Monday, April 29, 2013

Mark 12:38-40 comments: Beware of the Scribes

38 And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, 39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: 40 Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

Many times Scribes and Chief Priests are linked as synonyms with “and.” (Matthew 2:4; 16:21; 20:18; 21:15; 26:3; 27:41; Mark 8:31; 10:33; 11:18; etc. etc. Scribes are also linked with the Pharisees as synonymous in several verses which you are free to look up (i.e.: Matthew 5:20). Luke calls them lawyers. See Luke 11:44 and 45. So, Scribes are high-ranking priests of the Pharisee group, experts in the Law.

Jesus has just called the Scribes on an error in their understanding of the Old Testament in who the Messiah was to be. Now, he warns the people to beware of these religious know-it-all fakers who like to be viewed as having reached the pinnacle of spiritual perfection. They dress right, receive respect and homage from the unenlightened, sit prominently in the congregation, and emotionally manipulate widows to get their hands on what little they have left to live on, all the while making pretentious long-winded prayers. We have just such phonies in Independent Baptist Churches today.

Many of these pious, scholarly types in the Fundamentalist seminaries would have you think their feet don’t stink or that they walk on water. Manipulators, conceited fakes, haters of women, abusers of children, embezzlers, con-men, and all manner of wicked operators seem to be attracted to positions of influence in church organizations and in the seminaries where they rob the young person of their faith by going on about the original autographs and how you have to know the Greek and the Hebrew to understand the Bible. There isn’t one iota of difference between a man who would rob you of your innocence, your faith, your money, or your Bible. A pervert is a pervert is a pervert.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mark 12:35 - 37 comments: Jesus Christ is God

35 ¶ And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David? 36 For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Psalm 110:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

The LORD is God the Father, the great Jehovah.

37 David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.

How can David be the father of the messiah and call Him, Lord? Jesus Christ is of the lineage of David, therefore his son, but that is impossible, if Christ is his Lord. They didn’t have a father call his son, Lord. So the only possible conclusion is that Jesus Christ is also Jehovah. The Messiah is God manifest in the flesh. The Son of God reveals the great God born into human form.

The common people; rednecks, hicks, whatever racial or cultural slur you want to use, wanted truth.

Isaiah 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

Hosea 13:4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.

There is no Saviour or saviour besides God, Jehovah, the Creator of the Universe.

Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

2Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

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

Jesus Christ is our Saviour.

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

1John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Jesus Christ is God. On previous occasions I’ve pointed out the verses that show that Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God, God’s physical body, and one of three parts of God that can act independently of each other and yet still have the same Will. It’s not rocket science. It’s the Bible.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mark 12: 32-34 commentary: with all your mind and understanding

32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

“There is one God” regardless of how many modern Bible versions delete those words based on a few corrupt Egyptian manuscripts.

33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

In spite of the corrupt Codex Vaticanus and the equally faulty Sinaiticus, “and with all the soul” is supposed to be right where it is. Of course, it is omitted from many modern versions.

Notice the scribe substitutes understanding for Jesus’ word “mind” and is not corrected by Jesus. God wants you to think. He’s not looking for mindless zombies to follow him. Understanding and wisdom are synonyms and things that proceed from the mind of a person who has Christ on the throne of his heart.

Read Romans 12 to see that Christ calls for a constant renewing of your mind in verse 2 and explains what that involves in the verses that follow. A Christian would do well to read that chapter carefully.

1 ¶ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 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; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Now take note of the following verses;

Deuteronomy 11:13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,

Deuteronomy 13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

1Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Micah 6:6 ¶ Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.

To be discreet is to be wise.

Genesis 41:33 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt….39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:

He answered with wisdom. This man is close, but notice that he is not there. He has answered discreetly and not been deliberately argumentative and foolish like the others before him. Now, the intellectual elite are going to stop trying to trick Jesus with questions.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mark 12: 30- 31 commentary: how your love for God shows itself

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

You must first love God with everything you have. That is the foundation upon which everything else is predicated. “This is the first commandment” regardless of how many modern Bible versions delete those words.

Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

The question for the Christian is how is the love for God manifested? What is evidence that a Christian loves God? Some would tell you that it means following the orders of the church organization’s ruler’s in Rome. Some would say that it means doing what your Pastor tells you to do. Some would say that it means complying with their own personal convictions or doing what they tell you to do and supporting their convictions, beliefs, and calling with your money, time, and service.

There are those who say that dying for the cause of Christ proves your love. However, if you died as a martyr simply because you believed that earned you a “ticket to heaven” does that mean that you love God? Or yourself?

What are the physical manifestations, the physical evidence that a person loves the Lord their God with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength? The apostle John said it clearly.

