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Chapter Six

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1 Chapter Six on Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:54 am

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Chapter Six


THE PETER EXPERIENCE

Matthew 16
13When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17And 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.
18And 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.
19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
20Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.


Oh, how I love this passage. You can stand back a bit and just watch how Jesus masterfully sets Peter up for an eternally life changing experience. And Peter, being Peter, is totally oblivious to what’s transpiring. This is why I believe that our minds have so little to do with the plan of God. We’re just tiny little boats floating down the Mississippi of the Spirit, just doing our best to stay afloat, let alone trying to understand what’s around the next bend.

I have explained some on how to spiritually apply Scripture when I spoke about reading the Bible in dimensions. As we continue on this journey to come to an intimate place in truth that will completely free us from the religious bondage that so many of us and our ancestors have been afflicted with, I pray that as I share with you what I see in scripture and how it’s all relevant, in more of a spiritual way than a natural or moral way, the relationship you have with the Father will explode also and the floodgates of his presence will overwhelm your thoughts and emotions so that you to can celebrate in knowing Babylon has fallen, the kings of the east are manifesting, and the freedom of truth has come to all.

Two Churches Always At Odds
Here’s the setting. The disciples are kind of feeling pretty good about themselves in that they just figured out that Jesus wasn’t mad at them after all when he told them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They thought he was mad at them for forgetting food. Here you have a picture of the two churches again. You have the legalists and the liberalists. The Pharisees and Sadducees are all about following the letter of the law, whereas Jesus is all about leading the disciples into the freedom of life. Yet neither the Pharisees, nor the disciples can understand a word of what he’s saying.

Truth is Planted, Knowledge is Learned
That’s the key right there. Jesus wasn’t all that concerned about their minds not understanding as much as he was about their spirits receiving. Obviously there was some questioning about them not getting the elementary things, such as the four soils, they didn’t understand that at all either. But it didn’t stop Jesus from planting seeds because he knew when the time came, when the spirit would be poured out on all flesh, these seeds would spring forth understanding and power. So in faith, he continued to plant the deep things in them, and explain as much as they could comprehend, until the time the outpouring could take place. (don’t really like the last part of this sentence “as best as they could handle”, but I can’t think of how else to put that, can you?)
So, they now get that he was warning them about the RELIGION of men. You know, it’s a funny thing, it seems to me, all of the things we were warned about in scripture 2,000 years ago are just as prevalent today as he warned about way back then. But he’s changing that as we speak as well. Keep in mind, the weapons of warfare are powerful through prayer for the breaking down of strongholds in principalities and powers. The only warfare Jesus ever dealt with was with the religious. It wasn’t Jesus fighting against demons, he was fighting against men who walked according to their minds rather than the Spirit.

Funneling Truth
So Jesus sets the stage with a question. “Who do men say that I am . . .” for me, that’d be like asking “How many denominations are there?” Because each group of people has a different perspective on who they think Jesus is. Some see him as a judge, others see him as very charismatic, yet others see him in animals and ornate objects. It can get crazy. But you see how Jesus works, he starts with a broadened directive and then brings it inward. Personally, I think this really is a ground breaking experience for everyone spiritually “seeing” this passage, just as Peter experienced it “inwardly”. .

That’s one thing about dimensions, there’s still an order. Before you can experience the inner court of the tabernacle of Moses, you first had to address and experience the outer court. It’s all about maturing in Christ. It keeps growing to more and more levels of truth and life in him. It was the same thing here in this setting. Jesus began broad, but then took it to another level of intimacy with Peter’s answer being the pinnacle of his message. Not “Peter” himself, but the fact that the message was unveiled to Peter.

Jesus just took a message that was corporate and he pressed it down into the individual. He made the message to the masses personal to Peter. “Who do YOU say that I am. And it was at that moment, I believe, that Peter, for the first time, heard his mouth say something that his ears never heard before, his eyes never saw before, and his head never understood before.

This wasn’t Peter’s identity where everywhere he went, this was the message coming out of him. He didn’t practice his delivery of this answer. He didn’t go to the scholars for wisdom and advice. It was in the “now” where his heart made a connection with his head. And out of that, revelation came.

Light is Always on the Son
Revelation always illuminates Jesus. If it doesn’t, then it’s not revelation. Because it is God who is doing the revealing of the nature of His son in us. This is why I cringe when I hear our modern day prophets come with messages of judgment and destruction. To say that judgment is still coming, is to say that the work on the cross isn’t finished. They say we needed a cross experience “and” judgment on all men as well. But that’s just not the case.

Let’s go back to this unfolding experience with Peter. This is a huge turn of events. It even affected Jesus’ ministry. The very next verse following this event, it states that from that day forward, Jesus changed the emphasis of his message and purpose with the disciples. But we’ll get to that in a minute. First, back to Jesus’s response.


