If you have your Bibles, if you’ll turn to Matthew chapter 16. I wanna share passage as we start this year, and I feel like the the Lord is, is wanting us to. To hear what he is saying to his disciples. Then when we get to Matthew chapter 16, Jesus has been ministering for approximately two years. Uh, his ministry has been going on.
[00:00:22] They’ve seen the signs and wonders. He preached the gospel of the kingdom. They’ve been with him, and now he’s getting ready to transition to take him a little deeper. So Matthew chapter 16, verse 13, uh, beginning there, it says, when Jesus came into the region of accessory Philippi, he asked his disciples.
[00:00:41] Saying, who do men say that I the son of man am? And they said, well, some say John the Baptist and some Elijah and others, Jeremiah. Or one of the prophets, and he said to them, but who do you say that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, you’re the Christ the Son of the living God and Jesus. And said to him, blessed are you Simon Verona for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father, who is in heaven,
[00:01:07] Now, this is such a profound passage. Uh, Jesus is asking them, he, they’ve seen the miracles, they’ve seen the healings. They’ve seen the different things that he’s done. They’ve seen walk on water, I’ve seen multiply the bread. They’ve seen all these things. He says, who to men say that I am? And they say, well, some say you’re this or that.
[00:01:25] All those that he talked about are dead. So they obviously had some understanding that there was gonna be a resurrection, that there was gonna. Some power of God are released there. But his question is to them, who do you say that I am? And Peter jumps in there and says, you’re the Christ son of the living God.
[00:01:47] And it’s so important for us to, to re, to understand that we need revelation of who Jesus. I grew up in church. I, I mean, I don’t remember missing many Sundays in my li entire life. Not many Sunday nights or Wednesday nights either. So I understood about Jesus. I, I knew all about Jesus. But the real issue is, is not about how much information you know, it’s about the revelation that you have of who he is.
[00:02:18] That’s something that the spirit does, and that’s what God is want us to have. It’s not He want us to have just, uh, an informational knowledge of God. He wants us to have a revelation of who he is, because the revelation that you have of who Jesus is will determine how you. It’ll determine your faith.
[00:02:38] It’ll determine your prayer level. Uh, I know it’s profound. This week, pastor Chris had us praying and the way he set it up was that the first night, talked about father. The second night, uh, Kevin talked about the names of God, and then we talked about prayer. Well, why? Because how you see Father, how you determined how you see him determines how you’re gonna pray.
[00:03:02] If we’re supposed to pray to father. If you don’t have a, a revelation of his love, a revelation of who he is, you, you’re not gonna have much prayer life. It’s just the way it is. So to, to continue that, we need a revelation of who he is, who is Jesus to you? Is he your savior? Great. He’s more than. , you know, you have a revelation that he’s your loving father.
[00:03:33] How about, do you have a revelation that he’s, Lord, do you have a revelation that he is the king of kings, the Lord of lords. He is the alpha, the omega, the beginning and the end. He’s a true and faithful witness in everything in between. See the revelation that, that we have, and again, not, I’m not talking about information, but I’m talking about revelation will determine how you live and how you relate to him and how you relate on this earth and really what God has called us to do.
[00:03:57] Look, God is want us to, he’s taking his disciples and he is taking them someplace. He is taking them to a deeper revelation of who he is. So, you know, he says, Hey Peter, that’s great. Um, bluster you because you’ve. Because this has not been revealed to you by man, but by my father. Now look at verse 18 and 19 to you that your Peter and on this rock, I will build my church and the gates of Haiti shall not prevail against it.
[00:04:26] I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth will be bound and whatever in heaven and whatever you losen or to be loosed in heaven. Like I’m saying, what Jesus is doing here, he’s taking his disciples and he’s taken them and he has taken them into a place they’ve never been before.
[00:04:43] So in these two verses, he does a number of things. Number one, he introduces them to the church. Church has never mentioned this the first time it’s mentioned in Matthew, or actually in the gospels. It’s only mentioned twice in Matthew, uh, chapter 16, chapter 18, Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom.
[00:05:04] His, he’s the king and his dominion, and he demonstrated the kingdom in everything that he did. So the church is not, it’s not a afterthought? No. He’s just, he, he establishing his kingdom, his rule and reign. And now he’s saying, okay, now I’m gonna introduce you to. The church. So it’s important what he says here.
[00:05:26] So number one, this church that he’s building, number one he is building his church, is built upon the revelation of who he is. And again, if you’ve raised Catholic it, you know that people say it’s built upon Peter, but the re, but whatever it is, that’s built up upon the revelation of who Jesus is and this their.
