Sunday, March 11, 2012

LLM Question for 3-11-2012, and, The Apostle Peter and the KEYS of the Kingdom of Heaven, part 2 of 3

First the Question: There is only ONE case of apostolic succession in The Bible. True or False?

Take a moment to respond at the LLM Question of the Day

And now the answer to the LLM Question of 3-9-2012

Question: The joint Body of Christ, was a Mystery UNTIL the revelation was sent down from Heaven by the RISEN Christ to and through the Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul. True or False?

Answer: TRUE! The revelation of this program came to the Apostles of Christ on the installment plan. It is true that Christ had said to Simon Peter, “Upon this Rock I will build my Church”. Matthew 16:18. BUT concerning the Body of Christ, into which both Jews and Gentiles were to be baptized by ONE Spirit, Peter was wholly ignorant; not only before he received Holy Spirit baptism, but for some years thereafter. The Church, or Body of Christ, was a Mystery UNTIL the revelation was sent down from Heaven by the RISEN Christ to and through the Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul. OK, now, out of the 723 responses we received to this question, a very nice 96% of you got it right! Praise the LORD! Therefore, NOW, let us take a look at,

The Apostle Peter and the KEYS of the Kingdom of Heaven, part 2 of 3

The Apostle Peter was intimately associated with the LORD Jesus Christ during all of His public ministry, and just before the Savior ascended to Heaven, Peter’s last question was, “Wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6. Simon Peter had more than a Jewish interest in the restoration of the Kingdom to his nation. He had a selfish interest, or perhaps we should say, a personal interest; for the LORD had plainly told him that in that Kingdom age, he would, be sitting with the other eleven apostles, on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matthew 19:28.

Most assuredly Simon Peter is still living and is coming back to this earth to share the earthly glory of Israel’s Messiah. He certainly should have been concerned as to when the Messiah was going to occupy David’s throne and establish his reign of righteousness, peace and glory. When Peter asked the question, “Wilt thou at this time the Kingdom to Israel,” he had not the faintest conception of God’s program to postpone the establishment of that Kingdom until He spent twenty+ centuries visiting the nations and electing a company to constitute the Body of Christ.

The revelation of this program came to the Apostles of Christ on the installment plan. It is true that Christ had said to Simon Peter, “Upon this Rock I will build my Church”. Matthew 16:18. BUT concerning the Body of Christ, into which both Jews and Gentiles were to be baptized by ONE Spirit, Peter was wholly ignorant; not only before he received Holy Spirit baptism, but for some years thereafter. The Church, or Body of Christ, was a Mystery UNTIL the revelation was sent down from Heaven by the RISEN Christ to and through the Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul.

After the Apostle Peter received the Holy Spirit, who was to guide him into all truth, he preached to the Jews concerning the resurrection of Christ in this language, “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” Acts 5:29. We note two facts concerning this message; the first is, that Peter never proposed to forgive their sins; and the second, he had nothing to offer to the Gentiles. Several years before this the Prince and Savior had said to Peter, “Go NOT into the way of the Gentiles.” Matthew 10:5. Peter was still obeying this command, because the risen LORD was not yet ready to open the door to the Gentiles.

In Acts 3, we have the record of another message of Peter to Israel, the children of the prophets and the covenants, “Unto you first, God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his (your) iniquities.” Acts 3:25-26. This was a message...for a nation: ISRAEL. They were told in this message to repent and bring Christ back from Heaven to establish His Messianic Kingdom. Acts 3:19-21. The Holy Spirit gave this message though a Spirit filled and Spirit led messenger.

This was the message of first importance, a message concerning the Kingdom of Heaven. Already individual Jews had been added to the church. Acts 2:47 And more were to be added to the LORD. Acts 5:14. But the Nation of Israel, itself, was appealed to. There were at that time in Jerusalem devout Jews from every nation under Heaven; and associated with them were the Temple priests and officials of authority. Acts 2:5.

