Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mark 4:1-20 commentary: the parable of the sower

Mark 4:1 ¶ 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. This parable is also spoken in Matthew 13:1-23.

Mark 4:10 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.

Mark 4:11 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.

Mark 4:12 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 few 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.

Mark 4:13 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.

Mark 4:14 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.

Mark 4:15 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.

Mark 4:16 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.

Mark 4:17 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”.

Mark 4:18 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 of 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.

2Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

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.

Mark 4:20 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 it’s 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.

My wife, Beth, corresponds the thirtyfold to the first three fruits of the Spirit which God gives to you when you are first saved. The sixty corresponds to the next three which are how He teaches you to deal with other people, and the last three correspond to the hundred in how you grow towards God.

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 several things I liked very much away from me, not by any outside agent, but he took them 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.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mark 3:31-35 commentary: Christ's brothers and sisters

Mark 3:31 ¶ There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. 32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. 33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? 34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

First, this shows that the Vatican is wrong. Jesus did have brothers and sisters. The brothers are named here;

Matthew 13:55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

As the Son of God with a capital “S”, God the Son, or God in the flesh, only those people who do God’s will are the family of Jesus. What does it mean to do God’s will?

2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us–ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

1Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

God’s will is for every single person to be saved by Him. There is not a New Guinea tribesman, a citizen of the Eurozone, or an African farmer that God doesn’t want to be delivered from bondage to Satan and the natural fate of Satan’s people, to be perpetually destroyed in a lake of unquenchable fire for eternity (Isaiah 66:24.)

He wants to save you. That salvation is predicated upon belief; you changing your mind, repenting; about your sin, what justifies you, your purpose for being here, and what you are, a sinner; and turning to Christ, God in human form, who died for your sins and rose for your justification, if you believe.

Who is Jesus Christ? He is the image of the invisible God, the angel or appearance of God, the Son of God, which is God in the flesh. We were made to look like him as opposed to the beasts of the earth that were made to look like the cherubim, the living creatures around the throne of God(Genesis 3:24; Ezekiel 1, 10, 28:14; Revelation 4.)

First, understand that “image” is the appearance or likeness of something.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Here is Christ;

Exodus 24:10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. 11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.

Judges 2:1 And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.

2Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Hebrews 1:1 ¶ God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

We were created in that image.

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

But with the first man’s sin, we lost that and each generation afterwards was made in the image of Adam, the preceding generation.

Genesis 5:3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

When you are saved then it is God’s will that we be restored to that image. The things you have been predestinated to after salvation will inevitably happen and the word and its derivatives, predestination, only refers to what happens to you after you are saved. By way of analogy, you have the choice to get on the ship or not but once on the ship you will sail with it even if you are the most obnoxious, unruly passenger on board. You may wind up sleeping in the boiler room but you are going to get there nonetheless. Predestination only refers to things that happen after you are saved.

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption*.

*[ Redemption is your resurrection, the Adoption (Romans 8:23.) This takes place at the Translation of the Church, popularly called the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 11:5.)]

Salvation is predicated upon belief;

Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house*.

*[House in context is family as in “he made them houses,” (Exodus 1:21), “the house of David” (1 Samuel 20:16), and the “house of God” (1 Peter 4:17.) The reason “house” is used in such a way is obvious as in the Old Testament under the Law, the “house of God” was where God dwelt with men (2 Chronicles 5:14) but under Grace, in the New Testament that dwelling place is inside each individual believer (1 Corinthians 6:19.) It’s part of the genius of the Bible in spite of modern preachers talking about the church building as if it’s the “house of God” as in a temple, which it is not. WE are the “house of God.” Pray that when you preach you do not show contempt for God’s words and that your speech is impeccable and easy to understand. God is not looking down from heaven at believers. He sees us from the inside out (Proverbs 20:27) and if He can be called down on a congregation then they weren’t saved in the first place (John 14:23.) Now, look up those verses and tell me I’m wrong. Go ahead.]

So, ultimately, it is not God’s will for you to go to Hell. It is His will for you to believe, to trust, to repent of everything that you’ve been depending on to justify you including your sin and the fact that you, being a descendant of Adam, are a sinner, lost and undone.

Romans 10:8……The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 ¶ For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek [Greek = Gentile, a non-Jew]: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Believe. Be saved. Now is the time.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mark 3:22-30 commentary: Set Free

Mark 3:22 ¶ And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.

Jesus accomplishes His ministry by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

Here, the scribes are attributing that power to Satan.

Mark 3:23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. 27 No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

With the gospel and you going out to preach Jesus Christ you are dealing with a person held captive by Satan and you are binding Satan. Jesus sets the captives free.

This is what Jesus came to do by the statement in Luke where he alludes to the verses in Isaiah.

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Isaiah 61:1 ¶ The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

By contrasting replaced words from one testament to the other in quoted verses or verses which are alluded to but not quoted exactly you can derive meanings as this is part of how the Bible is constructed. The gospel is good tidings or news. The poor are the meek. * To heal is to bind up. Deliverance is liberty. To set at liberty is to open the prison. Jesus added something to the Old Testament prophecy. He came to give sight to the blind. All of these things He does are physical and spiritual which is a suggestion to “soul winners” to seek to meet physical needs if you expect an ear for spiritual truth.

*Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

*Isaiah 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

*Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Christ sets at liberty those who realize that they are spiritually and morally bankrupt. Without that realization you will never come to Christ. You’ll always think you’re A-okay. “I’m not so bad as others” doesn’t cut it. You’re not being compared to others. You’re being compared to Christ.

The people of the earth, the world of men, are in the grip of Satan, the god of this world. Satan is not bound for a length of time, even though amillennialists, those who unlike the early church believe that there will be no literal thousand year reign of Christ and would like you to think that Christ is also ruling at this present time, would have it so. This is not only a comment on the ludicrousness of claiming Christ’s work for Satan but also a prophetic reference.

Revelation 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Those of you who are unsaved are bound right now by Satan, held captive by him. You are bound for different reasons. Some of you are stuck in the material world and can’t believe that there is anything that you can’t taste, see, touch, or hear, except of course your precious evolution and ‘Big Bang’ fantasies. Some of you are bound because you can’t accept forgiveness or you won’t forgive another. Some of you are bound by the demands of your own flesh and sin and hate your life for its abject failure and pain but are too proud to turn to the Living Saviour for deliverance. Even some people who have trusted Christ and believe in His reality are bound. They are bound by fear, paranoia, bigotry, self righteousness, self conceit, and hate.

