Mark Chapters 2 and 3

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Mark Chapters 2 through 3 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 10-14-2011

II 1 And entering again into Kapharnaoum, for days it was heard that He is in a house. 2 And many had gathered together so as no longer to have space, not even there by the door, and He spoke the Word to them. 3 And they come bringing to Him a paralytic being carried by four men. 4 And not being able to bring him forth to Him because of the crowd, they had taken off the roof where He was, and digging through lowered the cot upon which the paralytic laid. 

The men with the paralytic had “taken off the roof” and then “digging through” it they lowered the paralytic to where Christ was. The roof being described must be a thatched roof covered with ceramic tile, and the version of this account at Luke 5:19 tells us they were ceramic tiles. The tiles were expensive and surely were not broken. Digging trough the thatching must have made a mess, clouds of dust and dirt and straw dropping into the room below. Yet Christ did not take umbrage to the situation. Rather, He marveled before the crowd.

5 And Yahshua seeing their faith says to the paralytic: “Child, your errors are remitted!” 6 Now there were some scribes sitting there and debating in their hearts 7 “Who is He that He speaks thusly? He blasphemes! Who is able to forgive errors except One, God?” 8 And immediately Yahshua knowing in His Spirit that they debate among themselves thusly says to them: “Why do you debate these things in your hearts? 9 What is easier, to say to the paralytic ‘Your errors are remitted’, or to say ‘Arise and take up your cot and walk’? 10 But in order that you would know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive errors upon the earth...” (He says to the paralytic:) “...I say to you, Arise, taking your cot and go to your house!” 12 And he arose and immediately taking the cot he went out before them all, so as for all to be astounded and to extol Yahweh, saying that “We have not ever seen so much!” 

Claiming to be able to forgive sin is indeed claiming to be tantamount to God. There are many such examples in Scripture, where the religious authorities of Judaea rebuked Christ for claiming to be God, while not perceiving that the miracles which He performed could only have come from God. The healing of the man was not as much for the man's benefit, as it was for the benefit of everyone else, since it was the proof that Christ indeed had the authority to forgive sin: and therefore that He was indeed God incarnate.

Introducing the Gospel of Mark last week, I explained why it is that Christians should believe the crucifixion. I would state basically the same arguments for these miracles. If Christians believe that there is a God who created the world, then Christians must believe that God can have efficacy in the world, and that He must be able to transcend His creation. One may argue from a scientific viewpoint, that God cannot violate the “laws” of physics. But I would also assert that science does not really know the laws of physics, and that especially at the particle level, they are quite often mystified by their own observations!

Isaiah 35:3-6: “3 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. 4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.” 7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. 8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean [all non-Israelites] shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. 9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: 10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

13 And He went out again by the sea, and all the crowd came with Him, and He taught them. 14 And going by He saw Levei the son of Alphaios sitting at the tax-office, and He says to him “Follow Me!” And arising he followed Him.

The sequence of events here in this chapter agrees with Matthew chapter 9. This is a reference to an event which we also see recorded in Matthew 9:9, which happened after Christ healed the paralytic, where it states: “And Yahshua passing from there sees a man sitting at the tax office, called Maththaios, and says to him 'Follow Me', and arising he followed Him.” From this we learn that Matthew's name was apparently also Levi. This has led me to believe that Matthew may have been of the tribe of Levi, which is also indicated by his vocation as a tax collector – a role of the ancient Levites at a time when sons usually followed in the vocation of their fathers. It would be very fitting of a Levite to make the precise record of Christ's life that Matthew made. In Acts we learn – if one reads it correctly – that Saul's name was also Paul. Upon examination, it can be found that many Hebrews of the time had more than one name, as did also the Greeks and Romans.

15 And it comes to pass upon His reclining in his [Levi's] house that many tax collectors and wrongdoers were reclining together with Yahshua and His students. There were many indeed, and they followed Him.

In the Gospel of Luke, the tax collector who becomes an apostle is also named Levi. Yet at Mark 3:18 and Luke 6:15, both places where the apostles are listed, the name Matthew appears rather than Levi, so by this we can be certain that Matthew is Levi. Luke 5:27: “27 And after these things He departed, and having seen a tax-collector by the name Levi sitting by the tax office, then He said to him: “Follow Me.” 28 And abandoning everything rising up he followed Him. 29 And Levi made a great reception for Him at his house, and there was a great crowd of tax-collectors and others who were reclining at dinner with Him.”

