Monday, April 30, 2012

Mark 1:39-42 commentary: as soon as he had spoken

39 And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils. 40 ¶ And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

Notice that these synagogues have people with devils in them. Don’t think you’ll go to church to pick up a clean spirit. Churches are full of devils trying to pervert the Scriptures.

Luke 5:12 And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Here is a picture of a sinner being saved. Leprosy is, in type, a picture of sin, always starting small. You won’t walk down the street and be slapped with the biggest temptation of your life. Usually it starts small and eventually you’ll be where you don’t want to be. Leprosy deadens the nerves as sin does deaden the sensations. Sin is so gross that before you realize it you’ve lost part of yourself that can’t be replaced. When you come to Jesus Christ you are healed immediately although you will always carry with you in your life the scars of that sin to remind you of how merciful God has been.

Note that the leper had no part of his own healing save to believe that Jesus could save him. Notice that Jesus Christ healing is immediate.

Modern versions of the Bible leave out the fact that Jesus spoke this man disease free. Jesus had command with His very speech to remove this dreaded disease from this leper. He spoke this disease away just as He spoke creation into existence. Removing this important statement based on two corrupt manuscripts, Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, is inexcusable. The Byzantine Text, also called the Majority Text, reflects the largest number of surviving manuscripts of the Bible and includes this all important phrase.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mark 1:36-38 commentary: Jesus came to preach

36 And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. 37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. 38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.

Jesus Christ isn’t concerned about numbers like modern preachers are. This crowd is coming after Him and He wants to leave and go to the next town. The modern preacher wants to see results. The example Jesus set was the message not the results. People are business oriented today as business is the American religion. Modern preachers need to see cards filled out, knees bent at the “altar”, hands raised, decisions for Christ, and pews filled. But, it’s the message, the message, the message. It’s not about you feeling like a success but that God’s word was preached. Billy Sunday was censored during World War One by the Presbyterian Church in the Chicago area. He had a series of revival meetings where tens of thousands of people came forward. But, over the next year or so the churches only added a couple of hundred members. Both Sunday and the Presbyterians had the wrong motivation. The question is simply, was God’s word preached? Jeremiah had no converts and yet he has a prominent book in the Bible.

For preachers and preacher hopefuls I’d say if you’re in your flesh and you want to see results the only results you need to see are whether or not your own church members are growing in grace and God’s word. Is the church growing or are you growing the church? Do you know the difference? Do you know how many of your congregants are reading the Bible to the exclusion of other things every day, praying constantly, and living for Christ, unless you see something you can tally up like assignments on the job or lessons at school?

If not one person ever kneels at the altar and professes salvation you have not failed. If you have faithfully preached God’s word in season and out you have been a great success.

Jesus came to preach. You remember the prophets of the Old Testament and what they did? They preached about the present, the past, and the future that was to come based on the word and wisdom given to them by God.

Nehemiah 6:7a And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem….

Prophets preach. Every one of us needs to preach to someone.

Young people preach to someone;

Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

Peter quotes that in Acts 2:17.

Acts 21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

Women preach to someone.

2 Kings 22:14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her. 15 And she said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me,

…then comes a sermon.

Men preach to someone;

Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

Every one of us preach to someone;

1Corinthians 14:31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

Here is another reason why Jesus came to us.

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; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,…….

Here in the New Testament Jesus refers to that call.

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, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

There are other reasons why He came;

1Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

1John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

If you look perhaps you can find others listed clearly in the Scriptures.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mark 1:34-35 commentary: prayer

34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. 35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Jesus did not want the testimony of devils and He still doesn’t. Let that be a lesson to preachers speaking heresy, trashing the Bible, and air conditioning Hell.

Praying in the morning is great! Follow God’s timing to have good fellowship with God. Praying in the morning and in a solitary place where you can be alone is good. It’s great to pray with your wife or husband and with your church family but praying alone with God is very good. Notice that Jesus Christ is doing this in spite of how busy He is. Not that I’m an example but I am jealous of my time in the morning alone with Christ.

Luke 3:21; Luke 6:12; Luke 9:29; Matthew 14:23; Mark 14:34 show that any situation you can imagine Jesus is always in prayer as our example. Prayer is essential when reading your Bible.

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Prayer in the form of praise and thanksgiving is a sacrifice we offer up to God always, in a verse that crosses all dispensational lines.

Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

And yes, we should always be in communication with our Creator in prayer.

Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

1Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mark 1:33 commentary: all the city at the door

33 And all the city was gathered together at the door.

This “all” is all without distinction rather than all without exception. The entire city, every man, woman, and child was not at the door. It is important to note the difference in the Bible where all is used. Another word would be salvation that doesn’t always refer to being saved from Hell or damnation which doesn’t always mean being sent to Hell. Context is like location in the real estate business; context, context, context.

For instance, here is an example of all without distinction but not without exception.

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

Clearly not all men or women are saved.

Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

As you can see below salvation can refer to being saved physically from an enemy.

Exodus 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.

Damnation in the following verse is not eternal damnation but about condemnation and punishment from the civil authorities unless you believe that disobeying the speed limit can send you to Hell, in which case, we have a different Saviour and a different faith.

Romans 13:1 ¶ Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

Note here, also, in this verse that the people gathered at the door to see Jesus and be healed. Now, though, Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart. The Jews were seeking Him for a benefit, to be healed and delivered. But, He is seeking you, now, for fellowship, and to show His love for you by saving you from eternal damnation, the natural destination of natural mankind.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Notice an important difference between the Jews before the Resurrection and you. Every Jew belonged to God. They had virtually all strayed and were commanded to repent and return. As for the Gentiles and Jews of today, God is not seeking something that was His and then was lost for all are bound for Hell and then the Lake of Fire from the moment they know the difference between good and evil. He is seeking them to save them. It is the Holy Spirit that speaks to a person’s heart to lead them to Christ. No truly born again Christian was ever saved by a logical argument, a debate, or by his own decision making ability, his reason. Salvation in this age is a work of God, it is not a B.C. Jew turning back to what he was called to be from the moment he was born. This is the problem with the modern Christian’s soul winning methods and plans.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

What constitutes soul winning in most churches today that actually have a heart for the lost is pure humanism and Greek logical argument. It is not of God.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mark 1:32 commentary: all that were diseased

32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.

