TO THE ROCK
Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
saith unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The STONE
which the builders rejected, the same is become the Head of the
Corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
I say unto you, the Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given
to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall
fall on this STONE
shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him
to powder.” (Matt.21:
Saviour was quoting a prophecy by David, concerning the Messiah.
(Psalms 118: 22, 23). His warning, however, went unheeded. Instead of
receiving their Messiah, Lord and Saviour, they delivered Him to the
pagan Romans to be crucified on Golgotha as a common criminal.
as Jesus warned, the nation of Israel was crushed, decimated and
destroyed. In 70 A.D. a scant 37 years later, Jerusalem lay in ruins and
Israel remained non-existent as a nation for nearly 2,000 years until
God in His mercy returned them to their land in 1948 A.D.
Word still holds true today. If you throw yourself upon His mercy,
you will end up being broken and His mercy and grace will heal you.
If, however, He falls on you in judgment you will be destroyed!
advice for everyone is to believe His Word and cast yourself upon Him
to receive His grace and mercy! He has promised to hear our prayers,
forgive our sins, heal our sicknesses and grant full pardon and
Peter said: “To Whom coming, as unto a LIVING
disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also as
built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual
sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
also it is contained in the Scriptures, Behold I lay in Sion a Chief
Corner Stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not
you therefore which believe, He is precious: but unto them which be
disobedient, the STONE
which the builders disallowed has become the Head of the CORNER,
and a STONE
of stumbling, and a ROCK
of offence, even to them that stumble at the Word. being disobedient:
where unto also they were appointed.” (1 Peter 2: 4-8)
TO THE ROCK CHRIST JESUS!
I go to the Rock of
I go to the Stone
that the builders rejected
I run to the
And the Mountain
stands by me
When the earth
around me is sinking sand,
On the Solid Rock I
When I need a
Shelter from the storm,
I go to the Rock!
Dotty Rambo wrote the
great song, 'I go to the Rock'. Others have written hymns
which have given comfort and strength to multitudes across the ages!
They have mostly been the Holy Scriptures put to music. In 1880,
Vernon J. Charlesworth wrote, 'A Shelter in the Time of
Storm. It goes like this:
The Lord's our Rock,
in Him we hide
A Shelter in the time
Secure whatever ill
A Shelter in the time
Oh, Jesus is a Rock in
a weary land
A Weary land, a Weary
Jesus is a Rock in a weary land
A Shelter in the time
A shade by day,
defence by night
A shelter in the time
No fears alarm, no
A Shelter in the time
O Rock Divine, O
A Shelter in the time
Be Thou our Helper
A Shelter in the time
OF AGES CLEFT FOR ME!
In 1776 Augustus M.
Toplady wrote the words the glorious hymn, 'Rock of Ages'.
Here are those inspiring, anointed and riveting words:
Rock of Ages, cleft
Let me hide myself in
Let the water and the
From Thy wounded side
Be of sin the double
Save from wrath and
make me pure
Not the labour of my
Can fulfill Thy laws
Could my zeal no
Could my tears forever
All for sin could not
Thou must save and
Nothing in mine hand I
Simply to Thy cross I
Naked, come to Thee
Helpless, look to thee
Foul, I to Thy
Wash me, Saviour, or I
While I draw this
When my eyes shall
close in death
When I rise to worlds
And behold Thee on Thy
Rock of Ages, cleft
Let me hide myself in
CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND!
Edward Mote (1797 - 1874)
wrote one of my favourite songs, 'The Solid Rock'.
These powerful evangelical words which God gave him have inspired
multitudes. They were his testimony and by God's grace they are also
my personal testimony. Here they are:
My hope is built on
Than Jesus' blood and
I dare not trust the
But wholly lean on
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is
When darkness veils
His lovely face
I rest on His
In every high and
My anchor holds within
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is
His oath, His
covenant, His blood
Support me in the
When every earthly
prop gives way
He then is all my hope
On Christ, the solid
Rock, I stand
All other ground is
When He shall come
with trumpet sound
Oh, may I then in Him
Clothed in His
Faultless to stand
before the throne
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand
All other ground is
THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE
confusion has been generated by of the age-old, manufactured
doctrine held by the Roman Catholic Church on Simon the son of Jonas,
whom Jesus called Peter.
him the ROCK
upon which the Church of Jesus Christ is built is not only scandalous
but an outrageous identity theft! They are guilty of grand larceny in
the first degree!
To Steal from Jesus Christ His very name; the Chief
Corner Stone, the Rock of Offence and the Foundation of the Church,
is not only unforgiving, but blasphemous. And upon this phony name grab they have built their church!
Christ had a habit of giving nick names to people. He called James
and John the 'sons
and Simon the son of Jonas 'petros
the fragment of a rock', while He called Himself 'Petra,
the huge unquarried boulder'. He called Herod, that fox
and the scribes 'vipers'!
