“And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.” Mark 9:1 NKJV
We are half way through Passion Week. There are no significate events attributed to Wednesday of Passion Week, leading to the Lord Jesus’s resurrection. But we aren’t to this time period in our daily reading yet. And in today’s reading are some significant events in the actions of Jesus.
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 9 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).
The Transfiguration of Christ
9 And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God [a]present with power.”
Jesus Transfigured on the Mount
2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 4 And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— 6 because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.
7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 8 Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.
9 Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.
11 And they asked Him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
12 Then He answered and told them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him.”
A Boy Is Healed
14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”
17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
19 He answered him and said, “O faithless[b] generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I [c]bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to him, “If[d] you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer [e]and fasting.”
Jesus Again Predicts His Death and Resurrection
30 Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. 31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.” 32 But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.
Who Is the Greatest?
33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you [f]disputed among yourselves on the road?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. 35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”
Jesus Forbids Sectarianism
38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”
39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against [g]us is on [h]our side. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.
Jesus Warns of Offenses
42 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me [i]to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life [j]maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to [k]hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 44 [l]where
‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’
45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into [m]hell, [n]into the fire that shall never be quenched— 46 where
‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’
47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into [o]hell fire— 48 where
‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’
Tasteless Salt Is Worthless
49 “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and[p] every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”
- Mark 9:1 having come
- Mark 9:19 unbelieving
- Mark 9:19 put up with
- Mark 9:23 NU “ ‘If You can!’ All things
- Mark 9:29 NU omits and fasting
- Mark 9:33 discussed
- Mark 9:40 M you
- Mark 9:40 M your
- Mark 9:42 To fall into sin
- Mark 9:43 crippled
- Mark 9:43 Gr. Gehenna
- Mark 9:44 NU omits v. 44.
- Mark 9:45 Gr. Gehenna
- Mark 9:45 NU omits the rest of v. 45 and all of v. 46.
- Mark 9:47 Gr. Gehenna
- Mark 9:49 NU omits the rest of v. 49.
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.”
True to form the Book of Mark packs a lot of deep stuff into each chapter. I do not know who specifically divided this book into chapters but maybe we needed more and shorter chapters. None the less, this is our assignment and we have a lot to cover – Lord help us grasp what you are telling us today.
“And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.” Verse 1.
Even the disciples, took verses out of context and out of understanding. Like this verse, they thought they were going to see the rapture and the end times completed. They thought the Kingdom of God meant the new temple and Eden bursting forth from it exactly as the image in Ezekiel describes. And to this day many do not know what it means: “the kingdom of God present with power.” Nor do they understand “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The Kingdom of God is not a location in the physical, heck the physical world we see if not even the real one – the one with spirit and physical interacting is the real complete world. Jesus gave us the Kingdom when He gave us authority to do great exploits in His name. That is the kingdom in power. And this Kingdom is still here, at hand – desperately requiring us to step up into our assigned positions. Therefore Verse 1 was not prophetic as much as telling them – It’s time. And it is prophetic only in the since that it applies to all of us who exist since that authority was loosed – aka the Kingdom of God became present with power – aka Jesus completed the work of the cross.
It is difficult to keep it brief and explain something this abstract. Ask God for understanding.
So many people have described the secret place and dwelling in the spirit as going into their head and speaking to God in the same why they have conversations with themselves. Yes, God hears you there and can talk to you there… but that is not the spirit. That is your head, the soul. The spirit world is around us and through us if we are filled with The Spirit. So we must step into the spirit world not retreat like into your own mind. In your mind it is quiet and you control it. But in the Spirit, you cannot control what is happening and there is a noise to it for those who can hear. Go back and read those old prophets that pulled back the curtain and explained what the spirit world looked and acted like. It is busy. There are warring spirits in constant battle. There your flesh is exposed and secrets are known. So humbly repent and step into the spirit.
Speaking of the Spirit and Physical colliding: wanna talk about the transfiguration? Can you imagine being there? I tear up at the thought of His loving presence in an overwhelmed reverent fear. I can’t imagine seeing Jesus literally stepping into spirit with others who have passed away standing there with Him. Every time I have had a vision or dream the same overwhelming feeling overpowers me – I become undone. But none of my dreams or visions can compare to this!
As being that can rationalize, we try to reason what we need to do and think about these types of experiences. They feel life changing, but yet the enemy will help us forget all too soon. Peter’s reaction to build tabernacles was spot on for Jewish customs – the Lord has always dwelled in tabernacles in the wilderness and in the temple in Jerusalem. I do not know if my response would have been so clear in understanding. But Peter did not fully understand, because Elijah and Moses were not staying.
As a side note – God must have forgiven Moses who was not permitted to step inside the promise land. Because here he is standing on the top of the mountain with Jesus hanging out. God is faithful. But I pray you see your promises fulfilled in the land of the living, while you still live there.
