Mark Chapter 1 contintued……

This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.

John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. I baptize you with[d] water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”

In my last blog I wrote about most of these scriptures, but there are a couple things I want to bring out in these…..

John preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven…..The question arises, was there baptism before John the Baptist?

The answer is YES, well kinda sorta…. this was not new to Jews but it had a different meaning….well kinda sorta. The Jews practiced what is called  “mikvah” – it is an act of cleansing oneself. It was done by self emersion into water. This had to take place before they could enter the temple, if they touched a dead thing etc…. another example would be child birth. Mary after giving birth to Jesus went through a time of purification if you remember……Mikvah is what took place. The Jewish people would have to “cleanse” their selves through this act.

John comes along and preaches that they are to be “baptized” with water when they repent from their sins and are forgiven by God. Here is where the gentiles are invited into the kingdom!! The beginning of the teaching that JESUS is the one who cleanses us of our sins, not only will this Jesus cleanse us, a sign when we are baptized in water but he will baptize us with the gift of the Holy Spirit who will empower us to walk in this forgiveness, we will remain clean before God and will no longer need the ritual of “Mikvah”.

I love the thought of “ALL OF JUDEA, including ALL of the people of JERUSALEM, went out to see and hear John” I wonder how many were baptized and how many walked away shaking their heads. John had to know what the end result would be….. I would love to have heard some of Johns prayers……conversations with God as he walked into his calling. He had to know how angry the religious leaders would be………what is it that drives a man to such things? A sure CALLING, understanding why he was on this earth….why he was born? When did he learn this about himself?

A little over a week ago I wrote this entire blog….I save it to here!!! After this I wrote another 3 paragraphs and when I went to save it, it would not save, I tried to publish it and it went to the sign on screen. When I signed on I LOST ALL I had written……….that has been almost 2 weeks ago and I cannot get back the words I wrote…..I am bummed but I’ve decided to post what I have and to move on….

This is how I write….in the moment off the top of my head as the Spirit speaks to me about it….I’ve tried and tried to re-create it with NO success…..so here it is 🙂

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Mark 1:1-3 — the beginning of a very long “blog-series”

1 This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.[a] It began just as the prophet Isaiah had written:

“Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,     and he will prepare your way.[b] He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!     Clear the road for him!’[c]

Well here we go, again I’m going through this with no commentaries, notes, study guides, sermons etc. I am trying to read it with eyes and spirit of reading it for the first time. Just me and the Holy Spirit. I’ve heard, I’ve preached so many sermons out of this book and I’m asking the Spirit to blind me of all my past thoughts, revelations etc….. I’m excited to do this again. 🙂

The author of this gospel is not certain – more than likely it was written by Mark who was a companion of Peter. Much of this is thought to be based on Peter’s sermons preached. There are always arguments as to who wrote what etc and bottom line it’s NOT that important, I mean it’s important as to what is written and how it became part of the Bible but that’s it. There are many Mark’s spoken about and was a very common name at the time. What does matter is that is lines up with rest of the Word.

The 1st chapter begins with “This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God” – It is NOT about John the Baptist, about anyone else…….it’s all about JESUS just as the entire Bible is! He makes the statement.

1. The Good News

2. Jesus the Messiah

3. Son of God

This sets the tone for the entire book we are about to dig into, it’s all about Jesus, who He is and why it’s the Good News.

He then quotes out of the book of Isaiah 40:3 – “Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,     and he will prepare your way.[b] He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!     Clear the road for him!

