This verse in Matthew 16 has invaded my thoughts particularly in the aftermath of the attacks in Sri Lanka. We seem to go from attack to attack right now.
One thing is certain, our warfare is visible now for all to see. I do not desire to get into the radical Islam discussion because it is not about our Theology but it is how our interpretation is conditioning the out working of a theology that comes diametrically opposed to the well being of other people groups.
The attacks were hotels, tourist places and a Church, where the number of the dead number around 290-300.
Therefore as I began to meditate and pray very strongly did my mind gravitate to the verse which Jesus declares to Peter the way He would build His Church.
Jesus says here that He personally will BUILD His Church. We must take this verse in it’s TRUE context. Peter has relayed revelation concerning Jesus. And Jesus tells us that the revelation about Himself will form the foundation of what will be known as the Church. There would be keys of authority given to Peter in his role as leader. So the building blocks of this Church is built upon revelation of the person Jesus is.
It is not enough for that revelation to be written, it has to be manifested in authority and leadership, and demonstration of authority in the way the Church confronts heresy, and the demonic realm.
The attack against the Church now, being visible by bomb and by fire, is to met with the demonstration that no matter what the enemy does to deter it will be useless to stop the advance of the Church.
We all grieve at those who are killed in these attacks, and we are assured in Revelation that it is their intercession at the Throne that moves the end time purposes towards installing Jesus as King and Judge of all the earth.
We must understand that our warfare is not about what we believe, but who we believe. It is against Jesus. It is by taking out His people in physical and political attack and bring about a demographic shift in population makeup. It is no mystery that France is undergoing the strains of many cultures and expressions of faith are in a crucible together and the result is a lethal explosion of terror.
So if the intercession of those who spilled their Blood for Christ is such for God to act on their behalf, how much more does it call for a different kind of intercession for us who still are privileged to live out our vocation.
As Jesus guarantees to BUILD His Church, that we take Him at His Word, and ask Him to manifest that work in us, and through us.
Acts 4 is such an occasion where the apostles and the Church was being confronted, they were unanimous in their prayer, drawn to Psalm 2. They were effective in that heaven responded by shaking the earth and filling them with His Spirit.
It is time as a universal Church to see that it is not enough to mourn and pray about the attacks without understanding the prophetic significance of them.
There is no doubt that satan is determined to delay the completion of the end time programme of the Lord. For this we need an effective response.
Our response resides in the militant approach we need to take in prayer. We need to ask the Jesus who personally BUILDS the Church to act to complete that building work.
If God shook the earth in Acts 4, we need that He shakes the dark places of the enemy kingdom by the manifestation of the sons of God as they manifest the Son of God.
When we are facing the enemy it is with certainty we will be also given the authority to break his advance.
The prevailing power of God is greater than whatever “prevailing ” the enemy seeks to do. There is no overpowering of the revelation of Jesus, King, Son of God.
The Bible talks about 4 levels of authority, that Greek words discriminate, first being dunamis, second being exousia, the third being ischuo, the final being kratos.
Ischuo is prevailing power or authority, to break through.
David had this experience at Baal Perazim, where he broke through the army of the Philistines. They were defeated never to rise again.
Once we enter ischuo, it is only by a logical step we enter kratos, which is overall dominion.
Our understanding is about not thinking of this as personal power or position, but as a generation face down what is facing us.
It may mean martyrdom for some but the Church will see Jesus manifest to BUILD His Church. And if He builds His Church then the fulness of His Kingdom can be manifest in the earth.