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Matthew 16

Peter's Confession of Christ

Three things:

18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church,
1) Rock - In Aramaic the word for rock would have been the same. However, the Bible (NT) is written in Greek for a reason. The richness of the Greek language much of the time has more than one Greek word for our English word.

This is the case here. Peter's rock is a stone. The church's rock is a massive stone, large crag, just plain big. So what is Christ building His church on?

Eph 2:20
built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.

God's Household - believers - assembly - Church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. It is not the men themselves - but what they taught and proclaimed - God's Word.

2) and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

Gates here in the Greek is the gates that keep people in. These are the prison gates of Hades, not hell. It does not say Gehenna. Hades is the place before the cross where everyone's soul went after death. Had a good side, a large seperation, and a bad side.

The prison gates of Hades will not be able to overcome it (the church). Why? because death was defeated at the cross, and the believers when they die will now go to heaven. Hades will not prevail over the church. Although wicked will still be there until Gehenna is created and they are cast into that different place.

3) I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[e] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beloosed in heaven."

The keys are not only for Peter but also the apostles, and in Matthew 18:18 - the church.

What are the keys to the kingdom? They are the teachings of knowledge based on God's word.

Luke 11:52 "Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering."

Peter, the apostles and even the church will have the ability to teach correctly God's Word, which will allow people entry into heaaven.

"bound" thing is badly translated. Most scholars agree it is "shall have been bound in heaven" (perfect tense). Same for loose. Based on teaching of God's Word whatever is bound or loosed - Heaven is in agreement, because His will is being done on earth and in heaven. We have no authority it is all based on the acceptance or rejection of God's Word.

Matthew 17


Unfortunately there is a man made chapter break here between 16 and 17. There is no such break in Mark 9 and Luke 9.

In Matthew 16:27 it says Son of man will come in His glory. In 16:28 it says some here will not die till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom. Kingdom can also be translated "royal power".

That is exactly what happened when the three apostles saw Christ transfigured. They saw Christ in His glory and royal power. Why three apostles - it takes two to three witnesses in Jewish law to verify an incident.

John 1:14 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.
- Don't be hard on Peter here. It was the feast of tabernacles, and offering to build three shelters/tents was not that crazy an idea.

- Moses, Elijah, Jesus. Representing the Law, the Prophets, and the New Covenant?????? Perhaps.
Pre-Trib People

If you hold the PRe-Trib view it is also symbolic.
- Moses - representing the dead believers.
- Elijah - who was carried up alive to be with God representing the people raptured.
- Apostles - representing the believers on earth after the rapture.
- Christ - the vehicle of it all in His Glory.

My thoughts on Matthew 17:1-8

Whenever I read about the transfiguration in Matthew, Mark, or Luke, it brings me such a feeling of joy and comfort. I think about how Peter, James and John must have felt when they saw Jesus in all His glory and how each of us will feel when we enter the Kingdom and see Jesus in all His glory. How marvelous it will be to look upon my resurrected and crowned Savior on His throne!

I think what it must have been like for Peter, James and John to not only see Moses and Elijah in their glorified human form but to recognize and know them as well and how we will do the same. I can imagine walking down the street in the Kingdom and passing one of the great leaders or prophets of the Old Testament or one of the apostles in the New Testament and to see, recognize, and know them. This also says to me that if we recognize them then we will also recognize those saints that have played a part in our lives. All of our loved ones that centered their lives on Jesus Christ and have passed on before us will be in the Kingdom when we arrive and we will see them again and recognize them as well. We will even be able to talk with them again as Jesus talked with Moses and Elijah. What a joyous occasion it will be when we enter the Kingdom!

I feel that the transfiguration was given to us for two purposes. First to assure us that Jesus Christ is the one and only true Messiah and secondly to assure us all saints are or will be with Christ whether they be the saints or old or the saints of today and upon my passing I shall join them in the Kingdom. Praise the Lord!

God Bless!

Yes, i do agree that the church is a beautiful 'thing' that God started, and yet why is it that 'the local church' for many people has become such a source of pain on many levels. Perhaps people expect too much of 'their church' without putting much back into it. If we are members of a family we all have responsibilities and 'chores' as it were, but there are also 'perks' that come from being in right relationship with each other.

I do find it puzzling that Jesus spoke only twice about 'church' throughout the 4 gospels, but spoke abundantly of the kingdom of God/heaven. What's up with that? Perhaps the local church is the outpost of the kingdom of God, or perhaps the local church is one of many beautiful expressions of the kingdom of God on earth. MY struggle is when we say that the only way God shows himself is ONLY through the local church, and put everyone else in the 'para category.' as if all our multiplicity of denominational preferences were actually what Jesus had in mind. Let's be careful not to insist on a 'church form' as being sanctioned by God when we are really emphasizing our own preference.

having said that, i believe we must be associated with a local community of believers whether you find them in a cathedral, a 'box or mega church', house church, campus group. God has many expressions of His Spirit at work in believers as 1 corinthians 12 teaches us.


Interesting thoughts on the church--I share many of your concerns regarding the fragmentation of the body of Christ through denominationalism. Especially in light of Christ's prayer in John 17, I feel we are missing the mark:

"I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in Me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one—as You are in Me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in Us so that the world will believe You sent Me.
I have given them the glory You gave Me, so they may be one as We are one.
I am in them and You are in Me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that You sent Me and that You love them as much as You love Me. -John 17: 20-23

I'm reading a book called "Reimagining Church" by Frank Viola right now. It's given me much food for thought regarding the institutional church. Philip Yancey has also written a book about his experiences and thoughts on the Church. I love His church, the community of believers across the world and I love the local church, though I recognize it's been a source of many ills along with blessings. Mankind is good at making a muck of things.

Truthfully, I don't feel like I've come to the bottom of the matter in my heart yet. Scripturally, I believe it's clear that that we need to be in a community of other Christian believers...the NT "body" metaphor pretty much establishes that in my mind. I DO believe that His body can take many forms and that authenticity has got to be one of its hallmarks, no matter what shape it takes. I am leary of authority driven individuals within the church, because Christ was too.

I suspect we do expect too much from the church and too little from ourselves. In our entertainment driven society, I worry that we have become spectators, back seat drivers, when we need to be out walking through His world in ways that require sacrifice of self.

Praise Be to God , I am just making a comment , pertaining to the picture you posted of the body of Christ, I notice there is not one black person in this picture , I have just started this one year Bible Blog, But I must admit I am so tired of people confessing to be Christians as long as it fits in their little imaginary minds of what christianity is. So many people will be left behind and I pray I am not one of them. God is a sprite there is no color. Please understand this. It doesn't matter to me one way or the other , but since you posted this picture at least ,post one that does include all of the imaginary colors. Be Bless in the mind.

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