HOWEVER, in all of this, there is still no offer of salvation made to the Gentiles. Someday, in the future, Israel is going to repent and God is going to send the LORD Jesus Christ back to take the throne of David, restore the Kingdom to Israel, and bring about the restitution of all things. Following this national repentance, and the return of Israel’s Messiah to earth, salvation will be sent to the Gentile nations in the Gospel of the Kingdom. The Apostle Peter knew the Old Testament Scriptures as to this program; but he did NOT know that within a few years God would do a new thing and Peter himself would be preaching to a Gentile household; to begin that new thing. It was not lawful for the Apostle Peter to come unto one of another nation, but after his experience with God on the housetop, as recorded in Acts 10, he perceived that God was no longer a respecter of persons, and preached to Cornelius words where by he and his house were to be saved. Acts 10:34, Acts 11:14-15.

At first Peter was condemned by the believing Jews for giving this message to the Gentiles SEVEN years after the resurrection of Christ. Acts 11:1-17. But after his detailed explanation of God’s instructions from Heaven, “They held their peace and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” Acts 11:18. This was certainly something new for Peter and the other Jewish Christians. Here is the beginning of a new program. “Also to the Gentiles” God was now beginning to visit the Gentiles to take out from them a people for His name before He would restore the Kingdom to Israel. Acts 15:14-18.

He was now going to send salvation to the Gentiles to provoke Israel to jealousy. Romans 11:11.

God knew all this from the beginning of the world. Acts 15:18. It was HID in God. Ephesians 3:9. It was not made known unto the sons of men, in other ages. Ephesians 3:5. It was HID in God from men. The LORD Jesus Christ did not make known to the Apostle Peter the Mystery among the Gentiles. This was the Apostle Paul’s ministry. Peter preached to the first Gentile family. That was his task.

The Apostle Peter was one of the twelve apostles, Paul was not. Peter and the eleven remained at Jerusalem. Acts 8:1.

The Book of Acts covered a period of thirty years from the resurrection of Christ until the Apostle Paul pronounced God’s judgment of blindness upon Israel. Acts 28:25-27. To Paul, the LORD said, “Get thee out of Jerusalem.” Acts 22:18. He kept Peter IN Jerusalem. The RISEN Christ said to Paul, “I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles”. Acts 22:21.

The Gospel of the Circumcision (the Jew) was committed to the Apostle Peter. Galatians 2:9. Peter agreed with Paul that Paul should go to the Gentiles and Peter would go to the Jews. Galatians 2:9. In this early history, the Book of Acts, we have no record that Peter preached to anyone outside of the land of the Jews. We have no record that he preached to any Gentiles other than the household of Cornelius. We DO have the record that he was sent to the Jews. We have no record in Acts that any of the eleven apostles, associated with Peter, preached to a single Gentile. They all remained at Jerusalem until AFTER the “Body” truth was revealed to the Apostle Paul.

When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, there were present some visiting Jews from Rome. Acts 2:10. But Peter never went to Rome. It was the Apostle Paul who wrote to the Romans, and later visited Rome; where he died. Paul, by no means, preached to the Gentiles at Rome what Peter preached twenty five years before at Jerusalem. The believing Gentiles at Rome were justified without a cause. They received what uncircumcised Abram received without the deeds of The Law, which was the Righteousness of God by Faith. Romans 4:3-11.

The true Church of God at Rome in the first century believed in God’s truth in the Epistle to the Romans, BUT, the Roman Catholic Organization has drifted FAR AWAY from the Gospel of Grace contained in that Epistle.

Well, what has this to do with Simon Peter? He has been accused of having something to do with the establishment of the present Church of Rome. Their claim is, that the papal authority has been handed down from Peter and that the present pope, Benedict, is on St. Peter’s throne by the process of apostolic succession. The “holy see” is the seat of Peter, the first bishop of Rome.

PAY ATTENTION: There is only ONE case of apostolic succession in the Bible...Matthias succeeded Judas. Acts 1:21-26. PERIOD!

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In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. BELIEVE today. The time is short.

So There You Have it!

Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.

Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.

In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry

Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)

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