Christ will make you free if you will believe in, trust in, and ask Him to save you.

Mark 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: 30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

This is because of verse 22. This is something that can only happen while Jesus Christ was on earth physically healing people. You couldn’t blaspheme the Holy Ghost if you tried. This was a condition that could only occur while Jesus was here doing His healing miracles.

On the other hand, as an argument against what I just said, if you want a practical application, think that rejecting the Holy Spirit’s work is a type of blasphemy. If you die rejecting Christ you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit whose efforts were in the direction of trying to save you. You can’t be forgiven in Hell.

Counterfeit Bibles eliminate damnation in verse 29 based on (guess what?) two corrupt 4th century manuscripts from Alexandria. If you have read what I’ve been writing for any length of time you should be quite familiar with Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus by now. Someone who is going to Hell is always trying to air condition it first.

Mark 3:20, 21 commentary: beside himself

20 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.

Everywhere Jesus is going, every minute of His day seems to be consumed. His friends try to protect Him. We still use the phrase “he’s beside himself.”

We have no problem with a person painting themselves purple and going to a football game and screaming at the top of his lungs jumping up and down, a man who will work eighty hours a week at the office, or one who will save up money for a dream three day vacation to Stinkyville –on-the-ocean but should you get a passion for lost souls you will be regarded as nuts.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mark 3:16-19 commentary: the 12 Apostles

16 And Simon he surnamed Peter; 17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: 18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, 19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

Some of these disciples have more than one name just as many people in the Bible and all of us. Thaddeus is called Judas, is also known as Jude, and writes a book, has three names as most of us do. He’s also called Lebbaeus in Matthew 10:3.

Matthew 10:3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

Luke 6:16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

Acts 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

Jude 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

Notice that this isn’t the brother of the James who was the Lord’s brother in Galatians 1:19

Galatians 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.

The Apostle James, John’s brother, gets executed. Acts 12:2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

Who wrote the Book of James, the Lord’s half-brother or the apostle James, brother of John, before he was executed, or was it Jude (Judas) Lebbaeus Thaddaeus’ brother? Whatever you think, whatever conclusion you come to, just remember that tradition is very unreliable and most certainly can only be a supplement to the internal authority of the Bible.

Notice that Judas Iscariot (man of Kerioth, which is in Moab) has these signs and powers referenced earlier to do wonders, as well.

1. Simon, who Christ gave the surname or last name to of Peter. His nickname was Cephas, which is Aramaic for “a stone.” Peter is the Greek version of Cephas.

John 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

[Note that in the Bible ‘interpretation’ means what we could call translation such as ‘interpreter’ in the U.N. translates one language into another (2 Peter 1:20) and it can also mean the interpretation of a dream or a vision as in Joseph’s or Daniel’s case while ‘translation’ is reserved for the “Rapture” of the church in Colossians 1:13 and Hebrews 11:5 as Christ, who spoke the universe into existence is going to translate us from the earthly language into the heavenly.]

Simon Peter had a wife and a mother-in-law.

Matthew 8:14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.

His wife accompanied him in his evangelistic endeavors like the other Apostles and Jesus’ brothers did.

1Corinthians 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

He worked as a commercial fisherman.

Matthew 4:18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

He was from Bethsaida.

John 1:44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

2. James, the son of Zebedee, was John the beloved’s brother. He and his brother also worked as commercial fisherman with their father. Remember, he is executed.

Matthew 4:21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

James saw the Lord transfigured.

Matthew 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

3. John is the gospel writer who is also the author of three letters and the Book of the Revelation. He was especially close to Jesus and was probably a very young person, perhaps a teenager. In any event, it was him that Christ directed to care for Mary.

John 19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

4. Andrew is Simon Peter’s brother.

5. Philip was also from Simon Peter’s hometown. He led the Ethiopian eunuch to the Lord in Acts 8.

6. Bartholomew is mentioned by name in three gospels and in Acts.

7. Matthew is the tax collector who wrote the first gospel. He is also known as Levi.

Mark 2:14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.

Matthew 9:9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.

Matthew 10:3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

Since he is also called the “son of Alphaeus” you might suppose that he is also the brother of James, or his father could also just be named Alphaeus as he and that James are not said to be brothers.

8. Thomas is also commonly known as “Doubting Thomas” for his doubts about Christ’s resurrection.

John 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

He is nicknamed or surnamed Didymus.

John 11:16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

9. James, the son of Alphaeus, may or may not be the writer of the Epistle that bears his name. By the way, an epistle is a letter, as the Bible defines it.

2Corinthians 3:1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?

10. Thaddaeus, I spoke about in the beginning.

11. Simon the Canaanite? I suppose if God is going to include a whoremonger, a harlot, a Moabite, and a woman of questionable moral integrity into His lineage when He comes to earth why not include a another descendant of people who were supposed to have been wiped out by Israel. Isn’t it amazing how God did not choose to come as the offspring of a Gentile emperor or from a line of perfectly, morally pure Jews? Simon is also surnamed Zelotes, a word meaning a zealot.

Acts 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

12. We have already mentioned Judas Iscariot, who is well known to history.

Since, except for the last one, those of you who are Christians will meet all of these men one day I thought I would try to point them out more clearly than most of the commentaries I’ve read.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mark 3:13-15 commentary; called to preach?

13 ¶ And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. 14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, 15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:

God calls people to Himself. Some preachers aren’t called to preach, however, they are just good speakers. God hasn’t necessarily called someone just because that person wants to do something. God often calls people who don’t speak well such as Moses to show His power.

What preceded the calling of the twelve apostles?

Luke 6:12 ¶ And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

Third world Christians have a thing called a “tarry” where they spend all night in prayer and hymn singing. You have to wonder how many men who claimed to be called to preach spent an entire night in prayer, alone, waiting for God’s calling on their lives and how many just chose it because they liked the idea.

In the 1700’s and early 1800’s in America, there were young Baptist and Methodist preachers called “young gifts” who were itinerants who rode and walked the back country of the South and West preaching to congregations who lacked a preacher, settling disputes, and enforcing church rules. These young men were put to the test and paid a great price, sometimes with their lives, for their calling. Sleeping on the ground, going hungry, violence by whites, Native Americans, and wild animals, were part of their plot. What does it cost a young man to go to an air conditioned school and sit in a nice classroom while living in a comfortable dormitory to learn his calling?

