“For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men – the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”
He [continued and] said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.” Mark 7:8-9 NKJV
Yesterday was Palm Sunday – the day we celebrate Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. This week is known as Holy Week or Passion Week – it is the week that leads up to the murder and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus. Jesus sacrificed himself for our sins, that we can be forgiven and washed clean. Although we are continuing our study of Mark as planned and will get to the passion soon enough – we should keep the thought of Jesus’s sacrifice before our minds, in reverence.
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.
If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is the Book of Mark chapter 7 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).
Defilement Comes from Within
7 Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. 2 Now [a]when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, [b]they found fault. 3 For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands [c]in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.
5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”
6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
7 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—[d]the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”
9 He said to them, “All too well you [e]reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
14 When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 15 There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. 16 If[f] anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”
17 When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. 18 So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, [g]thus purifying all foods?” 20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
A Gentile Shows Her Faith
24 From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre [h]and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden. 25 For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet. 26 The woman was a [i]Greek, a [j]Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept [k]asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
28 And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”
29 Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.”
30 And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.
Jesus Heals a Deaf-Mute
31 Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee. 32 Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him. 33 And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. 34 Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”
35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the [l]impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly. 36 Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it. 37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
Mark 7:2 NU omits when
Mark 7:2 NU omits they found fault
Mark 7:3 Lit. with the fist
Mark 7:8 NU omits the rest of v. 8.
Mark 7:9 set aside
Mark 7:16 NU omits v. 16.
Mark 7:19 NU sets off the final phrase as Mark’s comment that Jesus has declared all foods
Mark 7:24 NU omits and Sidon
Mark 7:26 Gentile
Mark 7:26 A Syrian of Phoenicia
Mark 7:26 begging
Mark 7:35 Lit. bond
MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
Isaiah 41:10- “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Welcome back to our discussion on the Book of Mark.
Our reading starts with: what defiles a man. I do not hear this passage preached very often. It probably should be. And when I hear it referenced, they contort it to fit with an anti-mask agenda. I assure you that is out of context. Even though I am not a fan of the masks. I do not wear them unless I absolutely must to keep the peace. Or when I had covid, the doctors said I must wear a mask for 2 weeks if I left my house, I went to church and I did wear a mask (otherwise I stayed home). But external things, and not washing your hands, can lead to internal illness. God does permit us to get sick. I admit I was one of those people who said God would protect me – AND HE DID! Because I did not say He would stop me from getting sick, I said He’d protect me – and here I am still alive. Getting sick is not an indication of a weak walk with the Lord. (And as a side note – going through trials and a season like Job is not an indication of a weak walk with the Lord either!) Do not judge your brethren this way – the return to you will not be comfortable.
What is happening in the opening passage of today’s reading – is not a lesson on defilement. Not a lesson on hand washing and loving your parents. And it isn’t even a lesson on the fact that we are sinful and bent towards evil, within.
Jesus is literally fighting the demon of religion – the spirit of tradition. The corruption that had and still has taken hold in believers’ hearts. Can believers be demon possessed? They do possess a stronghold in this situation and some have been pulled so far off that they think they believe, but do not:
“‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” Verses 6b-7.
We have talked about it a few times and in every case I feel compelled to warn us all – that we do not become like that. That we be on fire for Jesus and not run cold. And that if we start to run cold, we would know and not be deceived about the error of our ways.
Remember these Pharisees killed their very blessed hope, which they watched and prayed for – and they killed him in worship of God. The lie of the spirit of religion told them to ignore ‘thou shall not kill’ and they accidently murdered their God’s son. These were smart, well-educated men, who prayed daily and read the scriptures. Do not underestimate the power of the lie that comes from the demon of tradition. It is easy to buy into. And difficult to know and realize you have been deceived. Literally your eternal life and death depend on your awareness of these things and you protecting and guarding your selves from it.
Why is this passage not preached as much today – because global (not all) modern churches have their ‘holier than thou’ group following some tradition off into left field.
I invited a Baptist to a Pentecostal service with me and watched this demon manifest as all sorts of evil spewed against the brethren in another church. And it did not stop there – they went on to attack Catholics and other denominations. The end time believers should be in unity against the enemy. Instead we face this religion.
Why didn’t Jesus cast it off them? I do not know. Whenever I have encountered one, it was not compelled by The Spirit to cast it out either. I saw one disrupt a church service not too long ago and the Pastor, who has cast out many demons, had the people escorted out instead of casting it out.
So in preparation of this, I spent some time looking over Jesus’s relationship with the Pharisees and the times he confront the traditions that had become more important than truth. All I can come up with from the pattern is that this isn’t a cast out situation. So why didn’t Jesus loose them from the strong hold or break the spiritual chain? It is because ONLY TRUTH can CUT through the lies and free them. Every time, Jesus used TRUTH to fight this battle.
Then I think back to that Pastor who spoke truth to the people disrupting his service before he removed them. And when my friend gave me a hard time about denominations I responded quoting scriptures and speaking truth. I had not even realized it – I just followed what I felt the Lord wanted said.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV
There are 84 verses to support this concept of being in front of Jesus on that day and His judgment of your acts and heart. Even more if you include passages, over and over, of people acting against the will of God and thinking they are following His will. This deception should not be taken lightly. Your name can be blotted out of the book of life (Rev. 3:5).
There is none harder to reach then those who grew up under the concept that grace can continue to abound and not that Grace is sufficient. They corrupt the sufficiency’s of grace into grief. Jesus will keep looking for the one sheep that wandered off. Jesus will not give up on you. But when that moment comes, if you haven’t repented then he doesn’t know you.
