Prepare The Way Of The Lord, Make His Paths Straight
John the Baptist was on an ancient prophetic mission: Prepare the way of the LORD. Make His paths straight. What did that mean? John was a trailblazer, marching off the map, penetrating untrodden and uncharted territory. He solicited an audience for Jesus, denounced their sins, charged them to repent, and called them to be baptized. Then he pointed them to Christ and surrendered his own disciples to Him. Prepare His way. Prepare men for Jesus.
Mark 1:2 - "As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee."
John - The Voice Of One Crying In The Wilderness
Finis Dake wrote that ancient kings typically sent a party of men ahead of their entourage to clear the way - removing brush, brambles, thorns, and smoothing rough places. They also heralded the coming of his majesty. Isaiah 40:3 prophesied such a voice - a herald - in the wilderness for the LORD. And such a man came, in John the Baptist.
Mark 1:6 - "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; And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me."
Jesus Will Baptize You With The Holy Ghost
John's message was a groundbreaker. He commanded men to be baptized unto repentance. They came to the Jordan River, and he immersed them one by one as they repented of their sins. But John prophesied that Jesus would baptize His disciples with the Holy Ghost and fire. Acts 2:4 described how they were baptized in the Holy Ghost. "They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
Mark 1:8 - "I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost."
If Jesus Needed To Be Baptized In Water, So Do We
Jesus insisted that John baptize Him by immersion in water. "Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." If the sinless Christ had to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness, how can we dare say that water baptism is not essential to salvation? Every convert in the New Testament was commanded to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and was. Every excuse fails. Just do it.
Mark 1:9 - "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan."
God Speaks While You Do His Will
When John baptized Jesus, the heavens opened and the Spirit descended upon Him like a dove (not a literal dove, but a spirit-apparition resembling a dove.) It was a sign to John that Jesus was indeed the sent one - a heavenly communiqué. You are most likely to hear from God when you are doing His will.
Mark 1:10-11 - "Straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
Initiated By A Wilderness Trial
It is amazing how many great men of God began their ministries in a "wilderness trial." God removes the hedge of protection, exposing the righteous to merciless opposition
or hardship. Yet, they are never destroyed! Jesus encountered Lucifer face to face - the ultimate test. No man ever faced such diabolic temptation. On an empty stomach, his flesh entirely weakened, Jesus nevertheless soundly defeated Satan. Then angels came and refreshed him. [Photo: Mount Quarantania - Site of The Temptation]
Mark 1:13 - "...he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him."
And The Angels Ministered Unto Him
We cannot truly imagine what Jesus experienced during His forty days in the wilderness, without food, among the wild beasts, and gravely tempted by Lucifer. But in the same vein of thought, neither can I imagine YOUR trial, nor can you imagine MY trial. Nevertheless, by rehearsing the word of God, as Jesus did, we can survive our trial, as Jesus did. The very angels of God will come to our aid.
Mark 1:13 - "And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him."
The Fullness Of Time
Four thousand years of human history served a preeminent purpose. "When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, ...that we might receive the adoption of sons." Not only Israel, but also the entire sinful world desperately needed their Messiah, Savior and Redeemer. Jesus came; not too soon, not too late, for men to be reconciled to God.
Mark 1:14 - "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."
The First Apostles - Simon, Andrew, James, and John
Immediately following His forty-day fast, Jesus began preaching everywhere He went. Without any delay, He began calling His first apostles.
Mark 1:16-20 - "As he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother... Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James... and John his brother, ...And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship..., and went after him."
One Who Had Authority
One of Jesus' first teaching sessions was in the synagogue at Capernaum. The people were astonished. They had never heard anything so powerful and authoritative. The scribes they were accustomed to hearing were only academic in their approach. Jesus was the Creator of all things. Authority? Oh, yes, He had authority. Unimaginable authority. All power in heaven and earth.
Mark 1:21 - "They went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes."
Prayers From An Unclean Spirit Ultimately Fail
Believe it or not, demons pray. Satan successfully asked God for permission to test Job. Nevertheless, he utterly failed to destroy Job. In the cemetery at Gadara, demons successfully begged Jesus to send them into swine, but the swine drowned themselves. In the synagogue at Capernaum, unclean spirits in a man cried out, "Let us alone; ...Jesus of Nazareth. art thou come to destroy us?" If your spirit is unclean, your prayers will backfire, and produce unwanted results.
Mark 1:25-26 - "Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. ...[and] he came out of him."
Directly, They Tell Him Of Her
Today, you can visit the ancient ruins of the synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus cast the devil out of a man, and the house next door where Jesus healed Simon's mother-in-law. After church, take Jesus home for another miracle.
Mark 1:29-31 - "When they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, ...But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her."
Tell The Devil Not To Speak
A believer does not have to helplessly tolerate Satan's verbal assaults. You can tell the devil to shut up, in Jesus' name. In Mark 1:25,34 and Luke 4:35, Jesus commanded devils to "hold thy peace." Any time devils speak, you can expect to hear lies, accusations, perversions, blasphemies and more. Jesus had the power and the ability to silence devils BEFORE they spoke. We should follow His precedent. Tell the devil not to speak, in Jesus' name.
Mark 1:34 - "[He] cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him."
Why start your day with prayer? In the quest for spiritual mastery, we should remember that we are protégés of the great King. We are not self-enlightened. We desperately
need divine guidance. Early morning consultation with the Master sets the tone for the entire day. Without time in His presence, we are destined to pursue a carnal path. Morning prayer establishes a spiritual focus that affects the whole day.
Mark 1:35 - "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."
All Men Seek For Thee
When people look for Jesus, they find Him. While Jesus was in the mountain praying, Peter and the others came, saying, "All men seek for thee." Jesus said, "Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth." There is an inexplicable intersection between divine destiny and the cries of men. God has an eternal plan, but He cherishes being invited into men's lives, and delights in responding spontaneously to those who seek Him.
Mark 1:39 - "And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils."
Simple Prayer Can Produce Dramatic Results
A leper knelt down in front of Jesus. "If you will, you can make me clean." "I will. Be thou clean." A simple prayer can start a dramatic chain of events.
Mark 1:42-45 - "As soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. And He straitly charged him, ...See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, ...for a testimony unto them. But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter. ...and they came to Him from every quarter."
He Saw Their Faith
A crowd packed into the little house in Capernaum, to hear Jesus preach the word. Four men brought one sick of the palsy, but could not get in the door. They UNCOVERED THE ROOF, and let him down! No prayer could have been more effective that day. Jesus saw their faith in action.
Mark 2:5,11-12 - "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. ...Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth."
Jesus' Miracles Were Meant To Prove His Deity
The scribes (teachers in the synagogues) heard Jesus tell the palsied man, "Thy sins be forgiven thee." In their hearts, they accused Him of blasphemy. Jesus confronted them. "Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?" Jesus healed the man to prove that He had power to forgive sins.
Mark 2:12 - "Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion."
