"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Thursday, May 12, 2022



~ by Sonny Islas
Watch the SHINE BRIGHT Facebook video of this teaching here or on the Youtube page here 

Today, we will focus on Peter’s great confession regarding Jesus’ identity – where for the first time, Peter boldly declares Jesus as “The Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter’s spiritual eyesight is becoming a bit clearer as Jesus draws closer to the cross.

This is a high point in Jesus’ ministry because Peter and the bunch MUST have a divine understating of Jesus’ true identity if they will be saved from hell and if they would be the co-founders of the Church (EPH 2:20) and co-authors of the New Testament Scriptures.

MARK 8:27-30
27 Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, "Who do men say that I am?" 28 So they answered, "John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets." 29 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ." 30 Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him

[vs. 27] NOW JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES WENT OUT TO THE TOWNS OF CAESAREA PHILLIPI: Jesus goes from the town of Bethsaida which is just north of the Sea of Galilee to Caesarea Philippi, which is 55 plus miles [a total distance of over 150 miles from Jerusalem] to Caesarea Philippi, which is not to be confused with Caesarea in Galilee (located on the shores of the Mediterranean). This city was founded by Philip the Tetrarch, son of Herod the Great. He named the city after Caesar (in his honor) and himself.

This was the Phillip who had his wife stolen from him by his half-brother Herod Antipas – whose daughter, stripped teased before Herod’s elite guests in MARK 6 and had John the Baptist beheaded.

From the looks of things, Jesus came to this place to bring His disciples (namely Peter, James, and John) to a “high mountain” (where He is transfigured in MARK 9) which was either Mount Hermon (or Mount Tabor); Mount Hermon being much closer – Caesarea Philippi was located at the base of Mount Hermon.

[vs. 27 cont’d] WHO DO MEN SAY THAT I AM? In other words, Jesus asked,
“What’s the popular opinion around town regarding My identity? What’s the news on the streets, what’s the world say about Me?”

[vs. 28] JOHN THE BAPTIST: MARK 6 tells us that Herod Antipas, out of a guilt-stricken conscious for murdering John the Baptist, was convinced that Jesus was a resurrected John the Baptist (he became overly paranoid and delusional) – so many seemed to adopt Herod’s lame view.
Let’s never adopt the views of the godless no matter how powerful, popular, influential, rich, or intelligent they are. We are to agree with holy writ alone! Never go with the popular flow!

[vs. 28 cont’d] BUT SOME SAY ELIJAH: Some believed that Jesus was a reappearance of the prophet Elijah who never tasted death but was taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire (2 KINGS 2) – they thought, “he’s back!” In the eyes of the people, Jesus’ ministry may have resembled both John the Baptist’s and Elijah’s ministry because - they were both BOLD National Reformers.

Like Elijah and John the Baptist, Jesus also called the Jewish nation to repentance and saving faith in Him. He fearlessly preached against the Pharisees as did John the Baptist. Jesus singlehandedly stood against the entire corrupt Jewish religious system. This is why Jesus turned the tables in the Temple (JOHN 2) and exposed the nation’s (Israel’s) religious hypocrisy all the time.

John the Baptist courageously commanded King Herod to repent of the sin of adultery. Elijah withstood the wicked king Ahab and his witch-wife - Jezebel and hundreds of their false prophets. The people must have seen the zeal of both John Baptist and Elijah in Jesus.

[vs. 28 cont’d] AND OTHERS, ONE OF THE PROPHETS: In MATT 16:14 (a parallel passage) some said Jesus was the prophet, “Jeremiah.”

Jeremiah was known as “the weeping prophet,” as the rejected prophet. The people may have seen Jeremiah’s heart in Jesus. Like Jeremiah, Jesus also wept over Jerusalem.

The populace obviously had a high view of Jesus, but not high enough. As special as Elijah, Jeremiah, John Baptist and every other Old Testament prophet is, JESUS is much greater still. JESUS was their message, and is their Master, their Messiah, their LORD, and their Creator.

Many in our day have their own spin on Jesus (much like the crowds in Jesus’ day). Both individuals, and false world religions. i.e. Oprah Winfrey and Steve Harvey believe that Jesus is just one out of many paths to God (and they both claim to be Christians).

[Note to TTUF Readers: Check out this false teacher, who appeared on Oprah Winfrey on more than a few occasions and is fervently teaching this false occultic dogma to many churches swept up in deception: Enneagram – Benefit or Bane?]

Muslims believe that Jesus (they call Him “Isa”) is nothing more than a mere prophet [subordinate to Mohammad]. They also deny that He is the Son of God (which is the bedrock truth of Christianity).

Some Buddhists believe that Jesus is just another good teacher who was reincarnated [an avatar] and reached elevated levels of enlightenment.
Mormons believe that Jesus is a created being and that He is the brother of Lucifer (Satan).
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus is a created being but that He is also a god (little g) and is Michael the Arch-angel – makes no sense.
Roman Catholics believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God BUT they also elevate Mary above Him, which means that they worship a different Jesus – because the biblical Jesus shares His glory and worship with no one but His Father and The Holy Spirit!

Many people confess Jesus as the Son of God in a very casual, superficial, lip-service kind of way, which is NOT saving faith at all; because, to believe is to joyfully abandon oneself to ALL that Jesus is and to ALL that Jesus has commanded. Anything less than that is deception.

[vs. 29] HE SAID TO THEM, BUT WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM? Jesus knows that everyone has their own personal opinion of who is and how much honor he deserves but Jesus made it personal – “who do YOU say that I am?”
Our sincere answer to this question will determine where we will spend eternity!!
JOHN 3:16-18
16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
People who reject Jesus are hell bound and those who believe in, love, follow and obey Jesus are heaven bound.

Listen, when you who are today unsaved stand before the LORD at the Great White Throne Judgment (REV 20), it will not matter what the world believed about Jesus, or what different world religions believed about Jesus or what celebrities believed about Jesus, or what your parents or grandparents believed about Jesus, or what your closest friends believed about Jesus – what will matter most, is what YOU believed about Jesus and how that belief altered your entire life - or not.

[vs. 29 cont’d] PETER ANSWERED AND SAID TO HIM, “YOU ARE THE CHRIST” Peter of course spoke for the rest of the twelve. This was Peter’s crescendo, his manifesto, his brave declaration. Peter is now fully unapologetically convinced of the identity of Jesus.

We too should fearlessly proclaim the identity of Jesus. Let’s make Him known – people need to know who He is. Jesus is the Christ of God which means that Jesus is the Anointed One of God. Jesus is the conquering King, the High Priest, and the LORD God our Deliverer!

Next time on TTUF, pastor Sonny will teach on: The Christ of God where we’ll take a closer look at Peter’s declaration in connection to the Old Testament scriptures and prophecies concerning the Messiah predicted to come, and Who has in truth, come to the world, revealed as Jesus the Christ!

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