Precious Rewards in Perilous Times

Precious Rewards

2 Timothy 4

As we close out the 2 Books of Timothy, next week will begin with a few lessons in the Book of Titus.

We should not forget this second book written in the name of Timothy contains the last written words of the Apostle Paul.

It was written from Rome as Paul was probably arrested the second time by Nero, for preaching the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

This time Paul was sentenced to death by beheading, and again Paul was content that his life would soon be coming to an end and he would be going home to be with the Lord!

The truth is, we live in a world that is bombarded with messages of hope, yet all we can see is a world that is becoming more and more corrupt and evil, because this world offers no hope for true life.

My hope is that we could see one more worldwide revival and thousands or even billions would come to know the Lord Jesus Christ on a personal level that begins with love and remains as love because we have such a great love letter from our Savior!

The message of the Word of God is so simple that many do not understand the simplicity of salvation, but one thing must happen. The Holy Spirit must convict us of our sin!

The only lasting hope for all mankind is a personal relationship with Jehovah God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Great “I AM” of the Scriptures.

The Word of God is so important that the Lord called special men and then equipped them to preach the “Gospel Message” of the Lord Jesus Christ!

*****2Ti 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead “at his appearing” and “his kingdom”;
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

What is the work of that Preacher who is called of God? Number one He is to preach!

I think it would be good to mention that in all the pastoral epistles we find nowhere in these Scriptures where any female is authorized to preach the Word of God and the Word of God gives no indication that any woman should become the Pastor of any of the sheep of God who is the Good Shepherd of all His sheep!

In fact, it takes only one Scripture to prove my point!

1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, “the husband of one wife”, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

What we know is that Timothy was a single man called to be Pastor in the Church at Ephesus and this too matches the Scriptures.

For a married man called of God, he must meet the qualifications set down in what we call the Pastoral Epistles, the 2 Books of Timothy and Titus, after first becoming a “Born Again” child of God.

In this one passage we see that a husband must be blameless and have only one wife and may even mean one wife at a time, but this one passage eliminates the woman who could never be the husband of one wife.

Note: If it turned out to be a couple in the LBGT movement then it cannot be any part of the church!

So, God commands that those men He has personally chosen, are to preach the Word of God and not any others.

How many false men behind the pulpits of America and even this world have already rejected the Word of God and preach every version but the truth of God?

A Preacher, whether you say Pastor, Bishop, or any other name is to Preach the Word of God and this means every passage in the Bible, all 31,173 verses in the context that they were written, rightly divided.

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

We saw this Scripture last week and it has not changed, nor will it ever change!

It is a fact that we will be judged for every evil thing we have done since coming to know our Savior but without a doubt that Pastor will be judged for every message he has preached all the time he has been called to be a pastor.

God is watching us all, but there is much more written about God watching those who deal falsely with the truth of the Word of God!

The most important reason to preach the pure truth of God is the fact that we will all be judged by the same Word of God that is be preached.

I personally trust the King James Version Bible because it is an English translation from the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.
I also realize that King James himself was an evil man who I never hear of changing.
The King James Bible has nothing to do with King James except to say that he may have paid to have this work done and even then, he did not have the right intentions. As God will always do, He makes good things come from bad intentions!

I would stay away from any other English translation and those who use any of the other languages, should gauge their own translation by those same Greek and Hebrew manuscripts.

Every work of the Christian must be good enough, not to satisfy men, but to satisfy Jesus Christ (be Christlike)!

We must clearly understand that if the Lord gave such a command to “Preach”, then He is certainly not trying to hide anything from us and He will greatly judge all those who do try to hide the truth of God from us!

In fact, the truth of God simply cannot be hidden from those who are seeking the truth but easily hidden from those who will sit and listen to anything from every “so-called” man of God!

No one is perfect and myself far from that, but we are all to search the Scriptures, so we will know the truth when we hear it and it is not that hard because God will never hide the truth from us!

The man has never lived who can outsmart God!

Psa_2:4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

Psa_59:8 But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.

The one thing that stands out in this passage is the fact that the Lord says to preach the Word of God and does not mean to preach any other matter to those who are listening! This is a sharp command to preach!

This is to take the Word of God and make sense of the Word so all those listening can understand, with the same vigor to make sure they hear what God has to say!

This is so the Holy Spirit can do His work of conviction!

There are many Preachers and Pastors who have no problem with the preaching of God’s Word.

Where many fail they do not exhort those who are hearing, to take the Word of God in to their hearts and apply it to their daily life.

