FOUNDATION & OBLIGATION

                            the foundation of the ecclesia

          and the process of withdrawal

                                                                                              

     It  is  absolutely vital for us to correctly understand   the var-

     ious precepts set down in the word of God.    As Paul writes-

 

     "Which things also we speak,  not in the words which man's

     wisdom  teacheth,  but which the holy  spirit  teacheth;    com-

     paring spiritual things with spiritual"- 1st Corinthians 2v13.

 

     It  is  also vital to be able to recognize when wrong interpre-

     tations  are  forced  upon  the  Scriptures–  as   Paul  writes-

     "And this  I  pray,  that  your love may abound yet more and

     more in  knowledge and in  all  judgment;  That ye may app-

     rove  (mg.  "try")  things  that  are  excellent  (mg. "differ");

     that  ye  may  be sincere and without offence until the day of

     Christ"- Philippians 1v10. John agrees in 1st John 4v1 when

     he writes- "Beloved, believe not every spirit,    but try the spi-

     rits whether they are of God:  because  many  false prophets

     are gone out into the world".  He  is  referring  to the advice

     given in Proverbs 14v15-  "The simple believeth every word:

     but the prudent man looketh well to his going".

 

     And may you, the viewer,  be "prudent",  and  "believe not..

     every  word",  or  teaching,  which  has  been  fed  to you by

     "the church", but  TEST THEM OUT FROM THE WORD

     OF GOD.  Once this is done,  follow the advice  of Paul-

     "Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good"-

                                                                                Romans 12v9.

 

     Nowhere is this more necessary and essential  than when we

                consider the two sayings of Jesus recorded in

         1.  Matthew 16v13-20—the foundation of the ecclesia

                                          and

         2.  Matthew 18v15-22—the process of withdrawal

     THE FIRST IS AN IRREVOCABLE PROPHECY

     THE SECOND IS A COMMAND TO FOLLOW

                THE WILL OF GOD IN CHRIST

 

     The apostacy today falsely claims    apostolic succession by

           No.1 & infallibility for its words & actions by No.2.

 

     SCRIPTURE  SHOWS  BOTH  CLAIMS TO BE FALSE.

     So that  you, the viewer,  might comprehend why we reject

     the above claims,it is necessary to examine Matt. 16 & 18.

 

     1. Matthew 16v13-20:  In this passage  Jesus speaks of the

         establishment  of  His  ecclesia.  In  verse 18  Jesus says:

         "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, 

           and upon this rock I will build my ecclesia".

         The apostate  Roman "church" interprets this to say that

         the ecclesia will be built upon Peter. If this were the case,

         it  would  have  been  a spectacular failure  right from the

         start,   for Peter not long afterwards denied his Lord three

         times!  However, this is  NOT what  Jesus  is saying atall.

 

         'Peter' is from the Greek 'petros',   signifying 'a fragment

         of rock, a pebble'-i.e.a VERY INSIGNIFICANT THING.

         But 'rock' is from the Greek 'petra',   signifying an immov-

         able rock, or cliff"-i.e. a VERY SUBSTANTIAL THING.

         It  is  in       fact  a term applied to God Himself, a very differ-

         ent thing  to  Peter, or  indeed  any mortal fallible human.

         'Petros' is masculine, & 'petra' is feminine,  in the Greek,

         and so it is obvious that "this rock" is NOT Peter!

 

         The "rock"  to which Jesus refers,  and  which He tells us

         will be the foundation of His ecclesia,  is found in verse16-

                "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God".

         When  Jesus then  in verse 18 refers to "this rock",  there

         can be no doubt atall that he is referring to the confession

         which Peter had made,  &  NOT  TO PETER HIMSELF!

 

         Peter was "blessed", v17, for one fact alone-

         "..for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee,

                        but my Father which is in heaven".

         The blessed position of Peter can be shared by all-

         "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;

         and with  the mouth confession is made unto salvation"

                                                                            -Romans 10v10.

