INTERESTING FACTS :
Abraham Lincoln - 16th president of the United States (1861-65), who preserved the Union during the American Civil War and brought about the emancipation of the slaves.[1
"To give the victory to the right, not bloody bullets, but peaceful ballots only, are necessary."[2
Daily Reading : MARK 8 - 9
TEXT : Mark 9:19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. 9:20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. 9:21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. 9:22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. 9:25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. 9:26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. 9:27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. 9:28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? 9:29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
THEME : Power Over Satan
In this chapter, we have, I. Christ's miraculous feeding of four thousand with seven loaves and a few small fishes (Mar_8:1-9). II. His refusing to give the Pharisees a sign from heaven (Mar_8:10-13). III. His cautioning his disciples to take heed of the leaven of Pharisaism and Herodianism (Mar_8:14-21). IV. His giving of sight to a blind man at Bethsaida (Mar_8:22-26). V. Peter's confession of him (Mar_8:27-30). VI. The notice he gave his disciples of his own approaching sufferings (Mar_8:31-33), and the warning he gave them to prepare for sufferings likewise (Mar_8:34-38). [Matthew Henry][3
Four thousand persons fed with seven loaves and a few small fishes, Mar_8:1-8. Christ refuses to give any farther sign to the impertinent Pharisees, Mar_8:10-12. Warns his disciples against the corrupt doctrine of the Pharisees and of Herod, Mar_8:13-21. He restores sight to a blind man, Mar_8:22-26. Asks his disciples what the public thought of him, Mar_8:27-30. Acknowledges himself to be the Christ, and that he must suffer, Mar_8:31-33. And shows that all his genuine disciples must take up their cross, suffer in his cause, and confess him before men, Mar_8:34-38. [Adam Clarke][4
In this chapter, we have, I. Christ's transfiguration upon the mount (Mar_9:1-13). II. His casting the devil out of a child, when the disciples could not do it (v. 14-29). III. His prediction of his own sufferings and death (Mar_9:30-32). IV. The check he gave to his disciples for disputing who should be greatest (Mar_9:33-37); and to John for rebuking one who cast out devils in Christ's name, and did not follow with them (v. 38-41). V. Christ's discourse with his disciples of the danger of offending one of his little ones (v. 42), and of indulging that in ourselves, which is an offence and an occasion of sin to us (v. 43-50), most of which passages we had before, Mt. 17 and 18. [Matthew Henry][3
The transfiguration of Christ, and the discourse occasioned by it, Mar_9:1-13. He casts out a dumb spirit which his disciples could not, vv. 14-29. He foretells his death, Mar_9:30-32. The disciples dispute about supremacy, and Christ corrects them, Mar_9:33-37. Of the person who cast out demons in Christ's name, but did not follow him, Mar_9:38-40. Every kind of office done to the disciples of Christ shall be rewarded by him, and all injuries done to them shall be punished, Mar_9:41, Mar_9:42. The necessity of mortification and self-denial, Mar_9:43-48. Of the salting of sacrifices, Mar_9:49; and the necessity of having union among the disciples of Christ, Mar_9:50. [Adam Clarke][4
TRUTH FOR TODAY : "THE POWER OF GOD IS THE POSSESSION OF MEN!"
The power God gives to men is truly amazing. Of course, this power is not given to just anyone. He bestows it on those that believe on Him. We read in Mark chapter 16 -
Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; Mar 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mar 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. Mar 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Notice God grants this power to them that "believe." The power spoken of here by the LORD, He does not reserve for special people alone. He gives it to those that believe on His Name. That is, Christ's name. Many Bible scholars and expositors have taught for years these verses in Mark 16 either do not belong to the Gospel of Mark, or that these signs and wonders went away with the Apostles.
However, there is no internal evidence in the Bible to justify such a theological position. Namely, that the healing of the sick or casting out of devils was restricted to the first century church only. The argument that the verses in Mark chapter 16: 15 - 20 do not belong to the Gospel of Mark or more accurately, they are not part of the canon of the Scriptures, I will not take up now. Suffice it to say the Holy Scriptures are not only inspired, but the same God who wrote them also preserved and still preserves them. This is the orthodox position of the Westminster divines even as they write in their creed. [7
] It is also the position of most, if not all, fundamentalists. Simply put, the Holy Scriptures were written by God and kept by God throughout the ages.
With that said, we return to the truth at hand. That is, the power of God is [now] the possession of men. In other words, Christ -the Son of God, has given to those who believe, power over that old enemy of humanity -the Devil. This of course, it is good news. Perhaps, that is an understatement. It is better said - this is great news! For we know in studying the Holy Scriptures that it is the Devil and his angels that are behind the evil we see in the world today. If it were not for him -that is, the Devil, the earth and the world would not be in the precarious position it is today.
Of course, Man has much to do with it also. This is due to the fact the Bible reveals that Man followed after Satan in his rebellion against God. Nevertheless, Jesus the savior of Mankind has come to redeem us from our sins and to deliver us from the power of the Devil. The text before us clearly demonstrates this truth. As you examine the New Testament, you plainly see Jesus dominating Satan and his cohorts everywhere He goes. Again, this is demonstrated in our text.
Yet, the Apostles asked Jesus why they could not cast the devil out of the boy. Jesus and tells them that this type of demonization can only come out by a protracted prayer and fasting. However, you should note that in the Gospel according to Matthew, Matthew adds the element of faith. Specifically, he shares that Jesus said the Apostles could not cast out the demon from the boy because of their unbelief. As you have already seen, unbelief undermines the power, the protection, the provision, and at times the (personal) plan of God (that is, for you). Thus, we read -
Mat 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Mat 17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
With such dominion given to men, that is, the ability to defeat the Devil at every turn, you need to take advantage of Jesus power and authority. This of course, can only be done by faith as we read constantly in the New Testament. We also see it visibly in the text of Matthew 17:20. Therefore, you need to build your faith in Christ. The question is -how do I do it? Once again, the Bible tells you.
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. This means, hearing the Bible, reading the Bible, listening to sermons, and simply getting the Bible into your consciousness anyway and every way you can. An especially great habit is to meditate and memorize key passages of the Bible. Without a doubt, once the Bible begins to dominate your thinking you might say you can actually feel the power of God inside of you. The more you read and memorize or remember, the stronger you get -not only in spirit, but also in body. The reason your physical body gets stronger is that it is directly influenced by the mind or soul. The Scriptures are clear - as a man thinks in his heart, this is what he is or becomes. Even the Roman Emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius once said - "a man's life are what his thoughts make of it."
Therefore, change your thoughts and cause them to line up with the Word of God. Believe what Christ tells you. Most do not believe Jesus Christ, or what He has said. Therefore, they lack the power of God. Never permit yourself to doubt the love of God, the power of God, the promises of God, or anything else that belongs to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Truly, the power of God is (now) the procession of man!