Friday, November 23, 2012

Mark 8:32-33 commentary: whom do you serve?

32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. 33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

Peter, like Satan, wants Jesus to forsake His mission. In Matthew and Luke, chapter 4, Satan makes his effort to get Jesus to turn away from His mission. Here, Peter is doing the work of Satan or Satan has influenced him.

There are powerful forces at work in the universe that are not subject to the laws of the physical universe that corporeal entities like ourselves are subject to.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

I realize that much Christian teaching has become contaminated with atheist materialism and doesn’t admit to any unseen intelligences although they can believe in all manner of so-called scientific particles that no scientist ever claimed to have seen. Sub-atomic particles are believed in because of the effect they allegedly produce. But, the Bible explains the cause of effects in a different manner. It is impossible to be a Bible believer if you don’t believe in the world of the spirit.

Jesus rebukes Peter because Peter is taking on the work of Satan. It is interesting to note how we learn about Satan from the Bible by how God describes human characters as like him. Here is Peter likened to Satan. Why? Because he wishes to thwart God’s plan of redemption for mankind and keep Jesus from going to the cross.

We can see the king of Tyrus likened to Satan in Exekiel, chapter 28, which gives us a description of who Satan is and what he has done, where he came from, and when he fell. We see the king of Babylon used in the same way in Isaiah 14. Read those two chapters. Bible passages are written in such a multi-dimensional manner as to describe something literally and yet to describe something that isn’t directly referenced in the passage, as well. Sometimes, there are clearly two and three layers of meaning, not to mention all of the inspirational messages people get out of the passages that were not an intentional part of the passages’ literal meaning, direct allusion, or prophetic reference.

You will get the suggestion of this best by reading the Bible over and over again. In fact, you have no excuse if you haven’t listened to or read the entire Bible through at least once for every year you’ve been a Christian. If you’re behind because you just recently realized what a Bible is and how much power God has laid on it, then you can make every effort to catch up. A seminary education is no substitute for reading the Authorized Version from cover to cover on a continuous basis. In fact, I would pick a preacher who can read and understand English and has read the Bible through many times from cover to cover over someone with a Ph.D. in Theology any day, providing, of course, he’s saved.

One thing to note here is that you don’t have to literally worship Satan by name to serve him. You only need to be against God’s purposes and to serve man’s and your own to do his bidding. Satan doesn’t need your worship to accomplish his purposes. He only needs you to worship yourself.

You can’t serve Christ if you submit your will as a slave to the world system;

1John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Nothing that the world holds up as good and right is from the God who created you.

Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

That includes the economic system and wealth.

Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Think about these things the next time you watch the fine homes of the rich and famous paraded on television or find yourself parked in front of a professional football game held in some giant stadium with thousands of adoring fans screaming their approval.

But, in the next verse, Jesus will tell us whom exactly we must deny to serve Him.

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