Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Part 2

“Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.  Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest”  Ps. 55:1-8

The psalmist speaks of his great difficulty, distress and dependence on the Lord, and also his desire for deliverance. The desire to soar. Mankind has always wanted to fly. “Oh that I had wings.” You have wings, I have wings, all of God’s children have wings. Very few ever experience their development, and never enjoy exercising them fully. Wings are used as protection, an umbrella of loving care. They also propel us to victory and greater glory in Christ.

PROTECTION: I think of how Jesus wept over Jerusalem shortly before going to the cross. He said, “Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth  her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” – Mt. 23:37. How tenderly He expressed the warmth, comfort and safety of His care for His people. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and fortress: my God; in Him will I trust. Surely He will deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. Under His wings shall you trust. He shall be thy shield and buckler” Ps. 91:1-4.

“Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings” Ps. 36:5-7. “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me” Ps. 57:1-2. “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.” Ps. 61:2-4.

How swift, powerful and faithful God is to fly to our rescue. What a privilege we have that we, as birds of like feather, can flock together. Safe is our refuge, sweet is our rest. Yet may it be remembered that it is under His wings that we are to realize the development of our own. The ability to rise and reign develops in us as we become more and more dependent upon Him. By realizing that our citizenship is in heaven, we in Christ are heavenly creatures.

PROPULSION: “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” Isa. 40:28-31. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” Rom. 8:35-37.

Shall we not rise and reign and experience the reality of these powerful and precious scriptures? A key to victorious living is always being mindful that we are objects of His everlasting love, to remember that every victory we enjoy is only, and always, through Him. Read I Cor. 15:57-58, and II Cor. 2:14-15. Rejoice, “All things” are there in our experiences for our overcoming rather than our defeat or discouragement. Sent for our learning, these cause us to realize the use and development of our wings.

Through Moses, God told the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagle’s wings and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” Ex. 19:4-6. “For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings” Deut. 32:9-11. As we think of all the loving care that God manifested toward believing Israel, it touches our hearts to consider the wonderful works for and in us in the New Creation.

We seem to be very lazy creatures. We adopt a rut, get comfortable, and stay there. It is much easier we think, to let the rain of troubles wash around us than to rise above them. We simply go in the direction of the new rut caused by the rain. Only when the Lord causes it to flood, and we are close to drowning, do we have the courage to take wing.

I think of Job, what a powerful, noble and influential man he was before his trial. Job 29:18, “Then said I, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.” Though he had reached a high plateau (the world would say he had “arrived”), God wanted Job to move higher. We also are prone to get complacent, satisfied with our stage of growth. We become so settled in our “nest” that unless the Lord stirs us up we would never use our God-given ability to rise and reign. Brothers and sisters, no matter the situation, or how hard the trial, we have wings.

God used the actions of the mother eagle to illustrate what he had done to cause the Israelites to aspire to that which is higher. The eagle builds her nest high on the rocks, over a cliff. She uses twigs and thistles and lines it with down. The eaglets stay comfortable and safe. Then there comes a time when the eaglets must learn to fly. The eagle “stirs up the nest,” taking out the down. This uncovers the thorns and sharp twigs, making it uncomfortable. She flutters over her young as if to say “Wouldn’t you like to fly? Rise above the uncomfortable nest, I will help you.” She pushes them out of the nest then swoops beneath them and “”bears them on her wings.” All that Israel knew in Egypt was how to use the shovel, to serve. God pushed them out into the wilderness and taught them to survive, to use the sword. Training for the time to come in Canaan to use the sceptre.  He was preparing them to ride upon their high places.

For us, our ruts begin to close in on us, and our little world suddenly becomes uncomfortable. The Lord encourages us to take wing out of these confining surroundings, with full assurance that He will be there to help us. Full provision has been made for our development. He makes us more than conquerors. We, however, make the final decision. We may become bitter or better. We may sour or soar.
J. D.

What does the Bible say?

Will Jews automatically go to heaven

because they are the seed of Abraham?

Their fleshly birth has some honor (Rom. 2:17), but also responsibility (Rom. 2:23,25,28). The flesh is rejected of God, even the most moral of mankind, which were the Jews. They claim national privilege, that they are the people of God and keepers of His Law. Yet when God sent His Son to them, they did not know Him and sought to kill Him (Jn. 1:11 & 7:1).

