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March 16, 2021 6:00 am
We have so much prophecy already fulfilled being fulfilled and to be fulfilled, and Satan hates it.
So he throws at the church. Christians the world everything he can.
We should stand strong in the face of these things just on civil laws like this as it is written in the prophets. That's the source that is the that's what validates what we believe what the Bible says this is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the gospel of Mark.
Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Mark chapter 1 as he begins a new message called John the baptizer. The gospel according to Mark chapter 1 verses two through eight, as it is written in the prophets, behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of Yahweh make his paths straight. John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for remission of sins. Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a leather belt around his waist and he ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached saying there comes one after me who is mightier than I whose sandal strap. I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. John the baptizer quite a few places in this paragraph where I could've taken the title from, but this one fits and is his role was preparing the way for the king of souls to come and be received and that he did have a vital part of the credentials of Christ Jesus as the Messiah as the Christ, and we look at verse one as it is written in the prophets, behold, I send my messenger before your face, who were prepare your way before you a lot of force in these words as it is written in the prophets criteria from Messiah their manifold. There were many prophecies that you had to fulfill. If you are going to be the Messiah. And today if someone were to say as many have over the centuries of they were to claim that they were the Messiah or the first question you asked them as well.
Where were you born and if it's not Bethlehem.
The disqualified and how you get yourself born in Bethlehem and are they Jewish, are they from the tribe of Judah, are they of the line of David. Is there a forerunner, did you have someone not one of your converts not crony of yours, but was there someone independent of you that was announcing your arrival consistent with the prophecies of the Old Testament, and if you look at the gospel of Matthew theirs Matthew would a Hebrew writing to Hebrews and he's constantly saying that it might be fulfilled that it might be fulfilled by that saying Matthew breathes life into the Old Testament is.
This is relevant. This is happening right here is fulfilled in your living through it. When Peter writes his letter he says we did not follow cunningly devised fables in the fall of the stories made up by someone he goes on to say we were eyewitnesses. We not only there were others we saw him. We were there.
John does the same thing.
Decades later when he writes his gospel Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, we saw him and it was not just me.
There were others lack power packed into as the will as it was written in the prophets, just like the prophet said it happened nor the religion on earth can claim these spiritual features not like us, not even close. We have so much prophecy already fulfilled being fulfilled and to be fulfilled, and Satan hates it and so he throws at the church check Christians the world everything he can. But we should stand strong in the face of these things just on simple clause like this as it is written in the prophets. That's the source that is the that's what validates what we believe what the Bible says. Now, here in verse two. Mark, having giving us the heading in verse one. He is now opening up and quickly introducing us to John. The baptizer, the forerunner of Christ, the one that is the Harold than is announcing here comes the king make way and I'm all and he will he. John also clearing the road for the fulfillment of this message in the messages to come.
Mark blends the prophecy from Malachi chapter 3 verse one and from Isaiah chapter 40 verse three he blends them together. In fact, some translations will put as it is written in Isaiah. That's actually not correct because you and that's why it's not really wrong.
It's a liberty that should not of been taken because this first quotation here is from Malachi. He will quote Isaiah in the next verse, and this of course is vital if due to the faith both then and now, this blending of the verses is not uncommon. Paul didn't know.
For instance, in second Corinthians 6 and verse 1440 he blends the prophecy together, we do it today, even in our songs will take a part of the Psalm, and then the next verse that we sing is another part of the song is nothing wrong with that long as we are not corrupting what it means, he says, behold, I send my messenger here in verse two before your face still doing this God is still sending messages that only messengers to assemblies not only pastors but individuals witnesses of Christ. What John what he was called to do. We are called to do and little bit of a different way, but basically it is the same, we are announcing the coming of the King and that if you're not ready for his arrival. There is a severe and eternal consequence.
Behold, I send my messenger before your face that word behold means this is dramatic. This is serious business. John is the messenger, and he will and his ministry make it clear again.
Malachi chapter 3 verbatim in the translation that I have, behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me.
The two individuals to there is the messenger and of course as I mentioned John preparing the way and then there is the ruler, but the messenger going to John's Gospel just for a moment.
Chapter 3 John speaking yourselves bear me witness that I said I am not the Christ. But I have been sent before him.
John knew who he was. He knew what his role was in life and ministry. He knew what his purposes were any executed, even at the cost of his life. In John's gospel chapter 1.
I'm not going to take the time to read it because it's so nice I'd start commenting on it would take up time from other things we have before us, but there it is all made very clear that John knew who he was.
He knew Christ was though. We had a doubting moment we got past it. The second person in this prophecy of Malachi.
That's quoted here by Mark is not only about the messenger, but the owner of the temple ruler, the Lord Jesus Christ and he is every bit Lord is more than my Savior. He is my Lord fact. He couldn't be my Savior.
