21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” (Mt 16:21-23)
The Lord’s rebuke of Peter is meant for us today!
If our #1 Priority and Focus is not on the fulfillment of the very next Holyday in God’s Master Plan, then we are a stumbling block to Christ and His Body, the Church, and can easily become a tool of Satan!
Here are the main points of this incident:
1. God’s interests are the Holydays. Christ here was explaining in detail exactly how He was going to fulfill Holyday #1 – the Passover – but the disciples were not listening.
2. Man’s interests are not the Holydays. If the disciples, after three and a half years of personal instruction from the Christ, still did not understand the Passover as the first Holyday in God’s plan, how much less will people today, over 2000 years later, understand the meaning and fulfillment of Holyday #2 – the miraculous deliverance of the Firstfruits?
3. All interests before the Holydays are stumbling blocks to Christ, and to His Body, the Church. This means that all sermons and messages that are not promoting a focus on Holyday #2 are stumbling blocks to the fulfillment of God’s Master Plan!
4. Any interest before the Holydays, especially the very next Holyday, Holyday #2, no matter how good and noble it is, can make one a tool of Satan.
5. The Holydays reveal the Master Plan that all must follow. Christ was explaining how He must follow The Plan to fulfill the Passover – to pay for the sins of the world.
6. One can recognize The Christ, and yet not recognize (obey) The Master Plan. Notice the Apostle John’s warning about this in 1 Jn 2:4:
4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
7. NOT focusing on the very next Holyday in The Master Plan is The Rebuke and warning meant for us today, as it is related by this incident that has been carefully recorded and preserved in Mt 16:21-23 for us to hear and heed today.
Now, how can we ensure that we are focusing on Holyday #2 – the very next BIG EVENT in God’s Master Plan for the salvation of man-kind?
1. Focus on the TYPE set by the ancient Israelites in the book of Exodus. Study and meditate on their mindset and their reaction to each of the events that transpired. Analyze how God orchestrated each incident to teach them lessons, and to prepare them to leave Egypt. Each incident in this episode was designed with us in mind today – so we would not make the same mistakes that they had made then. Perhaps we can avoid the “first three plagues” that they had to experience because of their lack of faith and desire to leave Egypt! Isa 66:7-9 provides us some hope that this preemptive escape indeed may be the case, IF we have faith and “tremble at His word” (Isa 66:5)!
2. Focus on the scriptures relating to Holyday #2 – the Miraculous Transformation of the Desert and Deliverance of the Firstfruits.
3. Focus on the scriptures relating to Holyday #3 – The Spring Harvest of the Firstfruits of the Kingdom of God.
5. Prepare for “leaving Egypt” when the call goes out (Zeph 2:1).
6. Join in The Fast on the 20th of each month, in remembrance and anticipation of the fulfillment of Holyday #2.
32 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.