The Church

I’m going to attempt to lay out for you in detail that the CHURCH was never meant to be boxed up and confined to a building and that the commission of Christ was always to go forth in evangelism to bring the Message of Jesus Christ to the nations.

The 1st Temple was destroyed in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, and then was restored around 516 BCE under the reign of Cyrus the Great, and then destroyed again in 70 CE, because “God does not dwell in the temples built by men’s hands” and “We are the Temple of God” not mere buildings made with brick and mortar but LIVING STONES that make up the House of God. Men believed that if they destroyed the building, they’d be destroying the Church of Christ, but as the apostle Peter said:

1Pe 2:4-5 As you come to Him, the LIVING STONE, rejected by men but chosen and precious in God’s sight, you ALSO, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ

You see, it says it right there. WE are like “living stones” that are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood. Stephen, the first martyr states this in Acts 7:48-51

“However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made by human hands. As the prophet says: ‘Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. What kind of house can you build for Me, says the Lord, or where will My place of repose be? 
Has not My hand made all these things?’ You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit, just as your fathers did.”

Paul reiterates this sentiment in Acts 17:24-25

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples made by human hands, NOR is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.”

As you can see, the Lord was making it pretty clear through the testimony of the O.T. prophets and the N.T. apostles that the Church would NOT be a building or structure of ANY kind, but rather a universal spiritual “meeting place” of our agreement in the Testimony of Jesus Christ. A Church that neither time, location, boundaries or walls can destroy or control as long as living blood that carries the Testimony of Jesus Christ dwells upon the face of this Earth.

In this biblical breakdown, I’m going to show you the inception of the Christian Church from a biblical and historical point of view. We’ll start off by being introduced to the characters of what are considered by theologians to be the pillars of our Christian faith, the apostles Peter, Paul, James the brother of Jesus and John, and the influence that each had on the history of the Church.

I’m going to kick things off with the Gospel of Mark because Mark is the oldest of the 4 Gospels and is the primary source and influence of the books of Matthew and Luke. Theologians agree that the book of Mark was written around 70 AD after the failure of the First Jewish Revolt and the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple at the hands of the Romans. So, the first record of Jesus and His ministry was written around 37 years after His ascension in 33 AD. Mark’s focus is to prove that Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy, show us His divine power and to introduce us to the beginning of the work of the Church upon the earth. Please grab a bible and have it open while reading this article.~

“Mark was written in Greek, for a Gentile audience, and probably in Rome, although Galilee, Antioch (third-largest city in the Roman Empire, located in northern Syria), and southern Syria have also been suggested.” Wiki~

Chapter 1 of Mark begins with “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”

So, Mark is introducing his Gospel among other future writings as the BEGINNING of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Verses 2 and 3 validate what Mark is about to share by quoting the prophet Isaiah:

“Behold, I send My Messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy Way before Thee, the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Prepare ye the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight

Then verse 4-8 introduces us all to Mark’s witness to authenticate Jesus as the promised Messiah.

Mar 1:4  John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins
Mar 1:5  And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins
Mar 1:6  And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; 
Mar 1:7  And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. 
Mar 1:8  I indeed have baptized you with water: but He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. 

Then in verses 9 through 11, Mark is testifying on behalf of what the Lord Jesus saw and heard from the Father. Mark is either writing this as a witness to hearing it and seeing it himself or was told personally by Jesus or the apostles of the event.

Mar 1:9  And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. 
Mar 1:10  And straightway coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him
Mar 1:11  And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 

Then immediately after this Mark uses only two verses to introduce us all to the temptation of Jesus Christ, verses 12-13.

Mar 1:12  And straight away the Spirit sent Him out into the waste land. 
Mar 1:13  And He was in the waste land for forty days, being tested by Satan; and He was with the beasts; and the angels took care of Him. (That’s it, nothing more)

Verses 14 and 15 is Jesus going into Galilee to START His ministry.

These two verses in Mark are where everything kicks off, it’s the launch pad from which the ministry of Jesus Christ and His Testimony would spring up from upon the earth. It’s the start of the TRUE CHURCH.

Mar 1:14  Now after that, John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 
Mar 1:15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. 

Verses 16 through 20 are the calling of the very first disciples. It’s two sets of brothers, doing what appears to be the same thing, but is actually quite different, and speaks volumes about the calling and future effect of these 4 men chosen FIRST by Jesus Christ to spread His Message.