A Publican (Tax-Collector) Turned Into An Apostle
In the Roman Empire during New Testament times, "publican" was a sometimes derogatory term referring to a tax collector. Publicans usually paid huge franchise fees to Rome for the right to collect taxes in their province. Publicans could collect whatever amounts they chose, which often made people despise them. But Jesus called a publican named Levi (Matthew) to become one of His apostles. Your reputation means less to God than your potential.
Mark 2:14 - "He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him."
Ask When You Do Not Understand
Sooner or later, you will have questions about Jesus Christ. You will learn something about Him that you do not understand. It is OK to ask questions. Rest assured that He knows the answer.
Mark 2:16-17 - "When the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Not The Whole, But The Sick Need The Physician
Jesus chose a tax-collector for an apostle, kept company with sinners, and excused His disciples from ritual fasting. He said, "When the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, ...then shall they fast." All these things greatly troubled the religionist Pharisees. But Jesus demonstrated that He preferred ordinary people with ordinary faults and failures over the self-righteous religious crowd who judged everybody else, yet thought they were without sin.
Mark 2:17 - "They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
The Bridegroom Shall Be Taken Away From Them
The critics wanted to know why Jesus' disciples did not fast. Jesus answered their enquiry, explaining that they did not feel the need to fast as long as they had Him with them. Then He added, "they shall fast," "when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them." I doubt anybody really understood that He was prophesying His crucifixion, but He knew. He knows your future, too, and has prayed for you (John 17:20).
Mark 2:20 - "But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days."
New Garments And New Wineskins
Jesus reasoned that you should not sew new cloth onto an old garment. The cloth and the garment will tear. Neither should you put new wine in old wineskins. The skins will burst, and both will be lost. New cloth calls for new garments. New wine calls for new wineskins. That is because people resist change. "No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better," (Luke 5:39). The elders of Israel refused the Gospel, so Jesus raised up His church.
Mark 2:22 - "New wine must be put into new bottles.
Get What You Need, When You Need It
The disciples went through the corn fields plucking corn on the Sabbath. Pharisees swarmed in like a posse on a crime scene, demanding an explanation from Jesus. He reminded them that David went into the house of God and ate shewbread, which was also unlawful. God has rules, but He sometimes allows exceptions to His rules to meet His people's needs. Never hesitate to ask, no matter what time it is.
Mark 2:27-28 - "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath."
Answer Him Or Anger Him
Jesus wanted to heal the man with the withered hand, but it was the Sabbath. He knew the Pharisees would accuse Him of wrongdoing. He confronted them. "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?" They refused to answer, because they were cornered. Their hardness grieved Him, and made Him angry. When Jesus challenges your wrong thinking, answer Him or anger Him.
Mark 3:5 - "He saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other."
The Multitudes That Followed Jesus
In Jesus' day, transportation was almost non-existent. Virtually everyone traveled on foot, or riding a donkey. The multitudes that came to Jesus in Galilee from beyond Jordan, as far west as Tyre and Sidon, and as far south as Jerusalem and Idumaea (south of the Dead Sea), convict us today for not seeking Him more earnestly.
Mark 3:7-8 - "A great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea, And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him."
Jesus Rejects The Testimony Of Devils
As Jesus preached from village to village, He frequently encountered demon-possessed individuals of every kind. "Unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God." Remember that demons are fallen angels, and that they originally came from the presence of God. They knew perfectly well that Jesus was God manifested in the flesh, even before ordinary men recognized that fact. Jesus silenced them. Faith comes by hearing the word of God, not the testimony of devils.
Mark 3:12 - "He straitly charged them that they should not make him known."
Ordained For Ministry
At the first, Jesus appointed twelve men: Simon Peter, James and John (sons of Zebedee), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot. Now, as then, He still orders men to minister to the masses.
Mark 3:14-15,20 - "He ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: ...and they went into an house. And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread."
He Is More Than Just A Man
This is an amazing fact. Those who had been personal friends with Jesus before His divinity was made public tried to take Him away when He began to do miracles. They said, "He is beside Himself." It still happens every day. People think they know Jesus, but honestly do not comprehend that He is God. If they were not so blind, they would rejoice and bring all their needs to Him, like so many others.
Mark 3:21 - "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself."
A Divided House
Jesus was casting out devils, so the scribes said He was of Beelzebub, prince of devils - a senseless and evil accusation. If Satan casts down members of his own house, his house is doomed. Notwithstanding, if Jesus divides Satan's house, it is likewise doomed. Either way, Satan's house is doomed. Furthermore, never call Jesus the Devil.
Mark 3:24-26 - "If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end."
You Must Bind The Strong Man
The world, the flesh and the devil are allies. But Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, and deliver those who are in bondage to him. When Jesus cast out devils, He was accused of all kinds of malfeasance. But if the kingdom of God will rule, Satan must be cast out of the individual who is oppressed, and the Spirit of God must have dominion.
Mark 3:27 - "No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house."
In Danger Of Damnation For What You Say
I include just about anything anybody says to God in the category of prayer. It may not be a request for something, but if you are talking to God, it is going to have a definite impact on your life. You should be EXTREMELY careful never to say bad things to God.
Mark 3:28-30 - "All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit."
Spiritual Inquiries Have Priority Over Temporal Matters
We are not told why Jesus' mother and brothers stood outside a house while He ministered to a crowd inside. "Thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee," someone told Jesus. Jesus looked at the crowd and said, "Behold, my mother and my brethren!" Men and women who earnestly seek the LORD are very dear to Him. Your family is important, but saving eternal souls is a higher priority than tending to temporal matters.
Mark 3:31-35 - "For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother."
The Sower (The Preacher Or Teacher Of The Word)
The parable of the sower (one who preaches or teaches the word of God) represented a distinct doctrine of Jesus Christ. He clearly understood how and why the seed of the word was sometimes fruitful and sometimes not. Conditions along the wayside, stones in the ground, and the thorns each had the distinct effect of limiting or preventing the growth of the seed. A large percentage of men's hearts are hostile to the word (the seed). Only good ground (the nurturing heart) allowed the word to be fruitful.
Mark 4:3 - "Behold, there went out a sower to sow."
Our Hearts Must Embrace The Word To Be Fruitful
Using a parable, Jesus illustrated things that stymie or prevent the word of God from growing or becoming fruitful. Fowls came and devoured the seed (Satan stole the word from their hearts). Heat, and stony ground killed the new growth (Hardships cause men to lose the faith). Thorns choked the growth (Worldly cares, riches, lusts, etc.). But those who hear the word and receive it are fruitful.
Mark 4:20 - "And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred."
Nothing Is Hidden
It does not matter whether you ever discuss a thing before men. God knows it. You can pretend that you are concealing things from God, but that is a potentially fatal self-deception. Be brutally honest about yourself before God. Admit your strengths and your weaknesses to Him. Give Him the chance to not only redeem you from your faults, but also to put your potentials to good use in His kingdom.
Mark 4:22 - "For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad."
He That Hath, To Him Shall Be Given
Do you want to hear from God? Jesus said, "Unto you that hear shall more be given." Listen carefully to the word of the Lord! If you will, God will never stop talking. Cherish and nurture everything you receive from God, and you will receive even more. If you do not, He will eventually take away what you have.
