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"-
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
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"
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.And "the troubled valley"
will yet become "a door of hope...for my people that have
sought me"-Hosea 2v14,15 & Isaiah 65v8-10-link to 'leprous'.
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.