Mark 04 God works differently to us humans
We update studies as the Lord Jesus leads us. You can find the latest update of this study at ChurchAges.net
Big church systems attract the wrong spirits as leaders. Jesus crossed the sea in a storm to save a Gentile madman.
- The soul is a garden for faith in the seed Word
- The 3 stages of the restoration of the Bible Truth
- Good servants stay close to Jesus and learn the truth
- There are 3 ways of losing out with God
- The light is hidden if the Word is ignored or changed
- If you believe then God will show you more
- The harvest at the end has the sickle of death
- Beware of what is big
- The fear of God is where wisdom begins
The soul is a garden for faith in the seed Word
MARK 4:1 And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
Mark is introducing Jesus as the great Servant, the calf who grew into a strong Ox that could carry our burdens and carry our sins far away.
Jesus was thus the Servant Who drew a distinct line between sin and righteousness. So He chose the seashore where there is an obvious line between sea and land.
The sea represents the restless multitudes of the people who are swept about by the currents of religious deception, political bias, and the love of money. These distractions result in them being unable to focus on Bible truth.
The land would then symbolize the righteous.
The picture that we get from this is that in order to make the multitude righteous (symbolized by them being on the land) Jesus would have to go out onto the sea. Jesus had to become sin by taking our sins on Himself and thus paying the price which sin demands, which is to die and go to Hell. By being in a ship, the sea could not harm Him. Because He was perfect, Hell could not harm Him. He was able to walk over the fires of hell and dump our sins on the Devil.
REVELATION 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace;
His feet glowed from the ordeal of walking through hellfire, but the fire could not burn His perfection.
MARK 4:2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,
Jesus taught by means of parables which are illustrations from the real world that have a deeper spiritual significance that can be easily missed if the Holy Spirit dooes not give you an inner illumination to see what the Bible verses mean. This is the lamp light that the wise virgins of Matthew 25 have.
A major service that Jesus rendered as the great Servant was to carry his church through the seven different stages or ages of the 2000 years of church history.
The two main themes are that Jesus is Almighty God and that His death and resurrection are the only way for us to find forgiveness for our sins.
Then the incredible understanding that brother Branham brought us of the seven church ages
MARK 4:3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
The most important work is farming. We all need food.
Our natural lives depend on the natural cycle of food plants like wheat. The first step is to plant the wheat seed.
Then there is a cycle of growth. The leaves, the tassels and pollen, the husk or shuck, then the ripe seed.
Our spiritual lives depend on the spiritual seed that we plant in our souls, which are like gardens. There is also a cycle of spiritual growth which is justification, sanctification, Holy Ghost baptism, and then the revealing of the hidden Bible mysteries.
LUKE 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
JEREMIAH 31:12 … and their soul shall be as a watered garden;
Humans have a soul which enables us to believe. We must have the faith to believe in God’s Word.
HEBREWS 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith:
:39 … but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
MARK 4:4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
Jesus never criticizes the sower who represents a preacher of the Gospel truth. He only criticizes the soil which represents the heart of the listener.
The preacher may preach well or badly. You may or may not like the preacher. So what.
If he spoke the Bible truth and you rejected it then you will be in trouble without excuse.
People reject the messenger by fault-finding him in order to justify their rejection of the message. God will never accept that excuse.
The wayside is the hard path next to the field. A hardened heart that is biased against the truth becomes a home for demonology, represented by the birds, who reject the Bible.
Many clever scientists reject the Bible. But science cannot explain the origin of the universe as energy cannot be created from nothing by any scientific theory.
Atheists reject the Bible. But they have nothing to offer to people who die.
Alternative religions reject the Bible. But they offer only man-made salvation based on good works. But they have no suitable sacrifice for sin.
MARK 4:5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
These are people who have a very shallow experience of partial repentance. They seek self-gain and personal benefits from their religion. They never died to themselves.
They serve to gain and not to give.
MARK 4:6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
Sacrifice, suffering, and hardship are the acid test of a believer.
Those who never really meant business with God rapidly fall away when difficulty and defeat have to be encountered in order to mould their characters.
MARK 4:7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
Others mean well and try hard but cannot stand alone. They depend on others and use the church as a crutch. As long as I go to church regularly. They lean on other prople for help and support instead of on God. Some get involved with the prosperity Gospel in order to achieve worldly success. They are distracted and drawn away by what the world offers them. Personal ambitions drive them and choke out their love for truth. The snare of wealth strangles their spirituality. They want God and popularity and worldly success. Thus God’s Bible truth fades from their lives.