Now you notice here that “all that were diseased” is separated by “them that were possessed with devils” by an “and” plus a comma. There are two distinct groups of people here. There are people who are sick as in gout, cancer, fevers, bloody issues, etc. etc. and those who were possessed with devils. Everyone who is sick is not necessarily possessed with a devil. We live in fallen bodies and in a fallen world. The whole creation itself is groaning like a woman giving birth.

Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

As we do, waiting for our hurting, physical bodies to be redeemed, which is called the adoption.

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Notice in the following verses Matthew with the wisdom the Holy Spirit has given him even separates the mentally ill from the demon possessed.

Matthew 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.

Christ is healing people that are sick, with real diseases. He is really healing them, not like Benny Hinn or some modern, wicked and fake faith healer. It is sickening to see even Baptists who should know better following this evil and uplifting Benny Hinn’s name in prayer services as if he was genuine. I don’t want to get into a discussion at this point about whether or not the gifts of healing even exist in the post-Apostolic age. Leave it to say that Christ can heal you and He doesn’t need a third party to do it, particularly one that is not found in the children’s hospitals but rather having rallies at the local civic center and making a ton of money doing it.

We have devolved from the beginning when diseases aren’t mentioned through the time of Christ when they are a prominent threat to today where some scientists suggest that genetically each generation has an increase in deleterious genetic mutations, another argument against a long existence of mankind on earth. With our improved sanitation, understanding of infection, and more advanced healthcare in First World countries we have improved, through the knowledge God has allowed us to have, the lifespan of all individuals who have access to these things. Now, although severely handicapped people are not likely to reproduce, many people who would have never had the chance to produce survivable offspring are now not only able to do so but to actually thrive with the help of welfare and other collective machinery.

More people in the western world with the diseases that faced the population of Judea in the time when Christ walked the earth are able to survive and even to produce offspring than ever before. Symptoms of some diseases can be treated even if the disease itself can’t be cured. Our traditional, superficial Christian culture encourages mercy and care for the sick and the weak, unlike some other cultures. We replace some diseases with disease producing conditions like obesity and a sedentary lifestyle and things such as antibiotic resistant bacteria due to our overuse of antibiotics thwart our efforts to fight some diseases. As most of us know by now, the older we get the more likely we are to develop some type of cancer where our very cells rebel against our bodies. This is the natural state of mankind and all creation. Death was brought into THIS world of creation by sin. The only remedy is the Lord Jesus Christ. It may be all of our fates to die once but it is your choice whether or not you will face the second death of eternal agony in a lake of unquenchable fire, which is also mankind’s natural fate. Choose Christ.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mark 1:31 commentary: healing the sick

31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.

Notice that Christ’s healing allows her to jump up and get moving. This is a parallel or type of what happens to a person when they trust Christ and He saves them. They are immediately saved. It is not a gradual process. The saved person then should right away begin in their own personal service for Christ, seeking His will, reading His Bible, and in prayer, offering up the sacrifices of praise (Jeremiah 17:26; Hebrews 13:15.) Notice she wasn’t ordered to do it. She wasn’t guilted into doing it. No one tried to emotionally manipulate her into doing it. No one screamed at her. She just did it. The passage doesn’t say how she ministered unto them. She must have done it in the way she knew how to minister, as she had been doing for Simon Peter, Andrew, and Peter’s wife, out of response to her own gratitude and thankfulness.

This is also a picture of what happens to you when you are mired in a particular sin and through God speaking to you through His words in His Bible He plucks the sin out of your heart. It is immediate. Suddenly, and I mean, in an instant, in the “twinkling of an eye” I had no desire for alcohol. One day when I went back to look at some ads for a new horror movie I found that I was no longer interested in horror movies. It was sudden, quick, instantaneous. It comes from reading God’s words and believing them and expecting God to change you in whatever way He wishes through them. God does and can do certain things quickly. If you read His Bible believing and expecting Christ can deliver you from a sin.

It’s important, therefore, that this verse says “and immediately.” Most modern version of the Bible remove those words. This is done on the authority of a handful of corrupt manuscripts like Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, two “ships” of Alexandria (they are called Alexandrian manuscripts by scholars) taking the Christian back to Rome. (Read about Paul’s journey in the latter part of Acts around 27:6 and 28:11 to understand this reference.) Perhaps they would want you to believe your salvation is a gradual process that comes after you have climbed many steps to heaven, which is not a Biblical idea.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mark 1:28-30 commentary: Simon Peter's mother-in-law

28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee. 29 ¶ And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.

John 1:40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.

Simon Peter, whom the Catholics regard as the first pope, has a wife. They claim he left his wife and followed Jesus. See 1 Corinthians 9:5 for the negation of this. Cephas is also Peter’s name as per John 1:42. Peter wouldn’t let anyone worship him either. See Acts 10:25 to see how bad a pope Peter made. All Popes encourage worship of their persons.

Anon means immediately and this can be found out by looking at all of its usages in context by comparing scripture with scripture. Look at Mark 4 and Matthew 13.

Matthew 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

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;

Another Bible method of interpretation is to look at words in common that surround like words in context. You have “And straightway,” “And forthwith,” “And immediately,” and “And anon,” in the passages surrounding this incident which all mean immediately or right away.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mark 1:27 commentary: Jesus is THE Lord and THE Christ

27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.

Jesus Christ has absolutely authority over devils. They can’t stand against him. So, how can they influence Christians? How is it possible? Perhaps because the so-called Christian has been serving another Jesus and another gospel and don’t have the power of the real Lord Jesus Christ in their lives.

2Corinthians 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

All of our lives as Christians we are in a spiritual battle. Many are confused. For instance some people will say “Jesus is Lord” emphatically, but that is a spiritual heresy. Jesus is THE Lord, not just Lord.

1Corinthians 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Jesus is the Christ, not just Christ or a Christ, as new ager Alice Bailey might have said.

1John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

These are seemingly little things but beware of people who say words don’t matter. Watch for preaching from a pulpit “Jesus is the reason for the season”, and “Jesus is Lord”, and “Jesus is God”, and many other seemingly strong acclamations of who Jesus is without underscoring His unique authority. You can believe a lot about Jesus Christ and still go to Hell. The Scriptures tell us exactly what we must believe about Him to be saved.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mark 1:25-26 commentary: Jesus rebukes an unclean spirit

25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. 26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.