Jesus covered this question thoroughly in John the 8th chapter. He plainly told them He was the Messiah (Vs. 12, 18, 23) as He had told them from the beginning. They did not believe Him, for they really did not know the Father (V. 19). Jesus declared their fleshly boast (V. 33) was not enough. It did not give them any title to be free from sin. Verse 24, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” He pointed out their need of personal salvation. He speaks of their bondage in sin, which is the greatest slavery (V. 34). A bondman (servant) cannot abide in the house (V. 35), not in God’s house nor man’s house. For servants are not sons. Sons only have a right in the home (V. 36).

The Apostle Paul illustrates this in Gal. 4:22-31 with reference to Hagar and Ishmael. Two seeds of Abraham are in view Ishmael and Isaac. The casting out of the bondmaid was soon to come to pass. The cross was the place of separation. For it is the Son that abides forever. Isaac in type the spiritual Seed is the Son. The fleshly line is the servant. The Son is free, not in bondage to sin. He is God’s free man. Christ is the seed, the Son through whom all freemen are brought into being. Christ alone delivers men from the bondage of sin and gives them right to sonship

Jesus did not deny they were born of Abraham, but showed them their true character and likeness (Jn. 8:37 & 38), and how far removed they were from their profession. If they had been men of faith like Abraham, they would have recognized the Son who proceeds from the Father (Vs. 39-40 & 42). Jesus said in Verse 56, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it, and was glad.” Verse 58, ]”Verily, Verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

E. J. D.


Anita Clark

“Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth aboard the inhabitants thereof. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.” Isaiah. 24:1-6

These verses were spoken by Isaiah, the prophet. God did allow devastation to hit the land of Israel, and the Jews to be dispersed out of their land, and the people to languish, but the same thing is going to happen to the Gentile world also. Judgment is coming very soon. The tribulation of terrible judgment will come upon the earth because the people of the earth have transgressed the Lord’s law so greatly.

THE WORLD LANGUISHETH AND FADETH AWAY – This prediction from Isaiah speaks of a future time when God would bring tremendous devastation on the earth. In recent news we see accounts of disasters in many places around the earth. These are signs to us of the very near tribulation time coming soon upon the earth. Two verses come to mind that speak of the time just before us. The first Matthew 24:8 says, “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” The second, Romans 8:22 which states, “For we know that the creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now,” wanting to be delivered from the corruption that sin has brought to God’s creation.

CALIFORNIA STARTS CLEANUP – Great forest fires have burned off much land in California, and then the heavy rains (caused by the El Nino in the Pacific) came and washed away many homes. Interstate 5 has been closed after a massive mudslide pushed up to five feet of mud across the roadway, trapping cars and forcing crews to close the highway in both directions for nearly 40 miles. Also another highway State Route 58 has been blocked by dangerous mud-slides and flash flooding, trapping about 200 cars there in mud as deep as 6 feet. Much of California has been experiencing a terrible drought this year, but now flooding has swamped roads.

SOUTH CAROLINA – just went through flooding - the results of an off shore hurricane Joaquin, a category 4 hurricane, tracking away from the coast but none-the-less causing torrential rains, and historical flooding with records being broken for both rainfall and creek levels. The flooding broke multiple dams and destroyed hundreds, if not thousands of homes, according to news reports.

TEXAS – Hurricane Patricia which hit Mexico has brought terrific flooding to Texas. Flooding derailed a Union Pacific Train, and the crew had to be rescued. Major highways have had to be closed, and drivers have been stranded.

HURRICANE PATRICIA HITS MEXICO – A category five storm with over 200 mile per hour winds hit the coast on the Pacific of Mexico Friday. It is the largest storm that has ever been recorded in history, meteorologist say, and it produced at least 12 inches of rain, and surprisingly not very heavy damage along the coast. There was predicted to be a storm surge that would cause water to come ashore, and do major damage all along the west coast of the northern part of Mexico. Great devastation was expected, but it was actually minimal. The storm came up over the mountains and hit Texas ferociously, causing massive flooding to already soaked South Texas.

The El Nino is said to be one of the three strongest El Nino’s since record-keeping began in 1950. It is affecting the whole world. It seems that God is warning us that the judgment time is coming soon. Before the tribulation, the Lord Jesus will call His overcoming people (His bride) to himself.

TERRORISM ATTACKS IN ISRAEL – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in his recent speech to the U.N. General Assembly, threatened that the Palestinians would no longer abide by the Oslo Accords, which have governed the relations between Israel and the Palestinians for more than two decades. The Oslo Accord was an agreement to seek peace and to continue dialog to obtain a peaceful solution between the two conflicting parties. After the speech, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he felt that the speech “...was filled with falsehood and promoted incitement and lawlessness in the Middle East.”