Anyway – I wish Peter listened to what they were talking about instead of planning up buildings.
So Peter, James and John, having seen Elijah asked about the end time prophecy and prophesy about the coming of Messiah where Elijah comes first to right things. All prophecy has a component for the person it is given and their time period, but true prophecy is outside of time and has an element for many generations. Elijah has come. John the Baptist with a concept like Elijah – not Elijah reincarnated, and not the ghostly spirit of Elijah and not possessed by a spirit of Elijah. It is more that the power, fervency of service to God, and the concept of Elijah. So when they asked and Jesus said he had come – it could mean the real Elijah or John the Baptist (which is most commonly taught, even by the disciples, look at John chapter 1).
Before Jesus can come to us, come for an awakening, come for a revival, come for the last harvest (which is where most people say we are in the calendar) – first comes Elijah. This is what is growing among the believers. Elijah was power, anointing, signs and wonders – a man who walked in the Spirit and prepared for the move of God.
There are many, many, many being trained by God himself – to move in this spirit and gifting. They will be activated all over the world. God loves us so much he needs to prepare us for a move. And these people will have signs and wonders following – and we will call each spot a revival – because God’s move will follow them and Jesus will show up there.
I also think, this prophecy is also literal and like Elijah came back to chat with Jesus – He will come back during Jacob’s sorrow (the great tribulation) literally and prepare the world for Jesus’s arrive on the war horse with the army of saints.
I also think, based on this passage that Moses with be the second one coming with him to do the same – even though it is debated and unclear. The truth is – that future passage is not for us. We will not be here for it.
Staying in the lessons of the spirit world – they arrive back to a demoniac boy with a stubborn spirit. There is not enough evidence to support that because the boy had it since he was a child that it was ancestral or that that is why it was so stubborn. As much as we want to know and understand – I think we are asking too many questions and looking for answers instead of understanding the spiritual lesson here. Again, I say – if we are in the spirit, connected to that truth where all is revealed. We would know what to do when we encounter this. We should be prayed up and fasting as often as God tell us to and in various ways. We should be ready. Jesus said while he was with the disciples in person on earth in the flesh they did not need to fast. But he is not here with us that way – we must fast. I have some illnesses that make doctors say I should not fast. So I found a professional and I learned how to fast correctly. God sustains me. God is good.
We should be like Elijah, ready in spirit. Full of the power of God and fasted and prayed up. And if at first we do not succeed, we keep going. Then… if we cast them out and they let 7 more come back in, we cast them all out again. We have the author and the power in the name of Jesus.
But if we look carefully Jesus told it to come out and enter no more. We can do that! We have that authority when we have fasted and prayed.
“So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Verse 29
I have heard this verse used by a few preachers in reference to breakthrough and oppression and difficult battles – that some we just need to fast and persist in prayer. I see no evidence that the “this Kind” refers to anything but demon possession and doesn’t apply to other spiritual battles. But it may and if refers to the demon we are up against in the battle and not referring to the location of that demon. Doesn’t hurt to try that.
But we have skipped ahead and missed the most tender and truthful interaction of this whole story – one we should definitely try.
“Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Verse 23.
All things. Look it up in other Bible translations: “Everything” and “Anything”, but mostly they all say “All Things”!
Why aren’t we moving mountains? Why are there sick among us? Why a are somethings left undone?
“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Verse 24.
Why would God tell him it is possible to him who believes but did not tell the father about fasting. The person doing the casting out and praying needs to be fasting and praying – the receiver must be believing – willing to accept it and receive it in the spirit. We all also must be this raw and honest. ‘I believe’ – I want to believe. I do really try to believe. But sometimes we can’t even believe in God without Gods supernatural help. “help my unbelief”. This is not permission to doubt or waiver. This is permission to be raw and honest with God if it ever happens. We are human and prone to it, so it is good to know. It is not a matter of repenting from the shaking of our belief – but rather an opportunity in him to grow our belief.
So as Jesus has them alone again (starting in verse 30), he continues the lessons like he did the last time they were walking alone – preparing them for his death and resurrection. These men must have thought Jesus was depressed speaking of death so much – they were not receiving Jesus’s lesson in their spirit – and their flesh was just not getting it. They were just rebuked for being a faithless generation to be unable to cast the demon from the child – so they were not overly willing to ask questions. NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK GOD A QUESTION! Seriously. I have asked God “why?” on a number of occasions, as well as asking him many other things. God loves to be asked questions – he loves to interact with us and teach us things. We see a pattern of him loving it throughout the entire Bible – you could say it is kinda the point of the Bible – to answer our questions and teach us things.
Instead the broke off from Jesus and started talking among themselves. See what happens when you stop including Jesus? Pride swelled up and they became secret about their discussion. They could have been learning some vital info – instead they argued about who had to most sinful pride – I mean, who is the greatest!
