The Rock On Which His Church Is Built

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Hi D____,
You are asking about Mat.16:18. You say:
“When I started to be familiar with your teachings, and the concept of “many are called, but few are chosen”, I started to wonder about this scripture. I saw that the word ‘build’ is translated from oikodome (3619-3618), which is also translated edify and edification and means to edify, embolden, be in. Dictionary definitions of the word edify are to instruct and benefit, spiritually uplift. Would it be fair to say this scripture means that Christ is edifying his true Church through his elect, and has nothing to do with adding physical numbers to the Babylonian Church system?”
You are exactly right about the fact that this section of scripture has nothing to do with adding physical numbers to the Babylonian Church system. And the revelation God has given you concerning the world ‘build’ is very revealing and instructive.
There is absolutely no doubt that it is Christ who is building and edifying His church. Let’s look at that verse and the verses around it. This section of scripture is one of the most abused parts of all of God’s Word.

Mat 16:13  When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
Mat 16:14  And they said, Some [ say that thou art] John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
Mat 16:15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Mat 16:17  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.
Mat 16:18  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.

As I would hope you are already aware, the Greek word for Peter is ‘petros,’ Strong’s number 4074, and the word for “this rock” is ‘petra,’ Strong’s number 4073. Strong’s definition for ‘petros’ is “a piece of a rock,” and Strong’s definition for ‘petra,’ is “a massive rock.” Christ is actually preparing Peter for what He is about to reveal to him about who His spiritual father is at this point in Peter’s life. Christ is telling Peter just how much Peter depends on Christ. And the world has twisted Christ’s words to make them say that Christ’s church is built upon a man. Here are the very next words Christ spoke to this apostle whom Catholicism calls ‘the rock on which the church stands.’

Mat 16:21  From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Mat 16:22  Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
Mat 16:23  But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Far from being “petra,’ the rock on which Christ’s church is truly built, Peter was, at this point, just as we all are at this point of our walk, an unconverted little pebble, born of our father the devil:

Joh 8:30  As he spake these words, many believed on him.
Joh 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

But we don’t “continue in His word.” We all “leave our first love,” and are born of our father the devil.

Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it

Here is the true rock, the true “petra” upon which His church is built:

1Co 3:11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Eph 2:20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostle s and prophet s, J esus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Twisting God’s Words to make them appear to say that Peter is the rock on which Christ has built His church is nothing short of blasphemous. It is a doctrine of “wood, hay and stubble,” which the one billion Catholics of today will have burnt out of them in their appointed time.
The Pope just happens to be visiting the United States this week for the first time in twenty five years and it is sad to hear all the bishops referring to this verse of scripture as proof of why the Catholic Church is the original Christian church. They do not do so overtly, but they do so by calling the Pope “Peter’s successor,” as if these words of our Lord are for Peter and Peter alone. But the Catholic Church most assuredly is not the church which Christ built upon Himself. He and He alone is that “Rock.” The Catholic Church, and all of her Protestant daughters, is the church which was established by the spirit of men such as Phygellus, and Hermogenes. Men who withstand the words of “our Lord and His Christ.”

2Ti 1:13  Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 1:14  That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
2Ti 1:15  This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

Just as all the leaders of Israel had sided with Korah and Dathan and Abiram, against Moses and Aaron, so also had the leaders of all the churches in Asia, turned against the apostles, and had convinced their congregations to put the apostles out of their own churches. Paul addressed this again at the end of this epistle:

2Ti 4:9  Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
2Ti 4:10  For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
2Ti 4:11  Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
2Ti 4:12  And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.
2Ti 4:13  The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
2Ti 4:14  Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:
2Ti 4:15  Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.
2Ti 4:16  At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
2Ti 4:17  Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
2Ti 4:18  And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

You are so right. Mt. 16:18 has nothing at all to do with numbers. If having many followers proved who was serving God then the apostles would have been proven to be false apostles. But such is not the case. It is those who “abide in my words” who are proven to be His.  If great numbers in any way indicated who is God’s true church, then Christ Himself would be proven to be a false prophet because of this statement:

Mat 22:14  For many are called, but few are chosen.

The apostle John faced the same circumstances as Paul at the end of his ministry. Here is what was happening in the church at the end of John’s ministry:

3Jn 1:9  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
3Jn 1:10  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

Phygellus, Hermogenes, Demas, Crescens, and even Titus, all had forsaken the apostle Paul. Alexander the coppersmith “greatly withstood Paul’s words.” All seven of the churches of Asia forsook Paul, and Diotrephes was so influential and powerful in the church that he could forbid the church to receive anyone who was connected with or came from the apostle John. If anyone was found to have any relationship with the apostle, that person was “cast out of the church.”
The apostasy was complete and the apostles had not yet died. The spirit had rightly informed the apostle Paul:

Act 20:29  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Act 20:30  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Act 20:31  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

One of those “perverse things” is exactly what you have noticed:
“… This scripture (Mt. 16:18) means that Christ is edifying his true Church through his elect, and has nothing to do with adding physical numbers to the Babylonian Church system.”
It means just that, and it has nothing to do with Peter being our foundation. Such nonsense originated with men such as Alexander the coppersmith and Diotrephes. Teaching that the Pope as the head of the church is blasphemous, and teaching that great numbers indicates the presence of Christ in His church make Christ Himself to be a liar:

Luk 6:26  Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

Here is how to know who are Christ’s true disciples:

Luk 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
1Jn 4:1  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Jn 4:2  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jn 4:3  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
1Jn 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1Jn 4:5  They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
1Jn 4:6  We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
1Jn 4:7  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

The very next chapter defines the word ‘love,’ and the church world hates this definition. The church world wants to give the word ‘love’ their own personal definition. The last thing in the world they want this word connected with is obedience to God’s commandments as delivered to us by Christ. But that is the only true love of God. All else is stubbornness and idolatry.

1Jn 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous
1Sa 15:22  And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Loving the children of God and loving God are both one and the same thing. You are not loving your brothers by being a people pleaser like King Saul. What God wants, what proves that we truly love our brothers, is our obedience to God’s commandments. That is how we love our brothers and that is how we love God. It has noting at all to do with recognizing Peter as the foundation of the church, and it has nothing at all to do with increasing the numbers of believers in all the lies of Babylon.
Your brother in Christ,

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