By Apostle Aje Pelser, preached at Harvester Reformational Church, Cape Town.
30 Sept 2012
Apostles are given keys of the kingdom of God to unlock the shackles of religion and tradition binding people, and therefore releasing the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ unto salvation.
Read through Matthew chapters 15 through 16 and discover some kingdom keys with me:
God plants and He uproots.
We are the planting of the Lord and that which is not from God will be uprooted.
Matt. 15:13; See also John 15:3.
That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.' Isaiah 61:3
Defilement comes from within – rituals don’t cleanse.
Matt. 15:11; Hebrews Heb 9:9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience—
Heb 9:10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.
Heb 9:11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.
Heb 9:12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
Don’t be bothered with Pharisees in your life – they are blind leaders of the blind. Look for inward realities and allow Holy Spirit to redecorate you from within.
Great faith is humble faith.
Little Dogs get the crumbs that fall from the Master’s table
From Dr Gray’s “life of Christ” :
“Mark's, with the 'first' inferring a question of order, the dogs coming second. The strong statement, 'It is not meet ... ' is put in a subordinate place. 'Dogs' is diminutive, 'little dogs', 'doggies', not the ferocious, hated street dogs, 'gaunt, hungry, half-starved, savage and cowardly ... no particular masters, and no particular homes' (quoted by Mor from J.G. Wood).
The woman points out that these dogs are 'under the table' and eat the 'children's' crumbs (diminutive, 'little crumbs', not large pieces intentionally thrown to the dogs but small crumbs falling inadvertently to the floor) and the father of the children is the 'master' of the dogs. The dogs, as well as the children, belong to the master. What a case she has! Geikie (p 536) notes the 'woman's quickness, mother's invincible love, irrepressible trust in Him whose face and tones so contradicted His words'. His tone of voice and gentleness of look must have belied the seeming harshness of the words. 'Yes, Lord, I agree perfectly': the 'Yet' (kai ger) is almost our, 'Why, even the dogs ... ' The children cannot generally use up all the bread. And since Jesus is in that Gentile district, the woman feels that whatever benefit she might receive from Him would be just like the crumbs in His own illustration. What admirable reasoning! What a 'perceptive, scintillating answer'. 'But in this saying she was no longer under the table, but had sat down at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and partook of the children's bread. She was a daughter of Abraham'. It is neither circumcision, nor uncircumcision, but faith working by love (Gal. 5.6). 'When orthodoxy is cursed by infidelity, Jesus finds faith in surroundings that orthodoxy condemns'. (Mg) Whenever a soul is in agony, He cannot be hidden.”
By understanding that whatever have is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus name, we actually become children at the table! God pities us like little doggies – we worship Him like little doggies lick the Master’s hand, but the woman actually unlocks faith for other nations with her attitude and wisdom. God removes our dog nature and turns us into sons, and the world is waiting with eager expectation for the revelation of the sons and daughters of God!
Rev 22:9 Then he said to me, 'See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.'
The word used for worship here is:
proskuneo G4352 (pros-koo-neh'-o)
From G4314 and probably a derivative of G2965 (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, that is, (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore): - worship.
Signs follow those who believe.
Believers don’t follow after signs.
Mar 16:15 And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mar 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
Mar 16:17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;
Mar 16:18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.'
Mar 16:19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
Mar 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
Mat 15:30 Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus' feet, and He healed them.
Mat 15:31 So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.
Then Jesus Feeds the 4000 with 7 loaves, He had already fed the 5000 with 5 loaves.
So why would anyone in his right mind then go up to Jesus and say what the Pharisees said to him next: “Show us a sign from heaven?”
Because they are blind to all that Jesus was doing – by choice. Here are the blind leaders of the blind that seek a sign, that want to play manifestation games. The same spirit still blinds people today that don’t realize how much Jesus has already done for them, they don’t look back and see all the signs Jesus has already performed in their lives and then ask for a sign from heaven.