Mark 4:24-25 - "Take heed what ye hear: ...unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath."
The Kingdom Of God - Full Harvest From A Seed
Earlier, Jesus likened His kingdom to leaven fermenting a lump of dough. Here, He likens it to seed growing into a full harvest of corn. Next, He likened it to a mustard seed growing into a great tree. His kingdom will fill the earth.
Mark 4:26 - "So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come."
Carest Thou Not That We Perish?
A forceful windstorm blew on Galilee, causing waves to fill the disciples' ship to the point of nearly sinking. Amazingly, Jesus was asleep on a pillow in the hinder part of the ship. They awakened Him asking, "Master, carest thou not that we perish?" They did not consider that divine destiny would never allow the Savior of the world to drown in an accident. You cannot die until God is through with you.
Mark 4:39 - "He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."
The Man At Gadara Worshipped Jesus
When the man at Gadara saw Jesus, "he ran and worshipped him." Jesus said, "Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit." A devil said, "torment me not." A legion of devils begged to be cast into a herd of swine. Jesus sent them, but "the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea." Devils cannot prevail when a man worships Jesus.
Mark 5:15 - "And [they] see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind."
Prayer Exposes Your Priorities, Or Lack Thereof
Two extremely opposite prayers occur within two verses. The owners who lost their swine (when Jesus delivered the demoniac) "began to pray Him to depart out of their coasts." Tragically, most people value possessions over Christ. Meanwhile, the man who was delivered "prayed Him that he might be with Him." Those who have experienced His miraculous touch only want to be nearer to Him.
Mark 5:19 - "Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee."
The Woman With The Issue Of Blood
Crowds pressed Jesus as he went to raise Jairus' daughter from the dead. A woman who had an issue of blood for twelve years determined that "If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole." She had spent all she had on physicians, yet no relief. Finally, the Great Physician took her case. "He said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague."
Mark 5:29 - "Straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague."
The Ruler Of The Synagogue Had Faith In Jesus
Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue, so verbalizing His faith in Jesus to heal his daughter was a giant step outside his orthodoxy - a dramatic statement of faith. But that was as it should have been. Everything he learned in the synagogue pointed to Christ. His kind is the reason Christ came. Jesus was happy to raise his 12-year-old back to life. Step outside YOUR orthodoxy. Have faith in Jesus.
Mark 5:41-42 - "He took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, ...Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked."
If You Want A Miracle, Unbelief Has To Go
Unbelief is like water on a fire. You can't have your miracle when unbelief fills the air. Jesus loved Jairus' faith, and went to heal his daughter. But when He arrived, He found a multitude of mourners, and the child was already dead. Jesus insisted, "The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth." The people laughed and scorned Him, so He put them all outside, except for the parents and His faithful followers. Next time you need a miracle, put unbelief outside the door.
Mark 5:42 - "Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked."
A Prophet - Rejected Treasure
Supernatural things often go unrecognized because ordinary things camouflage them. Like a prospector panning for gold, you have to have an eye for gems. Be careful not to be distracted by dirt (earthly things), while gold (heavenly things) slips through your fingers.
Mark 6:1 - "[He] came into his own country; ...he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, ...Is not this the carpenter? ...And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house."
Jesus Marveled Because Of Their Unbelief
It really is a marvelous thing when people look into the face of God and are astonished at His word, yet they nevertheless choose to be offended and unbelieving. The locals knew Jesus' family - His carpenter father, His mother Mary, His brothers, James, Joses, Juda, and Simon. They summarily dismissed Jesus' divine wisdom and His mighty works. Jesus concluded, "A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country." Consequently, He did not do mighty works for them. Their unbelief deprived them of His glory. Annihilate your unbelief. Believe in Jesus!
Mark 6:6 - "He marvelled because of their unbelief."
Preachers Must Keep To The Gospel Task
The disciples had to follow the protocol that Jesus taught them. Go two by two. Take nothing other than a staff for the journey - no wallet, no money, no bread, no extra clothes, and sleep wherever you are offered lodging. The "prosperity preachers" of our time would have a heart attack. But Jesus' message was not about prosperity. It was about reconciling sinners back to God before judgment day.
Mark 6:11 - "Whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, ...It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city."
Repentance Initiates Interactivity With God
Nowadays, computer software engineers are pressing the envelope to enable men and computers to be more "interactive." That indicates increasing engagement between man and machine - both becoming increasingly dependent upon each other. When Jesus charged His disciples to go out, two by two, to preach a call to repentance, they were compelling men to interact with God. The act of repentance pushes you into the arms of your merciful Creator who yearns to have perpetual communion with you. Repent. Engage. Discover God. Discover your purpose.
Mark 6:12 - "And they went out, and preached that men should repent."
Evil Men Fear Godly Men
Herodias was married to Philip, Herod's brother, but Herod took her away from his brother and married her. John the Baptist told him, "It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife." For that, Herodias demanded John's head. When Jesus came along, Herod was terrified. He thought Jesus was John, risen from the dead. Good men of God strike terror in the hearts of evil men.
Mark 6:20 - "Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly."
A Shepherd For The Sheep
The apostles came to Jesus to tell Him about the things they had been doing and teaching. Jesus took them by ship apart to a desert place, to rest for a while. They needed a break. But soon, the crowds came seeking Jesus. Jesus saw them all as sheep without a shepherd, and "he began to teach them many things." His disciples needed Him. The crowds needed Him. You and I need Him. We are the sheep. He is our Shepherd.
Mark 6:34 - "[Jesus] was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd."
He Looked Up To Heaven And Blessed The Loaves
One of the great miracles Jesus did was the feeding of five thousand men, plus women and children. And it all began with a simple blessing. The next time you neglect to give thanks and bless the food you are about to eat, consider that you might have precipitated (or perpetuated) a miracle if you had.
Mark 6:41-43 - "When he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, ...And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes."
Get Alone And Pray
After Jesus performed the miracle of feeding the multitudes with five loaves and two fishes, He instructed the disciples to get into their ship and go to Bethsaida. He also sent the multitudes away. Then He went ALONE into a mountain to pray. Later that night, He would be walking on the waters of the Sea of Galilee to save His disciples from a storm. You never know what crisis may arise within the next few hours. Do your praying now, while you can.
Mark 6:46 - "When he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray."
Reach Out And Touch The LORD
After a stormy night on Galilee, Jesus came ashore at Gennesaret. The crowds immediately "ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was." Although we have not His bodily presence, His Spirit is here right now. Reach out. Touch Him. Be made whole.
Mark 6:56 - "Whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole."
Are You A True Worshipper? Or A Pathetic Hypocrite?
Isaiah saw the hypocrites coming, and prophesied about them. Jesus met them face to face. Israel's religious leaders talked as if they were the paragons of religious practice, but their religion was not even Bible-based. It was their own invention. Jesus saw straight through their phony talk, and condemned them. Toss your man-made beliefs.
Mark 7:6-7 - "Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
We must not say that God hates traditions, because the Bible is packed with sacred traditions; behaviors and lifestyles that God Himself prescribed for us to live by. But when we create extra-Biblical traditions that conflict with or distract us from the true and sacred traditions, we have created a monster that will eventually destroy us.
