PTB2-8: Gospel of Mark #6, Threads or Sounds of Doctrine and Authority in Mark.

 NOTE:  Recall that in the total outline of the Bible presented in several SunGrist books, the Gospel of Mark is presented as an Appendix or good summary and closing argument on the total Bible.  With this series of messages on Mark, you should be able to see that.  This outline of Mark which will be presented to you with a total outline of Mark was developed during the writing of many books like Snatching, Stumbling, and the Falling Away, What the Churches Don’t Want you to Hear, and Cup of Water, a condensed version of Mark.

The Image above is the Last Page of the 10 page outline of the Gospel of Mark. You will notice that it is about JESUS IS RISEN: Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9-11); Jesus appeared to Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emaus (Mark 16:12,13); Jesus appeared in the locked room to the 11 apostles minus Thomas (Mark 16:14); over 500 disciples meet with Jesus on a mount in Galilee at an appointed time, and Jesus gives the great commission (Mark 16:15-18); the Ascension of Jesus back to heaven (Mark 16:19,20).

There are certain threads or sounds that repeat often in the Gospel of Mark. One such sound is that of DOCTRINE and AUTHORITY. {There are others that you will expect to see in a study of the 16 chapters of Mark: the teachings of Jesus on certain subject matters as the Falling Away, the teachings of Jesus on love of this world versus love of mammon, the teaching and preaching of Jesus on the Gospel, the miracles of Jesus, the death and resurrection of Jesus; and so on. It is hoped to limit to the study to eight of these and stay focused on them throughout Mark. This is not an attempted commentary on Mark. Many good commentaries on Mark already exist.} God plays with the wisdom of the world and of the university scholars as He chooses to save those through the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe (“When in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those that believe…”); (4) The wisdom of this world of the universities and books (except a select few) are foolishness with God, and not many mighty or noble or wise are called to a proper spiritual understanding; and (5) It is necessary to face up to the fact that true Bible faith in Christ is a minority endeavor as “many are called but few are chosen”, and “broad is the way that leads to destruction and many go that way’ while “narrow is the way that leads to eternal life” and few there are that take that way of life. It is the simple difference between the majority and the minority that we are talking about.

This applies to the United States also. You can hardly make a legitimate case that this majority and minority thing of the Bible applies to the whole world apart from the United States. Even as it applied also to Israel, the originally chosen nation of God, in the days of Christ, it also applies to the currently chosen nation of God, the United States, during this age of the fullness of the Gentiles. What we have in the United States, to use the words of some of the American Studies scholars, is an AMERICAN DEMOCRATIC FAITH. It can be summarized as spoken by former Prime Minister of Israel Begin, “You Americans are born Christians just as Jews are born Jews.” Neither is true, but it takes a close study of that part of the Word of God called the book of Romans, by the Apostle Paul and the Spirit of God, to understand it. That will be explained in the third chapter, “God’s Watershed of History: Choice of a Beloved and Foolish Nation”. Suffice it to say for now as Paul, “not every Jew is born of Israel”, nor is every child of God born of Israel, and there is a spiritual Israel. In other words, until the fullness of the Gentiles age is complete, there will be more children of God from among the Gentiles, the United States leading the way, than from among the physical nation of Israel. (Enjoy it while you can.)

Second to the proper attitude, it is necessary to work hard to understand the Bible. Jesus uses the words “asking”, “seeking”, and “knocking”. Another way to say it is that those who seek after the truth from the Bible are the ones most likely to find the truth. One of the so-called “beatitudes” describes the way God will bless those who seek the truth of the Bible, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Many like to talk about this as happiness or the beatitudes. No, it is the blessings of God; and if God Himself blesses you beyond that of the sun and rain, beyond that of the majority on the earth, it is indeed a blessing. God can and will bless you by understanding of every word that proceeds out of His mouth if you will develop the right attitude and put out effort in knowing the truth. We live among many who desire the instant spiritual blessings of salvation and special insight; however there is never and has never been a quick and easy way. Many point to the salvation of Paul on the road to Damascus as an example of instantaneous salvation; but there would not have been a salvation experience of the road except for the extended time of that preceded it in which “he kicked against the pricks”. And still his salvation was not complete as indicated by the physical blindness {a sign of incomplete spiritual insight}, until Ananias assisted him with more truth from the Ascended Christ. Even so Paul was not yet ready to preach. He must spend time in the Arabian Desert with the Ascended Christ, and then go back to Tarsus to reread the Old Testament in the light of what Christ had taught him.

Paul teaches about the yearn in Hebrews for the sound doctrine of the Word of God as the equivalent motivation of a newborn baby desiring to have milk. All know of that yelling and screaming and crying of the baby for milk, and the person who yearns with that intensity after every word from the mouth of God as recorded in the Word of God will be rewarded in like manner as a mother cares for her child. Someone besides Jacob must wrestle with the angel for a spiritual blessing, and that someone is the person, having established a proper attitude, who seeks to know the truth of God and Christ, the truth of the Word of God which is divine in origin, absolute in authority, sufficient in message, and high fidelity in communication.

There is far more to the little book of Mark that we can reach in this series of messages; however since it is a pivotal book of the whole Bible which will be explained now, it is hoped that a life-time interest can be generated in the book of Mark that will be both an inspiration and a source of sustenance during a life that is lived more than by bread alone, a life that is lived by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. You can start your spiritual pilgrimage of life, or sustain it, no better place than with Mark and in particular with the teachings of Jesus in Mark.

Why do I call the Gospel of Mark pivotal in the Bible?  For several reasons:

(1) Even A. T. Robertson in his famous HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS using the Gospel of Mark to outline all of the other four of the Gospels; (2) If you have read any of the LEARN CHRIST commentaries, especially on the life and letters of Paul or on the Old Testament according to the New Testament, you are familiar with how God selected Paul to be the Chief Editor of the New Testament; and further how Paul after his conversion and time with the Ascended Christ in Saudi Arabia, while in what is sometimes called the seven silent years at Tarsus, re-read all the Old Testament writing a parchment of all the Old Testament quotes to be included in the New Testament (Paul himself wrote 14 of the 27 New Testament books and sponsored 3 others through Dr. Luke and John Mark); (3) When Paul left with John Mark a manuscript of those carefully chosen quotes for an Old Testament life of Jesus, he also gave to John Mark the testimony of Simon Peter which he recorded on another parchment (Paul life a manuscript with Dr. Luke with the testimony of James); (4) A careful study of all these Old Testament quotes in the four gospels show the book of Mark with a careful choice of quotes to be a sort of Appendix to the Gospels. In short, in the Gospel of Mark you have a condensed summary of the four gospels, of the Gospel according to Peter and Paul, and a condensed summary of the Gospel of the ages according to the Old Testament. Yet it is simple, straightforward, and a story of action with terse teachings of Jesus! That is worth a lifetime of becoming acquainted with. (If you just happen to remember me and these words of encouragement, that will be another pleasant memory.) Furthermore I would suggest memorizing the model prayer from Jesus of Matthew 6:9-13 as both an example and a guideline for daily prayers. These daily prayers are a vital part of the living by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

You are welcome to free download both this message from SunGrist and the complete outline of Mark:

MarkOutline3 at http://sungrist.org/MarkOutline3.pdf

This message at http://sungrist.org/PTB2-8Mark6.pdf

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