16 And the scribes of the Pharisees seeing that He eats with the wrongdoers and tax-collectors said to His students that “He eats with tax collectors and wrongdoers?” 17 And hearing it Yahshua says to them that “The strong have no need of a physician, but the sick do have. I have not come to call the righteous, but wrongdoers!”

The gospel is clear, that Christ came for sinners, and that those who are living or attempting to live pious lives do not really need help. But many pastors, even some who claim to be Christian Identists, want to take advantage of verses like this, take them out of the Biblical context, and use them to support universalism. The truth is that Christ came for sinners, but He Himself also said that He came only for Israel – as Yahweh also states through the prophets that Israel would be cleansed of their sins: that only Israel would be cleansed and that they would be cleansed of all of their sins – and therefore Christ came for sinners, who are of Israel! The entire Gospel of favor and forgiveness applies only to those who were under His law.

18 And the students of Iohannes and the Pharisees were fasting. And they come and say to Him: “For what reason do the students of Iohannes and the students of the Pharisees fast, but Your students do not fast?” 19 And Yahshua said to them: “Are the sons of the bridechamber able to fast while the bridegroom is with them? 

Except for Moses upon Mount Sinai, where he went without food (Exodus 34:28), and the Day of Atonement commanded in the law (Leviticus 23:27, Acts 27:9), fasting, or abstinence from food, I can not find mentioned in the Bible again until Judges 20:26. So except for the Day of Atonement, there is no law which demands fasting. In Judges 20:26, the nation as a whole fasted out of grief. Fasting was done customarily by individuals, as a show of piety, or as a display of mourning or grief.

Not recorded in the synoptic gospels, the apostle John recorded these earlier words from John the Baptist, at John 3:29: “He having the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom who stands and hears him rejoices in joy because of the voice of the bridegroom! Therefore this, my joy, is fulfilled.” Here Christ calls Himself the bridegroom. This can only be an assertion that He is indeed Yahweh incarnate, fulfilling the prophecy of Hosea 2:19-20: “19 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies. 20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.”

For as long a time as they have the bridegroom with them they are not able to fast. 20 But the days shall come when the bridegroom is taken from them, and then shall they fast in that day! 

Fasting is mentioned in conjunction with prayer on two occasions in Acts where decision-making was engaged by a Christian assembly. One occasion is Acts 13:2-3: “2 And upon their performing services for the Prince and fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke: “'Now set apart for Me Barnabas and Saulos for the work which I have called them.' 3 Then fasting and praying and laying the hands upon them they released them.” The other is Acts 14:23: “And elders being elected by them in each assembly, praying with fasting they presented them in whom they had confidence with the authority.” So it is evident that when important decisions are made concerning the business of the community, fasting, which is a temporary forsaking of fleshly needs, along with prayer, is a way to direct ones attention to the necessary matters and an aid to finding the decision, with of course the guidance of God.

Paul mentions fasting at 2 Corinthians 6:5, however in conjunction with calamity, imprisonment, and disturbances he is likely referring to those times in which we are compelled to go without food involuntarily. And in that manner it is mentioned again at 2 Corinthians 11:27 where he describes his Gospel mission as having been conducted “in labors and hardships, often in sleeplessness; in hunger and thirst, often in fasting; in cold and in nakedness. ” (Where fasting appears in 1 Corinthians 7:5 it is a very late addition to the manuscripts.)

It is evident that the self-righteous pharisee of Luke chapter 18 engaged in ritual fasting, where he boasted to God that “I give thanks to you that I am not as the rest of men, robbers, unrighteous, adulterers, or even as this tax-collector. I fast twice each week, I give a tenth of all of whatever I should gain.”

Based upon all of this, like the rest of the rituals of men, I find no religious demand for ritual fasting, but consider that there are many times when we must fast, laying aside the needs of the body in favor of getting done whatever is necessary to fulfill the needs of our brethren or community. Additionally, it is only practical that in those times when we do pray and seek the guidance of God, it should be self-evident that fasting is a necessary accompaniment. I would personally recommend that at least a portion of each Sabbath is set aside for such a purpose, but it is certainly not a sin if one failed to do so.

21 No one sews a patch of uncarded cloth upon an old garment, but if it is, the new lifts its borders away from the old and the tear becomes worse. 22 And no one puts new wine into old skins, but if it is, the wine breaks the skins and the wine and the skins are lost. Rather, new wine is for new skins.”