Why is it important to quote from the book the prophet Isaiah? The prophet Isaiah was written between 740-680 BC – The entire writings from the prophets, such as Isaiah was followed by the Jews for hundreds of years. They hung all they had on the Prophets of old. Here Mark is connecting what Isaiah spoke of hundreds of years ago, a word that they KNEW and UNDERSTOOD…..some 700 years later after he speaks it, it comes to pass EXACTLY as spoken. John the Baptist!! We know the inner story in all of this and it’s a great advantage to us, but they did not when this was written. The story of Mary and Elizabeth – the story how the angel gave Elizabeth a child…the miracle that took place………Mary and how it all came about… we know this story well so it’s easy to see and understand this scripture. But for the Jews when it was written this is another story! They could understand Isaiah 40:3 though……..Mark does a GREAT job connecting John, Jesus and the Prophet Isaiah.

We know the story of John the Baptist — a wild crazy looking man that at locust and wild honey – a man that preached repentance and baptism!! He literally prepared the way for Jesus. He prepared the hearts of people, He spoke of another one coming that he wasn’t even worthy of unlacing his sandals. John the Baptist USHERED in the presence of the living GOD! (I would have loved to sit in on the conversation between Jesus and John) 

You can read the account of Elizabeth, Mary, John and Jesus in the book of Luke chapters 1-3 

What about me? How does this relate to my life? Your life?

The Holy Spirit came to both Elizabeth and Mary and both of their husbands and spoke to them, gave them direction for their lives. This empowered them to move, walk and even run through all that they were going to face. ALL of it was hard, against the flesh and even very dangerous. BUT with the empowerment from the one and only True GOD they all walked with authority and power. Did was they were put on this earth to do.

Jesus came to the earth and established who He was, He paid the price died and rose again, then sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. Empower us, give us direct for life, give us purpose and the power to walk through this life without fear. We have a PURPOSE and a REASON we are on this earth!!

Jesus is coming back again, that is a promise!!! We are all as Spirit-Filled believers here to prepare the way for Him, actually USHER Jesus in!! We are all to take on the ministry of John the Baptist – the “spirit of John the Baptist” and go out into the world and reflect Jesus as we become Christlike in our lives. Our purpose in the life is not money, careers, families or anything else…. NOW WITH THAT SAID all these things are important but all are secondary to being all that God created you to be!! He will position you in life to be the most effective, if he positions you in a circle of the wealthy, the glamorous, the “stars” then so be it, he trust you enough, if he positions you with the homeless, then he trust you enough…..and everything in between!

This life is for EVER PERSON on this earth!!! My lesson in life right now is:

HUMBLE MYSELF in every area of my life — become Christlike as I fall in love with Him – reflect His beauty to the world. I need nothing MORE!! Do I desire more? Of course I am human……..just like you.

Hope this makes sense to you as it does to me.  

A new study ……

I finished 1Timothy a couple weeks ago and have been so busy since. Diane and I shared our testimony at the church a couple weeks ago, we had a new grandchild and then I preached this last week…..I also started a class put out by Francis Frangipane’s ministry – “In Christ Image Training” – I have been pretty wrapped up in that.

I have spent over a year with no other studies, no commentaries, no notes, no sermons to read, no study notes. Just me, the Word and the Holy Spirit. It’s BEEN fantastic and I’ve learned so much. So I decided to take this class and dig in deeper and I must say I think it was a good choice at a perfect time in my life. The funny thing is Diane and I signed up a few years back and I DO NOT remember a thing about it — I probably didn’t even care to do it….just wanted to keep up my “spiritual” appearance I would imagine. This study is hitting me right where I need — it’s about becoming Christlike, humility, submission, and having a redemptive heart. I am loving it and seeing so much of who I was and what I was created to be!

Any ways, I think it’s time to dig back into the Bible and go through a book – I have been praying and praying about it, where to go, what to study, what to write about and I can only hear my nephews voice, David Corbet, “the book of Mark” so that is where I’m going!!

Looking forward to it!!! It will be slow going as I work many hours, I’m taking another class and we just had a new grandchild…. 🙂

Blessings

 

From a Study I’m doing —

I decided to take a class from “In Christ Image Training Center”  – I had forgotten that Diane and I started this a few years ago and just let go of it…..so when I signed up for it she told me about how we started and never was able to pay for it and just let it go…. another example of where I was spiritually.

