58. ‘THE LORD COMMANDS BLESSINGS TO WHOEVER CONFESSES CHRIST TO OTHERS’ -Devotional
Preacher: Felix Ngunjiri Gichuri
The Daily Devotionals (scriptures for daily reading for spiritual nourishment, reflection and prayer) from Matthew 16:13-19 are treasures from God revealing to all and sundry that He has already commanded a blessing to whoever confesses to others that Jesus is the Christ and given them the keys of the kingdom of heaven that give them power to bind what they do not want and power to release for themselves what they want from heaven. Devote yourself to be reading each of the portions of the verses daily as your spiritual food for your soul for spiritual nourishment, blessings and power to bind what you do not want and power to release what you want from heaven.
“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, Am?” (Matthew 16:13 [KJV])
When Jesus retreated from the limelight with His disciples to the coasts of Caesarea Philippi He revealed Himself to them of who He really is. Although Jesus was well aware then and now that He is the Son of God who existed with the Father in heaven before the world began, He wanted to know how much they knew of who He was. He asked His disciples, “whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, Am?” Actually, there was no way they could have known who He really was unless they would have received a revelation from the Father because it was only God the Father and the Son who knew who Jesus was and is. He knew then and now that He is the Word of God that created the heavens and the earth, the promised Messiah and the Saviour of the world.
Jesus is Aware (Then and Now) That He is The Son of God
At the tender age of 12, Jesus, knew that He is the Son of God and that His Father dwelt in heaven and He shocked His earthly parents (Joseph and Mary) when He told them that truth, asking them, “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). At age thirty when Jesus was baptized, God confirmed Jesus as His Son. “After Jesus was baptized, He came up immediately out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he (John) saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him (Jesus), and behold, a voice from heaven said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased and delighted!” (Matthew 3:16-17, Amplified Bible).
John the Baptist is a witness that Jesus is the Son of God: “The next day John seeing Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shall see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizes with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:29-34 [KJV]) A voice from heaven confirmed Jesus as the Son of God to all who were gathered there with Jesus.
“Jesus knew where He came from and where He was going” (John 8:14) and He told the Jews that “the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” (John 16:27-28 Amplified Bible)
Jesus is Aware (Then and Now) That He Existed with the Father Before the World Began
In the book of John chapter 17, Jesus told His disciples and is telling us now that He is the Son of God, that Him and the Father are one, and that He existed with the Father before the world began.
In other words, Jesus existed with the Father from the beginning. In the book of Ephesians 1:3-5, the word of God says “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”
God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ knew us and chose us even before they founded the world. Before they created the heavens and the earth, before time existed, they knew us. “Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:4-5).
Almighty God and the Word Were There Before Time Existed
The Bible says that God the Heavenly Father and His Son were living in perfect love full of glory. When Jesus was on earth, He prayed to the Father and told Him, “Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me: for you loved me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24 [KJV]) The One Who was loved before the foundation of the world speaks to the One Who loved Him then, and addressed Him as Father. Jesus prayed to the Father that “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” (John 17:4-5) The truth is that there were and there are two Divine Beings who existed “in the beginning.” John calls one of them “God” and the other “the Word”—although “the Word was God” also. God and the Son were actually existing before this age in form of the Word.
In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, And the Word was God (John 1:1-4 [KJV]). “That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto his own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:9-14 [KJV])
God and the Word, both uncreated, existed in eternity in a loving, unified relationship. Between them was complete unity of purpose. Such words as love, harmony, unity, cooperation, concern, care and mutually benefiting applied to these two Beings in this realm of prehistory outside of and before time as we know it. They existed before time, before they had created time. Time was created when God and Son created seasons and days and years. It is interesting to know that they created time with the Word “Let there be light.” “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:” (Gen 1:14 [KJV])
This is the glorious state within which they existed—spirit, uncreated, with splendor, majesty and eternal life inherent within themselves. This is the essence of the existence God and the Word shared. To put it in one word, it is love that was their seamless bond. We are told in 1 John 4:8 and 1 John 4:16 that “God is love.” God never existed without loving us, and it was this love that prompted him, the offended partner, to take the initiative in healing the relationship broken by sin; and not only to take the initiative, but to bear the whole cost by sending His Son onto the altar of the cross to be the sacrifice for our sins.
God the Father and the Son are who and what they are and share in a glorious spirit existence apart from us. The Son of God has many names depending on the occasion He is in. Before the foundation of the world, He was the Son of God. When creating the world, He was the Word. God used the Word to create all things. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him;” “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” (Gen 1:3 [KJV]) When He came down to us and dwelt among us, He came as the Son on Man. “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.” (Matt 20:18-19 [KJV]) When Jesus the Son of God offered Himself to be sacrificed as a lamb on the cross so that His shed blood would atone for our sin, He became the Lamb of God. “The next day John seeing Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29 [KJV]) “Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.” (Rev 5:11-14 [ESV2011])
“These (ten kings and the beast) shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Rev 17:14 [KJV])
Because God is love, Him and the Son Decided to Share their Love with Others
God the Father and God the Son decided to create man in their image so that they would share the love they had with the man they would create. Genesis 1:26 says that, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness …” God is love. And He loves us all no matter where we are in life. God’s love is unconditional. God’s love is without limit. God loves us so much and his love is so deep that nothing can change his love or stop him from loving us.
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:37-39 [ESV2011])
Jeremiah 31:3 reveals to us about God’s love, saying, “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.” God calls us his people because of his love. Before we knew him he had loved us. He loves us with an everlasting unfailing love. “But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.” (Isa 43:1-3 [ESV2011])
Jesus is Aware That He is the Physical Image of the Invisible God
He “(Jesus) is the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15) When the Jews saw Jesus Christ the Son of God physically in their midst, scriptures were telling them that they were seeing God because Jesus is the physical image of the invisible God and they did not need to see the Father who dwells in heaven because no one can see God and live. “The LORD answered Moses, “I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Please, let me see Your glory.” He said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name Yahweh before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But He answered, “You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live.” (Exod 33:17-20 [HCSB])
God in heaven saw the difficulty facing man where despite man’s desire to see the glory of God, yet man cannot see God. That is why God devised a plan where He sent His Son to come down to earth from heaven and become flesh, be born as a man for us to live when we see God in the flesh. But when you see the Son you will live and not die.
