This work is adapted from my more in depth look at the crumbling papacy called The Real Cornerstone. Here we once again look at this idea that allegedly the Apostle Peter is the “rock” spoken of in Matthew 16:18, and it is from this faulty reasoning that the Church of Rome has erected the office of their Pope. But we must ask ourselves a question: Who would be the person most able to tell us what Jesus meant in this verse of Scripture? That would, of course, be Peter himself. After all, the Master was talking to him. And before we’re through, I’m going to show you Peter himself refuting the dogma of the papacy of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Crumbling Papacy

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:15-18)

Let’s look at Matthew 16:18 once again, this time from the Roman Catholic translation called the New American Bible for Catholics (NAS). And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church. What I am going to show you now from the Scriptures is that Peter himself understood Jesus to be saying to him – “You are but a stone, and upon this Rock of Truth that God the Father has just revealed to you I am going to build My Church.”

Now we turn our attention to the Book of 1 Peter. Here is 1 Peter 2:4-9 from the NAB. The Apostle Peter writes:

Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it says in scripture: “Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion, a cornerstone, chosen and precious, and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame.”

Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone that will make people stumble, and a rock that will make them fall.” They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny. But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

You’ll notice in verse 4 – Come to him – [this would be the Lord–Christ Jesus]. Come to him, a living stone – [the Real Cornerstone–the primary Stone–from which all the other stones draw their life]. Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God. This can only be Jesus Christ of Nazareth. There isn’t a whole lot I agree with John Wesley on, but his comment on this verse is actually quite astute: “And St. Peter speaking of [Christ] thus, shows he did not judge himself, but Christ, to be the rock on which the church was built” (emphasis added).

Jesus Says He Is The Rock

If Wesley’s comment is not enough to convince you that this rejected Stone is in fact Christ, and not Peter, then how about the Lord Jesus Himself? Will He do? As the Master Himself taught that He was the Stone in question. And I’d say Jesus is a fairly reliable Source–destra? Matthew 21:42 – Jesus said to – [the Jewish leaders], “Have you never read in the Scriptures:“ ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

With Peter standing right there–along with His other disciples–Jesus is trying to tell these religious people that they must trust in Him to find God. The Roman Catholic would do well to listen to what the Master says next – “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”

With this in mind then, let‘s go back and read 1 Peter 2:4 once again–from the NABCome to him, [Christ] a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God. Do you see now what Peter is telling us? He’s teaching us that Jesus of Nazareth is that Stone Who was prophesied in Isaiah 28. And this information itself is actually based on what the Master had Personally taught Peter and the other disciples.

Now we come to verse 5 – and, like living stones, let yourselves –[all of us that God called out of the world to assemble to worship Christ. Like] – living stones, as imitations of – as reproductions of that Living Cornerstone mentioned in verse 4–the Lord Jesus. And, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house – which is that universal–katholikos Church–the Body of Christ.

God Builds Upon The Cornerstone

Bible teacher G.K. Polkinghorne’s comment is helpful here – “Christ [is] the basis and standard on which God erects His building, Christians as living stones made alive by Christ (I:3) are in the process of being incorporated… The [picture] is of God at work, erecting His building, stone by stone” (New International Bible Commentary, p.1555, emphasis added)–upon the solid Rock–Christ Jesus of Nazareth.

Back to 1 Peter 2 and verse 6 – For it says in scripture: “Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion, a cornerstone, chosen and precious, and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame.” Here Peter is appealing to Isaiah 28:16 to develop his teaching. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth – [in Jesus Christ of Nazareth] – shall not make haste. However, if you believe in a mere human “pope,” then you are going to blush for eternity.

Dr. Roger Raymer of Dallas Theological Seminary brings this out – “A cornerstone is the visible support on which the building relies for strength and stability” (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, NT, p.845, emphasis added). So this couldn’t be Peter, as only the unchanging God of the Bible fits this description. Raymer then concludes – “Believers trust in Christ much as a building rests on its cornerstone” (ibid., emphasis added).

In verses 7 and 8 the Apostle Peter goes on to further emphasize the greatness of the building’s true foundation, the immoveable Cornerstone of Christ Jesus of Nazareth. Now see if all this sounds familiar to you. Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” (see Psalm 118:22) and “A stone that will make people stumble, and a rock that will make them fall” (Isaiah 8:14). They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny.