God has already proved that He is longsuffering and even says so and all those who receive the Word of God into their hearts can be gloriously saved but even God has a limit with His longsuffering.

Isa 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

We already know that God does not ever changed His perfect ways and He never will!

Why are all these things so very important? Because of the time we have arrived at today in the last Church Age!

*****2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

We should clearly understand that in the day Paul wrote these words to Timothy and the Church, false doctrine was already entering into the Church!

The human being is still a basically sinful creature, since the time of Adam and we will use every method thought of, to avoid hearing the truth of our sinfulness! This is the Holy Ghost’s first obstacle in convicting us of our sin!

The human being will seek out words that will be more suited to their desires and their fancies!

It is just a fact and even more so, when we only receive partial truths of the Word of God and it is not drilled into our fancies. Most every one that hears the Word of God that is preached as commanded, will know when they hear the truth and it is then it becomes time to make a decision to accept the truth or reject the truth, but the truth is understood and not many will do so the very first time they truly understand the Word of God.

The Preacher is to also be patient! Salvation is nothing to be toyed with. It is the most important decision any of us will make and it is the right decision!

God will continue to send His Words to each individual, until the Holy Spirit says that it is enough! God said: “my Spirit will not always strive with man”!

Church history has already proven that this happened early to the Churches in Asia and Paul even commented upon this same thing.

2Ti 1:15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

Even today it is a struggle to get the Word of God into these countries so the Holy Spirit can do His work.

These are the 7 churches in the Book of Revelation all in Asia, but we must also remember that these are also the 7 Ages of the Church, which is nearing its end.

Only one Church the Church of Philadelphia is shown to remain completely faithful to the Lord!

All six of the other churches became apostate in one way or the other with the greatest apostacy of leaving the first love of the church or the foundation which is the Lord Jesus Christ.

I believe this is where we are at in the USA and most of the rest of the world, where the church is not still on fire for God!

In fact, the USA has become one of the biggest mission fields in the entire world when it was once known as a godly nation and more missionaries went out into the world from here!

We must also know, that if we are not on fire for the Lord Jesus Christ, then we can also be considered to be an apostate Church!

People turn away from God simply because they have rejected the truth and do not want to hear the truth, not even considering the consequences of such a rebellion against our Holy God!

The Bible is very clear! When you turn away from the foundation of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ, then Satan will have a man or even some woman who will teach unto you vain fables, to make you feel good about the false church!

They will tell you anything that sounds close to the truth without having any truth in it at all.

Our example comes from this passage in the Book of the Beginnings (Genesis)

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Gen 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
Gen 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Sinful man simply wants teachers who will allow them to live as they please, without hearing anything about sin or Hell, or even Heaven.

For such people these places will become places that simply do not exist!

We must pray for such people because God still loves them!

But we must not ever be fooled, the only way any one can be saved is to surrender to the whole truth of God!

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

We must realize that myths and fables do certainly exist in every religion but not in Christianity!

*****2Ti 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

When God gives us a ministry then we are to make full proof of that ministry God has given to us!

It is obvious that when we look around we can see many so-called men of God who just do not remain faithful to their ministry or they never were!

A true minister of God will suffer more hardships than most because they have a target on their back for all those who follow Satan to fire their fiery darts.

1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Not every man of God will be traveling preachers because many are chosen to Pastor a church. For any ministry the object must remain to seek to win souls in everything that is done, even in discipleship training, the object is to seek those that the Lord can save.

The Lord Jesus has passed this baton to the church!

Joh 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

We should not forget the circumstances of the Apostle Paul as the Holy Spirit gave him these words.

*****2Ti 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Paul knows his punishment will be death by beheading but his knowledge of going home to be with the Lord, far outweighs anything this world could do to him!

The very last act we as Christians must do is give our bodies as a sacrifice back to the Lord, who will then even resurrect that body at the “rapture of thee Church”. That saved soul will be in Heaven at the last breath of that body!

When we give our life to the Lord, He will still require the death of that body at a time of His choosing!

To depart from this world and to move into that place prepared for us by the Lord Jesus Christ, is the greatest blessing we can receive in this world and the beginning of true life!

**Paul said death was no more than a departure from this world and finally going home!

We must remember when we are in the Army of God we must live our life as a faithful soldier. We should clearly understand, God has an all-volunteer Army but we must be committed to the fight!

This world no longer has any real importance to that soldier in God’s Army!