Lazarus in his death saw Jesus and lived. The dead man heard his name called out by the lord and he received his life back from the Lord (John 11:43-44). Jairus’ daughter while in her in death saw Jesus when He touched her and when He called her ‘My child,’ the dead girl received her life from the Lord after He overcame death on her behalf. (Luke 8:40–56). The moment you see Jesus or His Holy Spirit coming upon you, you will live because Jesus is the resurrection and the life. “Jesus said to her (Martha), ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” John 11:25
Seeing Jesus is seeing God because “Jesus is the physical image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15). Those who did not see God then have another chance of seeing God when Jesus, who is God the Son will come again for his church in the last days when they shall meet Him in the air (1 Thess 4:16-18).
Jesus is Aware (Then and Now) That He is the Creator of Heaven and Earth
Jesus knew then and knows now that He is the Son of God. He also knows that He is the Word of God that created the heavens and the earth. Jesus also knew then and now that He was with God on the 1st day of creation when God spoke the Word “Let there be light and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). The scripture reveals that there was Light that was created in the beginning on day 1 as revealed in Genesis 1:3. The scriptures also tell us that there was another type of light that was created on day 4 of creation as revealed in Gen. 1:14-18. The mystery of those two types of light created on two different days can only be revealed by the Word of God Himself. Let us first consider the following verses which confirm that God is light.
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1John 1:5 [ESV2011])
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light (Jesus), which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” (John 1:6-12 [ESV2011])
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 [ESV2011])
It would therefore mean that since God is light, He released light out of Himself as the first order of creation on day 1 with the Word ‘Let there be light and there was light” (Gen 1:3) to mark His territory where He was placing His creation on. God released light out of Himself to mark His sovereignty over what He was creating because He is “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them” (Acts 4:24), “the only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15). God illuminated His area of jurisdiction with light which came out of Himself and He saw that it was good. That light was not the physical light that we see but it was spiritual light that shines to expel darkness and ignorance out of the presence of God.
“And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Gen 1:4-5 [KJV])
Again on the 4th day of creation, God set aside one specific star, the sun, and assigned it to be shining physically on one of its planets, the earth, which He had earmarked to support life for animals, plants and mankind. “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: … And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.” (Gen 1:14-19 [KJV])
Before anything happens here on earth physically, it first happens in heaven in the spiritual realm. God in heaven released Light out of Himself on day one of creation (Gen 1:3) and on the fourth day of creation, according to God’s calendar, God created the sun and gave it physical light to be shining it onto the earth (Gen 1:14-18). The light released from God in Genesis 1:3 is the spiritual light while the light released from the sun in Genesis 1:14 is the natural physical light. This order of God’s creation work shows that light comes from God. He made it. Light does not come in the first instance from the sun. Light is a gift of God, not of the sun! What a tremendous gospel this is for our naturalistic age in which people speak of the sun as if it alone makes life possible. For this reason, people can even fret about the future horror of a spent sun. For Israel, this order of God’s creating activity was also of great comfort over the pagan religions which worshipped the sun. It is only God the Creator who alone gives light, who should be worshipped, not the sun. And the Light that God released out of Himself is Jesus because Jesus is the Light of the world that gives life. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12), John 1:6-12) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”(John 1:1-12 [KJV])
Jesus knew that He is the Word of God that created all things. God revealed to John in the island of Patmos that the other name of Jesus is the Word. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Rev 19:11-16 [KJV])
God’s used His Word (Jesus Christ) to create all things. Psalm 33:8-9 says that “By the word of the LORD, the heavens were made and all their host by the breath of His mouth … He spoke and it came to be; He commanded and it stood forth.” Compare also Psalm 148:5b, “…He commanded and they [i.e. His creations] were created”. How the world was created by the Word is made clearer as we go to the New Testament. As the reader of Scripture knows, “the Word” is a name for the Son of God who was involved in the work of creation! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth; we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (John 1:1-3, 14; cf. 1 John 1:1-3; 5:1; Revelation 19:13). The reference to the Word in creating is further illuminated in 1 Corinthians 8:8, “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” One can also think of Colossians 1:16-17, “For in Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities – all things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Compare the above with the scripture found inRevelation 3:14).
God’s used His Word to create all things. Jesus knew who He was then and now, that He was with the Father in the beginning as the Word even before the world was created, that Him and the Father created the heavens and the earth together.
Jesus is (Then and Now) The Promised Messiah
God the Father sent His Son Jesus Christ down here on earth as the promised Messiah (“Anointed One” or the Christ). “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in: behold, he shall come, says the LORD of hosts.” (Mal 3:1 [KJV])
“Then the Jews surrounded Him and asked, “How long are You going to keep us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” “I did tell you and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works that I do in My Father’s name testify about Me. But you don’t believe because you are not My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish — ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” (John 10:24-30 [HCSB])
Jesus as a man knew that He is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One and the Anointing.
Jesus is (Then and Now) The Saviour of the World
In the fullness of time, God the Father sent Him down here on earth as the Saviour of the world. Even the name Jesus confirmed Him as Saviour. “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matt 1:21 [KJV])
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:17-18 [KJV])
There is only One who can save the world from sin, and that is Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World. That is what the Samaritans called Him; “They said to the woman who had introduced Jesus to them ‘Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42). Jesus Himself stated that He came to this world in order to save the world. “And if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” (John 12:47).
