MARK 13 COMMENTARY

This is a commentary for you and me. It isn’t complicated, because Jesus wants you to understand it, so you can be healed physically and even more importantly, in your relationship with God, which was broken by sin.

Chapter 13 reflects Jesus Christ’s love for those who are His. He briefs His disciples, and you, about future events that will climax with His return to gather you and me. His instructions, as you see these things unfold? Be ready, take heed, keep on the alert!
Verses 1-2 — Throughout Jesus Christ’s ministry on the earth, He taught in the Temple, surrounded by many disciples besides the Twelve. On this occasion, one comments on the beauty and majesty of the Temple. Jesus says not one stone would be left upon another. Everything will be in ruins. Indeed, this was fulfilled in 70 AD, when Roman soldiers destroyed the Temple.

Why? The Jewish leaders rejected their Messiah, their Christ. God the Father’s will is that our bodies become His temples, and that He and His Son dwell in us, when we are filled with the Holy Spirit (John 14:23). Temple worship is no longer needed, since men and women become His temples. Think of it! God in you, so where you go, He goes. Where you walk, He WORKS!

For those who rejected their Christ the punishment was that the Temple building which they worshiped like an idol or a talisman, would be destroyed.

IMPORTANT POINT: Once you have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, ask Him to make your body His temple by filling you with His Spirit. He will do it! His will is fulfilled when you are filled full!

Verses 3-13 — Now four disciples question Jesus privately. When will the Temple be destroyed? What will be the sign that it is going to happen?

Jesus says this:

— Many will come in His name and say they are the Christ or are of Him, to try to seduce you, to draw you away, to cause you to wander from Him. They will say they are Him, or His representatives, but they will not live as He lived when He was on the earth, nor will they teach what He taught. They will speak ear-tickling words (2Timothy 4:3), for their own financial gain. It is happening even today.

— There will be wars and rumors of wars, but that is still not the end. There will be a ramping-up of unrest and war in the world, earthquakes at an ever-increasing rate, and famines. These are only the beginning of birth pangs, though. Like birth pangs, they will continue to increase in frequency and intensity.

— Be on your guard. Behold, beware, take heed! Christians will be arrested, taken to court, flogged, and stand before governors and kings, as a testimony to the governors and kings. What will be the testimony, when you stand before governors and kings? The testimony is this — the Holy Spirit will speak through you, as you stand before your accusers. And they will know it is Jesus speaking through you (Acts 4:13).

Already, across the earth, many Christians are murdered and martyred because they refused to renounce Christ — more in the 20th and 21st centuries than in all centuries from the time Jesus was crucified. You can find out more by going to persecution.com, the web site for Voice of the Martyrs. Remember the Coptic Christians who were lined up on the beach by ISIS and beheaded because they refused to renounce Jesus? It will become like that everywhere, and worse.

Family ties will mean nothing. Many will (and now do) expose Christian family members so they are arrested or simply killed on the spot.

In Verse 10, the Lord specifies that the gospel must first be preached to all nations. That is nearly accomplished by today’s missionaries, but I believe He also refers to Revelation 14:7, when the angel flies in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tongue and people.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus gives people the opportunity to come to Him until the very last moment of time. He so desires that all be saved, but He knows some will reject, even then.

— You will be hated by ALL because of the name of Jesus Christ. He promises it in John 15:18 and forward, and tells us that it is because you are not of the world system; you simply live in the world. Hatred for true Christians will continue to intensify greatly, even among family members.

And so Jesus says, “Endure! Remain! Stand fast! Persevere! Have courage amidst pain and adversity! If you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will have His courage in you. That is Who you need in these last days. Then you will be saved. But aren’t you already saved? Yes, but there is a greater salvation, a time when Jesus will gather His true church. The whole world will see it, when He gathers you (Mark 13:26, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Verses 14-23 — Jesus tells us what will happen just before He returns:

— There will be an abomination of desolation in the Temple. Wasn’t the Temple destroyed in 70 AD? Doesn’t the Muslim Dome of the Rock stand in its place, or near its original footprint? Yes, but Israel is planning a Third Temple. Go to http://templeinstitute.org to learn more.

— To that Temple will come a great abomination — a total sacrilege. At that time, everyone who heeds Christ’s words is to flee, and not take time to gather up any belongings. The references to pregnant women and young mothers, and winter, may indicate that it will be when we least expect it, and perhaps in the hardest season of the year to be without shelter.

