PERCEIVE YE NOT YET?
Mark 8:14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf. 15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. 16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. 17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? 18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? 19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. 20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. 21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?
Matt. 16:11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
The Lord Jesus, the Bread of Life, had recently, upon two separate occasions, fed a total of nine hundred men, besides women and children, with but meager provisions. Yet here his disciples were, distracted by lack of bread insomuch that they could not perceive a solemn warning concerning spiritual deception. And isn’t that just like us? We are fretting over some little circumstance, willingly forgetful that the Lord has solved such distracting circumstances nine hundred times in our past. And yet, we focus upon another present ‘problem’ which Satan elevates with fleshly anxiety, to draw us away from the fact that we actually have the very Bread of God in the boat with us!
All the minds of the disciples were in the same lowly vein of carnal reasoning. That Greek word, here translated, they reasoned, is the same word used in the setting forth of the rich man who determined to build bigger barns. For the scriptures report that he thought (that is our word), within himself. (Luke 12:17). It is also translated as the word consider, in John 11:50. But the Lord teaches us through his word that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. (Romans 12:2).
And just what are the spiritual “weapons” provided to the believer to accomplish, if not for the ruling of the thoughts and imaginations? 2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And as long as we are of such earthly consciousness, we, like Nicodemus, cannot be told heavenly things. John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
It is a dangerous matter for those who dedicate themselves to the life-long practice of religion, not to attain to a heavenly consciousness! It can only end in the destruction of the eternal soul! For those who only “mind earthly things,” have their final end to be that of destruction! Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.
Now let us take note of our Lord’s alternative word, which we see in our article title. For he asks in the second of his nine, rapidly rebuking questions, perceive ye not yet? This word does include the matter of “considering.” For he gave us a human brain with which to think. But listen at this verse in order to determine just how we are to consider. 2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. That English word, “Consider,” is the same Greek word, perceive. But it is not that same Greek word translated from the word, they reasoned in verse sixteen. Notice how it is used in this verse. We are to mentally consider, but in the spiritual understanding given us from the Lord! We must remember that we are not our own, but are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s! (1 Corinthians 6:20). Therefore it is our responsibility, not to bury this ‘talent’ of contemplation, but to “retrain our brain” for spiritual considerations.
For all true believers are given a spiritual understanding when they become new creatures in Christ by his sovereign regeneration! 1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. For it is Through faith we understand! (Hebrews 11:3).
For our spiritual perception is to be used in the discernment of the purpose for natural things, in order to even manifest the invisible things of the very person of God! Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
David said, I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (Psa. 121:1,2). He lifted up his eyes – exalted his understanding in order to consider – that the Person of the LORD, like the mountains that surrounded and protected Israel, was his great help! He saw mountains! But he “perceived” God’s strength and protection!
What do you see when you see the majestic mountains? Let us not be like those who carve men’s faces upon them. But let us be awed as the Holy Spirit reveals their peaks piercing through the cloud bank, soaring into the clean, crisp atmosphere above earthly sight. Let us gaze upon Him, who like the mountain peaks covered with snow that doesn’t exist in the lowlands, and see the glory of his holiness and purity far above the character of fallen man that surrounds us. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; (Hebrews 7:26).
Have you “seen the voice,” dear Soul, or just heard the preached word? John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Have you ever seen wool in it’s original condition? – Did you see the Voice? (Rev. 1:12). Have you ever seen a fiery flame? – or seen shiny brass, or heard the roar of Niagara Falls? What about the starry lights, or a sharp sword? And did you perceive the Voice? Has the s-u-n ever reminded you of the S-o-n? Then take a moment and contemplate this passage. Revelation 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
O! How we need an awakening today! May God have mercy!
Once the manifestation of God had been seen and rejected, the Lord removes the ability of the heart to “understand.” John 12:37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: 38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? 39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
And in the first chapter of Romans, it is said three times that God gave them up/over to reprobation. (Vs. 24,26,28). And his stated reason, was for their not liking to keep God in their minds! Listen at the last time this is said in this passage: Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
And why so severe? Because his great glory and majesty should never be ignored! And because he has provided a true, spiritual leaven. And this is what we are instructed to seek first, above all else. Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
Pastor Gene Breed