Jesus Confronted His Disciples to Find Out If They Knew Who He Is
Jesus then confronted His disciples wanting to hear from them what people say He is. He also wanted to know their opinion of who He is. Jesus therefore asked His disciples what people say He is. “He asked His disciples, whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, Am?” (Matthew 16:13 [KJV]) Though they had stayed with Him for almost three years, yet they did not really know Him. Some knew Him only as Jesus the Teacher or Rabbi (John 1:38, Mark 9:5), Master (Matthew 26:25), prophet, etc). The disciples then started digressing from His question telling Him what others say He is. “And they said, some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” (Matthew 16:14 [KJV]) Jesus Christ actually knew what people say He is but His message for us is to tell us that it is important to find out the opinion of others about us. Let us find out what people think or say that we are. Some of us know a lot about others but very little about ourselves: who we are, what are our values, hopes, worth, strengths, weaknesses, where we are going or where we plan to be in future.
Jesus Is Telling Us to Be Aware of Who We Are, Teaching Us About Self Awareness
Psychologists Shelley Duval and Robert Wicklund defined self-awareness as “the ability to focus on yourself and how your actions, thoughts, or emotions do or don’t align with your internal standards. If you’re highly self-aware, you can objectively evaluate yourself, manage your emotions, align your behavior with your values, and understand correctly how others perceive you.” When defining self-awareness, Shelley Duval and Robert Wicklund (1972) noted that, “When we focus our attention on ourselves, we evaluate and compare our current behavior to our internal standards and values. We become self-conscious as objective evaluators of ourselves.”
There is a part of us that is known by others but we are not aware of it. In His sermon on the mountain, Jesus chided the multitude that they point fingers at others without knowing that they are the ones at greater fault. He asked them how come they see the mistakes of others but do not see their own mistakes. “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5, [ESV2011])
It is important to find out what people say about you, what they call you or nickname you. Other people know you only by your first name or by one name only. It is important to find out the names people use when backbiting you or when talking behind your back. Some people know you negatively, others flatter you but thank God there are quite a number of people who know us genuinely. Find out how others have saved your name in their phones (e.g. minister, reverend, pastor, bishop, nincompoop, bugger, etc). What people say you are and they know about you but you don’t know it is your blind-spot. Blind spots are things about you that you are unaware of but others know them. Identifying our blind spots and understanding them heighten our self-awareness. When we develop a greater self-awareness, we become more aligned with our higher selves, which means a greater self-mastery. The most important thing for you is to be aware of who you are (self-awareness) by asking yourself “Who am I? Whom do people say that I am?” That self-search (introspection, soul-searching, self-reflection) will help you to know yourself accurately and objectively: your strengths, weaknesses, boundaries (crossing or violating), values, emotions, hopes, sense of self-worth and most importantly your relationship with God and the good plans He has for you.
Jesus knew who He is and He stopped their gossip and asked them who they actually say He is. “He said to them, “But who do you say that I, the Son of Man, Am?” (Matthew 16:15 [ESV2011]). And they all fell silent. Even a needle falling on the ground could have been heard. All of a sudden, there was movement at the back and they all turned to see who is he who knows who Jesus actually is and they saw that it was Simon son of Jonah. Simon was just one out of the twelve disciples who knew who Jesus is. Going by that observation, God is revealing to us today that it is only 1 out of 12 people (our friends, colleagues, relatives) who know us for who we really are. Once you are aware of who you are after introspection you will know and claim your space in God’s plan for your life. Find out from the Word of God what He says about who you arebecause its only Him who knows your beginning from your end and the plans He has for you.
God is the only one in all eternity who is able to “declare the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done. I say: My counsel will stand, and I will do all that I please.” (Isaiah 46:10, World English Bible)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 ESV)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,” (Ephesians 1:3-7 [ESV2011])
IT IS ONLY GOD WHO CAN REVEAL TO YOU WHO JESUS IS SO THAT YOU CONFESS TO OTHERS THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST
“And Simon Peter answered and said, you are the Christ,” (Matthew 16:16 (part i) [KJV])
Jesus asked His disciples a question that transcends all ages, “But who do you say that I, the Son of Man, Am?” Jesus is even now asking the same question, asking us the same question, and it is being met with the same deafening silence. His disciples were at a loss on what to say as they were not sure of who He was as they had heard people call Him Master (Matthew 9:11, Matthew 12:38, Matthew 9:16, Luke 5:5, Luke 8:24, Luke 8:24, Luke 9:33,), Rabbi (John 3:2,). His disciples whom He had been with for a while started speculating of the many other names they had heard being attributed to Him, saying that some people say that He was prophet Isaiah, others said that He was prophet Jeremiah, while others said that He was John the Baptist, while still others said that He was some other prophet. Jesus had to keep the group in control to stop them from digressing. He asked them “Who do you say that I am?” All became quiet, so quiet that you could even hear the sound of a fallen pin. They were hoping that at least only one of them had an answer to stop this embarrassment. How could they have walked with Him for the last three years and not known who He actually was. They knew Him only as the Teacher, Master and of course Jesus.
Suddenly, Simon son of Jonah stood up, cleared his throat, squared his shoulders and pointed at Jesus and told Him that he knew who He was, telling Him that “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (Matthew 16:16). The word Christ is the English version of the Greek word Christos that is a translation of the Hebrew word Messiah, which means the Anointed One. It also refers to His Anointing.
Prophet Isaiah had prophesied of the Messiah’s coming 700 years before the birth of Jesus when he prophesied about a Redeemer who would come to save the people from their sins. Prophet Isaiah looked forward through time by the Spirit of God and saw that a Redeemer was coming. One who would finally free us from the oppression of the devil. “And the Redeemer shall come to (redeem) Zion (Jerusalem or church), and unto them that turn from transgression (sins) in Jacob (Israel or church), saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 59:20 [KJV]) Prophet Isaiah prophesied that a Redeemer, the Saviour of the world, would come to remove the burdens the devil had placed on peoples’ shoulders, and cancel the penalty imposed on mankind after he fell in the garden of Eden, so as to save those who will turn away from their sins.
