Sunday, March 9, 2008

Mark, chapter 4 comments

1 ¶ And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,
3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

This was all the crowd heard out of that parable. Jesus purposely left them in the dark. If we just had this we wouldn’t have a clue what we were talking about. Jesus gives more truth only to those who want more truth. Those who don’t really want more truth will be deceived.

10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.

Those who wanted to know came to Him to know more.

1 Peter 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10 ¶ Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

The Old Testament Jews didn’t understand about the future as in Isaiah 53 because it was given to Isaiah for the sake of those who would come later who wanted the truth. This is why they weren’t looking forward to the cross. They didn’t understand it. Their hearts were hardened and they were not given the whole story.

11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

To these people who want the truth God promises to give more truth. Read your Bible once through and God will give you truth. Read it through multiple times and you’ll keep growing as He gives you more truth. Later on we’ll see that if you reject what little truth He has given you, He’ll take away what little you have. There will be a great test for Christians. The more you read the greater the challenge will be when Satan attacks you with unbelief. The closer you get to God, the deeper the mud, the thicker the briars. The Christian must keep pushing through toward the goal of knowing God and ignore Satan’s pleas and attacks and his deceptions. This is not about salvation but about your sanctification, being set apart for God’s purpose through Jesus Christ.

Many people who get deceived start out with the right intention but one little twist of the truth takes them far off the mark. Just be after God’s truth and what is right, and plead with Him not to let you be deceived or to deceive others which was one of the prayers of the translators of this Bible.

12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

Deuteronomy 29:4 Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.

Isaiah 6:9 ¶ And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Isaiah 44:18 They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.

Jeremiah 5:21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:

Isaiah 66:4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

If you reject salvation and truth then God will deceive you. Yes, our Creator will deceive men who reject His salvation. God examines the heart and what happens after that is up to Him if you are worshipping self. I have been to a lot of church services that were humanistic in execution and were self worship. God will propound that foolishness which serves only Satan by deluding those self worshippers.

13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

This indicates that the sower and the seed is a foundational parable which is the key to understanding all the parables.

14 The sower soweth the word.

The word of God is perfect and there is no lacking in it. Any failure is not due to the sower or the word.

15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
These are the people who are so argumentative they aren’t really interested in hearing God’s truth.

16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

A lot of lost people will get really interested in the hope that the gospel presents especially if their life has been trashed by sin.

17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

These people aren’t saved because they have no “root in themselves”.

Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

Revelation 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Revelation 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

The root is Christ. These people don’t have the root and will not accept Christ. Their hearts are hard as rocks in reality in spite of their interest and initial enthusiasm. Herod is a type of this curious “seeker”.

18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

These people hear the word but get battered by worries, materialism and greed, sin and covetousness placed in front of them, but the word in them gets choked out its fruitfulness. He doesn’t grow. He might be saved but he will stay a baby all of his life as a Christian. Demas is a type of this saved soul with no fruit. It is very hard to get a rich man saved. It takes a lot of time to take care of money and it takes a lot of concern. The more stressful and busy your life is the harder it is to get you to bear fruit for Christ.

20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

This is not for you to make a comparison with other people. But, if you are bearing fruit, and this isn’t about numbers in getting souls led to Christ. It’s not a sales job or a numbers game. Here’s some fruit that you will bear if you are a fruitbearing Christians and its not about how many people you got to say “1-2-3 repeat after me, I’m saved.”
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

When you start bearing fruit, people will get saved. But, when you start bearing fruit, in order to get you to bear more, God will prune you. This might hurt. God took my boxing club away from me, not by any outside agent, but he took it out of my heart. He pruned me. There have been other things as well. But, what I have gotten in return has been much more precious.

John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

21 ¶ And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?
22 For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.

This is a scary verse and it should be, particularly for a lot of preachers and “holy” Christians.

Matthew 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

1Corinthians 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

This phrase is repeated often. See the first three chapters of Revelation.

24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.
25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.

God has given you much. What are you doing with it? Will you be given more or will what you have be taken away? God expects more from you, Christian, than from those who don’t know the truth.

26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

God gives the increase. God gives blessings. We all know someone who is real tough that breaks under God’s word and someone who seems really nice and reasonable whose heart remains hard as a rock. It often makes no sense.

29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

Just a thought. How wonderful it would be to be taken to heaven the moment you are saved. But, this is an application that God will end things when the harvest if full.

30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?
31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:
32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

Obviously, the mustard seed sown in the earth here experiences unnatural growth. The fowls of the air, as have been seen, are devils. This “great tree” has devils hiding in its shadow. The mustard seed is faith. You have a false system growing up within the kingdom of God. This false system is Christianity, a faith in the earth, with the Roman Catholic Church, The Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Protestant Churches being the three measures of meal the woman is leavening here;

Luke 13:21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

Here the mustard seed is defined with my highlight placed in the verse for emphasis;

Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

Religious organizations based on tradition and creeds and not the words of God as found in the Bible are evil and have, hiding under the branches of the true kingdom of God, devils. This is different than the verse in Matthew. Notice the difference between what happens in the end of the Millennial reign of Christ, the physical kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God. One has devils in its uppermost levels and one has them hiding in its shadow. This is an important thing to note and is worthy of further study.

Christianity is not the body of Christ on earth, all believers who trust in Him, it is a system which like other religions perverts God’s true words.

33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.
34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.
35 ¶ And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.

This is supposedly what Confederate General Stonewall Jackson said as he died, the very end of this verse.

36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

Your service for Christ will invariably take you into storms.

Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

Psalm 143:11 Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.

Proverbs 11:8 The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.

38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

He expects faith from you.

Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Jesus is in control of the storm.

Psalm 65:7 Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.

Psalm 89:9 Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.

Psalm 107:29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

The disciples are in wonder at what Christ can do and you will be to if you let Him work on you with His word. You will see things that you thought you were overcome by removed like dead skin. Although, I personally, am a very wicked individual, I have seen this and wondered myself, “what manner of man is this”. What a great God we have.

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