The calling of the original 4 pillars of the kingdom being established upon the Earth as it is in Heaven, and the symbolism and wording used by the author Mark in the recounting of the calling of Simon and Andrew and then James and John is prophetic. Let me show you:

Mar 1:16  Now as He walked by the sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers
Mar 1:17  And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 
Mar 1:18  And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed Him.

Jesus came upon two brothers, Simon and Andrew, casting their net into the sea to CATCH fish because that was their profession. Their nets were their livelihood, what they used to make money as fishermen and the word “forsook” that’s used is aphiēmi and means to send away, like a husband divorcing a wife. And verse 18 says they “followed” Him, but the real word in Greek is akoloutheō and it means: to become a disciple of, or join one as a disciple.

It’s important to point out that Jesus didn’t invite them to “follow” Him either, that is a completely different word in Greek, and He didn’t invite them at all, He gave the command of “Come after Me” with a promise to change them to fishers of men if they did what He said. The word used is deute G1206 in Greek and it’s a command of COME HERE!

Next, lets view the contrast of how James and John the sons of Zebedee were called just a little further up the the banks of the Sea of Galilee.

Mar 1:19  And when He had gone a little further thence, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. 

Mar 1:20  And straightway He called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after Him. (called, invited= kaleō G2564)

James and John were mending their nets when Jesus called them, after He encountering them a little further ahead from Peter and Andrew. And it says that they left their father Zebedee in his ship with all of the hired servants and went after Him. Mark 1:19-20

James and John LEFT their father with all of his hired servants and their employment and departed after Him. *Zebedee means: “my gift” and it appears that his sons were his gift to God

So, one set of brothers were casting their nets while the other set was mending their nets.

The first set of brothers are given a command to COME HERE, and the second set get invited and they decide to walk after Him. Jesus invited James and his brother John to walk with Him, and share His Message, and it doesn’t say how, Mark just says He called them which in Greek is the word “invited, included or called” kaleō G2564 which is in direct contrast to deute G1206 that Jesus said to Simon and Andrew, which is a command of COME HERE! I believe it’s evident that Jesus chose these 4 men to represent the Old Testament relationship with God in contrast to a New Testament relationship with God.

Simon and Andrew casting their net to catch fish, represented how those that were called FIRST, The Jews, were casting His Father’s Message out like a NET to CATCH men in large schools, while James and John mending their nets with their father in his vessel, represents the constant mending and sinching up of the holes of their methods in which they serve their Father’s business for generations to come. Jesus being about HIS Father’s business had this in mind I’m sure in the visual analogy.

So Jesus’ very first disciples were Simon and Andrew who forsook their nets and James and John that forsook their earthly father and all of his provisions. Jesus found all of them along the Sea of Galilee which means “circuit” and the definition of circuit is “a circle or line route of movement that starts and finishes at the same place.” Jesus starts His ministry in Galilee for a reason, because it will start and finish at the same place. Mark 1:15.

Where do you think Jesus and His 4 newly appointed apostles went after kicking off His ministry in Galilee (the circuit)? None other than the City of Comfort, Capernaum which literally means city or village of comfort in Greek.

Mark chapter one tells us all about how Jesus went into the synagogue of Capernaum and started teaching them with authority and they were amazed by it. We read that a man possessed with an unclean spirit proclaims in front of everyone that he knows who Jesus is,

“Leave us alone Jesus of Nazareth, have you come to destroy us? We know who you are, The Holy One of God.”

The very first supernatural thing Jesus does in front of witnesses is; He goes into the synagogue of Capernaum, the most influential of that region and He silences and casts out an unclean spirit among them. This is KEY. This is Mark’s first written account of Jesus performing the supernatural. Mark 1:25

Remember, it’s the oldest Gospel account of Jesus doing anything supernatural.

Jesus rebuked an unclean spirit in the synagogue and told it to stay quiet and then cast the spirit out of the man with authority and THIS caused His fame to spread all around the region of Galilee. Mark 1:28.

Verse 29 says that after Jesus left the synagogue in Capernaum, He entered the house of Simon and Andrew WITH James and John.

The house of Simon and Andrew is where the first healing miracles of Jesus begins. Simon’s mother-in-law was sick with fever. Simon and Andrew tell Jesus about her sickness and she is taken by the hand and lifted up by Jesus and immediately the sickness leaves her. This is the Second supernatural act of Jesus Christ before witnesses, v.31 and it says that she ministered to THEM, this is also KEY, in response to her healing, she immediately began to minister to their needs.