Immediately after Abbas’ speech the Palestinians began to attack Israeli citizens with knives and axes, or running over them with vehicles, killing quite a few. When Israel retaliated and troops and police shot the perpetrators, Israel was blamed as the aggressors. These terrible attacks have received praise by the terrorist group Hamas, which hails the ruthless terrorists as “heroes.”

UNESCO FOR THE WAILIING WALL BEING RECLASSIFIED AS MUSLIM – UNESCO is an acronym for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. This group has often shown a one-sided anti-Israel attitude in the past. Their director recently brought a resolution to declare that the wailing wall, also known as the Western Wall should be reclassified by the U.N. as a holy Muslim site. The Muslims claim that the wall is where Mohammed tied his steed up, and then rose to heaven upon his horse’s back from there. It seems that it makes no difference that the wall is the most sacred public prayer site in Judaism.

Israelites pray at this site because it is a wall that is part of the temple compound built by King Solomon of Old Testament fame. You can see how the world’s attitude is worsening toward Israel.

NO MATTER WHAT ANY MAN OR GROUP OF MEN SAYS – God’s pre-planned design will come to pass. Man has no ability to change God’s plan. He says in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee,” Those peoples or nations that curse Israel will have the wrath of God poured upon them,

We know that God’s Word says that God judged Israel and took them out of their promised land because they were disobedient. We also understand that God will restore Israel to her rightful place as the “...head nation and not the tail.” It is erroneous to teach that God has totally forsaken Israel. God has allowed them to come back to their land and establish their nation once again. This is referred to in Matthew 24:32-34 as “the fig tree budding” or Israel coming back to life. The text says, “...When ye shall see all these things, know that it [the end] is near, even at the doors” (V. 33)

The really sad thing that is going to happen to Israel is that the tribulation of seven years will come upon the earth very soon. The Bible declares that the Antichrist will make a covenant or contract with the Jews for seven years (Daniel 9:27). But that text says that horrible man will break that covenant with Israel and turn on them, persecuting them (Matthew 24:15-26; Rev. 13). Israel will suffer so much until the judgment will be ended, and then Messiah Jesus will return and save the Israelites that are left alive and will bring about His millennial reign, ruling from Jerusalem (Zech. 13:8-9; 14:1-9).

We, the believers of this age will already be with the Lord, and will be coming back with our precious Lord Jesus, when He comes back to show, “...Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the Kings of kings and Lord of lords: who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen” I Timothy 6:15-16. Also see Revelation 19:11-16.

Jesus is coming very soon. Trust in God to make you ready to hear the trumpet’s sound that Jesus is coming.

Slipping Away

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. Hebrews 2:1

A paraphrase of this verse goes like this: “We should give exceeding attention to the things we have heard, so that they will not flow away.” For some reason, we tend to be forgetful about certain things. We can hear something over and over again, but if we are not giving our most diligent attention to what we are hearing we will very soon forget. The same is true concerning the things we have heard from God’s Word. We need to hear them over again, but we need to give our utmost attention to them.

We tend to give attention to things that we think are important. If our interest lies in technology we tend to pay close attention when we hear something about technology, and we retain that information. Paul often reminds us of the great importance of the gospel that we have heard. He encouraged Timothy many times concerning the diligence due the study and retention of the Gospel. 1 Timothy 4:13–16; 6:20; 2 Timothy 1:13; 2:2, 15; 3:14–17.

Our enemy, Satan, is very smart, and subtle. He rarely attempts to just tear us away from the Gospel, and from our relationship with our Lord. He works to slowly draw us away after other things. It is a slipping away that happens slowly over time as we neglect the Word of God. Sometimes, it even comes in the form of “spiritual” things that grab our attention and draw us slowly away from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3.

In Colossians 2:8, Paul warns us about letting ourselves be robbed by those that would bring anything that is not after Christ. This is how Christians allow the truth of God’s Word to slip away; they get distracted by things that are not after Christ. Things that sound good, and appeal to the intellect or to the emotions, but are not after Christ.

We live in a time when more information is being placed in front of us in so many ways than ever before. You can read and hear and watch so many things by so many people. It is more imperative than ever that we know God’s Word today, as it is the only rule by which we can and should measure every thing we hear and see. The right question to ask ourselves about any topic is: what does God’s Word say?

Paul is encouraging us to pay close attention to what we have heard and learned from God’s Word. We can be certain that there is nothing more important in our life. Everything else that comes along is only of temporal value, but the Word of God, worked in our lives by the Holy Spirit, is of eternal value. May we be careful not to neglect the study of God’s Word.

