“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:13-19.
This piece of scripture is used in jokes that have Peter standing at the gates of heaven and preventing different people, such as lawyers, from entering. However, this scripture is not about Peter, but about the rock that Christ said he would build his church upon.
As a child I was taught that we were Protestants and the Church is built upon Peter’s faith, not upon Peter himself. Peter’s declaration that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God showed Peter’s faith and Protestants say this faith is what we should all have and this faith is the rock. However, as I studied the passage I got something else out of it. I believe the rock that Christ said he would build his Church upon may be something else.
There were two words that meant rock in this scripture passage. According to Strong’s Concordance the word Peter is Petros and the rock is Petra. Therefore, using these words Matthew 16:18 would read, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Petros, and upon this Petra I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Petros and Petra both mean rock, but according to Strong’s Concordance, “Petros” is masculine and “Petra” is feminine. Therefore, Christ would build his Church upon a feminine rock. As I searched the Bible, the only feminine rock I could find mentioned is the nation of Israel.
Israel was the wife of God in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 3: 8). Also, Israel is the stone kingdom. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Daniel 2:44-45. This stone kingdom is destined to replace and do away with the Babylonian succession of powerful nations. It is Christian Israel ruling with Jesus Christ as king. When the people of Israel (the Anglo-Saxon and kindred peoples) embraced Christianity, they spread abroad their influence to large parts of the world. The British Commonwealth is over two billion people. The United States of America is without a doubt the most powerful and influential nation in the world. Then there is the Netherlands and the Scandinavian nations, and pockets of Israel in various parts of the world such as Germany, the Ukraine, and Poland. The influence of our people in the world is already great. Of course, there is sin and abuse because Jesus Christ is not here in person to rule, and our people will not fulfill their greater destiny until they submit to him. When the Israelites entered the promised land, they set up twelve stones taken out of the Jordan river (Joshua chapter 4). I believe those stones were symbolic of the stone kingdom. Could it be that the “rock” that Jesus Christ said he would build his Church upon is Israel (the Anglo-Saxon and kindred people)? After all, Peter and the apostles were all Israelites.