Class Notes: 9/8/2013
Mark 4:12-31; Jesus reveals how God's Kingdom will function while He is absent through the parables
In our study of Mark last time we left off in Mark 4:12 where we saw that by using parables Jesus was 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.
But in Isaiah's day there were Jews who were born again, and they heard doctrine, they understood doctrine but then they forgot it because they did not stay with it and did not use it so they refused to follow God's instruction to repent (change their minds). 2Chron 7:14;
The destruction that God allowed to happen to Israel and the Jews will happen to us if the people in our nation persist in doing do what they did. Gal 6:7; Net note 12
In Mark 4:13; Jesus tells his disciples that if they don't understand the parable of the Sower and the Seed they won't understand any of the other parables that describe God's Kingdom either.
This is because the parable of the Sower and the seed describe the way God's kingdom operates and the potential responses that the message will receive from those who hear it and that these responses will be the same as for the other parables.
We have already covered Mark 4:14-20; where Jesus explains the parable of the sower and the seed to His disciples.
Mark 4:21; Net notes 24 and 25 If you put a big basket over a candle or lamp you don't see the lamp any more, and you are engulfed in darkness. The same thing happens if were to put the light under a bed.
When we are not walking by means of the Spirit or are ignorant of doctrine we are engulfed in the darkness of the world's system so even though God has given us the means to see (Bible Doctrine) we cannot see because we have hidden the light.
Mark 4:22; The word "nothing concealed" has to do with obscuring the gospel. In other words, they are trying to conceal the gospel. The Jews don't want to hear the Gospel so they malign Jesus Christ in an effort to discredit His message.
This is a common practice that is used by those who don't want to believe some truth so when they can't refute the truth they malign the messenger in order to try to discredit the messenger and by extension his message.
Whenever you have been faithful in witnessing for Christ and people don't like it people are going to try to discredit you but in reality there is "nothing concealed." by their maligning.
This is done to try to conceal the gospel, the opposition tries to obscure or cover the gospel; "there is nothing concealed that shall not be brought to light or revealed."
This connects with 2Cor 13:8; " we can do nothing against the truth, only for the truth" and 2Cor 4:3,4; "If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God,"
In other words, Satan and Satanic opposition are trying to conceal the gospel because it reveals God through Christ. The greatest concealing of the gospel comes through religion. Religion is from Satan himself and is the greatest evil that ever came into this world. It was religion that opposed Jesus.
Mark 4:23; Net note 27 Same command as in Mark 4:9; Keep on listening you'll get it.
Mark 4:24; "Take care about what you hear or listen to". Remember the context of this passage is verse 22 where the Pharisees are criticizing and maligning Jesus and by extension any believer who communicates the truth. Jesus is saying be careful about what you listen to because what you listen to affects how you think and then what you say and do.
Mark 4:24;b The measure you use will be the measure you receive and more will be added to you. This is the principle of reaping what you sow based on what you think, say and do. It is the principle of Hosea 8:7; that Paul refers to in Gal 6:7-8;
Weather we recognize it or not we live in a great big amplifying feedback system.
Mark 4:25; Net note 30 Going back to the categories of response in the parable of the seed and the sower, who has? Category #4 is the believer who has doctrine. The believer who learns doctrine he is going to learn more doctrine.
Doctrine is built upon doctrine. If you have doctrine you can learn more doctrine and the more doctrine you learn the more you can learn, and the more you can learn the more productive you will become, and the more successful as you use it.
So we have the principle that knowledge is built upon knowledge; doctrine is built upon knowledge of doctrine. "Whoever has," has doctrine, he has the techniques, he has promises "to him it will be given."
In other words, he will learn more doctrine; "and he shall have more abundance" a phrase which means to richly furnish a castle, and it means you will have a marvelous life. Doctrine has to become your life. Your life will be richly furnished with blessing that comes from doctrine.
"but" Net note 29 a conjunction of contrast "whoever does not have, what they already have will be taken away.." This refers to the other three categories of response in the parable of the seed and the sower.
Category #1 does not receive salvation so it is taken from them and all that is left is eternal judgment in the lake of fire.
Category#2 is a believer who has eternal security and never will face judgment, but has no doctrine. And if you do not use doctrine you lose what doctrine you had to begin with and therefore the concept of a believer who does not develop capacity to receive the supergrace blessings from God.