In the end we should all be able to say we have fought a good fight. In fact, our rewards will be based on our fight in the army of God!

**Paul said he had remained in his race and he had finished his course, he had completed his race in this life!

We must discipline our lives to the commandments of God and follow the Lord as our example right up till the end!

A true runner will never stop in the middle of a race. This also includes taking care of that body that we have been given and following the lead of the Lord.

**Paul had kept the faith!

We must be good stewards of the Word of God!

The Lord has given us the ability for our faith to grow. When we are saved we have sworn our allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ. Even through all the sufferings of the Apostle Paul, when he could have thrown up his hands and laid his faith aside, but he had claimed that faith and he held onto his faith all the way to Heaven’s gates where he was welcomed in the arms of the Lord!

We serve a righteous God who will Himself present a “crown of righteousness” to all those who have followed in the steps of the Apostle Paul!

Think about that for a minute!

The King of all the Ages will make a presentation to a dirty rotten sinner like me, and like you, a Crown of Righteousness.
It is only then that we will have been made perfect in the eyes of the Lord!

Now if you are not looking and preparing for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, then you will miss out on such a precious gift that we will all just toss back to the Savior’s feet.

How can I be worthy of such a thing?
Have I truly finished my course?
Have I been a consistent soldier in the army of God?
Have I kept the faith as did Paul?
Have I been true to the Lord once He saved me?
Will I even have a crown to toss to the feet of Jesus?

We should ask ourselves these questions.

1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

1Pe 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

What did the Lord advise us all to do?

Rev 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: “hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown”.

This is what happens to those who fall into the trap of false preachers and false teachers!

One of the things that Paul wanted and could be fulfilled before his death was to spend just a little more time with this young man Timothy before he went home to be with the Lord.

We can learn many things in these last breathes of the Apostle Paul.

*****2Ti 4:9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
2Ti 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
2Ti 4:12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.

We should understand that until we get to Heaven, human companionship is a necessary thing. The most important of those would be our family and our church family who we know we will spend eternity with.

Timothy was close to the heart of the Apostle Paul.

We should also understand that though the Christian life is the greatest life while we are upon this earth, but there are certainly times when every believer needs help!

No doubt Demas was believed to a part of Paul’s church family but when he realized that he could die because of his beliefs, it was too much for him to commit to.

Demas loved this present world more than he loved the Lord Jesus and Paul was hurt by his leaving.

It is a terrible thing for someone who has been involved in the ministry of the Lord to give up on the Lord when times get hard. They too just reject the truth!

Mat 26:56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
Mat 26:57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.

We see these things happening all over our nation today. Those who prefer to be politically correct, rather stick to the proven truth!

It should be obvious to anyone that worldliness is fatal to God’s plan of salvation.

The Lord Jesus said this was a sign of the end of the Church Age!

Rev 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
Rev 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Rev 2:3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Timothy was the Pastor in Ephesus until He was also murdered by the government but this is no reflection on his preaching, but it is a sign of the Church Age we live in today.

For some unknown reason, Titus had to return to his own ministry but we should consider that Dalmatia was also a Roman province and persecution was no doubt an issue here.

This is the only mention of Crescens in all the Scriptures, but tradition says he was one of the seventy disciples of Christ Jesus who was sent to preach and no doubt Crescens also had to return to his ministry in Galatia also a Roman province.

Christians throughout the Roman Empire were being persecuted relentlessly.

Luk_10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
Luk_10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

Doctor Luke remained with Paul right up to the end. We should not doubt that Luke was certainly a highly skilled medical missionary!

We also see that Mark was near to Ephesus and Paul needed someone to take over his jail ministry and Mark was a great value to the Lord for such things.

We know from past studies that Tychicus had been sent to deliver these epistles of Paul many times which shows the importance of such men who jeopardize thier own lives to take the Word of God to places it is not allowed.

We should also understand that the Church has no power when the world is allowed to enter into it!

We cannot be politically correct and obey the Word of God at the same time!

We next see that there are other things that Paul held dear all of his days after he met the Lord Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus!

I pray we all remember our own day on the Damascus road forever more!

When we lay on death’s bed, we need to remember what is truly important to us.

*****2Ti 4:13 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

No doubt that this Roman prison was a cold dark place and Paul left his heavy coat in Troas. Just so we know, when Timothy found Mark and then went to Troas, it was a 600-mile journey to Rome in a time when walking and by ship were the only means transportation.

