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The Dissatisfaction of Christ (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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September 13, 2021 6:00 am

The Dissatisfaction of Christ (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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September 13, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 11:12-21)

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Moved out of the tabernacle, moved a little further away across the valley, till it was out of sight, in phases.

What is that? It's the reluctance of God. It's God saying, I don't want to do this.

This is not what I had in mind. The backslider knows about that. The backslider knows God says, this is not what I want. I don't want you sliding backwards. I want you moving forward.

Or at least moving backwards. You're standing your ground. Many backsliders come back to Christ. This is part two of his study called The Dissatisfaction of Christ. It's their day, and now he's, Hosea is saying, but the day is going to come. He continues, I will be like the dew to Israel. He shall grow like a lily and lengthen his roots in Lebanon. His branches shall spread.

His beauty shall be like an olive tree. The fragrance like Lebanon. The fragrance that Paul talked about in Corinthians. To the unbelievers, it's the fragrance of death.

Our message is that unless they repent, they are doomed in their sins. And then, of course, the fig tree, the fruitless fig tree, which symbolizes Israel to this very day, the Christ-rejecting nation. And the Jewish nation was formed to bear fruit unto God in the lives of people. It was supposed to be a spiritual attraction to the Gentile, a light to the world.

That is what the prophet said. Just like the church. The church has assumed this duty now, but they could not recognize their Messiah walking and working amongst them.

Why not? Because they were too something else, too everything else, bottom line, too sinful to be interested in being faithful. They had reduced faithfulness to tradition because on the outside you can get away with it. You can have your ritual. Look, you can have all the communion. You can have all the communion.

You can have everything you want and your heart be wrong. You can not have communion and your heart be right. Look at our brothers and sisters in countries where they can't even assemble in church because of the persecution on them. Some of them have never had communion. And yet their hearts are right with God. These are the things that God looks at. The heart, not the outside. Well, the heart should produce evidence of what's on the outside. That's why God looks at the heart. Because he knows if the heart is right, there's going to be coming evidences. There's going to be leaves and fruit together. Verse 15, so they came to Jerusalem and Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple and overturned the tables of money, changers, and the seats of those who sold doves.

I would love to have got the video on that one. Again, he surveyed verse 11 of this chapter. He came and he looked around at all things. At the start of his ministry, early in his ministry, he did this. He cleansed the temple. And now, at the end of his misery, because he's not going to survive the week, he's doing it again. In case you didn't get it the first time, in case you missed this lesson, John's Gospel chapter 2, when he had made a whip of cords.

Pause there. Where did he get the stuff to make the whip? Well, the hardware stores, right? We know they had rock piles everywhere. The cords that they used to bind the animals around the temple. He'd take three of them or so and just braid himself a whip. I mean, he was a builder by trade. He came up in the house of Joseph, a builder. He had skills. In fact, as he created the universe, he could have just snapped his finger and had one.

But he does it very deliberately so everybody can see it. John never forgot it. He said, I remember. He said, what are you doing?

You'll find out in a minute. Don't be on the wrong side of this, John. He continues in John's Gospel.

He drove them all out of the temple with the sheep and the oxen and poured out the changers, money, and overturned the tables. Now, that was early in his ministry. Lord, may you never come to this church and have to bring a cord with you to whip, to drive out, to overturn tables. May you just always be very comfortable here and find us in total submission to your rule over our lives. Church is a big thing.

Not to some Christians, but to hell it's a very big thing. That's why he spends so much time trying to corrupt it. Why are Christians oftentimes worse than worldlings?

Because they are a higher value target. That's why. The world is on self-destruct.

You're not. Your flesh will, of course, be ready to destroy you. This is why Satan targets believers.

This is why churches are problematic. And this is what takes away excuses from those who flee. We are not supposed to be shot in the back, running away from the battlefield.

We are supposed to be shot in the front, charging the battlefield. Sounds very glorious, right? Alright, enough of that. He is both Lord of the harvest and he is Lord of the house. He is Lord of all, over all, or not at all. And if he is not Lord at all, then you are going to find that he is Lord of all. Every knee shall bow. I love talking about Jesus.

I love talking about his majesty. I hate it when I mess up. I like it more when you mess up and not me.

