BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
This section shows that the disciples are still partially blind. Here we have the first clear announcement of His coming programme of death and resurrection. The confession of Peter marks the beginning point of His instructions to them concerning his coming death and resurrection. There is no doubt in the mind of the Lord as to the sequence of events which will occur in the future. Psalm 118:20-24, Isaiah 53:1-3, Hosea 6:1-3.
The basic outline he gives comprises four items: firstly He must go to Jerusalem, secondly He must suffer many things there, thirdly He must die, and fourthly He must be raised from the dead. For Him the path to glory would lead first the Cross, and then the grave. There is purpose and direction here, but the Cross is before the Crown!
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.
Now Peter who has shown partial sight when he mentioned that Jesus was the Messiah now shows partial blindness, because Peter now rebukes Jesus. Here he calls Jesus Lord, and yet violates the very Lordship of Jesus, by telling him that it cannot be. He rebuked our Lord. Before we get self righteous over this just remember your own prayers at times of stress – have you not asked the Lord if he really knew what he was doing? We accuse the Lord of being unfair with us at times – and we join Peter, and we play on Satan’s team for a time! Psalm 141:1-5, Proverbs 9:6-12.
The Lord turns on his heel and looking at His disciples who were following Him, and He rebuked Peter saying, “Go away Satan”. Jesus was not accusing Peter of being Satan, or being indwelt by Satan. He meant, in the strongest possible language, “you are talking like Satan would- you are singing his song”. Satan always tries to discourage us from wholly obeying God. Peter’s words were Satanic in origin and content, and this causes the Lord’s greatest indignation.
We note that Jesus first looked at his disciples, then rebuked Peter, as if to say, “If I do not go to the cross how can these my disciples, be saved?” He then tells Peter that what he is saying follows the thinking of men rather than the viewpoint of God. From the spiritual high point a short while ago Peter is back in ignorance and lacking understanding. These men were all “works in progress”, just like we are. Are you not glad that the Lord has not judged you for every foolish word you have uttered? Romans 8:5-11, James 3:14-18.
34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
From this incident Jesus teaches three points about discipleship. Firstly, in order to identify with His rejection they are to take up their own cross, which means to identify with the rejection of the Messiah. Failure to do so means that they will not be able to undertake the Christian walk. To do so is to receive the promise of abundant life. 1 Corinthians 9:19-27, 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, 1 Peter 4:12-19.
Jesus is saying if you desire to come after me we must reject every selfish impulse and deliberately choose a pathway of reproach suffering and death and follow me. You may have to forsake personal comforts, social enjoyments, earthly ties, grand ambitions, material riches, and even life itself. We must ensure that we do not have self as the centre of our plan but have the plan of God as a centre of our life. Only then will we be His true disciples
36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Even if the believer could gain all the world’s wealth during his lifetime what good would it to him? He would have missed the opportunity of using his life for the glory of God and to the salvation of the lost. Our lives are worth more than all the world has to offer temporarily – for this world is only temporary. Shall we use our moments for Christ will for self? Ephesians 5:15-18, 1 Peter 1:18-19.
For the unbeliever, the world considers a person with a huge amount of money and materials things to have been successful. They strut the stage of life, they are fawned over by the media, but as Solomon says in Ecclesiastes it is all meaningless. Even the richest man can take nothing with him when he dies. What a tragedy to be immensely rich but spend eternity in hell. These are very sobering times for people in the materialistic western world. Psalm 49:7-12, Luke 12:16-26, Luke 16:18-31.
38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
Our Lord realizes that some of his young disciples might stumble in the path of discipleship by fear and shame. He reminded them of that those who seek to avoid reproach because of Him will suffer a greater shame when he returns to the earth in power. The focus here is the Second Advent and the words especially targeted towards the Jewish believers of the Great Tribulation period. Jude 17-25.
Our Lord is coming back to earth, this time not in humiliation, but in great personal glory, and with the holy angels. It will be a scene of amazing splendour. We need to ensure that we are not ashamed of the sinless Saviour in a world that is characterised with unfaithfulness and sinfulness! Luke 18:8.
1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
The Lord ends this section by saying that some of the disciples would not die until they saw the Kingdom of God with power. He was referring to Peter, James and John who on the Mount of Transfiguration were shown a preview of the Kingdom of God coming in power. The Lord’s certain victory is the subject of his words, and is to be our anchor for the soul in difficult days, as the world darkens towards the end. Let us remember each time we raise our Communion Cup, and say the words, “Until He comes”. 1 Corinthians 11:23-29.