In 735 BC, prophet Isaiah again prophesied that “It shall come to pass in that day, that his (the devil’s) burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the Anointing.” (Isaiah 10:27, KJV)
To fully appreciate just how good that news bulletin is, you must realize that Isaiah did not say that the yoke shall be broken because of the anointing. Many people read it that way, but that is not what it says. The verse says that the yoke shall be destroyed by the anointing which shall be smeared on our bodies, especially those who will have turned from transgression. When you look it up in the Hebrew text, you will find that the word destroyed when translated means rendered absolutely useless. It is possible that a broken yoke can be repaired and put back where it was around your neck. But Isaiah said that this anointing would annihilate the devil’s yoke so completely that there would no longer be any evidence that it was ever around your neck. The message of the anointing is the one Jesus preached while He was physically here on earth.
If you want to know what gospel Jesus preached, you can find it in Luke 4:16-21.
“And He (Jesus) came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and as His custom was, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of Esaias (Isaiah). And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it is written, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me topreach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and the recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord’. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And He began to say unto them, ‘This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.’
According to these scriptures, the message Jesus preached was this: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me…’ That may not mean a lot to you right now, but if you keep reading for a few minutes, the revelation concerning that word of anointed will make you want to shout for joy.
The word ‘anointed’ actually means to pour on, smear all over or to rub into. The anointing is God’s presence. His essence. It is the thing that makes God be God. The anointing is God on the flesh enabling flesh to do those things that are impossible for flesh to do. For instance, flesh cannot heal anyone. Even Jesus’ flesh could not heal anyone because it came from Mary. It was as human as hers. He had to wait until He was anointed with the Holy Spirit for Him to start performing miracles, healing all who were oppressed by the devil.
So Jesus was telling the people of Nazareth that day that ‘God is poured on, smeared all over and rubbed into Me.’ He was telling them that He is the Anointed One prophesied in the book of Isaiah 10:27and that He had come with the yoke-destroying, burden removing power of the Almighty God who is in Him and all over Him.
Jesus did not just make that statement either. He began to preach a sermon saying: ‘’Hey. I have good news for you! Poverty is a yoke around your neck and I am anointed to destroy it! Broken heartedness is a yoke and I am here to destroy it! Being a captive to sin is a yoke and I am here with the yoke-destroying power and presence of God. I am here to get the burden of oppressions and afflictions imposed on humanity as a result of your sins removed from off your back! I am here to set you free!”
That is the gospel Jesus preached. It is the good news of the anointing! Thus when the New Testament refers to the gospel of Christ, it is talking about the gospel of the anointing, the good news of the sin-annihilating, sickness-crushing, poverty-pulverizing, bondage-removing, yoke destroying power of God on human flesh. Jesus brought that anointing into our midst because He was anointed by the Holy Spirit at the beginning of His ministry to do it (Matt 3:16-17 [KJV]).
The good news of God anointing Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit to launch Him into the ministry of preaching the power of God on human flesh is the reason it is called The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!
If you want to see how much this translation failure cost us, read through the New Testament and find out the number of times the word Christ is mentioned. (It will take a while because it is in there 341 times). In each instance, translate it into the Anointed One and His Anointing. Then meditate on the new meaning it gives each scripture. Believe me, as you do that, the New Testament will become a brand new book to you.
Take for example Colossians 1:27 “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Translate and meditate. “The Anointed One and His Anointing in you, the hope of glory.” Hallelujah, it is the anointing in us – the same yoke-destroying power that is on Jesus – that gives us the earnest, intensive expectation of experiencing the glory of God in our lives that was experienced by our first parents Adam and Eve. They were anointed with the glory of God and God’s power on them enabled them to stand before His throne. The anointing of God on them or being clothed with the glory of God enabled them to be visited by God in a wonderful face to face fellowship! We could meditate on that all day. Isn’t that Good News?
Peter knew, out of a revelation from God the Father, that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One or The Anointing, the one who anoints us with Himself because the power of God dwells in Him and will dwell in us, giving us the sin-annihilating, sickness-crushing, poverty-pulverizing, bondage-removing, yoke destroying power of God in our flesh. That public confession of Simon son of Jonah to others is the model confession expected by God from whoever will come to the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God and believes in “Christ in me my hope of glory” (which being interpreted means the Anointed One and His Anointing in me and in my flesh, my hope of glory), the mystery that has been hidden from the wise over the ages and from generations but is now made manifest to His saints so that they preach Christ in them to the nations. We should follow after the disciples who after they received the Holy Spirit (during the day of Pentecost) thereafter spread the good news to others telling them that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God as they preached Christ to the nations. And Peter and the other apostles “daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” (Acts 5:42 [KJV])
“Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.” (Acts 8:5 [KJV])
“And when they were come up out of the water (of a river in Gaza), the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.” (Acts 8:39-40 [KJV])
“And straightway Saul (who was renamed Paul, and after receiving sight) preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.” (Acts 9:20 [KJV])
“A Jew named Apollos, a native Alexandrian, an eloquent man who was powerful in the use of the Scriptures, arrived in Ephesus and vigorously and successfully convinced the Jews in public, demonstrating through the Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah.” (Acts 18:24,28 [HCSB])
“Then Paul stayed two whole years in his own rented house in Rome. And he welcomed all who visited him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with full boldness and without hindrance.” (Acts 28:30-31 [HCSB])
If God has revealed to you that Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One who has the Anointing and you have accepted Him as your Lord and your Saviour and your Redeemer, do not keep Him in your heart. Share Him with others, telling them the good news that Christ is the sin-annihilating, sickness-crushing, poverty-pulverizing, bondage-removing, yoke destroying power of God on human flesh. Jesus Christ, the Messiah or Anointed One, is actually the power of God on human flesh to whoever believes in Him. That is what is meant by preaching the Gospel, the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the good news of the power of God upon human flesh for whoever believes.