[00:05:47] That, know who he is and understand who he is. So the church that he’s building is built upon Revelation first of who he is. And then look at it. It says that the, uh, the gates of Haiti should not prevail against it. Now what he’s introducing us to is the fact that the church is called into warfare. . I mean, we’d love to stay away and, you know, peace and have no problems.
[00:06:14] But no, the truth is, is that there’s a couple of things here. Number one, gates don’t attack. That’s right. Never been attacked by gate. There were some people, I, I had friends in college that they, they got attacked by Gates, but it was their fault, not the gate fault. . The, uh, truth is, is that no GA don’t attack.
[00:06:33] On the other hand, if you take it into a spiritual sense, uh, the rulers, the powers, those that are in charge usually sit at the. So what he’s saying is, is that, look, the church that I’m building, if the gates, the, the powers to be are not gonna prevail against it, we win. Yeah. But there is gonna be conflict.
[00:06:54] Yeah. So he introduces, and these two verses, I mean, if a huge. Dynamics of where we’re headed and where we are actually today, where they were headed. So he is saying, okay, I’m gonna build my church. It is going to be a church that’s going to have, it’s gonna be attacking and, and, and basic defending, but we win.
[00:07:15] There’s gonna be spiritual warfare. The next thing in verse 19 says, I’ll give to you the keys to the kingdom. If someone gives you keys, you’ve been given the authority to open or. That’s an interesting, I mean, I don’t give it to you the keys of the kingdom, so whatever you binding will be bound or whatever you lose will be loose.
[00:07:34] Again, it’s not based on what I want to do. It’s, I didn’t come to do my will. I can do his will. I can’t bind stuff just cause I want to be buying and stuff. It’s gotta already be bound. I can’t lose things unless it’s already been loose. But what he’s saying is, I’m my church that, that I’m building. You’re gonna be built upon people who have a revelation of who I am.
[00:07:57] There is going to be warfare. I’ve already given you the victory of that warfare. I’ve given you authority to represent heaven. Isn’t that amazing? Amen. So in two verses here, he talks about, he says, who am I? And they say, you are the Christ, the son of the living God. He says, it’s right now based upon that guys, I’m going to, I’m gonna bill my church and the gates of hell not prevail.
[00:08:20] I’ve given to you the authority to represent me on earth. Now, let me just go back just a little bit. We talked about this in, in next steps. When he used the word church, the word was elicia. Okay? Now, if he, if, if you’ve been standing there and Jesus has said, I’m gonna build my eia, they would’ve all go.
[00:08:43] They would’ve go. Because that was a Greek word that had been used for hundreds of years that it, and the word literally means to be called out to represent something. It would’ve been more closely aligned to our city councils today. In our cities, the Greeks had used it at at least 600 years before the time of Christ.
[00:09:08] And so everywhere that they went, they set up an licia. They called people out, empowered them to represent the Greeks. Rome picked it up and they did the exact same thing. They used the same term. They set up this exact same thing and the Roman, where the Roman empower would establish, they would go in and they would call people out and say, you are in charge and you represent us here.
[00:09:38] That’s what Jesus just got through telling them, so he didn’t, Samuel to build my. they would’ve. Okay, got it. Temple Temple’s gonna be rebuilt. He didn’t say, I’m gonna build my synagogue. He didn’t say, I’m gonna build my tabernacle. He did not use a religious term. He used a secular term and they would’ve all been shocked they would going, wow, cuz they, they know what an EC is.
[00:10:04] See, it’s the people called out to rule. So Jesus is making it very clear. So if you go back and think about what he’s saying here, he. My church are people called out of darkness that have a revelation of who I am, and I’m empowering them to represent me here on Earth. That’s what he’s saying. I’m sure that’s the concept you have of church today
[00:10:33] says, that’s not the concept. I grew up in church. Go. I go to church, you go to church, we all go to church. It’s just we’ve used it. We’ve moved it. When we went to Romania in, uh, first time I ever got to go over there was 1990, and again, I grew up in the age when Russia and Communism, and it was the conflict that was going on during that whole time we were in high school and, and getting a little older and, and went over there.
[00:11:00] And I mean the, the effects that communism, social. That have, it’s unbelievable. Doesn’t work. I’ve been all over the world. It doesn’t work anywhere, never has worked, never will work cuz it’s not the kingdom. And so no matter what philosophy you think, it won’t work. And so I was shocked though when I got there because the devastation was worse than I thought it would be.
[00:11:24] The conditions were much worse than I thought they would be. But also what I was shocked by is that there were churches. And I thought, hmm, I thought there wouldn’t be any churches know. The Orthodox Church was there, they had beautiful buildings. Uh, they were Baptist churches, Pentecostal churches, different, different groups.
