“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
The ruins of the Temple of Pan
For years I would study the Bible and it appeared to me, through my ignorance of Biblical culture and languages, that Jesus was nuts! I mean, here He is having a normal conversation, and in true Jesus fashion, He drops some random, crazy comment. Or does He?
The Truth is, Jesus’ comments were always timely and on point to whom He was speaking. The people of His day, in this case, Peter and the others, fully well understood His reference here. The Catholic church has taught this verse as referring to “Saint Peter.” Why? Because of human reasoning. Peter is a term translated from the Greek word, Petros, meaning “rock, stone, or pieces of stone.” And then there is the protestant church’s thinking…, “The Catholics have this interpretation that Jesus was literally speaking to Peter in that he would build the church upon “Saint Peter”, but we (protestants) know that Jesus was suggesting something deeper, so it must mean that he was referring to Peter’s revelation of His identity.” Although this is correct, it is still much deeper than the fact that the Church was being built upon this revelation knowledge, dispelling all the humanistic guessing.
“Everyone then who HEARS THESE WORDS OF MINE AND DOES THEM will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
According to Jesus, what then did He declare that His church would be built upon? THESE WORDS OF MINE!!! The church cannot be built upon anything but the written Word of God. It is not founded upon some mortal man who is seen repeatedly failing Christ. It is not founded upon men’s traditions or denominational beliefs. It is solely upon The Word: Jesus Christ.
The place where they were standing, when Jesus asks Peter who men were saying that He was, was called Caesarea Phillipi. Caesarea Phillipi was a place in the northernmost part of the region of Bashan, seated at the foot of Mount Hermon. It was also the location of the pagan temple of Pan.
Knowledge of the Old Testament reveals that Bashan was an area inhabited by the Nephilim, the giant offspring of the fallen angels that sinned with humankind. But this place, stationed at the foot of Mt. Hermon, the very mount where the fallen angels descended upon and began their manipulation of human DNA (see Book of Enoch ch. 6), was well known to the people of the Ancient Near East as the “Gates of Hell.”
Jesus was standing in the spiritual location of the fallen watcher’s domain. No one fully knew what He was declaring at this place. No one knew that Jesus must die at this time, for it was not until after this event that He began to proclaim His death. Jesus was standing at the Gates of Hell, saying, “Here I Am. What are you going to do about it?” Then He takes Peter, James, and John upon a high mountain and is transfigured.
Now when you go to Israel, they’ll show you a big mountain standing alone in the middle of a flat country and say it’s the Mt. of Transfiguration. That is simply tourism info that has been misguided. But according to God’s Word, Mount Hermon is where Jesus was transfigured before these 3 disciples. Not only did Jesus enter the fallen ones’ spiritual gate location, but He went up on their mountain and declaring it taken from them. One week later was His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, and 6 months following that, He was dead!!! Why did He confront the powers of darkness there? Paul sums it up best in 1Co 2:7 — 1Co 2:8….
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
Jesus’ presence baited a trap for them to possess men to kill Him. And by His death and resurrection, they were forever stripped of their dominion and defeated!!!! Not only did He defeat them, but He made them look like idiots in the process.
1Co 15:51 — 1Co 15:57
“Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet (see Revelation 11:15); for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”