In other words, we cannot graft our Christian understanding onto Pharisaism. This is the most common mistake made by Christians, and by those pretending to be Christians, unto this day. Today many people find Christian Israel Identity, and even when they believe that they have found the truth, they nevertheless attempt to graft it onto their Catholicism, or Lutheranism, or Episcopalianism, or whatever other sect they came from. What they should do instead is to wipe the religious slate clean, and reread the entire Bible in the context of their newly-awakened consciousness, and then perhaps they will not repeat the errors of all of the former sects. Old programming is difficult to overcome, however here we are told that we must achieve that.

23 And it came to pass for Him on the Sabbaths to be passing through the planted fields, and His students began to make a path, plucking the grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to Him: “Look, why do they do on the Sabbaths that which is not lawful?” 

We see the law which allows this in Deuteronomy 23:25: “When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour's standing corn.” The children of Israel were told that the manna fallen from heaven, in Exodus chapter 16, would not be found on the Sabbath day, so they would not be able to gather any on that day. But is that because they were not allowed to take from a field and eat on the Sabbath? Or was it because God also rested on that day, and therefore would not supply it, as an example for men. From the earliest times men have sought to construe the law in their own manner, and then rule over their fellows with those constructions. Thus is the biggest sin of Pharisaism. Deuteronomy 5:12-15: “12 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. 13 Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: 14 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. 15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.” But if one passes a field and plucks a berry to eat it, is that actually work? Is it the spirit of the law of the sabbath to prohibit that smallest enjoyment? Or does the law force one to hunger in the circumstances in which he is found? That is where the Pharisees differ with the Christ.

25 And He says to them: “Have you not ever read what David did when he had need and he himself had hungered, and those with him, 26 how he entered into the house of Yahweh at the time of Abiathar the high priest and he ate the bread of presentation, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and he gave it also to those being with him?” 27 And He said to them: “The Sabbath was for the sake of man and not man for the sake of the Sabbath! 28 Therefore the Son of Man is Prince of the Sabbath!”

The mercy of God transcends even the Sabbath, and from that example man should judge likewise. Here I want to read an account from Numbers chapter 15, which on Carolyn Yeager's program someone recently challenged me on, his motive being to question the fairness of the God of the Bible. So I will read the account and then offer some comments.

In Numbers chapter 15 we see provisions made in the law for the person who sins in ignorance, and the person who sins presumptuously. From Numbers 15:22-31: “22 And if ye have erred, and not observed all these commandments, which the LORD hath spoken unto Moses, 23 Even all that the LORD hath commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day that the LORD commanded Moses, and henceforward among your generations; 24 Then it shall be, if ought be committed by ignorance without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one young bullock for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour unto the LORD, with his meat offering, and his drink offering, according to the manner, and one kid of the goats for a sin offering. 25 And the priest shall make an atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance: and they shall bring their offering, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD, for their ignorance: 26 And it shall be forgiven all the congregation of the children of Israel, and the stranger that sojourneth among them; seeing all the people were in ignorance. 27 And if any soul sin through ignorance, then he shall bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering. 28 And the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the LORD, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him. 29 Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them. 30 But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.”

Here is the law of the Sabbath, which was oft-repeated in the Old Testament and, as it is recorded, to the people who were with Moses in the Exodus, from Exodus 31:14-16: “14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.”

The law of the Sabbath already long having been given and practiced, we then see this account, picking up from where we just left off, at Numbers 15:32-36: “32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. 33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. 34 And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. 35 And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. 36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.”

Now on the surface, it may seem cruel to stone a man to death for simply gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. Stoning was an ancient form of punishment used throughout the Middle and Near East, and also among the Greeks where several cases of execution by stoning, both mythical and historical, are mentioned in Classical writings. Employing this form of punishment, it was the community who executed the judgement and not merely a single individual, and it also ensured that the individual member of the community who dealt the actual death blow would most likely not be known. We do the same thing today in traditional firing squads, by issuing one or more blanks randomly among the shooters.