Here Peter uses two Old Testament verses to bolster his teaching that Christ is this Stone in question, which is straight in line with the passage in Matthew 21 that we just read. And this is yet another reason why it is so important to read the Bible prayerfully–thoroughly–and in context.

This brings us to verse 9 – But you – [the ones called out–the universal Church.] But you– [this would be those of us who have given our lives completely to Jesus.] But you are “a chosen race, – [not one centralized organization like the Roman Catholic Church or the Mormon Church.] But you – [individually make up, and] – are “a chosen race, – [a chosen people] – a royal priesthood, – [all true Christians are priests of God] – a holy nation, a people of his [very] own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

The Apostle Paul Says Christ Is The Cornerstone

Here is some absolute truth: If people would just read God’s Word for themselves – if people would just let the text of the Bible speak for itself, then we could very quickly clear up the vast majority of confusion in religious circles. In fact if we turn to Ephesians 2:19 we will find out something further regarding the true Identity of the Cornerstone. The Apostle Paul actually sheds some light on just Who this Rock is–this real Cornerstone–that Peter has informed us the universal Church itself rests upon.

From the NAB Roman Catholic translation once again – Ephesians 2:19 – So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.10 (emphasis added).

It is interesting to note that at the very bottom of the page in this Bible translation specifically designed for Roman Catholics we read this rather salient footnote – “10. [20] Capstone: the Greek can also mean cornerstone…” (emphasis added). Permit me to point out that in Ephesians 2:20 cited above the Greek word is akrogoniaios. And it means not only cornerstone–but the very foundation stone itself! So you can probably see why translators affiliated with the Church of Rome just might want to “soften” that verse–and soften it a whole lot!

However, there can be no doubt that both Paul and Peter are in agreement that Christ Jesus of Nazareth is the–singular–Chief Cornerstone. Now think back to that parable of “The Wise Builder.” Jesus says – Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock (Matthew 7:24). And this is no small matter as we attempt to look at the Roman Catholic Church from God’s perspective. Which, after all is said and done, is really the only perspective about that man-made organization that is going to matter!

Peter Confesses Christ Is The Rock

Let’s tie this back now to Peter’s confession in Matthew 16:18 where we began. Peter himself clearly shows us in Scripture from his own writings that it is Christ Jesus Who is the Rock–the Chief Cornerstone referred to in that verse. In fact later on in his first epistle, in the last chapter, the Apostle Peter writes – The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder (1 Peter 5:1). You’ll notice again–from the Bible itself–that he doesn’t claim any supremacy over these elders here as the so-called first Pope, but says instead that he is also an elder.

And that’s because Peter had already told these same men in chapter 2 that he is but a stone–just the same as they are–and that Christ is the Rock. Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the Real Cornerstone upon which His Church–His precious people–who are chosen and precious in the sight of God, is in fact built. So the entire foundation of the Roman Catholic Church erodes when examined by the precision laser light of God’s Holy Word–the Bible. When exposed to proper analysis by the Scriptures the faulty structure of the Church of Rome–their erroneous and pernicious doctrine of the Roman Pontiff–collapses in utter confusion and contradiction.

Let me begin to sum this up. The great Bible Commentator Dr. Adam Clarke is right when he explains what Jesus means when He says that He will build His Church upon the “rock.” Clarke shows that the Master is telling us that His Church will be built upon:

this true confession of [Peter] -that I am THE MESSIAH, that [I have] come to reveal and communicate THE LIVING GOD, that the dead, [and] lost world may be saved [through Me] – upon this very rock, myself, thus confessed…will I build my Church,…my assembly, or congregation, i.e. of persons who are made partakers of this precious faith. (,caps in original)

Dr. Clarke further points out – “That Petra is not designed in our Lord’s words must be evident to all who are not blinded by prejudice. Peter was only one of the builders in this sacred [structure],…[and Peter] himself tells us,…[the Church] was built on this living foundation stone” – [Christ Jesus-the Lord] (ibid.).

As a matter of fact Dr. Clarke then goes on to quote the very passage of Holy Scripture in 1 Peter 2 that we just looked at. Finally, the great Methodist preacher who labored during the days of John Wesley concludes:

So, the supremacy of Peter, and the infallibility of the Church of Rome, must be sought in some other scripture, for they certainly are not to be found in this (ibid., emphasis added).