These people believe that there is only one God, but that is not enough. Even the devils believe that.
JAMES 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
The 3 stages of the restoration of the Bible Truth
But there will be those who believe the truth for their day and church age.
MARK 4:8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
In each age, God had some who focused on believing and obeying the Word for that age.
This is what the first church age looked like when it was established by the apostles.
After the apostles died, then Bishops began to dominate each church as one-man-leaders. The leadership had been entrusted to a group of local elders at the beginning. In the second church age a man was elevated to be in charge of a church.
The third church age saw Roman Emperor Constantine force the unscriptural word Trinity onto the church at the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. Unscriptural beliefs like “One God in three Persons” , “God the Son”, and "Father and Son are consubstantial" (whatever that means) took over the church. The unscriptural “Triune” God lost His name as three Persons cannot be described by one name.
The fourth church age saw tens of millions of dissenters being killed in the superstitious and dirty Dark Ages of the fourth Church age of Thyatira, which means a Dominating Woman. The Roman Catholic Church dominated Europe.
Unscriptural leaders called Popes, Cardinals, and Archbishops replaced the local elders who were meant to rule each local church.
EVIL means that the church had moved away from the example of the New Testament church.
But then God decided to use the last three church ages to restore the church back to the original truth.
In 1520 Martin Luther restored Salvation by faith alone in the 5th church age (Justification). Much of the Bible was still not understood but at least 30% of the truth had been restored.
LIVE is EVIL turned around. The church was slowly moving back towards the first church age.
Around 1750 John Wesley restored holiness (sanctification) and outreach leading to the great missionary age.
Many of the Bible mysteries were still not understood but human scholarship had now restored about 60% of the truth.
There were three church ages of restoration, church ages 5, 6, and 7, to get the church back to the beliefs of the first church age.
Pentecost restored the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit and William Branham in America revealed the mysteries of the Seven Seals in 1963. This knowledge enabled the Bride to start understanding the deeper mysteries of the King James Bible. This would enable the last church age believers to return back completely, 100%, to the beliefs of the first church age.
MATTHEW 19:30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
If the first are last and the last are first then it means that there will be no difference between the first church age and the last church age. We must end up believing exactly what they believed.
MARK 4:9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
This is the statement that Jesus makes at the end of each church age.
That shows that Jesus has been speaking about the history of the seven church ages.
The only people who really served God were those who strived to understand the mysteries of Scripture.
Good servants stay close to Jesus and learn the truth
Jesus is revealed today, not as a Man, but as the Word of God that can be understood.
The Gospel of Mark thus indicates that we cannot be good servants of God unless we have understood the mysteries that God has revealed in our day.
In Matthew, Jesus makes it clear that the good ground is linked to the concept of understanding the Bible.
MATTHEW 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit,...
MARK 4:10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
The people were not basically interested in understanding Scripture. They did not know what Jesus was trying to tell them and they were also not particularly interested. So they moved away from Jesus, the Word. That is how people are today. They happily move away from what is written in the King James Bible.
But some people stayed with the 12 disciples and asked for an explanation of this mystery.
There are a few, unfortunately very few, who want to stay with the Word and understand the mysteries.
MARK 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
Jesus reveals the mysteries to those who really want to know. But the hidden meaning behind the parable remains hidden from those who were not really interested.
The understanding of truth is not found in some official church group. There is no “correct” church that knows all the answers. You, as an individual, have to search hard for the truth.
LUKE 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
The Kingdom of God is a great mystery. The kingdom of God is the portion of the Holy Spirit that dwells within an individual.
God dealt with the Jews as a nation but He deals with the church as individuals.
Only the Spirit of God dwelling in a person enables that person to hear the truth and understand what they see and hear.
JOHN 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:
The evidence of the Holy Ghost baptism is your ability to understand the revealed mysteries of God's Word in our day.
MARK 4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
The rest, who are not very serious about following God, will see or observe but not grasp what is going on. They will hear the parable but be unable to understand the deeper spiritual meaning.
The harsh truth is that God does not want them.
They did not put God first in their lives, so God does not want them in His Life.
If God is not Lord of all in your life, He does not want to be Lord at all.
As soon as you want to go your own way, God loses interest.
When God is involved, it is a case of all or nothing.
MARK 4:13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
If we are unable to grasp this parable and see it as the first church age, from which the other six church ages developed, then we will never understand the real meaning of any of the parables. All parables involve the interaction of God or Satan with the church at different times.
