Was Peter the first Bishop of Rome as many claim?
Was Peter the founder of the Roman Catholic Church?
If the answer is yes as the Roman Catholic leaders claim, then we should see Peter’s example in the life of the leaders of that same church.
Peter never accepted ‘reverence’, homage, worship, adoration, praise from any of his fellow humans.
Peter was sent by God to Caesarea to speak to a Roman centurion and his household.
We read in Acts chapter 10 verse 24
“And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends. (25) – And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.”
Now notice what Peter does and says (v26) –
“But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.”
Peter loved his Lord and God – Jesus Christ so much that he could not bear to see anyone give to a mere man – even himself, what only belonged to God; apostle or no apostle.
Peter knew what it was like to be rebuked by Jesus his Lord and Master. In fact in that rebuke Jesus called Peter the same word that Jesus used to call the Devil – ‘Satanas’. – adversary.
Matthew and Mark both record this incident
“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.” Matt. 16:23
“But when He had turned about and looked on his disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind Me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.” Mk. 8:33
Jesus was not going to allow anyone, ANYONE, no matter how much He loved them, to think that they could interfere with the Father’s will for Himself, the Son of God – Jesus Christ. Jesus wasted no time at all in rebuking Peter.
And to the Devil, Jesus said – “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Luke 4:8.
In these three occasions, Jesus uses the same word translated as Satan – satanas. This word has its origins in the Chaldee or Babylonion language. It means an adversary; one who opposes or obstructs. In Satan’s case it means – THE Adversary.
At this moment in Peter’s life (Matt. 16; Mk 8), Jesus equates His disciple Peter with the devil in so far as his words in that instance were from that Evil one. The phrase ‘ Get behind Me’ in plain language means ‘Get out of My way.’ (or, Get out of My face)
We could paraphrase what Jesus said to Peter like this:
Get out of My way. Your place is behind Me not in front of Me. You are a snare and a trap to Me which is exactly what the Devil is and does. You are concerning yourself with what the worlds wants NOT what God wants. Matt 16:23
Peter also knew what it was like to deny Jesus Christ as his Friend, Teacher, and Lord. Not just once, or twice, but three times. And you can read about that in Luke 22. Later, Peter repented of that grievous sin.
You can also read how Peter told Jesus 3 times, after His resurrection, that he loved Jesus dearly – John 21.
Oh the sweetness of sins forgiven. And oh what a joy of the Most Holy God is produced in us when we overcome temptations; and so we should by the grace of God. God calls us to overcome sin not just after the fact but before it becomes a fact. Genesis 4:7 God tells Cain that sin crouches at his door (as a lion ready to kill) but you should rule over it – “If you do well, is there not exaltation? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is toward you; but you should rule over it.” (LITV).
And James tells us that the one who endures temptation – resists it in the power of God, is bless and a crown of life awaits them because of their love for Jesus in contrast to a love for sin – “Blessed is the man who endures temptation, because having been approved he will receive the crown of life which the Lord promised to the ones loving Him.” (James 1:12 – LITV)
So when Cornelius – a very important and powerful man in the Roman society, fell down to his knees or face, to the ground before mortal Peter, Peter would have none of it. Peter instantly grabbed the senior ranked soldier and pulled him up from the ground – a most unwise move in normal circumstances (no ordinary person can grab a centurion let alone a soldier of Rome), and Peter rebuked him for this totally unecessary and God dishonouring action. Peter said – I am only a man, just like yourself.
Do any of the popes refuse veneration or adoration, by ALL of their fellow human beings?
Do they follow in the footsteps of the one they claim is their founder – Peter?
And if not,
Jesus said to the Pharisees in His day….Why do you seek to kill Me? (John 7:19) In the same discussion Jesus raises the question again a number of times. In John 8:39 we read the Pharisees objecting to Jesus’ insinuations – “We are Abraham‘s seed...” (8:33) – meaning we know our pedigree and it is pure. And again in v44 they say “Abraham is our father.” And Jesus acknowledges their earthy connection.
But Jesus then tells them how God views their spiritual pedigree: “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a man that told you the truth, which I have heard from God: this did not Abraham” (v39). You do the deeds of your father (41)…If God were your Father, you would love Me (42)…You are of your father the Devil…” (44).
Here Jesus lays out a spiritual principle. We do those things that our spiritual father did. If our spiritual father refused to be honoured as Peter refused Cornelius’s worship, then we also would refuse to be honoured by any other human – that is, accept veneration, adoration, worship or praise which belongs to God alone. Jesus said Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and render to God the things that are God’s.
We must only worship – adore, reverence, God. NOT a man who pretends to be in God’s place, or who pretends to be God. That is idolatry. Idolatry will…WILL consign us to Hell and after to the Lake of Fire, unless we repent of it and get right away from it. The blood of Jesus Christ will…WILL cleanse us and wash us from such sins, but we MUST flee from it. Flee idolatry!
Paul said we are to flee idolatry – 1 Corinthians 10:14 – and he commands this in pleading tones while discussing the matter of the Lord’s Table – Holy Communion. You must read the whole passage.
John says Little children, keep yourselves from idols – 1 John 5:21. It is the last thing that he mentions in his first letter. This then is the thing that lingers with them.
And what is the first thing that God declares to Israel – the first command as Exodus records? –“I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not MAKE for yourselves any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not BOW down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments.” Exodus 20:2-6.
This is the first commandment God gave Israel at the Mount of God (the Sinai range), and it is Johns’ last word’s in his first letter for us to consider and do.
Note what God says about those who do not obey this command – they hate Him. And those who keep this command – love Him. In the passage in James 1:12, we see that God equates enduring temptation as loving Him.
Paul also says that idolatry will disqualify us from inheriting the Kingdom of God – “Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” – Galatians 5:19:21.
Peter did not worship anyone but Jesus Christ after he had repented. And he would not accept worship from any other and even stopped them physically from doing so.
If the popes of Rome were truly descended from Peter the apostle of Jesus Christ, they would do as he did. The fact that they do not do as he did shows you who their father is. Jesus said by their fruits you shall know them. Matthew 7:16-20.
Peter NEVER claimed to be the head of ‘The Church’ or head of any church
…Mary the mother of Jesus (who was also the mother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon” – Mark 6:3, and she was also the mother of Jesus’ “sisters” – Mark 6:3) – NEVER CLAIMED TO BE THE MOTHER OF GOD.
Paul when writing to the Corinthians believers says –
“Now this I say, that everyone of you says, I am of Paul, and (another) I am of Apollos, and (another) and I of Cephas (Peter), and I of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:12.
Paul tells them that this kind of talk is fleshly – carnal – unprofitable spiritually, it avails nothing at all (1 Cor. 3:3, 4). God is NOT impressed.
For leaders of any church group to say that Peter is their first spiritual head – pope – father, is carnal. It is spiritually unprofitable and will serve no good, nor will it count for anything in God’s eyes. God is NOT impressed.
Jesus makes it plain to us all, if we will believe it, through Paul, that the foundation of His Church is built on the “apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Corner Stone.” Ephesians 2:20.
And Peter speaks about Jesus Christ – as the Chief Cornerstone which the builders rejected, in his letters – 1 Peter 2:6, 7.
Peter also said that we are to follow Jesus – “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps:” 1 Peter 2:21
Peter says we are to follow Jesus Christ’s steps, and only His, – and NO OTHER.
While Paul did say – “Be you followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” – 1 Corinthians 11:1. Peter did not dare say such a thing. Just think what the popes would have done with such a statement if Peter had said – ‘Follow me‘… even with the qualification ‘as I follow Christ’?
God in his wisdom did not give permission for Peter to write such a thing.
You can go right through Peter’s two letters and you will not find him saying anything that resembles like him being ‘head’ of any church. Peter declares that Jesus Christ is the Shepherd and Overseer or Bishop of the flock of God – 1 Peter 2:25.
John is told by Jesus that the Heavenly Jerusalem has a huge wall all around it and its foundations were twelve, and the names of the Twelve apostles of the Lamb were on those foundations Revelation 21:14.
The testimony of Scripture testifies against these two claims of the pontiffs of the Vatican.
And related to this matter is the issue of the use of the word ‘pope’ used to describe the head of the Roman Catholic religious body.
The word pope comes from the modern Greek ‘pappas’, which means father.
Now while a human father who begets children, may well be spoken of in such tender tones by them, Jesus has something very staightforward about the use of the term in spiritual language.
“And call no man your father (pater) upon the earth: for one is your Father (Pater), which is in heaven” Matthew 23:9.
Some even say it Jesus is even referring to the use of the word in an earthly sense. But the Holy Spirit allows for the use of the word as it relates to earthly parentage in a number of places in the new testament. Even Mary told Jesus that she (His mother) and his “father” (step father) had sought Him sorrowing…Luke 2:48. The same ancient Greek word ‘pater’ is used by Jesus when speaking of His Heavenly and His only Father, in His reply to his mother “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” Luke 2:49.
But Jesus is very clear about the spiritual view we must have. Do not call anyone your (spiritual) father.
Peter would have remembered this as well as all the other things our Lord Jesus commanded them all to keep and teach to others.
It is plain that those who like to be called pope in a spiritual sense have not kept the command of Jesus Christ, and have not followed Peter’s example in these three matters. May God grant to those yet living, true repentance and faith and obedience to Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone.