The Critical Importance Of Understanding The Dogma Of The Papacy

Although to some this mistaken idea that Peter was the Pope may not be of much interest, nevertheless it remains an issue of critical importance to the advancement of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ upon His earth. The Gospel of our Lord–I might add–which is the only means that this lost world has to escape the inevitable coming wrath of God. And if you truly are a Christian, that bit of truth should be of great interest to you. As Dr. Martin used to say: “If you don’t believe that the world is lost, why on earth are you even bothering to call yourself a Christian?”

This confused and contradictory man-made dogma of the papacy is the very beating heart of the apostate Roman Catholic Church, and all of its lifeblood flows through the fictitious office of their Pope. And to show you how deep all of this runs, let me share something from “Saint” Ignatius of Loyola, the man who founded the Jesuit sect of The Church of Rome. Here’s a little something from “The Spiritual Exercises Of St. Ignatius Of Loyola.” What follows is the –

Thirteenth Rule. To be right in everything, we ought always to hold that the white which I see, is black, if the [Pope and the] Hierarchical Church so decide it,… (exercises/exercises.html&from=RTFToC159, emphasis added)

This is as blind an allegiance as has ever been expressed. And lest you think this is just a thing of the past, then listen to this from the current website of an organization called the Catholic Society of Evangelists. In order to become involved with them, among the things one must pledge on their membership form, we read:

I accept that the Bishop of Rome, is the sole Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, that he is the supreme visible head of the whole Church, and that he can teach infallibly what we must believe and do to be saved.

We must face the fact that this is absolutely no different than the kind of blind allegiance paid to the leaders of any other cult-like system. Does anyone still remember Jim Jones and Jonestown? Or how about David Koresh and Waco, Texas? Yes, it’s true that the individual Roman Catholic may tell you that these are but words they say. Regardless, we must remind those who are pledging allegiance to the Pope and his Church of Rome of what the Lord says about anti-biblical traditions in Mark 7:6-9.

And here it is from their own New American Bible translation. Jesus says to the Jewish religious leaders–the Roman Catholic Church of His day:

“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’ You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” He went on to say, “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!”

And as if that isn’t enough, here is a warning which came through the Apostle Paul that should send shivers up our spines. God the Holy Spirit says:

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11).

The Lord would have you know that this generation we are now living in is no time to be “playing” at Christianity. The spirit of this age is one that is quite aggressively hostile to the historic orthodox Christian faith. To the discerning among us it would appear that Christ is beginning to call His remnant to Himself. And…if you are in tune with the Spirit, somehow you will just know this truth.

Foolish Builders And Their House Of Sand

The issue we are left with now is this: If Peter is not the “rock” in Matthew 16:18 – then there can be no so-called “successors” to his non-existent office as the so-called supreme shepherd, head of the universal Church. If the Bible proves that Peter is not the first pope–and I have conclusively demonstrated that it does–then the Church of Rome has been exposed as nothing more than a house erected on sand by foolish builders.

And sadly, for those who have been deceived by all of its pious pomp, the apostate Roman Catholic Church has instead been shown to be the best counterfeit of true historic orthodox Christianity–the faith derived from the apostolic preaching and to be kept by the Christian community–that Satan has yet to conceive. By the way, this is Jude 3 in their own NAB translation.

In the immaculate radiance of Holy Scripture the Church of Rome is seen to simply rest upon the “traditions” of men and their self-proclaimed dogma of the papacy. For in the end, it is just as Dr. John MacArthur courageously told a national audience on The John Ankerberg Show. The religious faith as taught by the Roman Catholic Church clearly shows that this “is not a group of wayward brothers–but is an apostate form of Christianity. It is a false religion–it is another religion.” (MacArthur on The John Ankerberg Show, Irreconcilable Differences, Cassette Tape, Parts 1-3).

For once the precision laser beam of the Bible burns away the dogma of the Roman Pontiff–which is the very pillar the entire Church of Rome is built upon–then the whole substructure of this false religious system that the enemy of men’s souls has erected–with its cult-like dogmas of works-righteousness–collapses and lies in dilapidated ruin at his feet. As this whitewashed tomb full of dead men’s bones falls, the way is then cleared for us to reach those who were trapped inside; to free all those precious souls for whom the authentic Rock–the real Chief Cornerstone–Jesus Christ of Nazareth died, and who have been pressed down by the grisly rubble of twisted doctrine, such is the labyrinth of Roman Catholicism.