Peter's name was Simon
which means a reed,
and very often a person's name reflected his personality. We see this
truth emerge in the life of Jacob whose name means swindler,
God made a name change and called him Israel, a
prince of God.
knew Simon's personality was changeable and weak like a
and that had to change if he was to become a solid, trustworthy
leader. He would make his character rock-like
instead of reed-like.
after the Holy Spirit had revealed to Simon that Jesus was the Christ
the Son of God, he tried to dissuade our Saviour from going to the cross:
that time forth began Jesus to show 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
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,
thee behind Me, Satan: thou
an offence unto Me; for thou savourest
not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”
things happened, Simon became PROUD of his new name, and the old
nature kicked in and he began telling Christ how to run His business.
He went ballistic, physically taking hold of Jesus and rebuking Him.
That was the REED
which Jesus was going to change in the 'Big Fisherman'!
GET THEE BEHIND ME SATAN!
How did Jesus handle the situation? Jesus
called him 'Satan'
(Enemy). The Lord was speaking to the Devil who was
directing Simon's actions and speech. He was still a Reed!
And again, just before going to the cross, Jesus warned Peter:
Simon (Reed, Reed),
behold, Satan has 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: 31, 32)
Peter answered: “Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both into
prison, and to death. And He said, I tell thee, Peter, the
cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice
deny that thou knowest Me.” (Luke 22: 33,
The BOAST made by Simon Peter turned out to be just talk and the prophetic statement made by Jesus of Nazareth was fulfilled to the letter. Each time I read this it brings great sadness to my heart. Here is the tragic account:
"Now Peter sat without in the Palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were. This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
And again he denied with an OATH, I do not know the man. And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee. Then began he to CURSE and to SWEAR, saying, I know not the man.
"And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the Word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt DENY Me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly." (Matt. 26: 69-75)
Here is St. Luke's commentary: "As the Lord turned and looked upon Peter, and Peter remembered the Word of the Lord, how He had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice. And Peter went out and wept bitterly. " (Luke 22:61,62)
I believe that the COMPASSION, together with sadness and forgiveness that Simon Peter saw in Jesus' eyes, saved the backslidden apostle from doing what Judas had done; finding a tree from which to take his own life!
Even in that dark moment, hearing one of His Inner Circle apostles curse and swear that he did not know THAT MAN, must have torn at Christ's heart strings! Not only had Simon the son of Jonas denied that he knew Jesus, but stated that if he was not telling the truth may a curse fall upon him!
who agreed with St. Peter and the Prophets, on Jesus' status as the
Foundation of the Church, writes:
through Him (Christ)
we both (Jews
and Greeks) have access by one Spirit
Spirit) to the Father. Now
therefore, ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow
citizens with the saints, and of the household of God:
are built upon the FOUNDATION
of the apostles, and prophets,
Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief
Corner Stone.” (Eph.2:18-20)
St. Paul writes: “For we are labourers together with God: ye are
God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God
which is given unto me as a wise master
builder, I have
laid the foundation,
and another buildeth there upon.
can no man lay than that is laid, which is JESUS CHRIST.” (1
Cor.3: 9-11). The Bible says: “And they continued steadfastly in
the Apostle's doctrine
and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers.” (Acts 2:
three years after his amazing encounter with Jesus Christ on the
Damascus Road and his healing and Baptism in the Holy Ghost under the
hands of Ananias, St. Paul stayed in Arabia being tutored by our
then went up to Jerusalem and spent fifteen days with Peter and met
James the Lord's brother, who was the Pastor of the Church.
There was NO mention of Simon Peter's supremacy in the Doctrine of Christ and the Early Church. There was plenty evidence of his denial and restoration, but NONE of his supposed PRIMACY, because it did not exist!
Paul writes: “And when James,
who seemed to be PILLARS, perceived the grace that was given to me
they gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we
should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.”
Paul places James ahead of Peter, in his letter to the Galatians. He
also blames Peter for vacillating and displaying his old Simon (reed) nature:
“But when Peter was come to Antioch, I
withstood him to the face, because he was to be BLAMED.
For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the
Gentiles; but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself,
fearing them which were of the circumcision.” (Gal. 2: 11, 12)
St. Peter had supremacy over the church, he would NOT have been
publicly rebuked and corrected by St. Paul. He received the Correction that the great theologian and Church builder gave him!
Peter's man-fearing attitude
in appeasing a certain faction of the church - in
opposition to the teachings of Christ -
led some of brethren into error and influenced Barnabas, until St.
Paul upset their pride-filled partiality by rebuking and correcting
Simon the son of Jonas!
DON'T LORD IT OVER OTHERS!