The young man who thinks he is called to preach today will not likely have an arrow sticking out of his saddlebag or have to share his sleeping quarters with a horse or a mule. When he needs a doctor he’ll have one to go to and comfort and support are just a cellphone call away. But, the ones who laid out the path before him didn’t have it so well.

Samuel Howe, a former cobbler, and a great but uneducated Baptist preacher of England, who the famous Roger Williams said had the greatest knowledge of the Bible of anyone he ever met, spent his last months in prison for preaching without a license and an Oxford education. He was buried along the side of a road because his kind were forbidden to be buried in a church yard. No one knows where this men of God’s favorite man of God was laid to rest. No one but the Holy Spirit was there to comfort him as he lay dying in a vermin infested, stinking English prison. What has your calling cost you?

14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

An ordaining is an appointment. An ordination in the Bible is a formality with regard to someone who has already been called. God has ordained many things that won’t happen, though, because of free will and sin, so the Calvinists are as wrong as the evolutionists.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Have you been walking in good works every day since our salvation? I doubt it.

Remember, also, that God has said through Paul;

1Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Have they? Remember, that even Judas, a devil (John 6:70), and the “son of perdition” (John 17:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:3), was ordained to preach. How many Judas’s are there in pulpits today?

15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:

Modern versions take out “to heal sicknesses” based on, guess what; two corrupted texts from Egypt. The twelve apostles could heal disease as it shows in other places (Acts 3:6; Acts 19:12). If you are using the KJV you have the sword of the Spirit. If you are reading a modern version of the Bible you have a butter knife. “Good luck with that.”

These are signs for the Jews. The nation was born in signs.

1Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom (Greeks = Gentiles)

Deuteronomy 4:34 Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

The signs are for the apostles, who are now gone from us.

2Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

Mark 16:14 ¶ Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 19 ¶ So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Satan’s own can and will duplicate signs so they can’t be trusted as proof of anything.

2Thessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

Signs were part of the way that God began the Jewish nation and proved Himself to them. The deluded morons who claim to be Apostles now don’t have any signs or power and are nothing more than hucksters and conmen.

People who deny the power of the Bible as a sanctifying agent of God will often turn to fakers like this and waste emotional energy and money on their false works. People who think a faith healer is a legitimate preacher are the same idiots who will not permit the Bible to change them in any way. They deny God’s word and prefer Satan’s lying wonders.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mark 3:7-12 commentary: a suffering world

7 But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea, 8 And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him. 9 And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him. 10 For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues. 11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. 12 And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.

7 But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea,

As John Gill points out, knowing the designs of the religio-political elite against Him, Jesus and His disciples leave the synagogue but a great crowd follows them. Jesus controls his movements and He will lay His life down when it is time to do so. No one can rush it.

John 8:59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

It has been said that every Christian has a set time to die and that no one can harm you before God has ordained it so.

Luke4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

He allows them to take Him right to the crest of a hill before He passes through them here. The crowd follows Him because they know what He has done for people who came near Him. University College London posted an article in December of 2009 online about the first archaeological evidence uncovered regarding leprosy and tuberculosis in First Century Judea.

A tomb in the “Field of Blood” that Acts, chapter one tells us Judas had bought with the money he received from betraying Jesus, and where he hung himself, was uncovered and one chamber in the tomb had not been robbed. In this tomb a team of disease specialists uncovered molecular evidence of leprosy and tuberculosis.

An online dictionary defines Leprosy in the following manner;

“Leprosy is a slowly progressing bacterial infection that affects the skin, peripheral nerves in the hands and feet, and mucous membranes of the nose, throat, and eyes. Destruction of the nerve endings causes the affected areas to lose sensation. Occasionally, because of the loss of feeling, the fingers and toes become mutilated and fall off, causing the deformities that are typically associated with the disease.”

Tuberculosis is also defined as;

“Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially fatal contagious disease that can affect almost any part of the body but is mainly an infection of the lungs. It is caused by a bacterial microorganism, the tubercle bacillus or Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Although TB can be treated, cured, and can be prevented if persons at risk take certain drugs, scientists have never come close to wiping it out. Few diseases have caused so much distressing illness for centuries and claimed so many lives.”

If you notice that there is no mention of diseases in the Old Testament until God lays the sicknesses on the Egyptians as He draws the Hebrews out of Egypt. The disaster of famine, the peril of childbirth, and the sickness of old age are made note of, though, in Genesis. A May, 2009 Science Daily article claims that leprosy was found in a skeleton from India dated as early as 2,000 BC but no mention was made of how the scientists arrived at the date for the skeleton so it still remains to be seen.

8 And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him. 9 And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.

Imagine how the crowds plagued by disease and wanting healing from their many diseases crowded Jesus, coming from scores of miles away. The evidence of a fallen world, sick and twisted, pleading to God for deliverance is abundant. Death and disease came into THIS world by Adam’s sin, which we have all inherited. We didn’t just inherit the sin, we inherited the disasters that go along with it.

In rural populations in third world countries today blindness caused by infections, diabetes, and a variety of other diseases cut lifespans short. A lack of access to clean drinking water and the water borne illnesses resultant are staggering burdens on the poor. A great crowd of people wanting to be healed of diseases over which they had no hope of cure in those days are thronging Jesus, pleading with Him to heal them. To avoid this crush He wishes to get in a small ship just offshore.

10 For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues. 11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.

Can you picture the ragged people, broken and sick with leprosy, tuberculosis, blindness, badly healed broken bones, open sores, and respiratory diseases, coughing, dragging themselves, perhaps holding a sick and dying child in their arms? Can you imagine the joy, the relief, and the renewed hope when He lifted those burdens from them? You were just as sick and diseased, only spiritually, when you received Christ as your Saviour. Why aren’t you experiencing joy? Notice that even the unclean spirits will acknowledge that He is the Son of God. They will, however, never call Him Lord.

12 And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.

To whom would Christ have not wanted the unclean spirits to make Him known? Remember, Satan, the prince of this world (John 12:31; 14:30: 16:11), the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), in whose power the kingdoms of this world operate (Matt. 4:8-9; Luke 4:5-6) cannot be everywhere at once. The powers of evil have their dwelling place in the second heaven, outer space to us;

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

This is not a reference to merely earthly rulers with high places meaning palaces and castles, as John Gill points out, but heavenly places, in the air above us. It is from here that Satan and his cohorts operate ruling the darkness of this world from the halls of Congress to the Kremlin.