Mark 7:8-9,13 - "For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, ...Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. ...Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition."
Ask God To Explain Things You Do Not Understand
The disciples did not understand Jesus' remarks about the Pharisees being defiled by their false teachings. He explained that people are not defiled by the things that go INTO their mouths, because the body is designed to digest food and eliminate anything that is not beneficial. Men are defiled by the evil things that come OUT of their mouths. If you do not understand something about God, ask Him to explain. Remember, He said, "Seek, and ye shall find."
Mark 7:17 - "When he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable."
Evil Thoughts Must Be Stifled
From out of the heart, said Jesus, "proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness." Every human must contend with internal desires that lead us to transgress against God. Sin occurs when we begin to desire anything that God clearly tells us that we cannot have. We must stop wanting to have or to do anything that God forbids. All such desires must be smothered, stifled, mortified, crucified, and denied. If we transgress, we must genuinely repent.
Mark 7:23 - "All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."
If God Refuses, You Can Ask Again
A Syrophenician woman begged Jesus to cast the devil out of her daughter. Jesus said, "Let the children [Jews] first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs [Gentiles]." She argued, "Yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs." Jesus was impressed. "For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter." Do not be reluctant with your prayers. Come BOLDLY before the throne of grace.
Mark 7:30 - "When she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out."
Beseech Him To Put His Hand On Your Need
Do you realize that bringing a need to Jesus is a form of prayer? "They bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him." Jesus took him aside, put His fingers in his ears, spit, and touched his tongue. He looked up to heaven, sighed, and said, "BE OPENED!" Bring your sicknesses, your troubles, even your bills. Take everything to Jesus. He can fix anything.
Mark 7:35 - "Straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain."
An Instant Feast For Four Thousand People
Imagine standing in a crowd of 4000 people for three days without eating, doing nothing else but listening to a preacher. These people obviously had an enormous desire to know about Jesus and His word. Jesus knew that many had long journeys back home, and that they would faint if they did not eat. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness.
Mark 8:8-9 - "So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away."
Doubtful Requests Tempt God To Wrath
In Deuteronomy 6, Moses commanded the people, "Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God." Jesus told the devil the same thing. "Thou shalt not tempt the LORD thy God." When the Pharisees came to question Jesus, "seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him," they sinned against God. Do not tempt God with prayers of doubt, fear or unbelief.
Mark 8:12-13 - "And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. And he left them."
Beware The Leaven Of The Pharisees And Of Herod
The disciples crossed Galilee with only one loaf of bread among them. Jesus said, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod." They thought He was talking about bread. But Jesus had miraculously created abundance of bread that day, and He scolded them for missing His point. The Pharisees were strict and hypocritical. Herod associated with liberal, unbelieving Sadducees.
Mark 8:17-19,21 - "Perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? ...How is it that ye do not understand?"
Bring The Blind To Jesus
At Bethsaida, they brought a blind man and asked Jesus to touch him. He led the man away from town, spit on his eyes, put His hands on them, and asked if he could see anything. "I see men as trees, walking." His sight had progressed from blindness to a blur. Jesus touched him the second time, and his vision became crystal clear. Believe in His miraculous touch. Bring your needs to Him.
Mark 8:25 - "After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly."
Are You Praying Like The Devil's Advocate?
When Jesus informed the disciples how He must suffer many things and be killed, Peter took Him and began to rebuke Him. Peter acted like too many of us. We dislike pain and suffering, and do not believe it is the will of God. But sometimes it is. To fight against the will of God is to play the devil's advocate. Just hold your peace, and let God have His way.
Mark 8:33 - "He rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men."
A Parenthetical Thing Called Time
The limitless, infinite Spirit we call God dwells in and rules all things. This parenthetical thing called time is such a tiny speck in God's forever. It is incomprehensible that anyone would suffice themselves with this paltry here and now, and forfeit His measureless, glorious eternity. I, for one, willingly gamble everything I might ever gain in this tiny envelope for the hope that I may soar happily into the great unknown with my Creator forever.
Mark 8:36 - "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
If You're Ashamed Of Him, He Will Be Ashamed Of You
You can do anything you want to do with Jesus - love Him or leave Him. But if you are hung up on political correctness or being socially acceptable, and cannot take a stand for Jesus and His teachings, it will all be remembered on judgment day. Wisdom says that we should esteem our Creator above His creatures.
Mark 8:38 - "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
You Will See The Kingdom Come With Power
Jesus prophesied that some disciples would still be living when His kingdom came with power. His kingdom was not earthly (John 18:36), but spiritual. "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you," Acts 1:8. The kingdom came when the Holy Ghost was poured out on the early Church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2).
Mark 9:1 - "And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power."
Moses And Elijah Appear With Jesus
While they were in a high mountain, Jesus began to shine like snow, and Elijah and Moses appeared, talking with Him. 2500 years earlier, Moses begged God to "show me Thy glory." He finally saw it in the face of Jesus Christ. Peter, excited and afraid, wanted to build three tabernacles for them. But they disappeared, and a voice from a cloud said, "This is my beloved Son: hear Him." Every one of us will see Him soon (Revelation 1:7).
Mark 9:8 - "Suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves."
Bring Him Unto Me
A man besought the LORD to help his son, who had a dumb spirit. It tore him; he foamed and gnashed his teeth, and more. The disciples could not cast the spirit out. When the boy saw Jesus, the demon tore him, and he fell on the ground, wallowing and foaming. Jesus commanded the spirit to come out. It "rent him sore, and came out." He lay as one dead, but Jesus lifted him up. When Satan oppresses, go to Jesus for deliverance.
Mark 9:19 - "O faithless generation, ...how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me."
If Thou Canst Believe, All Things Are Possible
The child's condition was dreadful. His seizures were like a plague; foaming at the mouth, falling on the ground, into fires, and into waters. He constantly faced scary, even life-threatening episodes. Jesus told the boy's father, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible." The father cried, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!" Faith and doubt run concurrently. Carnal minds doubt. Faith comes by the Spirit and the Word. Crucify the flesh. Believe God.
Mark 9:25-26 - "[Jesus] rebuked the foul spirit, ...And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him."
Some Things Require Prayer And Fasting
When Jesus cast out the deaf and dumb spirit from the young boy, the disciples wanted to know why they could not. They asked Him privately, "Why could not we cast him out?" "Prayer and fasting," He said. From the days of Eden, man's appetite has caused him to sin against God. Satan never stops tempting men. Fasting breaks that yoke. It crucifies the appetite, and deals a blow to Satan. Prayer calls down the power of God.
Mark 9:29 - "And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting."
To Be Great, You Must Be A Servant To All
The disciples disputed among themselves about who should be the greatest. Jesus sat down with them and said, "If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all." In other words, if you want to be first, go to the end of the line. God will choose the self-abasing man ahead of the self-promoting man. Similarly, instead of indulging big, important people, God prefers that you minister to the small, the least - even a child.
Mark 9:37 - "Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me."
