Identify That Voice Correctly
"And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He spoke this word openly." Mark 8:31 It must have been bewildering for Jesus's disciples to hear him say he was going to be killed. They knew he was the Messiah, so what he said here just didn't compute – they must have thought he was speaking in parables. They knew from the Scriptures that the Messiah was going to establish his kingdom on earth, so when they heard something so opposite of that from the lips of the One they knew to be the Messiah, can you imagine their bewilderment? Indeed, Peter took him aside to "rebuke him!" Imagine the scene, a disciple taking the Lord aside to explain to him that he couldn't die because he is the Messiah. But was it Peter who said those words rebuking him? vs 33: "Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when he had turned around and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind me, Satan!" The Scripture clearly states here that it was Satan who spoke those words, and he chose a chief disciple of Christ to speak them. When one understands who Satan is, what his intents are and how he achieves them, then it becomes clearer that we need to discern the source of what someone speaks. This passage makes it plain that Satan can put thoughts into the minds of men, even believers, and prompt them to speak them. Has anyone spoken words to you that you would think a born-again believer would never say? Has someone given you counsel that didn't resonate as true in your heart? Does it confuse you when someone you respect says something you know is wrong? Don't be deceived. Just as the Spirit of God puts counsel and words of direction and encouragement into a person's heart to pass on to someone in need, so Satan also puts words in the hearts of people and we must learn to discern his voice. The church sadly falls short in not teaching believers who their enemy is and how to recognize him, but teaching about Satan won't fill the pews so it rarely is taught. How did Jesus know that the words spoken by Peter were actually prompted by Satan? Indeed, in this very same story Jesus had just previously affirmed Peter and called him "blessed." When the Lord had asked who they thought him to be, Peter answered, "You are the Christ." Jesus responded that no human had revealed that to Peter, but the Father in heaven, and that upon the rock of the revelation of who he is, he will build his church (Matthew 16:18). So clearly, Peter was in right standing with the Lord, and the fact that just a few lines later we see Satan speaking though him something that was wrong, which tips us off that Satan can even use believers to speak through, and we need to always keep this in mind. If you truly understand this, then you can correctly identify the source of an accusing or mocking voice being spoken by Satan to you through someone else – even through a believer. And once you understand this, then you will be able to forgive the person. Our battle is NOT with flesh and blood, but with spirits of wickedness who get their satisfaction out of causing someone, even a believer, to say things that are hateful, or accusatory, or demeaning or deceiving (Ephesians 6:12). Recognize it for what it is. It will save you a lot of heartache if you truly understand this.