Jeremiah 13:18 Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory.

They can’t separate us from God’s love.

Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What was forbidden for them to see was the mystery, the plan of God that He would not only dwell with men in the form of Jesus Christ, but as the church, dwell in them. Christ was not ready to have this made known to those powers of evil but one day the time came and;

Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

God’s eternal plan through Christ was not yet to be revealed to the spiritual world of evil in which the world of men operates and has its being.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mark 3:6 commentary; religion and politics

6 And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

These two religio-political groups are opposed to each other normally. The Pharisee is a fundamentalist, separated and pious. The Herodian follows Rome. They can both get together, as today, on the basis of their opposition to Christ.

Matthew 22:15 ¶ Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. 16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

Jesus was not politically minded or very diplomatic in his condemnation of the parties at odds with each other. When He was asked by two brothers to settle a civil dispute over an inheritance he responded, not with a legal argument for why one should have what he wanted and one shouldn’t, but with a sermon on coveting.

Luke 12:13 ¶ And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? 15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

He told Pontius Pilate that His kingdom was not, at that time, of this world.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

People are still trying to get Jesus involved in worldly politics, even thinking that He would vote for a heretic, an atheist who denies Him, or a worldly Christian who refers to Him as his favorite philosopher as long as he supports the Roman Catholic positions on abortion and the legal rights of people who practice homosexual behavior. This is blasphemy of the most insidious kind.

The pious Pharisees of today will link up with the Herodians to destroy, not Jesus Himself, but the faith of many by creating another Jesus, wearing a business suit, voting along party lines, and compromising with any reprobate who knows how to speak in soothing tones and to address their personal paranoia, fears, and prejudices appropriately. If he’s on the left he’ll focus on the Sermon on the Mount and not judging others. If he’s on the right he’ll focus on the Old Testament and the Israelites killing the Canaanites as God’s retributive justice.

But, Satan is the god of this world and is the operative controller of the world’s political systems, including America’s.

2Corinthian 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

So, you can expect, without surprise, that those who are normally enemies will unite to oppose Christ and Satan’s operation throughout history has been that he gets the most success not by directly opposing but by counterfeiting what God has said.

In the very first book of the Bible God delivers this prophecy, just prior to expelling Adam from the garden which God had prepared for him. This prophecy is part of what was directed at Satan in the form of a serpent, which is not merely a snake but a dragon, also known as a worm.

The word, serpent, is Middle English from the Anglo-French from the Latin, from a word meaning to creep, as it also means in Greek. Even in one of the what scholars call of the oldest languages of man, Sanksrit, it comes from a word meaning ‘he creeps.’

Dragons and serpents have been used interchangeably in mythology. The Greek Ladon and the Norse Nidhogg Lagar are sometimes described as serpents and sometimes as dragons. The worm is another word for dragon in mythology as the Sockburn Worm which is the Wyvern, a dragon, of medieval heraldry.

This is Satan as described in Job chapter 41 as a dragon.

Isaiah 27:1 In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Around the world he is displayed in mythologies such as Mexico’s Quetzlcoatal , the feathered, flying serpent who burned and became the Morning Star, which Jesus calls Himself in Revelation 22:16.So a modern Bible version in keeping with Madam Blavatksy’s, the Satanist priestess of the New Age Religion, has the Devil of Isaiah 14 the Morning Star, as well. Interesting, what they try to do to Jesus, is it not?

Isaiah 14:29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.

A cockatrice is a feathered dragon. Satan is a reptile, a dragon, as depicted in Job 41 whom God hurt for His people, Israel, in the wilderness.

Psalm 74:14 Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.

This was the manna, the “what is it” material.

Exodus 16:15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.

The food of the angels of God.

Psalm 78:25 Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.

God had said to Satan.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

As Paul promised his converts at Rome;

Romans 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

As the seed of Satan, the Beast of Revelation, will suffer.

Zechariah 11:17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.

Revelation 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

Yes, Satan has a seed. Something, we don’t know what, but something happened at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil between Eve and Satan. Cain was her first born.

1John 3:12 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.

Cain was the founder of the first world’s counterfeit religion

Genesis 4:3 ¶ And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Jesus Himself said to the religious elite of His day.

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

All through history counterfeits of Biblical prophecies unfolded in neighboring cultures. The Greeks, in particular, were prominent in the Ancient Near East and as Serge Yalichev points out in Mercenaries of the Ancient World the Greeks were everywhere as hired men (Jeremiah 46:21), soldiers for hire.

They carried many Hebrew slaves to Greece with them.

Joel 3:6 The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border.

Stories of the heel of Achilles stem from this prophetic utterance of God in Genesis 3:15.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Just as Hercules is a ripoff of Jonah and Samson the words of God were counterfeited and copied. The Tammuz the Israelite women weep for in Ezekiel 8:14 dies and is reborn. Cultures around the world mimic and copy the earliest words of God. In South Asia; Brahma creates, Vishnu preserves, and Shiva destroys in an imitation of the Trinity of God the father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

As the earth was overspread by three families of Japheth, Ham, and Shem the memory of the prophecies that God gave and of the facts of their own histories went with them only to be warped and changed with time and oral tradition. There are over 250 Great Flood stories from cultures around the world. Alexander von Humboldt, a famous traveler through Latin America related what a Catholic bishop had discovered before the culture was entirely stamped over by the Roman Church. Noah and Nimrod are referenced as “the Wodan of the Chiapanese [of Mexico] was grandson of that illustrious old man, who at the time of the great deluge, in which the greater part of the human race perished, was saved on a raft, together with his family. Wodan co-operated in the construction of the great edifice which had been undertaken by men to reach the skies; the execution of this rash project was interrupted; each family received from that time a different language; and the great spirit Teotl ordered Wodan to go and people the country of Anahuac.”

Satan is the great counterfeiter. The Hindu who swims in the Ganges is a twice-born or born-again man. The mystery religions of the Greeks and the Babylonians were full of ecstatic utterances from Satan himself, which Paul warns against, a precursor to the modern belief in tongues as rather than being understandable human language as they are in the Bible, are but gobbledygook.

Baptism even, is counterfeited, as the prayer to the pagan gods of Ancient Mexico for an infant to be “baptized” as many so called Christian sects have done over the years, reveals, the writer, Prescott in his History of the Conquest of Mexico.

Satan has counterfeited God’s word from the beginning. His seed carries it on. All the world is being brought together to stand as one against God at the final confrontation. It is where we are headed, without fail, or even trying to slow down.

The Oracle at Delphi would give her prophecies, high on intoxicating fumes, indecipherable and without any meaning, but her assistant would write down supposedly what she had said in poetic form for the confused supplicant to try to figure out as he left confused.

All of the gods of the world are one god, Satan, with different names; Viracocha in Peru, Quetzlcoatl in Mexico, Odin in Northern Europe, and as Herodotus, the Greek historian relates, the Zeus of Greece who appeared in the form of a snake to seduce the mother of and be father of Alexander the Great, a great type of antichrist in history, prince of Grecia in Daniel 10:20 who had himself declared ‘the son of God’, it is Herodotus who tells us that Zeus and Bel in Babylon and Baal in Canaan are one and the same.

And again, when Jesus refers to Beezlebub as “master of the house” in Matthew 10:25 for Beezlebub means “lord of the house” and don’t you know that Muslims call Allah by the same term, “the Lord of the House.” He was the chief of the pantheon of gods in the pagan Arabic Kaaba, a shrine devoted to devils. Let us not forget the “lord of the houses” of Yoga in Vedic lore. Anyone for a session of Yoga?

In any event, Satan is the god of this world’s politics and this world’s religions. They will always unite to attempt to destroy the faith of Christ just as the Herodians and the Pharisees desired to destroy Christ Himself.

And throughout history the state and the church have united to slaughter millions. There is no greater manifestation of Satan’s plan on earth than the union of church and state in one giant Leviathan whether it be pagan Rome, the Catholic Holy Roman Empire, or the Empire of Great Britain.

No matter what they tell you, it is not “all good.”

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mark 3:5 commentary: hardness of heart

5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

“Hardness of heart” is synonymous with unbelief. The reference is to your “spiritual heart”, your ability to discern spiritual truths which is cut off by unbelief. Many Christians simply don’t believe what they say they do and that stubborn unbelief is hardness of heart. Jesus uses the term here in Matthew regarding the reason why God allowed (suffered) divorce under the Law given to Moses;

Matthew 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

In Romans 2:5, after giving the moral history of mankind, he blames this condition of hardness of heart, calling it impenitent which means unrepentant, for why people will face God’s wrath at what would be a reference to the Great White Throne judgment at the end of the Millennial reign of Christ in Revelation 20:11.

In the great chapter describing Satan, king of the children of pride, in Job 41, his heart is said to be hard which, in my opinion, has a dual meaning of physical and spiritual. He will not accept his just desserts. His pride won’t let him accept his fate just as it wouldn’t let him accept his position.

Job 41:24 His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone.

Your heart is hard when you refuse to let God speak to you through His words in His Book and apply them to your life. You won’t pray because your heart is hard. You won’t get up on Sunday morning and meet with the body of Christ, a group of people with like faith, which are the house or family of God (not the building, this isn’t the temple, you’re the temple). Your heart is hard when you believe the Bible is nothing more than the official ‘Emily Post Book of Etiquette’ on spiritual matters rather than a Living Book that can breathe new life into you and change your wicked heart, as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, almost, in printed form.

Just remember, the Bible, in the part written specifically to the Christian, says not to gossip. But you can will yourself not to gossip because it’s a bad thing and still not be a Christian. The Bible says that sexual immorality is a bad thing and you can choose to be a chaste, monogamous, heterosexual and still be lost as a goose in a horse race. The Bible says to unite with your brothers and sisters in Christ, not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together and even more so as the end draws near and you can show up by your own sacrificial, submissive, and obedient decision every time the doors are open and still burst HELL wide open when you enter in thereto.

It has already been pointed out that not only is your salvation an act of God and not your own will as a response to your belief and trust in Christ, but so is your sanctification. You can choose to ACT like someone thinks a Christian should ACT and still be just ACTING. That’s where the word, hypocrite, comes from, an actor. You can’t fake the fruit, or proof, of the indwelling Spirit of God for long, though.

There are people reading this that have not been healed spiritually, Christian people. They haven’t had their hand restored like this man because of hardness of heart. Why is that? They think that the Bible is merely something you try to follow. That’s a religion of works, Satan’s counterfeit. And the more spiritual you are, they say, the more faithful to it you will be. This is a laugh and an insult. It’s a laugh because the people who believe that don’t have the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-24 flowing out of them and don’t follow it themselves. It’s an insult because it makes the struggling Christian doubt his or her salvation.

Repent of your hard heart, Christian, and submit to Christ’s words.

John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

You will only be changed and set apart for God’s purpose by submitting to His Word, Jesus Christ, through His words, the Bible.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Whenever someone tries to determine what your walk with Christ should look like, who will have you judged by their own convictions, their own obsessions, and their own conceit you judge yourself by the Book, our final authority in all matters of faith, practice, AND doctrine.

Notice that Jesus was angry. Now modern versions of the Bible, based on a couple of corrupt manuscripts whose names I’ve mentioned before, changed Matthew 5:22, removing “without a cause” so they could make Christ a sinner. What modern, simpering, milquetoast Christians lack is anger, righteous indignation. We have become so enamored of the Satanic view of a Christian as being an effeminate, limp wristed love, love, love type of guy, we’d rather men cry than take a stand against evil in the church. Jesus looked round about on them with anger.

Here’s a bunch of guys who are the spiritual leaders and they are opposed to Him healing someone who is hurting because they were more in love with their religion than they were with God. Jesus was real and He healed at His will. Here, the faith of the person being healed is not important although in other places faith is rewarded. In some places Christ will respond to faith and in others simply perform a miracle to glorify God in the eyes of hard hearted mankind.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mark 3:1-4 commentary: is it lawful to do good?

1 ¶ And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. 2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. 3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. 4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.

Here is Jesus repudiating the idea that He shouldn’t even heal a suffering person on the Sabbath. Some Christians would have you abandon a sick relative, a suffering loved one, or anyone who needed to be ministered to for Christ if there was a Sunday morning church service to attend. While there is much room for people using almost anything as an excuse to miss church on Sunday, this is not necessarily the case. If you have a chance to witness, or to minister to someone then take it. But, remember, you will answer for lies and excuses that serve you when you stand before Jesus Christ.

I remember a Christian related to me once that he saw a man prostrate next to a mailbox on the side of the road while on his way to church one morning and although he did stop to help the man (the man was drunk) he admitted that the concern crossed his mind that he would be late for church. Many of us have gone through that type of thing. You never know when Christ is going to throw something or someone in your path for you to manifest His love and care so don’t be so phariseeically rigid and inflexible.

If you notice the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, two religious officials, a priest and a levite, passed by the wounded man “on the other side” before the Samaritan ministered to him. Perhaps they were in a hurry to get somewhere to “do something for God.” Whatever the excuse, they missed an opportunity to actually do something for God. How many opportunities to serve God have you missed while you were busy thinking you were serving God?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mark 2:25-28 commentary: David's bread

25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him? 26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him? 27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

See 1 Samuel 21 and 22 to review what David did.

The Sabbath gave the Jew a day off from his labor, ordained by God. Here Jesus Christ claims to be the Lord of the Sabbath, therefore God in the flesh.

Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

The Christians met on the first day of the week to celebrate the Lord’s resurrection. Sunday is not the Sabbath. There are a lot of good reasons to set Sunday apart but it wasn’t even a day off from work until the 3rd century when Christianity was made the state religion. Our secular country, before it became dominated by Roman Catholics, even had mail delivery on Sunday until 1912. Sabbatarians, influenced by the Vatican, created “blue laws” and such forbidding being open for business on Sunday. Christians who insist that you not work on Sunday are hypocrites because by eating out, getting gas, and using the television, telephone, and radio on Sunday they are forcing others to work. It is good to have a day devoted to worship. If you can’t by your circumstances then you must devote much time during the day to worship.

But, on the other hand, remember, you need preaching. You need adjusting. You need correction, the kind you won’t get by reading the Bible yourself. Someone needs to preach the truth to you to help you to see things in a way you might not have previously. Of course, this won’t happen if the preacher is doctrinally butchering the text to make a point he wants to make. Good doctrinal preaching will leave you edified and uplifted. Preaching that is a confused mess will leave you feeling that the Bible is a closed book to you.

There is power in the Bible. Just reading it, letting God speak to you through His words will change you, strengthen, and encourage you. If you don’t read the Bible it doesn’t matter what version you ignore. Some of us have no capacity to resist temptation and sin on our own. Some of us are morally bankrupt and easy prey for the lust of the flesh, the trickery of Satan, and the wicked demands of the world system. The Bible changes you. It molds you into something useful for God. Read it from cover to cover. Read some every day. If you have been a Christian for ten years and haven’t read the Bible through, in English, ten times then I would like to know how things are going? Are you operating on your own willpower? Your desire to do good, to live right for Christ? Are you trying to live for God, to serve Him in the flesh?

God speaks to His people through His Book. Not through your conscience or your own good intentions. Let us enter into his rest. A real Christian wasn’t made that way by his own will. Just read John 1:12, 13.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

You won’t be sanctified, set apart for God’s use, by your own will either.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

David, as a picture of the common Christian, took up that bread that was meant only for the priests. For many years only priests had access to the Bible. It was forbidden to the common man in his own language in many places. Like David, take up that bread, which is the word of God that many people were drowned for, burnt at the stake for, harried out of their home countries for, and lost everything for, and eat. You’re starving and you look like it right now.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mark 2:23-24 commentary: Phariseeism

23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. 24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?

The American Heritage dictionary online gives this definition among the several for corn. “Any of various cereal plants or grains, especially the principal crop cultivated in a particular region, such as wheat in England or oats in Scotland.”

Of course, if you had just believed the Bible you wouldn’t have needed to go to the dictionary. It would have defined itself.

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

The Law of Moses did not prohibit one from simply putting something in your mouth. These disciples weren’t working. This is about the oral tradition of the Pharisees.

Deuteronomy 23:25 When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour’s standing corn.

However, the oral tradition of the Pharisees forbade even this.

“The categories of work are forty less one (i.e., thirty-nine): one who sows, plows, reaps, or gathers; who threshes or winnows; one who selects, grinds, sifts, kneads, or bakes; one who shears wool, washes it, cards it, colors it, spins, or weaves it; one who makes two loops, or weaves two threads, or removes two threads from the loom; one who ties, or unties, or sews two stitches; one who tears in order to sew two stitches; one who traps a deer, slaughters it, skins it, salts it, cures the hide, scrapes it, or cuts it up; one who writes two letters and one who erases in order to write two letters; one who builds or destroys; one who extinguishes ignites; one who strikes with a hammer; one who carries from one domain to another. Behold, these are the categories of work, forty less one.”(1)

(1) Center for Online Judaic Studies, “Mishnah Shabbat 7:1-2: The Thirty Nine-Forbidden Labors on the Sabbath”, http://cojs.org/cojswiki/Mishnah_Shabbat_7:1-2:_The_Thirty_Nine-Forbidden_Labors_on_the_Sabbath (Accessed May 13, 2012).

The Misnah is the oral law of the Pharisees, first written down around 200AD it is supposed, but having a much older tradition that reflects several hundred years of oral law.

An application for the Christian today would be the various rules and regulations that churches adopt that make even the Pharisees look tame by comparison. A Pastor’s personal convictions and the demands of running a church body can add a great many rules to what God has shown are His standard of righteousness. This usually comes in three ways. The first is imposing the Pastor’s personal convictions on the church body. The second comes from changing the definitions in the Bible to suit those convictions. The third is to focus on a verse or verses in another dispensation and pounding on that verse or those verses as a standard by which we, as Christians, are supposed to live, according to the Pastor who is trying to support his personal convictions. God doesn’t bless it. It’s not honoring to Him or His words. It imposes additional burdens on the people that they are often unable to bear. It drives people from the congregation. Phariseeism is alive and well in many churches today.

It is important to remember that we are never given authority to add to God’s word or to take away from it; either placing a burden on the church God will not help them carry because it is not of Him or ignoring a sin which will bring the congregation down if they ignore it because it is against His will. If I was preaching a sermon I’d give examples but since I’m not I’ll let you think about it.

What do you require of others because you require it for yourself and yet it can’t be supported by a clear, literal statement given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit written in the part of the Bible specifically purposed for the church by looking at all of the verses regarding a subject? Of course, if you’re a hypocrite you don’t require it of yourself. You just want other people to do it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mark 2:21-22 commentary: New wine into old wineskins

21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. 22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.

In the NEW Testament there is a change. It is not just the continuance of Hebraism. When a Jew gets saved he’s not a “completed Jew”, he’s a Christian. In this dispensation there are unsaved Jews, unsaved Gentiles, and the Church (1 Corinthians 10:32.) A Jew who receives Christ needs to repudiate his former religion and come to Christ. Jesus has pointed out that with all the tradition and rules and regulations that they built on the foundations of the Mosaic Law they built a house on sand (Matthew 7:21-27.) All political religions, Judaism, Islam, Roman Catholic Christianity, Protestantism, Hinduism, etc. etc. are false religions.

All of the early Christians were Jews. They left their faith. There was a gradual process throughout Acts and they started out as beard wearing, Sabbath observing, pork abstaining Jews and then you get into Paul’s letters you find no mention of going to synagogue or worshipping in the temple.

You don’t take your old religion and add Jesus to it. You discard your old religion and receive Christ. Many fundamentalists retain the things of their former life such as Roman Catholic ritual or various Protestant beliefs or political ideologies that they find still acceptable and don’t put everything on the table for Christ to deal with in His way. I know fundamentalists who are still clinging to things like materialism, sports fanaticism, and state worship and yet, proudly proclaim that they aren’t like the homosexuals and abortionists, who have done the same thing, only the latter often won’t come to Christ because they will put nothing on the table for fear of God removing it.

The modern fundamentalist squeezes through but still retains some baggage which drags him down as he struggles to serve Christ. There is nothing wrong with taking care of your possessions or sports in and of themselves but to cling to them as part of what identifies you as a man is idolatry.

When you become a Christian you must lay everything on the table and let God deal with it as He will. It is no less than a complete surrender to Christ. Maybe He will let you keep some things but when I see Christians slavishly devoted to television, movies, alcohol, pro-sports, the cause of the day, and flag waving I think I can see that someone has not let go. It is one thing to be patriotic but another entirely to be a statist, one who worships the state and follows through with every idea that a leader proposes as long as it follows the Roman Catholic line on abortion and homosexual behavior.

We have our battles and our problems because when we come to Christ we don’t make the Bible pre-eminent, we don’t surrender everything about ourselves to Christ, and we aren’t willing to completely let go of our past affections. If you put new wine into old bottles they will burst.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mark 2:18-20 commentary: the bridegroom

18 ¶ And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not? 19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

Here comes a division in the Bible. The children of the bridechamber are not the bride.The church is the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23-32.) Christ, the bridegroom is going to leave.

John 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

John the Baptist is the friend of the bridegroom. There are many divisions of people in the Bible that are worthy of study.

Song of Solomon 6:8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.

Don’t ask me. I don’t have a clue who the queens are or the concubines. I do know who the virgins are, Jews in the tribulation (Revelations 14:4), from the text, but I haven’t been given any light on the others.

Fasting is for Christians, but has nothing to do with salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;

2Corinthians 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

Fasting fights against the flesh and afflicts the soul. But, don’t let it become a matter of worshipping your own will. The Christian starts out in self worship using pleasure, moves into worship of Christ, and if he goes far enough will wander into self worship again by his asceticism and separation. Worshipping God genuinely, in the Spirit, is a narrow thing that requires turning neither to the left or right. The libertine, carnal Christian, or unsaved person, seeks to serve his or her own flesh in life and worship with worldly and fleshy music, while the separated fundamentalist often seeks to serve his or her own flesh by pride and denial, to prove how close to Christ they are. Both are self serving and deluded. Be warned.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mark 2:16-17 commentary: calling sinners to repentance

16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? 17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

One gets the idea here that Christ is being sarcastic. After all, those who think they are whole and have no need of a physician are only fooling themselves.

Here again we have the modernists monkeying with God’s word mainly on the authority of two corrupted manuscripts. In verse 17 they leave out the “to repentance” part, for which Christ came to call sinners to, not just to call sinners. Christ calls the sinner to repentance.

All men are sinners. Solomon acknowledges that fact in his great public prayer in 2 Chronicles 6:36 spoken under the Law given to Moses.

36 If they sin against thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near;

Paul acknowledges this under Grace.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Repent means, in the Bible, to change your mind about something;

Exodus 13:17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:

Modern man is a picture of the Christian before he receives Christ. People today don’t acknowledge they sin at all. They might make some mistakes, some errors in judgment, or be overcome by something over which they have no control. Or their sin is merely a lifestyle choice. But, they can’t muster up repentance for their wicked sins in their hearts. Besides self gratification and self propagation the greatest activity of modern humans is self justification. We have excuses for all of our missteps. But, it is characteristic of mankind today, particularly western man, to only be sorry for their wickedness when they get caught and exposed for it.

You need to change your mind about what you do, sin, and what you are, a sinner. You need to repent and come to Christ. I can argue that repentance is not part of the act of confessing Christ after you have believed by examining the verses in Romans 10:9-10 on salvation. But, if you haven’t changed your mind about your self justification and your inherent evil you won’t ever come to that point. Coming to Christ is not some kind of intellectual exercise. It is a heartfelt understanding that it is our sins that nailed Jesus to that Cross and it is for our justification that He rose from the dead. We are saved for what He did not for anything we have done or can do.

No one ever says, hmm, today I’ll drive the good car to work, wear my yellow shirt, drink some iced coffee, and, oh, I think I’ll trust Christ to save me from my sins and endless ages of agony and suffering. It’s just too important to be a simple choice. No one comes to it that easily. It goes against our pride and undermines our self glorifying and takes us off the throne of our heart and places Christ there in our place just as He went to the Cross and to Hell in our place.

Repent of what you are and what you’ve done. Turn to Christ and be healed and forgiven, a picture of which we have with these people were in Mark.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mark 2:9-15 commentary: immediate healing

9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? 10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) 11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

He is showing them who He is by what He did. He proved that He had the power to forgive sins by having the power to heal miraculously. Can a Roman Catholic priest or could an Old Testament priest do either? No, he can’t. Neither can you or I as we can only judge by the Book but we have no power to do anything about a disease that current medical knowledge and affordability can’t cure but rely on God’s will. And even if it is curable we better be completely dependent on Him. Mistakes can be made even with the best of knowledge.

Again, the healing is immediate. By comparison, salvation is immediate, not a process.

13 ¶ And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them. 14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.

Levi is a publican, a tax collector for the Romans occupiers. According to Matthew and Luke, this is Matthew.

Matthew 10:3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

Luke 5:27 And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.

This is a government tax collector, who was considered collaborators and corrupt. He drops it all and walks after Christ, who has the power to save anyone. The apostles have immediately left whatever they were doing and followed the physical Christ, God in the flesh, the king of the entire universe, without looking back.

15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.

In the Old Testament people who are trying to live right and honor God are called the righteous and those who are wicked and couldn’t care less are sinners. In the New Testament Christ comes to die for the ungodly, the sinners, and if you consider yourself righteous without Christ you won’t be saved. You won’t see any need for it.

Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

1Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

Christ came to die for the very people that the Old Testament condemned. Read this in the Psalms.

Psalm 1:1 ¶ Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 ¶ The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

The problem with many modern, American Christians is that they have adopted the Old Testament view because they are Biblically illiterate and can’t “rightly divide” the word. They assume that because they dress nice, have nice things, and act in some kind of civil and relatively polite manner, occasionally attending church, saying ‘grace’ over dinner, and not doing really bad stuff that they are righteous. American Christians are amazing in the things they have managed to accomplish without Christ. This is easy to test and prove. Go up to the most righteous person you know, the person who appears to really be a great Christian, unlike myself, and ask them how much during the average day do they commit to prayer, Bible reading, memorization, and study, and how much time do they commit to listening to the radio or watching television.

You’ll find that the more pious seeming the individual the less time or love they have for listening to God through God’s word speaking to their spirit or talking to Him in prayer. While you and I are struggling with our revulsion to our wicked sins and abhorring our flesh for our sinful nature, while we are praying on our knees for light from His word and begging Him to keep us from sin, they are walking around smug and self satisfied, willfully ignorant. Those with communist leanings will insist that the Christian should vote Democrat and those with fascist leanings will insist that a Christian must vote Republican. The one replaces God with the government in a slightly different way than the other. But, either one has still replaced God in their hearts.

Our nation is wicked, from the conservative state worshipping churches with a political flag on their pulpit platforms to the liberal state worshipping churches who want to be “inclusive”. Neither one gives a good red cent for Jesus Christ. They have invented a God they worship and ultimately it comes back to the worship of self.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mark 2:6-8 commentary: knowing their thoughts

6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? 8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

Imagine someone turning to you during a sermon and saying, “Why are you thinking that way about the preacher right now?”

The fact that our thoughts are open to God’s knowledge can be very disconcerting. We are told to bring every thought into obedience to Christ, a command that once again proves to us our inability to obey Him without His help. Remember what Joshua said to the Hebrews as he doubted their ability to keep their promises to God.

Joshua 24:19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

And what Jesus said to his disciples.

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.

Now, keep that in mind as you ponder this from Paul.

2Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Try to wrap your mind around that when you hear Jesus respond to the thoughts of the scribes. Its time to understand that God sees things from the other side also through the inside, not by necessity looking down from a throne like in Greek mythology. God can see what is going on in your spiritual heart and thoughts much more simply through your spirit.

Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

Instead of always thinking of a work of God as something showering down on us as it was with the ancient Hebrews we need to also remember that what we want from God He can and will provide us from inside of us through His connection with our physical and mortal bodies in this world. We often, in our flesh, and from our failure to realize that the church and the Hebrews under the Law operate under much different circumstances fail to realize the spiritual nature of His dealings with us.

If you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit as in Ephesians 5;

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

It doesn’t happen now as in the early days of the apostolic church …

Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The Jewish believer in the early church was surrounded by signs and “infallible proofs” because...

1Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

The believer within the church does not bear the proof of the Holy Spirit indwelling them by performing the sudden and instantaneous ability to speak in foreign languages and offering gifts of healing by the laying on of hands. Charismatic Christians still have diseases that aren’t healed by Benny Hinn. They still die of sudden illnesses like heart attacks or suffer long as in a cancer. No preacher’s handkerchiefs or aprons applied to the sick will make them get up (Acts 19:12). The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not proven by a great and amazing defiance of physical laws on the believer’s part today.

The believer today displays proof of the Holy Spirit being inside of him by what the Bible aptly calls “the fruit of the Spirit.”

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. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

The signs of God to the Jewish people under the Law were from without. The signs of God to a believer under Grace come from within. God can heal anyone He chooses and He doesn’t need a “man of God” to be His vehicle. If it is within His will to heal you, you will simply be healed after much prayer and humbling. You will only be healed if your healing will result in glory for God to shine His light on others to draw them to Him.

So, remember that God knows every thought and God is aware of what is happening inside of your body and your mind at all times. Don’t be surprised at the judgment seat of Christ when He shows to have known your darkest thoughts and desires as well as your best intentions and hopes.

Romans 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mark 2:2-5 commentary: forgiven and healed

2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. 3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

There are several points that can be made here.

You can’t get to God of your own strength. Notice also that the people, the world, are hindering him from getting to Christ. The media will lie to keep you from the truth. So called educators will lie to you to keep you from the truth. Popular culture will lie to you to keep you from the truth. Religious leaders will lie to you to keep you from the truth. Politicians will lie to you to keep you from the truth. Your family, your employer, and your own flesh will lie to you to keep you from the truth. But, a true friend will do whatever it takes to bring you closer to Christ even if it means tearing off the roof.

Another thing is that salvation is at the feet of Jesus Christ. Finally, salvation is immediate. You get to Christ, recognizing you are a helpless sinner, and He’ll save you immediately. Christ responds to faith. And I’d also say that if you read THIS Bible, believing, and expecting Christ to do something to you and for you and through you, just watch Him work. He will be glorified through you to the end of the salvation of others who see your faith and its results.

Christ healed the body and the soul. If you notice, here there were many people who came to hear Christ preach but only one sought to be healed and was forgiven. There are a great many so-called Christians who come to hear the message but very few who want to be healed.

Spiritual healing precedes physical healing here. Will you come to be forgiven and healed? In the early, predominantly Jewish, Apostolic church and again in the Great Tribulation to come notice in the book of James, written to Jewish Christians in both of those times, how close spiritual healing and forgiveness are intertwined with physical healing.

James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.