So keep in mind, the first two miracles of Jesus thus far in Mark chapter 1 are; a demon possessed man that said “LEAVE US ALONE, WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE amongst the synagogue of Capernaum and Simon Peter’s mother-in-law that was ill with fever is healed and she ministers to them.

Verse 32 says that as soon as the cover of night came, the people brought all who where diseased and demon possessed, and verse 33 says and all the city was gathered at their door. Verse 34 says “He healed many of divers diseases and cast out many devils charging them to stay quiet because they KNEW HIM.”

Okay, so the next few verses 35-38 are very important here, they say that Jesus sets off early in the morning to go find a solitary place to pray and that Simon and the others with him, FOLLOWED AFTER HIM, and WHEN they FOUND HIM they said “we all collectively sought to FIND YOU” it’s not “every man seeks you”, as King James has it translated, because every man doesn’t seek Him. In the original Greek it is a proclamation that they made to Jesus that THEY made the decision to SEEK HIM and find HIM, this time without Jesus having to command or invite them to, and HOW does Jesus respond to them being drawn to Him to find Him and serve Him? He said this:

Mar 1:38  And He said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. (that is where I came from)
Mar 1:39  And He preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.

*The commission of Jesus was always to GO and PREACH, never to set up a headquarters of brick and mortar and call it the Church.

So in response to those 4 men that He called, seeking Him of their own will and them FINDING HIM, Jesus immediately said “Let’s GO and PREACH, starting with the place I came from.” It says that He preached in their synagogues throughout ALL of the region of Galilee

These are the 3 miracles that Jesus performs in Capernaum (the city of comfort) in the very first chapter of Mark.

1.The demon in the synagogue, being told to stay quiet and cast out of a man in their midst.

*Represents the spirit that was over the understanding of the children of God in the city of comfort in the synagogue, the house that they worshipped in.

2.Simon’s sick mother-in-law, sick with fever and bed ridden, she is taken by the hand and lifted up by Jesus and the fever leaves her and she begins to minister to THEM.

* Simon’s mother in law was a Jewish woman, and she represents the spiritual knowledge and understanding of God’s people among the Jews thru the LAW. She is the mother IN LAW of the first disciple called. Simon’s biological mother represents his spiritual mother, and his mother IN LAW represents his relationship to the God thru the LAW. So in this event you see depicted; Simon’s mother in LAW representing the spiritual understanding of the people of Judah. She is afflicted with a sickness that causes a great fever making her bed ridden; demonstrating that the people of Judah were spiritually sick, and confined to one spot, in a spiritual sick bed. Jesus taking her by the hand and LIFTING HER UP, was the representation of the daughter of Zion being lifted up by her Redeemer the Messiah, Jesus, and in return she demonstrates her gratitude by ministering to all of them.

3.The man with leprosy. Remember, all three of these miracles are performed by Jesus within the first chapter of the Gospel of Mark.

Verses 40-44 of Chapter 1 tells us about a man with leprosy that begs Jesus on his knees saying “I know you have the power to, if you want to, to make me clean“, and Jesus put out His hand (once again Jesus is putting out His hand) and said “I want to make you clean”, and the man was healed as soon as the words reached his ears. However, Jesus gave this person a very specific command that Mark says was sternly charged; “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering Moses prescribed for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Now, Jesus knowing the hearts of men was not at all ignorant to what this man was about to do, yet He still sternly charged him of what to do and what NOT to do. There was a reason that Jesus requested that the priests be the first ones to see the healing signs that the Messiah was on the scene “as a testimony unto them”.

Mar 1:45  But the man went out and openly began to proclaim and spread the news. Consequently, Jesus could no longer enter a town in plain view, but He stayed out in solitary places. Yet people came to Him from every quarter. (Just like before when Jesus sought a solitary place, and the 4 brothers came TO HIM by their choice and will.)

*Okay, let me break down a few things about this 3rd healing of the man with leprosy. Leprosy was not just what we know today as Leprosy where body parts deteriorate. Leprosy was any skin disease that spread and was deemed unclean by a Priest. Just read Leviticus chapter 14 and you’ll understand. Anyway, this last guy represents the overall condition of the people of Judah and its surrounding regions. This man was UNCLEAN according to the LAW of Moses, and yet he had the FAITH that Jesus had the power of God and COULD HEAL him, but where he lacked faith was IF HE WANTED TO. That is why we once again have Jesus extending HIS hand to him and telling him “I want to” which probably broke his heart right there on the spot, I know it would mine. Jesus giving him a stern command and him ignoring it and doing exactly the opposite, well, that’s most people even up to today in their relationship with Jesus, even after receiving great miracles in their lives.

