quick study is a sub-topic support for the foreshadows in
5 - THE BOOK OF REVELATION
- God's Agenda for the End Time.
following scriptures are scriptural validation of
the foreshadow of the three ministries of the gospel to
the Gentiles. The tree ministries of the gospel are not
literally revealed in scriptures, but are seen by overlaying
the events in Peter's experiences with Christ. Peter's three
denials of Christ, His three visions given him by the Holy
Spirit and his three reinstatements by Christ on the shore
of the lake are important events for Christians' understanding.
No other apostle had experiences such as these. All of which
revealed aspects of God's mercy and grace in each ministry
of the gospel. This revelation is hidden manna in the New
THREE VISIONS OF PETER
is a special scripture included in the gospel for a specific
purpose. Until one sees metaphorical foreshadowing in the
gospel, then specific purposes for scriptures like the three
visions of Peter will never be completely understood.
Bible contains hidden manna concerning God's agenda for
the ministry of the gospel (great commission) to Israel
and to the Gentiles. Through foreshadows the church can
better understand the full counsel of scriptures concerning
the end time. With this insight the church will be inspired
to be watchful and ready for Christ's coming for the church
in pre-tribulation times. Many times in the gospel Christ
exhorts the church to be watchful and ready (Matthew
25: 1-13) for His return because the church will not
know the day or hour of his return, which will come "like
a thief in the night" (I Thessalonians
5:2, Luke 12: 35-40, Matthew 24: 36-44, Mark 13: 32-37).
The church's readiness and watchfulness will be greatly
enhanced when confusion about end time agenda is eradicated
with illumination of the Word.
10:9-19 (NIV) - About noon the following day as they were
on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up
on the roof to pray. (10) He became hungry
and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being
prepared, he fell into a trance. (11) He saw heaven opened
and something like a large sheet being let down to earth
by its four corners. (12) It contained all kinds of four-footed
animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the
air. (13) Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill
and eat." (14) "Surely not, Lord!",
Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure
or unclean." (15) Then the voice spoke to him
a second time, "Do not call anything impure that
God has made clean." (16) This happen three
times, and immediately the sheet was
taken back into heaven. (17) While Peter was wondering about
the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius' house
found out where Simon's house was and stopped at the gate.
(18) They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter
was staying there. (19) While Peter was still thinking
about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Simon,
three men are looking for you. (20) So get up and go
downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for
I have sent them."
vision is a foreshadow of the gospel being sent to the Gentile
nations and is concerned with Christ's sending Peter to
Cornelius' house with the gospel. Cornelius is a Roman Centurion
(Gentile) in the Italian Regiment (Acts 10:1).
vision contains images of clean and unclean animals as defined
in the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 11). Peter, having
a Jewish religious background and knowledge of the Law,
did not want to kill and eat unclean animals. But, the vision
is not concerned with the actual eating of animals, it is
concerned with the Gentiles, who are thought to be unclean
by Jewish tradition because they are not circumcised and
they do not follow ceremonial rites nor do they attend festivals
established under the Law.
tells Peter not to call them unclean because He has made
them clean. Meaning, the Gentiles are not to be rejected
just because they are not under the Law of circumcision
or ceremonial rites of clean and unclean food, etc.
Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision"
three men from Cornelius' house arrived at the gate
and the Holy Spirit told him to go with them to preach the
gospel to the household of Cornelius, a Gentile. Peter was
wondering about the meaning of the vision because he had
never previously thought about God having an agenda for
the Gentiles. At the time of this vision, God's agenda for
the gospel was still hidden in Him until after the resurrection
of Jesus (mystery of God). Paul was the apostle chosen by
God to receive revelation of the mystery of God. Without
a doubt, this scripture is concerned with foreshadowing
the ministry of the gospel to the Gentiles.
was given this vision three times, not because it
was difficult to communicate with Peter, but rather because
this vision contains hidden manna
about God's three ministry agenda for
SCRIPTURES THAT FORESHADOW THE THREE MINISTRIES OF THE GOSPEL
TO JEWS AND GENTILES
scriptures reveal spiritual dynamics associated with each
of the three ministries of the gospel.
AND THE DISCIPLES IN GETHSEMANE - SPIRITUAL SLUMBER
26:36-44 (KJV) -
36 - Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane,
and He saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go
and pray yonder.
37 - And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee
and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38 - Then saith he unto them, My
soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here,
and watch with me.
- (Strong's Concordance - Greek) #1127 - gregoreuo
(gray-gor-yoo'-o); from #1453; to keep awake, i.e.
watch (literally or figuratively): metaphorically, to give
strict attention to, to be cautious, to take heed lest
through remission and indolence some destructive calamity
suddenly overtake one
egeiro (eg-i'-ro); to arouse from sleep, to awake;
to arouse from the sleep of death, to recall the dead
to life; to raise up, that is, to cause to be born.