[00:11:45] And actually more than a few. I, I’m just going, well, I don’t understand. I thought they were anti-Christ. They wouldn’t be at any church. Well, what I found out is that like in most of the world, there is a visible church and then there’s the invisible church like we have in China and other parts of the world.
[00:12:05] But, um, the visible church, they, this is what you could do, meet all. You want to go over there, just do church, do whatever you want to church. But when you walk out that door, . You better leave all that stuff inside that building. Well, aren’t you glad we haven’t done that
[00:12:26] That’s exactly what the enemy has done. He’s, he’s told us, you run up there and go to church, have a good time. But by golly, when you go out there, don’t you act like that? That’s why it’s profound what Pastor Chris has to go out and be the church to the church. We need to be the church, the church. We’ve gotta change the way we think because God’s definition of church is different than our definition of church.
[00:12:53] His definition is a people that have a revelation of who he is, that are e empowered to represent him on earth. Amen. Amen. That’s what we’re supposed to do. We’re supposed to go out and be light and salt to the world around us, and that’s really what he wants to do, is it’s. , take us there. Let me continue on.
[00:13:16] If the Jesus commanded his disciples in verse 20, they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ. From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem. Suffer many things from the elders and chief priests inscribes and be killed and be raised the third day. Now you understand what I’m saying here?
[00:13:35] He’s, he’s taking them and he is taking them into a whole nother realm of revelation and understanding of what his call was and where he’s going. And then they basically said, and then Peter returned to him in verse 23. Oh, I’m sorry, verse 22. You said Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, far be it from you, Lord, this shall never not happen to you.
[00:14:02] You turn and said to Peter, get behind me, Satan, for you’re an offense to me for, you’re not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men. I mean, I, I’m just, I read that, I mean, thinking to myself, I’m just like Peter. You know, have great revelation, and the next thing I do is do something stupid. And actually, you think about this.
[00:14:24] Here’s Peter. I mean, I just, I put myself in Peter’s place. He’s got this revelation. Jesus said, that’s it, Peter, man, you got it. You got that from God. Sure Peter’s going, man, I did. I got that from God . And I mean with, I don’t know how long this transpired. I don’t, it couldn’t have been very long . And now Jesus has called him Satan
[00:14:48] I mean, it’s like, man, I can’t win for losing here. And so, but what’s the issue? Well, the issue is very clear. I love what Jesus says. He goes, you’re not mindful of the things of God, but the things of man. So you want to know what’s going on here is that, remember Romans eight says, the mindset on the flesh is death, but the mindset on the spirit is life and peace.
[00:15:09] So what God is saying is, is that, look, you wanna follow me and you want to be, allow the kingdom to come and be part of what I’ve called you to do. You’ve gotta set your mind on things. That’s what Colossians one says. If you’re in Christ, set your mind on things above. For Christ has succeeded. It means you can.
[00:15:29] If God doesn’t tell you to do things, if you can’t do it, it means you can do it. So you have to control your thought life that you gonna think on God or you gonna think on yourself. The moment that it gets inward focus, it’s all about me. We, we open our door. We open the door to the enemy to begin to speak to us.
[00:15:50] And harass us and to literally keep us back. And that’s really what this is saying. Enemy tries to do that. Uh, as I said earlier, growing up in church, um, I grew up in church. I knew about Jesus. I would’ve said, I’m born again, for sure. But I’ll tell you, I’m like Peter, at this stage, I didn’t have any real power.
[00:16:12] I, I, I, I was up and down like a yo-yo and, um, thought process and all kinds of things. I just didn’t have any victory that way. Uh, look at Peter. Peter gets rebuked here, chapter 17, youth. Jesus takes him up on the Mount of Transfiguration. He has an in, I mean, he sees. The glory. I mean, he sees God transform.
[00:16:36] Jesus transformed before his very eyes. He sees a glimpse into the spirit realm. You know, so it’s interesting. Peter later we know, denies Christ. The interesting thing is that Peter has a revelation of who Jesus is, but he’s still back and forth. You know, it’s like, what’s going on here? I’m sin that I was, that’s how lived and, and didn’t really have any victory at all, but I was going to.
[00:17:02] I was in church all the time. So the good news is Jesus never gave up on Peter. Peter who denied him and ran off. Jesus told him, he says, Satan’s gonna come and sift you, but I’ve prayed for you. He never once changed his perspective on Peter. Thank God he never changed his perspective on me. And by the way, he is never changed his perspective.