"Nazara" means truth.
Netzer means Branch.
"Netzeret" is the Place of the Branch or the Branching forth.
Nazara and Netzeret combine to make Nazareth, the Place of the Branching forth of the Truth.
From Jesus would Branch forth the seven church ages.
REVELATION 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man,
If we cannot understand that this parable refers to the first and most important of the seven church ages then we are in trouble. The seven church ages is one of the most basic revelations in the Bible that we have to be able to understand.
Jesus as God, standing in the midst of the seven church ages, tells us that the first age was good because He stood there. Then moving to the right the truth was lost. Then starting on the left, the truth was restored over the last three ages (church ages 5, 6, and 7) so that the 7th age can get back to the first age.
Being in the seventh age is not good enough as God condemns the seventh age in Revelation Chapter 3. We have to return to the first church age.
The following sketch shows the foolish virgins in the seventh age, those saved Christians who are unable to prove what they believe by just using the King James Bible.
There is no oil to burn so there is no light in their lamps.
Sadly, they end up in great Tribulation with their mixture of truth and error. They were never able to get back to all the Bible beliefs of the first church age because of their various speculations and unscriptural ideas. They have certain basic Bible truths but very little understanding of the deeper mysteries of God.
They also have little knowledge of the written Bible.
"I have a quote" has replaced "It is written". The first church age was not like that.
When Paul preached, they checked him with the Scriptures.
ACTS 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind,
and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
There are 3 ways of losing out with God
The parable of the sower describes the early church.
Jesus now explains the first Parable.
This explanation of the parable gives us a clue that the first church age had been given an understanding of God's truth. They knew what was going on.
We can thus test how close we are to the truth by checking how close we are to the first church age. If we disagree with them, then we are wrong.
There are two times when the proper seed is visible.
At the planting and at the harvest. The harvested seed, when it is pulled off the plant is identical to the seed that was planted by the apostles.
The harvest is the time of reaping when the Bride is pulled off the earth to meet the Lord in the air.
The first age saints will be resurrected in their immortal bodies and the living Bride will be changed into their immortal bodies. The two groups will be identical in their basic beliefs.
MARK 4:14 The sower soweth the word.
The whole emphasis is on the seed which is the Word of God.
What we believe at the beginning is vital.
You must believe that the King James Bible is perfect and cannot be changed.
MARK 4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
There will always be hard-hearted people who just reject the Word of God.
MARK 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
Others are very happy to accept the Gospel in a shallow way. As long as it does not cause them too much inconvenience. They want the free benefits of salvation.
MARK 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
They wanted to gain in an easy manner. They served the God of hand-outs. They had no desire for the hard yards on the Christian path.
MARK 4:18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
These people are keen on the Bible truths but also pursue the accumulation of wealth and their lusts for material things and benefits.
MARK 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
Luxury murders zeal and then walks grinning in the funeral.
Our desire for worldly gain shrinks our spiritual relationship with God.
As our worldly horizon expands, our spiritual horizon shrinks. We take less and less interest in the revealed Word.
The light is hidden if the Word is ignored or changed
MARK 4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
Finally the “good ground” Christians receive the Word and recognize their age and what stage of restoration they are in. In the seventh age believers receive the revelation of the mysteries of Scripture so that they can be restored back to the beliefs of the first church age. They realize that they must not invent new mysteries just because they love speculating.
But the light of the Word is easily hidden.
MARK 4:21 And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?
A bushel is a big bag or basket for measuring out the grain.
It can easily conceal the light of the candle. But all the seeds must be emptied out of the basket before the basket can be placed over the candle.
Thus church leaders discard Scriptural accuracy and introduce their own unscriptural ideas.
This church foolishly became subject to the opinions of the Bishops who became the one-man-head of each church. This form of dictatorship replaced the original leadership of the church which the apostles had entrusted to a group of local elders.
I PETER 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
Each church became subject to the ideas of one man which took them away from the written Scripture and introduced the Trinity, Good Friday, Christmas, and the political involvement of the church.
As the Bible light went out, the Dark Ages set in with the Roman Catholic church dominating Europe as Thyatira, which means a Dominating Woman, in the fourth church age.
Look what God says to Thyatira.
REVELATION 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
60-1208 THE THYATIREAN CHURCH AGE
Behold. I will cast her into a bed,... (What kind of bed? Of worldliness. That's exactly what she'll see.)... and them that commit adultery with her into the great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. (That's going into the Great Tribulation.)
And... will kill her children with death;...
...I'll kill her children...