 

         It  is  evident  that the rock,  or foundation of the ecclesia,

         rests  upon  a  far  firmer  support  than Peter, and in fact

         it rests  upon Jesus Christ Himself, and the truth concern-

         ing  His Divine Sonship,  and all that involves.  For details

         link to 'statement'. We read in 1st Corinthians 3v11-

         "For OTHER FOUNDATION  can  NO MAN LAY  than

                   THAT IS LAID, WHICH IS JESUS CHRIST".

         In  fact,  Jesus  Christ  is    "the  chief corner stone" of this

         spiritual edifice,  which shall  in  the future  be revealed in

         all its glory-link to 'the Lord's day'- 8th Vision for details.

 

         And so the position of Peter becomes irrelevant to the fact

         that the ecclesia was to be built upon

         HIS   CONFESSION   THAT  JESUS  IS  THE  CHRIST.

         The  claims  of  Rome  that  Peter was the first head of the

         Roman  "church",  and  that  the  present bishop    sits over

         the  bones  of  Peter  in  Rome,  would be laughable      if they

         were  not  also  blasphemous.  The enormity of the aposta-

         cy's sins is  that the people  have been so grievously misled

         by her,  and  are thus consigned to  a position of   having no

         hope  of  salvation.  Link  to  'departure' for the process of

         apostacy.   Link  also  via  'Index' to 'God'- 'spirit'- 'Bible'-

         'devil'-  'satan'-  'baptism'- 'apocalypse'  for  more  details.

 

         There  is  absolutely  no  evidence  that  Peter ever  visited

         Rome–  and even if he had done so,    he would have had no

         connection with any departure  from  the Faith.  Certainly

         Peter  had  an  important  work  to do as the Apostle to Is-

         rael,  whereas  Paul  was the Apostle to the Gentiles.      How-

         ever, even here,      Paul needed to correct Peter on one occ-

         asion–  Galatians 2v11-14. We mention this purely so that

         viewers  can  put  this whole subject into context,     and un-

         derstand  the  meaning  of  the  foundation of the ecclesia.

 

         It must be said in closing that Peter was of  a big heart,  &

         was  later    to write with pathos of the example of his Lord,

         and his own repented-of failure,     when  "guile" was found

         in his mouth–  1st Peter 2v18-25.  He did  "return unto the

         Shepherd  and Bishop of (his) soul"..link to 'signs'-the 8th.

         Peter  also wrote of  "our  beloved  brother  Paul" and his

         written testimonies  (included  in  which was   the rebuke to

         Peter at Antioch, see above).     This showed his true worth-

         he did love the Lord,  as he maintained–      and in the words

         of  Paul  concerning  the  faithful  of  earlier  ages, "out of

         weakness (was) made strong"-  Hebrews 11v34.     Jesus in

         fact said to him- "when thou art converted,    strengthen thy

         brethren"- Luke 22v31,32-cp John 21v15-19.

 

         One other fact must be noted concerning  the  confession  of

         Peter, upon  which  the  foundation of the ecclesia  was laid.

         The words as recorded  in  v19  give  a true rendering of the

         original Greek,    and  this  becomes important when we con-

         trast  them  to  the  words recorded in Matthew 18, concern-

         ing a different subject altogether.   For the moment, we note

         that Jesus says-    "I  will  give unto thee the keys of the king-

         dom of heaven".  Keys are meant to be used,      and when they

         are used to open a door,  people  may  then enter inside,          via

         that open door. This is what Peter did; he used the keys-

 

         FIRSTLY, on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2-to devout Jews, &

         SECONDLY, Acts 10-to devout Gentiles in Cornelius' house.

         (Further reference may be made to 'Elpis Israel',   an exposi-

          tion by John Thomas,  written  in  1849,  p188-218  14th ed.)

         The fact is that once the keys had been used,  there should be

         no need for them to be used again.However,   as has happened

         many times  in the history of  God's  people, wicked  men and

         apostate orders of men have made it their practice  to  SHUT

         THESE  OPEN  DOORS  TO THEIR OWN ADVANTAGE.

