Class Notes: 9/4/2013
Mark 4:9-12; Jesus used the parables to teach those with positive volition while leaving those with negative voltion in the dark
In our study of Mark we are in Mark 4:9; where Jesus warns the people about their response to his message with the words " whoever has ears to hear had better listen" Net note 11
This is where we took up a brief study on the doctrine of evangelism because in the parable the seed represents the Gospel message and the sower represents Jesus Christ and by extension every believer who communicates the Gospel.
We have seen that evangelism functions in three categories. Personal evangelism, conducted by all believers, the spiritual gift of evangelism, and national evangelism that is accomplished through client nation missionary activity.
We left off last time with a list of doctrines that those involved in evangelism must understand in order to be effective in witnessing. This included the doctrines related to Christ and His finished work on the cross including reconciliation, redemption, propitiation, imputation, justification, atonement, positional truth and Christ's two deaths on the cross.
The next category of evangelism where God gives the Gift of Evangelism to male believers at salvation who once prepared can accomplish evangelism in he power of the gift.
The Gift of Evangelism is a spectacular gift that gives the evangelist the ability to gain the attention of crowds.
If the evangelist does not clearly present the issue of the Gospel, then receiving the attention of the crowd is meaningless.
Evangelism refers to witnessing inside the client nation in contrast to missionary activity, that is witnessing outside of the client nation.
The last category if evangelism is national evangelism or missionary activity.
Missionaries often face a language barrier. Therefore, they may have to learn a new language.
The missionary also faces the problem of finding where positive volition exists. The Lord knows where positive volition is going to be and it often moves so the missionary must be very sensitive to where the Lord leads him.
Missionaries should be the greatest and highest quality of believers. They must be mature in every possible way, well trained in all fields of Bible doctrine, as well as the languages, and customs of the nations they will minister to, and they must have integrity.
Personal social dialog precedes spiritual dialog, as illustrated by Jesus with Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, Zacchaeus, the wedding at Cana, the rich young ruler, Simon the tax collector, and Mary of Bethany.
We see from this that social dialog becomes the platform for spiritual communication.
In missionary activity the indigenous concept must be followed. This means that, the missionary trains native men to be pastors. Then new local churches that have native pastors are formed, and they become spiritually self-sustaining and self-propagating. This means that native believers must be able to witness and teach God's word.
Missionaries must never become involved in the politics of the country where they serve and they must not become distracted by social work, the philosophy of the government, or any form of politics.
The social gospel and social reform are not to be the missionary's emphasis. The only social reform that works is when believers with positive volition to God's Word advance in the spiritual life under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit and become invisible heroes.
For those who are involved in evangelism there is great reward. 1Thes 2:19;
This brings us back to our verse-by-verse study of Mark in Mark 4:10; where Jesus disciples ask Him about the parables. The parallel verse in Matt 13:10; says that they asked Him why he was now speaking in parables rather than directly.
His answer in Mark 4:11-13; The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those outside everything is in parables. Net note 12
The secret he is referring to is the previously undisclosed doctrine of the Church Age that will be revealed to them after he has returned to God in heaven.
"Those outside" were the scribes, the Pharisees, the chief priests, the religious leaders who have rejected Him. They can hear the story but they cannot understand the doctrine that is being taught.
The scribes and the Pharisees who have rejected Him see the point, they have heard the gospel, but they have rejected it. Since they have rejected Christ they can never go any further. So He gives them the parable, they can understand the story but they don't understand the doctrine that is being communicated in the story.
This is true of every unbeliever who has rejected the gospel it is also true of believers who have not been taught doctrine, they get the narrative but they don't understand the doctrine.
The principle that comes out of this is that when believers do not understand doctrine their thinking is the same as the unbeliever so they act the same as unbelievers. This is the case of many believers in our country today.
This is why evil leaders have been elected and this why we are facing the problems we are facing as a nation. This is the principle that as goes the believer so goes the client nation.
The only difference is that believers are saved and will spend eternity in the presence of God, but they is just as miserable and just as unstable as any unbeliever while they are living on the earth in the devil's world. This means that it is impossible to distinguish between an unbeliever and an ignorant believer.
This brings us to a brief discussion of The Doctrine of the Mystery. For more detail you can refer to the classes that were taught in May 2010 that can be downloaded from the web site.
The word "mystery" refers to the doctrine for the Church Age that is the Power Plan of God. It is called the mystery because it was never revealed in Old Testament.
In our passage in Luke 4:11 that is paralleled in Matt 13:11 Jesus tells his disciples that they are given the mystery of the Kingdom of God but it is not given to those who have rejected Him.
In Rom 16:25-26; Col 1:25-26; and Eph 3:3-6; Paul states that this mystery is now revealed. There is no excuse for ignorance. Ignorance and arrogance become the two worst enemies of the believer, and cause him to make a wrong assessment of life, and to establish wrong priorities. Bible doctrine must be the believer's highest priority.
The content of the mystery doctrine was first prophesied by our Lord Jesus Christ in John 14:20, and Acts 1:5-8.
