Simon or Peter, Fear or Peace

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In all my years of living on this planet, I don’t believe that I have ever seen so many, well meaning Christians, become so consumed by theories of who is causing what, and the subsequent motives and goals that are behind them, as I do today. A few months ago, I started to ponder and pray about, what exactly it was that I was seeing, where a consuming distrust and a strong compulsion, was gripping so many, thereby causing much division and harm, within the body of Christ.

At the time, I didn’t understand God’s reasoning, but I did understand the internal witness of God’s Holy Spirit, that directed me to stop going down rabbit holes and to focus on Jesus. And even though I was encouraged, by some well meaning Christians, to consider the tentative realities of some of these conspiracy theories, I declined to do so. It was a personal decision that I felt led to do and I am glad that I did.

My logical mind saw the dangers associated with taking hearsay at face value, without validating the accusations that were being made and taking into account the history and motives of those who made these accusations, not to mention, the opposing opinions of those who were acknowledged professionals in the specific areas being questioned and I subsequently put together a couple of posts that advocated the necessity of Christians taking the time to authenticate sources and how to follow some basic fact checking principles.

But that is NOT the reasoning behind what is happening.

These couple of posts were just some common sense guidance with regard to how and why we should not be disseminating misinformation or disinformation onto others before we follow through with taking the prudent responsible steps, we are all called to do.

And since making that decision to not go down rabbit holes, every time that I read or study God’s Word, I continually receive reinforcement via the internal witness of God’s Holy Spirit, that focusing on Jesus is the correct path to walk in. It doesn’t matter where I am reading, the reinforcement is always the same.

So I knew that what I was doing was what God wanted me to do, but I did not, at that time, understand the reasoning behind why.

Obviously I am just an ordinary layperson, so all I can ask of you is to consider and pray about what I am now sharing.

The effects of buying into any one or more of the numerous conspiracy theories that are currently rampant, doesn’t always make itself immediately known, but the effects are real, nevertheless. And I would ask you, what in reality, are the effects of these conspiracy theories? It causes fear, which in turn causes doubt, which in turn, causes a diminishment of faith. We don’t always see it because it is subtle, it starts out relatively small but the more time and effort we expend into it, that fear grows.

Fear is what Peter experienced when he stood in the courtyard of the High Priest’s house when they had seized Jesus (Luke 22:54-62 ESV). Remember when Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter (John 1:42 ESV)? Simon is what he was previously called, Peter is what Jesus called him. I know there are reasons why Jesus changed Simons name but I want you to notice something when Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him.

Luke 22:31-34 ESV
“Simon, Simon, behold,
Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”

Why would Jesus call Peter “Simon” when He had already named him Peter?

Jesus uses Peter’s old name, his earthly flesh name to show the contrast between what he falls back into or allows and what he will be again, “WHEN YOU HAVE TURNED AGAIN”, strengthen your brothers, and then Jesus calls him Peter when Jesus tells him he will indeed deny Him three times.

And what would Simon turn from? Earthly fleshly Fear.

That is indeed what we buy into when we go down those rabbit holes and not only do we go down the rabbit holes, but we also encourage others to do likewise.

I am NOT advocating sticking our heads in the sand and ignoring what is happening around us, I can be aware of what the various conspiracy theories are, but I do not have to drill down into each one of them nor do I have to disseminate them to others so that others can drill down into them too.

Consider this words that Jesus gave us: John 16:33 NASB:
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Whether we recognize it or not, when we focus on that which we deem is being controlled by others, we turn our faith away from He who is in control.

Jesus doesn’t tell us to ignore the tribulation but He also doesn’t tell us, that is where our focus is to be.

I’m going to close this post with one more verse from Isaiah 8:12-13:
“Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, He is the one you are to fear, He is the one you are to dread.”

This is what Matthew Henry partially comments on for the context of this Scripture:

“The prophet challenges the enemies of the Jews. Their efforts would be vain, and themselves broken to pieces. It concerns us, in time of trouble, to watch against all such fears as put us upon crooked courses for our own security. The believing fear of God preserves against the disquieting fear of man. If we thought rightly of the greatness and glory of God, we should see all the power of our enemies restrained. The Lord, who will be a Sanctuary to those who trust in him, will be a Stone of stumbling, and a Rock of offence, to those who make the creature their fear and their hope.”

