An equipping ministry to Disciple the Church.
A mission base to Send the Church.
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
When you study the gospels, it is often helpful to not only look at WHAT Jesus was saying but also to look at WHERE Jesus was saying it.
Caesarea Philippi was a center of pagan worship of many gods because of its elevated place. It would stand as one of the capitols of idol worship.
There are two especially visually striking pieces of landscape in Israel. The most prominent is the rock around which the Temple in Jerusalem was built. The second is the massive wall of rock at Caesarea Philippi.
Picture of the 100 foot tall and 500 foot wide city of Caesarea Philippi 25 miles north of Galilee at the foot of the Syrian mountains, (Originally called- Paneas after the pagan god Pan)
Pan’s cult … was a celebration of fertility. That the celebration readily took on forms of plain orgy is suggested by Pan’s most characteristic features: a head decorated with horns, a leery and lustful smile, and the prancing legs of a goat.
The name Pan, a contraction from Paon, gave origin to the word panic, which may have first referred to the stampeding of a herd. Its further meaning as human fright was a logical outgrowth of the unbridled lust that made Pan’s sanctuary first an alluring and then a frightening experience to many.
The Encyclopedia Encarta gives the following information on Pan:
“Pan (mythology), in Greek mythology, god of shepherds and flocks. He was believed to be responsible for their fertility. … Pan was especially fond of remote mountains and caves and was believed to be responsible for the sudden, inexplicable fear, or panic, …
“ … through death he [Jesus] might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life.”
Jesus seems to choose this place to say:
At this place that has been built by demonized men upon a rock for worship, I choose to tell you that I am building a place of true worship upon the Rock of faith in me.
I want you all to confront and prevail over the “altars” (enemies) of worship in the earth with the powerful keys of the kingdom that I am giving you in this war over worship.
I am breaking the “fear” off of mankind through my building of my church through men and woman who are born again by the Spirit and free from Sin and Death.
These are perilous times beloved! Evil is growing at an exponential rate! The church must shift from being a passive avoider of evil and evil-doers to an aggressive advancer against the enemies of God with the gospel.
Evangelism, the first step in discipleship, is the only true way to turn the tide of the tsunami of evil that is swelling in the nations and in our neighborhoods.
Evangelism is the only means for exchanging men and woman from being demon spirit carriers to Spirit of God carriers.
May God give us a “war-time” mentality that drives us with passion to steal souls from the god of this age so that they spread the life of God and not the infection of death that is decaying the nations.