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Lesson # Mark 16:20
Study Material - Mark 16:20
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
Mark 16:20 20 And [de] they [ekeinos] went forth [exerchomai] , and preached [kerusso] every where [pantachou] , the Lord [kurios] working with [sunergeo] them, and [kai] confirming [bebaioo] the word [logos] with [dia] signs [semeion] following [epakoloutheo] . Amen [amen] . KJV-Interlinear 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. NASB
52 And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple, praising God. NASB
Once Jesus Christ ascended up into heaven from the Mount of Olives, the apostles and disciples went back to Jerusalem and there they were to remain until the Feast of Pentecost, at which time they would receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This will be the first indwelling by the Holy Spirit of anyone in history. The only exception was the humanity of Jesus during His lifetime, in which He lived the pattern of His spiritual life for us to follow.
Note I did not say follow His physical life. We are not to try to live a life of poverty, or of the clothing that he wore, or to walk around the countryside witnessing to folks. His spiritual pattern was, study of the scriptures, prayer, and continual residence in fellowship. Otherwise you live your normal life doing whatever it is you do in life. If you change diapers then fine. If you build rockets, then fine. Just do your job the best you can. But live your life within the environment of fellowship and stay true to your daily Bible study.
Jesus ascended forty days after the Passover feast. That leaves just ten days until the Feast of Pentecost, when they were to receive the Holy Spirit, and therefore they were to remain in Jerusalem and basically do nothing until then.
However if you read the first chapter of Acts, you'll discover that impetuous Peter calls a meeting to elect a replacement for the twelfth apostle. Remember that Judas is now dead, having committed suicide.
Since one of the gifts that Jesus gave them was 'understanding' now Peter, as all of them, knew the scriptures. They had the knowledge, instantly, but they lacked the wisdom. Jesus did not instruct them to elect a replacement apostle. So all this shows is that Peter and all of them who went along with the election, still had a lot to learn.
They did remain in Jerusalem, and they did begin going to the Temple and proclaiming the resurrection with total disregard for whatever reaction they might receive from the Pharisees, Sadducees, and elders and such. Their courage was bolstered by the last few days they spent with Jesus, and with their near instant knowledge of the scriptures, they were on an emotional high. Invincible if you will, therefore they were somewhat oblivious to the dangers that still remained in the world. When Stephen gets stoned to death, later on, they will come back to reality, and be a little more responsible in their thoughts and actions.
Then their courage will take on less of an emotional high, and more of a base in wisdom. Their courage will become more real.
The last verse in Mark touches on the pattern of their ministries following Pentecost, as they go out to preach and teach the gospel to anyone and everyone. The important item in our study for today is the mention (in Mark) that their teaching was supported by God through the signs which they performed via the powers (special gifts) God gave them. Eventually, their credentials will be established, and the special powers (gifts) will no longer be necessary.
One quick point to make here is that those special powers (gifts) that the apostles and other disciples had, were restricted to their generation and do not exist in our current day. So do not go out and drink poison, or stick your hand in a snake hole, or some other stupid thing, thinking that God will deliver you from its danger. He won't. Likewise, if someone comes along and promotes them self as having special powers from God, then check for a padded van nearby. They are delusional and/or phony.
God gives us good advice. His first piece of advice is to listen to His Word, and to obey it. After all He did create the universe and everything in it. He must know something! Who among us can create or invent anything out of nothing?
Next we need to learn that there are only two environments in which we can live our life. The first is the sphere of our sin nature in which our sin nature is in control of our life, and we are in effect subservient slaves to it. The second sphere is that of fellowship, wherein the Holy Spirit is in control of our life.
The sin nature controls your life through lust, desire, greed, deceit, lies, etc. I simply call that living in the jungle. The jungle cares for no one. It is life apart from God. You can take a look at a typical jungle setting in Africa, and get some idea of how the jungle works, and then relate that to the world without Gods oversight. In the jungle there is no one to help you. If you are strong, then you squash everyone else. If you are weak, then life squashes you. Sooner or later everyone succumbs to the jungle as it swallows up everyone and everything.
In contrast, the Holy Spirit guides your life through truth, giving you freedom of thought, discernment, and autonomous control over your life when you advance in your spiritual life to maturity. In fellowship your residence, even though you are alive in this world, is within the spiritual realm of Gods security. He is your refuge, your provision for everything you need in life.
In the jungle there is no future, no promise. In fellowship, in your spiritual life, there is an eternity of happiness and a life beyond anything you can imagine.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us NASB
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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