If a person is unstable in their application of doctrine into their daily Christian life, then the periods when they are successful in living the spiritual life will be limited. There needs to be a growth in the understanding and application of the Word of God into the very fabric of the daily individual life, so that greater stability is obtained and a more constant and closer walk with the Lord maintained.
It is essential to have gone to the Cross and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour before one can start living the Christian way of life. The Cross must come before the Crown. Without the cross there is no salvation.
Just as the Holy Spirit provided a resurrection body for the Lord Jesus Christ so we will be provide with a resurrection body at the Rapture of the Church.
We are not the equal of the Lord Jesus Christ, but we are in union with Him. We should not get familiar with the Lord. He has lifted us up to His standing and position. Too often Christians downgrade the true relationship and tell what they are doing as far as God is concerned rather than concentrating on what God has done for us.
Anything the unbeliever can do is not the Christian way of life. The dynamics of the Christian life is the power of the Holy Spirit producing divine good and not morality.
Being a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ means that we cannot justify living in luxury and ease. How can we justify the materialism, selfishness and coldness of our attitude? His words cause us to live lives of dedication and serving others.
ISRAEL - PHARISEES, SADDUCEES AND SCRIBES [see page 100]
CHRISTIAN LIFE: BELIEVERS CAN BE STUMBLING BLOCKS
1. The absence of doctrine in the mind and lack of knowledge of the Plan of God causes the believer to promote a Satanic viewpoint which is generally human good. Matthew 16:22,23
2. Human good always rejects the blood of Christ. Satan suggests regeneration without the Cross.
3. This is why so many believers advocate human viewpoint solutions to man’s problems
4. This is why many preachers emphasise the social gospel rather than the Bible gospel
5. The issue is good versus good with human good authored by Satan and divine good by God
6. Because of this many sincere people obscure the Cross and aid Satan’s cause.
7. Therefore any believer who is ignorant of doctrine can be a stumbling block to others by expressing human viewpoint rather than God’s plan.
1. A priest is a man who represents himself or other men before God.
2. There are three categories of priesthood in human history:
a) Family priest - from Adam until Levi
b) Levitical priesthood. - appointed under the Law of Moses
c) Royal priesthood
i) Melchizedek - king of Jerusalem, but also priest of the Most High (Genesis 14:18)
ii) Jesus Christ - King of Kings and the Great High Priest (Hebrews 10:17)
iii) Church Age believer - we share Christ's priesthood, since we are united with Him (1 Peter 2:9)
3. Until the Law was given the head of each family was the priest for that family. (Genesis 8:20, 26:25, 31:54)
4. When the Law was proposed the whole nation of Israel was to be "a kingdom of priests unto God". The nation of Israel however failed in unbelief.
5. God appointed Aaron and his family in the tribe of Levi as a specialised priesthood (Exodus 28:1)
6. All believers in the Church Age have become a kingdom of priests in Christ (1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 1:6)
7. The chief privilege of being a priest is to be able to approach God directly. (Hebrews 4:14-16, 10:19-22)
8. In their role as a priest the believer offers:-
a) Their own body. (Romans 12:1, Philippians 2:17)
b) Praise to God. (Hebrews 13:15-16)
c) Their possessions. (Romans 12:13, Galatians 6:6)
d) Intercession on behalf of others. (Colossians 4:12,1 Timothy 2:1)
9. The priest must be a partaker of the nature of the people he represents. Jesus Christ had to be a human too. (Hebrews 5:1, 7:4, 5, 7:14-28, 10:5, 10:10-14)
10. Comparison of the priesthoods
a) The Melchizedek priesthood was a picture of the priesthood of Christ (Hebrews
b) The Levitical Priesthood
i) Was based on the Law, which could not save
ii) Was based on physical birth into the family of Aaron
iii) Was available only to the family of Aaron
iv) The priests came from the tribe of Levi. The kings came from the tribe of Judah. No person could be a priest and a king.
