Caesarea Philippi

Posted: June 8, 2014 in Uncategorized
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We are all familiar with the passage in Matthew 16:13-18 when Jesus asked the disciples who men thought He was. The disciples went through the list saying John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the other prophets. We remember when Jesus told Simon he was blessed because the answer he gave about Jesus being The Christ was revealed to him by God and had his name changed to Peter. Jesus then made the ultimate declaration by saying that He was going to build His church on that rock and the gates of Hell would not prevail against it.

Most of us have probably read this passage multiple times and have possibly listened to this passage in a sermon on a Sunday morning. My question is, do we REALLY UNDERSTAND what just happened there, WHERE this took place, and most importantly, WHY Jesus made the ultimate declaration about the victory of  His church there.

When buying a house, any good realtor will say one word three times as advice for their client to consider which is “Location, Location, Location!” Well, location was certainly key that day. Has anyone ever wondered why Jesus chose Caesarea Philippi to make this declaration? There was alot more to this than meets the eye and I am going to attempt to explain why.

Caesara Philippi was an ancient city located in a part of Israel commonly known as The Golan Heights. as a matter of fact, it is an archaeological site today and also a tourist attraction.  The city was located 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee at the base of Mount Hermon. It was also the location of one of the largest springs feeding into the Jordan River. The area’s land was extremely fertile and was perfect for agriculture, and a centre was built for worship. Unfortunately, this was not to worship God.  (Source: http://www.bibleplaces.com)

The spring emerged from a large cave which was known as The Grotto of Pan. Pagan worship to the god Pan began in 300 BC and sacrifices were thrown into the cave as offerings to Pan. Pan was a half man, half goat god of fright. (Do you think that this could be where the word panic comes from?) He was often seen playing the pan flute and was known as the god of sexuality. If one sees images of Pan, his goatish image is eerily a depiction of Satan.  (Source: Wikipedia, Pan (god) )

The other place I want to touch on is Mount Hermon.  If one reads Genesis 6:1-4, we learn how the fallen angels lusted after earthly women and took them as wives, thus corrupting mankind’s DNA. This was a deliberated attempt by Satan to ruin the most precious creation God made which was man. Now, I am going out on a limb here because this book is not found in the bible. In the book of Enoch chapter 6 it clearly states that the fallen angels (known as The Watchers) descended on the summit of Mount Hermon and swore an oath to take human women as their wives and have children with them.  In the next chapter it talks about  giants being born and they turned on mankind devouring them and even sinning and defiling animals, birds, fish and reptiles. When writing this I understand that Enoch’s book is not included in the scriptures of the bible and one could say it is pure speculation what I just said. That is true. But one thing I do know from the scriptures is Satan was kicked out of Heaven and a third of the angels were kicked out too.  One can read this in Revelation 12:4, 7-9. In verse 9 it says Satan was cast into the earth along with his angels. Well obviously they had to land somewhere, and I think Mount Hermon was the spot and that is where the gates of Hell are.  (Source: Wikipedia, Mount Hermon)

Jesus knew what He was doing when He took His disciples there that day. He knew all the schemes and atrocities that were committed there and He put Hell on notice. Back in Genesis 3:15 God told Satan that there would be enmity between Satan’s seed and Eve’s seed and that Eve’s seed would crush his head. How many know that is a lethal, deadly blow? It is so clear to me now that God was referring to Jesus taking our place on the cross as the perfect sacrifice. That sacrifice was the death blow that God was referring to. Best part is, when we believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have driven our feet into Satan’s head too!!

As stated in the previous paragraph, Jesus put Hell on notice that day that the death blow was coming. I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Revelation 12:10-11. In verse 10, Satan was kicked out of his domain in Heaven where he could accuse us day and night and in verse 11, it says that we overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony; and we did not love our lives unto death. When we accepted and believed in the finished work of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection, we immediately overcome Satan right on the spot by the blood of the Lamb. When we share the Good News with others, that is the word of our testimony! It is all because of Jesus.

God bless you all!

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Comments
  1. Jim Williams says:

    It is interesting that Jesus declared that the church would be built regardless of how hell would try to stop it. It is also interesting that Jesus proclaimed this where a lot of hell was proclaimed and declared. The kingdom of darkness will try to stop Him from building the church but it can’t … The enemy is the one who panics.
    Thanks for the thoughts Brett!

    • Brettmeister says:

      I totally agree that Satan is the one who panics. I can see why Jesus chose this spot as to all the nasty things that had taken place there in the past. Thanks for the feedback Jim!

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