No doubt that some books were at that time available and Paul had some favorites, but these could still be scrolls containing the Word of God which is probably more accurate but at least we know that Paul enjoyed reading!

Those parchments were probably animal skins that had been prepared for writing. These things might not out last paper but they were certainly more durable.

Paul is in prison, he cannot preach nor, can he teach but he could keep his mind active by reading and studying from some books that he had chosen. I’m sure the Scriptures were among them!

Paul’s life as a Christian missionary had certainly been harsh at times!

*****2Ti 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:
2Ti 4:15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.

Since not much is known about this Alexander, then we must just accept what Paul is saying. We can also understand that Timothy knew of this person.

It is believed that this is the same Alexander of Ephesus who was a leader in a certain union of metal workers making idols to the false goddess Diana.

Diana was a goddess in Roman mythology and the Greeks called her Artimus. In Ephesus was the Temple of Diana, once listed as one of the seven wonders of this world.

This Alexander was a Jew and the Jews had developed an extreme hatred for the Apostle Paul.

We still see that answer lies in the fact that when we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, anything we place over our Lord then becomes our god.

We should be able to see that money was the god of Alexander and not Diana nor the Lord Jesus Christ and he was truly an evil man!

There is a real possibility that this same Alexander testified against the Apostle Paul at his first answer, as he puts it!

It seems that today, even more Christians are turning against other Christians, effectively killing the Holy Ghost Power in the Church.

*****2Ti 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
2Ti 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

Here again we see another instance where Paul followed in the ways of Jesus Christ as he asks God the Father to forgive all those who had forsaken him.

We can also see that Paul would stand before Nero one more time. We may all stand before our own government one day just because we know the truth and accept the truth of God. We will never stand alone for though the whole world abandoned us, the Lord Jesus Christ will never leave our side the whole time.

We should not miss a very important point here. The Lord Jesus Christ was abandoned by all those who followed Him and was delivered by God the Father, now The Lord Jesus Christ will deliver all those who call upon His name.

Paul knew He was going to his death, but he wanted every Christian to realize he would be delivered out of the mouth of the lion, that “roaring lion” Satan himself because, Satan holds no power over our death, because our life now lies in the hands of our Holy God!

As long as our “faith” lies in work of the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, our life is held securely in the hand of God!

The Lord informed Paul that because he had remained faithful to the “gospel”; and the Holy Spirit had been the mind behind all the Epistles of Paul, that every Gentile would at some time, hear and understand the lifesaving Word of God, “The Truth” of life!

Php 1:7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
Php 1:8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

What is true deliverance?

*****2Ti 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

If we could all just hold to the truth of this Scripture, all our worries in this world would vanish and stay away!

We as Christians have been delivered from a Devil’s Hell. It is in the past, we have already been delivered! We have been preserved to live out eternity wherever the Lord our God abides in His Heavenly Kingdom!

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

At the death of our body, in one moment of time, “the twinkling of an eye”, our life in this world will cease and our life will begin wherever God is at!

Some say a twinkling is 11/100’s of a second. This means it will be very quick!

One moment we are a citizen of this world and the next moment we will be at our new home in Heaven!

We will never have the taste of death in our mouths!

Isa 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

While we remain in this body, we should remember all those who have made a difference in our lives!

*****2Ti 4:19 Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.
2Ti 4:20 Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.
2Ti 4:21 Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.
2Ti 4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen

We should also remember that these are the very last words of the Apostle Paul.

Paul would always send greetings from those who were with him and also to those he was writing to.

If there was ever a woman who God would allow to take on the role as Pastor, it would have been Priscilla, but she knew the order of things and remained with her husband Aquila and they both helped Paul and other Christians in any way that they could.

They had been driven from Rome by the Emperor Claudius and had met Paul in Corinth and they made friends quickly because they were all tent makers.

They accompanied Paul to Ephesus, later again they went back to Rome where they allowed their house to be a church, where God’s people could assemble.

Again, they were run out of Rome and it seems they settled in Ephesus.

No doubt these two Christians were a great help to Timothy. Priscilla was a great example of the godly wife and would work tirelessly in the church at Ephesus.

Onesiphorus was a Christian from Ephesus who had shown a great kindness to Paul while he was in that Roman jail. No doubt that this entire family had been a precious family to the Apostle Paul.

Erastus was also a companion of Paul at Ephesus who had been sent with Timothy to Macedonia while Paul traveled in Asia. He was a native of Corinth.