Gordon Crook


Debra Isenbletter

Ruth 3:3 – “Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.” In this verse we see three important instructions that Naomi gives to Ruth that she must do before coming into the presence of Boaz. She is to: 1) Wash; 2) Anoint; and 3) Dress herself. This is Ruth’s responsibility, three essential things that she must do, it is a personal preparation. No one can do this for her, and the same holds true for us when we prepare to come into the Presence of our Lord, there is a personal preparation that each of us is responsible for in our own lives, no one can do it for us.

Washing: Notice the order, washing is the first thing she does, it is the foundation for everything else. This washing speaks of cleansing. She has finished her labors in the fields and she washes off the dirt of the day, she washes and is cleansed and is refreshed. Many times taking a bath and changing the clothes were done before an important event. Jacob did this and told his family to do this when he returned to Bethel and where he remembered and renewed the covenant God made with him. It was there that Jacob told his household to put away their gods and “be clean” (wash yourselves) and “change your garments” (Gen 35:2-3). He did this and told them to do this before coming into the Presence of the Lord. In Ezekiel 16 the Lord describes His relationship with His people (Ezek 16:8-13) and there He describes how He saw her, claimed her as His wife, cleansed her, entered into a covenant with her, and clothed her and her beauty was seen by all those around her. Here in Ruth we see Naomi telling Ruth to “wash thyself,” this is how she prepares to come into the presence of Boaz and there she will lay claim to a promise and he will lay claim to her.

This washing speaks of consecration and sanctification, of a cleansing of our walk. The priests did this before entering into the Holy Place (Ex 30:18-21). They had to wash their hands (speaks of their service) and their feet (speaks of their walk). Before entering into God’s presence in a more personal way, they washed! Aaron and his sons had to wash before putting on their “holy garments.” They had to wash before they could “minister unto (God) in the priests office” (Ex 40:12-15). They had to wash because it was what the “Lord commanded” (Ex 40:32). Ruth is about to enter into the presence of Boaz and a deeper relationship and she washes herself. And just as Ruth, we have the same responsibility to cleanse ourselves before we enter into the presence of the Lord. We wash our hands and our feet, we wash before putting on our priestly garments and when we do this, we come into His presence as priests, ministering in a deeper way. The Apostle Paul describes the necessity of this washing, this cleansing and the responsibility that we each have to do this. He said we are to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit” (2 Cor 7:1). We’ve been out in the world, and no matter how good our intentions the world will leave a stain, we need to cleanse ourselves. The Psalmist asked the question of how do you do this and gave the answer “by taking heed to thy word” (Ps 119:9). It is by the “washing of water by the word” (Eph 5:26), by our obedience to the Word and subjection to the Word that we are cleansed. The result will be a “glorious church” without “spot or wrinkle” (Eph 5:27). When we do this, we acknowledge the Lord’s great work in our lives and let Him finish His work in our lives. Paul told the Corinthians “ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor 6;11).

Anointing: This anointing was a fragrant oil or perfume that was added after cleansing, a personal unique fragrance. Ruth anointed herself as Naomi asked but I believe she chose the fragrance, something she knew that would please Boaz. It is the fragrance of obedience, of subjection, service and submission. This is a fragrance unique to the Bride of Christ. The Shulamite speaks of the fragrance she uses in Song of Solomon, she calls it “good ointment” (Song 1:3) and says “my spikenard sends forth the smell thereof” (Song 1:12).

This anointing speaks of the anointing of the Spirit, of His enabling and power. It is the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This also speaks of the fragrance of Christ, of His growth in us. Brother Art Eggers writes that this is “the odor of Christ’s death” – the fact that we died with Christ. I also believe it is the odor of Christ’s life – the fact that our life is in Him and our factory is in Him. No one but the New Creation can wear this fragrance, it is the fragrance of grace (not works), it is the fragrance of obedience (not disobedience); it is the fragrance of a life fully surrendered to the Lord. Paul describes this fragrance. He says that this fragrance reveals the knowledge of Christ to others; it is “his knowledge by us” (2 Cor 2:14). It is the fragrance of victory, Christ’s victory for us, in us and through us. It is a fragrance to God and to the saints and to the world and to God it is a fragrance of life, it is a sweet fragrance because it is all of Christ and nothing else.

Dressing: Ruth is to “put on” a garment after she has been washed and anointed which must be done before she can do this. She is to “put on” what is already hers “thy raiment.” She has the garment of salvation, which is inward, now she puts on the garment of sanctification, which is outward. This is a picture of putting on the testimony of Christ, the testimony of the New Man. She is putting on another garment, a new garment. She will put off the garment of a widow, and put on another garment, it is a special garment for a special occasion, and this garment is a picture of a wedding garment.