Greek word egeiro, reveals Christ seeing into the future
rather than seeing the event of the current moment. His
exhortation to watch is centered on the time of his death
and resurrection. After which, his followers will be born
again by faith. This is a time when He is not in their presence,
but has gone ahead of them into the kingdom of God. Thus,
He says to tarry and watch while he is in heaven and until
he returns to them again at his second advent,
even as He left and returned to them in the Garden of Gethsemane.
If the church is watching, the church will not be
caught sleeping or in spiritual slumber when Christ returns.
26 (Con't) -
39 - And He went a little further, and fell on His face,
and prayed, saying, "O my Father, if it be possible,
let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but
as Thou wilt." (40) And He cometh unto the disciples,
and findeth them asleep,
and saith unto Peter, "What, could ye not watch with
Me one hour?"
- (Brown-Driver-Brigg's Concordance) #2518 katheudo
(kath-yoo'-do); to lie down to rest, i.e. (by implication)
to fall asleep (literally or figuratively): metaphorically:
to yield to sloth and sin, to be indifferent to one's
- (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)
- katheudo #2518, "to go to sleep," In
the epistles of Paul it is used as follows: (a) of natural
"sleep," e. g., 1 Thessalonians. 5:7;
(b) of carnal
indifference to spiritual things
on the part of believers, Ephesians. 5:14;
1 Thessalonians 5:6,10
(as in Mark 13:36), a condition of insensibility
to divine things involving conformity to the world.
in the future will have to be watchful and alert to avoid
spiritual slumber. A slumber that is due to carnal indifference
to spiritual things, to be insensitive to divine things.
Through this carnal indifference, Christians will unwittingly
yield to sloth and sin.
Christ returns He will find many in the church slothful,
in a spiritual state of slumber and indifferent to their
own salvation and spiritual things. The book of Revelation
addresses the issue of carnal indifference to spiritual
things in the seven letters to the seven churches - See
the Eyes of Your Understanding
- Volume 6.
is another parable that reveals the effects of spiritual
13:24-30 (KJV) - Another parable put He forth unto them,
saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man
who sowed good seed in his field: (25) But while men slept,
his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and
went his way (26) But when the blade was sprung up, and
brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
(27) So the servants of the householder came and said unto
him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From
whence then hath it tares? (28) He said unto them, "An
enemy hath done this". The servants said unto him,
Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? (29) But he
said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up
also the wheat with them. (30) Let both grow together until
the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say
to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and
bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat
into my barn.
call for the Christian to be watchful is a call to be on
guard and do not slumber. Lest the enemy will sow carnal
indifference to spiritual and divine things. At the time
of harvest (end time) the wheat will be separated from the
tares and gathered into the kingdom of God. The time of
harvest is a time for judging between carnal things (things
common to man) and divine things (things sown by God's Word).
26 (Con't) -
41 - Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation:
the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
(Thayer's Expository) #3986 peirasmos
(pi-ras-mos'); from #3985; a putting to proof
by experiment; adversity.
peirazo (pi-rad'-zo); from #3984; to test
objectively. To try whether a thing can be done, to
attempt, to endeavor
peira (pi'-rah); from the base of #4008 (through
the idea of piercing); a test, i.e. attempt, experience:
to learn to know by experience.
peran - beyond, on the other side
is a test of the Christian's faith. The word temptation
is based in "peran" meaning it comes from beyond,
the other side (dark side). From peran the word "peira"
is derived, meaning that man will learn to know faith by
experiencing faith during times of testing by spiritual
forces. Then "peirazo"
means this testing is objective, to test one's faith for
patience and perseverance. "Peira" means this
testing results in an experiential knowledge of faith, as
compared with to an intellectual knowledge of faith. Faith
moves from head knowledge and is etched in our souls through
experience. Then "peirasmos" means passing the
test of our faith provides proof to us that through our
faith in Christ we overcome.
sets his snares through carnal enticements which tempt one
to deny God by denying His Word. Temptation is continually
pressing in cause a separation between God and His children.
When tempted Christians need to recall the words of Christ
when He was tempted by the satan - Matthew 4:3-4 (KJV)
- And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be
the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
(4) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall
not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth
out of the mouth of God.
temptation is again expressed in -
95:8 (KJV) - Harden not your heart, as in the provocation,
and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness.
Israelites' time in the desert was a time of temptation.
From the other side, God told them that He had given them
the promise land, to go and take possession of it (peran).
This command was an objective test of their faith in God's
word (peirazo). This experience of faith would be a lesson
in learning by experience (peira). If their faith was steadfast
they would gain victory and their faith would be proven
by the experience (peirasmos). God's plan was to change
their character through faith with signs and wonders. But,
the Israelites, except Joshua and Caleb, retreated from
victory by doubting their ability to stand against the giants
in the land. So, they failed to experience God's ability
working through them by faith. Adversity to faith is doubt.
The spirit of fear lured
them into denying God's spoken promise.
after Adam disobeyed God, he responded to God's call "Adam
where are you? - Genesis 3:9-10 (KJV) - And the LORD
God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
(10) And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I
was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid
because of his shame and guilt, was afraid. He hid himself
from God because fear caused him to be defensive in his
reaction to God's call. Adam sensed he was naked because
he lost his purity and innocence. Sin results in a relational
separation from God.
years later Joshua led the Israelites to take the promise
land by conquest. In addressing the nation on the east side
of the Jordan River, giving them instructions received from
God, he repeatedly told the Israelites to be "strong
and courageous" while taking possession of the land.
Surely, Joshua did not want the Jews to, once again, waver
in their faith when tempted by the spirit of fear.
is not from God.
4:13 (KJV) - And when
the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed
from him for a season.
was the devil who tempted Jesus in the desert, and it is
the devil's tempting the believer to disobey God's Word.
The devil desires that every born again Christian lose faith
in God. But, God allows temptation because it is necessary
for the proofing and manifestation of steadfast faith.
places the believer at the crossroads of making a decision
between man's ideas (vain precepts of man's truth) and God's
spiritual truths. Faith and decision of the believer is
proven by his faithful perseverance, submission, commitment
and devotion to God and His Word. If he chooses carnally,
his heart will be weighted down with dissipation, drunkenness
and the anxieties of life, etc. Carnal indifference to the
Word of God will cause the believer to slumber. At the end
time the believer's ability to escape
forthcoming tribulation events will be proven genuine
by his spiritual alertness and faith. Luke 18:8 (NIV)
-...However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find
faith on the earth?"
26 (Con't) -
42 - He went away again the second time, and prayed,
saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from
Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.
43 - And He came and found them asleep again: for their
eyes were heavy.
44 - And He left them, and went away again, and prayed the
third time, saying the same words.
separate times Christ came to his disciples and found them
sleeping and not watching. In a literal perspective, this
three-visitation scenario makes little sense. But, when
considering the fact that Christ is seeing into the future,
it makes sense in the light of the three ministries of the
gospel. With each ministry of the gospel, there is a call
to watch and pray, so the believer will not fall into spiritual
slumber and the temptation to be complacent and carnally
indifferent to spiritual things. When Christ returns for
the church, will he find disciples in spiritual slumber?
Or, will He find pro-active faith? This is the call of God
through His word - Luke 12:35-36 (NIV) - "Be
dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,
(36) like men waiting for their master to return
from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks
they can immediately open the door. This verse
of scripture states that those who are dressed for service
(alert servants) and those whose lamps are burning (vibrant
zealous faith) will immediately receive Him when he returns
Corinthians 3:12-15 (KJV) - Now if any man build upon this
foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
(13) Every 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. (14) If any man's work abide
which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
(15) If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer
loss: but he himself shall be
saved; yet so as by fire.
Christian's work of service to God will be judged
by fire. If his service abides through judgment, he will
receive his reward immediately. If his work does not pass
judgment he will suffer loss of the pre-tribulation reward.
He will still be saved, but only as one escaping through
the flames of the seven year tribulation. The pre-tribulation
judgment of the church raises the issue and questions the
precept that the whole corporate body of Christ will
be harvested at pre-tribulation.
the church realizes that some will receive the pre-tribulation
reward and some will loose the reward, the Christian will
examine himself to see if he qualifies or disqualifies for
the reward. This will result in the revival of the body
of Christ, and the corporate church will desire and will
seek to hear the words - Matthew 25:21 (NIV) - "His
master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant!
You have been faithful with a few things; I will put
you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's
times Christians will not wake from spiritual slumber until
they realize their slumberness will cost them when Christ
judges the corporate body of Christ.
question for each Christian is this - When Christ suddenly
comes will He find watchfulness and alertness or will He
find spiritual slumber and carnal indifference to spiritual
THREE DENIALS OF PETER
thrust of the gospel is an invitation to accept Christ as
Savior and Lord. Once a person has heard the gospel, he
must accept or deny what he has heard. He must choose. Not
making a choice is to refuse the gospel.
3:36 (NIV) - "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal
life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life,
for God's wrath remains on him."
of Christ separates one from grace and eternal life. He
remains in a mortal state of darkness and death. He must
turn to God to be saved from eternal death. God is in a
systematic process of eliminating sin from His total creation;
man, earth and heaven. It is not sensible to think that
God will allow sin to occupy the total creation for an indefinite
time. God is pure and holy and is raising up a body of believers
without spot or blemish - Ephesians 5:27
(KJV) - That he might present it to himself a glorious church,
not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but
that it should be holy and without blemish. He
will not allow sin to endure indefinitely.
he accepts Christ then his sins are forgiven by God and
he is under grace! He is reborn, a new creation in Christ!
The blood of Christ covers him and he is saved. This begins
his transformation as a child of God.
deny the gospel is to deny Christ because
Christ is the Word - John 1:1, 14 (KJV) - In the beginning
was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God. (14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt
among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of
the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
three denials occur in Matthew 26:65-75. Christ predicted
Peter's denials in the following account;
26: 31-35 (NIV) - Then Jesus told them, "This very
night you will all fall away on account of Me, for it is
written: `I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the
flock will be scattered.' (32) But after I have risen, I
will go ahead of you into Galilee." (33) Peter replied,
"Even if all fall away on account of You, I never will."
(34) "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this
very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown
me three times." (35) But Peter declared, "Even
if I have to die with You, I will never disown You."
each ministry of the gospel, those who follow Christ will
be persecuted on account of His name. Peter's denial was
based in fear. Peter was afraid that he also would also
be crucified with Jesus. Peter had to choose between taking
up his cross and following Christ or to deny he knew Him.
Peter chose to deny Christ. After his third denial he began
to call down curses on himself -
26:74 (NIV) - Then he began to call down curses on himself
and he swore to them, "I don't know the man!"
third denial was different from his first two denials. His
third denial brought down consequences. This is a metaphor
of God's agenda revealing a unique event after the third
ministry of the gospel. Meaning, after the third ministry
of the gospel there will be a periods of great wrath for
those who have denied Christ, first for the Jews and then
for the Gentiles.
Peter's denial occurred prior to his receiving the power
of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. After Pentecost Peter's
fear of persecution for following Christ turned to joy.
5: 41-42 (NIV) - The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing
because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace
for the Name. (42) Day after day, in the temple courts
and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and
proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.
with every gospel ministry there will be the temptation
to deny Christ; to refuse to repent when God's Word calls
for repentance, continuing to hold on to old habits and
Prediction of Peter's Three Denials As Recorded in the Gospel
13: 36-38 (NIV) - Simon Peter asked him, "Lord,
where are you going?" Jesus replied, "Where I
am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later."
(37) Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you." (38) Then Jesus answered,
"Will you really lay down your life for me?
I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will
disown me three times!"
call of the disciple is to "deny himself and take
up his cross and follow me" - Matthew 16:24 (NIV).
The essence of Christianity is based in self denial. But,
the adversary satan tempts the Christian to not deny self,
but to deny Christ, as Lord. The question is asked of every
Christian "Will you really lay down your life for Christ?"
unrepentant denial is enough to turn away from Christ. Why
does the scripture include three denials of Peter?
three denials of Peter foreshadow the spiritual dynamic
for each of the three ministries of the gospel to the Gentiles.
When the testimony of Christ is heard, it must be accepted
THREE REINSTATEMENTS OF PETER
the three reinstatements of Peter foreshadow forgiveness
as an integral part for each of the three ministries of
the gospel. Through repentance and rededication of their
lives to "feeding his sheep", Christ forgives
and reinstates those who have denied him.
21:15-17 (NIV) - When they had finished eating, Jesus said
to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly
love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord,"
he said, "You know that I love you." Jesus said,
"Feed my lambs." (16) Again, Jesus said, "Simon
son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered,
"Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said,
"Take care of my sheep." (17) The third time
he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love
me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the
third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord,
you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus
said, "Feed my sheep."
ministry of the gospel is based in forgiveness and reinstatement
for those who backslide or fall away. Reinstatement for
the backslider is activated by truly loving Jesus. This
is the reason Jesus asked Peter three times if he truly
reinstated the Christian is commissioned to be involved
in the ministry of the gospel according to the call God
places on him. The complete Christian experience cannot
be attained apart from the ministry of grace and love to
others. Christ's call to those who have fallen away, "(your
name) do you love me? Then feed my lambs".
Re-instatement is based in love for Jesus. Love for
God empowers each Christian for ministry.
summary, denial of Christ will always be overcome by Christ's
forgiveness when the Christian repents. Christ always restores
those who repent and turn back to him with all their
heart. This is a spiritual dynamic that was established
in the Old Testament.
30:1-4 (NIV) - When all these blessings and curses I have
set before you come upon you and you take them to heart
wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations,
(2) and when you and your children return to the Lord
your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your
soul according to everything I command you today, (3)
then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes
and have compassion on you and gather you again from all
the nations where he scattered you. (4) Even if you have
been banished to the most distant land under the heavens,
from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you
will reinstate, restore and bless anyone who repents and
re-dedicates his life to following Christ. Forgiveness empowered
by love is the foundation of the ministry of the gospel.
In each gospel ministry there will be denials of Christ
and there will be God's forgiveness and reinstatement.