There are unclean spirits in this assembly. Don’t be so arrogant to assume that they aren’t in your assembly. How many people in your church are oppressed or possessed by devils? Much of the spirit of division and apathy in our church bodies are the result of the activities of devils working with natural human rebellion. When the congregation seems lackadaisical about God’s word and you hear many people say, “I don’t read the Bible because I don’t like to read” and “I don’t listen to the Bible because I don’t have time” then you can be sure that there are spirits of lethargy and apathy working with the natural rebellious and lazy nature of the Christians.

If you hear a Preacher discount the word of God as being not as important as his ministry and your adoration of the preacher and his ministry you can be sure that the congregation is being held fast by devils and that the much needed revival is not possible.

Until a Preacher deals with the activities of devils in the assembly God won’t use that assembly. They’ll just go through the motions. Look at the charges given to the churches in Revelation’s first three chapters carefully.

If you don’t believe in evil spirits or possession and oppression by devils then you don’t believe the Bible which clearly says such things are so. People say I want to quit smoking or I want to quit drinking or that drugs or pornography have a hold on them. They insist that they really do want to be free of it but they also admit that they have failed so far, made many unkept promises to God and to themselves, and just can’t seem to shake the beast that has sunk its talons into their spiritual heart. In these verses in Mark the Word of God rebukes the unclean spirit and it leaves.

God sanctifies His people through His words.

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

The Word of God is not physically here walking around in the flesh to speak to unclean spirits but through His words He can and will drive those unclean spirits from you. It is through the words of God and prayer that we can triumph over sin and the unseen world.

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

It is by the words of God, the word of God, that we will triumph over Satan.

1John 2:14b …….I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

The word of God is quick and powerful and you must come to it expecting something to happen. Surrender what is oppressing you to its control.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

There is nothing that God cannot do that is within His will. No evil force or spirit can stand against Him. Believe that, expecting God to work in your life and in your heart. Swim in His words. Devour them. Trust in them. You can’t do it yourself. Be sure that thing will tear you when it leaves. There is always a consequence for entertaining sin. The scars will remind you of what you've been grappling with for the rest of your life.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mark 1:19-24 commentary: a devil's acknowledgement

19 And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. 20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him. 21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. 22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 ¶ And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.

Notice that Jesus calls James and John and they not only leave their job and their father but come after him right then. Jesus is asked by someone if he can return to say goodbye to his family when called after another asks to have time to bury his father and Jesus answers in the negative.

Luke 9:59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. 61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

These are valuable lessons to learn. In verse 60 the dead, Jesus is referring to, are the spiritually dead. But, Christians should not take this out of context and deny the mission field that is their family. Christ is not physically present on earth calling you to physically walk away from your responsibilities to follow Him. No Christian today is glorifying God by turning his back on his responsibility and testimony before his family. The lessons that this teaches are not to turn back to your old way of living and to leave it immediately. Your family may reject you but you should not reject them, only their lifestyle of personal sin like idolatrous worldy affections, tobacco use, alcohol use, and worldly entertainments. You should be walking away from how they live and what they hold as valuable, and turning to Christ. Maybe you will have to leave a reunion where a bunch of drunk relatives are acting like fools or someone’s home where you are visiting where they break out the beer and put on a vulgar DVD. But, never forget that you yourself came out of that lifestyle. You are in a great position to be an example and an inspiration to them and you should love them even more now that you have a heart for their lost souls.

I believe that following Christ and the Apostle’s example literally is a very tough thing to do just as thinking you are pleasing God by following the Old Testament law is. There are specific things in the Bible for specific people at specific times that do not apply to your current situation. Not being aware of these differences can lead you to terrible things or even to just being a sanctimonious boor. For instance, when you read Paul’s letters to the Christian churches the first few are addressing specific issues that those specific churches went through. Be careful in trying to apply them too liberally to your own situation. You can get tied up in knots and wind up running off the path on which you’ve been set.

Read the Bible thoroughly and carefully and understand to whom a passage is written and in what time and under what circumstances it is written. Is it applicable to you? Does it contradict what the Holy Spirit through the wisdom He gave Paul (2 Peter 3:15) has said?

So, as in these verses note that Christ is creating for Himself a group of men to spread His words just as He, being God, called out Abraham from Ur to prepare a people unto himself.

I am including the synagogue incident in Capernaum in this same group of verses because Christ’s newly called band is with Him.

The Devil and his minions are willing to admit that Jesus Christ is the Holy One of God. If you just refer to the Lord Jesus Christ as “the One” or “the Holy One” you haven’t done any more than a devil. Identify him. Beware of Bibles who refer to Jesus as “the One”. That is a devil’s acclamation.

There is a modern Bible version that blasphemously reflects the new age witch Alice Bailey’s stated doctrine of “The Coming One”, with Jesus as an avatar, one of many teachers that has graced mankind. The Authorized Version renders Matthew 11:3 as simply;

Matthew 11:3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

While the New King James Version, with the Satanic Triquetra on the cover, a symbol you can buy at many witches’ shops online, says;

Matthew 11:3 “and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?"”(NKJV)

Also, there is a grammatical theme in these verses. Going back to verse 18’s “And straightway” to verse 20’s “And straightway” with the same in verse 21we have a sense of urgency and immediacy as Mark is moving from one scene to another. Keep this in mind in a few verses. Straightway is immediately.

Finally, last but not least, notice that Christ, like the Bible I am quoting from, speaks with authority that others can’t duplicate. No one can compare the majesty and authority of the Authorized Version of the Bible to the simpering, banality of most modernistic versions. No one can compare the authority of God in the flesh speaking to a faker like Buddha, Mohammed, or Confucius.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mark 1:16-18 commentary: we are like fish in the sea

16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

God calls you right where you are. These men were called into full time service to the Lord. Most of us, though, are called to serve right where we are in our job.

But, in these verses, the literal God of the literal universe is literally calling these self-employed fishermen to leave their work and follow Him in faith to do His purpose. And that is exactly what they do. Would you walk away from your nets, from your family business, to follow Christ?

Note the “fishers of men” reference.

Habakkuk 1:14 And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them?

And another interesting reference in the same book.

Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Do you remember the book of Genesis, chapter 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.

In the 1990’s a European International Space Observatory detected enough water being produced in the far reaches of space in the Orion Nebula (Job 9:9; 8:1; Amos 5:8) to replace the Earth’s oceans sixty times a day. Lot of water out there, wouldn’t you say?

By the way, as a side note, remember the next verse?

