Imagine being told this by the leader of the revolution:
You have successfully figured out rule #1. Since you’re the first to do it, your task now is to get the rest of the world to believe rule #1. No pressure, but the fate of the every living person hangs in the balance. There are too many people for you to do this alone – so you must get others to help you. All of you will be hated, tortured, and rejected for what you believe. Some will actively work against you. Others will just not care. Either way, all of those who don’t believe rule #1 will die. Your task is simple – and yet difficult. But I know you will not back down. You will come to wish you hadn’t been the first. You will even deny knowing rule #1. But you will turn back to me – and complete your mission. As you know, I have already won. You will join in my victory – along with everyone else who comes to believe rule #1. I cannot be with you physically, but I will be with you until the end. You and those who believe rule #1 with you will be my representatives in this battle. I will see all of you at the celebration feast at the end.
Sounds like the intro to Mission Impossible.
Or maybe the start to a really cool video game.
But this isn’t a movie.
And it’s not a game.
All the world’s a stage.
And all the men and women merely players;
This is from As you like it, by William Shakespeare.
This isn’t about a play either.
Let’s change that a bit – and say that all the word’s involved in an epic battle between good and evil.
And whether they believe it or not, all the men and women are involved.
Failure to accept their part in this battle means the player will lose, by default, due to lack of interest.
No – this isn’t a movie. Or a game. Or a play.
This is about real life. Or death.
It’s the backdrop to this scene –
Mt 16:17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
This is a three part series. When I started it, I kind of had an idea where I thought it was going to go. While writing it, I eventually realized that it wasn’t going to be close to what I expected. It’s so much bigger.
It’s not just about Peter. It’s about us.
I also realized that we do all have a part in this.
Those who fail – obviously lose.
But it seems that those who pretend that either they can choose to not be involved, or pretend that it doesn’t even exist, actually are just as involved and culpable as those who take an active part. (Sorry – have to stay tuned to get details on this.)
If all goes according to plan, the five parts will be –
Hope you like it and learn from it.
And – for some – that it will change the way you live your life.
The revolution began nearly 2,000 years ago. Peter was our very first “human only” leader. Yes – there was another who was human as well, but his father was one of the ancient ones, so we look at him differently.
The events that made the revolution necessary took place thousands of years before that. Oddly enough, those very same events came with a prophecy that a revolution was to come.
A long time ago
A long time ago, in a dimension located right here in our own galaxy, the ancient one that we now call Father walked with the very first of our kind. They lived in a place called Eden – literally a paradise.
But there was another creature there. One who looked like he should have been a prince of the light, but who would eventually come to be called the prince of darkness and would be the prince of the earth. He tricked the residents of Eden into having an election of sorts. He wanted to be their leader – to replace the one called Father. In this “election”, he ran the very first smear campaign. He lied about the one called Father. He lied so well that the residents of Eden never bothered to check with the one called Father to verify what was said. It was unanimous. The residents rejected the one called Father.
Ge 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Ge 3:2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”
Ge 3:4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Ge 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
The one called Father accepted the election results, although he vowed to eventually correct this injustice. Since the one who would be called the prince of the earth had lied in the election – there was a price to be paid. Since the residents believed his lies, and didn’t even bother to check them out, there was a price to be paid. Justice had to be served. This was an absolute requirement for the one called Father.
Ge 3:14 … “Because you have done this, …”
As I said though, there was a ray of hope. An indication that this terrible result would eventually be corrected, that the future ones of our species would be given hope for the future.
Ge 3:15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
Because so much wrong had been done, and because Eden was such a paradise, the residents had to leave Eden. The one called Father could not have them stay in Eden any longer. So he drove them out – and hid Eden from their sight.
23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
No – Eden was not destroyed.
Yes – it is still hidden from sight – even from us today, these thousands of years later. Although we have learned about dimensions other than length, width, height, and time – and can pretty much prove they exist – we still can’t see into them. Many who are sure these dimensions must exist still refuse to accept that Eden could possibly be hidden in one of them.
For thousands of years, the one known as the prince of darkness has continued his smear campaign against the one called Father. It is well documented. But still – like the Eden incident, many refuse to believe that this battle exists at all.
Against this onslaught, the one called Father has continued to provide a message of hope. Again – many reject it – as they have all along. And yet, for those who can see – it’s there. Here is but one example –
Isa 42:1 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him
and he will bring justice to the nations.
Isa 42:2 He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
Isa 42:3 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
Isa 42:4 he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his law the islands will put their hope.”
This one who is coming – the promised one – who will have the Spirit of the one called Father –
He is our hope.
He will bring the justice that has been needed ever since the Eden incident.
The promised One did come to us. As expected, he was rejected by many. He was hated by many. He was killed.
But the hope he brought still runs strong in some of us.
Jn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
Jn 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
Jn 1:6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
Jn 1:10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
Jn 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jn 1:15 John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ” 16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
The leader of the revolution
Yes, this leader, this Jesus – he was the promised one.
He is the one quoted at the beginning, talking to Peter.
“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
This was our leader – talking to the first one of us to understand his message. Something that Peter learned from the one called Father. That same Father – whose Son is our leader, Jesus – also promised to make us His sons and daughters.
That is our hope.
Continuing to spread that message of truth and hope – to overcome the smear campaign of the one known as the prince of the earth – that’s the task given to Peter.
In Part 2, You Are Peter, we will begin to explore this daunting task.
Hope to see you there.