PETER AND SATAN
Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 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. 18 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. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
Matthew 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Flesh and Spirit
These two instances regarding Peter, as listed above in our Matthew sixteen passage, are astounding! In the first instance they show what the believer is like when flesh and blood is not involved. But in the second, we see that being only mindful of things that be of men, are an offence to God! That is very powerful! – To be either in the mind of God’s revelation to the soul, or to be defined by God Himself as Satan, is of a higher magnitude than humanly imaginable! But believers have the possibility of these extremes present in them!
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Satan is far nearer to us than harlot religion has allowed us to perceive. Zechariah 3:1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
But these matters are under the ordination and control of our sovereign Lord! Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. For the Lord reveals in these verses that he intended Peter to be saved IN this situation, and not FROM it! His intercession will regulate the satanic assaults so that there will be no temptation to come upon us but such as is common to man! (1 Corin. 10:13). For as winter’s cold is essential for the restraining of summer weeds, so mortification is essential for the restraining of inordinate affections in the spiritual growth of the soul!
Satan is God’s Devil! He, like all other created beings, is a servant of God! In the first two chapters of the Book of Job we find Satan having to give account of his activities, and being required to seek God’s permission to set out on any venture to which he aspires. Christ is greater than all angels, even this angel fallen from the highest of angelic positions! Heb. 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
Peter, acting in the Spirit, was a mighty voice on Pentecost. And we have it recorded of him that even his shadow passing over sick folks, laid out in the streets for his passing by, healed them! (Acts 5:15,16).
But Peter, acting in the flesh, was harmful to the church, and an offense to God! He rebukes Christ in our above listed verses of Matthew sixteen. Then he rebukes the Spirit three times in Acts ten concerning the great sheet let down from heaven. For we have the Spirit’s word as listed in 1 Timothy chapter four that commanding to abstain from foods, as a doctrine of religion, is provided by seducing spirits, and is a doctrine of devils!
The Apostle Paul plainly tells us that there was the messenger of Satan assigned to buffet, or to chastise him, to prevent any vain glory for the abundant spiritual revelations he received. His spiritual man had the Holy Spirit to exalt the revelations of Christ. And his fleshly man needed a demon to keep down the proud look, which God hates! (Prov. 6:16,17). We all then need be more careful, walking without the self confidence that the practice of traditional religion brings, which is “demon bait,” while we work out our own personal spiritual course with fear and trembling!
In order to accomplish that, we need to constantly remind ourselves of how dangerous our environment is! 1 John 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. 19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
God is love! And it is by that spiritual nature we manifest ourselves to be true children of God! John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. 1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Does this surprise you, that God states that true spiritual evidence is had in one’s love to his people? We would think it to be found in many other forms of religious expression. But God says it’s found in loving others like he loves us!
The evidence of the identity of the true church is not exclusively found even in preaching and preachers! For Satan has long since invaded the pulpits of religion! 2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Satan, now being an angel of light, probably is the ‘spiritual’ influence for most of religion in our land. And that warm, fuzzy feeling, that assures those religionists of ‘God’s will’ being done among them is but fleshly emotionalism, excited by hell’s angel of light! The Lord even had to rebuke the disciples whom he had chosen for being in the wrong spirit and thinking it to be of God! Luke 9:54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
Listen at just how horribly demonic religion can become and still think themselves to be ‘of the Lord.’ John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. Satan, within the religious heart, can even justify murder as being in ‘God’s will!’ Was that not the crime of the first man possessed of the devil? 1 John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. 13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
And there is more murder than just that of the physical life. There is the murder of a just man’s reputation. There is the murder of wholesomeness and decency! There is the murder of innocence! And those who habitually practice such cannot be the children of God! Matt. 6:24 No man 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.
And just what is our hope of deliverance form the deceptions of satan? It is the same as Peter’s hope! – Christ’s intercession! And Christ’s intercession is as wide as his atonement! He prays for those for whom he died! John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. The Trinity here agrees that all those the Father elected in the Son from the foundation of the world, were those for whom the Son died and those whom the Spirit would seal! (See Ephesians 1:3-13).
Galatians 1:3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Dear soul, your entire eternal well being rests upon the Sovereign Savior who has already defeated the same Devil who wishes your damnation! He came against our Lord, but in doing so lost his entire power! John 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Our dear Lord was in all points tempted, and yet he is without sin! Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
If we would but submit ourselves to God, we could successfully resist the devil! James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Pastor Gene Breed
January 17, 2013