Sign of Jonah is a key in Jesus’ life
Jonah was sent to a city so that they would repent. He spent 3 days in the belly of the fish Jesus 3 days in the grave – rose on the third day
Dr Gray writes in his Life of Christ teaching: “Jonah's preaching brought repentance to a great heathen city: Jesus' mightier preaching is refused by them. The queen marvelled at Solomon's wisdom: a greater than Solomon is accused of being a tool of the devil.”
Apostle Andre Pelser teaches that the sign of Jonah has two-fold meaning for believers – Jonah’s name means dove – the Holy Spirit descended like a dove when Jesus was baoptized ands remained on him.
H3124 yônâh BDB Definition: Jonah = “dove”
Luke 3:22 – the Holy Spirit manifested like a dove at Jesus’ baptism. Another sign ignored by the blind leaders of the blind. John the Baptist saw it and knew Jesus was the one because the Holy Spirit remained with Jesus.
As soon as you are filled with the Spirit, those who know God will see it, and those who opposed Jesus will persecute you for it. But the glory outweighs the suffering. Today in the Christian Church world there are the same opposing streams – those who are filled with the Spirit of God who worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, and those who like the secular humanist Pharisees and Sadducees and well to do in Jesus’ times rationalize away any faith in the supernatural and pursue rituals and church growth schemes based on business principles, impose fleshly ordinances that have grown obsolete, assuming a form of godliness but denying its power.
Earlier Jesus had said this before to the same sceptics:
Mat 12:39 But He answered and said to them, 'An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
Mat 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Mat 12:41 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.
Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees
Dr. Roy M. Gray writes in his Life of Christ teachings:
“Those who tested Jesus were famous for their Rationalism; Denial of the supernatural; Secularism; Occupation with things of the senses. This is exactly what the disciples were doing; occupied with 'bread, bread, instead of the kingdom and its fortunes, with which alone the Master was occupied... . Note the solitariness of Christ ... the wide gulf between Master and disciples'. (EGT) They take it that Jesus is speaking of bread, physical bread, but yet can't get the point of His words. Jesus must explain that He is talking of their teaching, their influence in the social and religious life of the people, spreading itself like the action of leaven. We must beware of carnal, outward interpretations of the Bible. It deals with the realm of the spirit. The Pharisees made the outside clean, but left the inside corrupt. They were hypocrites, pretending to be what they were not. The Sadducess were worldlings depreciating and ignoring the things of the spirit. They were secularists. These two groups united against devotion to truth and righteousness, whether in the Baptist or in Jesus.”
Quite evidently the disciples did a lot of talking among themselves, Jesus occupied with other and weightier matters. Finally, after explanation, they saw it meant to look out for the false teaching of the Pharisees. Wycliffe has ‘sourdough of Pharisees’.”
Jesus uses the concept of leaven because of its pervasiveness, penetrative, permeative power, (cf. leaven in the meal in the parables) and hidden working. Cunning craftiness in deceitful plotting causes people to be tossed to and fro by winds of doctrine, but Ephesians 4 gives a solution to that problem. When the five gifts of Jesus: apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, pastors and teachers equip the saints for the work of the ministry, and see the full measure of the stature of Christ formed in local churches, people will no longer be susceptible to the leaven of the Pharisees & Sadducees.
From MBC Church History Manual:
“The Pharisees was a sect that seems to have started after the Jewish exile. In addition to OT books the Pharisees recognized in oral tradition a standard of belief and life. They sought for distinction and praise by outward observance of external rites and by outward forms of piety, such as ceremonial washings, fasting, prayers, and alms giving; (and, comparatively negligent of genuine piety), they prided themselves on their fancied good works. They held strenuously to a belief in the existence of good and evil angels, and to the expectation of a Messiah. They cherished the hope that the dead, after a preliminary experience either of reward or of penalty in Hades, would be recalled to life by him, and be requited each according to his individual deeds. In opposition to the usurped dominion of the Herods and the rule of the Romans, they stoutly upheld theocracy and their country’s cause, they possessed great influence with the common people. According to Josephus (Governor in Jerusalem at the time of the fall) they numbered more than 6 000. They were bitter enemies of Jesus and His cause; and were in turn severely rebuked by Him for their avarice, ambition, hollow reliance on outward works, and affection of piety in order to gain popularity.
