the Father and Jesus Christ; who follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth; and are passionately loyal living by every Word of God; who refuse and reject the very idea of deciding for themselves what is right or wrong and who rely totally on God as their moral authority; will be in the resurrection to spirit!

This is so very vital!

To say that Christ will understand if we sin and will forgive wilful sin, because he knows men are weak; and to say that we should tolerate sin, out of a misguided false idea of “love’; or to say that we can compromise with the Word of God is to exalt the authority of any person or organization above the Word of God: IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST!

Those who do such things; WILL NOT be in the resurrection to spirit!

Brethren, all organizations and persons who obey men as their idols, and are not zealous to live by every Word of God:  Have the Mark of the Beast!

People have been deceived into believing and doing what false religious leaders say, following idols of men contrary to believing and living by every Word of God. 

All humanity except for a few overcoming called out, have been deceived in their foreheads [beliefs of their minds] to follow Satan in their deeds [of their hands] of rejecting any zeal to live by every Word of God since Adam and Eve.  

This deception and mark of the beast has overwhelmed most of mankind since Adam, and today the vast majority of the spiritual Ekklesia has also fallen away from any zeal to live by every Word of God to follow idols of men and corporate entities; and we have the Mark of the Beast stamped upon us as well.

Following idols of men in the assemblies is exactly the same thing as following the final man of sin; the only difference is the name of the person being followed contrary to the Word of God.

Revelation 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand [referring to actions and deeds] , or in their foreheads [referring to what is believed in the mind]:

Just as in the church of God groups today; we must accept their system for the system to accept us as members.  To function in this church state system people will have to accept and follow it in rebellion against much of God’s Word, or be rejected by the system.

13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

The mark of the beast is the mark of Satan; it is compromising with and rebellion against God and the Word of God; it is a rejecting of any zeal to live by every Word of God.

It is what Satan taught Eve in the garden; to decide for ourselves what is right and wrong, instead of standing on God’s Word and doing as God commands.

The Mark of God is to obey and follow God in all things; which only comes by sincere repentance and being sealed with the Holy Spirit!  One can only live by the Word of God through the indwelling presence of God’s Holy Spirit which is given to those who have committed to Obey him in all things (Acts 5:32).

When we have been called by God the Father in heaven to have a part in the collective bride for the Son, and we respond positively to that call washing away past sin and committing to remain sinless through the power of God at our baptism, then the atoning sacrifice of Christ the Lamb of God is applied to us and God the Father pours out his Holy Spirit upon us.

God’s Spirit is in complete unity with God the Father in heaven and with the Son, and will bring us into complete unity with God the Father in heaven if we follow its lead when we are sealed with that Spirit of Promise.

Ephesians 1:12   That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.  1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Those sealed with God’s Spirit will learn and follow the things of God and will grow into a full unity of mind, spirit and deeds with God; IF they endure and follow the lead of the Spirit of God.

God’s elect will become like God in all things, and will diligently work to internalize the very nature of the Father in heaven through a passionate love for him and his will and Word; loving God  the Father as Jesus loved God the Father.

For if we are of God we will have Jesus Christ dwelling within us through God’s Spirit, and we will love the things that Christ loved, and we will do those things that Christ did and does.

1 John 2:3   And hereby, we do know that we know Jesus Christ, if we keep his commandments. 2:4 He that sayeth, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

2:5 But whoso keepeth his word [Yes, we are to zealously keep the whole Word of God], in him truly is the love of God perfected [Don’t let yourselves be deceived, godly love is to keep the whole Word of God; true godly love is not some false human imagined emotional feel good that tolerates sin]: hereby know we that we are in him. 2:6 He that sayeth he abides in Christ ought himself also so to walk [live or behave,] even as Christ walked [lived and lives or behaved].

If we are in Christ and he is in us, we will be doing the things that he did; and what did he do? He kept every Word of God the Father. (Mat 4:4) 

John 15:10: If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

If Christ is dwelling in us, he will be keeping the Father’s Word in us!  And if we are residing in him, dwelling in him and he in us; if our branch is plugged into the trunk of the tree, (see John 15), if we are plugged into Jesus Christ: We will be doing what he did!  Which is keeping  the whole Word of God to the very end!

1 John 2:7  Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment [the Old Testament]  which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word [to keep the whole Word of God] which you have heard from the very beginning [the Old Testament]. 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light [true godliness is the letter and spirit of the law] now shines.

We ARE to keep the OLD commandment[s], in a new way!  In its fullest spirit and intent as well as the letter! In a full and passionate zeal to live by every Word of God with all our beings, going beyond just the letter and keeping the spirit of the Word as well.