However greater things are at risk here if the man is not punished swiftly and harshly. Firstly, Man must learn that our God and His law are absolutely sovereign. To negotiate away the law is to risk the entire community. Today we live with the product of a morality that has been negotiated, and the worsening conditions of our once-great Saxon nations are glaringly obvious. Man must realize that if the law is allowed to be circumvented so easily, the corruption of the entire community would surely soon follow. The laws governing morality must be concrete, and not negotiable, or we shall fail and the entire nation shall fail along with us. The law is for the sake of man, and if the community is to be healthy, then the law must be obeyed. Secondly, thinking about the immediate situation of this particular individual, wood in a desert place is scarce, and not abundant, and the primary motivation for a man to be gathering wood on the Sabbath, would be to gain advantage over all of those who were obeying the Sabbath, in order that he would have all of the available firewood to himself, without competition from his kindred. The jew would think such a man to be crafty and intelligent. The Christian would realize that such a man is selfish and uncaring, flaunting the law to seek advantage for himself. What other laws would he so brazenly flaunt, in order to gain advantage over his brethren? And if he is allowed to flaunt these laws without dire consequences, how else would other members of the community imagine that they too could think up schemes and do such things? So we see that this account is about much more than a few sticks. This man heard the law, and disregarded it for his own benefit. He did not have to stay in the community if he cared not for the laws which he had heard, he could have left. The man who cares about himself at the expense of his kindred should indeed be put to death.

As for stoning, while it seems a cruel form of punishment, it is the only ancient form of execution which the entire community was compelled to engage in, that it is the community executing the punishment of its member, and not an individual. The early Greeks as well as the Hebrews had used this method of execution. Aside from poisoning – which was very unscientific in those days - the ancient alternatives are hanging, beheading, and crucifixion, and perhaps being thrown from a cliff or forcibly held under the water, no one being any less cruel than the other.

III 1 And again He [Christ] had entered into the assembly hall. [Perhaps I may explain the meaning of synagogue here.] And there was a man there having a withered hand. And they were watching Him closely, whether He will heal him on the Sabbaths, in order that they may accuse Him. 3 And He says to the man having the withered hand: “Arise, into the middle!” 4 And He says to them: “Is it lawful on the Sabbaths to do good, or to do bad? To save a life or to kill?” [In other words, to let a man eat, or to force him to starve, as the Pharisees asserted at the end of chapter two.] But they were silent. 5 And looking around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He says to the man: “Extend the hand!” And he extended it and his hand had been restored. 6 And the Pharisees departing immediately with the Herodians gave counsel against Him, how they may destroy Him.

Here Christ directly challenged the primary basis for the Pharisees' control over the lives of the people of Judaea: which was a regulatory control very much like the control that bureaucrats have over us in our own nations today. It is obvious that they hated Him for it. They hated Him for it because they knew He was right – or at least they could not say that He was wrong - and yet they could not bear to relinquish the authority which they had according to their own interpretations and embellishments of the law. However, the Pharisees were not alone in Judaea in their interpretation of the law in this manner. There was another sect in Judaea which left actual writings that demonstrate that they too thought much like the Pharisees in this regard. It can be demonstrated that the Qumran sect of Dead Sea Scrolls fame was positively not Christian, and they made no indication in their writing that they knew anything of Christianity. Here is one Dead Sea Scrolls passage which shows that concerning the Sabbath, their views of the law were consistent with those of the Pharisees. This passage also gives great insight into the mentality of the Pharisees concerning the Sabbath, which is the mentality that Christ challenges here in the Gospel. From 4Q271, Fragment 5, Column I, a portion of what is more popularly known as the Damascus Document: “No-one should help an animal give birth on the Sabbath day. And if it has fallen into a well or a pit, he should not take it out on the Sabbath ... And any living man who falls into a place of water or a well, no-one should take him out with a ladder or a rope or a utensil.” In the Christian mind, this should immediately evoke these words of Yahshua Christ recorded here in Mark, and also at Matt. 12:9-13 and Luke 14:1-6. Christ would surely want us to help the animal, and especially our fellow man, helping him out of the well or pit immediately, and even on the Sabbath!

There is a sharp contrast here with the exposition of Numbers chapter 15 given earlier at the end of chapter 2. It is unthinkable to violate the Sabbath to gain an advantage over your brethren. It is unthinkable not to violate the Sabbath to save your brethren form any troubles they may have, which in such a case would certainly not be considered a violation!

 7 And Yahshua withdrew to the sea with His students, and a great multitude from Galilaia followed, and from Judaea 8 and from Jerusalem and from Idumaia and across the Jordan and around Turos and Sidon a great multitude hearing what things He does came to Him. 9 And He spoke to His students in order that a boat should be waiting ready for Him, for reason that the crowd would crush Him. 10 For He had healed many, so as to fall upon Him as many as had afflictions in order that they may touch Him. 11 And the unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell before Him [the people possessed by those spirits] and cried out, saying that “You are the Son of Yahweh!” 12 And He admonished them often that they should not make Him known.