If he wasn't my Lord. That's where the power to save this woman to get that in chapter 2 is in Jesus because it was easier to do to say, your sins are forgiven, or to heal appeal of a person that is in need of healing.
Just what your word, and so he says that you may know, and then he of course tells the paralyze individual you no longer paralyze get up and walk to commit relief and he was proving his point that anybody can talk a big talk, but it takes the power of God to back it up. I'm looking forward to that section.
Two months who will prepare again and now back in verse 2 Will Prepare Your Way before you.
The Romans who were largely Mark's audience would cover that a little less session. They scoffed at the ancient roads and trails that went throughout various kingdoms. Even the Persians. The birds had the great Highway you know that went from from perjurer all the way into Turkey.
They were there couriers would take the mail another messages and that did not impress the Romans. In fact, just to kind of us going off on the side get up overview of what God was doing. Alexander the great conquered the Persians. He did not like their culture and like anybody sculpted with aggression. Greek culture and back to his goal is to make everybody speak Greek and come under the code of the good lifestyle of the Greeks, and in so doing, unknowingly. He was preparing for the Greek New Testament in our New Testament. The source of our New Testament is the Greek language and God sort of remade a level the playing field so that there were that message could easily travel and they also prepared the roads to bring that message and use the Romans to do that part will anyway. Alexander of course he didn't like the Persians. He felt that they feminize the men and that the men became too lazy and are used to comfort that they were worthless on the battlefield and well you know those were his views logic was right, not entirely lot of it.
While the Romans come along. They conquered the Greeks and they make these roads and the reason many full reasons why they did it. Those rows are magnificent. Some of them are still there to this day. One thing about those Roman roads is that they made them as sixth-graders they could on purpose. They do not want these winding roads. They wanted them straight and that there were obstacles they would clear them up. There were rivers they would bridge them. If there were mountains they would tunnel some of them again. Still there to this day there injured their engineers.
The road engineers meant business. Because the Empress businesses demanded haste. We are supposed to have such a view of our king's business.
It demands effort labor straight roads.
The Empress roads were for his letters and his legions. His couriers were to move swiftly throughout his empire and his legions were not to be delayed over 50,000 miles of stone paved roads by the Romans, and another 200,000 miles of secondary roads, compacted runoff Arena. Just amazing.
So when Mark comes along and he says who will prepare the way before you make his paths straight. Romans would appreciate God did to because God did make those rooms. Phoebe Phoebe took a letter from Corinth to Rome using.
Of course you know the of those Roman roads likely the Appian Way all the way straight into downtown Rome delivers a letter. The letter was letter is so powerful we have it to this day course. Those of you been in the military you know a lot about writing letters you think any of your letters of them survived 2000 years not likely that letter to the Romans and others. They did all this makes a lot of sense when you begin to peel back the history behind all the letters that Paul and John and Peter wrote you find out that God is working behind the scenes. Nobody noticed I'm so many of the things that he was doing just like it is to this day. God does things we don't know what what he's up to an end. Many times you see it comes to pass. As Jesus said, wisdom is justified by her children. Proof will be in the pudding.
Verse three continues the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of Yahweh make his paths straight. These quoting Isaiah when Isaiah makes that quote he's using the covenant name of God with the Jews, Yahweh or Jehovah, and here Mark is applying it to Christ.
This quotation is in all four of the Gospels is that important. The Holy Spirit is insisting that it be repeated in each of the Gospels again a quotation from Isaiah chapter 40 and John the Baptist's using his prophetic symbol of water baptism there in the wilderness, which itself was symbolic him preaching in the wilderness and why wasn't he preaching in downtown Jerusalem.
Why wasn't he at the temple. He was a priest because they had become so corrupt. He wanted nothing to do with them. He took his ministry took his pulpit out into the wilderness and from there he reached Jerusalem, Judea and is Matthew tells us in all the regions around their quite impressive as I mentioned, John was born to be a priest by inheritance. We got that from the gospel of Luke. But the Holy Spirit did not need another priest according to the line of Aaron. He had plenty of those. What the Holy Spirit wanted was a prophet. According to the order of Elisha. That's what he got in John this loan courageous voice lifted up loud enough. Sure enough to bring many converts member were talking about this morning.
John the baptizer, the forerunner of Christ in essential and essential fulfillment of prophecy because it had there not been this forerunner in Christ would not of been able to fulfill the Scriptures, but of course that wasn't going to happen is Matthew so used to saying that the scripture might be fulfilled, prepare the way of Yahweh again. That is the Old Testament that is a literal translation from the Old Testament. Jesus Christ is Yahweh of the Old Testament is Yahweh in human form Jehovah witnesses don't understand this. They fail to see that God, Yahweh, or Jehovah is the Christ, the same person and the appearance of him here in the New Testament is being marked out by by John Mark here in this verse were looking at just a testifies to this whom you come to first Corinthians chapter 10 Paul says let us he says ignore. Let us tempt Christ.
