Peter was probably a disciple of John the Baptist, like his brother Andrew, who was called and followed Jesus. His real name was Simon and changed to Peter by Jesus. The name Peter is from the word Petra, meaning rock. The foundation rock of the spiritual temple which Jesus will build to the Lord of Heaven, namely, his Church, is to be the truth upon which Peter first declared Him the Messias and truly the son of God. This spiritual truth is the rock, not Peter. Peter travelled with Jesus as one of the inner circle of three with James and John. Simon Peter was one of the most vividly drawn characters in Bible history; always intensely human and lovable even in his worst failings, which were many, but the special marking of the apostle during the ministry of Jesus was a predictable undependability.

After the ascension, Peter was the chosen instrument that God had used to open the gospel opportunity to the Samaritans, and later to the Gentiles. We have Peter's call to Caesarea and the house of Cornelius. First Peter himself had to be prepared, and there on the housetop God did most thoroughly prepare him, breaking up his old Jewish prejudices.

The Bible makes only vague reference to Peter's life after he left Jerusalem. For the next 20 years he apparently traveled from one city to another, from Palestine to Asia Minor, preaching to the small Christian communities as he went. We are told of Peter that his wife accompanied him on his missionary journeys. Church tradition also holds that Peter's wife was named Concordia, or Perpetua, she also suffered martyrdom as Peter encouraged her to be brave, saying "Remember, dear, our Lord"

St. Peter was imprisoned in Jerusalem, but after his miraculous escape he fled to Rome. It was probable that, about the last year of his life, Peter did go to Rome, either by order of Nero, or, of his own accord to help steady the Christians under the terrific blows of Nero's persecutions. He was said to reach Rome and along with Paul to have founded the Roman church, this cannot be true since there was a Christian church already formed there. Peter was most likely martyred in 64 during the persecution by the emperor Nero.

That St. Peter was a leading apostle, in some respects, the leading apostle, none will dispute. But he never exercised the supremacy which is assigned to him by Roman Catholic writers and is proven by the reading of the New Testament.

The epistle of I Peter was written perhaps as late as AD 65. Its theme is suffering and was written to the churches scattered throughout Asia Minor what is now modern Turkey. I Peter was written with the help of Silvanus, who is probably Paul's old comrade, called in Acts, Silas for short. Peter recognized the sufferings, trials and grief that Christians were experiencing and encourages us to rejoice, the trial of our faith is more precious than gold and to "hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." We are encouraged to persevere in persecution. "Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind."

In Peter's second letter, we were warned about the false teachers among us. Peter reminds us of how God punished the false teachers in the Old Testament times and reminds us of the final judgment in the future. A false teacher may try to tell you that faith is all that we need. Peter wants us to add to our faith virtue and to virtue, knowledge and to knowledge, temperance and to temperance, patience and to patience, godliness and to godliness, brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness, charity. He that is lacking in these things is blind. We have the sure word of prophecy and no prophecy of the scripture is if of a private interpretation yet false prophets among us have brought into the church damnable heresies. Many false prophets on television and radio and through mass mailings and the internet and even in the pulpit make merchandise out of us and ask for money to support their ministries. Christians everwhere lust after the flesh in uncleanliness and unrighteousness, they have becime self-willed, adulterous, covetous and corrupt and the children are cursed. It would be better that they had not known the way of righteousness than to afterward turn from it. The Christians of the last days are ignorant and the coming of the Lord will be as a thief in the night to them as they sleep in their comfortable circumstances. But we are looking upward toward these things, brothers and sisters, we must meet Him at peace, without spot, blameless, growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Roman community of Christians is believed to have formed in the reign of Claudius 41-54. The Roman Catholics date Peter's arrival at 42, Lactantius speaks of his arrival in the time of Nero 54-68. The New Testament places him definitely in Jerusalem and Antioch around 50. Where Peter went after Antioch, no-one knows for sure. A few years later, he was traveling about as an apostle, in company with his wife and probably in the vicinity of Syria. Syria was very thickly populated with Jews, and Peter would find there a natural and an ample field.

The Quo Vadis tradition has it that Peter, when the terrible days of persecution began, the Roman Christians begged Peter to flee to some safe retreat, and that he finally yielded to their arguments. Peter was overcome by the entreaties of his friends to save himself and was fleeing from Rome. In the night just outside the city on the Appian Way, in a vision the Lord Jesus met him. Falling on his face ashamed and humiliated, the old apostle cried out, "Quo vadis Domine?" Whither thou goest, Master, and the Master replied, "If you desert my people, I am going to Rome to be crucified a second time," So Peter returned to the city, and was crucified head - downward, feeling not worthy to be crucified as his Lord was. Jerome verifies the nature of the crucifixion, his head being down and his feet upward.

And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Luke 22:25-32.

There is a shifting going on in the church today and a sifting. The shifting are the ones that hear the Lord and are making that transition from an authoritarian church to a serving one and the sifting is a judgment between them. Peter did end up in strengthening his brothers but first he had to be tried and converted from his worldly attitudes and proven faithful. What was the attitude of Peter?

Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? John 18:10-11.

From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 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. Matthew 16:21-23

Jesus answered, [to Pilate] My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. John 18:36

Jesus left to prepare a place for us, He is in His kingdom now and reigns in our hearts. He is wooing His Bride out from the erring nations. Are we to think that there is a perfect part of the remnant that is ready as one of the nations and used of God to usher in the kingdom? Much of the church is trying to take the kingdom by force by acting like Peter as if it is of this world, of this political generation and this anointed political administration. What is truly worshipped is not Jesus but the image of the beast. By setting up a worldly kingdom with it's military might to force nations that disagree with false economic policies in the name of a false freedom and a false democracy for the rich in a so-called God ordained course, they have taken the mark. The enemy has blinded a worldly church and harlot bride to think of the kingdom of God in a fleshly realm to raise the sword against perceived enemies in the flesh. They refuse to come out of this delusion because they love this world and defend a worldly mammon system. Rather than accepting the way of Jesus to understand these things, they believe that the same political leaders that they have exalted to ride upon Babylon are anointed to rule their own worldly desires. It is giving in to a lie and by believing that lie, they become part of the judgment coming upon the church that will fall along with Babylon. Peter was afraid, he did not want Jesus to be tried and to go through that tribulation, he wanted the military might and political clout and kingdom promises now without going the way of the cross. Just like Peter, the church wants a quick way out of the tribulation, taken out of the testing and trial and sifting. Not so, judgment begins with the church of God and to its political image as well but like Peter, Jesus is standing by us to encourage us and pray for us. Like Peter, we shall not fail. Like Peter, we can strengthen our brothers with the words:

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you, but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. I Peter 4:12-13

It will take some time and some events on earth and heaven for these things to be recognized by the church. Until then, we can renew our own minds but like Peter, it takes conversion and faith in the Lord Jesus of heaven and what He has taught us about worldly things.
[301, 318, 324, 326, 329, 338, 328, 330, 345, 355, 359, 12, 18, 367, 339, Like Peter was an item of the latter rain discussion on the Bride of Christ]

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