1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

This idea ties the first and greatest commandment to the second. Proof of the love for God is revealed in how you love your neighbor. There’s no way around it. If you love God as you say you do, then love your neighbor. In the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, one’s neighbor is said to be whomever he encounters. Anyone is your neighbor.

But, you say, my brother or sister in Christ, and my neighbor are not necessarily the same. Paul and James reinforce this command, however.

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

James 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

For the Christian, caring for people other than yourself, whether in the body of Christ or without, is the evidence that you love God. It is not your profession of faith. It is your active love for others. Christians, who for purposes of political ideology, profess a disdain for charitable, as in voluntary, giving because “those people” whomever “those people” are don’t deserve it, or who will not help someone or care for someone or do good for someone because they aren’t in agreement with them should not profess they love God. They don’t.

1Thessalonians 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

This is the second commandment. You can’t please God by denying Him and then going off to do good works, to save children in Africa, etc. etc. You must first love God, then your neighbor. I spent fourteen years as a Christian before I understood that I did not love God. It took my daughter’s suicide note to make me realize that she, in her agony, could make a profession that I, who remained alive, could not.

Then, later, I read John Wesley’s sermon, “The Almost Christian”. Now, I am certain that I was saved by Christ back on March 19, 1986 but, like most Christians, I was immediately taken prisoner of war by Satan in full collusion with my flesh. I was useless. My daughter had received Christ as her Saviour on October 7, 1990 but I had spiritually neglected her and starved her. As God’s representative in her life I had failed to ever point toward God. To her, as she cried out, God had abandoned her, in spite of her love for Him. That was because I had spiritually abandoned her. It is a great evil that “Christian” parents commit. It was her death that woke me up. What a horrible price to pay, what a horrible wakeup call. Don’t need God to break you in order to understand.

First, God, then others. It’s a circle. Loving others is evidence you love God. Hatred, paranoia, fear, bigotry, and constant anger are not evidence you love God. Oh, yeah, and your “self” is not mentioned. The key to healthy children and healthy adults is not self-esteem. It is other-esteem. The key to proving your love for Christ is found in your attitude and behavior toward other people.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mark 12:28-29 comment: God is one

28 ¶ And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

Of the many possible reasons that modernists remove “of all the commandments” from this verse in their Bibles is possibly the desire to deny the fact that there is only one God, one Lord. But, besides getting a copyright who can say what their motives for altering and removing verses are? See Deuteronomy 6:4.

Deuteronomy 6:4 ¶ Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

First step. There is one God. Here is where I part company with the hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” with its line “God in three persons, blessed Trinity.” The trinity is the three parts of one person, one God.

God consists of three parts, as we and the higher animals do.

God has a soul, the seat of self-identity and self-will.

Leviticus 26:11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.

Psalm 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

Isaiah 1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.

You know that God has a Spirit, which is the Holy Spirit also called the Holy Ghost (a spirit and a ghost do not have physical bodies bound by the laws of nature). We also know that God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ is the body of God, the visible image of the invisible God.

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

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

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

An image is the appearance of someone as made clear in Genesis.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…

Just as an angel is the presence of someone or something which is actually somewhere else.

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

When angels don’t represent something like a church it appears as a man and there are no angels with wings in the Bible.

Judges 13:6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:

Daniel 9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

Luke 1:19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

Revelation 21:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

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

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

Judges 6:22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face. 23 And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.

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

Galatians 4:14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

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

Humans also have a body, soul, and spirit.

1Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Man’s spirit is how he knows God if his spirit has been made alive and how he is known by God.

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

Animals can have souls or self-identity and will as opposed to simply reacting to chemical and light and heat stimuli like we assume an earthworm would.

Numbers 31:28 And levy a tribute unto the LORD of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep:

Job 12:10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

They also have spirits.

Ecclesiastes 3:21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

Back to the trinity. The three parts of God can, unlike ours, act physically independently of each other. We die if they are separated in us.

Mark 1:10 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.

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

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

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

I have shown that these three parts of God are still God but distinct in their actions and purposes. It is only by faith in His perfection in the flesh and in His resurrection from the dead as a man in the flesh that we can have eternal life. But, God is one, that’s the point of this passage.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mark 12:18-27 comments: the skeptics' mocking question - marriage in heaven?

18 ¶ Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying, 19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 20 Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed. 21 And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise. 22 And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also. 23 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.

Here, on the authority of a small number of corrupt manuscripts, modern versions delete “therefore, when they shall rise,” mirroring the Gnostic heresy that there is no physical resurrection of the dead.