v) Was based on mere men, with their own weaknesses and sin
vi) Ended when the priest died
c) The Royal Priesthood of Christ
i) Is based on Christ's sacrifice, which took away all sin for all time
ii) Is based on spiritual birth, being born again into the family of God
iii) Is universal to all believers in the Church Age
iv) It is a royal priesthood - because of the Kingship and Priestly office of Jesus Christ
v) Is based on the perfect person of Christ
vi) Is eternal, since Christ lives forever
ANGELS: SATAN - ADVERSARY
1. SCRIPTURE Genesis 3; Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28; Matthew 4; Revelation.
Satan is the most beautiful creature ever to be created by God. He is an angel who rebelled against God before the creation of man (Isaiah 14:12-15). Originally he was the covering angel, the personal attendant of Jesus Christ in the very throne room of God. Unlike God, Satan is a created being and as such can only be in one place at any one time. He is attended by a vast number of angels (called demons) who have given him unswerving allegiance. After the creation of man, he tempted Adam and Eve to be as gods and to know good and evil by disobeying God. Satan then became the ruler of this world (Genesis 3:1-7). He attacked the human race in many ways prior to the birth of Jesus Christ. Throughout Jesus Christ's life, Satan attacked the Lord. Since Christ's victory at the cross he attacks believers. Satan still has access into heaven where he accuses the brethren. Halfway through the tribulation period Satan is thrown out of heaven (Revelation 12:7-9). This causes him to intensify his attack on the human race. During the millennium he is confined to the bottomless pit, allowing a perfect environment on the earth (Revelation 20:1-3). After a brief rebellion at the end of the millennium (Revelation 20:7-10), Satan is condemned to the eternal lake of fire which was created for the devil and his angels.
Satan is called:
a) The destroyer (Revelation 9:11).
b) The accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10).
c) The adversary (1 Peter 5:8).
d) Beelzebub, prince of devils (Matthew 12:24).
e) The deceiver of the whole world (Revelation 12:9).
f) The great dragon (Revelation 12:9).
g) An enemy (Matthew 13:28,29).
h) The wicked one (Matthew 13:19,38).
i) The father of lies (John 8:44).
j) The god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4).
k) A murderer (John 8:44).
l) The prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2).
m) The ruler of this world (John 12:31; 14:30).
n) The ancient serpent (Revelation 12:9).
o) The tempter (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5).
p) A blinder of minds (2 Corinthians 4:4).
q) A roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8).
a) Believers are in Christ and therefore in a position of supremacy over Satan (Romans 8:37).
b) Satan was defeated at the cross once and for all (Colossians 2:14,15).
c) He can therefore only use devices and schemes, trying to convince the believer that he can still win the battle against God.
d) Satan, through religion, tries to get man to work independently from God.
e) A Christian out of fellowship can promote principles proposed by Satan (Matthew 4:8-10; Mark 8:33).
f) Satan will use Scripture slightly changed, or added to, to try and confuse believers and lead them astray (Matthew 4:3-10; cf. Psalm 91:11,12).
g) If Satan the adversary is resisted he will flee from you (James 4:7).
h) Knowledge and application of the Scriptures is essential in understanding the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11 ).
ANGELS: SATAN'S WORK
1. Satan's sphere of operations among mankind. (Psalm 109:6--l3)
a) Satan blinds mankind to the truth of the Word of God by means of religion. (v.7)
b) He has the power to shorten life. (v 8a)
c) He can remove persons from a place of authority (v 8b)
d) Satan can kill (v 9)
e) He can persecute children (v 10)
f) He can remove wealth (v 11)
g) Satan can turn people against each other (v. 12)
h) He can cut off man's posterity to the second generation (v. 13)
2. Satan as a killer
a) He has the power of death (Hebrews 2:14, 15)
b) Killed Job's children (Job I:12, 18,19)
c) Motivated Cain to murder Abel (John 8:44, cf 1 John 3:12)