GOD EXPECTS YOU TO SEEK THE REVELATION THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD AND CONFESS HIM TO OTHERS
“And Simon Peter answered and said (for everybody to hear), you are the Son of the Living God.” (Matthew 16:16 part (ii) [KJV])
Simon son of Jonah made a confession that excited Jesus when he told Him that “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Scriptures confirm that Jesus is the Son of the Living God and that they created heaven and earth together. God is well pleased when His Son is confessed to others correctly as the Son of the Living God. The only way you can know whether somebody knows you is when they call you with reference to your son or daughter. “Father/mother of so and so.”
Scriptures confirm that Jesus is the physical image of the invisible God. Paul tells us that we should be giving thanks always unto God our Father “who has qualified you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His Dear Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn (beginning, originator, the preeminent one and the sovereign) over all creation, for all things in heaven and on earth were created in Him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through Him and for Him. He Himself is before all things and all things are held together in Him. He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself may become first in all things. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in the Son and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross – through Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” (Col 1:12-20 [NET2])
After getting the revelation that Jesus is the Son of the Living God, the physical the image of the invisible God, tell others that since no man can see God and live (Exodus 33:20), God gave us His Son so that when we see the Son, then we have an idea of how God looks like spiritually. Any instance in the Bible where God appeared to man should reveal to us that it was Jesus Christ who appeared because Jesus is God, no wonder Jesus is called Lord. “So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus.” (Acts 9:17-19 [ESV2011])
Saul asked “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” (Acts 9:5 [ESV2011])
No wonder, Jesus told rebellious Jews that, before Abraham was, He was and was glad to see His day. “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:56-58 [KJV])
If you know Jesus as the Son of the Living God, tell others that Jesus is the physical image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, that is He is the beginning, the originator, the preeminent one and the sovereign power over all creation, for all things in heaven and on earth were created in Him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through Him and for Him. Telling others about Christ is what is referred to as preaching Christ. The moment you preach Christ, God promises you blessings because you will be preaching the kingdom of heaven.
CONFESS CHRIST TO OTHERS TO EARN INSTANT BLESSINGS FROM GOD
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, blessed are you, Simon Bar Jona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17 [KJV])
If you, and whoever else, shall believe that Jesus is the Christ and you shall confess to others that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God (the same way Simon son of Jonah confessed Christ to the other disciples in that model testimony recorded in Matthew 16:17), you shall receive instant blessings from God and God will pronounce His blessings upon you, saying to you “Blessed are you My servant.” God’s blessings will come upon you in form of multiplied grace and peace and everything required for life and godliness, and great and precious promises unto you who believe in Christ Jesus. “Grace and peace will be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power will give to the believer everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.” (2Pet 1:2-4 [HCSB]) Multiplication of grace and peace means God’s goodness, favour, mercy and peace will be multiplied several times in all sectors of your life when you believe and share Christ. When peace is multiplied in you, you will experience it inside of you, outside of you, by you and of you in terms of spiritual, social, financial peace all over you because Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) dwelling in you as Emmanuel (Matthew 1:23). Instant blessings are commanded upon believers and sharers of the gospel (of multiplication of grace which is God’s unmerited favour) and peace (in your body, soul and mind) as commanded in 2 Peter 2:2) on whoever testifies that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God because you have actually known that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah which means the Anointed One and His anointing. Knowledge revealed to you by Our Father who art in heaven that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah who came down from heaven to redeem sinful man and that Jesus is the Son of the Living God, creator of heaven and earth, earns you instant blessings from God. That knowledge that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah is the mystery that has been hidden over the ages and has now been revealed by God these last days to His saints (not just to the Jews but even the Gentiles and them who are far off), who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the revelation giving us hope of ever seeing the riches of the glory of God. “the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col 1:26-27 [ESV2011])
The mystery of Christ (the Anointed One and the Anointing) in our hearts and in our flesh is the greatest mystery over the ages that has been hidden to the wise but is now made manifest to His saints these last times “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Col 1:26-27 [KJV]) The power of God has been given to His saints, (that is power over all the power of the enemy), to those who know Jesus as the Christ and who confess that knowledge to others:
“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” (Luke 10:19-21 [ESV2011])
CONFESSING JESUS AS THE CHRIST TO OTHERS EARNS YOU A NEW NAME OF “ROCK”
“Now I say to you that you are Peter (from Greek and Aramaic name Petros, which means small rock or stone or rockman), and upon this rock (Greek word for rock is Petra, which being interpreted is massive rock), I will build my church, and the powers/gates of hell and hades shall not prevail or conquer it.” (Matthew 16:18, New Living Translation)
You Are Peter the Rock
Simon son of Jonah was given a new name of Peter which is an English name from the Greek word Petros, which originated from the Aramaic and later Hebrew word Kephas or Cephas, which means small rock, stone, rockman.
Peter is a common English masculine name Jesus gave to apostle Simon Bar-Jona. It is derived directly from Greek name Petros which itself was a translation of Aramaic/Hebrew name Kefa or Kepha or Cephas which means stone, small rock or rockman. Aramaic was the native language that Jesus used to speak. There’s scholarly consensus that the historical Jesus principally spoke Aramaic, the ancient Semitic language which was the everyday tongue in the lands of the Levant and Mesopotamia. Hebrew was more the preserve of clerics and religious scholars, a written language for holy scriptures.
Simon son of Jonah was given that new name of Peter by the Lord for confessing who Jesus is from the revelation he got from Our Father in heaven. You too can get a new name if you know who Jesus is.