These first THREE miracles of Jesus represent the overall purpose for the Ministry of Jesus Christ.

  1. A taking back of the authority of the kingdom from those that sit in the seat of Moses. Hence why His first stop was a synagogue to cast out a demon that knew He was the Son of the Most High God.
  2. A lifting up of spiritual understanding, by Jesus reaching out His hand to His people on behalf of the Father, and them reciprocating by serving those that play a part in that healing.
  3. A making clean of those that confess that they are unclean, but have enough faith that He can make them clean if He wants to.

You are about to see how much HE WANTS TO. The first chapter of Mark shows us the very first stage of the Church and it’s created function being demonstrated prophetically through every event recorded in the next few chapters.

In Mark Chapter 2, Jesus heads back to Capernaum, The City of Comfort with the four, Simon, Andrew, James and John, and it is heard by the towns people that Jesus is staying in a house, (notice this time Mark gives no attention to who’s house, it’s just a house.) and that the house gets so filled with people coming to HIM to be healed and delivered that many people that truly needed Him, could not get close to Him. Pay close attention to all the symbolism in this next healing miracle, It’s the 4th message of Jesus.

This story says that Jesus preached HIS WORDS to them before He healed them, which I think is key, THEN it says they brought a man sick of palsy carried by FOUR men. Very much like the Message that Jesus is going to be entrusting these FOUR men with that He’s chosen so far. It says that while these 4 men are carrying the paralytic, they were not able to come near to Jesus because of the crowds of people in the house. So they removed the ROOF from off of the place where Jesus was in that house, while everyone was gathered unto Him and smushed together. They took the roof off, that is very symbolic.

Mark 2:4 says that when they had dug through the roof (the words used in Greek are to dig through) they lowered down the bed in which the man sick of palsy lay.

*Palsy means he was paralyzed, he could not move.

Mark 2:5 says that its when Jesus SAW their faith on behalf of that man that was paralyzed, it moved Him to forgive the man with palsy of his sin, which was obviously the result of his sin because Jesus forgave him of his sins before He decided to heal him of his palsy as a WITNESS to those watching of His divine authority to not only heal but forgive sins.

It was a man sick with palsy, that means he was paralyzed, couldn’t move, and it was the HOUSE that could not contain all that needed HIM, so the ROOF had to be removed, for the FOUR men to be able to lower the man that needed forgiveness for his sins so he could finally be able to move. This part of the Gospel story is purposeful and full of symbolism. It’s Jesus so beautifully showing us that up until this point in history, people had to go to a house to see a priest to hear about the Father, or to be be proclaimed clean or forgiven by God. Many did not have the ability to travel to the priest to be examined, deemed clean or forgiven, and the Father just had 4 men tear the roof off that whole structure of religion and old wineskin way of thinking. The roof is a covering, which spiritually represents an authority between you and the Father, like the Levitical priest were for the children of Israel and their kings. Okay, let’s get back to the story. It’s as soon as Jesus proclaims that the paralyzed man is forgiven of his sins, all hell breaks loose.

Mar 2:5  When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. 

BOOM! That’s it right there. Everything was cool up until Jesus said THIS. He had even cast out a demon on the Sabbath in the Synagogue in Capernaum and no one rose up or questioned Him up until He said THIS.

Mar 2:6  But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 
Mar 2:7  Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only

You see right at this moment, Jesus had not only taken the Kingdom authority back from those that were sitting in the seat of Moses, deciding who God forgives and who He doesn’t; He was now demonstrating He actually had the authority to do it by His miracles.

Mar 2:8  At once Jesus knew in His spirit that they were thinking this way within themselves. “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?” He asked
Mar 2:9  “Which is easier: to say to a paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, pick up your mat, and walk’? 
Mar 2:10  But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” He said to the paralytic, 
Mar 2:11  “I tell you, get up, pick up your mat, and go home.” 
Mar 2:12  And immediately the man got up, picked up his mat, and walked out in front of them all. As a result, they were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” 

*Here is where the battle begins in the history of the Church for the authority of the kingdom of God.