The Sadducees, here, are said to not believe in a resurrection of the dead either. In Acts we learn that the Sadducee is like the modern Christian who thinks the Judeo-Christian tradition is good for our country but doesn’t believe in the supernatural, who believes the Bible contains a positive moral code but doesn’t believe in inspiration or preservation, and the philosophical Christian who, like one of America’s founding generation, Thomas Jefferson, doesn’t believe the deity of Christ or any miracle.

Acts 23:8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.

The Sadducees want to expose Christ’s teaching to the ridicule of the skeptic. Perhaps they believed He’d say something like the woman was the wife of all of the men in eternity or make some pronouncement about spiritual marriage like the Mormons do today. Whatever they thought He would say they were sorely mistaken.

The modern skeptic will say something smarmy about angels with wings and ask you if you’ve ever seen one or know anyone who has seen an angel like John Travolta in the movie Michael and do you really believe in these creatures? They’ll ask the question, not for an answer, but for an opportunity to ridicule.

24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? 25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.

Marriage is an earthly institution, an orderly way by which man and woman come together in the flesh. It is an institution bound by a physical body of flesh. Physical offspring are often the result, even the intended result, of many marriages. The alternative is sin, fornication, in having no regard for the gravity of child-rearing or a commitment for life. Most American Christians mistake government sanction of the arrangement for the institution ordained by God. Yet, they are two completely different things which only come together by the common use of the word “marriage” which doesn’t mean the same thing to the Bible believer as it does to the government, and never has.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Spiritual beings exist under a totally different set of rules which we can’t possibly understand in this finite frame in which we live. The resurrection body will not be driven by the same forces that complicate so many of our lives, not pushed by the same needs, and urges. Jesus makes it clear that marriage is an earthly institution, although ordained by God, but still confined to the realm of the flesh.

The Sadducees weren’t prepared for this answer.

As for angels, there are no angels with wings in the Bible. An angel is an appearance of someone who is someplace else.

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

It can be either the physical appearance of a spiritual being such as God Himself.

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

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

Jesus Christ, who is the visible image of the invisible God, is the angel of God.

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

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Galatians 4:14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

It can be the appearance of a physical being in the spiritual world.

Matthew 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Satan is not a fallen angel. He is a cherub.

Ezekiel 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

The cherubim are beast-like creatures, probably the prototypes for all living things. Read Ezekiel, chapters 1 and 10.

Ezekiel 10:20 This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims.

They surround the throne of God in the spiritual realm of heaven.

Revelation 4: 6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

Jesus accused the Sadducees of not knowing the Scriptures and it is easy to see that most Christians today have the same problem with reading comprehension and a hard heart that the Sadducees had.

26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

Here, Christ blasts their lack of belief in a resurrection. God’s dead are alive in the spiritual world. They will receive resurrection bodies. It is the doctrine of the Adoption.

Romans 8:23 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.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mark 12: 13- 17 comment: whose money is it?

13 ¶ And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.

The fundamentalists and the politically oriented religious party try to catch Him. Just imagine what it looked like to God when Pensacola Christian College testified against Kent Hovind, consorting with the IRS to imprison an evangelist who had had great success in debating against evolution. PCC and the Federal Government are far apart in their beliefs but united in attacking someone working for Christ.

14 And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

Here is the question for us in this time. Do we pay taxes or not? Is not the authority unlawful and isn’t the IRS illegal according to our Constitution? Yes, it is. Wasn’t the amendment that permitted taxing our income the way it is done gotten by lying and corruption? Yes, it was.

15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. 16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. 17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.

Here is your answer. You might refuse to pay your taxes for personal reasons, as a form of rebellion. Maybe its a form of protest. But don’t refuse to pay your taxes and use God as an excuse. You register your church as a tax exempt organization so you can get your people to donate money to your church organization so that they can deduct it from their taxes. You make your church an agent of the state and, in essence, ask the IRS’ permission for certain allowances, and then you complain. Once you make yourself an agent of the state you have no right to complain about the state (government). If Christians didn't participate in the credit economy and seek tax exemptions and the same benefits as everyone else from Caesar, in other words if they didn't support the corrupt system by helping to bankroll it these issues wouldn't arise.

What is Caesar’s? Anything he wants to take since he has the force to take it. If you don’t like the tax code, work to change it through the courts. Don’t refuse to pay. Don’t shoot the tax collector. If you choose to enter into a barter arrangement don't trumpet it and draw attention to yourself.

What is God’s?

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

These aren’t taxable.

What is not Caesar’s? Worship of the king or of the state is not Caesar’s. This is something American Christians seem to be misguided on. Your children belong to God. They are not Caesar’s. You are responsible for their education in God and if you surrender them to the state you are wicked and worship the state. The state has no regard for God. If you turn your children over to the state you are willing to have the Godless civil religion indoctrinate your children against God.