… What? The Catholic church, her children is the Protestant denomination. See, it's exactly, 'cause they're doing the same thing. Baptized right into her by their freak baptism, unscriptural baptism; shaking hands for the Holy Ghost; "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" instead of the "Jesus Christ." And just doing everything contrary to the Bible. Still! And they walk right into it.
… "I'll throw her children in a bed of death, and kill them." Well, let me read that so that you'll see here, I believe it was the 22nd verse:
And I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her unto the great tribulation, (the Great Tribulation)...
[The bed of death is great Tribulation where they are killed and then go to hell]
63-0321 THE FOURTH SEAL
... I will cast her into a bed... (That's hell.)...
EXPOSITION OF THE SEVEN CHURCH AGES
According to the last part of verse 22 it will be a bed of tribulation, or the great tribulation.
The fourth church age saw a bed of worldliness that hid the Bible light as the Popes sank into a pit of depravity that is too disgusting to mention. The Dark Ages erased most of the Bible light.
The churches that still believe these doctrines from the Dark Ages and the Council of Nicaea are heading for their destruction in the 3½ years of great Tribulation that awaits them.
MARK 4:22 For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.
Much evil was hidden by the Roman Catholic church in the Dark Ages. They organized the Crusades where the soldiers murdered, looted, and raped.
The fourth church age saw the end of the destruction of truth.
After 1520 Martin Luther in Germany would start to restore the truth.
MARK 4:23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
The same warning that God gives to every church age. What we hear determines our future.
The Dark Ages or Middle Ages were in the middle of the seven church ages. Three ages had lost the original apostolic truth. Three ages lay ahead to restore the apostolic truth of the New Testament.
If you believe then God will show you more
MARK 4:24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.
The church had to listen carefully. To reject revealed Scripture meant God rejecting them. To accept revealed Scripture meant God accepting them.
But to those who would listen, God would keep adding more.
Martin Luther restored salvation by faith alone around 1520.
MARK 4:25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
John Wesley added holiness and outreach around 1750.
In 1904 in Wales and 1906 in Los Angeles, God added the Pentecostal gifts.
Between 1947 and 1965 William Branham revealed the hidden mysteries of the Bible to restore us back to the beliefs of the first church age.
So the truth kept growing stronger and stronger as each age happened.
The same happens with an individual. Accept the Lord Jesus as Saviour and He will show you holiness and outreach. Then He will show you the Holy Ghost baptism so that the Spirit can guide you into all truth.
JOHN 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:
Once you are restored back to proving your beliefs from Scripture then that will be the “shout” that brings Jesus down as the Archangel in Revelation Chapter 10 to perform the resurrection of the New Testament saints.
In the last month of his life brother Branham was looking for the “shout” of his message in the future.
The “shout” was not when he revealed the truth from Scripture.
The shout will be when the Bride individuals can reveal the truth from Scripture.
65-1127 I HAVE HEARD BUT NOW I SEE
Dear God, in this solemn moment, it's going to be a time like this when there really will be a clap of thunder someday, and the Son of God shall descend from the heavens with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and the trump of God, the dead in Christ shall rise.
MARK 4:26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
The kingdom of God is within you as the Holy Spirit.
But please remember, God thinks very differently from what you think.
ISAIAH 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God works in a very different way from what we work.
“A man”. We do not know who he is. Humans should take no glory if they are used by God to spread His truth. God uses preachers to spread His Word.
The seed Word had to first be buried in the earth. The way up is down. The seed must first be dead and buried before it can grow up. As individuals, we must die to ourselves before God can use us.
MARK 4:27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
Many of the first church believers were probably not aware of the revolutionary force that they were unleashing on the world. The incredible change that Christianity was going to have on people’s thinking.
“Sleep”. When we sleep we are unaware of what is going on.
So, most Christians are obviously unaware of what God is trying to do in each church age. We work for God night and day but tend to serve God in a way that suits us. We tend to just copy what some church does and then we think that God is impressed with us.
We do Christmas on 25 December just because the church does. The Bible never asked us to celebrate the Lord's birth. So following the church tradition removes us from the Scripture.
Humans do not know how a seed grows by itself once it has been buried. Only God understands that process. Humans can rise up night and day to try to serve God but our efforts are futile unless we are in the Will of God. The Will of God will never step outside the Word of God.
God alone knows how any individual will grow in grace. God alone knows how the church will grow in any age.
The churches do much work that they think serves God. God, however, may see it differently.