Whoever Confesses that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God will be Given a New Name of Peter the Rock
Whoever confesses the model testimony of Simon Son of Jonah (THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD) will be renamed Peter, and not just a small rock or stone but a living stone. When Jesus called Simon son of Jonah Peter or small rock, He is saying to whoever makes such confession that he or she is also a small rock because what God says to one, He says to all who make similar confession. You become a small rock hewn from the massive Rock. He is telling you to “look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.” (Isaiah 51:1 ESV). God is the rock from whom we were hewn or cut from. Out of Himself, God cut a piece of Himself and softened it into a human being called Adam. He transferred His strength, power and authority to a small personality of Himself called man. We have the strength of a rock inside of us, impenetrable strength that cannot be moved. If only we always enjoin ourselves onto the Rock from which we were made out of, the Rock who is our salvation, then we shall not be removed. But if we separate ourselves from the Rock of ages, we shall be removed from the quarry we were shaped at and dug, then be eroded, wasted and taken away from the quarry to disintegrate to sand and dust. For dust we are “For you are dust, and you will return to dust.” (Gen 3:19). Remind the devil that you are a rock, hewn from the Rock of Ages and I should always “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” (Isaiah 26:4 ESV) And that Rock is Christ. The Lord comforts Zion (the church) that ““Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the LORD: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.” (Isa 51:1 [ESV2011]) Meaning that you are a portion of small rock hewn from the Rock of Ages, having the nature, power and strength of the original rock it was hewn from. Out of Himself, God cut a piece of Himself and softened it into a human being called Adam. That Rock that saved the Israelites from Egypt the house of bondage, led them through the wilderness for 40 years as pillar of cloud by day and pillar o fire by night, providing for them is Christ. “Now I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.” (1Cor 10:1-4 [HCSB])
“You yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1Pet 2:5 [HCSB])
Those who shall confess like Simon Bar-Jonah even today that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah/Son of the Living God shall receive instant blessings form our Father in heaven. It is like we hinder ourselves from receiving God’s blessings by not accepting the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ/ the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. We obstruct ourselves from blessings by refusing to acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God, that He is actually the one who created the heavens and the earth. Would I be wrong to say that we might be our own worst enemies, that the person blocking your blessings is you? Unfortunately, some people are still waiting for the Messiah to come when He actually came over 2000 years and launched His church during the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit who had been promised by Jesus came upon the disciples. Let us share to the world that Jesus Christ our Lord is coming again at a time none knows to take away His church for Himself.“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Berean Standard Bible)
Upon This Rock I Will Build My Church (Matthew 16:18)
Jesus said to Simon son of Jonah, “And I say also unto thee, That you art Peter (Petros, a small rock), and upon this rock (Petra, massive seamless, continuous rock, the bedrock of revealed revelation), I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18)
Jesus told Peter (Petros, the small stone) that upon his confession that Jesus is the Christ, Messiah, Anointed One, the Anointing, He will build His church. Confessing to others that Jesus is the Christ earns you a new name of Peter, a small stone “hewn from a big massive stone,” Isaiah 51:1, because that Rock is Christ that founded His church and became the foundation of his church. “When the Messiah came, He proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone.” (Eph 2:17-20 [HCSB])
“For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ.” (1Cor 3:11 [HCSB])
Knowledge of who Jesus is will not be enough because God wants you to share that knowledge with others and preach Christ (The Anointed One and The Anointing) to the nations. That knowledge of who Jesus is became the cornerstone message of the first church where they immediately went to crusades and from house to house preaching Christ (Acts 5:42, Acts 8:5, 1 Corinthians 1:23).
The word church comes from the Greek word ekklesia or ecclesia which means ‘the called out ones’, translated from the word ladoth, the Aramaic for’ the gathered together’. Aramaic is the native language of the Hebrews that Jesus often spoke.
Jesus told His disciples that upon this rock of the confessed revelation that Jesus is the Christ, He will build His church that will be founded upon the secret that has been hidden over the ages that Christ if accepted by a believer can anoint the believer with Himself and God’s power will be rubbed into the believer because the One in You is the Anointed One and He is the Anointing. He is the one who anoints whoever believes in Him with God’s power by filling the believer with His Holy Spirit. Jesus was Himself anointed with the Holy Spirit and He left His Holy Spirit to be anointing whoever confesses that Jesus is the Christ. Peter preached to Cornelius and his family, “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were under the tyranny of the Devil, because God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38 [HCSB])
And Peter continued to preach Christ to those Gentiles telling them that “we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.” (Acts 10:39-45 [ESV2011])
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He had said to His disciples, “And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, ESV).
God is ready and willing to reveal Himself to whoever seeks Him and reveal his Son as the Christ, the Anointed One and expects you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, then confess Jesus as the Christ to others and God is giving you a new name of rock so that you become a new creature. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Cor 5:17 [KJV])
Upon this Rock of revelation that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God, Jesus Christ declares that He will build His church
Jesus said to Simon son of Jonah, “And I say also unto thee, That you art Peter (Petros, a small rock), and upon this rock (Petra, massive seamless, continuous rock, the bedrock of revealed revelation), I will build my church” and you “become no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph 2:19-20 [HCSB]). And if each of us as rocks (home church and local church) are founded on Christ the Chief Cornerstone, acknowledging Him as the Christ, the Anointed One and the Anointing, the Son of the Living God who created the heavens and the earth, then we shall be founded on a rock that cannot be shaken, and that Rock is Christ. The church shall be founded on the one who rescued the children of Israel out of bondage feeding them on the way with food from heaven, baptizing them in the sea and following them every step of their way until He finally took them to the promised land. Paul told the Corinthian church that “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1Cor 10:1-4 [KJV])
“For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ.” (1Cor 3:11 [HCSB])
“AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST THE CHURCH OF CHRIST” (MATTHEW 16:18 [KJV])
The Day the Church Was Born
The word church (comes from the Greek word Ekklesia, meaning ‘the called out ones’, or ‘the assembly of those who believe in Christ) was first mentioned in the Holy Scriptures in the book of Matthew 16:18. Jesus Christ founded the church by first choosing His 12 disciples whom He taught the principles of the kingdom of heaven so that after He completes redemption of mankind, He commissioned them to preach that Gospel to the nations. The church of Christ was founded on the revelation that Jesus Christ will no longer be in the physical but that He will give those who will believe in Him and repent of their sins His Holy Spirit who will be with them here on earth and fill them with His Spirit. The person filled with the Holy Spirit becomes anointed with the Holy Spirit and will have the power of the Holy Spirit upon him to enable him or her preach the gospel with power and authority over the enemy the devil.