That's interesting. Then he says has some of them also attempted and were destroyed by serpents. He is saying that Christ Christ was Yahweh in the Old Testament that was tempted by the Jews in the wilderness, you cannot say let us not tempt Michael the angel did not say let us not tempt Moses or Paul said, don't tempt God, thou shall not tempt the Lord your God, the deity of Christ, there is no excuse for missing this if you come if you walk through the Scriptures in earnest now you listen to others and let them dictate you what you should believe and not with the not let the Scriptures dictate what you should believe then you're going to be twisted.
Paul again makes more Peter says that about Paul's letters. He said they twist Paul's writings to their own harm. So we understand we must understand who Christ is clearly John is making a way for him in the hearts of the people that are receiving the message, and after all the centuries. Again, we still want to have people willfully confess with their mouths bow with their knee Christ as Lord before it's too late because every knee will confess that with Hartwell that would be a trick is seeing if you're listening every tongue will confess and every knee shall bow, that's a promise. There will be no way around that in the presence of God's glory.
Well here in verse three continues to make his paths straight is the very thing both Malachi and Isaiah hundreds of years earlier said would happen in here John is calling his countrymen to clean up their lives.
That's what his preaching was doing it at the emphasis in on John's ministry was preaching the outcome of his preaching more was repentance, not conversion. Succumb to that in a moment the people heard what John said and they were moved in their hearts to get right with God's message carried this demand to clean up their lives morally and remove the religious obstacles that were all around that would offend the coming king with the harrows that went before the king. When this it make way for the king, they made sure also that the roads were when he ditches on the road they were filled in any trees along the coast road they were removing one of the straight path of the king, and if that wasn't the case when the king got their heads would roll diverse voices. John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
So as I said, John's baptism focused on repentance on admitting you were wrong before God, confession John did not seek converts. This is before the church there was no church at this point, but as we know it. There certainly were no Gentile church. There were Gentiles that remove proselytize, they became Jewish believers, but there was no church and the goal of John was not to convert Jews to Jews. He was trying to get them to return back to the law of Moses because rabbinical Judaism had stripped them from this. He wanted people to admit before God that the word of God was to determine what was right and wrong and they were to come under that authority.
His baptism could not wash away sins, but his preaching did produce conviction and a conviction of sin, personal sin, that's how souls are saved today. If you not convict them of their sin, then why should they convert if you can't convert them if you can hurt him, and that's where we hurt them there. We get down and deep is my am a sinner. I need a Savior. As Paul said, who shall deliver me from this body of death is Christ.
But you got to understand your soul asked understand the desperate need for a Savior. Otherwise, why bother cleansing the cleansing that goes with repentance as we know it. That would have to wait for Messiah the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me from all sin. And that is recurrent cleansing. I one time pop but II clean for my sins.
I repented, but then I send yesterday and now I'm dirty again. Well, it is still sin. No question about that. But if you are in earnest in Christ following the Lord seeking the Lord, loving the Lord that cleansing is continuous. It flows through the soul like the blood flows through the body and the blood flows to the body and it cleanses you hold your arm up in the air and too long and begins to hurt because the toxins building up. You need that blood to flow through and push it out of the way the blood of Jesus Christ being so much greater than any analogy, we could ever give Mark chapter 10 verse 45 flexion verse of our walk-through Mark for even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many. In other words, well, not in other words, would belonging to these words. Your salvation is not fragile. It's not this little egg shell piece of armor. Satan can't beat it. He can hurt you. He can make life miserable for you but he cannot take your salvation from you.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. What part of that is not understandable and we get that right away. We love it when we hear it we wanted it does not promote lawlessness. It fights lawlessness because when you recognize that someone died for you did not have to die for you. The responses love and love cares about the object of its love and of Christ loves me. I want to obey him and yes I've got this trader in my heart this flesh. This carnality that will rebel it. Any chance it gets. I still have Christ and therefore was sin abounded, grace did much more always the message of John must precede Christ. Always the message of repentance comes before benefits of the Christ and forgiveness. If a person doesn't repent.
How can they be forgiven and that's what has to happen. So Jesus said in Luke 13 verse five and three unless you repent you will perish pretty serious. First, that would John is bringing about here is a change of attitude concerning man's position with God. Then comes the faith. Verse five that all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins came to take their stand with God's view of sinners. That's why they came out.
Not all of them there were. In this numbers on the did not believe that were going to stir up trouble, some of that moment, but they sided with God and God's opinions and God's solution concerning the fallen man who thanks for tuning in to cross reference radio for this study in the book of Mark cross reference radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia to learn more information about this ministry. Visit our website cross reference radio.com once you're there you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick.
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