The sign of God’s people is that they are filled with love for God and diligently live bby every Word of God, and that they will keep all of God’s law without compromise or tolerance for any sin because the law is love for God and man.

As the Mark of God is zealous faithfulness to our heavenly Father and all his will, commandments and desires sealed by the Holy Spirit; so the Mark of Satan [The Mark of the Beast] is to follow Satan into his spiritual rebellion against and compromise with the commandments, will and nature of Almighty God!

For those who think that this mark is only Sunday observance; what about the billions who do not observe Sunday and are still rejecting the practical application of  God’s Word?  What about those who observe God’s Sabbath and break God’s other laws?

Remember that breaking any one point of the law is breaking the whole law, no matter which point you have broken.  Breaking ANY law is rebellion against God and is just as sinful as breaking the Sabbath which sin is universal in the Ekklesia today.  Today the Ekklesia call the Sabbath holy as they shamelessly pollute it!

Many are even rejecting the ONLY Mediator between man and God the Father, our High Priest and ONLY Intercessor Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 2:5   For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

There is ONLY ONE Intercessor, ONLY ONE Mediator between men and the heavenly Father, Jesus Christ ALONE!  NOT Mary, or  Buddha, or Mohammed, or your corporate church leadership and elders, or ANY other!

There is ONLY one sacrifice for sin, and ONLY one High Priest that mediates for the sincerely repentant before God the Father!

For Jesus Christ ascended to the Father as our Wave Sheaf to be accepted as a sacrifice for us and to be made a High Priest for our salvation.

Hebrews 4:14  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

Paul reveals that Jesus Christ is now our High Priest and that He has passed up into the heavens. Therefore, let us hold fast our profession, our belief, our faith, our works of faith.

4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Yes, we have a High Priest who gave up his God-hood to be made flesh and who was tempted in the flesh and experienced the weaknesses of the flesh and suffered in the flesh. Therefore, He has empathy for us and He understands the things we have to endure and the things we go through and the problems we have. He will support and succor the faithful who believe and DO as he commands; while he will reject the faithless who will not keep all of God’s Word with righteous zeal.

He is not going to justify wilful rebellion and sins and our faults, if we do not sincerely repent of them. But if we are repentant and sincerely trying to live by every Word of God, we can then go to God the Father through our High Priest and ask for help, ask for the power to overcome, and He will give us that power through His Holy Spirit.

We can endure. We can overcome. We can beat sin and we can beat Satan through the power of God and through the power of God’s Spirit and the Spirit of Jesus Christ DWELLING IN US. But we have to ask for that Spirit. We have to diligently seek it and we have to allow it to dwell within us. We have to follow where it leads and we have to do what it guides us to do. And how does it guide us? It inspires us to learn and understand the Holy Scriptures of God and instills a passionate zeal to live by every Word of Almighty God.

Paul writes in another place that the law is holy and just and good. And we know that God’s Spirit is holy, therefore it will do nothing against the Scripture, it will do nothing against the Word of God. It will empower us to live by every Word of God!

Any man or spirit who says, “Oh, don’t keep this commandment or that commandment,” or this is only physical, or this is insignificant and not important, or God will understand my need to do this sin: IS NOT THE SPIRIT OF GOD!

It is a spirit of antichrist and of Satan!

God’s Spirit will always point you to God, because it is God’s Spirit. It is the Spirit of God: It will point you to God; and it will never ever turn you aside from zeal to live by every Word of God. It will always point you to God and always point you toward and empower you to keep the whole Word of God!

The Mark of Satan [Mark of the Beast]; is to decide for ourselves what is right and wrong instead of relying on God our Father in heaven.

The “Primacy of Peter” heresy is the Mark of the Beast and the Mark of Satan, for it exalts men above God as judges of the Word and Will of Almighty God!

This Mark of the Beast applies to ALL of mankind who are doing their own thing and not enthusiastically keeping the whole Word of God in its fullness; and that includes the Ekklesia.

Brethren, this applies to the church of God today: it applies to all those who are lukewarm for the practical application of every Word of God.

Nearly all people in the world today and throughout history have had or have the Mark of the Beast, as they do what they think is right, instead of zealously doing what God says is right!

Do not be deceived into thinking that you have the Mark of God and do not have the Mark of the Beast, just because you have been baptized and follow the teachings of some man!  

All of the major corporate church of God leaders and brethren have the mark of the beast, as is self evident by their rejection of truth and large parts of the Word of God.

 

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