Setting a New Standard of Maturity
His response was not to what Peter said, but it was to the source from which Peter’s revelation came. It didn’t come through flesh and blood. All things come from the Father. We’ve always been told God is Love, yet most sermons are stuffed full of judgment and condemnation. But we forget that as ugly as the cross experience was, it was all a manifestation of pure, unconditional love. Love manifests when there’s a relationship of two or more. There needs to first be a relationship. Out of that relationship births the manifestation of love. Love is the source of revelation of the nature of Jesus. And that’s what Peter experienced, and that’s what Jesus used as his foundation stone. There is no greater power than love manifesting through revelation. It can’t be taught, it can only be experienced on a personal level.

The reason I love this passage is because I don’t need to get the approval of men with degrees or doctorates to profess the revelations of the Father about the illumination of the nature of the Son. It goes out as smoothly as it flows in. Do I understand it all? Goodness no. Nor do I care whether or not my mind can grasp it. It’s not for my mind, it’s for my spirit. In order for my natural muscles to gain strength, they must exert energy. It’s the same with my spirit, except that it’s not a laboring act of works, it’s simply a function, it’s doing what it was created to do. In order for my spirit to gain power in this dominant position my mind has finally submitted to, the flowing out makes it more flexible to allow an even greater river to flow in.

In other words, this isn’t meant to be contained. It’s intended to be planted in me, incubated for a time, birthed into my nature, then planted into others to go through the same process. It’s called “reproducing after your own kind.” Anyone can have casual intercourse with the word of God. But there’s no reproduction of life in that. God doesn’t want some teenaged bride of Christ with raging hormones where she knows she’s got something that’s turning every guy’s head in the room, but she doesn’t quite know what to do with it.

God wants a mature bride who not only is old enough to be reproductive, but is also in love with the Father and is preserving herself for the seed of the Spirit only. Some churches seem to have become brothels, spiritually speaking, more than anything. Their main goal is to give pleasure to the emotion while emptying the wallets of the parishioners. There’s an expectancy that if you expect to receive anything from God, you need to prime the financial pump so to speak. There’s more to God than just chasing signs and wonders. He wants you to be intimate with him, not with the latest religious fashion. It’s not about filling a pew with a person, nor is it about some denominational religious system. It’s about maturing the ones that are there so they’ll reproduce Christ into each other..

Keep it Intimate
It’s not by flesh and blood. It’s not by natural reasoning. It’s not by might, nor by power. The things you see beneath the surface of scripture are not things that can be taught to you by mere men. We’ve got to have our own Peter Experience with God. Even others who do see those things struggle in teaching them. In fact, I don’t know if you caught it or not, but that last verse I posted states that Jesus charged them to tell “NO ONE” this revelation. Why? Because you can’t learn truth, you can only experience it. It doesn’t come on a corporate level, it only comes on a personal one.

How can I say that? Easy, who of the twelve saw Jesus transform into his glorified state on the mount of transfiguration? Did all twelve? No. How many? Only three. Not even half of them were there. Did the three go back and tell the other nine then? Nope. Why not? Because Jesus told them the same thing. Tell no one of the things you have seen here. Why? Because the depths of truth, if not fed through the experience of an individual, will only be misunderstood, misinterpreted or just rejected all together. Without the personal experience, all you have is a hollow story at best. You’re relaying something that never even happened to you so the impact won’t even come close to being effective to you or the hearers. Make it personal before you make it public.

It reminds me of the shock of the listeners when Jesus came on the scene. They weren’t used to hearing someone speak with such authority. Why? Because the Pharisees spoke from knowledge, they didn’t have a personal experience. And as such, they had no true authority to support their words. Jesus said the words he spoke are spirit. And there is the key of revelating. The kingdom is a dimensional place. We are three dimensional people, operating in only two of the three dimensions we’re created in. All things natural and all things mental. But what Jesus delivered was not for either of those. What he spoke was spirit. The realm of natural and mental will pass away, but the spirit is eternal.

So the difficulty comes when one tries to relay a spiritual truth to someone governed by natural and mental capacities. That’s why when Jesus said one thing, he meant something else. He was trying to reach man in his natural element, and draw him into a spiritual one. All things natural point to the completion of all things spiritual. In other words, it’s as Jesus said, the things he did on earth, in this realm, he only did because the Father did them, he completed them in the spiritual realm. In the spirit, everything is complete. The flesh simply manifests, within the boundaries of time, those things already completed in the spirit. The church is not complete, but it’s coming into its completion. However, I believe there’s going to be an overhauling of doctrine and philosophy for this completion to manifest..

Purpose of a Church?
The church is there for the congregating of relationships; nurturing of infants; for the maturing of the bride; and for the reproduction of love and light in others. Even Paul stated there is a time when he was a child, he spoke like a child, acted like a child, but when he became a man, he “put away” childish things. Take a gander at Hebrews 5 and the beginning of 6. You’ll see there are things we’re to actually let go of that the church instead has embraced them. Meat doesn’t lay on the surface of the story. It’s only revealed to those who look beneath the surface of what’s being said.

Okay, flesh and blood didn’t reveal this to Peter, only the Father. How? Was it just through an acquaintance with the Son? Did Peter just read up on Jesus? Did he just hear a message from Jesus? No, through relationship with the Son. he left his old life behind and pursued Christ. Do I have to quit my job at Hardees to receive revelation from God? Heavens no. Just give up that carnal mind in you that wants either to prove or argue every point. If you see it, rejoice, if you don’t, don’t try to conjure anything up on your own, you’ll just make it worse. How can you tell the difference? Truth births life. Simple as that. No life in you or others, then that’s an indication something is amiss.

Then Jesus goes even further to give notice to the religious pacifiers of men. He first changes Peter’s name from Simon to Peter. Simon means shifting pebbles or sand, then Jesus changes it to Peter, meaning “Rock”. Why? Because this experience changed Peter’s nature and identity. Your name is your identity. When your identity changes, so goes your name. It’s why Revelation talks about us getting a “new” name. Relationship with Christ changes your identity.

So now that it was clear that God was talking directly to Peter, Jesus could change his direction of ministry with the disciples about the next level of relationship they had with him which was about to manifest. It was at this point that Jesus set the corner stone in his church. He didn’t build the church that day, he just set the foundation.


What’s the Rock?
What was the foundation? What was this new order that he was bringing in? Because up until then, the order came through the temple of the day. Unfortunately, it was so distorted from its original state when it came from Moses and Aaron, that the order of it was law enforcement and death. There wasn’t even a fragment left that Jesus could build on. He even told them so. Not one stone would be left on top of the other. The old religious system would be completely demolished and a new one would be built in its place.

But again, that was always the original plan. The law was never meant to be the foundation of life. It was just the framework to sustain life through the days of labor. This new thing Jesus was doing, this was not about the days of labor, it was about the Day of the Sabbath. Truth no longer came by way of reading and reason. Now, it came through relationship and revelation.

The famous passage of Isaiah 1:17 states “Come! Let us reason together, though your sins be as scarlet, they’ll be white as snow . . .” Many cling to that one when you talk about revelation. They use that as their defense. I kind of take issue with people who use the Word of God as their defense against another, there’s “another” Peter experience that deals with that very thing as well, Peter was rebuked and told to put away his sword. I’ll get much deeper into that experience as well in a bit because more than once, Peter jumped to inaccurate conclusions as a result of relying on his own reasoning. but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself.


Relationship Over Religion
The point here is, that reasoning was necessary for the old covenant. But with the new covenant, came a new avenue of communication. It didn’t come from God, to a book, through a high priest, and then to men. It came from God through Christ to men. It came by way of revelation through relationship. That is the foundation Jesus was speaking of. The KINGDOM of heaven is built on “the act” of God revealing the nature of Jesus to men, through relationship, not religion. And the word we use for that is “revelation”. If we don’t have a relationship with the Son, we won’t have revelation from the Father.

Jesus speaks about the gates of hell not prevailing against it. Against what? The foundation of his kingdom that he’s building on this earth, “in us”. In this book, I’m going to introduce to you another perspective on hell. But in the mean time, put what I’m about to say on the back burner until this comes to its proper season in you. The gates of hell aren’t about the devil trying to attack it. It’s about the authority of the walking dead. Jesus spoke about letting the dead bury the dead. We talk about being dead but coming to life. There are many who are spiritually dead, who try to come against this foundation that Jesus established, this personal revelating experience within us. And there has been some success to their efforts.

Because they’ve infiltrated the church long ago with their version of hell, many are not seeing the truth about hell in our day. And instead of embracing what hell truly is, they hold on to what their belief system has engrained in them of what it is. I’m relying on the Holy Spirit to realign that in your life as well. I want to give notice to that idol of worship in the church as well, the idol of the doctrine of hell, your days are coming to a close.

But for this particular passage, please receive it in faith to mean that the authority of the spiritually dead will not be able to stand against the truth of the fact that God is now talking to us directly about the nature of his son through simply unveiling truth to our hearts rather then our heads. The minds of death can not comprehend, nor can they prevail against the inward experience God is bringing his bride into.

