The Challenge of the Christian Theology and more …
/ Ewald Frank
nyelv : angol
20. The rock
- Does all happen by chance?
- The time is near
- The only valid measuring rod
- The old dispute
- The testimony of historians
- History confirms it
- God’s confession
- God manifests Himself
- In heaven and on earth
- The Lord visits His prophet
- The »I am«
- Was the Son born in heaven?
- Spirit and Truth
- Very peculiar
- Respect for the Great Mystery
- Everyone defends his or her own doctrine
- The rock
- The Great Commission
- Thou shalt have no other gods …
- Believe as the Scripture says
- An unbelievable tragedy
- The end-time
- A challenge to all
- No one can bypass Jesus Christ
- New creation
- The Son and the sons and daughters of God
- The two beginnings
- The course of church history
- No man’s influence
The Lord asked His disciples, »Who do men say that I, the Son of man, am?« (Mt. 16: 13 b). Different answers were given by the people. The Apostle Peter received a divine revelation and therefore could give the right answer, »Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.« (v. 16). The concern is this revelation, not its explanation. »And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father, who is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church …« (vv. 17-18). The Lord did not say, »… and upon you, Petros (= a stone) …«, but rather: »… upon this rock (=Petra, a massive rock) I will build my church.« That is the actual rock-revelation Peter received, namely, that Jesus Christ is that rock. How could the Lord build His Church upon a man he had to rebuke only four verses later?
The Lord Himself is the rock in the Old and the New Testament, and no one else. Thus it is written, »For who is God, save the Lord? Or who is a rock, save our God?« (Ps. 18: 31). Peter confessed Christ to be that rock »… the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them who stumble at the word, being disobedient; whereunto also they were appointed.« (1 Pt. 2: 6-8). Paul refers to Christ as the spiritual rock Who was smitten by Moses and accompanied Israel (1 Cor. 10: 4).
According to the Scripture Christ is the rock and the chief corner stone upon which the New Testament Church is founded. Peter and members of the true Church, who are truly born again and therefore became sons and daughters of God, are built as living stones upon the original foundation (1 Pt. 2: 1-10 a. o.). This is according to the plan of salvation from the very beginning and will continue until the end of the age of grace. The same authority to bind and to loose which the Lord had given to Peter, He immediately gave to the whole Church according to Mt. 18: 18. What He spoke to Peter He later said to the whole Church. Speaking to Peter He said, »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.« ( Mt. 16: 19), but then in plural, »Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.« (Mt. 18: 18).
The words of the Lord to Peter in Mt. 16 have remained a general belief with all that preach the Gospel. It was Pope Leo I (440-461) who suddenly claimed to be the successor of Peter and therefore could have the pre-eminence as the Bishop of Rome; he took this office for himself. Not one of the church fathers in the first centuries ever made such a claim, not even Athanasius or Augustine.
The journeys of Peter and Paul are written in the Bible in great detail. But there is never a record of Peter having visited Rome. It was Leo I who imagined him there, so he could claim this great position for himself. So the legend of Peter being a Pope and having spent time in Rome has become a tradition without scriptural support. Paul has written a number of letters to the church in Rome; in one he at the end mentions 27 persons by name. He also from Rome wrote most of his letters to the assemblies and individuals, but Peter was not mentioned throughout all these years a single time. There is no record of Peter having written to the church at Rome, and of course not from there to others. Also in this point we find a suitable church invention. The Bible knows nothing about an Apostolic See, about a vicar of Christ. All that is self-made tradition without scriptural foundation.
Especially since the state church came into existence in the 4th/5th century after Christ, various teachings and practices were invented which sprang from the minds of men and from false inspiration. The confessional box and the practice of the church to remit sins are also fabrications. The utterance of our Lord used for justification does not apply, »Whosoever’s sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever’s sins ye retain, they are retained.« (Jn. 20: 23). This statement has nothing to do with the remission of sins, which everyone personally receives from God by believing in Jesus Christ. Only if someone has sinned against us we should forgive him or her. For instance, if someone is commissioned to proclaim the Gospel and somebody sins against him, that can be forgiven. But if the person has sinned against the Holy Spirit working through a servant of God, that cannot be forgiven. Jesus our Lord said, »Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies with which they shall blaspheme; but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation« (Mk. 3: 28-29). Such sin a servant of God cannot forgive. Whoever sins against the Holy Spirit falls under God’s judgement. No one should take this lightly, for God is not to be mocked.
Furthermore, every testimony in the Holy Scriptures, including the great commission, regardless to whom it was addressed, is to be for all those commissioned by the Lord. Also if someone speaks under false inspiration, what Jesus said to Peter still applies.
Whoever reads Mt. 16 will find that shortly after the confession of Peter he was reprimanded sharply, »Get thee behind me, Satan. Thou art an offence unto me; for thou savorest not the things that are of God, but those that are of men.« (v. 23).
When the Apostle spoke under divine inspiration the Lord praised him, when he later spoke in an argumentative way he became a trap and received the rebuke. God permitted it for our benefit, so no one would make Peter into something special. To those who come with human arguments without revelation the second utterance does apply. There are those who understood what the Lord said, others misunderstood and gave a wrong interpretation. Those who have experienced the Lord personally, to them He has revealed Himself. They knew Him and had fellowship with Him. To those who only heard and spoke about Him, He remains hidden, strange and far removed.