Anyway, I’m now taking this class as part of my daily devotions in the morning and I must say it’s be INCREDIBLE – I read this chapter today and I just felt like it was important to post it……these are NOT my writings or my thoughts. But I am in agreement with them 100% and it opened my eyes to a few things this morning!!!

The Goal Is Christlikeness, Not Warfare

There is a time when the Lord will call us to confront the strongholds of hell over our churches and our communities. There is another time, however, when to engage in much spiritual warfare is actually a distraction from your obedience to God. Jesus defeated Satan in Gethsemane and at the cross, not by directly confronting the devil but by fulfilling the destiny to which He had been called at Calvary. The greatest battle that was ever won was accomplished by the apparent death of the victor, without even a word of rebuke to His adversary! The prince of this world was judged and principalities and powers were disarmed not by confrontational warfare but by the surrender of Jesus Christ on the cross.

There are occasions when your battle against the devil is actually a digression from the higher purpose God has for you. Intercessors and warfare leaders take note: There is a demon whose purpose is to lure one’s mind into hell. If we were to name this spirit, we would call it “Wrong Focus.” You may be fighting this very spirit if you are continually seeing evil spirits in people or in the material world around you. The ultimate goal of this demon is to produce mental illness in saints who move in deliverance. Listen very carefully: We are not called to focus on the battle or the devil, except when that battle hinders our immediate transformation into Christ’s likeness. Our calling is to focus on Jesus. The work of the devil, however, is to draw our eyes from Jesus. Satan’s first weapon always involves luring our eyes from Christ. Turn toward Jesus and almost immediately the battle vanishes.

I knew a man once who owned a record company. Besides running the operation, he also spent many hours in production listening to the “mother disk,” which was the master from which all subsequent recordings were produced. Over the years, his ears became adept at catching the “pops and sizzles,” the imperfections that had to be eliminated in the master. I remarked one day that I thought working with music must be enjoyable. His response was enlightening. He said, “You know, I haven’t listened to music in years. When I turn on my sophisticated home stereo, no matter what recording I’m listening to, all I hear are the pops and sizzles.”

In the same way his thoughts were bent toward musical imperfections, so Wrong Focus will seek to turn your thoughts continually toward the enemy. Suddenly, all you will see are demons. The true gift called “discerning of spirits” is a balanced gift which enables you to recognize at least as many angelic spirits as you do evil spirits. The proper manifestation of this gift has a much more positive focus and influence than what commonly masquerades as discernment.

An example of the proper balance in discernment is seen in 2 Kings. The Syrian army had surrounded Dothan, a city in Israel, much to the consternation of the prophet Elisha’s servant. To calm his attendant’s fright, Elisha prayed that his servant’s eyes would be opened. He then encouraged his servant, saying, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16). As the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, he saw what Elisha saw: “The mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (v. 17).

In spiritual warfare, the battle is never limited to an “us against them” human affair. It always includes “those … with us” against “those … with them.” True discernment is as fully aware of the vast multitude of angels loyal to God as it is aware of the activity of the demonic realm – and it is aware that the angelic hosts on our side are both stronger and more numerous than the enemy. Remember, if you fail to “hear the music” in your times of warfare, your discernment is incomplete.

We must learn that, on a personal level, it is better to develop godly virtues than to spend our day praying against the devil. Indeed, it is the joy of the Lord that casts out spirits of depression. It is our living faith which destroys spirits of unbelief; it is aggressive love which casts out fear.

As we continually yield ourselves to Christ, surrendering ourselves by faith to His nature and His words, we literally build the impenetrable stronghold of His presence around us. The way into the fortress of the Almighty is simple. Victory begins with the name of Jesus on our lips. It is consummated by the nature of Jesus in our hearts.