When the Holy Spirit descended upon believers at day of Pentecost, it was not a quiet event. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:1–4). Immediately afterward, the disciples spoke in tongues to the Jews who had gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost. Those Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven, who spoke many different languages depending on the nations they came from, were all hearing the disciples in his own language. “And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” [TSK] Acts 2:6-11). Those listening were confused about how this was happening, but the author states that it was the gift of the Spirit so that all people could hear God’s Word. The Holy Spirit’s power was made manifest to a great number of people that day, resulting in the conversion of about 3,000. “So those who accepted his Peter’s message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people were added to the group of apostles.” (Acts 2:41 [HCSB])
Jesus proclaimed that the gates of hell (powers of death) shall not prevail against His church. Now that you are the church, the called out ones, the assembly of believers, start right now to actualize the Word of God in your life (make the word of God a reality in your life because the Word of God is alive and active – Hebrews 4:12, and what God says to one He says to all).
Now that you are the church, be like that first church that was birthed in Jerusalem and start “waiting for the Father’s promise (to be baptized by the Holy Spirit). For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5)
As you imitate that first church, “continue with one accord in prayer and supplication” (Acts 1:14) Start confessing the model confession of Peter in your home, in your family, in your local church, in crusades, among your friends and colleagues and even befriend strangers telling them the good news (Gospel) that Jesus is the Christ, Messiah, Son of God, the Lord and creator of heaven and earth. The church of Christ starts in your home with you as the priest. The Bible says that we shall become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation to intercede for our families and for the nation. God says that if you obey His voice/commandments and keep His covenant, He says that you shall be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. “Now then, if you will obey Me faithfully and keep My covenant, you shall be My treasured possession among all the peoples. Indeed, all the earth is Mine, but you shall be to Me a Kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:15–16)
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1Pet 2:9 [KJV])
“Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Rev 1:5-6 [KJV])
Powers of Hell Have Risen Against the Church
The church is under attack from the rise of violent extremism, fanaticism, atheism, idol worship and decaying moral standards. The church is being shaken by false teachings because we are in the last days and “what can be shaken will be shaken so that what cannot be shaken may remain for eternity and the Lord’s temple will be filled with glory.” (Haggai 2:6-7) Scripture says a day will come when God will shake everything that can be shaken. The only thing that will remain after this great shaking is that which can’t be shaken. What is it that can’t be shaken by God’s judgment? It is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The author of the epistle to the Hebrews implores them to listen to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant and to His blood that speaks better things than the blood of Abel, “For if they escaped not who refused him (Jesus) that spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:.” (Heb 12:23-28 [KJV])
Reiterating the same message, Hebrews 12:28, Berean Standard Bible version says that “Therefore, since we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us be filled with gratitude, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”
Let us therefore continue to give thanks always unto God and trust Him for giving us a kingdom that shall never be shaken, a kingdom that is as unshakeable as Mount Zion (which symbolizes the church). “They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people (and His church) from henceforth even forever.” (Ps 125:1-2 [KJV])
Those who are in Christ (the church) are forever sheltered by the blood that Jesus shed for them. This truth has to be the cornerstone of our faith. Let our faith as a church be founded on Christ because Christ assures us that the gates of hell will not prevail against His church.
Now That We Are Assured That the Gates Of Hell Will Not Prevail Against His Church, Be The Priest In Your Home Church
God is promising that “if you will obey Me faithfully and keep My covenant, you shall be My treasured possession among all the peoples. Indeed, all the earth is Mine, but you shall be to Me a Kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:15–16) Start your priesthood in your own home because God says that He ordained you as prophet before you were born. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified you (set you apart), and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5, King James Bible)
Question is, does it mean that now that we know that we were set apart and appointed prophets before we were born, do we then just wake up and start preaching the word of God? The answer is no because we were appointed prophets in heaven but born here on earth in sin (“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” – Ps 51:5 ESV). To be cleansed from our sins, we have to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus after repenting of our sins so that we are holy and blameless before God. 1 John 1:7 says that, “if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” The blood of Jesus is forever spiritually cleansing us from all sin.
The procedure of power of blood to cleanse sins was foreshown by young Samuel who was cleansed by a bull slaughtered at the altar in the temple so that he would be offered to serve God in the temple. One bullock alluded to in 1Samuel 1:25 was the burnt offering by which the child was consecrated to the Lord. But that was the Old Covenant way of being sanctified by the shedding of blood to wash away their sins, which was a temporary way of atonement of sins. But there is a better way, a better covenant where one man Jesus offered Himself eternally as a Lamb, to be shed blood in our stead for the forgiveness of our sins.