Right after this, Jesus and the four brothers go beside the sea of Galilee again, this is where Jesus invites Levi the tax collector to follow after Him, and that is when things really start to get ugly.. The scribes that were exposed for their thoughts by Jesus earlier, went and told the Pharisees of His so called blasphemies and how Jesus had just told the people in front of them that He had the authority upon the earth to forgive sins. Immediately they bring those Pharisees to witness Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners and the Pharisees lose their minds! They try to trap Jesus by asking a few questions concerning the rituals and customs of the Jews and Jesus used their questions as an opportunity to teach the people about NEW WINE in new wineskins, a complete SNUB to the Pharisees right in the faces of those who had ears to hear. Jesus was calling them and their teachings “old wineskins” and “old wine”. In complete comparison He was saying “what they know is old wine and they are the old wineskins” THEY were the old receptacles of the old covenant revelations of God. Jesus was bringing them NEW WINE and their WINESKINS needed to be NEW to receive THIS revelation of the NEW Covenant of the kingdom between God and His people through Jesus Christ His Son.

After this encounter with the Pharisees, Jesus heads to a synagogue again with the four men He has chosen and heals a man with a withered hand (the fifth miracle of Jesus) and the second time healing a man on the Sabbath and the Pharisees at that moment decided that Jesus need to be destroyed. In just these first 5 miracles you can see the narrative begin to play out. Mark 3:3 says that Jesus called to the man with the withered hand “Rise up and come to Me” and Jesus used that man coming to Him as the example of the point He was about to make.

Mar 3:4  And He saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. 
Mar 3:5  And when He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. 

This Fifth miracle is done even after the people stayed quiet to His question about the sabbath, the withered hand represents Judah’s dried up strength with God. A man’s right hand represents his strength. The people not being sure of the right answer, depicted how their devotion to their religion and not God had made them blind to the obvious right answer, which was to do good and to save a life. Those that cannot grasp that the will of God is to do good and save lives as the most basic principle of God’s Message to His people, will spiritually represent someone that has a withered hand in the Kingdom of God.

Now, Jesus heads up a mountain to call to Himself those that He had chosen.

Mar 3:13  And He goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto Him whom He would: and they came unto Him. (They came to HIM)

The verses of 14-19 begins with “He ordained twelve that they might be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: including Simon that was given the name Peter. and James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; which were given the name Boanerges, which means, The sons of thunder: and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed Him: and they went into a house.” 

*THIS was their COMMISSION, to go forth and preach, NOT set up a building, temple, synagogue or headquarters of ANY kind.

Again Mark doesn’t specify who’s house in verse 19, its just a house, BUT it’s a house none the less and they experience once again what happened last time they met in a house. Verse 20 shows us that the people start coming in droves again and the house fills up so much that they couldn’t even use their arms to eat bread. Verse 21 in Greek says that those nearby heard that some people were coming to lay hold of Jesus because they believed Him to be crazy. Verse 22 tells us that the people that were coming, were the scribes that came down from Jerusalem to accuse Him before the people.

The next few verses of Mark 3:23-30 are Christ’s teaching on blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and it’s all about division and being at risk of hell fire for being quick to call a miracle of God the work of Satan. Jesus is not only talking about the kingdom of Satan to the listeners; He’s also talking about the Kingdom of God upon the earth and the “strong man” or strong men, are those Jesus will leave in charge of His House, those living stones that make up the House of God. Jesus’s answer was to the scribes, but He was also explaining to His disciples how division works in a HOUSE and also among any kingdom.

The next path we’ll go down is examining what THIS DIVISION caused and still causes in the inception of and continuance of the Body of Christ upon the Earth.

The Ministry of Jesus started with the first chosen by Jesus, Simon, and his name means “to hear” and then Andrew which means “manly” then Jesus goes a little further up the banks of the sea of Galilee to James the Greek translation of Jacob which means “supplanter” and his brother John which is the Greek translation of Jehohanan, which means “Jehovah has graced“.

Mark says that Simon was given the name Peter in Mar 3:16, it doesn’t say specifically that Jesus gave Simon that name which is translated as “a stone”. Peter is called Simon and only Simon in the first mentions of him in Mark Chapter 1, however it does say that the name was given to Peter in Mark 3:16 just as the following verse 17 says James and his brother John were also given the name Boanerges, the sons of thunder. So, out of the first 4 that were called by Jesus; Simon, Andrew, James and John, only 3 of them are given new names, James and John share the name Boanerges.

Peter= petros, a stone, in contrast to petra which means a boulder or massive rock.

Boanerges= sons of thunder. The name denotes a fiery and destructive zeal that is likened to a thunder storm.