MATTHEW 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
“Lord, Lord” is a repetition. That is emphasis. These Christians are emphatic that Jesus is their Lord. They have prophesied and cast out demons. They have achieved spectacular results. We are all highly impressed with their amazing gifts and ministry.
MATTHEW 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
But God tells them, "Get out of My sight. I do not even want to know you".
Mark is teaching us how to be a servant. Do not look at your so-called successes.
ROMANS 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
God has used and gifted people who are not even saved.
MATTHEW 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
God’s goodness and talents extend to the good and the bad.
Balaam, an evil man, gave a beautiful prophecy.
When Gideon was undecided, God gave a lovely dream and its interpretation to two enemy soldiers who were total heathens.
So if God has given you a spiritual gift, does that make you anything?
The harvest at the end has the sickle of death
MARK 4:28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
Somehow the soil enables a seed to germinate.
The three stages of restoration as the church grew in the last three church ages.
Luther’s salvation by faith in the 5th age.
Wesley’s holiness in the 6th age.
The Pentecostal gifts and the revelation of the hidden mysteries by William Branham in the 7th age.
First a blade, that reminds us of a sword. The Word of God is a sword that cuts and hurts us.
What the Bible says hurts us but we must listen and obey.
The second and third steps involve an ear. Hearing from the Word. Even when it hurts.
The mysteries of the Word are continually unfolding and we must make sure that we have not missed God’s revelation for our day.
Mentioning “ear” twice simply means that hearing the Word and knowing what God’s Will for our day is, becomes the vital key to success.
There are 45000 different kinds of churches and denominations to confuse and mislead us. There is only one Bible, the King James Bible, that can guide us. Listening to Scripture and being Scriptural is essential.
MARK 4:29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
The harvest is when the wheat seeds are pulled off the plant. The spiritual harvest is when the living Bride have their bodies changed and are pulled off the earth to meet the Lord in the air.
The wheat seed, representing the last age Bride that is identical to the first age church, is pulled off the dead plant. The rest of the church plant dies because they are foolish virgins that are doomed to die in great Tribulation.
The sickle of death will then cut down the foolish virgins (clean women representing saved Christians) who were fooled by the unscriptural beliefs of their church leaders.
When the last church age is restored back to the beliefs of the first church age then the sickle will be put in to cut down the wheat. The ears of wheat have to be beaten to separate the wheat from the shuck or husk. Thus a hard time is to be expected.
The Soviet Union which started in 1917 had a sickle on its flag which symbolized that the end-time harvest is approaching.
Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine in 2022 is a brief preview of the death and destruction that is coming in the 3½ years of great Tribulation. This invasion came unexpectedly, caused much damage and desolation, and loss of innocent life. The years of great Tribulation will also hit us unexpectedly with far more deadly consequences.
Beware of what is big
MARK 4:30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?
People see God moving in a big way. They point to big movements and big churches and impressive events. But God’s true kingdom is the Holy Spirit within the individuals who serve His Will.
LUKE 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
People often imagine that the Kingdom of God is involved with some display of big crowds and beat music and showmanship.
The Kingdom of God is the Holy Spirit working within you to teach you the mysteries of His Word.
MARK 4:31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:
We all start small and then human beings imagine it is their destiny to become something big. People want church growth. They want to be noticed, and be important.
The church then grows just for the sake of growing.
The mother church spreads its branches to set up a central efficient organization to control the thinking of people far away and eliminate any opposition to the leader’s views.
That reminds us of how President Putin operates in Russia. You can only hear his viewpoint on Russian TV. If you disagree you will be crushed.
MARK 4:32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.
Once the plant grows big enough to have branches the fowls of the air lodge there to become elevated leaders.
Mark says that the hard-hearted rejectors of the Word are led astray by Satan.
MARK 4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
But Matthew says that Satan operates through the fowls of the air, the church leaders, who remove the seed Word from the people and substitute church traditions and man-made doctrines.
MATTHEW 13:4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
So a servant is warned to beware of big church systems and elevated church leaders.
At this point, Mark stops the recording. He has shown that elevated church leaders and big church organizations are not of God.
This is one of the biggest mistakes that preachers make when they set out to serve God. They want to build up a big church system and they want to be elevated to become the head of that church.
The first evidence that we have of a separate church building comes from about AD 220.
Thus the early church met in houses that stopped any local church from growing big. Each local church was run by local elders and not by a one-man leader. Bishops were wrongly elevated to run the church by the year AD 170. By then the doctrine and beliefs of the apostles were fading away and ambitious men were taking over each church.