It was demonstrated here last week, that the unclean spirits were said by the ancients to have been produced by the mixing of the races. Certain fragments out of the Dead Sea Scrolls, from the Enoch literature, were cited to substantiate that claim. However one citation was inadvertently omitted from the podcast notes which I had prepared, and therefore was not covered. I will take advantage of this opportunity to cite it now. From 1 Enoch 15:8-12, which corroborates the statements from last week: “‘... 8. And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits upon the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. 9. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from men, and from the holy watchers is their beginning and primal origin; they shall be evil spirits on earth, and evil spirits shall they be called. [10. As for the spirits of heaven, in heaven shall be their dwelling, but as for the spirits of the earth which were born upon the earth, on the earth shall be their dwelling.] 11. And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, but nevertheless hunger and thirst, and cause offences, 12. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them ...’” These are the offspring which resulted from the mixed unions between the “fallen angels” and men described in Genesis chapter 6, who are later called bastards, for instance in the Dead Sea Scroll 4Q204,where it says “Exterminate all the spirits of the bastards and the sons of the Watchers”. Race-mixing produces evil people and evil spirits. Contrary to popular opinion, according to Scripture we are not all the same inside.

13 And He ascends into the mountain and summons those whom He Himself had desired, and they came out to Him. [In the Christogenea New Testament the tenses of verbs are used as the originals appear in Greek, even if in English it is sometimes difficult to read.] 14 And He made the twelve (those whom He also named ambassadors), that they should be with Him, and that He would send them to proclaim 15 and to have authority to cast out demons. 16 And He made these the twelve: Simon whom He also labeled with the name “Petros”, 17 and Iakobos the son of Zebedaios and Iohannes the brother of Iakobos and He labeled them with the name “Boanerges”, which is “Sons of Thunder” [where explanations of the meanings of words such as this appear in the text there is proof that this is not a translation], 18 and Andreas and Philippos and Bartholomaios and Maththaios and Thomas and Iakobos the son of Alphaios and Thaddaios and Simon the Kananean 19 and Ioudas Iskarioth, he who also betrayed Him.

The 5th century Codex Alexandrinus has Simon as a Canaanite. However the Codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus from the 4th century, and the Bezae, Washingtonensis and Ephraemi Syri, all from the 5th century, all have Cananean, which would indicate that this Simon was from Cana in Galilee. Cana was the town where Yahshua attended the wedding feast described in John chapter 2. In John chapter 21, it is evident that this Simon is from Cana, where he is called by another name in John's listing of the apostles there, “Nathanael of Cana in Galilee”. John always calls this apostle Nathanael.

20 And He comes into a house, and the crowd comes along again, consequently for them not to be able even to eat bread. 21 And hearing it those of His relations came out to seize Him, for they said that He is insane. 22 And the scribes coming down from Jerusalem said that “He has Beelzebub!” and that “By the ruler of demons He casts out demons!”

In Matthew there is a difference in the earliest manuscripts, whether the spelling of this idol's name is Beelzebub or Beelzeboul. In that gospel the oldest of the Great Uncials, the codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, agree on Beelzeboul. Here in Mark, all of the manuscripts agree on Beelzebub, and so even the Christogenea New Testament is divided, because I sought to follow the oldest manuscripts independently for each book of Scripture. There is one minor difference, in that here from Beelzebub the Codex Vaticanus is wanting the letter “l”, which is almost certainly a simple scribal error. Either way, the meaning is equally repulsive. For according to Thayer's lexicon Baal zebub means “lord of flies”, while Baal zeboul is “lord of dung”.

23 And summoning them He spoke to them in parables: “How is Satan able to cast out Satan? 24 And if a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom is not able to stand! 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house shall not be able to stand! 26 And if Satan stood up against himself and is divided he is not able to stand, but has an end. 27 Rather, no one is able to enter into the house of the strong man to plunder his equipment, unless one could first bind the strong man, and then he shall plunder his house!