Trophimus had traveled with Paul on his 3rd missionary journey. He was also with Paul in Jerusalem. He was that same Gentile Paul was accused of taking into the Temple, which was a lie but if true it meant the Temple was made unclean until a ceremony of cleanness could be performed.

It seems that Trophimus was too sick to travel to Rome to assist the Apostle Paul in his own last days.

It was difficult for ships to travel the Mediterranean Sea in the winter months and Paul wanted to see Timothy before this time and he certainly wanted that cloak.

Eubulus was another Christian who had helped Paul while he was in that Roman dungeon.

Pudens was a friend of Timothy who after the death of Paul, was also murdered by Nero.

Linus is said to have become the Pastor of the Church in Rome after Peter had been murdered.

It is believed that this Claudia, was the wife of Pudens and both of them may have come from royal families, she being from Britain.

When Paul said all the brethren then he was referring to all those of the Church that day and today!

All brethren have the same Father, God the Father, and are brothers and sisters to the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ and filed with God the Holy Spirit!

Without wearing the seal of God, the Holy Spirit, you cannot be in this wonderful eternal family!

Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Eph 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Paul loved all those who had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior we all should!


Let’s Pray!

The Preaching Of Jesus

The Preaching Of God’s Servant

Repent, Believe, Follow

Book of Mark 1_14-28

We began our study into the Book of Mark last week.

We first met John the Baptist. We then met many who came to be baptized by John.

This included the Lamb of God, The Lord Jesus Christ.

As Jesus came up out of the water we met the Holy Spirit and then the voice of Our Father in Heaven spoke out.

We next met Satan, so now we have met the main characters in the Gospels.

What Mark does that others don’t do, is that Mark goes directly into the ministry of Jesus Christ in Galilee.

*****Mar 1:14  Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

Why was John put in prison?

We know that all scripture is given by the inspiration of God, "this includes the Gospels".

In the Book of Mark, the Holy Spirit decided to let us know that as soon as Jesus’ ministry began, "the ministry of John the Baptist was to cease".

John the Baptist was imprisoned by King Herod.

John had become the enemy of the ruling government of Israel.

How was John an enemy to the government?

It was bad enough that Palestine was ruled by Rome but those that ruled Israel were just as evil if not more so!

John was not afraid to point out the evils of the government of Herod!

Luk 3:19  But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and "for all the evils which Herod had done",
Luk 3:20  Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.

First, this was not Herod the Great but it was one of his sons Herod Antipas. He reigned from 4 BC to 39 AD.

It is this same Herod that was in power, under Rome, during the time of Jesus.

Herod the Great had had 9 or 10 wives depending on which books you read and many sons and this had led to many of them seeking his throne.

It is said that Herod the Great killed two of his wives and 3 or more of his sons. Herod the Great was not a Jew but he did practice Jewish tradition.

Jews do not eat pork so this Herod did not kill pigs, so with this in mind, Augustus Caesar describe this Herod this way.

"It is better to be a pig in Jerusalem than to be a Son of Herod the Great"!

Herod Antipas did not set as king but only as  "tetrarch" of Galilee and Perea "But" he was evil just like his father!

Jesus labeled him "That fox" when He was told that this Herod intended to kill Him:

Luk 13:31  The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.
Luk 13:32  And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell "that fox", Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

And this is the Herod that Jesus stood before at His false trial before being crucified:

Luk 23:6  When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.
Luk 23:7  And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.

Herod Antipas had a half-brother named Philip who was probably never a ruler but his wife Herodias craved royalty and the life that came with it and was willing to do anything to be a part of that life.

Herodias was the daughter of Aristobulus, a Roman, and Bernice who we met in our study of the Book of Acts, who lived in an incestuous relationship with her brother another Herod. (Herod Agrippa)

We can see how these things kind of ran in the family.

While John had no problem with telling the government of this Herod how wicked it was, John also had no problem telling this Herod that under Jewish law, he was living in great sin.

But it was Herodias, his evil wife, that help to plot for John’s arrest and later his death, being beheaded.

Not many governments like it when the Church, the Body of Christ, takes a stand on the truth!

****Between verse 13 of last weeks lesson and verse 14 a whole year has come and  passed.

Jesus had already performed His first signs and miracles.

He had also began His ministry but had spent most all of His first year and after His temptation, in Judah.

It is the Apostle John, in his "Gospel" that fills in the blanks for this first year of the ministry of Jesus.

John the Baptist preached like Elijah and he was rewarded for his preaching by being  put in prison.

We may still see this happen in America one day soon!