—In those days, when the abomination of desolation is in the Third Temple, a tribulation will occur which has never been seen before and which will never be seen again. Great pressure, great affliction, great persecution, great trouble is coming to the church. It will be so difficult, that the time of it will be shortened, so those who are His followers are able to stand it.

— And at that time, false priests and prophets will be more prevalent than ever, performing false signs and wonders. Again, He says that those who are chosen by Him at that time must not believe anyone who says they are the Christ. Those who are chosen by Him at that time will know when He comes.

— He says, take heed, beware, pay attention. He has told you EVERYTHING in advance. He has not left out any detail that you need to know. He has told you in advance because He is God the Son, deity, and sees all that was, is, and ever will be. He was like that even when He dwelled on the earth.

IMPORTANT POINT: Preachers often “humanize” Jesus. He is confused, He is afraid. He is unsure. It is utter nonsense, an attempt to mold Jesus into our image so we are more comfortable with Him or so we can “identify” with Him. Do not listen to such preachers, but run from them.

Verses 24-27 — Then, after the tribulation he speaks about in verse 19, the signs of the end will happen, and the Son of Man (one of the names of Jesus Christ) will come in the clouds with great power and glory. It will be a powerful and glory-filled sight, and everyone will see. Then comes the gathering of His church from across the earth — from the farthest away to the nearest.

There is some difference of interpretation on when the church goes up, and some believe that the church goes up, then another group called “the elect,” perhaps the 144,000 from the Book of Revelation. But the main point is to be ready, be on the alert!

Verses 28-32 — You can tell when a fig tree is about to bear fruit (not the day or the hour, but the season of summer). In the same way, you will know that He is coming soon (not the day or the hour, but the season), when you see what He has described in the previous verses. You will know that He is near, right at the door.

Then He says something that sounds strange. The disciples had asked when this would happen. Jesus said this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. If “generation” means what you and I think it means, it would appear that Jesus was wrong. But the Greek for “generation” means age, generation, or time. So this age will not pass away until these things happen. This age is called the church age, when the church is active in the world. When we are raptured (1Corinthians 15:51-53, 1Thessalonians 4:13-18), that age will end.

Please note that “church” is defined as all believers in Jesus Christ, be they Jewish or non-Jewish (Gentile).

At that time, heaven and earth will pass away; they will be replaced with a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1ff), in which God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and the church will spend eternity with God.

Verses 33-37 — Look! Jesus speaks “take heed” and “keep on the alert” four times in this section! How important is it that you know Jesus Christ and are reconciled to the Father, and are found doing what their Master commanded them to do (Matthew 24:45-46). He has placed you in charge. You are part of an occupying army, until He returns. Don’t be sleeping when He returns. Be ready! Occupy! Be an ambassador (2Corinthians 5:18-20)!

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WORKING HARD

[SW160] 11/08/2014 message notes by Sister Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Working Hard”

If you obey Jesus Christ today, His promise to you is that you will catch many people, and they will no longer be under the wrath of God, but will believe and obey Jesus, and have eternal life!

LOOKING AT THE TEXT (LUKE 5:1-11):

Verse 1 – Jesus is teaching the Word of God; He is doing what He sees His Father doing (John 5:19). As a result, the people press in around Him and listen. They know God is speaking.

Verse 2 – The fishermen had finished THEIR work, which they were doing in their own power.

Verse 3 – He uses Simon’s vessel to teach from, so all can hear and see.

Verse 4 – He commands Simon to go out again into the deep water and let down the nets. He says they will have a catch. When HE commands, it will be so, even though it seems impossible!

Verse 5 – Simon says THEY worked hard all night but caught nothing.

— But He OBEYED JESUS, saying, “I will do as you say.”

Verse 6-7 – The catch is huge, the nets start to break, the other boat is called, and even then, both boats begin to sink from the weight of the catch. When HE commands, we go out in HIS power and miracles happen!

Verse 8-9  – As a result of this miracle, Simon is convicted of his own sinfulness, and falls down in worship to Jesus. Note that Simon was NOT convicted of his sinfulness prior to this point, even though Jesus had been talking with him and the others.

— When true miracles are done by God, conviction of sin and repentance are always the result. In this way, we can discern whether signs and wonders are false or truly from God.

Astonishment seizes (grabs) them all!