Genesis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Sound traveling through water can produce a phenomenon called SONOLUMINESCENCE. That was detected in 1934 while developing sonar. Of course, a phenomenon has been known since the 1960’s called Gamma Ray Bursts where the most luminous electromagnetic event in the universe takes place “billions of light years away.” Not all light in the universe comes from the stars. However, I am certain this is, spiritually, a reference to the light of Christ as compared with John, chapter 1, the first 18 verses of which are great memory material for witnessing.

Genesis 1:16 ……he made the stars also.

There is also a theory, unproven and in some circles considered discredited, entitled SONOFUSION where sound passing through water might nuclear fusion.

Okay, back to Mark. I think it’s interesting how we can view ourselves as being at the bottom of a vast ocean and Christ pulls us up like fish in a net. Just an intriguing thought to me. One day, when Christ returns, the people of the earth will swim in the knowledge of God.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mark 1:15 commentary: a kingdom is offered to Israel

15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

In Matthew, he says the kingdom of heaven. Either they are the same or both things are being offered at the same time. The truth is that the kingdom of heaven is the physical kingdom offered to the Jews and the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom into which they and later the Gentiles can enter by the new birth. This was shown in Matthew. When Jesus is physically present on the earth they are both being presented at the same time. When He is not physically present we have the kingdom of God inside each of us who believe waiting for the kingdom of heaven to be established upon Christ’s return.

Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

The kingdom of heaven is a physical kingdom and Matthew presents them both speaking some things of the kingdom of heaven and some things of the kingdom of God. Notice this verse in Daniel on a physical kingdom that smashes all others.

Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

If you lay out the verses containing the kingdom of God and the verses containing the kingdom of heaven in Matthew you can see the differences between the two, subtle as they are. Insisting that they are both the same begins to cloud the imminent return of Christ to set up His kingdom on earth.

The main theme of the Bible is a kingdom. First, you have Satan coveting the throne of God over the universe.

Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Adam is given the dominion over created life by the God who created him.

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.

With Adam’s disobedience he loses his rightful, lawful dominion over creation, surrendering it to Satan who is now the god of this world.

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.

Luke 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

The world systems and all of the things that man holds as glorious and important; war, financial success, power, education, art, architecture, music, sports, and every part of the world system is controlled by the god of this world not by the God of the Bible. There are no Christian nations, only Christian people. The God of the Bible doesn’t rule the modern nation-state, He rules in the hearts of His people, in their lives.

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.

The men and women who rule over mankind; kings and presidents, prime ministers and sultans, are the lowest of the low in God’s estimation. Remember, from the book of Job, that Satan can’t do anything to us without God’s permission, often for reasons we can’t possibly understand.

Daniel 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

When Christ returns, THEN He takes over the kingdoms of the world.

Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Every barbarity and act of murder committed by so called Christians throughout history from the crusades to burning Anabaptists or others has been performed by people trying to bring in the physical kingdom of heaven without the king present, with themselves in His place, but without having the kingdom of God in control of their innermost selves. Anyone who tells you right now that he, she, or his or her church is ruling the world in Christ’s place or will rule the world as Christ’s agent on earth before His physical return either is a bloody, mass murderer or has the potential to become one. Beware of anyone talking about “bringing in the kingdom” or any other such talk who mixes in talk of physical conquest or control as a means of establishing Christ’s rule on the earth without Christ physically present. You can identify them as people who will baptize infants who have no idea of what’s happening to them and they will attempt to control governments and infiltrate political parties, all, of course, to further God’s cause. They are often either control freaks or sheep following the control freaks. Some of their character traits include misogyny as well as a contempt for God’s other creations. They love war and see it as simply another means of diplomacy all in God’s name. They will justify their murders as doing God’s will and they often sincerely believe their own press. They want their version of Armageddon to come and they will do their part to bring it on. They are more dangerous than any atheist or secularist could hope to be.


Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.


Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

God acknowledges that the time is ready for both of these kingdoms to be offered, to wrench control from Satan, who is not a counter God, a bad God in opposition to the good God as in the Persian religion. God is and always has been in control over all things. God has allowed Satan, because of man’s sin, to run things in opposition to Him while He redeems mankind from his sin and rebellion and here Jesus Christ is offering the two kingdoms in one, with God ruling over all.

God’s timetable called for Jesus to come the first time as He will the last time by God’s timetable, not ours;

Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Christ will come back one day, in His time, and set up the Jew as promised.

Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

God has a timetable and nothing can thwart it.

John 1:29 ¶ The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 1:35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;

John 1:43 ¶ The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.

John 2:1 ¶ And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

The third day from what? There is no reason of chronology to put “the third day” in this passage except for prophetic importance. This gives us the timing of a marriage feast. The marriage supper of the Lamb is what I’m assuming.

Revelation 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Note what Jesus says to His mother in the passage in chapter 2.

John 2:4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

Jesus in other places shows that God’s timing is important.

John 7:6 Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.

The gospel of the Kingdom of God preached here is not the same gospel that we would preach today. Look at this;

Mark 13:10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations. 11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. 12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. 13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

This isn’t the gospel of grace that Paul preaches. This is the gospel that will be preached in the Tribulation. A casual reading of Revelation will show this. When you read the Tribulation epistle, Hebrews, you see in chapter 6, verses 4 to 6, that if they lose their salvation by “falling away” or going over to the enemy they can’t get saved again. This is not the gospel of salvation by grace through faith that Paul preached. This is a different gospel for a different time. Without the dispensationalism of the early church the Bible is a confused mess. Rightly divide the word of truth as it says in 2 Timothy 2:15.

Preachers who say that it’s all the same from beginning to end and that God doesn’t have different plans for people under different dispensations make the Bible contradict itself. Why do they force something that isn’t true? To give themselves authority over the word of God. Satan will set up two conflicting authorities so that a man has to be the referee and be the final authority rather than the clear words of scripture. The Catholics and modernist Protestants are always calling into question what God has said. The so-called Bible Believing King James Bible Baptist simply will confuse the word of God so the end result is the same; you can’t understand the Bible without the Pastor, and you will be taught to twist the scriptures to justify your own personal convictions or your church doctrines, thereby destroying the source of your convictions. This is the dark side of fundamentalism in America and the reason we can safely call this church age as the Laodicean Age with Laodicea meaning “the people judge” or even “the people’s rights”.