Where the Pharisees actually believed in the concept of a Messiah, they clearly did not want to believe that Jesus was the one, even though the signs of the times confirmed it. They knew the Messiah would come from Bethlehem, but did not even do their research about Jesus properly, assuming him to come from Nazareth. They could discern the weather but could not interpret the star in heaven at Jesus’ birth, but the wise men could...
Similarly, today the wise believers of our day will see Christ and his signs in His Body the Church, not run around looking for them outwardly, but finding Christ within the hope of glory. 1 Corinthians 12:28 teaches that miracles are in the church, placed their by God. A gift of the Spirit that is distributed as He wills for the benefit of all.
“Sadducees: In manner the Sadducees were rather boorish, being rude to their peers as to aliens, and counting it a virtue to dispute with their teachers. They had no following among the populace, but were restricted to the “well-to-do”. They were more severe in judgment than other Jews. Many, but not all, priests were Sadducees; nearly all Sadducees, however, appear to have been priests, especially of the most powerful priestly families. Under the early Hasmonaeans some Sadducees held office in the senate or Sanhedrin. The Sadducees enjoyed the favour of the Hasmonaean rulers until the reign of Salome Alexandra (76-67 BC), who preferred the Pharisees. Under the Herods and Romans the Sadducees predominated in the Sanhedrin. The party died out with the destruction of the Temple in ad 70. Josephus says that, even when in power, the Sadducees were compelled for fear of the people to concur with the Pharisees. In religion the Sadducees are marked for their conservatism. They denied the permanent validity of any but the written laws of the Pentateuch. They rejected the later doctrines of the soul and its after-life, the resurrection, rewards and retributions, angels and demons. They believed that there was no fate, men having a free choice of good and evil, prosperity and adversity being the outcome of their own course of action.”
Sadducees don’t believe in the supernatural things anyway and so they are mocking Jesus. They know what he has done in their midst. They are referred to as a “wicked and adulterous generation that seeks after a sign” and the sign of Jonah is the only sign Jesus will give them.
Jesus Builds his Church on revelation Rock
Once Jesus is revealed as the Son of God, your true nature is revealed.
Jesus showed Peter that God revealed the fact that He is God’s son to him, and there is a good word study to be aware of here:
Matthew 16 : 13 - 20
' He asked His disciples, saying, 'Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?' Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Jesus answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.''
Excerpt From my Thesis for MBC 1997:
We need to recognise that Jesus is the One building His church, and that we are co-labourers under His authority. When Jesus says : ' upon this rock I will build My church', He is referring to the rock of revelation of Who He is. A brief study of the Greek reference to 'rock' confirms : the rock of revelation
[Strong’s # 4073 Greek] has the word 'petra', which means ' a mass of rock' or 'rock'.
The word for 'Peter' [Strong’s # 4074 Greek], is 'petros', which is 'a piece of rock'. 'Petra' is the feminine of the same root as 'petros', but is clearly much larger and prominent, and Jesus distinguished the revelation from the person. The source of the revelation, of Who Jesus is, is always God.
The way Jesus builds His church is by using apostles and prophets as a foundation. And incorruptible foundation laid by those in whom are the incorruptible seed - Jesus Christ. He is the Word of God and we He said, He will build His church, His Word will not return to Him void, but will accomplish that to which it is sent. His Word outlasts generations.
If you lose your life you find it
Matt. 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
One of the greatest signs Jesus did was His resurrection from the Dead. He was willing to lay down His life so that He could take it up again. Once you lose your life for Him, you find life on a whole new level and God gives you the desires of your regenerated heart!
This is a continuation of the sign of Jonah:
There is repentance involved;
baptism of the Holy Spirit;
a willingness to answer the call;
a sense of being sent,
an opportunity to preach to the lost;
no fear of death but in fact resurrection life;
a second chance to affect change;
Believe God is, and that He is a Rewarder!
Mat 16:27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Seek God diligently and consistently be aware of the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life. Jesus is the Author and the Finisher of your faith. His rewards are with Him! He gives you the keys of the kingdom, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.