 

         Consider, for example,  Ahaz,  who "shut up the doors of the

         house of the LORD,  and he made him altars in every corner

         of Jerusalem"- 2nd Chronicles 28v24. His son Hezekiah was

         faithful,  however,  and  later "opened the doors of the house

         of the Lord, and repaired them",  testifying that "our fathers

         have trespassed..Also  they  have  shut  up  the  doors  of  the

         porch" etc., 2nd Chronicles 29v3,6,7.  After cleansing Judah

         of  all  its  abominations,   Hezekiah  held  a  great  Passover

         feast, to which  all Israel was invited.   The faithful attended.

 

         In the days of the Lord,  He  denounced    the scribes and Pha-

         risees saying- "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,   hyp-

         ocrites!  for  ye  shut  up  the kingdom of heaven against men:

         for  ye  neither  go  in  yourselves,   NEITHER  SUFFER  YE

         THEM THAT ARE ENTERING TO GO IN"-

         Matthew 23v13, cp Luke 11v52-"ye have taken away the key

         of knowledge...them that were entering in  YE HINDERED".

         Our  loving  Father  in  Heaven, however,    is not unmindful of

         this wickedness.   Through Christ     He has laid the foundation

         of His ecclesia, and it is not possible,  where the Word of God

         is known,   for any person  or  apostacy to mislead the humble.

         Through all ages,  those who seek  for    the Truth are not for-

         gotten. Jesus has promised-  " Seek, and ye shall find; knock,

         AND  IT  SHALL  BE OPENED UNTO YOU"-Matthew 7v7.         

 

         As to Philadelphia,  "These  things  saith  he  that is holy,    he

         that is true, he that hath  THE  KEY OF DAVID, HE THAT

         OPENETH,  AND  NO  MAN  SHUTTETH;  AND SHUTT-

         ETH,  AND  NO  MAN  OPENETH;  I know thy works:   be-

         hold,  I  HAVE  SET  BEFORE  THEE  AN  OPEN DOOR,

         AND  NO  MAN CAN  SHUT IT". The qualification for this

         blessing is- "for thou hast a little strength,   and hast kept my

         word,  and  hast  not denied  my  name"- Revelation 3v7,8.

         However in Laodicea it was necessary to "open the door" -

         v20 - & Laodicea represents the last days in which we live…

         link to 'messages' for the prophetic import.

 

         The  small  Philadelphian  ecclesia  had  stood  against error,

         which was  institutionalized in  "the  synagogue of  THE  SA-

         TAN (original)  which say they are Jews and  are not,  but do

         lie"- v9.   Link to  'satan' re this theme,       and the way in which

         the apostacy  grew and migrated  into Gentile lands,    there to

         rest  in Rome.  She  has  endeavoured  to ban      the Scriptures-

         successfully so,  during  the period of  "the dark ages", when

         to  own  a  copy  of  the  Scriptures,    especially  in       one's own

         tongue,   was a sufficient reason for torture and a cruel death.

         But her political power, as prophesied, ended in AD1870. For

         a short time,  she will  re-assert  it,      but she will be destroyed

         by  Jesus  Christ  and  the redeemed- link to 'the Lord's day'.

 

         Rome  has  "shut up  the kingdom of heaven against men" by

         tak(ing) away the key of knowledge"-  Matthew 23v13;   Luke

         11v52. But in our days, the Bible has become accessible to all

         who wish to read it.  The power of the apostacy to deceive has

         been broken for  all those who sincerely and humbly   seek the

         Truth.  This is a great blessing–     cp. 1st Corinthians 15v57.

         And if we place our trust in the word  of God,  the experience

         of Paul will be ours"a door was opened unto me of the Lord"

         -2nd Corinthians 2v12.."a great door and effectual is opened

         unto me"-16v9. And ultimately, in time, "a door(will be)open-

         ed" for our salvation,  for  Jesus Christ has  "the keys of hell

         and of death"- Revelation 4v1; 1v18.

 

         On page 2  we shall examine  the other scripture wrested from

         its  context,  i.e.  Matthew 18v15-22,  which  deals  with an en-

         tirely different matter,  i.e.  the  commandments  to conform to

         Divine  principles  when  dealing   with  error  in  the  ecclesia.

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