d) Often administers the sin unto death (1 Corinthians 5:5)
3. Satan as a source of disease
a) Was responsible for Paul's "thorn in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7)
b) Produced illness in Job (Job 2:6-8)
c) Uses his demons to inflict diseases (Matthew 12:22, Luke 13:16, Acts 10:38)
d) Causes certain types of deafness, dumbness, paralysis and crippling effect by means of demon possession (Matthew 4:24, 12:22, Mark 9:17, 18)
e) When demon possession causes the affliction, the removal of the demon or demons produces an instant cure (Matthew 10:1, Mark 1:32-34, 6:13, Acts 8:7, 19:12)
4. Satan as an instrument of discipline
a) Desired to discipline Peter (Luke 22:31, 32)
b) Was authorised to discipline the Corinthian adulterer (1 Corinthians 5:5)
c) Was called upon by the Apostle Paul to administer extreme discipline to Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Timothy 1:19,20)
d) May become involved in the discipline of ministers and deacons (1 Timothy 3:6, 7)
e) Attacks through a believer's lack of forgiveness and orientation to grace (2 Corinthians 2:10, 1I
5. Satan as a healer
a) Healing was a temporary spiritual gift before the completion of the Canon of Scripture (Acts 19:11, 12, cf Philippians 2:27, 2 Timothy 4:20)
b) God still heals today ( Philippians 2:27)
c) Since Satan possesses the power of disease he often counterfeits healing by the removal of demons (Matthew 12:24, 24:24, 2 Thessalonians 2:9, Revelation 16:14)
6. Characteristics of Demon Possession
a) Loss of individuality: the demon-possessed person no longer has control of faculties of the soul (Mark 5:1-13, Luke 8:27, 9:39, 40)
b) Abnormal behaviour:
i) Convulsions (Mark 1:26, 9:20, Luke 4:35)
ii) Violence (Matthew 8:28)
iii) Abnormal strength (Mark 5:4, Luke 8:29, Acts 19:16)
iv) Raving (Mark 5:5)
v) Foaming at the mouth (Mark 9:20)
vi) Nakedness (Luke 8:27)
c) Loss of health:
i) Dumbness (Mark 9:17, Luke 11:14)
ii) Deafness and dumbness (Mark 9:25)
iii) Blindness and dumbness (Matthew 12:22)
iv) Epilepsy (Mark 1:26, 9:20, Luke 4:35)
v) Mental illness (Mark 5:15)
7. Demon possession explains:
a) So called divine healing
b) Alleged speaking in tongues
c) Faked contact with the dead (1 Samuel 28)
d) Success of self styled exorcists
e) Rise of certain world leaders (2 Thessalonians 2.9, Revelation 16:13, 14)
f) Cause of some wars (Revelation 20:8)
h) Fortune telling (Acts 16:16)
ANGELS: SATANIC ATTACK ON BELIEVERS
1. As believers we battle two enemies; the Old Sin Nature from within (Romans 7:18, 8:8, Galatians 5:16-19) and Satan without. (John 8:44, 1 John 3:8)
2. We must know what Satan is up to and learn his strategies so that we might be ready and alert. (2 Corinthians 2:11)
3. Satan's most potent attack is to install false pastor teachers within the church who teach just enough false doctrine to sidetrack foolish believers. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
4. Satan attacks believers assurance of salvation.
5. He also accuses believers of sin both to God and to the believer in the form of guilt. (Revelation 12:9-10)
6. Satan wants us to trust our feelings; God wants us to trust His Word. (Romans 8:1)
7. Satan lures believers away from the Word (Genesis 3:4) whilst God wants believers stabilised upon His Word. (Isaiah 26:3)
8. Satan hinders believers from doing the geographical and operational will of God.
9. Satan will do all he can to hinder the believer's growth: (2 Peter 5:18)
a) by getting the believer's eyes off Christ and onto self, others or circumstances
b) by encouraging lust for material things over spiritual growth
c) by encouraging mental attitude sins.
10. Satan is the author of sin and the founder of fear. We are not called to fear but to faith. (2 Timothy 1:7)
CHRIST: FIRST AND SECOND ADVENTS
1. Old Testament saints had difficulty in distinguishing between the two advents of Christ. (1 Peter 1:10,11)
2. Old Testament prophecy has Christ coming as a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. (Isaiah 53:7)
3. Old Testament prophecy has Christ coming as the conquering King and Lion of the tribe of Judah. (Isaiah 11:1-12)
4. Jesus commenced his ministry announcing the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17) This connects the first and second advents.