So the first 4 called by Jesus are named: A Hearing, Manly, Supplanter and Jehovah Has Graced. Out of these original four, Andrew, the one whose name means “manly” doesn’t make the cut and is not mentioned later on by Paul as one of the PILLARS. In fact according to Paul’s testimony in 1 Cor 15:7-8, James the brother of Jesus had a visitation from his brother after His resurrection, after He appeared to the original 12 apostles. James the brother of Jesus was NOT one of the original 12 called. It appears in scripture that Andrew (manly) is replaced by James the brother of Jesus after his personal encounter with Jesus after His resurrection.

1 Cor 15:7-8 Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. And last of all He appeared to me also, as to one of untimely birth. (Paul is talking about James the Lord’s brother NOT the brother of John.)

Peter will remain, John the brother of James will remain, but James the brother of John is beheaded by Herod a little further ahead in Acts. So the 4 remaining PILLARS, after the beheading of the James the brother of John, are Peter, James the brother of Jesus, John the remaining son of Zebedee and eventually Paul will hold a place as Pillar that holds up the foundation or the Testimony of Jesus Christ upon the earth. The New FOUR become: Peter, James, John and Paul which took the place of Barnabas as leader and apostle to the Gentiles.

Let’s do a little closer examination of Peter, the first of those chosen by Jesus; considering Peter wrote books in the N.T. walked with Jesus and is who the largest religion on the planet, Catholicism, calls the “First Pope”.

Simon, as I previously stated is the Greek translation of the name Shimon in Hebrew, which means: a hearing, or to hear.

Barjona means son of Jonah and Jonah means dove.

So Peter’s name before it was changed to “a stone” in Mar 3:16 was “a hearing son of Jonah”

Peter, Petros, Cephas = Stone, was added to Simon’s name and did not replace it, which makes Peter’s name now mean “a hearing stone”. So it changed from a hearing son of Jonah to a hearing stone just to make sure we have that clear.

I also feel it’s important to point out that Mark the author of the oldest Gospel does not include the scenario of “upon this rock I will build My Church” in his Gospel testimony, in Mark it goes down like this:

Mar 8:27-30  And Jesus went out, and His disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked His disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, one of the prophets, and He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto Him, Thou art the Christ. And He charged them that they should tell no man of Him. 

*That’s it, no speech from Jesus about the gates of hell, I will build my church, nothing, In fact right after this it says that Jesus began to openly tell the people about His death and resurrection and that’s when newly named Peter decided to rebuke JESUS in front of them all. Here’s how it went down:

Mar 8:31  And He (Jesus) began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 
Mar 8:32  And He spoke that, saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke Him

It appears that right after Peter confessed to Jesus in front of the other disciples that he KNEW that Jesus was the Christ in Mark 8:30, he got a little prideful because the very NEXT verse Peter is emboldened by wrong motives enough to rebuke Jesus, The CHRIST, the revealed Messiah in front of others! This proved that Peter was not operating under the principles of the kingdom that Jesus was establishing. This is how Jesus handled the situation with Peter:

Mar 8:33  But Jesus, turning and looking at His disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” 

The rest of Mark chapter 8 doesn’t really let us know how Peter handled this rebuke from Jesus in front of the others but we know that this chapter is wrapped up with this:

Mar 8:38  If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in His Father’s glory with the holy angels.” 

Six days later in chapter 9 the Lord invites Peter with James and his brother John to follow Him upon a high mountain to transfigure Himself before them. Specifically those 3 were chosen by Jesus for this revealing of Himself and no other is chosen. Already, we can see by this point Andrew, one of the original 4 is not included in this appearance of Jesus in His kingdom’s glory. Only Peter, James and John.

*Pay special attention to how Peter responds to the revealing of Christ Jesus in the glory of His kingdom:

Mar 9:2  And after six days Jesus taketh with Him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and He was transfigured before them. 
Mar 9:3  And His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. 
Mar 9:4  And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. 
Mar 9:5  And Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

Mar 9:6  For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.  

Notice that Peter’s first instinct was FEAR, and he offers to build three man made structures to honor Moses, Elijah and Jesus due to this fear. The word used in Mark 9:6 actually is ekphobos G1630 and it means a lot more than just fear, it means: stricken with terror, exceedingly frightened or terrified. Peter, when revealed the glory of Christ Jesus in His Kingdom was terrified and offered to build them 3 buildings to appease those fears. This is soo key here folks. In the oldest Gospel account of Peter being SHOWN the glory of Christ in His Kingdom, in his terror he offers to build buildings of worship, BUILDINGS. This will begin to speak volumes to you as we continue this biblical expose’ of Peter the apostle, and the others. We haven’t even gotten to how Peter denied Jesus 3 times and was rebuked for hypocrisy by Paul in front of the brothers at Antioch.