If you are dead, there is no thriving relationship with the Father. Death doesn’t mean absence of life as much as it simply means “separation”. When I physically die, my spirit and soul separate from my body. You can’t have a relationship with the Father and be separated from Him at the same time. Those who are spiritually dead can not prevail against what Jesus is building because it’s not something that can be seen, learned, or taught. It’s all through an inward experience.

Religion tends to take a passage, for example, lets use a much quoted one. Romans 10:9,10. It’s a famous one the church embraces whole heartedly and has set up classes and teachings on how to accomplish this. We’re taught on how to approach the sinner, like it’s some sort of trophy game we’re hunting. We want to use bait they’ll eat. We want to make them think we’re one of them. But the emphasis is all about getting that soul saved from hell.

Romans 10
8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation
.

I’ve come up with a clever explanation of what tradition does most often in religious matters. I call it the “cart-before-the-horse” syndrome. We take a passage of Scripture like this and we tailor it to fit our sermons and doctrine with which we use to motivate people to act. In this case, we’ve convinced ourselves that there is a magical phrase that we say in order for us to be saved. We call it the sinner’s prayer. And of course, the sinner doesn’t know how to say it, so we simply have them repeat the words we say to them. I don’t know about you, but when I met my wife, I didn’t need an interpreter next to me, feeding me words to say that would then cause her to go out with me. My words came from my own heart, not through the mind and mouth of another.

But the purpose of all of this is so that we achieve salvation and avoid the condemnation and eternal torment of hellfire and brimstone. The church states in order for you to receive eternal life, you must first confess your sins. You must first admit you’re a sinner. It reminds me when I was a kid and whenever there was an argument between two kids, it was a common thing for the bigger of the two to grab the smaller one and twist his arm until he said the magic word to which the bigger kid would let him go. “Uncle!! Uncle!!!” I’ve always wondered who came up with that, and why they chose the word “Uncle”. I have aunts that scare me more than my Uncles. But I digress.

I feel like the church does this same thing. We work our friends and families who we’ve deemed as sinners, into a place of what we call “conviction” which often times is more guilt than anything, but we press in and press in until they say the sinners prayer, then like a storm that passes, we go from an intense prayerful state to celebration. But what if that’s not what this passage is really saying? What if the problem in leading people to the Lord is not the sinful people, but it’s our process?

I believe this passage is not saying “if you “do this”, then you’ll “get that”. If your mind agrees to “this”, then your spirit will gain “that”. I believe redemption came when Jesus said “It is finished.” But that is another subject coming later. My point here is, I don’t believe salvation comes because I confessed. I believe confession manifests because salvation already took place. I believe the reason why I confess is because I believe in my heart.

I believe that redemption does not come by an outward act of anything. I believe salvation comes because of a spiritual experience and as a result of that inward transformation, my mouth speaks. I believe salvation comes through faith, not confession. I see the confession as the fruit of the faith. But with the cart-before-the-horse syndrome, the salvation is to come at the confession. Tradition says if you don’t confess your sins, then you’re not really saved. Truth says, you won’t confess until you already know you’re saved.

Another quick example is tithing. How many times have you heard men stand at their pulpits and tell you that if you give, you’ll get back 10 fold, no, 100 fold of what you put in! If you don’t tithe, God will curse the land. I don’t discredit these things are in scripture. My problem is the abuse done against them. Abraham was the first to introduce tithing. And if you notice, he never tithed with the intent of being blessed. He tithed because he already had been blessed. The tithe came out of the blessing. It was not considered to be a seed that would return a blessing. That’s what I mean about the cart before the horse. The church sees an end result and skips over how it came to manifest and they come up with an equation of their own.

This is all a result of the lack of relationship. Scripture states that even though our words honor him, our hearts are far from him. In the New Testament it speaks of the fact that just because we cry out Lord, Lord is not a guarantee we’ll enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 7:21) which isn’t about heaven or hell either. It’s the “kingdom” of heaven. Just because you go to church and teach or preach doesn’t guarantee that you will “see” spiritual principles. What’s the key? Relationship. The Peter experience happened not because of religion or great teaching methods. It came by way of intimate relationship with Jesus.

Relationship must take precedence over religion on every level. Religion is knowledge about God. Relationship is experience with God. When I began experiencing God, the Bible took on a whole new life. Old things passed away and all things became new. When I experienced the death of religion in me, the grip of a religious Egyptian bondage, the day of exodus came with much uncertainty and shakiness because everything I was seeing was very much in opposition with what I’d been taught to see.

But there’s no other place on earth I’d rather be, than in this glorious freefall of a relationship with the Father. Do I understand it? Not hardly. But I’m not the one with the flashlight, the light comes from the Father, I just follow him and forget about what I’m “supposed” to do. Anymore, I find myself purposefully reevaluating even what appears to be the simplest and most plain doctrines in me. Because I don’t want to be just free, I want to be free, “indeed”.

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