Doctrinally, the King James Bible, the Authorized Version, is set up in doctrinal order with the four gospels being a transition between the Old and the New Testament, with Acts being a transitional book showing the ongoing revelation to the early church, Paul’s letters referring to the age of the Christian church, the General Epistles with the Tribulation, and then Revelation with the end. This is the simple rule of understanding. Any verse in the Bible that does not contradict the verses in the Church Age letters of Paul can be safely applied to you in this dispensation. However, it is clear that some conditions exist in Moses’ time that do not apply in Paul’s and afterward.

So, here the kingdom of God is offered. The Jews are told to turn from what they are dependent upon to justify themselves, to repent, and turn to their Christ, their Messiah, their King. They are called to believe the Gospel of Christ’s authority over them, of the salvation He is offering to the nation of Israel. Remember, He is alive and has not been crucified or rose for the dead yet. No one is justified by faith in His resurrection yet. This is a different Gospel, a Gospel of Christ’s direct and present rule over His people, Israel. It is “at hand” or as that phrase is used in the Bible, there is nothing that by necessity stands between the kingdom of God and its fulfillment. Nothing except the Jews reception of it. The proverbial ball is in their court.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mark 1:14 commentary: the kingdom of God

14 ¶ Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

John had a brief ministry of a few months after a life of preparation then came his execution. For those unbelievers who don’t believe in eternal life this would make no sense.

One of the interesting things to note is that modern versions of the Bible, based on a small handful of corrupted manuscripts, change the ending of this verse to “preaching the gospel of God” or “preaching the good news of God.” Now, here’s a verse that has Jesus declaring that His kingdom is coming and the modernists change it to where it could be referring to any supposed good news about anyone’s concept of God. Jesus wasn’t just preaching about God. He was preaching about His coming kingdom. This is very important doctrinally to wrap our minds around, a coming kingdom where Christ, the God of the Bible, would rule in our spiritual hearts is far more important than any general proclamation about a general concept of God we might invent in our carnal minds.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mark 1:12, 13 commentary: with the wild beasts

12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. 13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

As soon as He gets glory, Satan wants to destroy it. Satan is our great enemy. As soon as you get saved He attacks. As soon as a saved person gets closer to God, Satan tortures him. Read the Book of Job to see what God can allow in your life to try you. But, the book of Job tells you that Satan can’t do anything to you without God’s permission.

Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Forty days was a time of testing for Moses on Mount Sinai, the mount of God;

Exodus 24:18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

Exodus 34:28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

Deuteronomy 9:9 When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water:

Deuteronomy 10:10 And I stayed in the mount, according to the first time, forty days and forty nights; and the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also, and the LORD would not destroy thee.

Forty days was a time of testing for Elijah on the same mount of God;

1Kings 19:8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb* the mount of God.

*Exodus 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

*Sinai is another name for Horeb and the two are used interchangeably. If you do a Bible computer search you will see this. Sinai is an area with Horeb being the specific mount as can be seen by examining these two names.

Exodus 16:1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai ….

Exodus 19:1 ….the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.

Exodus 19:2 …..and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness….

Jesus is with the wild beasts here, literal animals. A spiritual application for us would be devils. For instance, every one of us has their own wilderness experience where we were alone in a time of testing with our own thoughts, fears, and temptations. They only thing that could comfort us, even if we weren’t aware, were the angels that God sent (Isaiah 63:9) and the malignant spirits that were around us tormented us. For those more worldly minded and steeped in modernism just imagine your faith in God sustaining you while malicious emotions and negative feelings of doubt assaulted you. Your child is sick, maybe dying, you’re losing your marriage, your job, maybe your freedom. You are alone in a desert place, a place of testing, tempted by Satan, who hates you with a fury because you no longer belong to him.

Here, at the Cross;

Psalm 22:12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. 13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

22:16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

Here, at the Second Advent;

Isaiah 34:7 And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. 8 For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. 9 ¶ And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. 10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. 11 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. 12 They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing. 13 And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. 14 The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. 15 There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate.

Know any literal owls capable of living in a lake of fire?

See how birds are likened to the devil;

Mark 4:4 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.

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.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mark 1:10-11 commentary; the Trinity

10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: 11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Holding on to verse 10 again we have an important Bible doctrine at which to look.

In these two verses we have the Trinity with the Spirit and the Father and the Son. Also note these following;

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:

2Corinthians 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.

If we want to be pleasing to God the Father we must try to do in our weakness what Christ did perfectly. Obey Him.

Mark 7:37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

John 8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

There is a great gulf fixed between Jesus Christ and you. You can’t make it with all of your high minded spirituality. God is pleased with Jesus Christ and you better get His Spirit into you or you’re sunk. You need His righteousness because your own stinks.

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

The only way you’ll please the Father is through the Son.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mark 1:9-10 commentary: baptized

9 ¶ And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. 10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

Jesus submits to John’s baptism and we are to also submit to water baptism after we believed. Without belief baptism is just getting dunked. Notice that Jesus is immersed, not sprinkled.

See below that one is condemned, not for not being baptized, but for not believing. Baptism neither saves nor condemns you. It is a symbol and an act of obedience.

Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Baptized is not really a translation but a transliteration of the Greek word, Baptizo. Now, it’s important to understand that there are two things about Baptism in the Bible you should know. One, there are never any children or infants, in particular, baptized. Two, that all baptisms are by total immersion, that is under the water, not by sprinkling. The word, Baptizo, used in Greek literature always refers to getting under the water, not being sprinkled by it.

Many secular Greek texts bring this out clearly. Pindar, born in 522BC writing in his Olympian Ode, in likening himself to a cork floating on top of a fishing net says, “I, the cork in the net, ride not drenched (baptized) in the brine.” Aristotle, born about 384 BC, speaking of discoveries made beyond the Pillars of Hercules (the Straits of Gibraltar) out in the Atlantic, says that the Phoenician colonists of Gadira “came to certain desert places full of rushes and sea weed; which, when it is ebb-tide, are not baptized (overflowed)”. Polybius, born about 205BC, speaking of the sea battle between Philip and Attalus, tells of one ship’s hull being broken through and being baptized (sunk) by an enemy ship. The list goes on; Diodorus, Strabo, etc. etc.

But, then all you had to do was read the Bible’s text and the context and believe it, didn’t you?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mark 1:5-8 commentary: many came to be baptized, confessing their sins

5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

I was given a vial of water by a former high school classmate who conducts pagan religious ceremonies for tourists at places like the pyramids in Egypt. It is water from the spot on the Jordan River where tradition says Christ was baptized by John the Baptist contained in a vial purchased at an abbey or church at Glastonbury in England that tradition says was founded by, among others, Joseph of Arimathea. This meaningless relic I mention only as a curiosity.