New Believers Are Welcome To Operate In Jesus' Name
John told the LORD that they saw a stranger casting out devils in the name of Jesus. "We forbad him, because he followeth not us." Jesus said, "Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me." Jesus did not categorically endorse the other party, but pointed out that such a person is not likely to say bad things about Jesus. All honest men should stand for Jesus, against the forces of evil.
Mark 9:40 - "For he that is not against us is on our part."
Hell Fire "Never Shall Be Quenched"
Moses introduced the doctrine of Hell in Deuteronomy 32:33. David taught that, "the wicked shall be turned into hell," Psalms 9:17. But Jesus taught more about Hell than anyone before Him. "If thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched ...than having two feet to be cast into hell, ...than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire."
Mark 9:48 - "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."
Salted By Hell Fire, Or Salted By Righteousness?
Jesus was speaking about souls in hell when He said, "every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt." Since ancient times, salt was used as a preservative. A "covenant of salt" meant a perpetual covenant. So to be salted with the fires of hell, meant to be perpetually tormented. "Have salt in yourselves," suggests that we be salted - preserved, protected - now, rather than by hell-fire.
Mark 9:50 - "Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another."
Large Crowds "Resorted" Unto Him
The KJV says, "the people resort unto Him again." Other versions variously say, "multitudes came together unto Him," "large crowds followed Him," "great numbers of people came to Him," etc. When God in flesh walked among men, virtually everybody wanted to be near Him, to discover what He would say or do next. Let us follow their pattern, and press into His presence. Let us come together in large numbers and seek Him while He may be found.
Mark 10:1 - "[He] cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again."
Is It Lawful For A Man To Put Away His Wife?
The Pharisees tempted Jesus. "Is is lawful for a man to put away his wife?" Moses allowed a man to write a bill of divorcement and put her away. Jesus said, "For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh."
Mark 10:9 - "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
Putting Away A Spouse And Marrying Another
After Jesus answered the Pharisees' questions on the subject of divorce, the disciples privately asked more questions about it. Jesus told them that a man who puts away his wife and marries another, commits adultery against his former wife. If a woman puts away her husband and marries another, she commits adultery. Jesus taught that a married person must not put away his or her spouse and marry someone else, unless that spouse has committed fornication (Matthew 5:32).
Mark 10:12 - "If a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery."
They Brought Young Children To Him
While you are praying, remember that your children are just as important to God as any adult. God often uses children in supernatural ways. Isaac and Ishmael, baby Moses, the boy Samuel, the boy David, the boy Jeremiah, and the Christ child were all called, chosen and mightily used of God long before they became adults. Pray for your children. Ask God to touch them.
Mark 10:13-14 - "They brought young children to him, that he should touch them: ...and [He] said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, ...for of such is the kingdom of God."
Why Pray, If You Reject The Answer God Gives You?
A man earnestly inquired of Jesus how to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him to keep the commandments. "Master, all these have I observed from my youth." Jesus replied, "One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me." Do you ask God to reveal His will, then reject or ignore it when He does? Force yourself to obey Him.
Mark 10:22 - "He was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions."
Ask God To Explain Difficult Doctrines
When Jesus told the disciples that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God, they were "astonished out of measure" and asked, "Who then can be saved?" (The eye of a needle was NOT referring to a narrow gate in the city wall. That is possible. An actual needle is impossible). If certain doctrines seem impossible to understand, ask God to explain.
Mark 10:27 - "With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible."
Many That Are First Shall Be Last; And The Last First
Peter said to Jesus, "We have left all, and have followed thee." Jesus responded that everyone who leaves houses, family, or lands for His sake and the Gospel's will receive one-hundred fold in this life (with persecutions), and in the world to come, eternal life. You must be willing to forfeit whatever is required of you to do the will of God. Those who cling to positions and possessions will lose it all in the end. You gain by losing. Go ahead. Be last.
Mark 10:31 - "But many that are first shall be last; and the last first."
Eight Dramatic, Explicit Prophecies Of The Crucifixion
Jesus' prophecies left no room for doubt. 1. He would be delivered to the Chief Priests and scribes. 2. They would condemn Him to death. 3. They would deliver Him to the Gentiles (Romans). 4. They will mock, 5. scourge, 6. spit upon, and 7. kill Him. 8. He will rise again the third day.
Mark 10:32 - "And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him."
True Disciples Must Drink The Cup Of Suffering
James and John naively (and brazenly) asked Jesus, "Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory." Jesus answered, "Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" They thought they could, yet really did not comprehend the true cost of discipleship.
Mark 10:39 - "Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized."
Asking God For The Wrong Things
James and John came to Jesus (with their mother - Matthew 20:20) with their request. "Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire." Jesus asked what they wanted. "That we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory." Self-promotion is unacceptable. Just do your job, and let God decide where to put you.
Mark 10:40 - "To sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared."
The Minister Is Everyone's Servant
The other ten were displeased with James' and John's request for promotion. Jesus explained how the rulers of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, but "so shall it not be among you." Stop promoting yourself. Empty yourself. Give yourself away. The greatest work is at the bottom.
Mark 10:43-45 - "Whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
Even If Others Resist Your Prayers, Pray Anyway
Blind Bartimaeus cried out, "Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me." The crowds outside Jericho tried to persuade the man to hold his peace. But Bartimaeus "cried the more a great deal." That arrested Jesus. He stood still, had them call him out, and asked, "What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?" "Lord, that I might receive my sight." Ignore anybody who tries to discourage you from praying.
Mark 10:52 - "Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way."
Jesus Knows Events Before They Occur
God knows things before they happen. Jesus told two disciples to go into the village, where they would find a colt tied, which was never ridden. "Loose him, and bring him." If anyone asked why they were doing so, "say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither."
Mark 11:4 - "[They] found the colt tied by the door ...and they loose him. And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go."
Hosanna - "Save Us! We Praise You!"
The crowds cried, "Hosanna!" when Jesus rode through the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem on a colt of an ass. Hosanna combines a prayer and a praise. "Save, I pray!" and "Praise to you!" No one but Jesus can save us from sin, and no one but Jesus deserves all praise. "Save us, LORD! We praise you!" should be on our lips continually. Praise Him now!
Mark 11: 9-10 - "Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest."
Power To Bless Or To Curse
A demon-possessed practitioner of witchcraft intruded into a large convention of Pentecostal ministers in California, loudly cursing and reviling God. The preacher, N.A. Urshan, pointed to him and declared, "Sir, God either save you or kill you!" The man fell dead where he was standing. Great believers have great power with God.
Mark 11:13-14, 20 - "Seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, ...he found nothing but leaves; ...Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. ...And in the morning, ...they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots."
A House Of Prayer, Or Den Of Thieves?
Jesus was incensed by the commercialism that had taken over the Temple. He angrily cast out all the buyers and sellers who had turned the Temple into a street market. He would not even allow anyone to pass through the site with merchandise. The problem is no less annoying in our time, where many churches have commercialized the Gospel with every conceivable merchandise, and prayer is virtually non-existent in the building.
Mark 11:17 - "Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves."
