Although only mentioned, word for word, in two verses of scripture, the biblical precept of not serving two masters is prevalent throughout the bible. In each of these two verses (Mat 6:24 & Luk 16:13) the expression is used in context of mammon (riches). I submit however that this praise can rightly be applied in a wider context and is oft used in scriptures in the weighing of things not concerning riches.
Notice the scriptures dealing with Jesus temptation of the devil:
(Mat 4:8) Again, the devil taketh him unto an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
(Mat 4:9) and he said unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
(Mat 4:10) Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
The devil promises Jesus the kingdoms of the world and all of their glory if Jesus serves him. Jesus response is that only God shall be served. The two masters here are Satan or God. Temptation or over coming that temptation. Sin or not sin.
I believe that many people are far too literal when it comes to interpreting scripture. For example it is not wrong to believe that when the Bible is speaking about worshiping false gods that the idea of idolatry is applicable. In fact anything that we put before God is a form of idol worship. This includes money, possessions, our jobs, other people and ourselves. When we do put these things before God we are placing them above Him and are in fact worshiping them (as expressed in Mat 4:10).
I mention this as a preface to the idea that many Christian believers worship the doctrines of men above the doctrine of God.
(Mar 7:5) And the Pharisees and the scribes ask him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with defiled hands?
(Mar 7:6) And he said unto them, Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoreth me with their lips, But their heart is far from me.
(Mar 7:7) But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.
(Mar 7:8) Ye leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men.
Holy Scripture also warns us that in the last days there will be people:
(2Ti 3:5) holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof: from these also turn away.
You see brothers and sisters we can only serve one God. We can not serve the devil and serve God. We can’t serve ourselves and serve God. We can’t serve the law and serve grace. We can’t serve both the old and the new. We can’t serve the flash and the Spirit!
(Joh 1:12) But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name:
(Joh 1:13) who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
(Joh 3:6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
When Adam was created he was created a spirit being. Then he was made, that is to say formed from the dust of the ground (Gen 2:7). It was not until after the transgression that mankind was given a skin covering (Gen 3:21).
Before then Adam did have flesh:
(Gen 2:21) And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof:
(Gen 2:22) and the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
(Gen 2:23) And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
He did not however have the same type of body that we now inhabit.
I say this for the following reasons:
The Hebrew word used in verse 21 and translated into the English word “flesh” is the word bâśâr literally means fresh. It is a primitive root; properly to be fresh, that is, full (rosy, figuratively cheerful); to announce (glad news): – messenger, preach, publish, shew forth, (bear, bring, carry, preach, good, tell good) tidings.
The English word “body” does not appear for the first time until Lev 21:11. Now this Hebrew word is the word “nephesh”. The first time nephesh is used in scripture is in Gen 2:7 where it is translated into the English word “soul”:
(Gen 2:7) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
We, that is to say mankind, were created as spirits and when God breathed into the mound of dust, which He personally formed into man, that formation became a “living soul”.
Now Gen 3:21 states that God covered Adam and Eve with coats of skin.
(Gen 3:21) Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
There are a few noteworthy things which are found here.
This Hebrew word kethôneth (coats) simply means to cover (like a coat of paint). There is however another Hebrew word, which is not used here, kâthêph, which means to clothe (as in to put on a garment). It is also interesting is that no where in scripture does it state that these were animal skins. All that we know for sure is that these coverings were made by God Himself.
Stay with me here!
Now notice this from Strong’s dictionary:
The Hebrew word for “clothed” (lâbash ) used in verse 21 literally means “to wrap around.
A primitive root; properly wrap around, that is, (by implication) to put on a garment or clothe (oneself, or another), literally or figuratively: – (in) apparel, arm, array (self), clothe (self), come upon, put (on, upon), wear.
This Hebrew word “by implication” refers to “putting on a garment or cloth”. In the strict literal sense however, that is to say “properly” it means to wrap around. I believe that God created the skin that we have on our bodies and wrapped it around our flesh (this bâśâr) fresh flesh from the original creation.