The primary function of the pastor-teacher is to communicate this mystery doctrine. 1Cor 4:1, "Let a person regard us (pastors) as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God."
1Cor 2:7;, "But we communicate God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden assets which God predestined before the ages for the purpose of our glory." The doctrine is invisible and hidden, and it manufactures invisible heroes.
But no believer will ever become an invisible hero without the mystery doctrine because without it they will inevitably have the wrong priorities in life from parts of the Bible that do apply to the spiritual life of the Church Age believer. 2Tim 2:15; Net note 28
1Tim 3:9; "With a pure conscience, keep holding the mystery, even the Church Age doctrine." So it is the pastor's job to uphold the mystery, to inculcate, to repeat and teach the mystery.
The Greek word "musterion" that is transliterated "mystery" is translated as "secret". The word emphasizes in technical, theological language that states that Church Age doctrine was completely undisclosed and therefore unknown in the Old Testament.
This means that there is no doctrine for the Church found in the Old Testament unless it is specifically repeated in the New Testament. Failure to understand this is one of the biggest reasons Church Age believers are distracted from God's plan for their life in time.
In our study of Mark we have seen that a parable is a story about some common event that is designed to teach something. The disciples were trying to understand the parables.
So our Lord answered in Mark 4:11; "To you the mystery of the kingdom of God has been given, but to those outside (unbelievers) everything is in parables."
The believers would be taught and therefore understand the doctrine being taught in the parable but the unbelievers would only understand the events of the story.
We see from this that Church Age doctrine has not been given to unbelievers so the mystery means something that can only be understood by those who are in the church that is comprised of believers in Jesus Christ.
Jesus explained to them why He was teaching Jews in parables. The Jewish unbeliever could understand the narrative but not the doctrine behind the narrative. Therefore, the doctrine was a mystery in that the Jewish unbeliever did not understand it.
Paul refers to the mystery as the Church Age doctrine that reveals the Power Plan of God that was totally unknown to the Old Testament writers who only knew of the Ritual Plan of God, but is now revealed to Church Age believers, Col 1:26-27; Rom 16:25-26.
The word "Mystery" therefore describes the complete blackout of Church Age doctrine to the Old Testament writers before our Lord personally came in His unglorified humanity and personally demonstrated it. Heb 12:2;
The Church Age and its unique doctrines are classified as the mystery. So the mystery is the sum total of the unique doctrines of God's power plan for believers in the Church Age. The mechanics of salvation are not a mystery. The mystery begins with the Church Age believer after salvation, or just what is the Christian way of life.
The following is a short list of unique doctrines that were completely unknown to the writers of Old Testament Scripture:
The baptism of the Holy Spirit, the new spiritual species of the royal family of God, the unique power plan of God with its precisely correct procedure.
The equal privilege and equal opportunity of every Church Age believer to execute the power plan of God, our portfolio of invisible assets, the unique royal commissions of the royal priesthood and the royal ambassadorship.
The indwelling of each member of the Trinity in the body of every Church Age believer, the 100% availability of divine power (the omnipotence of the Father, Son, and Spirit) and the invisible personal, national, international and angelic impact of the invisible hero.
Precedence for the Church Age therefore originates from how Jesus fulfilled His unique mission during the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit extends the power that Jesus used in the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union into the Church Age thereby establishing His power system as precedent for the power of the Church age believer's spiritual life.
This means that the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union has two applications.
It serves as a permanent line of demarcation between the dispensation of Israel in the Old Testament and the dispensation of the Church in the New Testament and it also serves as precedence for unique protocol for the church as it is explained in the mystery doctrine.
Therefore, the protocol or power plan of God for the church rescinds and supersedes the ritual plan of God for Israel and forever settles the matter of precedence. This means that God's mandates to Israel provide no precedence for the Church Age.
All precedence for the protocol or power plan of God is taken from TLJC and the spiritual power he deployed during of the Hypostatic Union. This is compatible with the definition of the Mystery as it is found in Rom 11:25; and Col 1:25-27.
The power plan for the church age believer that is revealed in the mystery doctrine of the New Testament emphasizes walking by means of the spirit and spirituality while the ritual plan for OT believers that is revealed in the Old Testament emphasizes faith rest and morality. Again for more on this refer to the classes taught in May 2010.
Back to our study in Mark. Mark 4:12; Net note 14 By using the parables He is also fulfilling a prophecy from Isaiah. "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah" Isaiah 6:9,10. The Jews of Jesus' day were about to go into the 5th cycle of discipline (AD 70) because of their negative volition.
In Isaiah's day Israel was also about to go into the 5th cycle of discipline for the first time (586-516 BC]) so there is a parallel situation between the Jews in Isaiah's day and the Jews in Jesus day. By quoting from Isaiah Jesus is anticipating the administration of the 5th cycle of discipline that will occur about 40 years later in 70AD.
"By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand." Hearing means to get it; not understand means they rejected it and therefore it went from them. They understood the gospel; but they rejected it so they did not change their minds about Jesus identity and be forgiven.
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