Because governments do not like for their sins to be pointed out!

In many other nations pastors and preachers are arrested more "for preaching the sin of government" than they are for preaching Jesus.

We must first keep our focus on Jesus and then go where that leads us!

But, we are told to take our stand on the Word of God!

Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, "to stand".

*****Mar 1:15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Jesus was saying:

**1) The time is fulfilled:

The Apostle Paul said it this way:

Gal 4:4  But when "the fulness of the time was come", God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Many prophets had told of this day:

Dan 9:24  Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Dan 9:25  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem [unto the Messiah the Prince] shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
Dan 9:26  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

Isa 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Mic 5:2  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

This the period of time "that was fulfilled" that Jesus was referring to, the time until He came the first time to establish His Church!

**2) The kingdom of God is at hand:

We have the kingdom of God, the kingdom of Christ (Matt 6:33), the kingdom of Heaven (Matt 13:41), the kingdom of Christ and God  (Eph 5:5)

So what does all this mean?

a) What it is not at this time is the Kingdom of Glory!

The Kingdom of Glory will be the New Heaven and the New Earth!

Rev 21:1  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

b) What it was not at this time the kingdom of "Grace"!

For only believers can partake of the kingdom of "Grace"

2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
2Ti 1:10  But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

c) What it was:

It was the kingdom of the Messiah that was at hand!

He was ready to appear. (time Fulfilled)
He would be made known to Israel.
He would enter into the work that He came to accomplish. (ministry then the cross)
He would show His absolute authority over this earth. (miracles)(rebuking Satan and his demons)
He would show the blessings and advantages that flow from His rule,
He would point out the ones who would be welcome into His kingdom.

It would take repentance!

It would take faith, but not just faith, but faith in the "Gospel", the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who stood before the world at this fulness of time. (Christ means Messiah)

This was the message that Jesus preached!

*****Mar 1:16  Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

Galilee is roughly 50 miles long by 25 miles wide. On it’s eastern border is the Sea of Galilee, which is about 14 miles long and seven mile wide.

Where ever you stand on this lake you can see all of it. This explains how people could follow Jesus around the shore line, they could see where he was going.

In Jesus day, Galilee was the most populated province in the Middle East!

It was a region where Roman, Greek, and Jews mixed and intermingled and it was just as much Gentile as it was Jewish.

John had preached in the wilderness, but Jesus preached in the highways and the hedges and in the cities.

People went to John in the wilderness, but Jesus went to the people "whosoever" they were and wherever they were located.

The message of John was "Repent"!

The message of the Messiah was "Believe"!

And we can see that Jesus was preaching this message before He had even chosen any of His 12 disciples!

The Jews had expected the Messiah to be King.
The Jews had expected their own peace and prosperity and to be out from under Rome and all foreign rule.
The Jews had expected the return to the Garden of Eden.
The Jews had expected the lion to lie down with the lamb and eat straw and not the cattle.
The Jews had expected crime and disease and crime to vanish and a life of splendor.

Luk 19:11  And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God "should immediately appear".

The Jews had not listened to the Word of God!

Because what the Jews got was also in from the prophets:

Isa 53:2  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
Isa 53:3  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

They got Psalms 22 where it says:

Psa 22:6  But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

Psa 22:13  They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

And they forgot:

Psa 22:27  All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
Psa 22:28  For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations.

Psa 22:31  They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

****Andrew had been a follower of John the Baptist and had introduced his brother Peter to Jesus but after this Jesus had gone into the wilderness to be tempted of Satan and some time, at least a year had past.

So, this was not the first time they had met Jesus!

These two were already fishermen by trade.

But this time Jesus had these words for them:

*****Mar 1:17  And Jesus said unto them, "Come" ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

First:  they were offered the privilege of following the Savior, just as we are!

Second:  this was not a request, it was not an offer, and it was not an invitation, this was a command!

It was time for these men to make a choice!

It was a time to respond or a time to ignore!

This was a command for them to be a part of the business of the "Gospel"!
It was because Jesus preached with authority that people would leave their occupations and become His disciples!

Jesus had met these men previously, in fact being raised up in the same area they could have already known each other on a personal level.

Remember, Jesus was different from them all because He had never sinned in His lifetime and they could have already known this!

Andrew had already said the Jesus was the Messiah:

Joh 1:40  One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
Joh 1:41  He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, [We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ].

And Jesus had already singled out Peter:

Joh 1:42  And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

Jesus had a specific purpose for calling Peter and all the rest:

Mat 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock "I will build my church"; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mat 16:19  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

It was time to begin the building of God’s Church!