“But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Ye know that the Princes
of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them; and they that are great
among you, let him be your minister: and whosoever will be CHIEF
among you, let him be your SERVANT:
as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto but to minister, and
to give His life a ransom for you.” (Matt. 20: 25-28). And St.
Peter wrote: “The ELDERS
which are among you I exhort, who am also
and a Witness of the sufferings of Christ and a Partaker of the glory
that shall be revealed:
the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof,
not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a
ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being
examples to the flock.
"And when the CHIEF
shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not
away.” (1 Peter 5: 1-5)
teaching of 'one
man lording it over others'
is not found in the Gospels or in the Epistles of the New Testament!
alone is the Head of the Church and the Holy Spirit has been given to
the Church to lead and direct us into all Truth.
Peter is being VICTIMIZED by the Roman
He would be the first to rebuke their false teachers who continue
espousing and proclaiming such an erroneous characterization of him
for their politico religious purposes. He
clearly taught that he was only an Elder among elders!
According to the Bible, the HOLY SPIRIT is in charge of the Church that Jesus Christ shed His blood to Purchase! (Acts 20: 28)
said: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you
that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come
unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.
"And when He is
come, He will reprove the world of SIN, and of RIGHTEOUSNESS, and of
sin because they believe not on Me; of righteousness, because I go to
My Father, and ye see Me no more; of judgment, because the prince of
this world is judged.” (John 16: 7-11)
The Bible states: “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the
Holy Ghost said, Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work where
unto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and
laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” (Acts 13: 2,3)
October 1986, I had the privilege of being one of six preachers to
address the 35,000 people gathered for the First Pentecostal Conference of
Latin America in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on the topic of the Holy Spirit.
before that Conference, Newsweek Magazine's Cover carried the
AMERICA CARDINAL RED TURNING PROTESTANT BLACK! This
referred to Protestants carrying their black Bibles to Church. The
statistics spoke for themselves: 400 Roman Catholics were converting EVERY HOUR to
Evangelical Christianity, through our Lord Jesus Christ!
HOLY SPIRIT: NO EARLY RETIREMENT!
my weekly column in the Edmonton
I wrote about the great Conference in Sao Paulo and I ended my column
with these words:
Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Pope is the vicar of Jesus
Christ and as such is guiding the Church. The Holy Bible, however,
teaches that upon His ascension to Heaven Jesus Christ poured out
upon the Church the Blessed Holy Spirit to empower, lead and guide
His Church. I'm sorry John Paul 11, I didn't know that the Holy
Spirit has taken Early Retirement.”
said to His disciples: “Whom do men say that I the Son of man 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
(Reed son of Jonas): for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto
thee but My Father which is in Heaven.
I say also unto thee, Thou art Peter (petros,
a detached fragment)
and upon this Rock (Petra,
an unquarried boulder), 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 upon earth shall be bound in Heaven and
whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
(Matt. 16: 13-19)
similar, but distinct Greek words are used in this passage: petros,
a masculine noun translated Peter and petra,
a feminine noun translated Rock. According to Thayer's
Massive Living unquarried Rock',
detached but large fragment!
Jesus said that He would build His Church, not on the smaller
detached stone Peter (petros)
but upon the huge ROCK (Petra)
which is Christ Himself.
Roman Catholic Church
teach that Peter was given primacy over the other apostles and that
he is the foundation of Christ's Church. How ridiculous!
little later, Jesus is speaking to ALL THE APOSTLES with the same
I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in
Heaven: and whatsoever ye shall lose on earth shall be loosed in
Again, that spurious teaching states that only an ordained
Roman Catholic clergy can forgive someone's sins after he has
confessed his sins to the priest.
words of Jesus Christ, however, tell a much different story: “Then
opened He their understanding, that they might understand the
Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written and thus it
behooved Christ to Suffer, and to Rise from the Dead the third day:
"And that REPENTANCE and REMISSION of sins should be preached in His
Name among all the nations beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke
Lord Jesus gave all the Apostles the power to declare the forgiveness
of sins over those who in repentance and faith believed and confessed that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God and the Saviour of the
That is the KEY. One must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son
of the Living God, crucified, risen and ascended to the right hand of
the Father as our Heavenly High Priest!
Norwegian Study Bible states:
“Commentary of Great Commission & Sins forgiveness: The
Apostolic Mission's premier gifting was to administer the forgiveness
of sins. To do this work the Apostles were given full authority
from the Risen JESUS to forgive sins by the help of the Gospel
"The full authority that the Apostles received, includes all of the
Lord's Witnesses today. Where they find faith and repentance, they
have full authority to declare that person's sins forgiven in Jesus'
name! Where the Gospel meets unbelief and unrighteousness, the Lord's
Witnesses have full authority to withhold forgivenes and refuse to administer the Grace Gifts.”
NO MENTION IN THE SCRIPTURES!
is no mention in the Holy Scriptures and the commands of Jesus, that a
priest must hear a confession by a penitent, before having his sins
forgiven! We confess our sins to God the Father in the name of Jesus
Christ His Son and they are forgiven! It is only upon the authority
of the shed blood of God's paschal Lamb Jesus Christ that sins are
The Bible says: “...He
that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not
shall be damned.”
(Mark 16: 15, 16); “But
if we walk in the Light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship
one with another, and the BLOOD of Jesus Christ His Son, cleanseth us
from all sin.”
(1 John 1: 7)
Paul declared: “And are built upon the FOUNDATION of
the Apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ HIMSELF being
the Chief Corner Stone: In Whom all the building fitly framed
together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord ye also are builded
together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:
the FALLACY that St. Peter is the foundation of the Church, we have
the word of the Angel sent by our Lord Jesus Himself to St. John
regarding the New Jerusalem: “And the wall of the city had twelve
foundations, and in them the names of the TWELVE
the Lord.” (Rev. 21: 14)
notice that St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentile World wrote:
“According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise
Master builder, I have laid the FOUNDATION, and another buildeth
thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
other foundation can no man lay then that is laid, which is JESUS
CHRIST. Now if any man build upon this Foundation gold, silver. Precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it,
because it shall be revealed by fire; and the FIRE shall try every
man's work of what sort it is.” (1 Cor. 3: 10-13)
Why would Jesus, immediately after declaring Simon (Reed) the Petros (Rock), call him
Satan (Enemy) when Simon rebuked Jesus for
saying that He had come to die and be raised on the third day?
was turning him from a reed character to a rock character!
THE KEY TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
is the Key to the Kingdom of God?
It is believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God!
That He came to earth as the propitiation
our sins to meet the Demands
of Divine Justice
in payment for Adam's high treason against Almighty God, through the
shedding of His pure and perfect BLOOD on Calvary's Cross at Golgtha.
is believing that death could not hold God's Pashcal Lamb, and that
on the third Day He arose from the dead and is today seated on His
Father's right hand as our Heavenly High Priest. It is believing the record that God gave of His Son!
else made the statement that Simon the son of Jonas made? Martha the sister of Lazarus: "Jesus said unto her, I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that beieveth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" And whosoever liveth and beliveth in Me shall never die. Beliveth thou this? She said unto Him, yea, I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God Who should come into the world."
the Holy Spirit revealed to Simon who Jesus really was, the pagan
Samaritan woman at the Well of Sychar also confessed Jesus Christ as
woman saith unto Him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called
Christ: when he is come, He will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto
her, I that speak unto thee am He. The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and
said to the men, Come see a man who told me all things that ever I
NOT THIS THE CHRIST?”
(John 4: 25, 26, 28, 29)
concluding this important paper on Christ the Rock and Foundation of
the Church, here is a powerful truth: “Jesus saith unto them, Come
And none of the disciples durst ask Him, Who
art Thou? Knowing that it was the LORD.
Jesus then cometh, and talketh bread, and giveth them and fish
likewise. This is now the third time that Jesus showed Himself to His
disciples, after that He was Risen from the dead.
JESUS CALLED HIM SIMON!
when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon
son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these (fish)? He saith unto
Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him,
Feed My lambs.
saith unto him the second time, Simon
son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou
knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him Feed My sheep.
saith unto him the third time, Simon
son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? And he said unto Him, Lord, Thou
knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee. Jesus saith unto
him, Feed My sheep.” (John 21: 12-17)
is obvious that Jesus Christ had forgiven Simon the son of Jonas. It
is also clear that He had a work for him to do and that was to
minister to His sheep. It is also clear that Our Lord did no call him
He was working on the son of Jonas to change his character from
A legend says that every
his life, whenever St. Peter heard a rooster crow, he fell to his
knees in thankfulness for God's great mercy to a former liar, coward
and Christ denier!
Simon the son of Jonas ever a Pope? Never, don't sully his name with
that baggage! Was he a great man of God and one of the leading
apostles? Definitely! Did he err and was he corrected by St. Paul?
Yes, he did and being an uneducated man, he had a great respect for
the Apostle to the Gentiles. The Bible states:
beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may
be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
account that the long suffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our
beloved brother PAUL also according to the wisdom given him, hath
written unto you;
also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which
are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned
and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, to their
therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest
ye also, being led away with the error of the Wicked, fall from your
own steadfastness.” (1 Peter 3: 13-17).
If you cast yourself into the loving arms of Jesus Christ you will be
safe for time and eternity. You will be broken so that He can restore
you and heal you. Do not reject His love
and mercy NOW for one day in the future, He will be your judge and
His holy righteousness will destroy you forever! He waits for you
now. Call upon Him in sincerity and truth! (John 3: 16 – 18). Amen.
ONE FINAL WORD OF WARNING!