When You Pray, Believe That You Will Receive
The next morning after Jesus cursed the fig tree, the disciples noticed that it had dried up from the roots. Peter said, "Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away." Jesus replied, "Have faith in God." He said that if you will not doubt in your heart, you can command a mountain to be cast into the sea, and it will. Speak to your obstacle with faith that God will move it.
Mark 11:24 - "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."
You Must Forgive If You Want To Be Forgiven
God will not forgive you if you will not forgive others. That is one of the most sobering propositions in the Bible. Nothing in the universe is more wonderful than the grace and mercy of God to forgive our trespasses. But if you will not forgive, you will not be forgiven. Forgive everybody right now.
Mark 11:25-26 - "When ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."
A Holy Temple Or A Profane Bazaar? Jesus Vs. Priests
Jesus "cast out them that sold and bought in the Temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers," and more. He "would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple." For this, the scribes and chief priests "sought how they might destroy him." Men would murder God incarnate for cleansing - sanctifying - the Temple, protecting moneychangers and their profits instead.
Mark 11:27 - "There come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?"
Answering Questions With Questions
Intimidators love to trap their victims with intimidating questions. Jesus was not an intimidator, but was perfectly capable of handling the Pharisees' intimidations. He answered their questions with equally challenging questions, effectively silencing them. If your questions (or prayers) are dishonest, expect to be silenced.
Mark 11:28-29 - "[They] say unto Him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things."
Will You Steal From Your Owner, Reject Your Judge?
What were the sins of the evil husbandman? He stole the profits of the vineyard from its owner, and killed His Son. All your talents and opportunities are gifts on loan from God. If you serve Him well, you may continue working in His vineyard, and will receive great rewards in His eternal kingdom. But if you steal His profits, and reject His Son, be very afraid. The One you rejected and stole from is going to be your Righteous Judge.
Mark 12:10 - "The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner."
Jesus Recognizes Hypocrisy, And Will Disarm It
Mark reiterated the story of the Pharisees' inquisition of Jesus. "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?" Their hypocritical motives were blinding, but Jesus sees that kind every day. Cynics, skeptics and unbelievers frustrate the grace of God, but fortunately, Jesus cannot be trapped by clever sayings of men.
Mark 12:15,17 - "He, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? ...And they marvelled at him."
Sadducees, Sad, You See - No Angels Or Resurrection
The Sadducees were sad, you see, because they did not believe in angels, nor in the resurrection. What a pitiful lot. Their outrageous claim that a woman married seven brothers in a row, after each died, then asking, "Whose wife will she be in the resurrection?" prompted Jesus to rebuke them. Jesus forcefully affirmed both the doctrine of angels and the resurrection. The sect of the Sadducees is now extinct. No wonder.
Mark 12:25 - "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."
Giants in the Earth
Some people believe that ancient giants were the offspring of angels who bred with women. Jesus clearly refuted that. He taught that in heaven there is no marrying or giving in marriage because we shall be as angels. Angels have no physical attributes for human procreation. That's that. Giants typically come from overactive pituitary glands. The sons of God and daughters of men were both human.
Mark 12:25 - "...when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven."
The Lord Our God Is One Lord
A scribe asked Jesus, "Which is the first commandment of all?" He replied, "Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord." This is the most important doctrine in the Bible. Old Testament saints called the Father, "Lord." Jesus is Lord. The Lord is "that Spirit," (2 Corinthians 3:17). These are not three Lords, but One. Jesus is the only body of the invisible God you will ever see.
Mark 12:30 - "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."
The Top Three Most Important Things In The Bible
"There is none other commandment greater than these," Jesus said. 1. God is only One Lord. 2. You must love Him completely. 3. You must love your neighbor as yourself. If you fail to embrace these truths, the rest of your religion is full of holes.
Mark 12:32 - "For there is one God; and there is none other but he: 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."
David's Father Posed As David's Son
Jesus knew exactly who He was. In John 8, He told the Pharisees "Before Abraham was, I AM." He boldly claimed to pre-exist Abraham. No other man has so convincingly defended such a claim. Jesus stupefied the scribes by demanding that they explain how Christ could be both the Son of David and David's LORD. He knew that He was David's Father posing as David's Son.
Mark 12:36 - "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."
The Selfish And Proud Condemned, Selfless Praised
The scribes were disgustingly pompous. They loved dramatic clothing, attention in public, special seats and elevated positions in synagogues and feasts. They consumed widows' houses and prayed long pretentious prayers. "These shall receive greater damnation." Jesus praised the poor widow who cast only two mites (a tiny sum) into the treasury, while rich men gave large sums.
Mark 12:43 - "This poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living."
There Shall Not Be Left One Stone Upon Another
Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 give us reliable and consistent accounts of Jesus' prophecies for the last days. The entire discussion was precipitated by the disciples' admiration of the beautiful Temple. Jesus told them that every last stone would be thrown down. That was the first of all the prophecies to be fulfilled (in 70 AD by the Romans, led by Titus). Never doubt that EVERY prophecy will be fulfilled!
Mark 13:2 - "Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
The Signs When ALL These Things Shall Be Fulfilled
Some people foolishly argue that all Jesus' prophecies for the last days were fulfilled BEFORE the destruction of the Temple in 70AD. But Matthew's Gospel includes the most critical phrase. "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world [age]?" Matthew 24:3. Obviously, Jesus did not return at the destruction of the Temple, nor did His millennial kingdom begin at that time. Those prophecies were unquestionably for our time.
Mark 13:4 - "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?"
Wars - Such Things Must Needs Be
The old Ottoman Empire fell during World War One, leading to the British Mandate of Palestine, a monumental event which triggered the massive repatriation of Jews from around the world to their homeland. The European Holocaust during the Second World War fomented the Jewish revolt in Palestine that led to the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948.
Mark 13:7-8 - "And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom."
Worldwide Earthquakes Are Signs From God
In the 21st century, over 1.5 million people died in earthquakes. In the first TEN years of this century, 20,000 died in India, 31,000 in Iran, 230,000 in Indonesia, 79,000 in Pakistan, 69,000 in China, and 230,000 in Haiti. An 8.8 earthquake in Chile moved the entire city of Concepción 10 feet to the west, triggered a tsunami that devastated several coastal towns, moved the earth 8cm off its axis, shortened the length of the day by 1.26 microseconds, and caused standing waves in Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana (4700 miles away).
Mark 13:8 - "There shall be earthquakes in divers places."
These Are The Beginning Of Sorrows
We are on the brink of the Third World War in less than one century. Earthquakes have killed almost 2 million in 100 years. Famines deaths? 1921 Russia, 5 million; 1929 China, 3 million; 1933 Russia, 10 million; 1936 China, 5 million; 1943 China, 1 million; 1967 India, 1.5 million; 1972 Africa, 1 million; 1979 Cambodia, 2 million; North Korea - ongoing, 3.5 million; 2004 Congo, 3.8 million. Currently, Kenya faces 10 million deaths by starvation.
Mark 13:8 - "Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines."
When Persecution Comes, The Holy Ghost Will Speak
In the last days before Jesus returns, He said that we would be "hated of all men for my name's sake." He warned that we should not be worried about how we should respond to the persecution, because He will give us words, and the Holy Ghost will speak through us.