Jesus against brings around the spiritual application for this lesson. Today is full of how we affect the Spirit. Humility applied to the spirit world is great. Pride applied to the spirit world is terrible. And that is the realm where truth is. I seriously wonder why God told me to name this blog about grace when I probably say more often get humble! If not for humility we will not make it! Ah, but if not for grace we will never be granted the mercy to be humble.
Starting in verse 38 we read about how Jesus forbids sectarianism.
Sec·tar·i·an·ism, pronounced /sekˈterēəˌnizəm/, is a noun meaning: “excessive attachment to a particular sect or party, especially in religion.” According to the Oxford Dictionary. And as an example they give us: “religious sectarianism”.
NO ONE EVER WANTS TO TALK ABOUT THIS. I have never heard a sermon about it being forbidden. I didn’t even know it was a rule – until I began to study the work of God for myself. Most of my teaching seem to have been from fundamental Baptist and Assembly of God, heavy on Calvinistic theories and legalism. Quite the strange back ground, I know. Then God took a couple of years to completely destroy my foundation and rock my world. And he rebuild my foundation – staying as pure to the written word as possible. (And even though, I am still wrong occasionally and I am sincerely sorry if I miss lead you – I bathe this in prayer that I will not. I understand that God hold stronger consequences for those of us who speak on the word of God.) So I decided I would become non-denominational. I am of the Kingdom of God and Kingdom minded. I am about souls and not about arguing about theology that isn’t a heaven or hell issue. God told me to go join an Assembly of God church – I am a member. But honestly my ties are to God and Kingdom. I am hear because I was called here to finish a work God had started when I was a child at that church. On this blog, I did not speak of what denomination I belong to, because to me I thought it was wrong – we are one body, one kingdom. My closest friends are each from a different denominational background and attend those respective churches. We just avoid conversations about things we disagree on – and we focus on Jesus.
So from verses 38-41, we learn Jesus is stirring the hearts of people outside of the 12 and outside of the small mob that also follows. In this stirring at least one person, maybe more people, are casting out demons in Jesus’s name successfully.
Look carefully – He who is not against us is for us. Do you see past the physical? John didn’t. Maybe he had some sort of prideful hang up, or ownership feeling, in what Jesus and they were doing – but maybe he just was blinded and unable to see the greater picture including the spirit. He forgot there was a spiritual war raging around us. He forgot that God is trying to save the whole world not just his corner. If we learn of the things of the spirit we know there is a battle and we cannot escape that knowledge. If John did, he would have come to Jesus praising Him for getting more on board in the fight! So no more talk of denominations of other separators – we are Kingdom people made of one body.
Today’s reading end with a very serious lesson – This is an area, I agree with the majority, that it is not to be taken literally. Verses 42 through 48 but kind continue to the end.
My cousin came to church with us as a child and one particular day God started moving in him. He asked Jesus into his life. An older teenager who helped with the children’s ministry then swooped in and started laying out rules and judgments and dictates. My cousin left rejecting God and still to this day, almost 30 years later, is hurt over it. Do I find this person, tie a millstone around their neck and throw them in the sea? They may wish I did later. I may want to because witnessing to my cousin has always had that obstacle in our way. But we aren’t cutting off hands, feet or eyes. I have an acquaintance currently who says they cannot help sinning it is how they are made. Well, let’s just cut them completely! Obviously, we are all sinners – it is how we are made, birthed into the corrupted curse. But Jesus changes that about us if we are willing. Which is the point. Be willing to cut the sin from our lives. Not out hands and feet. The sin. The Holy Spirit comes into our lives and helps us not sin. But even spirit filed believers slip up and sin. I might even guess we all sin at least once a day.
But seriously, if you can’t get it under control – it is better to cut off your hand. It is a truthful analogy. I mean if your eyes won’t stop lusting plucking them out will not stop the lusting – that can still happen in your mind. So before we take drastic measures like cutting off body parts – seek deliverance. Can a Holy Spirit filled believer need deliverance – YES!
Deliverance is not just casting out spirits, it is also casting off the oppressor breaking the chains of the demons that restrain. Tearing down the walls, breaking the curses, and bringing freedom to the slaves. A slave is not in dwelled by its master – but needs to be delivered, none the less.
Then Mark tells us of Jesus parable of the salt – Tasteless Salt Is Worthless. Jesus is telling us to chop ourselves up and calling us worthless! OUCH! Hopefully not us specifically – but if it does apply to you, please search your heart and repent. The correction is meant to bring you closer and help you know him more.
“For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.” Verses 49-50
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Matt. 5:13 NKJV
“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Col. 4:6 NKJV
So take these verses – pull them together. Jesus’s warning are harsh – but his great purpose is to love you more and help you become more like Him.
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!