Let’s pray: Lord Jesus, help me to keep my eyes fixed on You. You are my strong tower and my fortress. Show me areas in my soul that are easily manipulated by the enemy. Reveal to me where I am harboring darkness, that I might dwell in the impenetrable shelter of Your light!

Thoughts on Chapter 6

I am going to try and do a couple of verses today….let’s see how far I get.

6 All slaves should show full respect for their masters so they will not bring shame on the name of God and his teaching. If the masters are believers, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. Those slaves should work all the harder because their efforts are helping other believers[a] who are well loved.

In today’s world there are so many “Christians” – some are real, some are trying, some do not know any better, some are only doing what they have been taught etc…. so when it comes to the work place (masters and slaves) or school, or even a volunteer some place these words penned by Paul are powerful. We are to work hard, study hard, do all we do with integrity and honor showing the LOVE of Jesus by our work ethics, our closed mouths, (gossip, talking negative etc) and our ability to do what we are told to do or asked to do.

If we have an employer that is a Christian it is so easy to start judging them when they are trying to do their job or run a business, when they may not do it the same way you would etc…..it’s easy to say they are not a “real Christian” or they wouldn’t have done or said this or that………. Paul says it’s NO EXCUSE to be disrespectful!! In the work place employee’s talk and usually think they can do the job better — claiming to be a Christian and yet speaking death into their employer!

I have seen the shift in my lifetime – I’ve been a slave and I’ve been an owner  – the atmosphere in the work place is really very disrespectful in today’s world. It’s turned into a ME ME ME world, my rights, my rights, my rights — what I deserve etc…. Paul says WORK HARDER because it makes a difference in other believers and in other slaves.

False Teaching and True Riches

Teach these things, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. Some people may contradict our teaching, but these are the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings promote a godly life. Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions. These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy.

WOW — such powerful word and are truer today than ever before. Paul says point blank that the teachings of JESUS and JESUS only promote a godly life (Christlike). Yet in today’s world there are a million teachings, some a blatantly different and others are not. There is a GREAT danger of becoming legalistic in all of this and that causes an entirely new problem. So what is something different when they use the Bible?

Taking a scripture and creating a doctrine out of it, a “new” truth, a new revelation. When I was in Bible College we had an exercise on class, we were to take ONE SCRIPTURE and build a denomination upon it……… it was FUN and it was EASY. We created a religion that anyone would love and yet it was based on the Word of GOD!!  Paul gives us ways to know (besides the Holy Spirit) —  Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions. These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy. Ever know anyone like this? Takes our minds off the things of God and draws us into silly and useless arguments that you will never win!!

THE WORD OF GOD IS COMPLETE – are there new revelations? YES – Is the word opened up to us by the Holy Spirit and revealed to us in His Time? YES YES YES!! Always put it to the test — the test is: Prove Scripture with Scripture — with the Word. If you can’t throw it away!!!  The word is COMPLETE.

I had a friend who would come up with really out there idea’s about the Word — and if I didn’t go along with his way of thinking – OMG life was horrible – he would get so offended, want to argue for weeks, challenge me on every level – and he could make it make sense with the Word………but COULD NOT PROVE IT WITH THE WORD. He fit this perfectly and I wasted a lot of time, energy and anger on this man. I do love him but whoa!!!

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.

AMEN!!! Nothing to add to this — says it all.

But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

Verses 9 and 10 describe me to a tee – I always wanted to have more than I did– always wanted to live beyond what I could afford. And now, I am in the years in my life when I should retire soon and I have NOTHING!!! I’ve lived a very foolish life when it comes to this area — did not plan, always thought it would fall into my lap…..spent way more than I ever had and that caused more problems —

I can’t change this – not sure what will happen if I can’t work one day but today I’m trusting God 100% – He has blessed me with a job that I can make a living and through this I will learn humility, faith, trust, and able to teach my children the importance of this attitude…..living for the Lord in EVERY AREA of your life — honor him with your money as well as with your time. AMEN!!!!