Pay your taxes, obey the laws that don’t go against your commission to preach the Risen Saviour to the lost, educate your children in Christ, pray privately, read your Bible, live in a Godly fashion, or display the fruits (proofs) of the Spirit of God in you.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mark 12:8-12 comment: the corner stone the builders rejected

8 And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. 9 What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.

The mystery of the Church Age was that the spiritual kingdom of God was to be turned over to the Church for a time.

Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

Jesus is the cornerstone of the building and you can’t build a physical, literal kingdom of heaven on earth without His bodily presence unless you plan on working against Him. This is the insanity of all political-state combinations in Christianity, the idea of the Christian Commonwealth. These people think that there can be Christ’s work done on earth by government fiat and by force without a terrible injustice being done to Christ and His message.

The civil magistrate has no say in enforcing any church’s doctrine or any Biblical interpretation. The United States is not the Promised Land and it is not the Kingdom of Heaven. It is held to the same standards as all countries and has the same spiritual entity controlling it as all other countries (2 Corinthians 4:4; Luke 4:5, 6.) A thing is not necessarily good because the American government wills it, all flag-waving and jingoism aside. Our civil government, if it does not stay religion neutral will do great harm to the cause of Christ to draw, not drag, all men to Him. Our government, whether Republican or Democrat, conservative leaning or liberal, tends to pander to any religion that it thinks will give it some benefit, Evangelical Christians for Southern votes, Muslims for oil or political advantage in a Middle Eastern country, or the Roman Catholic Church for Northern votes. If it feels a need to it will pander to atheism to maintain a hold on educational institutions or neo-paganism for Hollywood celebrity endorsements. The American government is a prostitute, as are many democracies.

Christ is the cornerstone of the building of His church and placing civil government in the place of God is a Satanic practice. Until Christ physically returns to take over the kingdoms of the world (Revelation 11:15) His kingdom is invisible and within the hearts of believers (Luke 17:20, 21; John 18:36.)

11 This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

Psalm 118:23 This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

Jesus turns the statement in Psalms into a question.

12 And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.

Some preachers, by this verse’s statement, claim that the Jews knew Jesus was the Messiah, the very Son of God, which is God in the flesh, born in human form. However, they knew He claimed to be equal with God but were they still not ignorant of the truth of His claims? How then, could Jesus plea on their behalf from the Cross and Peter’s statement in Acts have any meaning?

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Acts 3:17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.

I think that clearly they did not believe Him but saw Him as a threat to their position under the Roman occupation because their hearts were hardened and they loved the power they held over the people, in love with their own self-righteousness in the same way that many American Christians have more faith in their faith than they do in Christ. At some point, a person’s religion can wind up being their own personal self-worship. This is how the Jew’s could know what the Scriptures claimed about their Messiah but not believe it in their heart, being ignorant of God’s righteousness and replacing it with their own.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mark 12:5-7 comments: Did the Jews of the first century know what they were doing?

5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some. 6 Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. 7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.

This is a lot tougher parable than it looks. The husbandmen, typology for Israel’s historical rulers, admit, “This is the heir: come, let us kill him.” They had rejected God’s authority over them, even while paying lip service to God, when they demanded a king like the nations around them a thousand years before Jesus.

1Samuel 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

And yet, on the Cross, Jesus implores God the Father to forgive them because they didn’t know what they were doing and Peter acknowledges that in Acts. Well, it might be asked, what is it? Did the Jews knowingly kill God in the flesh, the Son of God, or did they not know what they were doing?

Paul says that Jesus was the seed for whom God made promises to Abraham.

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

All things are His. See Colossians 1:16. Christ is the heir. This parable reveals the paradox of human evil. We know but we don’t believe. Knowledge is in the head, belief is in the heart. Knowledge doesn’t necessarily result in obedience, belief demands obedience. If I know the fire will burn my hand, I still may test it to see if that is indeed so, but if I believe the fire will burn my hand, I will not put my hand in the fire. Christ was revealed through the Scriptures and yet the Jews did not believe what they said although they knew what they said. We are willfully ignorant, and that’s when we’re at our best. Many times we know and believe something is sin, and still do it anyway. Our lust for sin is then greater than our reverence for God.

Head knowledge and heart knowledge are two different things, and the Jews killed Christ not out of a lack of head knowledge but a lack of heart knowledge.

Exodus 4:1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.

To hearken is to obey. If you heard, an act of will, not an accident of sound, you will obey.

Deuternonomy 21:18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:

1Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

The Jews ignorance revolved around their substitution of their own righteousness for God’s which Christians do when they are all puffed up.

Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.