Class Notes: 12/8/2013

Mark 7:23; Conclusion of the doctrine of the old sin nature; Mark 7:24; Jesus travels to Tyre

In our study of Mark we are in Mark 7:23; where Jesus explained to his disciples that a person is defiled by what comes out of their thinking not from what they eat or weather their hands are washed before they eat.

Jesus was focusing on reality rather than ritual because it is spiritual death and the OSN that predisposes everyone to perform sin, human good and evil and that is the real problem that mankind faces. So we took up a study on the doctrine of the OSN.

Last time we were discussing the fact that ignorance of doctrine has led many believers to adopt the function of human good and evil and to misconstrue it as their spiritual life. This is one of the great distortions of history and one of Satan's great victories because it causes Christians become tools for Satan to use in the advance of his cosmic agenda.

Too few believers understand that good and evil comes from the sin nature. Good and evil are running rampant in the devil's world because they were not judged at the cross.

With the exception of antinomians very few believers actually want to commit sin as a part of their Christian life but many believers are constantly assuming their human good and evil are part of the Christian spiritual life. They actually believe the lie that God rewards and blesses them because He is pleased with the human good that is produced by their OSN.

Of course that is not true. Isa 64:6, "All our righteousnesses are like a filthy garment"; refers to human good. "Wither like a leaf" refers to overcoming a primary weaknesses from the OSN and then succumbing to a secondary weaknesses of the OSN.

For example, if you gave up something when you were saved but before you knew God's word, it wasn't God's power that did it; it was sheer determination from the strong side of the OSN that only results in self- righteous arrogance and when we think we are strong, we are actually weaker than before because we are deceived. 1Cor 10:12;

This was the problem that the Pharisees had. They thought they were righteous so they thought they didn't need grace because in their minds they "kept the law" and to them that was righteousness but it wasn't. The law is righteous, but we aren't righteous when we keep it with the strong side of our OSN.

It is fine and legitimate when primary weaknesses are overcome by the filling of the Holy Spirit + Bible doctrine but this takes time and means you are growing. But to do so by your own energy means you are withering like a leaf because at some point your own energy will not be sufficient.

This is why morality is not the righteousness that is sufficient to please God.

Primary weaknesses that are removed without Bible doctrine set up a vacuum that sucks in arrogance. This is how sin and human good combine to form evil.

In self-righteous arrogance, secondary weaknesses will destroy you even though the primary weaknesses did not. Secondary weaknesses are just as dangerous and often more destructive because they blindside us.

The proper means for removing weaknesses is with Bible Doctrine that comes from spiritual growth. At each stage of spiritual growth, new weaknesses will be recognized but every weakness is handled in the same way.

But when the believer overcomes weaknesses in the energy of the strong side of the old sin nature, all he does is guarantee that the secondary weaknesses will be more difficult to deal with than his primary ones.

He will never grow up spiritually because he is too proud of what he has done, and self-righteousness arrogance stops all growth immediately and as a result the power of the Christian spiritual life (the filling of Christ by means of God the Holy Spirit plus Bible doctrine) is lost.

Eph 2:3; the "lusts" that we all formerly lived in refer to primary, secondary or tertiary weaknesses; "flesh" refers to the old sin nature. Believers in reversionism cannot resist the old sin nature, Heb 12:4.

The old sin nature is put off at physical death because it is not a part of the interim nor resurrection body of the believer, Phil 3:18-21; 1John 3:1-4; 1Cor 15:51-57; These passages refer to the doctrine of ultimate sanctification, whereby the old sin nature and its production of good and evil are completely excluded from eternity.

This brings us back to where we left off in our study of Mark. Mark 7:24; Tyre was an ancient Mediterranean seaport city in Phoenicia that had been rebuilt. It is about 40 miles northwest of Capernaum so it was a long walk. The city is in modern Lebanon.

It was occupied by the Phoenicians, who were descendants of the Canaanites In going there Jesus is going into a Gentile country. Jesus did not simply cross over the border into Phoenician territory, but He was led by God the Holy Spirit deep into the country.

His objective most likely was to get away from the crowds that followed him in Judea so that he could be with his disciples without being interrupted. He was trying to travel incognito but He was recognized in Tyre in spite of his efforts because news about what he had done had spread far and wide.

Some history of Tyre and it's relationship with the Jews is useful in our discussion and makes it obvious why Jesus didn't want to be seen going there because He didn't want to unnecessarily create more of a stumbling block for the Jews.

The Phoenicians were descendants of Ham who inhabited Tyre, Sidon, and Carthage. They called themselves the Canaanites and were among greatest traders and seafarers, explorers and merchants of the ancient world.

The Phoenicians were also known for their worship of Baal and their practice of the phallic cult. Israel was greatly influenced and severely punished for following Canaanite religious practices at the time of King Ahab whose wife Jezebel, was a Sidonian, 1 Kings 16:31-33; as well as during the reign of her son King Jehoram and daughter Queen Athaliah in Judah.

Tyre was one of the most prominent and perhaps wealthiest cities in the ancient world. It was a strongly fortified, island city located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The walls that were one hundred and fifty feet high and a hundred feet wide made Tyre almost impenetrable. The people of Tyre raced their chariots around the city on top of the walls.

King David established friendly relations with Tyre for the purpose of trading with them and this relationship was maintained once Israel was divided. In 842 B.C. the Philistines and Arabs attacked Judah with disastrous results for the Jews 2Chron 21:16-17;

This military defeat was divine discipline for Israel's continued association with the phallic cult. Sometimes God uses evil nations to shock His people into awareness of and recovery from their persistent reversionism.

But the Philistines overstepped divine boundaries and in their ingrained hatred for the Jews, they persecuted and oppressed their Jewish captives consigning them to brutal slavery and embraced a national policy of anti-Semitism.

Motivated by the enrichment for themselves the Phoenicians capitalized on the misfortune of the Jews. After joining the Philistines in the plunder of Jerusalem and Judah, they bought and sold Jewish captives to the Greeks.

Ezek. 27:13; Joel 3:4-8. The prophet Joel harshly denounced the Phoenicians for this cruelty and prophesied of God's judgment on them for their anti-Semitism.

Ezekiel predicted the fall of Tyre with divinely inspired accuracy and detail three hundred years before the destruction actually happened in Ezek 26:1-14;

The city, that once boasted of possessing silver like dust and gold like the mud in the streets (Zech. 9:3), withstood Nebuchadnezzar's siege for nearly thirteen years (585-573 B.C.). But in the end the king of Babylon triumphed, demolishing the great walls and towers, leaving Tyre in ruins.

The prophecy had been partially fulfilled, but complete fulfillment of the prophecy would not to come until July 332 B.C. when Alexander the Great, whose legions had conquered the world, reached Tyre and demanded that the city open its gates. Tyre refused so Alexander devised a strategy to take the city by force. He would build a causeway from the mainland to the island city.

The undertaking was immense but Alexander would not be deterred. Alexander's army labored, taking the stones, the timber, and the very dust of the city Nebuchadnezzar had left in rubble and "threw the debris into the water (sea)."

By filling in the bay Alexander created an isthmus between the mainland and the city. Seven months later the causeway was completed, and Alexander's troops marched across it into the city.

They defeated Tyre's fleet, sacked the city, and burned it to the ground. Every detail of God's verdict was executed Zech. 9:4; even to the forecast that Tyre would never be rebuilt to its former glory. However we see in our passage that the area of Tyre was still inhabited to some extent. Mark 7:24;

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