— They are trained fishermen, experts! But they had no catch. Suddenly, there is a huge catch!

— Training and expertise does not make for a huge catch. Apart from Him, we can do nothing:

John 15:4 “ Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit  of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he  bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

Verse 10 – After this amazing miracle, Jesus amazes them further by telling them that from now on, they will be catching men!

Verse 11 – They left their work which they had been doing in their own power, and followed (BELIEVED AND OBEYED) Jesus.
Catching men! They did, with Him!

And then, He told them He was going to leave them, If they obeyed, He would give them the Holy Spirit:

John 14:15   “ If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. [the original Greek has “kai” before the next verse, which means “and”] 16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another   Helper, that He may be with you forever . . .”

Note the connection between OBEDIENCE (if you keep My commandments) which is evidence of loving Jesus Christ, and receiving God’s power to do God’s works through God’s Holy Spirit!!

And they will do even greater works, BECAUSE Jesus is going to the Father:

John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and  greater works than these he will do; because  I go to the Father.”

What happens when Jesus goes to the Father? He is glorified, and the Holy Spirit is given:

John 7:39 But this He spoke  of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for  the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet  glorified.

That happened in Acts 2! And He is still filling those who obey Him (Acts 5:32)!

Then we go out in HIS power and do the works we see the Father doing, and catch people!

FOR THE CHURCH:

Beloved, we work very hard in our own power and our own training and expertise.

But we can only do what He has called us to do — catch people — when we obey Jesus’ commands and thereby show that we love Him. And most of the church is disobedient to the Lord.

This is disobedience — working in our own power! We disobey Jesus Christ when we rely on our own:

— skill
— knowledge
— expertise
— logic
— wisdom

We disobey Him when we:

— use demographics to ensure success (that’s like using an electronic fish finder to make sure you get a catch!!!)
— do motorcycle and dog blessings to attract people
— hold carnivals to attract people

The result of such things is that people are attracted to a ministry or a man, and there is no conviction of sin and thus, no repentance, because these are natural works, not God’s works.

And that man or that ministry receives glory, not Jesus Christ.

We will catch nothing that way!

I tell you the truth, the church is a laughing stock to the world, because she is full of sin and acts like the world.

But when we cease from our natural works and do God’s works, our detractors will be silenced:

Acts 4:13   Now as they observed the  confidence of  Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and  began to recognize them  as having been with Jesus.  14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply [my emphasis].

We must be doing miracles, signs and wonders, so conviction of sinfulness results, and repentance comes. That’s why the newborn church prayed like this:

Acts 4:29 “And  now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may  speak Your word with all  confidence,  30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and   signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy   servant Jesus.”

THEN men and women are saved from the wrath of God.

EXHORTATION:

Beloved, confess your sinfulness in disobeying Christ by working in your own power, with your own expertise and your own training.

Repent, have a change of heart!

Cease from your own labors, just as Simon and his companions did.

His promise to you, if you obey Him, is that you will catch many people, and they will no longer be under the wrath of God, but will believe and obey Jesus, and have eternal life!

VISION OF PRESENTS GIVEN

Matthew 24:24 [Jesus says] “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will  show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.”

I had a vision last night. I saw men, two at a time, bowing to one another and presenting boxes, with a flourish. There were several sets of men. They had proud looks on their faces and were impressed with each other. Some wore capes like magician’s capes. I did not know what it meant.

Today, the Lord revealed the interpretation. These are the presenters of a false gospel, magicians who perform false signs and wonders.

Some of these presenters preach a false gospel that has no requirement for repentance from sin.

Some of these presenters preach a false gospel that tells believers that at best, they will have to choose, from moment to moment, not to sin (as if we had the power to do that, in ourselves!).

Some of these presenters preach a false gospel that tells believers that the rebellious nature in humans cannot be destroyed and replaced with Christ’s nature.

Some of these presenters preach that Christ died to make your life happy. With this, they are especially impressed with one another.

John 12:43  for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

These presenters have used their impressive “magic” to transform the gospel of Jesus Christ from a gospel of freedom to a man-made gospel, one formed from their own imagination.

Lamentations 2:14  Your prophets have seen for you
False and foolish visions;
And they have not exposed your iniquity
So as to restore you from captivity,
But they have seen for you false and misleading oracles.

Matthew 23:13  [Jesus says]  “But woe to you . . . because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from  people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”