“And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man (Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Heb 10:11-14 [KJV])
As the priest in your home, God will give you a new name of Peter, (a common masculine name derived from Greek word Petros which means small rock or stone, or rockman, that was translated from Aramaic word Kefa for “stone, rock’) or Petra (Greek feminine word for massive rock). God will give you that new name after you acknowledge His Son as the Christ and as the Son of the Living God confess Christ as the Creator of heaven and earth. He will then expect you to be offering your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God and be offering spiritual sacrifices to the Lord every day to strengthen the church in your home. “You also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5)
Hebrews 13:15 says that “By Him (and in Him), therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Paul beseeches us to be offering ourselves daily as living sacrifices (not dead sacrifices), by Him (Jesus) being holy and acceptable unto God. Paul says in Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Nobody should have any excuse for not strengthening your home church by offering spiritual offerings to God daily, even hourly, using your bodies. In OT times, priests were offering dead sacrifices of bulls, those who could not afford had an option of offering sheep or even doves/pigeons. This tells us today that we should not have excuses of not offering sacrifices unto God because we ourselves are sacrifices that need to be offered to God when we are still alive here on earth. Not being ordained or in praise and worship/intercession/ choirmaster is not an excuse for not offering yourselves as sacrifices. Offer spiritual offerings to God by offering yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God (Rom 12:1). Offer your hands, feet, voice, eyes, as a living sacrifice unto God to worship Him through praise, singing hymns and psalms in song and dance, singing sweet melodies in public and in your heart that will be a sweet fragrance that will please God (2 Cor 2:15). Deny your hands earthly pleasures and offer your holy hands as living sacrifices trained only to glorify God in praise and as a sign of surrender (Psalm 134:2, 1 Timothy 2:8), clapping hands to exalt God as King (Psalm 47:1-2, and laying of your holy hands on the sick for them to get healed. Jesus declared to His disciples that “These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:17-18) But how can I deny my feet the pleasure of taking me where my body wants and offer them as living sacrifices to God? Paul told the Ephesian church to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness arrayed, and with your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.…” (Ephesians 6:14-16)
Having our feet fitted with the shoes of the gospel of peace allows us to be ready to share God with others at all times even in faraway places. As Christians, we should always be prepared, as we never know when and where an opportunity may arise to share the good news of the gospel with someone else.
Always “be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” (Eph 5:18-21 [KJV]) Offer your lips, hands, feet, as spiritual sacrifices unto God in thanksgiving, praise, worship, singing so that you become living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God.
Praise and worship God in your own small way at home, doing your daily chores while praising God or when in the garden humming sweet melodies unto the Lord, giving thanks always unto the Lord. We have to strengthen our home churches with our sacrifices because they are the foundation of the church of Christ. When we strengthen our home church, then the local church and the national church will be strengthened because it will be founded on the Rock of ages. And that Rock is Christ. Then, the small rock mentioned in the book of Daniel 2:31-35 that was not made by human hands (representing Christ, God’s kingdom and the church of Christ) will strike down and crush into dust the statue (that represents world’s kingdoms) to become a great mountain that will fill the earth to install a millennial reign of Christ on earth. The gates of hell shall never prevail against the church of Christ.
GOD REWARDS ALL WHO CONFESS CHRIST TO OTHERS WITH POWER TO BIND WHAT YOU DON’T WANT
“And I Will Give Unto You All The Keys Of The Kingdom Of Heaven: And Whatsoever You Shall Bind On Earth Shall Be Bound In Heaven:” (Matthew 16:19 [KJV])
And Jesus when addressing all the disciples, He told them, “Now that you know that I am the Christ, the Messiah who was prophesied, the anointed one of God who has the anointing of God upon me, who has the God’s power rubbed into me by the Holy Spirit, I give you the keys of the Kingdom of God (the same anointing, the same power of God upon me I now give you), and whatever you shall bind/stop/cancel/disable here on earth/home/business/marriage/family/nation, whether it is demonic power or disease or curse or poverty shall automatically be bound/cancelled/disabled in heaven, meaning that God will bind what you bind, He will remove or cancel what you do not want and God will curse what you shall curse.
Whatever you Bind, God will Bind, What You Cancel God Will Cancel
When you have knowledge of Jesus as the Anointed One and the Anointing of God, you are given power over all the power of the enemy the devil and you can bind him and then cast him out. To bind means to tie so tightly that the person bound is immobilized and can do harm. Jesus taught that if you want to spoil a strong man’s goods, first bind him and you will easily spoil his goods and his house before you humiliate him and triumph over him. “Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.” (Matthew 12:29) The devil is powerless when faced by a person anointed with the Holy Spirit of God because Jesus rendered him powerless when He shed His own blood on the cross and He triumphed over him openly. “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk you in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And you are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col 2:6-15 [KJV])
GOD REWARDS ALL WHO CONFESS CHRIST TO OTHERS WITH POWER TO RELEASE WHAT YOU WANT
“And Whatsoever You Shall Loose On Earth Shall Be Loosed In Heaven.” (Matthew 16:19 [KJV])
Whatever you loose (release or set free), God will loose. God will reward all who confess to others that Jesus is the Christ with power to release what you want. Whatever you loose, God will loose. If you loose a person bound by demons, he or she will be loosed because believers have been given power to set captives free. Loosing means setting free and also releasing prisoners free by loosing their chains. Release what you want from heaven and shall be released because the word of God says so. Release good health, prosperity, favour of God, God’s mercies and they shall be released because He has vowed to honour His word above His name. “I will worship toward your holy temple, and praise your name for your lovingkindness and for your truth: for you have magnified your word above all your name.” (Ps 138:2 [KJV]) Whatever you loose/release/allow here on your part of the earth and in your family and in your life in form of blessing, healing, favour, will be loosed or released by heaven. If you declare healing to them who believe, they will be healed from heaven in Jesus name. “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:17-18 New King James Version)
Power over Every Other Power
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19 [KJV]) Jesus is not just interested in giving His power to whoever believes in Him for that person to enjoy power to cast out demons, power to lay your hands on the sick for them to get healed and power to set captives free. His main purpose of giving us His power is to empower us to serve Him by preaching His gospel to all nations with power. Preaching the gospel requires you to have the power of God upon you for demons to flee. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt 28:18 [KJV])
Christ Himself will empower His church so that gates of hell shall not prevail against it. He said that He shall give whoever confesses a testimony that he or she knows that Jesus is the Christ the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and that whatever we shall bind will be bound in heaven, and whatever we shall loose here on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19). Power to bind or cancel what we do not want (demons, evil, sicknesses, death) and power to loose or release what we want (blessings, good health, prosperity, peace in our bodies).
Jesus assured His disciples and is assuring those who believe in Him now that greater miracles/works than the ones He did shall we do because He delegated that power to us to exercise as He went to heaven to be set at the right hand of God in heaven. “I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:12-13 [HCSB])