So, a quick recap until this point in the oldest Gospel account: Peter is a fisherman that is commanded to COME to Jesus with a promise to be changed into a fisher of men if he follows Jesus. Peter is the first to choose to seek after HIM and the other 3 followed and together they found Him. He is a man that has the name “stone” added to him after confessing that he KNEW that Jesus was the Christ. We know that right after this encounter, he rebukes Jesus in front of the others, and gets called “Satan” for his wrong motives, then, once chosen by Jesus to reveal Himself to, he responds with the desire to build places of worship due to his tremendous fear. Okay, that’s plenty for now on the scoop on Peter, more will unfold later on in NT scriptures, but I need to touch on the very INCEPTION of what could be considered THE CHURCH, historically and biblically, and WHO men consider to be it’s pillars, and why?

In the year 6 AD or CE (Christ is 6 years old) following the deposition of Herod Archelaus, Judea came under direct Roman rule, during which time the Roman governor was given authority to punish by execution. The name “Judaea” was derived from the Kingdom of Judah of the 6th century BC or BCE and taken as the name for the combined regions of Judea and Galilee. Judaea was now a Roman province which incorporated the regions of Judea, Samaria, and Idumea, and extended over parts of the former regions of the Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms of Judea.

Some very important facts about Judaea and the first 2 churches of Jerusalem and Antioch of the 1st century come after the ascension of Jesus Christ in 33 CE. and it’s the event of the Jewish–Roman wars of 66–136 CE that started 33 years exactly after the ascension of Christ when the Roman Empire expelled most of the Jews from the area and formed the Roman province of Syria Palaestina.

After the Lord Jesus ascended in 33 AD, the only leaders among the followers of Christ in Jerusalem were James, the brother of Jesus, John and Peter. It actually makes perfect sense that James, the brother of Jesus would be the “final say” concerning any witness of His brother. Anyone trying to get verification about the testimonies concerning Jesus would naturally seek out His next of kin, and in this case it was His brother James. Remember, only 3 of the original 4 brothers called, on the shore of Galilee live to be leaders in the future Gospel narrative. It was originally Andrew, Peter, James and John.

Peter is mentioned as being among those of the 1st Century Church in Jerusalem but he is not referred to as the HEAD, Christ alone is the HEAD of His Church. In fact it was James the brother of Jesus that settled the matter concerning what to teach the newly converted Gentile believers, not Peter. Peter had to report to the brothers in Jerusalem in Acts chapter 11 for eating with Gentiles, which was unlawful for them to do, and he shared with them all about how the Holy Spirit had fallen upon the Gentiles just as it had fallen upon the Jews, but it was James that had the final say. Peter showed the authority that James in the Church of Jerusalem had when men were sent from James to the Church in Antioch and Peter was eating and drinking with Gentile believers and quickly got up and removed himself when the men that James had sent arrived.

So, we have the very FIRST Church of the disciples of Jesus meeting in Jerusalem with James the brother of Jesus, Peter and John overseeing it in the name of Jesus Christ and operating as pillars as Paul called them, overseeing the Church in Jerusalem. It was not a building, not the Temple or a synagogue, but it was “those called” (which is what the word ekklesia means) meeting in different places and homes throughout Jerusalem.

Then we have a SECOND Church of believers of Jesus Christ in Antioch among the Gentiles.

Let me give you a quick run down on the history of this Church the Church in Antioch.

It started with no leaders, no pillars but it exploded with new converts to the belief in the Testimony of Jesus Christ and His resurrection from the dead.

Act 11:20  But some of them, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks as well, proclaiming the good news about the Lord Jesus. 
Act 11:21  The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. 
Act 11:22  When news of this reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 

All that we get from biblical accounts about these men from Cyprus and Cyrene that preached to the Greeks and other Gentiles about the Lord Jesus is this: That the hand of the LORD was with them. We also see quite symbolically a man named Simon, a native of Cyrene, a little later on in the narrative is made to carry the cross of Jesus some of it’s way to Calvary, in the Gospel of Mat 27:32

Back to Barnabas being sent to Antioch to check out the move of God happening there~

Act 11:23  When he (Barnabas) arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to abide in the Lord with all their hearts. 
Act 11:24  Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. 

Barnabas didn’t claim authority over it on behalf of the Church of Jerusalem or try to capitalize on it, or consider himself the head over it. He knew God was moving there among the Gentiles in the Power of the Holy Spirit and went to go get Saul in Tarsus (v.25) who was already preaching Christ among the Jews in Turkey since his conversion on the Road to Damascus and his meeting with Ananias on the street called Straight in Judea among the house of Judah.