Ruth’s actions were preparation for meeting Boaz and for presenting herself to him. The same preparation is seen in Esther when she first met the king. She spent twelve months preparing to meet him, for six months “oil of myrrh” (which was bitter) was used and for six months “sweet odors” were used for purifying. First that which was bitter was applied, then that which was sweet, first the suffering then the sweet fragrance that was the result of the suffering. When Esther finally met the king it is said that she “obtained grace and favor in his sight” (Esther 2:17). She had been prepared and presented and the king was pleased. Later Esther would prepare herself to come before the king and make a petition, there her preparation was different. She first prepared herself by prayer and fasting (Esther 4:16) and then she prepared herself by dressing in royal apparel (Esther 5:1). Ruth had spent months in Boaz’s fields as preparation for this moment. Those months were the “myrrh” and “sweet odors.” Now Ruth comes before Boaz, like Esther, with a petition. This is also what we are doing now, we are preparing and getting ready to meet our Boaz. When we do this, we are accepting our espousal to Christ (2 Cor 11:2); we are “making (ourselves) ready” (Rev 19:7). The Holy Spirit shows us how to prepare ourselves to come before the Lord!

After the preparation, Ruth is to do two things, First she is to GO: “get thee down to the floor” and second she is to WAIT: but make not thyself known unto the man.” She is to hurry and then wait. The going is easy but the waiting is hard. The word “get thee down” means “to run down,”  don’t delay. Ruth must go in boldness and faith and without doubts. But then once she arrives, she must wait, not to rush in. The conversation between her and Boaz is private not public. Wait: “till he have done eating and drinking.” She is to give Boaz time to be refreshed and made glad. The Lord’s timing is always perfect. The preparation has been made by Ruth and the heart has been made glad in Boaz (Ps 104:15). The scene is set for a conversation, a petition and a promise that will be made!
To be Continued

Outline Study Of Simon Peter

by Verta Giddings

Peter was the more prominent one of the disciples, like a pioneer. He is considered to be a big, blustering fisherman, but he broke the ground for the other disciples. He often was their spokesman.

John 1:35-42 – These were disciples of John the Baptist, now of Jesus. Andrew, brother of Peter introduced him to Peter – “We have found the Messiah, the Christ.” Right away, Jesus called Peter “A stone.” Didn’t Jesus know what Peter would later do and say? Of course, He did! Peter was afterward called to follow Jesus – Luke 5:1-11.

Peter lived in Capernaum – Mark 1:21, 29-31; also it says at Bethsaida - John 1:44 – a nearby city. He was married – Matt. 8:14-15; I Cor. 9:5.

Jesus taught Peter about forgiveness – Matt. 18:21-22 – until seventy times seven.

Three disciples were singled out to be with Jesus on special occasions: they were Peter, James and John.
(1)    When Jesus raised the young girl from the dead – Mark 5:35-42.
(2)     At Jesus’ transfiguration – Matt. 17:1-2.
(3)    In Gethsemane – Matt. 26:36-38 – here Peter cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest – Matt. 26:51; John 18:26.

Peter was the first disciple to recognize Jesus as the Messiah – Matt. 16:13-18. Peter said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Peter’s character was not always ‘rock-like.’ Jesus fully understood Peter’s weakness, but He still said, “thou art Peter” (a stone).

Jesus told Peter he would deny Him, and of course Peter declared he would go to prison with Him and even die for Him – Luke 22:31-34. Jesus said he would pray for him. When the time came, Peter did deny Jesus, but when Jesus looked on him, he wept bitterly – Matt. 26:69-75; Luke 22:61-62. Peter did deny Jesus, but he showed his repentance before the Lord. Judas Iscariot, on the other hand never let Jesus know he was wrong that he betrayed Him.

Peter was the first of the disciples to see the resurrected Christ – Luke 24:34; I Cor. 15:5.

He was the first to proclaim salvation to the Gentiles – Acts 10: & 15:7-11.

He was put in prison after the death of James, and was released by an angel of the Lord – Acts 12:3-4, 7-11.

The Apostle Paul said that Peter was the apostle to the circumcision (the Jews), as Paul was to the uncircumcision (the Gentiles) – Gal. 2:7.

Peter had the encounter with Paul at Antioch – Gal. 2:9-14, but he learned by it – II Peter 3:15-16. Peter had been eating with the Gentiles until some (Jews) came from Jerusalem. Then he withdrew himself from the Gentiles and caused others to do the same. If this matter had not been addressed and cleared up, where would we be today? Paul had experienced the glorious message of the grace of God and would not let Peter deny it.

This action of Peter’s was just as serious as his denial of Christ when he was facing death. It was not standing for the finished work of Christ.