There is no mention of animal skins here. There is no mention of God killing an animal for the skin. There is no mention of blood (as a blood covering for atonement). The idea of these skins being animal skins, foreshadowing animal sacrifice for atonement, simply does not seem to work in the light of the Hebrew words used here.
What we see thus far, if you accept my opinion, is that man was created as a spirit being, was then made (formed of the dust of the ground), became a living soul with flesh, and was later (after the transgression) covered with the skin which covers our present bodies.
Jesus had such a body after His resurrection. His glorified body.
In John 20:17 Jesus tells Mary that she couldn’t touch Him because He had not yet ascended to the Father. Eight days later He tells Thomas to thrust his hand into His side. So Jesus had, during this time ascended to the Father and returned because Thomas, as opposed to Mary, could not touch Him.
Jesus now had His new glorified body which could be seen and touched in the physical (earthly realm). But this was not the body which he possessed before this death and resurrection.
(Joh 20:26) And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
Notice in the verse above; “then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst of them”.
Notice: (Joh 20:19) Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Jesus has overcome the physical realm. He overcame the world. He transcended it. Yet He could still operate within it. Even though the physical doors were shut, He appeared unto them and spoke to them. Ultimately this will be the way we shall be. These are the bodies that we will have.
(1Jn 3:2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
The reason that I mention all of this is to illustrate that we are not what we see when we look in the mirror. We are living souls with a spirit and a body. The three are one but separate just as God is a tripartite being. We were created in the image and likeness of God.
Mankind is three parts, spirit, soul and body (flesh) with a skin covering.
After the transgression in the garden man, for all intents and purposes became a two part being.
(Gen 2:16) And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Eating you may eat of every tree in the garden;
(Gen 2:17) but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil you may not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, dying you shall die.
Now Adam and Eve did eat of the fruit yet they did not die. Not physically but they did indeed die spiritually that day. From that time until Jesus death and resurrection every man born lived their lives separated from God in the spiritual realm.
You see the spirit of man was and is the bridge, if you will between God (the spiritual realm) and man. Conversely the body is the bridge between the physical world and man. With the spirit being dead (separated from God) man was subjected only to the flesh (the physical realm). Subsequently the essence of who we are, our soul, became subject to the flesh and it’s worldly desires. The condition of the unsaved man is that he serves one master. The corrupted flesh.
(Rom 8:20) For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
(Rom 8:21) Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
The only way to be delivered from this bondage is to serve God as our master. The only way this can be accomplished is by being born again of the spirit.
(1Pe 1:23) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
Who is The Word of God?
(Joh 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Jesus is the only way!
(Joh 14:6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
All that we are is spirit. We are not our bodies. We are souls with spirits housed in a body. When we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior we (our souls) are saved not our bodies.
(Joh 6:63) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
The Flesh Profiteth Nothing!
Before the opportunity of salvation and regeneration through sanctification offered to us by God our Father through the life death and resurrection of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, mankind was liken to a car going downhill without brakes or a reverse gear.
Salvation was our breaking system. It stopped us from our continuing journey straight into the pits of Hell. Regeneration through sanctification is our reverse gear which, in time, will restore us to our original condition, that of Adam before the fall.
Now that we have a renewed, that is to say a regenerated, spirit, we can now have a personal relationship with our Father. Further more through His indwelling Holy Spirit we now have the ability, through Him and with Him to bring our souls under subjection to the will of the Father. Even more so that our soul can bring the body under subjection to the will of the Spirit through our soul which is in the process of being aligned with the perfect will of God.
We are no longer in bondage to our will which had become subject to the lust of the flesh. Now our spirits have been quickened and God’s Holy Spirit has come to dwell within us. We now have the ability through the Holy Spirit to resist temptation and refrain from sin.
But remember that The Flesh Profiteth Nothing. We still have the same sin nature that man has had since the fall in the garden. We have a choice just as Adam and Eve had.
Do we serve the lust of the flesh or the will of He who saved us?
We Can Not Serve Two Masters!
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