It is seen here that the word “satan” is used collectively, of all of the demons, in Christ's response to the accusation that “By the ruler of demons He casts out demons!” Therefore “satan” describes a collective group who sit in opposition to God. Here Christ not only refutes their allegations concerning Him, but goes even further to assert that it is He who has entered into the house of the strong man, to bind the strong man, thereby equating the Edomite Jews to Satan. Christ clarifies this, at Luke 11:21-23: “21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: 22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. 23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” here in Mark, the Edomite Jews who rejected Christ are identified as Satan – the plural entity who are forever opposed to Christ.

28 Truly I say to you that all errors shall be remitted for the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may blaspheme. 29 But he who blasphemes to the Holy Spirit, he does not have remission forever, but is liable for eternal guilt!”

I am going to repeat some of the things which I said when I covered the Gospel of Matthew, in chapter 12, where these same words of Christ's are recorded. There are people who claim to be Christian Identists, who deny the words of Paul where he says that “all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26), or who deny the words of Isaiah where he wrote Yahweh's promise that “all the seed of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory” (Isaiah 45:25). These are those same Pharisees who want to throw their own (alleged) Israelite brethren into the lake of fire, while they also attempt to teach that there is salvation even for beasts. These people deny these words of Christ where He plainly says here, and I will quote the King James Version, that “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”

The Greek word ἅγιος, in the Biblical context means separated and devoted to the purposes of God. This is the word translated “holy” in the phrase Holy Spirit. We can see from passages found in the Bible at Exodus 19:5-6, 1 Kings 8:53, and 1 Peter 2:9 that this mandate for Israel to be a separate people never changed. In the Old Testament the word for “holy” comes from the Hebrew word qodesh, Strong's number 6944, which primarily means apartness. The phrase is found in the Old Testament at Psalm 51:11 and Isaiah 63:10-11. From these passages it seems to refer both to the presence of the Spirit of God and the Spirit which God bestowed upon the Adamic man. This is what Christ and the apostles refer to when they tell us that we are not of the world, and as John explains in the fourth chapter of his first epistle, that those who are not of the Adamic race have indeed been created by the world, and not by God, John's message in its context being for the children of Israel exclusively. John also mentions a sin which is “unto death”, where he says at 1 John 5:16, from the KJV: “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask [meaning to ask in prayer], and he [meaning God] shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” For this reason I believe that “blasphemy of the Spirit” is the promotion of integration and race-mixing, and this is the “sin unto death”. This sin causes the death of the Adamic race, which is in turn an act of war against that Spirit which God bestowed upon Adamic man.

30 (Because they said “He has an unclean spirit!”)

In verse 30 Mark makes a parenthetical statement explaining why Yahshua spoke these things to the apostles in parables.

31 And His mother comes, and His brethren, and standing outside they sent to Him summoning Him. 32 And a crowd sat around Him, and they said to Him: “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers seek You outside!” 33 And replying to them He says “Who is My mother and My brethren?” 34 And looking about at those sitting around Him, He says: “Behold, My mother and My brethren! 35 For he who should do the will of Yahweh, he is My brother and sister and mother!”

Here also I shall repeat some of the things I said in Matthew chapter 12, since this same account is found there in verses 46-50. This passage refutes the idea of Romish Catholic Mary-worship. Just because a person has the honor of being chosen by God for a particular purpose in life, does not make that person special above the rest of God's people. It is obvious that Yahshua certainly did not exalt His earthly mother above others. The Catholics also deny the plain meaning of the phrase “your mother and your brethren”, instead promoting a lie concerning Mary's alleged perpetual virginity. Yet here and in several other New Testament passages it is quite clear that Yahshua had earthly siblings through His mother Mary. After Yahshua Himself was born, Mary must have had other children by her earthly husband Joseph. Yet if these were only brethren in the faith, as the Catholics would have it, then the phrase would be meaningless since the person speaking said to Him “Your brethren”, when there were obviously a multitude of people of the faith present who were not considered to be His brethren in that fashion. The idea of brothers and sisters who are so only in the faith alone is a false idea which is meant to diminish the racial meaning of the words as they are used in the Bible. A brother or sister can only be – in its original Greek meaning – of one of the same family. While the New Testament writers often used the words brother and sister in a slightly wider sense than the Greeks did – to encompass all members of the tribes of the Israelite nations, the word still cannot be stripped of its familial meaning. Furthermore, the Christian faith is by definition the faith belonging to those to whom the covenants belong, and therefore a brother or sister in the faith can only include Israelites, since by the definition of the faith, all others are excluded, the covenants being made only with Israelites.

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