Here is the word “all” is used without distinction as you can see by comparing this verse to Luke 7:30. This is not “all” without exception, as in every person in Judea. Some obviously did not.

See how “all” is used here. Here is “all” without exception.

Romans 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

The one exception is Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

6 And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;

Here John the Baptist is dressed like Elijah, as well as coming in the power and spirit of Elijah.

2 Kings 1:8 And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.

Elijah plows hearts to prepare the field for the sower of the seed.

7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.

This is where we get the phrase, “I’m not worthy to untie [a certain person’s] shoes.”

Elijah is truly humble. Most of the time when you hear a Christian get up in church and say, “I’m a wicked sinner”, you know he doesn’t believe that. He believes he’s ‘all that and a bag of chips’ with God.

8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

Here are two distinct baptisms mentioned. One, literally with water, and two, literally with the Holy Ghost. In Matthew 3:11 there are three baptisms in one verse;

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

You don’t want the third baptism. You don’t want anything to do with the Lake of Fire.

Ephesians 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

There is one true Lord but many lords;

1Corinthians 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

The true baptism that Mark tells you about Jesus doing puts you into Jesus Christ. It’s not by water but by the Spirit.

1Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

You must be baptized with the Holy Ghost to receive Christ.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mark 1:4 commentary: remission of sins

4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

John’s baptism is the one that the apostles use in the early church when dealing with Jewish proselytes. It is a baptism for the nation of Israel to turn from their sins. It is not the baptism that Gentile Christians received after believing. This is for the remission of sins to the nation of Israel.

Acts 2: 37 ¶ Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Luke 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. 29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

Acts 18:24 ¶ And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

This is remission, as in “your cancer is in remission”. The sins aren’t gone but are remitted by the blood of bulls and goats until the final work of the Lord Jesus Christ, at which time they are eliminated by being placed on Him.

Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Christ’s sacrifice for our sins is not redone every year. It is once and for all. Read Hebrews, chapters 9 and 10, which I won’t copy here. Try to understand remission’s two applications and under what conditions sins were temporarily remitted and under what conditions they are eliminated completely.

Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

John the Baptist was not offering to take away the sacrifices or the visits to the temple or the observance of the law for the Jews. Only the Lord Jesus Christ would do that, and that for all mankind. John was speaking to a corrupt nation to turn from their sins.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mark 1:2,3 commentary: preparing the way

2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Every new Bible version with the exception of the NKJV has a glaring and deliberate error here. Go ahead, look at your copy. This is a quote of Malachi not Isaiah.

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

The error in the modern Bibles comes from the early church “father”, Origen, who may have had a problem with the deity of Christ, where this would make Jesus Christ to be Jehovah God of the Old Testament. For those who don’t believe that He is then they have to explain this problem.

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Titus 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

2Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

2Peter 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

2Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

Now, look at Isaiah 40 where Jehovah God is speaking.

1 ¶ But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. 5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; 7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. 8 ¶ Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears. 9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth. 10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

If there is one God, Jehovah, and there is no saviour besides Him and Jesus Christ is the saviour, then who is He?

John the Baptist is that “messenger”. He is also an Old Testament prophet.

Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

Jesus declares that John is Elijah.

Matthew 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. 15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Elias is the New Testament translation of Elijah in the Old. John was prophesied before his birth to come in the spirit and power of Elijah.

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

In spite of the fact that John didn’t know it.

John 1:21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

In the same way, when we get to the gospel of John the Apostle we’ll see that Judas didn’t know he was a devil. Elijah will show up at the triumphant return of Christ.

Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.17:1 ¶ And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

Then, going on toward the end of the great tribulation.

Revelation 11:3 ¶ And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. 7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Here is the quote from Isaiah to whom the newer versions of the Bible falsely attributed the previous quote.

Isaiah 40:3 ¶ The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

You’ll find this in Matthew 3:3, Luke 3:4, and John 1:23, as well.

John’s ministry is to plow and to make the way clear for Christ. His preaching is very, very hard, much harder than most Americans can handle. The people’s hearts are very hard because they have a long religious tradition and are very self righteous.

We are to also prepare the way for Christ’s return with our preaching. But, the Christian’s preaching is to have a different tack to it although the flesh might hunger for John’s methods. But, you aren’t John the Baptist, a unique individual in history. You are a Christian, probably a Gentile, and not a Jewish prophet calling on a nation that belonged to God to turn back to God. You are trying draw lost sinners individually out of a lost world to the light of Christ.

2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. 3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

It may not appeal to you. You might find the flesh more liking screaming and shouting anger and paranoia, imagining you are doing the work of a latter day John the Baptist. But, consider what God says in His word, not what your favorite pulpiteer wants you to emulate.

Furthermore, the way the Bible applies Old Testament verses to Christ is our key in understanding Old Testament verses. Examine closely the context and see how individual statements are found inside of a larger context which refer not only to the situation in which the verse is located but also to a later time and a different subject. This is tough, I know, as it creates an air of subjectivity in interpreting the Bible.

However, the key issue in Bible interpretation is not the salary or education of the preacher and scholar or that of the Bible reader but their spiritual condition. You will get truth from the Bible the closer you are and the more submitted you are to Christ and His words. You will get falsehood from the same text and even heresy the less submitted you are to Christ and His words. If you come to the Bible with an agenda; patriotism over loyalty to God’s teachings, a lust for power and control over others, or seek to justify the way you were raised or your own cultural world view then you will get from the Bible what you bring to it.

Proponents of slavery used the Bible to justify slavery. Warmongers use the Bible to justify military adventure. Those possessed by a lust for money use the Bible to justify extreme notions of capitalism. Men who want to beat their wives will use the Bible as an additional weapon.

Come to God’s word expecting God to give you something from it, not wanting an excuse, or to apply your experience to your interpretation. Pray about what you receive. Compare it to other verses. Don’t come to a conclusion based on one verse’s incomplete statement on a subject like marriage and divorce but on all the verses on a subject within the dispensational framework of what is written to you specifically as a Christian. Remember, your religion is how you express your faith. Do not apply your idea of religion to the Bible to justify your practice but apply the Bible to change your idea of what your religion should be. Finally, look for Christ in every chapter, in every verse, and in every word.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mark 1:1 commentary; the good news of Christ to the nation of Israel

1 ¶ The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;

This is not a church age gospel. What comes next is John the Baptist’s presentation of a gospel. No one says to look forward to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to be saved. This is not Paul’s gospel. That comes later. This is John the Baptist clearing the way for a messiah for Israel.