I respectfully put these thoughts out for your consideration.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 comments

  1. I am not sure specifically what you are getting at, but I will agree Jesus, and the cross/redemption is to be our main focus. Still Preaching and teaching always involves application which might seem like a bunny trail as does someone of the details in the bigger picture of the gospel story. People do studies on Creation and whole ministries are created focusing on that. That said, they like every other ministry needs to keep the eye on the prize.

    I personally of late have tried to keep my eye on politics because helping the right side will help our lives and Gods kingdom. Its possible that more church freedom around the world will allow more evangelism and by proxy more people will be saved.

    I also have a project on the go, which I feel led by God to do and was prompted not to post on my site. That was hard to listen too. But I did. And I know there are others like yourself who are preaching the gospel. Not that this article mentioned Jesus and the gospel, but generally you bring it up.

    Not everything has to be gospel every moment. Unfortunately a statement like that will lead some to do no gospel most times. I agree with you we should directly focus on our relationship with God, teach the gospel, and call people to return to Jesus through the means of the cross.

    And while George Floyd might be a gossip, its also a great tragedy and we shouldn’t avoid it because of the gospel. The Gospel is about returning to Love to restore Love as well. Obviously that police officer tuned out is conscience and its a great place to call people to repentance. To return to God and to return to Love. Beloved. Let us love one another for love is of God.. He who does not love does not know God…
    -Those are my thoughts.

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  2. When we are dwadling in our race (as Hebrews 12:1-2 calls it), the things of none to the secondary concerns of life make our tracks look like miles of erratic circles leading nowhere following nothing.
    Good post Bruce. It is hard at times to keep our eyes on Jesus when so many voices demand our attention from the rabbit holes that litter the narrow path.

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  3. On a bunny trail:
    I have been studying quantum levitation. I am working on some experiments. I believe in Jesus, and what he said when he said, I go to prepare a place for you.
    In that study, I realized that the garden of Eden or at least the trees and rivers in the garden are in this city, “the new Jerusalem” And seeing things on earth are patterned after things in the heavens, it came to me that possibly this city was existing before the world began. And that it was this city that was seen as a star over Jerusalem. It might have been this 1500 mile x1500 mile city where Adam was created and where he was kicked out of. I am speculating.
    So in this whole thing I realized 1500 miles is a long way, big enough for topsoil and rivers and gardens. Big enough for mansions.
    But when I look at the conversions of biblical units of measurements it says the walls of the city are 1500 miles high.
    Our atmosphere is only 300 miles thick with most of it in the first 10 miles. The space station is at 254 miles above the earth. So to suggest that walls only 216 ft thick are 1500 miles high not only makes it next to impossible but suggests that a whole cloud system could and atmosphere could be had in this heavenly city without a cover on top and it could travel through space. Its 4000 miles to the centre of the earth but the moon is only 1080 miles to the centre. So this 1500 mile high wall seems to be extreme and impossible. At first I was under the impression each foundation was made out of different stone but now it seems to me that the 12 foundations are garnished not made out of. But then again, each was to represent an apostle. There is a lot of detail.
    I am bringing all this up because of the Hope of the future kingdom.
    13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13

    My first point before was that such a size of city would crash to the ground on some new planet, (a new earth) found in a new heavens without some sort of massive propulsion or anti-gravity system. Its My thought that I could hot wire What God will do and we would be flying in cars to the moon until he returns. With that same technology, it appears that the war from heaven is launched from this city to earth. So there is a lot riding on my invention. It would essentially show that the New Jerusalem is not a Hoax and that when Jesus Promised to come back etc. it was not a joke. I believe his promises to be true. So, I was thinking maybe each foundation is a thousand miles thick leaving 300 miles on top for the wall which is still enormous, but the Idea of rock being 1200 miles thick is not outrageous. It just means this new city comes with its own Crust of sorts and is almost like the past vision of what a flat earth might have looked like.