The true Body of Christ, that assembly of the ones the Lord has called out of this vapid world system to worship Him, must finally arise! The time has come for the authentic Holy Katholikos and Apostolic Church to liberate those who are right now caught in the crumbling wreckage of the no longer Christian Church of Rome. We need to release these survivors from its debris with the glorious Gospel of The RealCornerstone, our secure Foundation–the Rock–Christ Jesus.

The Roman Catholic Church Has Not Changed

However, because the Christian Church in America has become so terribly timid we’ve allowed the counterfeit Church of Rome to give the impression that she has changed the heretical doctrines that she originally left the Faith to teach in the first place. But by now you should clearly be able to see that she has not changed.

In an article entitled Vatican II—The Myths from EWTN we read:

All that the Church taught when Vatican II began is still [Roman] Catholic teaching. The changes whether made by the Council or decided upon since, are [only] in practical matters such as the liturgy or discipline, but always leaving doctrine unchanged (emphasis added).

Now listen to this by Rino Fisichella, Auxiliary Bishop of Rome, in L’Osservatore Romano – which just happens to be the newspaper of the Holy See. On page 10 of an article called Vatican I’s Teaching As Timely As Ever that ran September 13, 2000 we find:

on 8 December 1869 Plus IX brought the Council back to the centre of the Church. Holding it at St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican was equivalent to recovering the great tradition of the medieval Councils,… The First Vatican Council, from this symbolic standpoint, initiated an event that would remain in the Church’s history as a point of no return for the growth of faith. (emphasis added)

As you can clearly see from their own sources Roman Catholicism remains the same. Fisichella continues:

The Church presented the divine nature of her institution… Christ established in Peter the visible and lasting principle of his Church’s unity. The discussions about the approval of infallibility are well known…a decision of historical import was reached. The proclamation of infallibility embraced and expressed that sense of faith of all the baptized, which sees in Peter the rock on which Christ has indefectibly and infallibly established his Church (ibid., emphasis added).

Infallible Apostates?

As I have stated previously, what we need to do here is to stop playing all the word games. The truth is the Church of Rome is entangled by her own misapplied logic. Here is the issue succinctly: If the Pope cannot err when he pronounces a doctrine of faith and morals ex cathedra, then Roman Catholicism is trapped in an unbreakable vice. You see, if she were ever to change a dogma concerning theology–which in no uncertain terms does cover faith and morals–then the Church of Rome would have to admit that a Pope was in fact wrong.

To borrow a phrase–the Roman Catholic Church is damned if they do, and they are damned if they don’t. For once we have an infallible Pope, along with his so-called infallible teaching Magisterium, we will be forever locked within a maze of logical contradiction and confusion. And you will remember that For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints(1 Corinthians 14:33).

Let me close with this. As ambassadors of our glorious Lord, (see-2 Corinthians 5:20) it is our job to help people to see that it was not the Reformers who split the Body of Christ. Rather, it was the Church of Rome herself that was the one who left us so many hundreds of years ago, wishing to follow her own pride. For the Scripture unmistakably tells us about people like this:

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us (1 John 2:19).

The following comment on this verse from Zane Hodges will prove edifying. He writes:

They did not really belong to us [NIV] paraphrases an expression more literally rendered, “they were not of us.” The writer’s point was that these men did not really share the spirit and perspective of the apostolic circle, for if they had their secession would not have taken place. Heresy in the Christian church, whether on the part of its saved members or unsaved people within it, always unmasks a fundamental disharmony with the spirit and doctrine of the apostles. A man in touch with God will submit to apostolic instruction (cf. 1 John 4:6). (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, NT, pp.891,892, emphasis added).

For this is what the Lord says; despite all of her blustering and pontificating as to being the one true Church upon the face of the earth, with the “fullness” of the Gospel, and with her so-called “Vicar” of Christ, the verdict is crystal clear: The Church of Rome stands condemned already for she follows not the apostolic doctrine that she so brazenly claims succession from.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear…