Friday, November 30, 2012

Mark 8:35 commentary: losing your life for Christ

35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

Jesus has just preached that to come after Him, you must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him. What does it mean to take up your cross, or in this case, to lose your life for his sake and for the sake of the gospel? Most of us will never be called upon to physically die for Christ or for the sake of the gospel. Paul explains this concept to us Christians, about our death for Christ and being dead to sin in Romans, chapter 6. It is good to take the time to read that chapter.

A couple verses to note in particular in that chapter are;

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

-(note the symbolic nature of baptism by use of the word “like”), and-

Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Chapter 8 of Romans teaches us also that sin has no more power over the Christian. A Christian sins against God of his own free will and has no excuse, although even the excuse of an unsaved man won’t help him.

Paul himself says in another set of verses which I’ve mentioned earlier and which bear repeating;

1Corinthians 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

So, in order to have eternal life, we lose our life in Christ and Christ makes us alive.

Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Christianity isn’t merely a Stoic-minded philosophy of good, moral living as many of our country’s Founding Fathers believed nor was or is Jesus a philosopher as former President Bush declared. Christianity is a dying to Self and living for Christ and Christ is God by whom the universe was created and by whom it is sustained as you can see by reading Colossians, chapter one.

In the BBC documentary about the 1900s entitled A Century of Self it was noted how the ideas of Sigmund Freud and his nephew, Ed Bernays, who invented modern advertising and public relations in 20th Century America, turned us inward, and, I would add, encouraged us to worship our flesh and ourselves. Before Bernays’ influence advertising was about what a product would do. After Bernays advertising was how using a product made you feel or what it said about who you were or your status.

Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

A century of Self had to do with the things we possess and, in reality, worship in place of God, and are taught are good. There are some idiots who actually think they can judge whether or not a person is saved by how neatly trimmed he keeps his lawn or how clean he keeps his car. I’ve heard that with my own ears.

Being a Christian requires that you die to self and live in Christ. Think about that the next time you look at yourself in the mirror or strut around like a peacock in your new glad-rags. Think about that the next time you get angry for not getting your “propers”. Think about that the next time you are tempted to look at pornography, read a romance novel, buy that bikini, or wear that muscle shirt to the grocery store. Think about that the next time you want to talk about someone else in your family or in the church family or obsess over money or gloat about how righteous you are.

Remember what Christ said about the things of this world that man holds up as good?

Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Notice how the apostle John illuminates the things of the world we desire, the very things that Satan in the guise of a serpent tricked Eve over in Genesis 3.

1John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Inappropriate sexual obsessions, education, wealth, success, athleticism, worldly power, physical beauty, and all of the things that man holds in high esteem are just so much garbage with God. If you live for them, you will lose your life. If you life for Christ, you will live forever.

Instead of trying to make the gospel more acceptable by watering it down so you can enjoy your war, horror, action-adventure, romance, and western bang-bang-shoot-em-up movies, your porno, your violent athletic sporting events, your liquor, your cigarettes, your trips to the beach, your luxuries, and the unnecessary food that feeds your expanding waistline you better start thinking about what it really means to be a Christian. The Bible isn’t Emily Post’s Book of Etiquette and your faith is not here so you can just live a more respectable life in the eyes of the world.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mark 8:34 commentary: Whom do you worship?

34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

The Christian must die to Self daily.

1Corinthians 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

We know that the basis of unbelief is worship of Self, but Self worship is also the curse of most Christians. We seek to serve our flesh through food, comfort of living, pleasure, and entertainment. In fact, it appears to be the focus of our lives. We are running errands for a corpse. Our lives have no eternal value because we have made a god of our flesh, which will die forever one day in its present form, and although our body will be redeemed and united with our soul and spirit in heaven, its present form, for all its miraculous abilities and components, is dying. We fundamentalists even glory in whatever suffering we can cause our flesh to appear spiritual, thereby glorifying ourselves and not Christ. When I hear a Christian say that they deliberately stayed up most of the night to pray and they didn’t mind being exhausted because they were doing it for the Lord I want to puke because they were, in fact, doing it for themselves, their own feeling of spirituality, and those feelings of superiority that a Pharisee so smugly holds, just by virtue of their telling everyone.

Matthew 6:16 ¶ Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Let others praise you.

Proverbs 27:2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

Better yet, let God praise you at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Read 1Corinthians, chapter 3.

2Corinthians 10:18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth

Read His Book and allow Him to change your affections and your hearts and quit trying so hard to do things in the flesh, thinking yourself so spiritual. Then, come together with a body of believers to worship Him in spirit and in truth. What we have done is to create ministries and edifices that must be fed like our flesh and we can’t even begin to give preeminence to the Holy Spirit because we have chained ourselves to the demands of our carnal worship.

To serve Satan one only has to serve one’s self. We are all Satan, in type, aspiring to be our own god at some point, thinking of ourselves as higher than the Highest. Satan is not only an individual who really exists, but is a representative of mankind’s highest aspirations, ideals, and morality without the God who created them. Notice to get our compliance, he need only offer a suggestion or pose a question like “yea, hath God said?” (Genesis 3:1) Not a lot of arm twisting there, is it?

Although I am no fan of the Puritans, who executed religious dissenters and publicly whipped and banned Baptists from the church-state run Massachusetts Bay Colony, the great English Puritan leader, Oliver Cromwell, spoke a great truth when he said the following in a different context; “I know a man may answer all difficulties with faith, and faith will answer all difficulties really where it is, but we are very apt, all of us, to call that faith, that perhaps may be but carnal imagination, and carnal reasonings.” ( At the General Council of Officers 1 at Putney, 28th October 1647. - Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents)

To deny one’s self requires the mortifying of the flesh and reckoning one’s self dead to sin and the excessive pleasures of the flesh, certainly.

Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

But, to deny Self also requires that all things be done for the glory of Christ and not ourselves. At what point, a Christian must ask him or herself, does something I do for God become, not about Him, but about me? This is a great puzzle for those who claim to follow a risen, living Saviour rather than a dead idea of what it means to simply be a philosophical Christian.

Many people have done great things for Christ which weren’t for Christ but for themselves. We can see their celebrity status in how the world approves of them or, even if it disapproves of them, how much attention it gives them. No man or woman can be unaffected by this attention. Most glory in it.

But,what about you? Will your works for Christ be exposed at His Judgment Seat as a vain representation of self-worship? Are you sure?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Why We Must Read the Bible.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee” Hosea 4:6a

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.” Amos 8:11,12

1. Because God has told us to do that; to study it – 2 Timothy 2:15, and read it aloud, and meditate on it – Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:13, 15, 172.

2. Because it will help our walk with Christ – 2 Timothy 3:15,16 (Notice from verse 15 that translations, not merely the originals are included in this as we can be sure that Timothy didn’t have the original of Moses’ books and that some of the Hebrew and Greek scriptures were translating what was actually said in other languages as in from Egyptian into Hebrew under the authority of Genesis 42:23 and from Hebrew into Greek under the authority of Acts 21:40. In addition, the wording of the originals God can change if He desires to add to it as per Jeremiah 36:32 perhaps to bring it into line with what He has written in heaven – Psalm 119:89).

3. Because it is a principle means by which God sanctifies us or makes us useful for His service – John 17:17; (of which verse 20 proves it’s also talking about you and me.)

4. Because God’s word is important to Him – Psalm 138:2

5. Because it will keep you from sinning against God – Psalm 119:11

6. Because it will make you praise Him – Psalm 119:7.

7. Because it will clean up your act – Psalm 119:9, 101.

8. Because it will cause you to rejoice and give you delight – Psalm 119:14, 16 , 47, 72.

9. Because it will open our eyes – Psalm 119:18.

10. Because it gives us life – Psalm 119:25, 50, 92.

11. Because it will help us choose what is right – Psalm 119:30.

12. Because we will love it – Psalm 119: 47.

13. Because it gives us songs in our hearts – Psalm 119: 54.

14. Because it tells us of the nature of His mercy – Psalm 119:58, 116

15. Because it prompts us to spontaneous prayer and praise – Psalm 119:62.

16. Because it lights our way – Psalm 119: 105, 130;

17. Because it changes our affections- Psalm 119:113.

18. Because it gives us hope and causes us to seek God’s protection – Psalm 119:114.

19. Because it is pure – Psalm 119: 140.

20. Because God has taken care to preserve His word for us – Psalm 12:6,7

21. Because God’s power works through it so much that it is linked to Himself – Romans 9:17 with Exodus 9:16 and Galatians 3:8 with Genesis 22:18.

22. Because it speaks of Jesus – Luke 24:27

23. Because we are going to reign with Him as per 2 Timothy 2:12 and Revelation 20:6 and rulers are called to do so – Deuteronomy 17:19

24. Because Jesus is called the Word (capital W) of God – John 1:1-3; Revelation 19:13; 1 John 5:7.

25. Because Satan doesn’t want you to have it – Genesis 3:1; Matthew 13:18, 23.

26. Because it is true - John 17:17; Psalm 119:142, 160.

And there are many, many more reasons to read God’s word but I’m sure you will find them out on your own.

Daily Bible Reading, reading aloud, and listening.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Mark 8:32-33 commentary: whom do you serve?

32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. 33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

Peter, like Satan, wants Jesus to forsake His mission. In Matthew and Luke, chapter 4, Satan makes his effort to get Jesus to turn away from His mission. Here, Peter is doing the work of Satan or Satan has influenced him.

There are powerful forces at work in the universe that are not subject to the laws of the physical universe that corporeal entities like ourselves are subject to.

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.

I realize that much Christian teaching has become contaminated with atheist materialism and doesn’t admit to any unseen intelligences although they can believe in all manner of so-called scientific particles that no scientist ever claimed to have seen. Sub-atomic particles are believed in because of the effect they allegedly produce. But, the Bible explains the cause of effects in a different manner. It is impossible to be a Bible believer if you don’t believe in the world of the spirit.

Jesus rebukes Peter because Peter is taking on the work of Satan. It is interesting to note how we learn about Satan from the Bible by how God describes human characters as like him. Here is Peter likened to Satan. Why? Because he wishes to thwart God’s plan of redemption for mankind and keep Jesus from going to the cross.

We can see the king of Tyrus likened to Satan in Exekiel, chapter 28, which gives us a description of who Satan is and what he has done, where he came from, and when he fell. We see the king of Babylon used in the same way in Isaiah 14. Read those two chapters. Bible passages are written in such a multi-dimensional manner as to describe something literally and yet to describe something that isn’t directly referenced in the passage, as well. Sometimes, there are clearly two and three layers of meaning, not to mention all of the inspirational messages people get out of the passages that were not an intentional part of the passages’ literal meaning, direct allusion, or prophetic reference.

You will get the suggestion of this best by reading the Bible over and over again. In fact, you have no excuse if you haven’t listened to or read the entire Bible through at least once for every year you’ve been a Christian. If you’re behind because you just recently realized what a Bible is and how much power God has laid on it, then you can make every effort to catch up. A seminary education is no substitute for reading the Authorized Version from cover to cover on a continuous basis. In fact, I would pick a preacher who can read and understand English and has read the Bible through many times from cover to cover over someone with a Ph.D. in Theology any day, providing, of course, he’s saved.

One thing to note here is that you don’t have to literally worship Satan by name to serve him. You only need to be against God’s purposes and to serve man’s and your own to do his bidding. Satan doesn’t need your worship to accomplish his purposes. He only needs you to worship yourself.

You can’t serve Christ if you submit your will as a slave to the world system;

1John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Nothing that the world holds up as good and right is from the God who created you.

Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

That includes the economic system and wealth.

Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Think about these things the next time you watch the fine homes of the rich and famous paraded on television or find yourself parked in front of a professional football game held in some giant stadium with thousands of adoring fans screaming their approval.

But, in the next verse, Jesus will tell us whom exactly we must deny to serve Him.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mark 8:30-31 commentary: and he began to teach them

30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him. 31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Notice the foretelling here of the gospel and the forth telling in these verses;

1 Corinthians 15:1 ¶ Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 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; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

The apostles were dull in their thinking because, like a modern Christian, their thinking had been corrupted by all of the false things they had been taught by Biblically illiterate preachers and commentators who had rejected READING the Bible in preference for reading about the Bible. By not permitting God to change their hearts through His words they elected to worship intellect and scholarship, theirs and others, including any rabbi, or teacher, whose teaching caught their fancy. Modern Christians are for the most part humanists. It’s amazing what a fundamentalist can accomplish without Christ.

A fundamentalist will mock an evolutionist and say how deluded they are but will, at the same time, lift up a Bible that never existed on earth in one book, that doesn’t now exist on earth, and which no one he knows in the flesh has ever seen; that inerrant, perfect Bible in the original manuscripts. This is a book that the Bible itself never even discusses or places importance on above translations or copies which are “given by inspiration”. In the Scriptures, the word "scriptures" never refers to the original manuscripts. The Bible is not inspired by God. These 40 or so men aren’t writing about someone that inspires them like Hemingway or Faulkner might have done. When you are inspired by something you have no obligation to it to be faithful as it merely provides the spark and the motive for your writing which is generated by your own intellect and emotion. The Bible isn’t God-breathed, as God did not dictate every word as is clear by Job 32:8; Jeremiah 36:32; and 2 Peter 3:15. God gave men wisdom and understanding to write His Bible, and then He preserved it (Psalm 12:6,7).

Modern Christians are practicing atheists because they don’t believe that a living God actually has a hand in Bible preservation. Its only unbelieving scholars that do that, they think. Modern Christians simply don’t believe that God has the power to preserve the Bible that He wants them to have. I wonder how they believe He can save them.

Here is further evidence that people in the Old Testament were not looking forward to the Cross. They didn’t even understand it. They did not understand Isaiah, chapter 53. They did not understand Psalm 22; Zechariah 12:10; Psalm 41:9; Psalm 16:10; Isaiah 7:14; or Isaiah 9:6.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mark 8:27-29 commentary; Who do you say Jesus is?

27 ¶ And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? 28 And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. 29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.

“The Christ” is the Messiah or Messias.

John 1:41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

Interpretation is the translation of a human language. Think of an interpreter at the U.N.

John 4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

The question of who you believe that Jesus Christ is, that is the most important question you will ever answer because on it depends where you will spend eternity.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

If you reject what Christ said about Himself then you can expect no mercy when your soul enters the spiritual world after death.

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

So, what do we make of the theistic Unitarian who believes that Jesus is not God but simply a great teacher? Since Jesus declared Himself to be God the Father in the flesh we can say with certainty that the Unitarian is not a Christian and therefore not saved, but bound for Hell. He is no less in need of the gospel than the most desperate drug addicted prostitute.

What about the Jehovah’s Witness, who is a modern day Arian? The Jehovah’s Witness doesn’t know that in the Old Testament God has said;

Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

In the New Testament Gospel of John, when speaking of Jesus;

John 19:36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

As the Philippian Jailer was told in Acts how to get saved;

Acts16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

And the Romans were told how to get saved;

Romans 10:9 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.

In all these verses you can find the conditions for salvation; believing what Jesus said about Himself and believing in His resurrection. If you can find any other conditions for salvation please give me chapter and verse.

Jesus is the appearance, the presence, of God, which is what is meant by angel.

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

Notice how the angel of the Lord takes God’s place in this verse in Judges;

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.

The angel of the Lord, the angel of God, the appearance of God, is Jesus Christ.

Acts 27:23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,

He is the visible image of the invisible God and just as we and the higher animals are composed of a body, soul, and spirit (1Thessalonians 5:23; Numbers 31:28; Job 12:10; Ecclesiastes 3:21) so is the God who created you, one difference being that His component parts can operate independently while you would die if separated from your flesh (Genesis 35:18).

God is spoken of as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God the Father is the soul of God, the seat of self-identity and will, God the Son is also called the Living Word by which God spoke the universe into being, and God the Spirit is how God acts on His creation and yet all three are one.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

As “the only begotten Son” in John 1:18 Jesus represents the only time in history that God walked the earth as a flesh and blood man, not Alexander the Great who had himself declared the son of God in Egypt or Octavian Augustus who signed his documents Deus Fide, the son of God, after declaring that his adoptive father, Julius Caesar, had ascended to heaven.

As the physical image of God;

Hebrews 1:3 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;

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

So, these three parts of God, able to function independently but still being one;

John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

Are revealed throughout the Bible, in the New Testament;

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

1John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

And in the Old, as here we see God the Father and the Holy Spirit in action;

Genesis 1:1 ¶ In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Here is the preincarnate Jesus Christ in action;

Judges 13:21 But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD. 22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

So, who is Jesus Christ? He is the Jewish messiah. He is the anointed one of God. He is the only begotten Son. He is the Word by which all things were created and by which they consist. He is God in the flesh.

Believe that Jesus Christ is God, that He lived as a man, that He died for your sins, and that He rose from the dead. Trust in His righteousness to get to heaven and not your own. Your eternal destiny depends on it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mark 8:22-26 commentary: opening your eyes in steps

22 ¶ And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. 24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. 25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. 26 And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

Earlier, back in chapter seven, he had healed a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, using spit.

Here is the first time where Jesus heals in steps. There are many who teach that this is a type of the Christian who is growing. You don’t see everything clearly at first. Slowly, as you read the Bible daily, and often, and pray, waiting on the Lord to lead you, the Holy Spirit to guide you, as you hear and see Him speak line upon line, precept upon precept;

Isaiah 28:9 ¶ Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing:…..

The eyes of your understanding are enlightened;

Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Because this is the way you are set apart, or sanctified (blessed – Genesis 2:3, washed – Exodus 19:14 and see Revelation 19:8, you’ll meet with God – Exodus 29:43, anointed – Leviticus 8:10, purified – Leviticus 8:15, come close to God – Leviticus 10:3, you’ll redeem your family – Leviticus 27:15, etc. etc.), for His purpose;

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

Others say, that, as men are like trees all through the Bible, that you are better off seeing them as trees and not to be fooled by their outward appearance.

Psalm 1:3 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.

Ezekiel 20:46 Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field; 47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein. 48 And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.

Ezekiel 31:2 Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude; Whom art thou like in thy greatness? 3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs.

Jesus leads the blind man by the hand;

Job 29:15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.

He leads him out of town, out of Bethsaida, as not worthy of having this miracle done within her coasts or borders or even being told about it;

Luke 10:13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

We know from the Bible that Jesus didn’t have to even touch the man to heal him so there must be a purpose in doing it this way, for our sake. Perhaps, the Lord wanted him to see the spiritual side before he saw the physical side. Before you see anything you must be willing to be led by the Lord.

26 And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

He’s not looking for the publicity here. They’d miss the point anyway.

This verse is corrupted in our two apostate manuscripts, Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, which are given precedence in all modern versions after the heresies of Westcott and Hort and the perfidy of the Vatican. The part after the last comma is removed. As Dr. Ken Matto points out it is Tyndale’s Bible, the Geneva Bible, and the King James Bible which maintain the clarity of the passage and its continuity. Jesus did not want Bethsaida to be enlightened with knowledge of this miracle. The modern versions, based on corrupt manuscripts, don’t even include this part of the verse.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mark 8:19-21 commentary: how is it ye do not understand?

19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. 20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. 21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

As Jesus continues with this response to the cluelessness of His disciples he brings up some important considerations for us. Twelve is associated with the twelve tribes of Israel and seven is associated with God’s number of completion and perfection as in the seven days of creation.

Jesus is upbraiding them for their forgetfulness and their inability to understand. This is the root of all unbelief, not remembering what God had done previously, and a mind closed to the truths that God wants to reveal. It is much the same way with modern men. Scientists insist on denying God’s part in creation and prefer to explain away the existence of life itself by fantastic, mechanical means without any part played by the God of the Bible.

The fact is, though, that if they weren’t so hard hearted they would understand. For one instance, geneticists who deal with mutations will write papers filled with astonishment at how quickly we, as a species or as an individual, deteriorate over a relatively short time such as Cornell University’s Alexey Kondrashov’s 1995 paper published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology entitled, “Contamination of the Genome by Very Slightly Deleterious Mutations:Why Have We Not Died 100 Times Over?” or James Crow of the University of Wisconsin’s Genetics Laboratory who wrote an article in 1997 published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences entitled, “The high spontaneous mutation rate: Is it a health risk?” These scientists appear to be amazed at the rapid rate at which mankind is falling apart, the rate of devolution, not evolution.

Harmful mutations over the past few centuries have been accumulating. The scientist, like the disciple hard of heart and hard of hearing doesn’t hear a distant voice in his head reminding him that the Bible implies only a 6,000 year old existence for mankind. At the rate we are going, as these scientists point out without meaning to, we couldn’t have been around much longer than that. People find out such interesting facts and forget in their dull minds what God has said and done. No, rather, they would prefer to pretend He doesn’t exist.

God will say to them, perhaps, “When I made the heaven and the earth in six days, when I destroyed life on earth with a Flood, when I scattered the families from Babel all over the earth, when I led the Hebrews through the Red Sea, when I rose from the dead and offered all men salvation how is it ye do not understand?”

What about the Christian who has been delivered time and time again by God’s hand of protection and mercy but forgets each time just how much he or she is totally dependent on God’s mercy and grace? Think about the last time you were certain that you would not have made it without God’s help and then ask yourself how is it you do not understand?