Mark 13:11 - "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.
Hated Of All Men For The Sake Of The Name Of Jesus
Christians will be persecuted in the last days, even by Jews. "They shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. ...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."
Mark 13:13 - "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."
Abomination Of Desolation Triggers Great Tribulation
Antichrist will order sacrifices and oblations in the Third Temple to cease (the Abomination of Desolation), triggering 42-months of "Great Tribulation." Judean Jews will flee. The Mark of the Beast will begin. The Sixth Trumpet War must be fought, then the Last (Seventh) Trumpet will sound. Jesus will resurrect all His saints and take them to the battle of Armageddon.
Mark 13:14,19 - "When ye shall see the abomination of desolation, ...let them that be in Judaea flee ...For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created."
The Great Tribulation Shortened For The Elect's Sake
Of the Great Tribulation (42-months before Armageddon), Jesus said, "Except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days." The ELECT are those who are obedient to the Gospel, washed in the blood of Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit, according to 1 Peter 1:2. Satan would totally destroy the ELECT - the Church - but God will intervene.
Mark 13:22 - "False Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect."
After The Tribulation, The Rapture And First Resurrection"
Antichrist will commit the Abomination of Desolation, triggering 42-months of tribulation. "After that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, ...moon shall not give her light, ...stars of heaven shall fall, ...powers that are in heaven shall be shaken." Jesus will appear and gather His saints in the rapture/resurrection.
Mark 13:26-27 - "Then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven."
Watch And Pray, Lest He Find You Sleeping
The whole world will be preoccupied, surprised, and unprepared when Jesus returns to catch away His own.
Mark 13:27,33-37 - "And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. ...Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. ...Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping."
This Generation Shall Not Pass Till All Signs Fulfilled
The parable of the fig tree refers allegorically to the nation of Israel (Jeremiah 8:13; Hosea 9:10; Joel 1:7). Destroyed in 70 AD, a tender branch put forth new leaves in 1948, when the State of Israel was reborn. Jesus said, "When ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. ...this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done." A 70-80-year generation will soon expire. Armageddon will finish that prophecy.
Mark 13:31 - "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away."
Watch, Lest Coming Suddenly He Find You Sleeping
The plan of God is, at best, largely unknowable to mortals. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is central to hundreds of Bible prophecies, but God has withheld the exact day and hour from all men's understanding. For that reason, we must be diligent to watch and pray for His coming.
Mark 13:35-37 - "Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning
Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch."
The Woman With The Spikenard - On A Divine Mission
Mark 14 repeats the story of Matthew 26. As Jesus "sat at meat" in Bethany with Simon the leper, a woman brought an alabaster box of precious spikenard ointment. She broke the box and poured it on Jesus' head. The fickle disciples objected that it was a waste, and should have been sold for a donation to the poor. But true worshippers are instruments of righteousness, and Jesus acknowledged that her act was prophetically symbolic - foreboding His death and burial.
Mark 14:8 - "She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying."
Evil Men Will Gladly Pay You To Betray Jesus
It happens somewhere every single day. The world, the flesh or the devil raises the bid in the attempt to buy Jesus out of your life. They will pay any price for you to relieve them of their worries about what He might have done if He had been allowed to have His way in your life. Just say "NO!"
Mark 14:10-11 - "Judas Iscariot, ...went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him."
The Upper Room
The will of God is foreordained. The woman anointed Jesus, prophetically preparing Him for burial. The disciples supernaturally found the donkey that Jesus was to ride. The owner of the Upper Room was carrying a pitcher of water, just as Jesus had told the disciples.
Mark 14:13-16 - "Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: ...he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. And his disciples went forth, ...and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover."
The Last Supper
Almost every detail of the Last Supper had prophetic design in it. Jesus updated several ancient prophecies, saying, "One of you which eateth with me shall betray me. ...one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish. ...The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him. ...Take, eat: this [bread] is my body. ...This [cup] is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many."
Mark 14:25 - "I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
Making Promises You Cannot Keep
Everybody says things that they intend to do, but later discover they cannot do. When Jesus told the disciples that they would "be offended," and "the sheep shall be scattered," Peter forcefully objected. "Although all shall be offended, yet will not I," and "If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise." But Peter was not alone. ALL the apostles made similar commitments, but ALL of them scattered. Sometimes, life simply hammers you down. Fortunately, Jesus knows and understands our frailty, and will forgive our failures.
Mark 14:31 - "Likewise also said they all."
The Gethsemane Trial
There will be a Gethsemane in your life. Not an olive garden, but a breath-taking trial where you will be crushed; where sweat is like drops of blood. The agony of such a trial is impossible to express. It is the climactic moment where you must forever choose between your will and God's.
Mark 14:32-35 - "They came to a place which was named Gethsemane: ...and [He] began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; and saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: ...and he went forward a little, and fell on the ground."
What If Peter Had Stayed Awake To Pray?
In Gethsemane, Jesus was "exceeding sorrowful unto death," and wanted the men to watch and pray with Him. But twice, He found them asleep. WHAT IF they had stayed awake and prayed? Might Jesus have been spared? Maybe Peter would not have cut off Malchus' ear. Maybe he would not have denied Jesus that night. What tragedy might YOU have averted if you had stayed awake to pray?
Mark 14:41 - "[He] saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners."
Judas Iscariot's betrayal of Jesus Christ may be the most infamous act of any man in history. To this day, almost no one ever names their son Judas. In modern times, Judas Priest is a heavy metal rebel band. A Judas goat leads livestock to the slaughterhouse. People commonly use the word "Judas" instead of the word "traitor." Strangely enough, the name Judas means "praise." He betrayed his own name. One selfish choice can leave eternal stains. Be careful.
Mark 14:43 - "And immediately, while [Jesus] yet spake, cometh Judas, ...and with him a great multitude with swords and staves."
God Has All Power Over Satan's Assaults
Earlier that night, Satan filled Judas, and Jesus granted him license. "Whatever thou doest, do quickly." Judas signaled his accomplices; "Whomsoever I shall kiss, the same is He. Take Him." The mob grabbed Jesus. In panic, Peter drew a sword and cut off the ear of the priest's servant, Malchus (John 18:10). Jesus immediately healed it. Soldiers hastily ushered Jesus away. The disciples "all forsook him, and fled." It was the divinely orchestrated humiliation of Satan. Three days later, Jesus rose triumphant over Satan's worst assault.
Mark 14:53 - "They led Jesus away to the high priest."
False Witnesses And Persecutors
Everyone who lives godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). Jesus said, "The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you," (John 15:20). A Judas lurks somewhere for every child of God. It is the modus operandi of the enemy, "the accuser of the brethren."
Mark 14:57,65 - "There arose certain, and bare false witness against him, ...And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, ...and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands."
You Do Not Have To Answer To A Lie
He had said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." But the false witnesses re-worded it. "I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands." Satan, father of liars, will change the truth with only one word. It does not deserve a response. Jesus refused to respond.
Mark 14:60-61 - "And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But he held his peace, and answered nothing."