Act 11:26  And when he had found him,(Saul) he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. 

In the verses that follow this, we see prophets come from the Church in Jerusalem to the Church in Antioch. One prophet who’s name is Agabus which means “locusts” in Greek, stands up and tells them that a great famine was going to be coming over the land and it’s the Church in Antioch, made up of all those Gentiles disciples that gathered together everything they could to send it to the brethren in Judaea. The supplies that were gathered were brought to the Church in Jerusalem by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. Acts 11:30

King Herod had been vexing the Church in Jerusalem in their absence and by the time that Barnabas and Saul arrive back from Antioch, Herod had killed James the brother of John and imprisoned Peter. Remember, it’s just before the great famine that Agabus prophesied is about to hit or is already hitting at this point and supplies are having to be sent from the Church in Antioch to the Church in Jerusalem by Barnabas and Saul. Peter is thrown into prison and an angel from the Lord frees him and he goes to find the brethren and tells them to send word to James about his experience.

So, what we have so far since the Lord’s ascension is two recognized Churches of people gathering in the name of Jesus Christ. The Church in Jerusalem with James the brother of Jesus, John and Peter as it’s pillars and The Church in Antioch, established by Barnabas and Saul and overseen by prophets and teachers. Notice this Church is comprised of those that are NOT Jewish, but it does have some Jewish brethren mentioned as prostyles of the men from Cyrene and Cyprus. Okay, so one Church led by Jewish apostles that walked with Christ and one Church led by prophets and teachers from other nations, that were birthed by the Spirit of God and not men. Barnabas and Saul just confirmed what was going on in Antioch was indeed GOD. Here are the Church of Antioch’s leaders:

Act 13:1  Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. (Saul later changes his name that means “desired” to Paul which means “small”.

I feel it’s important to point out that these were NOT buildings, synagogues or temples that were considered the 1st century Churches, they were gatherings of “those called” in divers places in the region. The ekklesia is the people, not a building around the Message that needs its ROOF removed.

We are the living stones that make up the house of God, with Simon having his name changed to “a stone” representing its very first stone chosen for its spiritual household. Peter represents the Jews, the descendants of Abraham, the family chosen among all the inhabitants of the earth. Judgment starts first in the house of God and those that came first will be judged first. First for the Jew then for the Gentile. The first shall be LAST and the last shall be FIRST when it comes to the Kingdom of God.

Peter represents the OLDER BROTHER in the parable of the Prodigal Son. The Jew. The one that feels that he has been faithful to ALL of his Father’s business and affairs since the beginning and deserves to be the recipient of His Father’s honor and signet ring, not his younger repentant brother. It’s the age old jealousy that caused Cain to rise up to slay his brother Abel. It’s the “death” that began its cycle in the Garden, that was foretold to be the result of disobedience.

Paul represents the YOUNGER BROTHER in the parable that realizes that he cashed in on his inheritance before the appointed time of His Father and it led him to a place eating what the pigs left over. His work as a Pharisee from the tribe of Benjamin, was now but DUNG to him in comparison to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. The ONLY pillars of the Kingdom are those that carry and hold UP the Testimony of Jesus Christ. Paul was a blind man that received not only his physical sight back, but was given spiritual sight as well, by following the street called STRAIGHT.

It’s not by accident that Peter was the apostle to the Jews and Paul the apostle to the Gentiles. Neither man could not boast in his own strength. Peter was a Jew by birth but he lived like a Gentile and Paul was a Jew from an illustrious tribe that knew nothing about being a Gentile. Each man was humbled and had to entirely depend upon the Lord to fulfill their unique callings.

It’s the kingdoms of men contending with the Kingdom of God. The kingdoms of men naturally have the first born male ascend to the throne, but in the Kingdom of God, the youngest and least gets the ring and the robe. The constant friction in the Church is due to the attempts at boxing it up, housing it, packaging it, and taking OWNERSHIP of it. The commission of Christ was NEVER to build anything of brick and mortar but to call together in unity by the Spirit of God those that bear witness to the testimony of Jesus Christ, the LIVING STONES that make up HIS TRUE HOUSE.

I know this article was long, longer than I would have liked it to be.. however there was much I needed to touch on to drive my point home. I pray in the Name of Jesus this article has helped you understand the history of the Church in a non religious and honest way..

God Bless you all! I love you, Be Free and Set Free in Jesus Name~

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