King James Bible Study – [Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.]
Date: Thursday, November 04, 2021
Chapters: Mark 12, Matthew 23
Message: Jesus Is Working On Me
Hello My Friend,
There is a Sunday School song, “He’s Still Working on Me” [He’s still working on me, To make me what I need to be. It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars, The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient He must be, ‘Cause He’s still workin’ on me.]
I spent the day yesterday cleaning out my carport, the previous owners actually closed it in and looks like they intended to make it a room, but between what they left behind and what we still had left unpacked, there was quite a bit of work to do. I threw out the things we did not need, put away most of the things that were left, and moved things around so that I could actually make it into a rec room. The frustrating thing was that more I had done the more it seemed as though it had gotten worse instead of better. I was getting tired and sore because there were pretty heavy things to move around in there, so I just started sweeping it out, when I got to the end, I looked back, expecting to see a big mess, only it was not, it looked very nice and clean. As I thought how in the world did I miss it all coming together, Jesus tells me, “That is exactly what I do with you.” and, was in tears when I heard that. We think that we are messing things up with God the more we try to please Him, but the reality of it all is that Jesus is the one working on us, we may not see it, everyone else does, [John 13:15-16 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.]
Yes, we are seen as strange and peculiar to the world, and quite frankly many Christians as well, who have either adapted their own or follow some religion that has more or less restrictions than God commands. And let me tell you who hates us more, the religious, and they will do anything the can to try and put out the light of Christ that shines through us. As we continue in the reading of the Gospels, Mark also gives as account to the religious sects trying to catch Jesus say something that they could use to discredit Him and also put doubt in His believers minds. The subject of paying taxes came up, and Jesus knew right away what they were up to.
[Mark 12:13-17 And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. 14 And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. 16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. 17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.]
[And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees] There will always be a group of people that the cowards will use to stir up trouble, and yes, they are the cowards because they cannot do the dirty work themselves. This time though, the Herodians were sent as well, this is the worldly crowd, and this actually has Satan written all over it as he is the true coward, and knows that he cannot trump Jesus. Let me tell you, the biggest ploy that the world uses to try and discredit us or derail our faith is politics, especially during this, politically correct garbage. Jesus avoided the trap, by telling them to follow the Law, withing God’s Law, which is what we are to do as well, [Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.]
It does absolutely no good to argue politics with the world, and by the way, we do have a right to stand up for ourselves when they attempt to get us to go against God as that is actually against the law. Now, there was another religious sect as well that was not quite on board with Jesus and they were the Sadducees.
[Mark 12:18-23 Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying, 19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 20 Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed. 21 And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise. 22 And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also. 23 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.]
[which say there is no resurrection;] The Sadducees were actually Jews who denied the existence of angels or other spirits, all miracles, including the resurrection. They were the religious rationalists of the time and strongly entrenched in the Sanhedrin and priesthood. For the life of me I do not understand how someone can believe in God, but not in the supernatural, but Jesus answers them, [Mark 12:24,27 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? 25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. 26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.]
[He is not the God of the dead,] The dead, meaning those whom have never accepted Christ as their Saviour. A true believer believes every word of God, they do not question His existence or who He is, in fact, they do not even need the Word of God to know that He is true. Abraham, Issac, and Jacob did not even have the Law to follow, they too believed by faith that Jesus was coming to save them, and lived by that faith, and that was what counted to their salvation, [Hebrews 11:17,20-21,39-40 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.]
The religious will always believe the opposite of what God commands, and yet have the nerve to say that they are trusting in His Word and follow it. One of the scribes was listening to Jesus as He addressed each and every one of these fools, and comes up with a question of his own.
[Mark 12:28-34 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. 32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: 33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.]
[Which is the first commandment of all?] What is the first command that God had given? [Exodus 20:2-3 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.] So, Jesus, actually combines the first four commandments that God Himself had written on the two tablets that He gave Moses together into one commandment, [Exodus 20:1-11].
[Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.] Jesus also gives a second command, this is actually the other six of the ten combined into one, [Exodus 20:12-17]. God’s commands are not grievous, and quite reasonable when you stop to think about it. There is a love that Christ brings into a soul that has received Him as their Saviour that only true believers can obtain. We cannot explain it and if we left it up to our flesh, there is no way that we could pull it off. That love is actually what brings us to be more like Christ as He molds and shapes us into an image that resembles Him, much like when a tree is pruned (purged), [John 15:1-2 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.]
Since we are all sinners saved by grace, and have our own understanding of the Bible, we can expect some of them to be of personal preference, but what they are to never do is change the Gospel, water down the Bible, or go completely off its message, and that is the key to a strong, Christ centered church. As Jesus was in the temple teaching and observing things that were going on He started getting kind of angry. Fed up with all this, He began speaking, first of all, calling them out for their grievous rules.
[Matthew 23:1-7 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.]
[But all their works they do for to be seen of men:] These are literally the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses of today. Their leaders say they say they follow the Bible, enforce these rules that are impossible to achieve, have no intention of following God’s commands, and too blind to see they are headed straight for hell. As Jesus continues upbraiding them, He literally calls them fools and blind.
[Matthew 23:17-24 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. 19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. 21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. 23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.]
[which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.] Do you know why Jesus used this as reference? I did not until I looked it up this morning. Well, according to the Law of Moses, it says, [Leviticus 11:41 And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten.] Before they drank their wine they would strain it just in case a bug had gotten into it so they do not break the Law by accidentally consuming one, the penalty being forty stripes. They were very strict and precise in smaller matters of the Law, but careless and loose in weightier matters. This is why the Bible also says, [James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.]
This is exactly why Jesus gave His life for us, it is truly impossible to be able to follow every one of the over six hundred commandments that God had given in the Law. It does not matter if we could follow every command, all it takes is that one to send us to hell. Yes, God gave the command of the animal sacrifices as a way to redeem a sinner temporarily, but each time they sinned they had to do the same thing. Jesus made it permanent, [Hebrews 10:1,4,9-10 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.]
Today’s Prayer: Jesus, You have given us the greatest example of how we are to live our lives through our faith in You. Religions may earn titles and win prizes for following rules, but the greatest prize that I ever obtained is receiving eternal life through my faith in You alone. I am not saved because I earned it, but because I put my faith and trust in You as my Saviour. Because of my faith, I know and have seen that strait truly is the gate, and I am learning to be okay with that because I will forever choose You over the world. Lord, Thank You for all the work You do in my life, and thank You for making things interesting and challenging sometimes. However, you lead me, give me Your power to live in and through You, give me Your strength to fight for my faith, let me not get caught up in obeying rules that are not Yours, but simply love You with all my heart, and others as I would myself. I ask these things in Your name, Jesus. Amen
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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