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      • I was looking at the biblical side of the invention, looking at how the new Jerusalem could be more than a imagination found in a dream. I am thinking it is an actual place and these measurements are not metaphor but actual. Part of the problem with Revelations is that the writer drops in Metaphor and different perspectives without always giving notice.
        So, I am just bringing this bunny trail up because you like others do know about the biblical story. You might not have thought about the Idea of a wall being 1500 miles high before. No one so far as I have seen has questioned this outrageous height.
        What I got out of it was the Idea that the city of God would have its own atmosphere. And that has caused me to look even closer. Still, I question the Idea of having a 1500 mile high wall. Even Trump cant build something that big and have the Mexicans pay for it.
        I personally think that the way to avoid a wall falling is to put corners in and a corner supports itself. I know that from construction. So, maybe I was reading Revelations 21 wrong and maybe there is more than 4 walls but that the overall size is 1500 miles square but maybe there are twelve points or a star of david with inner and outer corners such that there is less length. I am just trying to understand what this city looks like.

        8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
        Connected to the gospel is this new Jerusalem and my invention. I think I know how Jesus walked on water and how the red sea was parted and how this city comes out of heaven and lands. Its about quantum levitation and I think the bible has given us clues. And by looking at all of these things I am hoping to fit in the missing puzzle pieces. If I get the answers and I make this invention work, It will allow us to travel through space. And it will prove not only that the bible is perfect and accurate but that Jesus will return and the rapture will not be a magical fancy fly off into the clouds without definition but a visit by Jesus in this golden city to remove Christians from the earth for Judgment to come and that the war fought by Jesus and the events coming from heaven to the earth will not come from some imaginary far off heaven but the heavens with the city literally orbiting the earth. I know it sounds like crazy town, but literally the space age is at our door. We barely grasp anything about gravity and physics. One small leap forward would change everything. axe heads float to the water surface, waters part, arks of the covenant create lightning flashes and stars fall from heaven. all of it space age type of things. It makes me wonder if the writers of star trek and Star-gate were simply extrapolating from what the bible says in vague brush strokes.
        I guess my musing here on this bunny trail was to ask if you considered the size of this city and in particular the size of these walls.

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      • So, Since this city seems to be in space above the earth and then takes people to a new earth with no sea and a new heaven I would think that everything has to be physically fit. If it has rivers and trees, and those trees are real, need water and light, then real physics is at work. If there are doors/pearls, maybe round turn about-s to keep the atmosphere in all lends to the point that the physics are real. Including the term foundation also suggests weight. And a golden measuring rod and streets of Gold all take it out of the Metaphysical or mystical God did it with no explanation to a more tangible God did it the way he did everything, with exact science right down to the photon.
        I am speculating that the city is multi layered, that there is more to it than just the surface of gold roads, which also suggests that if its not a street it is not gold, ergo, streets of Gold. And so, I expect there to be toilets and farming and leaves on the tree for the healing of the nations. Its far more practical and human that super human. Why would they need trees for the healing of the nations? where there is no death and sickness or tears. And rather than not figure out things, I am working on the way this thing can appear in the heavens over earth. And when it says the wrath of God is poured out from heaven, I think where is that. does wrath appear magically from space about 300 miles above the earth then fall to earth? If there is a war in heaven, where is that? If there is walls how do they stand. Even if the wall is only 300 miles high and 200 feet wide It seems that it is to high. So I think there is a problem with translation and maybe even with my grasp of what is being said. One may not realize the issues of having a climate while being on a ball because you do not need walls to hold the air in. When you have a city that is from Toronto ontario to Winnipeg Manitoba square floating in space, coming out of space having walls all of a sudden is an issue.

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      • maybe in this vision all of this was symbolic, that the known world being lets say in his mind 1500 miles square would be taken over by God and so the vision is just saying all the world will be run by God and its metaphor and the streets being gold is just a statement that the road building done by the Romans would be nothing compared to the beauty of a world run by God.

        I hope for his appearing, but I think there is a lot not truly known. Still If I am correct there are clues to how Jesus walked on water etc. which I can extrapolate from. And those secrets will have to remain secret for now.

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