Hard truths to speak on – but many are being deceived by self-help preachers with feel good messages. Beware the spirit of religion. Beware. It took me a while to be ok with going to church without a dress on. I still wear dresses, but I also wear pants. It took me a while to be ok with not singing hymns (and now I am at a church that occasionally mixes one in). These are light and easy examples of the spirit of religion – but there is a lie so powerful that man was able to kill our Lord. That same lie was believed by Saul when he oversaw the stoning of Stephen. And you and I can be under a lie thinking we are ok when we are not.
So this is what we do – or at least what I do. I ask God to reveal it. I ask for wisdom and revelation. I pray that over you all as well. That our eyes will be opened and our ears opened and our understanding opened.
You see the lie takes root in one (or more) of those evils that defile a man and come out of him as Jesus explains.
“And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” Verses 20-23.
Pride – thinking you are more holy than someone else. Adulteries – you’ve seen this in preachers who are hiding their affair, creating more ‘rules’ and traditions so people focus on that and do not see his sin. And so on and so forth.
So when we pray our eyes are opened, look for one or more of these things inside you and deal with it. Repent. Even for the small speck of it so it doesn’t turn into more. This is not a time for compromise.
Speaking of compromise – Jesus was not compromising when he cleaned the gentile woman’s daughter. Here in stark contrast to the Pharisees, in their cloud of lies, is a woman who knows the truth. She understand the spirit of truth. She was not offended by being called a dog. She understood Jesus’s ministry was for the Jews. She understood that dogs get scraps. She understood that even though many thing casting out demons is a big deal to God it is merely a scrap from the table. This woman was not blinded by a spirit of religion or by any traditions – she understood the truth.
We often say we have big faith – believing for big things when actually we are struggling to believe for the scraps. Wake up and grab those scraps and then climb up into your seat at the table and take the full meal! Really ask for big things!
And get aside – get away from the Pharisees and those encumbered with the spirit of religion and the lies of traditions. Be sanctified – come out from among them. Be set apart. Cause the gentil did not get her daughter’s freedom in the den of the corrupted. The crowds around Jesus when they had the discussion about defilement did not receive signs and wonders or miracles, they received a lesson. And as we conclude the chapter the deaf-mute did not receive his healing in the midst of crowd, which surely had Pharisees mixed in. But instead they took him aside.
You want signs and wonders in your church? You want signs and wonders in your life? Be separate. Come out from among them. The Lord is shaking the church and the ones with the spirit of religion will be shaken – either to their knees or out the door. Maybe your Pastor will have to ask them to leave. But the move of the Lord doesn’t perform, and especially not for them. But it works and it works for those who believe in the truth.
“And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” Verse 37
Praise the Lord – He is good.
FOR THOSE WHO DID NOT READ / DO NOT FOLLOW WEEKEND POSTS:
This was part of Saturday’s post. I wanted to share again for those who may not follow on weekends.
“Now – I want to take a moment to speak about a current prophesy trend and speak against the fear.
I keep hearing from many sources, get prepared and stock up. Ok – no fear and let us look at this from a biblical stand point and a current event stand point.
First, we have all seen the inflation and supply chain issues. This is the beginning of a famine, one in first world countries so it looks a little different than third world countries. Yes, many of the problems are manmade, but that is not stopping the fact that it is coming. You do not need to be a prophet to see this, you just need to go shopping and you will see the gaps in the stores and the prices going up. Wisdom dictates we should stock up. That is wise.
Now those who are looking at the global economy metrics and are anticipating the mark of the beast. Please do not join the devil in moving things along faster than God. Slow down and think! Truth and clarity. Yes, those things are coming. Yes, they are currently being planned and built and you can find them saying so on the internet – go ahead and search for it. It is easy to find and no one is hiding anything. But it is not yet time for that. It is time for God’s move, revival, and awakening. Those things much come. We can pray they are slowed down so that more can be saved, which is our job: Pray it is slowed and pray for more souls saved.
Now, does the famine (being that it is manmade) have anything to do with the beast system? In the world’s design, probably – in the Spirit no. The beast system caused a problem they intend to come in and fix it with the beast system, which is completely biblical. In the Spirit, God’s design is to use this to ignite His church, to shake the very ground they walk on and to move mountains and spread the good news for a great harvest. Because only our ALL POWERFUL GOD HARVESTS IN A FAMINE!
This is not time to stock up, run for the hills, bunker down and wait for the rapture. This is time to stock up so you have food to feed the people coming to the banquet feast of the Lord! He has prepared a table in the presence of our enemy. And where is this preparation coming from? It comes from Joseph – because where there is a famine, God has a (or many) Josephs!
Are you called to be a Joseph? I want to be. I see the plan and I say, “Here I am use me Lord.” But right now I am literally praying for bread daily. I have a struggling business (which the Lord gave me and I steward well – but if you have been following my story, I am going through a Job season and have lost so much, and everything that remains is diminished or held back. I was even sick to the point of death. But I shall not curse God and die. This is a testimony for another time.) The point is I have nothing to stock and prepare. And having so little, what I do have I am planting back into the kingdom of God as led by the Spirit. The point is you may be a ‘have-not’, and for whatever reason, you cannot set aside for the future. That is ok. Give to God now, give what you can as your worship – you cannot out give God. God will multiply it and you will be cared for in your time of need. AND if you are called to be a Joseph and stock up for the future – please understand it is your calling and do so unto God as your worship. Gather what you can and as much as you can, asking God to direct your every step. God will multiply it and you, (and your household, your friends, church and community) will be fed supernaturally from your obedience. It shall be unto you as a testimony to draw all men (women and children) unto God! You will set the table. The feast. Not food for your enemies but food for the repentant and humble. The kingdom of God is at hand.
May God bless you and may you believe He is able, He has promised. This is a time of harvest and feast for us – not famine. Fast and pray now, because soon we shall be feasting.”
Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!