5. Old Testament Prophecy showed that the Messiah would:-
a) be born of a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14)
b) be of the tribe of Judah. (Genesis 49:10)
c) be of the house of David. (Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 33:21)
d) die as a sacrifice. (Isaiah 53:1-12)
e) be crucified. (Psalm 22:1-21)
f) be resurrected from the dead. (Psalm 16:8-11)
g) return to earth at his second advent. (Zechariah 8:3)
h) be seated at the right hand of God. (Psalm 110:1)
6. It should be noted that the return of Christ for the Church (the Rapture) as given in (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18) was not revealed in the Old Testament - it is a mystery doctrine of the Church (Colossians 3:4-6)
7. The day of the Second Advent is characterised by supernatural darkness
a) When Christ returns every eye shall see him (Matthew 24:29-30) Christ is the light of the world and he will return to a world covered in darkness (symbolic of sin).
b) The darkness is similar to the darkness of the day of our Lord's crucifixion which hid the Lord Jesus Christ from man's sight whilst he was bearing our sins. (Mark 15:33)
c) The Second Advent delivers the Jewish believers besieged in Jerusalem by the King of the North. (Daniel 11, Zechariah 12:1-3, 14:1-4)
d) Other passages indicating that the day of the Second Advent is a day of total darkness on the earth. (Isaiah 13:9-10, Ezekiel 32:7-8, Joel 2:10-11, Joel 3:14-15, Amos 5:18, Zechariah 14:6, Matthew 24:29-30, Luke 21:25-27, Revelation 6:12-17)
8. Heralds of the Two Advents of Christ
A herald is a person who preceded' a King in ancient times to announce his arrival. The King that we study is the Lord Jesus Christ.
a) First Advent
i) Human herald - John the Baptist (Matthew 3)
ii) Angelic heralds - Angels (Luke 2:1-15)
b) Second Advent
i) Human heralds - Moses, Elijah (Revelation 11)
ii) Angelic herald - The mighty angel (Revelation 10)
GOOD WORKS – ORIGINALLY TITLED WORKS
1. Anything we can do in our own strength (human good) is unacceptable to God (Isaiah 64:6, Romans 8:8).
2. Only those things we do in the power of the Holy Spirit (divine good) are acceptable to God, since it is God Himself who produces the work in us (Ephesians 2:10).
3. When a believer produces human good he imitates an unbeliever (Galatians 5:19-21, 1 John 2:11, 3:4).
4. When a believer produces divine good he imitates Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:1-2).
5. Human good is:
a) Identified as dead works (Hebrews 6:1).
b) Cannot save mankind (Titus 3:5).
c) Is condemned by God (1 Corinthians 3:11-16; Ecclesiastes 12:14).
d) Is the basis of indictment at the Last Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).
e) Has no place in the plan of God (2 Timothy 1:9).
f) Is destroyed at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
6. Divine good is the basis of rewards (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
7. God is satisfied with His own work in four general areas:
a) IN SALVATION
God approves of what God has done in the form of Jesus Christ. God the Father is propitiated by the work of God the Son on the cross. To be saved is to believe or trust on God the Son (Acts 16:31). Belief has no human merit, all the merit is in the work of Jesus Christ. God does not approve of human good. (Isaiah 64:6).
b) IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
God approves of the works, done under the filling of the Holy Spirit. Spirituality depends on who and what the Spirit is. The way to the filling of the Holy Spirit is confession of sins (1 John 1:9). Confession has no human merit. The Holy Spirit also provides at least one spiritual gift to each believer at salvation (1 Corinthians 12:8-11).
c) IN THE WORD OF GOD
The word of God is inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21). It is the mind of Christ (1Corinthians 2:16). The Holy Spirit makes the Word of God effective in our lives.
d) IN ETERNITY
In eternity human works are removed (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). God provides us with a new body (1Corinthians 15:51-3). God provides us with an incorruptible inheritance (1 Peter 1:3-5). God provides everything for our eternal future (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18). God approves of His provision.
8. Spiritual growth in the full knowledge and application of Bible doctrine produces divine god in the life. Divine good in our lives is the production of the Holy Spirit filled and led believer. Ephesians 2:8-10, Colossians 1:9-10, 2 Timothy 2:21, 3:17.
9. As we produce much spiritual fruit in our life we demonstrate before all the victory of the Holy Spirit over the enemy. 2 Thessalonians 2:17. In heaven we are rewarded for all divine good production in time. 2 Corinthians 5:10, 9:8.
10. Spiritual production of divine good, through the ministries of the Holy Spirit, is contrasted to the production of human works (good and evil), the fruit of the Old Sin Nature. Refer HOLY SPIRIT, OLD SIN NATURE.
11. Human good; even the best that man can do in his own strength, has no value before God at all and has no place or part to play in the plan of God for the believer. 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5.
12. Human good works apart from God’s power and direction, is the basis of man’s condemnation before the throne of God. 1 Corinthians 3:11-16, Revelation 20:12-15.