Show me a verse in Mark where someone gets saved by looking forward to the cross. Or explain why the apostles were so clueless about Christ’s impending crucifixion.

One of the ways the Bible defines words is by an allusion in the New Testament to a verse or set of verses in the Old and replacing a word to show its definition. Note what Jesus says here;

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,

Now, see what He is referring to from the Old;

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;

Using two different writers and many translators, separated by a span of hundreds of years in the first case and over a millennium and a half in the latter, the Holy Spirit has given one definition of “gospel” as “good tidings” (good news) just as he has given one definition of “meek” which is “poor”. This is a regular occurrence throughout the Bible and rather than run to a dictionary you can just see which words correspond to each other in like verses for understanding.

The gospel is good news and there are many gospels in the Bible, from the “gospel of Jesus Christ” stated as such only here to the “everlasting gospel” of Revelation 14:6 that God’s judgment is coming and that the world system is about to be destroyed, and much more. The good news here is that Jesus Christ is coming, the Saviour of Israel and then mankind is about to be presented to the world. This is the good news being given. It is not His death for the propitiation of our sins (Romans 3:25, 1 John 2:2) and the sins of the world or his resurrection for our justification (Romans 4:25). This gospel is that the physical image of the invisible God, the Son of God, capital “S”, Israel’s redeemer, the Saviour, is about to be introduced.

This was the angel of the Lord, the appearance of God on the earth in the Old Testament, (Judges 2:1; Isaiah 63:9) now come in the flesh. Great men before had called themselves the son of God. Alexander the Great, whom legend had it was conceived by Zeus in the form of a serpent cavorting with his mother, had himself declared the son of God in Egypt. Augustus Caesar (Luke 2:1) signed documents as the son of God, deus fide, after declaring that his adopted father, Julius Caesar, had ascended into heaven after a great comet was seen. But the Bible states that only once, did God come in the flesh. All the rest were fakers and liars. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, born in the flesh.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

1John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Contrary to at least one modern Bible version, the NASB, Jesus is not “the only begotten God.” That was a heresy prided by the Arians, who like modern Jehovah’s Witnesses denied the deity of Christ as having always been God, written by the early church leader, Origen, who wrote it both ways. Origen, steeped in Greek philosophy and worldly scholarship, quoted the Bible over 30,000 times, even quoting contradictory verse renderings. He was the originator of the modern Christian philosophy, “hey, it’s all good.” Well it isn’t all good.

There is truth. There are lies. One truth. Many lies. Jesus Christ is the only truth, the only way for man to approach God.

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.

If you belong to a so called church or a civic group that doesn’t believe John 14:6 you better get out now, while you can. Judgment, yours or the world’s, is coming and it won’t be good news for you if you don’t acknowledge Christ for who He is.

The Gospel According to Mark - Introduction

The Gospel According to Mark with special thanks, first, to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then to Brother Donovan and Dr. Peter Ruckman for their commentaries and thoughts which I will borrow from liberally along with Matthew Henry, John Gill, and many others. Last but not least, my wife Beth will undoubtedly inspire me and give me some great ideas.

Mark is the shortest of the four gospels, written between 60-64 AD. It has 16 chapters, 678 verses, and 15,171 words. It is written by John Mark who is a servant, a minister, and he presents Jesus Christ as a suffering servant. Matthew presents Christ as a Jewish King presenting a Jewish kingdom, Luke as a man going back to Adam, and John presents Him as the Son of God, as God Himself in the flesh.

(Roman Catholic tradition says that Mark wrote from hearing the sermons of Peter based on a statement of the early church father, Papias, and subsequent writers basing their knowledge on that writing. Also, tradition claims that he was Bishop of the church of Alexandria. As Roman Catholic tradition, like Baptist tradition, tends toward agenda rather than truth without further information we have only the Bible to go on for sure and we’ll just stick with that.)

Acts 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark. 13:1 ¶ Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 4 ¶ So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.

But, John Mark quits.

13:13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

Perhaps he went back home to Mother.

Acts 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

But, he’s not finished.

Acts 15:35 Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also. 36 ¶ And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. 37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. 39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;

Barnabas, whose name has to do with consolation and restoring someone;

Acts 4:36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

has given John Mark another chance when Paul would not. Paul has a problem with what he perceives to be a quitter. God’s purposes are sometimes at variance with even His most devoted servants. Paul is the one who doesn’t go back to the churches in Cyprus. Barnabas does the noble job of picking someone up when they are down. This is what he did for Paul also in Acts 9.

Acts 9:26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

The fruit of Barnabas’ faith is not until the end of Paul’s ministry.

2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

Paul accepts the value of John Mark to the ministry.

There is no genealogy in Mark because a servant’s genealogy doesn’t matter. All that matters is the master. Mark focuses on the works of Jesus Christ, not His words. Christ is presented as a great example of prayer in this gospel as we will see. A servant is to be a servant of prayer.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Proverbs 31:28-31 commentary; the church's reverence and Godly fear

29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Taking these last three verses of Proverbs we can easily see the literal statements in favor of the virtuous woman, the excellent wife. As for the church, the meaning is clear. What it means to fear the Lord has been talked about several times in the past two years of this study. Here, the woman that fears the Lord shall be praised.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 2:5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

Proverbs 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

This is the kind of reverence due God.

Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

2Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Her own works will praise her in the gates, which represents judgment. So ends my commentary on Proverbs this go around. I hope you’ll write a commentary on a book of the Bible and post your thoughts and prayers about it. I want to thank the Holy Spirit from whom I prayerfully received a lot of ideas and the hunger to read and study the Bible and write about it, each day guiding me softly, Dr. Ruckman, Brother Donovan, Matthew Henry, John Gill and many others but last and not least my wife, Beth, who reads her Bible every morning to a great extent and gave me some terrific ideas for my commentary, who really got me thinking about the church in this last part of Proverbs most importantly.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Proverbs 31:28 commentary: the church's praise

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

To call someone blessed here is synonymous with praising them as you can see by the context and the parallel phrasing. Blessed also carries with it from its very first mention God’s gift of being fruitful and multiplying as Genesis reveals.