Category #3 is the believer who knows doctrine but doesn't apply it. so it is taken away by OSN control of the soul that results in a false set of values that causes the stress of fear, worry, and anxiety in the soul.
Mark 4:26-29; This is the Parable of the seed growing secretly. Again the seed corresponds to the Gospel that when cast onto the soil grows.
In Mark 4:28; the word translated "by itself," is of the Greek word "automatos" that is transliterated into the word "automatic". It means "self moved, spontaneously, without external aid or control."
The word could be translated "without visible cause" implying "without human agency," indicating that the work is done by God. God works in the life bearing seed which, when planted in good soil, grows stage by stage and produces grain without human intervention.
This word is used only one other place in the New Testament, Acts 12:10; where the gate of Peter's cell opened of its own accord, automatically, without human intervention. Net note 32
The important fact is that the seed that is planted in the earth, produces fruit without human intervention. It does so because God created it for that purpose. Without the seed, all the other ingredients the soil, sun, rain, and the cultivation no matter how conducive to growth are futile.
These are all cooperative factors, but the principle is that the power for regeneration and eternal life are in the seed that God provides under the principle of grace alone because the power for salvation is only contained within His Word.
This parable is about the power of the Word of God and how God brings about production that leads to maturity in people's lives. Phil 2:13;
When the Word of God is planted in the hearts of men it produces fruit. The soil needs cultivation and the seed needs watering, but without the Word, nothing happens. The most important ingredient is the Word that is alive and powerful, the power of God unto salvation. Rom 1:16;
Mark 4:29; In this verse we see that the sower's ultimate interest is in the harvest because the sower immediately harvests when the grain is ripe. Net note 31
We also see from this that the way that things grow in the natural world illustrates spiritual growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Believers do not become mature instantly. We are saved in a moment of time when we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but growth takes time. It is only as we consistently and persistently metabolize God's word and have it tested over the years that God's production in us becomes mature. Net note 32
Mark 4:30; Jesus introduces the parable of the mustard seed with a question about what parable can be used to describe the Kingdom of God.
In Matt 13:31; the parable of the mustard seed that describes apostasy in the Church Age logically follows the parable of the wheat and the tares Matt 13:24; that is not repeated in Mark.
The tares are a very close imitation of the wheat, in the same way that religion seeks to counterfeit or to imitate the believer's relationship with God.
The devil deceives the whole world by imitating the truth with religion. The devil is the author and the promoter of religion, and religion is the basis of apostasy. In the parable of the mustard seed we see the operation of religion or apostasy or legalism in the Church Age.
Mark 4:31; He then goes on to compare the Kingdom of God with what happens to the common black mustard seed, after it is sown on the ground.
In Jewish thinking this was proverbial because it was the smallest of all the seeds that were sown. It takes 725-760 mustard seeds to weigh a gram (28 grams equal one ounce).
While believers are on the earth Christ is absent, so it is like a mustard seed that is the smallest of all seeds, that a man he sows in his field. The mustard seed represents God's word. The sowing of it is the teaching of God's word.
Mark 4:32; after it is sown and is grown, it is greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree," the little seed results in a big tree, "and the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches.
The big problem here is the birds of the air. The mustard seed itself is God's word that is communicated under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit starting on the day of Pentecost.
On the day of Pentecost Peter stands up and preaches a sermon that is loaded with doctrine. There is evangelization, there is the gospel, there is doctrine for believers, there is all kinds of good information.
He sowed it in the field the field is the world. It is the least of all seeds. In other words, you have a small beginning on the day of Pentecost because the Church began with 120 people.
Eventually the Church expands and it covers the whole earth, and the body of Christ, that is comprised of believers all over the earth, is represented by the big tree with branches.
The birds however are the emissaries of Satan who infiltrate the Church with false doctrine. So the birds sitting in the trees are demon mentors of the false teachers and there is apostasy in the kingdom.
In fact many believers possibly even a majority of them are going to be off base because they do not learn accurate Bible doctrine and as a result they are deceived by the apostasy. So today we have a great tree throughout the entire world but with it a lot of apostasy.
The birds refer to any system of false teaching that has infiltrated the Church, and notice that the birds are identified with the tree; these false teachers are identified with the Church.
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