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Today, Catholicism and many branches of Christianity use one particular bible verse to defend the claim that their particular church leader is the leader of Christ’s church on earth.   Some believe that the Pope is Christ’s leader; others have a bishop or apostle leading their churches as if they are Christ’s only ambassador(s).  Many churches have through this idea established a hierarchy of power in their churches, as if the church leader is the only one that is capable of being guided by the Holy Spirit.  There is today hundreds of churches that all claim to have Yahweh’s one and only true leader for Christians today leading them.  Many claim that their church leader has heavenly “power” to do certain things on earth, yet these men fail to walk through the hospitals healing the masses with this so called power.  The name of Yeshua (Jesus) is used by many men to claim power for themselves, rather than to direct souls to where true heavenly power actually exists.  Let’s first take a look at the bible verse that has been used time and time again by these leaders to claim authority over men:

“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” ~ Matthew 16:17-18

Here according to today’s translation it would appear that Jesus just established Peter as the cornerstone of His church.  Let’s take a closer look at the original translation in the Greek, to see its true meaning.  In the Greek, there is a significantly different meaning for this text.  It reads:

“That thou art “Petros” and upon this “Petra” I will build my church” ~ Matthew 16:18

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To understand the significance of this verse, one must investigate what “Petros” means.  First, realize that Peter’s name was “Simon”, yet Jesus renamed him Petros/Peter.  This name that was assigned by Yeshua to Simon holds a significant meaning.  “Petros”, means a small stone.  A pebble if you will, that is small enough to be thrown.  Jesus says, “thou art a little pebble”.  He goes on to say “and upon this “Petra” I will build my church.”  A “Petra” is a large rock or cliff face, something that is immovable.  See this link to study the Greek Lexicon pertaining to this verse.  Here Christ let’s Peter know that he is a small pebble, yet Yeshua is the ROCK, that is immovable.  We know that Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone, which cannot be moved.  Peter was merely a man chosen by God.  A pebble chosen by God that was to bring a testimony of what was revealed to him to the whole world.  This same term “Petra” is used later:

“And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:4

If you click on the red link to this verse above, it will take you to the original Greek, and you will see here that when Paul spoke of the “Rock” that was Christ- twice here the term “Petra” is used, meaning an immovable cliff or large boulder.  Jesus is the “Petra”, and upon this “Petra” he will build His church, Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone.  Peter also refers to Christ as the Rock (Petra):

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock (Petra) of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” ~ 1 Peter 2:2-8

Here, Peter speaks of Jesus being the “chief corner stone”, the stone that the builders rejected.  He then makes reference to those that stumble at His unchanging Word, and find Christ as a “Petra”, the immovable cliff/Rock of offence.  His word is unchanging, and immovable.  We urge all people to examine themselves and ask, “Is the Word of Yeshua a stumbling stone, or a rock of offence in my way?”  Ask “Have I too as a builder rejected the “Petra” Rock and His Word in favor of the words and doctrines of men?”

The Apostles of the New Testament had a very special role in God’s work.  When an individual is a witness to something, they then are able to give a testimony to what they have witnessed.  The Apostles were witnesses of the life, death and resurrection of Christ and were sent out to testify of everything they had witnessed.  When they lost Judas as he committed suicide after the death of Jesus, they needed another witness to become 12 again and they chose from two men that had been walking with them and Christ all along- having witnessed His life, death, and resurrection as well.

Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” ~ Acts 1:21-26

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Again, you can see here that the role of the Apostles was to act as a witness of Christ’s life, death and resurrection even from the time that John the Baptist began His ministry.  Matthias had witnessed these things and ultimately was chosen to be the 12th Apostle.  Then there is the unique case of the Apostle Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles.  What is interesting with Paul, is that he too became a witness, in that Christ appeared to him directly and spoke to him directly telling him what he was to do.  From the time he was blinded and spoken to by Christ, until the end of Paul’s life- Jesus Himself guided Paul in person.  Paul reveals to the Gentiles that the gospel that he preached did not come from any man, rather it came from Christ directly:

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.” ~ Galatians 1:11-19

You can see here firstly, that Paul received the gospel from Yeshua/Jesus Christ himself, and secondly you can see that He didn’t even meet the other Apostles until three years later when he went to Jerusalem and met only Peter and James.  Christ was accomplishing a work in Paul among the Gentiles that was independent of the work being accomplished by the other Apostles.  Yeshua/Jesus himself taught Paul the gospel, and it was the same gospel that was given to the original 12.  Paul too was called to be a witness of the resurrection:

“And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee ~ Acts 26:15-16

Isn’t it amazing, that with the Apostles, Christ led them Himself into all knowledge and understanding.  Is there any man today that can say that Yeshua/Jesus himself came to them directly with instruction for their message (especially these many doctrines today that contradict God’s Word found in the bible)?  Has any man been chosen by God today for this purpose, or have spiritual leaders today been ordained by other mere men with no true authority?  This question should shoot to the core of any honest man acting in an “authoritative” role of any church.  Not only did the original Apostles receive direct instructions from Yeshua, but he gave them His power in His name to actively use in bringing this gospel message.  Many of these “chosen” leaders today deny this power is available any longer.  On the contrary, there are other “healing ministries” today that travel from city to city and revolve around a big healing show on stage where they even sell tickets to those that desire to attend.  Does this sound like the work of Christ?  Did Christ ever sell one ticket to those He healed?  If any man has been given the healing power of God commissioned by Christ Himself, why is it that they wouldn’t go to the local Children’s Hospital and heal every sick child lying on their death bed out of mere compassion?  These men are deceivers.  The works of Christ are done out in the open for all to see freely, and His healing is swift and irrefutable.  Those that truly bring His Word and His healing aren’t for hire.  Their inheritance is greater than anything this world has to offer.  Paul describes the condition of many that would live in our time:

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:5-7

We are warned in Revelation to test those that say they are “Apostles” and are actually liars:

“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars ~ Revelation 2:2

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We can know for sure from this bible warning, that men would come impersonating Apostles of Christ.  The book of Revelation was written by the last living Apostle John on the Island of Patmos, and this warning came from Christ through Him.  What is the true test where one can know whether someone is an Apostle or not?  Isaiah warned “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, there is no light in them.” First please ask the question, does your leader walk according to the true gospel given by Yeshua/Jesus Christ in the bible account?  According to the gospel, the saints are found keeping and doing the commandments of God even up until the very end of heaven and earth (Revelation 14:12; 22:14).  This included the Gentiles.  If you are in a church that worships at altars, or in buildings dedicated to God, or has holy items within your church that are made with man’s hands, please know that this is idolatry according to the bible and this violates the 2nd commandment of Exodus 20.  The leaders of these kinds of organizations transgress the commandments of the Kingdom of God, and are not guided by Christ at all.  If your leaders lead you to worship on the Roman day called “Sunday“, please know that this is not the true Sabbath day of the bible, and this too violates the Sabbath Commandment.  Would Christ sanction any change to the commandments that in effect would contradict his own word?:

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:18-20

In studying the bible, you will see that the original Apostles in no way changed the commandments of God; rather they kept them, and did them.  In their keeping and doing the commandments of God out of love for the Father and faith in the Son, they exceeded the righteousness of the Pharisee.  Righteousness means “obedience to the laws, statutes and ordinances of God.”

“And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.” ~ Deuteronomy 6:25

“My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.” ~ Psalm 119:172

“Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law ~ Isaiah 51:7

“And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” ~ Luke 1:6

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Please consider these things in your walk of faith.  If you are currently a church leader in a role of authority, ask yourself- “Has Jesus given me this authoritative role, or is it ordained by man?”  For those that are honest at heart, we encourage you to repent and do works that are meet for repentance!  I myself at one time was a minister in a church, ordained by a man.  I believed whole heartedly that I was doing God’s work.  By God’s grace, he revealed to me that the doctrines I was learning and teaching were not doctrines according to the gospels of the bible.  I was ashamed; I repented and now do my best to bring the true gospel of Christ according to scripture.  I had to unlearn everything, so that Yeshua could teach me truth through His Word.  Paul persecuted Christians and murdered them all while believing he was doing God’s work.  His change of heart and his vision of the truth ironically came when he was blinded by Christ.  He went from knowing everything, to knowing nothing.  He went from being a completed canvas, to a blank canvas.  Paul had a true meeting with Yeshua Himself.  We encourage all people to seek a true meeting with Yeshua, the true Rock of our faith!  If you repent and go to Him, He will forgive you, and will teach you all knowledge and understanding through the Holy Spirit (the teacher) and from His Word, a Word that never changes!  He is our Mediator in heaven that makes intercession for us.  Seek Him with all of your heart, and you will find Him.

“Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” ~ Isaiah 28:16

“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” ~ 1 Peter 2:6

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone ~ Ephesians 2:20

Jesus provided the Word, He was the Word become flesh, He originally sent prophets into the world to speak truth and later after his resurrection. He sent the Apostles to establish the foundation.  Today we remain and work to complete the building, working upon the foundation that was established by Christ through His Old Testament prophets and the Apostles of the New Testament.  Seek the words of the bible, the Word of God that is the foundation of truth and the knowledge that leads to life in Christ.   What foundation are you building upon today?

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