You Shall See Him Coming In The Clouds
Caiaphas the High Priest was derelict - failing his post and duty. He, more than any man on earth, should have recognized Jesus as the great High Priest and King of Israel sent from heaven. Jesus was his MASTER! Nevertheless, in his rabid desire to kill Jesus, Caiaphas jabbed, "Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" Someday, Caiaphas will resurrect to see Jesus as his Judge, King and God.
Mark 14:62 - "Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven."
Peter's Denials Fulfilled Jesus' Prophecy
Peter waited in a basement while Jesus stood trial. A young woman recognized him. "Thou wast with Jesus of Nazareth." He denied. "I know not, neither understand what thou sayest." The cock crew. Another said, "This is one of them." He denied again. A third said, "Surely thou art one of them..." Peter cursed and swore. "I know not this man of whom ye speak." The cock crew again.
Mark 14:72 - "Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept."
Chief Priests, Elders, Scribes, Council Condemn Jesus
Yes, it was the Romans who finally killed Jesus - Pilate, Herod and the Roman soldiers. But it was the Jews who condemned Him. The evidence is in the Book.
Mark 15:1,12-13 - "And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate. ...And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him."
Simon The Cyrenian, Who Bore Jesus' Cross
Soldiers beat Jesus, then led Him to the Praetorium, where they mocked, smote and spit on Him. Then, "He bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, ...Golgotha," (John 19:17). Suddenly, they compelled Simon of Cyrene (in Libya) to carry Jesus' cross. Tradition says that Simon's sons, Alexander and Rufus became missionaries. Paul mentioned Rufus "chosen in the Lord," (Romans 16:13), and preachers from Cyrene in Antioch (Acts 11:20).
Mark 15:21 - "And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross."
Once Everything Is On The Record, A Time For Silence
Pilate asked Jesus, "Art thou the King of the Jews?" He replied, "Thou sayest it." The chief priests "accused Him of many things: but He answered nothing." Pilate asked, "Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee." But Jesus remained silent. Pilate marveled. There will come a point in your trial when nothing is left to be said. What is done is done, and nothing else needs to be said.
Mark 15:25-26 - "And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS."
Jesus Came To Make Intercession For Transgressors
Isaiah 53:12 prophesied, "He hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Not only did Jesus make intercession for the thief beside Him, but also for everyone who sinned against Him. He prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," Luke 23:34. No other man ever stood in the gap or made up the hedge like Jesus.
Mark 15:27 - "With him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.
An Earthquake Accompanied By Solar, Lunar Eclipses
The occurrence of an earthquake in one particular place is rare. A solar eclipse is rare. To have an earthquake AND eclipse together is exceedingly rare. Typically, such an eclipse lasts only a few minutes. This one lasted three hours. In Acts 2:20, Peter seemed to indicate that there was also a blood red moon that night. Three great signs in heaven and on earth ON THE SAME DAY that Jesus died defy all mathematical coincidence. God orchestrated them.
Mark 15:33 - "When the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour."
My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?
The fullness of the immortal God dwelled in a human body. Jesus' body was still mortal. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. The eternal God suffered every agony of Christ's crucifixion. But since God cannot die, the Eternal HAD to leave the mortal, or He would not die. The man had to finish the work alone. That is why God forsook Him.
Mark 15:34 - "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Jesus Gave Up The Ghost
God breathed a soul into Adam. The human spirit is a divine gift. But Jesus was the fullness of God bodily. The Spirit of Christ is the Holy Spirit (Ghost). "Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost...," Luke 4:1. "[Ye are] in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his," Romans 8:9. "Christ in you, the hope of glory," Colossians 1:27. "Receive ye the Holy Ghost," John 20:22.
Mark 15:37 - "Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost."
The Broken Body, The Rent Veil Exposed The Glory
At the Last Supper, the broken bread symbolized the broken body of Jesus - the injuries He would sustain in crucifixion. The breaking of His body can also be likened unto the rending of the veil in the Temple. As the Holy of Holies was behind the veil, the hidden glory of God was behind the body of Jesus. The centurion who stood nearby caught a glimpse.
Mark 15:39 - "When the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God."
Joseph Of Arimathaea And The Linen Shroud
Joseph of Arimathaea was a rich disciple of Jesus, "an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God." He persuaded Pilate to give him Jesus' body for burial. He brought fine linen and took Jesus down from the cross. Nicodemus helped him wrap Jesus' body in linen and spices, and place Him in a stone sepulchre. If claims about the "Shroud of Turin" are legitimate, it belonged to Joseph of Arimathaea.
Mark 15:46 - "And laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre."
The Stone Was Rolled Away: For It Was Very Great
Only a block north of the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem is Golgotha - the hill of the skull; and a few yards to its west, the Garden Tomb. "In the place where he was crucified there was a ...new tomb" (John 19:41). Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus sealed Jesus' grave with a huge stone, but "the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it," Matthew 28:2. [Vintage Photo - Hill of Skull, Center Right; Tomb, Far Left]
Mark 16:4 - "When they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great."
Be Not Affrighted; He Is Risen
My late wife is interred in a mausoleum. I cannot imagine how distraught I would be if I visited her tomb and discovered the space empty, and her body missing. When the women came to Jesus' tomb early that morning, it was empty. A young man in a long white garment sat where Jesus had been laid. "They were affrighted [i.e., amazed; alarmed; astonished; frightened; terrified]."
Mark 16:6 - "He saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him."
The First Ones To See Him After His Resurrection
The women FLED the empty tomb, trembling, amazed, speechless and afraid (v.8). The first to see Jesus alive was Mary Magdalene. She went and told the others that He was alive, but they did not believe her. Jesus met two others on the road, and they told others, who also did not believe. Jesus scolded the apostles for doubting that He was alive.
Mark 16:14 - "Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen."
Preach The Gospel To Every Creature
Jesus commissioned the disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. It is every believer's order - that ALL THE WORLD may know the soul-saving news of Jesus Christ. He wants every nation to hear. There is no discharge from the army of the Lord. We must tell everyone everywhere. Paul said, "woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" Keep working! You can retire when you get to heaven.
Mark 16:15 - "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
You Must Believe And Be Baptized To Be Saved
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Most people ignore the second phrase. Easy believism says baptism is not necessary. But Jesus said, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God," John 3:5. If you have not been water baptized, you have not yet fully believed. "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins," Acts 2:38.
Mark 16:16 - "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
The Right Hand Of God
After Jesus finished His last admonitions to the disciples, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. Let's be clear. 1. There is only one throne in heaven, and only one sitting on it (Revelation 4:2). 2. The ONE who sits on the throne is both God and the Lamb (Revelation 22:1,3). God is an invisible Spirit. He has only one body - the body of Jesus Christ.
Mark 16:19 - "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God."
They Shall Cast Out Devils, Speak With New Tongues
Only wretched, hard-core unbelievers argue that signs, wonders, miracles and tongues have ceased. They blame undeniable miracles on devils, risking blasphemy. Jesus said, "These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." JESUS STILL does countless miracles today.
Mark 16:20 - "They went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following."
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