To "become" would be a long and slow process and would take the next two and one half years in daily company of Our Lord.

Jesus would take simple fishermen and transform them into "fishers of men".

Most every true preacher began as laymen and have left that lively hood to serve The Lord!

"I Will":  It was only Christ Jesus who could have converted these men into the Apostles.

It would be these Apostles that would build the Church on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

Jesus did all the work!

Our one piece of work to do to be saved "Is To Believe"!

Jesus said all the work that needed to be done for our salvation He had taken care of:

Joh 17:4  I have glorified thee on the earth: "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do".

And that work was completed on the Cross:

Joh 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished": and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

It is these men, eventually 12, who would cast the "Gospel Net":

Mat 13:47  Again, "the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net", that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
Mat 13:48  Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.

It is believed that at least 7 of the 12 disciples were at one time fishermen by trade.

*****Mar 1:18  And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

It was not just these two Andrew and Peter that did this but "All" 12 forsaked everything to follow Jesus.

Mat 19:27  Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, "we have forsaken all", and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

Well maybe there was one who had not forsaken all but stayed the same, Judas Iscariot.

Joh 12:6  This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but "because he was a thief", and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

Judas "was a thief" long before walking with Christ and "a thief" all the time he walk with Jesus Christ but Jesus also knew this all along.

Joh 6:70  Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and "one of you is a devil"?
Joh 6:71  He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

Jesus gave Satan a front row seat of how the "Gospel" was to be spread throughout this world we live in.

Jesus defeated Satan on the cross and He was rubbing Satan’s face in it now!

**Straightway means they followed immediately without hesitation!

*****Mar 1:19  And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.
Mar 1:20  And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.

Peter and Andrew had left their boat and their job.

James and John had left their boat and their job, their business and their earthly father.

But because it was Jesus that called, they all obeyed.

Zebedee may not have been rich but he ran a business. He owned 2 boats and was able to hire servants.

James and John followed Jesus not only giving up their family but also giving up their inheritance.

Zebedee was not completely caught of guard because he also knew Jesus. His wife Salome seems to be the sister of Mary the virgin mother of Our Lord.

But Jesus also makes another promise to His 12 Apostles:

Mat 19:28  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Mat 19:29  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

The rewards of Heaven are much greater than anything we can receive on this Earth!

Jesus did not go to the University of Jerusalem in search of scholars!

Jesus did not go to the Rabbinical Schools to see which ones were ready to graduate!

Jesus did not go to the Sadducees, nor the Pharisees, nor the Scribes to get those that supposedly knew the scriptures!

Jesus did not go to the Sanhedrin Court in search of permission!

Jesus Christ used ordinary people who were just humble working men!

Jesus called and they left all behind!

*****Mar 1:21  And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.

To go to Capernaum was a fulfillment of prophesy:

Mat 4:13  And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
Mat 4:14  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
Mat 4:15  The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
Mat 4:16  The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
Mat 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Capernaum became Jesus’ adopted home!

Capernaum was also one of the most prosperous cities in Palestine at that time.

The Sabbath day, brought Jesus into the local synagogue and their could have been more than one in this city.

In fact it is probable that each sect of people had their own synagogue as there was in Jerusalem.

Act 6:9  Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

In any case Jesus came to preach, as He did in every synagogue He entered.

Luk 4:16  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, [as his custom was], he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

We know that the Apostle Paul also followed this guideline set forth by Christ Jesus after all He is our example to follow:

Act 17:2  And Paul, "as his manner was", went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

Jesus did not enter in to listen, Jesus went in to preach and to teach.

Jesus did not have a modern day version of the scriptures, because He taught from the same scriptures that were used in each synagogue.

Act 13:15  And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.

Once the ruler of the synagogue had read from the Word of God, then others could exhort the people.

Jesus would teach from the Laws of Moses and from the same prophets that they already knew.

"Exhort" means to advise, and to warn, and to caution and this was exactly why Jesus had come!

*****Mar 1:22  And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.

In the New Testament times, most of the scribes were actually Pharisees.

They added to the Laws of Moses with their own traditions and rituals.

This obscured the truth of the Law and made in non-effective as a means of teaching the truth of the Word of God.

It is therefore important to know how Christ Jesus treated the Written Word of God which was only the Old Testament in His days on Earth.

Jesus had these words:

Mat 5:17  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Mat 5:18  For verily I say unto you, "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled".