And now this “Pope Francis” (as he calls himself) described as “dangerous” the temptation to believe that one can have “a personal, direct, immediate relationship with Jesus Christ without communion with and the mediation of the church.” (‘church’ meaning Roman Catholic church)
The mediation of the church INDEED! What presumption!! The Holy Spirit testifies that we have one Mediator between God and man – the Man Christ Jesus. That is, ONE MEDIATOR. The church is not a mediator between God and man as far as God is concerned.
It does not matter what man says, no matter how fine his clothes are, or how humble he may appear, or how much influence he has.
“For God is one, also there is one Mediator of God and of men, the Man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
“But now He has gotten a more excellent ministry, also by so much as He is a Mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.” Hebrews 8:6
“And because of this He is Mediator of a new covenant, so that, death having occurred for redemption of transgressions under the first covenant, those being called might receive the promise of the everlasting inheritance. ” Hebrews 9:15
“and to Jesus the Mediator of a new covenant, and to blood of sprinkling speaking better things than that of Abel.“ Hebrews 12:24 – (LITV, the 4 above)
God says Jesus Christ – the one who ascended into Heaven is the Mediator between Himself and man.
The Vatican is lying again.
Their lies fly in the face of what our Lord Jesus taught His diciples.
Even of Peter, Jesus asked the probing question – Do you love Me? three times. That is a personal relationship Jesus was talking about. The only disciple that did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ was Judas Iscariot – for he had a relationship with the money bag, that he was supposed to be responsible for. Jesus told the Jews – You cannot serve God and riches (mammon). And Judaas would have heard that loud and clear. Serving God is having a relationship with God in the heart, mind, soul and strength – for that is where we must love Him truly.
Every one of the true disciples in the first century church of Jesus Christ had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Himself. They were part of His Body on earth. And he the Head of it was seated in Heaven, and dwelt in their hearts by faith.
Part of a dialogue in the article appearing in http://ncronline.org/blogs/francis-chronicles/church-essential-faith-there-are-no-free-agents-pope-says
Church is essential for faith; there are no ‘free agents,’ pope says
Jun. 25, 2014|
And what does he mean by ‘church’ – oddly enough it doesn’t include Protestants,
see – National Catholic Register April 5 2015
7. What About Protestants?
The Responses document explains:
According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church.
These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called “Churches” in the proper sense.
This does not exclude referring to them as churches in a colloquial sense. And, in fact, you can find many documents on the Vatican web site doing exactly that.
But it does mean that, because they lack a valid episcopate and a valid Eucharist, they are lacking things essential to the nature of a local church in the proper sense.
This is a view that can be documented all the way back to the beginning of the second century, where Ignatius of Antioch wrote about the necessity of the three-fold ministry of bishop, priest, and deacon for the local churches:
In like manner let everyone respect the deacons as they would respect Jesus Christ, and just as they respect the bishop as a type of the Father, and the presbyters as the council of God and college of the apostles. Without these, it cannot be called a church [Letter to the Trallians 3].
Unless we repent – we shall perish. Unless we REPENT- we shall PERISH. Unless we repent – we shall perish. God will see to it that we get the things that we craved for, but not in the same way as we imagined. FLEE FROM SIN…AND RUN DIRECTLY TO JESUS CHRIST.
THERE IS NO OTHER MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN EXCEPT THE MAN – CHRIST JESUS OF NAZARETH.. . WHO WAS CRUCIFIED, WAS BURIED AND ROSE AGAIN, AND THEN ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN, AND IS SOON TO COME IN THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN TO GATHER A HOLY PEOPLE TO HIMSELF – THOSE WHO HAVE WASHED THEIR ROBES IN THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST…AND WHO OVERCOME THE DEVIL BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB AND BY THE WORD OF THEIR TESTIMONY CONCERNING JESUS CHRIST IN ALL HIS DIVINITY, POWER AND AUTHORITY.
Please stop worshipping men and idols, and images, and imaginations. God alone is to be worshipped. Man is not God. The pope is a man, appointed by man and will die like all other men, and after that – THE JUDGMENT. Every religious man will stand before Jesus Christ on their own without pomp or ceremony.
Unless we are clothed in the righteousness which is by faith in Jesus Christ, we will never be clothed in any garment for all of eternity.
No man can help us on that day. We must turn completely now to Jesus while we yet breathe the breath God has given us. One day we will breath our last lungful of air. Then our human soul will leave the body and will be caused to stand before the Almighty God, without any other mediator than Jesus Himself.
Confess your sins. Flee from the wrath of God coming against all ungodliness, and flee unto Jesus Christ. Only He can save us.
God bless you with repentance and faith to obedience in Jesus Christ the Lord..