[00:17:29] He’s not changed one thing, he has not thought one bad thing about you. And if you’re thinking bad things about yourself, he came from the devil. That’s right. Amen. So you gotta realize that no matter what Now, Peter, what happened to him? Well, Jesus restores him. and he comes at this, the sea. Well, he’s fishing, he’s restored him and he never changes his mind about Peter.
[00:17:55] So Acts chapter two comes in the church’s birth with the day of Pentecost and they’re all filled with the Holy Spirit. And here we have now, Peter, who ran off and hid, was just a little servant girl saying, Hey, aren’t you one of those that have been with Jesus? And he cusses and runs off to, he’s standing.
[00:18:16] And boldly preaching the gospel to 3000 people, cuz 3000 souls. And that’s probably men only. So that means there are maybe four or 5,000 people there that he’s preaching to. He didn’t do that in the upper room. They didn’t have a building big enough to get a hundred more that many people in. So that means he’s out in the street boldly proclaiming.
[00:18:36] And then the next chapter, he’s going to the, the temple to pray. And he encounters the man at the, at the. and he looks to him like, I’m gonna get something. And he says, silver and gold. I don’t have what I do have in the name of Jesus. Rise up in walk and he rises up in walks. He’s 38 years. He’s been a crippled.
[00:18:57] I mean, I want to, I want to be that Peter, you know what I’m saying? Instead of that other Peter. And then after that they are, they pulled him in the same people that Jesus stood before that was condemned to die and an Isa high priest and the entire council. And they pull Peter in and Peter boldly tells them about the Christ.
[00:19:22] Wow. Yeah. Really, you know, the only thing that happened got baptized in. That’s exactly the same thing that happened to Susan. 9 19 82, grew up in church like a yo-Yo up and down. And then 1982 encountered the power of the spirit. Our lives changed our life, and it doesn’t make Peter perfect and it doesn’t make us perfect, but I wanna tell you, it’s a dramatically difference, and that’s really what God wants.
[00:19:53] and Peter is a perfect example of that, uh, of his lifestyle into where he ended up and how God was using him to see miracles and signs and wonders. And so God wants to do that to all of us. Also, he wants us to have a revelation of who he is, but I’ll tell you, he wants to empower us to be his church. He doesn’t want us to go to church.
[00:20:14] And I’m not saying don’t, don’t attend. Chris will shoot me
[00:20:20] but he, he, that’s not the, that’s not the issue. He wants us to, to change the way we think we need together. Together. It’s a whole reason we’re having small groups in the different gatherings we have. We need each other, but we’ve got think differently instead of attending a meeting to where we are a people.
[00:20:37] Yes, we’re a people empowered by God. We’re here for a reason. We’re here to represent him. We’re here to make a difference. We’re here to extend his rule and reign on earth. Why would he have us pray for His kingdom to come and his will to be done on earth? So I just want us to, to, to really believe this is what God has for us.
[00:20:58] Now let me just finish here in verse 24. And following. Jesus said to his disciples, if anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life, for my sake will find it. For what prophet is it to a man if he gains the whole world and he loses his own soul.
[00:21:21] What will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the son of man will come in the glory of his father and his angels, and then he will reward each according to his works. You wanna follow Jesus? That’s what he says. If you wanna follow him, you gotta deny yourself. Pick up your cross and follow him. You know, you’ve gotta, the whole point he’s making here is that you can’t live for.
[00:21:48] Amen. Amen. If you live for yourself, you’re going to be continually harassed by the enemy. You’re gonna be constantly focused on bad things, negative things, and what’s not happening, and you gotta realize that you wanna follow the Lord. You’ve gotta fit your gaze on him and sit your mind on him. You need to be empowered by the spirit.
[00:22:08] And as I close, I always want to say a couple of things. You may be here today, you may not really know. You may not have a revelation of who he really is. Um, I grew up in church, you know, and I knew about Jesus. I really believe I was born again, but that always, you know, we could be in church. Going to a meeting, but not really.
[00:22:34] No. Jesus. So I’m gonna pray here in just a minute, but I mean, don’t leave here without knowing for sure that you, that he is constantly knocking on your door. He is constantly pursuing us. He has never left us. You may be someone here that estranged from God, like I shared about Peter. It may have been for you.
[00:22:54] He never left Peter. He never had a bad thought about Peter, even though rebuked him for, for not having good thoughts about him. But he, but he never, he never changed his opinion of Peter. He knew where Peter, he had a plan for Peter’s life. He has a plan for your life too. And you may be here and you say, you know, I’m like Peter, I’m up and down like a yo-yo, and I need the power of God in my life.
[00:23:22] I can assure you we all need the power of the spirit in our.