We are all to accept the Word of God "in the context" that it is written.

Again the words of Jesus:

Luk 24:44  And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, "that all things must be fulfilled", which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

Jesus said all things written about Him in the Old Testament must be fulfilled!

When Jesus debated with unbelievers concerning His right to be called the "Son of God" and He used this verse:

Psa 82:6  I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

And He said that "the scriptures cannot be broken":

When we reject the Word of God, we have then made our own selves "little gods" placing our selves above Him!

Joh 10:35  If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
Joh 10:36  Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

In other words just because there are many that do not believe the Word of God is true, does not change the fact that "It Is True"!

Adding this:

Joh 10:37  If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
Joh 10:38  But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

Jesus Christ quoted the Old Testament accepting it just as it was written!

Jesus refuted the Devil, Satan, by using Old Testament scriptures.(Deut 8:2; 6:13,16)

Jesus used the Book of Psalms to teach that the Messiah would be rejected. (Matthew 21:42)

Jesus quoted the Old Testament (Isaiah) to show the Jew that the Gentiles would also be accepted. Matthew 12:18-21)

Jesus quoted Exodus 3:6 to the Sadducees.

Jesus quoted from the Pentateuch, therefore accepting it.

Jesus quoted from the Septuagint, therefore accepting it.

Jesus said God is the "God of the living" and not the "God of the dead".

The dead have no God!

So to suggest there are errors in the Bible is to attack the character of God!

Jesus taught the truth of God’s Word and God’s Word is the authority!

Jesus taught with "authority" because he was the "author".

Heb 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Heb 4:13  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

*****Mar 1:23  And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
Mar 1:24  Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.
Mar 1:25  And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.

Along with preaching like these people had never heard before, they even saw miracles performed by Christ Jesus, things no earthly man could have done!

BUT, we can also see that whenever the truth is preached, "because these people had not hearing the truth", even Satan showed up for the sermon.

This was the same unclean spirit that hindered King Saul as we have just studied in 1 Samuel.

The devil had had little to fear from the usual service in the synagogue but he feared now because God had come to create His Church.

We should not miss this fact stated by the unclean spirits for they acknowledge that this Jesus had the power to destroy them, that no one else had!

Notice it is the evil spirit that let’s us all know that it was not just any man named Jesus, but Jesus of Nazareth!

And that this same Jesus of Nazareth was indeed, the Holy One of God or the Messiah!

Did Jesus show emotions? Let’s look as He commands this demon.

The Greek word "phimoo" is used for our English phrase "hold thy peace". This word means "to muzzle" so Jesus was saying "put a muzzle on it demon" and get out of the house of God!

This is the same command Jesus gave to an unruly wind later while in a boat on the sea of Galilee.

Jesus told that wind "to put a muzzle on it"!

Satan is just a created being just like we are!

God has full control over all His creation and we can see that this "Jesus of Nazareth" had that same power!

*****Mar 1:26  And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.

Satan still knows that he must obey God and just like he is today he is still defiant. He will leave as much destruction behind as he can but only as God allows.

It was Jesus who had control over this entire situation and not this demon of Satan.

There will never be a day that Our Savior needs any help from Satan for believers to know who He is!

We should also notice that a healing had taken place on a Sabbath and no one even questioned it!

These people were too astonished to say anything!

*****Mar 1:27  And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
Mar 1:28  And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.

Those that attended the House of God that day had never witnessed anything like this!

We should see that it was the message of Jesus that was of greater importance and not the miracles!

The miracles only added to the message!

These people were beginning to realize that the "truth" is of itself a powerful message.

They had had the truth all along but their leaders would not teach the Word of God as it was written!

Joh 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall "make" you free.

It is a fact that this lost world is tired of "legalism".

The lost world is tired of "ritualism".

The lost world is tired of "rationalism".

The lost world is tired of "hypocrisy".

The lost world is tired of these things they see coming from the church these days.

The lost world is tired of unfruitful words, psychological preaching, the doctrines of nature, and worn out cliches.

The lost world does not care to see more charismatic extremism, or phony ecumenism and universalism.

The lost world is tired of dead sermons!

The Lost world is ready for the truth that makes men free!

When the Church returns to the "doctrine" of the Holy One of God, Jesus of Nazareth, The Lord Jesus Christ, then Satan will be cast our of our places of worship and the Church will be filled with Holy Ghost power and the "Truth" will again make us free and the lost world will then take notice!


Let’s Pray!