The second church age started with continual extra ideas being added that are not in the Bible. New unscriptural ideas were endlessly added.
Step by step, more errors were added to the church.
Prayers for the dead.
Sign of the cross.
Wax candles are sold by the church to be lit for specific reasons.
Trinity and Good Friday. Then Easter Monday and Easter eggs and Easter bunnies.
Replace the name of Jesus with the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Veneration of angels and dead saints.
Worship of relics.
Worship of Mary as the mother of God.
Today, message-people have elevated brother Branham from being the voice of the seventh angel to being the Voice of God. The is no mention of the Voice of God in the New Testament.
Extreme Unction. The prayer that is said for the dying.
MARK 4:33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.
So, by this time the Catholic Church had grown big but the church leaders took the people far away from Scripture. Pagan beliefs were decorated with Christian words.
25 December was the birthday of the sun god and it became the birthday of the Son of God.
Jesus kept speaking but few wanted to hear these truths. Most prefer a comfortable life in complacent churches where they do not have to seek for Bible truth.
Nobody wants to know that their church, despite having some truth, is also home to many errors.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil has both good doctrines of truth and evil doctrines of man-made error.
MARK 4:34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.
Jesus spoke in parables so that the deeper meaning would be hidden from the people. God is not interested in big crowds and their herd-instinct where you have to obey human beliefs and rules.
But when He was alone with His disciples, He explained the meaning of the parables.
God reveals the deep truth to individuals who spend time alone with the King James Bible. God cannot get truth into the big groups with their group-think.
MARK 4:35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
"The same day". This shows the busy life that Jesus led. A servant works hard and Jesus more than set this example of tireless energy.
Jesus was in the vicinity of Capernaum. He wanted to cross the Sea of Galilee to the Gentile region known as the Gergesenes or Gadarenes.
This gives us a clue that Jesus would cross over to the Gentiles during the church ages.
Evening time reminds us of the Coming of the Lord when He comes to catch up His Bride to Heaven as we pass over to that higher dimension which is on the other side of death.
MARK 4:36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
Most Christians will not be ready for the Second Coming because they followed their church traditions which sent them away from the King James Bible (the Word) as they preferred man-made ideas.
The disciples “took Him as He was”. They never went home to collect extra clothes or food for the journey. Following Jesus they learned to travel light. There was little emphasis on their comforts. They were hardy men of action. There was work to be done. A Gentile madman needed saving.
Here was a hint of the future. Jesus saving a Gentile.
"They took Him even as He was". We must “take the Word of God just as it is written in the King James Bible” and not make any changes. Jesus was in the ship with the disciples. That was the reason for their success. It was not themselves, it was Jesus in their midst.
There were other little ships who decided to follow in their own strength. But at the time of the Coming of the Lord, we can expect great political and spiritual and financial storms to sweep across the earth. But those other little ships never had Jesus in the vessel.
We read no more about those little ships when the big wind blew. Wind symbolizes war and strife. Without Jesus as the centre of our lives, we will not make it.
At the end time, Jesus Who manifests Himself as the revealed Word of God must be the centre of our lives. Otherwise, we will be swept away from the Coming of the Lord during the final turbulent days and miss it.
The fear of God is where wisdom begins
MARK 4:37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
The ship was full of water and about to sink. Vicious waves were swept up by a violent wind. Satan is the Prince of the power of the air.
EPHESIANS 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to
the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Satan and his demons will cause maximum strife at the end in their attempts to destroy what God wants.
MARK 4:38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
Jesus was asleep at the back of the ship because they were ignoring Him. But then, typical of us humans, when the wind whipped up dangerous waves, they began to fear for their lives and immediately woke Jesus up. We tend to be the same. While life happily sails along then we ignore Jesus as we focus on what we are doing and achieving. But as soon as things go wrong then we remember Him and ask for help.
MARK 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
An incredible intervention. He had complete control over Nature.
MARK 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Because they were with Jesus they had no reason to be afraid.
MARK 4:41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
“Wind” speaks of war and “sea” speaks of the restless multitudes and nations. Jesus has full control of these. So, whatever happens, Jesus is still in charge.
But despite being with Jesus, and even though He had calmed the storm they nevertheless felt an incredible fear of God. Jesus was more than a Man. He was God in the flesh.
Servants must remember that it is a fearful thing to stand in the presence of God.
Standing in the presence of God is not something to brag about.
Look what John the great apostle said.
REVELATION 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.
That is the kind of respect that we should have for the revealed Scriptures.