Genesis 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

To be sanctified, or set apart for God’s purpose;

Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

For others to be blessed as well through the person who is blessed;

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

And, among other things, as here, to praise and honour someone;

Daniel 4:34b …and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:

The church’s children are those who have been saved through her ministry.

1Corinthians 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

And Christ is her husband who will also praise her if she be found doing His will as in the first part of this verse;

Matthew 25:21a His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant:

Perhaps the rising up refers to the translation of the church when all of the church, living and dead, are removed to heaven for the marriage supper of the Lamb before Christ returns with her to take over the world.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Revelation 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

There is something to rejoice about.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Proverbs 31:27 commentary: the busy church

27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

The church takes care of the needs of its people. This includes physical needs and spiritual. No one in the church who doesn’t have a family to help them should go without food, shelter, heat, or clothing. No one in the church should go without spiritual needs met. The church should be teaching how to read the Bible; to find instruction and comfort from it, to be taught by the Holy Spirit through it. Each time the church meets they should be edified by preaching and teaching, singing together and prayer. Singing together is a great bonder. The famous fighting group “The French Foreign Legion” uses the singing of martial songs to build the team spirit. Trainees are punished by extra physical training who don’t sing with all their hearts. I watched this (in a film, of course) at a place where they trained called “The Farm.” It was truly remarkable.

The church is not slothful. Idleness is not part of her agenda. There are needs to be met, the gospel to be preached, the Bible to be taught, and souls to be led closer to the Lord who created them and away from the usurper who seeks only to destroy. The church that is not about the Lord’s business is prone to infiltration by Satan and his ministers. The church is not a social club where “good people” meet once to three times a week to feel spiritual. The church is a living, breathing organism, the body of Christ on earth with the head in heaven.

Always looking up, but with hand and heart stretched out to those around her, the church fulfills hits mission in the world, while it is still here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Proverbs 31:26 commentary: the church's wisdom

26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

We’ve gone over this many times. It has been a recurring theme of the spiritual application of Proverbs. Wisdom is held aloft; God’s wisdom. Our wisdom is Jesus Christ.

1Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

1Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

The church has no political message to offer nor a message of conformity to societal norms nor is the Bible a supplement to Emily Post’s book of etiquette. The church is about Jesus Christ, the risen Saviour. It is not about your convictions, your prejudices, your bigotry, your patriotism, your loyalty to the policies of your favorite president and party, or how you were raised. It is to be about Christ. Christ is what is supposed to come out of the church’s mouth.

And it is to be done in kindness.

Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

Remember that the next time you feel like screaming Bible verses at people on the way to work. Is Christ’s wisdom coming out of your mouth and is it done in kindness, preaching kindness?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Proverbs 31:25 commentary: she shall rejoice

25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

Strength, in Biblical terms, can be the produce of something, the result of its efforts.

Genesis 4:12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

Genesis 49:3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:

In the Bible, God is said to be our strength.

Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

As you can see by Genesis 49:3 above, strength and power are synonyms. So it is in the following verse, as well, among others.

Psalm 68:35 O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.

The church is clothed in honour because the church honours God.

1Samuel 2:30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

(Notice how “despise” in the above verse is synonymous to lightly esteem.)

When judgment comes the person or thing judged is either honoured or condemned. Here is honour again as praise and extol.

Daniel 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

The church’s rejoicing is not now but in time to come (although we rejoice constantly now because we have an expectant hope for that time to come.) Before the influence of Greek philosophy the church’s vision was always looking upward expectantly waiting for Christ to return. That was a fundamental part of her mission. But when Sophistic sermons and philosophy became dominant in the church as many people steeped Greek higher learning, rhetoric, and standards entered in, the church lost her first love and began to look to earthly control and moral teaching rather than casting off the values and cares of this world and looking for a better country in heaven.

Titus 2:11 ¶ For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

That statement comes first before the following verse;

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Christians are called to good works but rather than redecorating the waiting room to Hell, they are to be focused upward and outward to the expectant return of the Lord Jesus Christ to rule. “…she shall rejoice in time to come.”

A church that does good works, feeds the poor, helps the sick, and supports the weak without presenting the gospel is simply another worldly humanitarian organization just as a church who preaches without doing those things is simply an empty shell (James 2:16.)

The Lord is the church’s strength and she is honored because she lifts Him up. Because of these things she shall rejoice when the Lord returns to call her out, then returns with her to rule the earth. Think about that.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Proverbs 31:24 commentary: the church and good works

24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

When we leave the literal application as to the activities of the virtuous woman we can look at this as being the good works the church does.

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.

Fine linen is representative of righteousness.

Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

A girdle was a type of belt or sash worn around the waist or it would be something that encircles a belt. Sometimes it was a garment that gave support and extended below the waist. It symbolized strength as in the following verse that is mentioned.

2Samuel 20:8b ….and upon it a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out.

So, here is a symbolic statement of the church’s works in righteousness and her commerce with the world represented by the merchant. Commerce, by the way, as found in the US Constitution, is a word that means more than just economic interaction. It used to mean any kind of interaction with others, not simply where money or goods changed hands.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Proverbs 31:23 commentary: her husband is known in the gates

23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

I’ve studied “the gates” before and will re-post some of what I had said; The gate is the seat of power, it’s where the judges and elders in an ancient city sat to give judgment.

2Samuel 19:8 Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent.

Amos 5:15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.

The gates represent judgment and can be synonymous with that word.

This sort of gives one an idea of the true meaning of the latter part of this verse;

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The literal woman of these verses is a woman of means and her husband sits in authority in the gates of the city where judgment takes place. He is important and sits among the elders of the land, who make decisions, who judge and rule.

As far as applying this to the church, our king is Christ, the church’s husband is Christ. He sits at the gate in judgment over all the universe. He will judge those who have trusted Him.

Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

2Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

He will judge the unsaved.

Revelation 20:11 ¶ And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

But, while those Christian believers will have their works judged at His judgment seat they are in no danger of losing their salvation.

1 Corinthians 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

While the unsaved, those who have rejected Christ, will suffer eternal damnation because at some point, upon their rejection of their Saviour, their names were removed from the Book of Life in which all person’s names are written. (see Genesis 5:1; Exodus 32:32; Revelation 3:5.)

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

As I’ve shown before the church is the bride of Christ and Christ is the judge of all things.

Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Around the throne of God sit twenty four elders.

Revelation 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

This study of the church continues……