It's true, though. Who wants to mess up? We want to serve him. We want to fall at his feet. We want to lay hold of him like Mary Magdalene when she saw Rabboni. I love the Lord.

And I know you do, too. Psalm 18. In my distress, I called upon Yahweh and cried out to my God. And he heard my voice from his temple. My cry came before him even to his ears. There it is, his temple. That's where he is right now. But he's going to disown them and he's going to bring that out in a moment. This was very deliberate in the early days when he first did it.

It is very deliberate now. It says here in verse 15, he began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple from fruitlessness to corruption. He goes from a fruitless tree to corrupting churchgoers. Now, there was no church but to make it match our day, the day we live in, to make it relevant to us. These were churchgoers.

Later, he defies the corrupted pastors, the shepherds of the people. It says here in verse 15, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. Well, they were selling doves for sacrifice and they were being sold to the poor. The poor, in God's word, the Lord said, if you can't offer up a sheep or oxen, I'll take turtle doves. They're everywhere. You can set a trap for them and catch them. But here, they were selling them at a rip-off rate. Your dove's not good enough. You've got to buy, but I'm poor.

You've got to have this. They didn't do it to everyone, but they didn't do enough for the people. But the money changes. It was a monetary exchange made necessary and corrupted by Caiaphas and his father-in-law, Annas, who were the high priests. They were getting a cut from this racket. They demanded the Tyrian shekel.

From Tyre. Because the Roman money had only 84% silver. But this Tyrianian shekel had 94% or more silver in it. It was worth more. So you couldn't bring the cheap stuff. It wasn't even the Jewish shekel.

You had to bring the good stuff to the temple because they could do more with it. So you'd be getting a loss when you made this conversion. If you had money. You'd be getting money all the way from, you know, some place in Syria. I don't have the Tyrianian shekel. Well, you're going to have to get one at the exchange.

Okay. Why does it have to be at the temple? Why does it have to be run by the priest? That's the racket.

Same with the doves and the sheep. Why can't I go elsewhere and bring one? If I can't lug one all the way from Spain, maybe I can pick up one in Galilee. No.

You have to get it here. Get a monopoly. Jesus saw it all. They weren't serving the people. They were serving themselves. And this angered him. He was hot.

Make no mistake. When he guards, after he flips the tables, he stands there. He's ready for it.

Who doesn't like it? He's defying the dissatisfaction of Christ. They served themselves. Psalms 10. The psalmist says the wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God because he doesn't need him in his head. He says this, God is in none of his thoughts. Do you think the true God was in the thoughts of those people while they were ripping off the poor, the rich, the middle class, whoever came? Of course not.

Their heads were elsewhere. Here's a dictionary, one of the dictionaries, definitions of racket. An illegal or dishonest money-making scheme involving activities such as bribery, fraud, or intimidation. You can add to that monopoly.

They were the only show in town. And God is just saying to the church, I hate this kind of stuff. And I'm going to show you. I don't have to tell you.

You already know it. But evidently that's not enough for some people so I'm going to illustrate it. I'm going to act it out. And so if one wanted to draw the wrath of this monopoly, this priesthood, this cartel of priests, all they had to do was what he's doing. Step onto the temple grounds and defy their racket.

Take money out of their pockets. They licensed and they controlled, they orchestrated, they maintained this racket. And he is going to provoke them on purpose.

He's going to say, what are you going to do, kill me? And they are. They're just going to get up and spoil the whole thing for them. They wasted on them but not wasted on others. They centered this monopoly at God's house. In the New Testament, there's stuff still going on. So much so Paul has to tell Timothy, watch out for this stuff in the church. 1 Timothy 6, verse 5. Men of corrupt minds and destitute of truth who suppose that godliness is a means of gain from such withdrawal yourself. Isn't that, you would think the prosperity teachers would read that verse and don't know what it means but it's too greedy to see what the meaning is of the spirit. Okay, is that a little bit over the top?

Because I've got some more, I could have hit it a little harder. I think it is shameful but you know, why do they survive? Because not only are they greedy in the pulpit, they're greedy in the pew. That's why. It takes two to tango. And the people said we're not going to come here and tithe to this church.

They'd go out of business but they do go to those churches because they think if they tithe, they're going to put a seed offering in and get some little boom baby cash from it. Well, to each their own, said the lady as she kissed the cow. I kind of remember it that way. My mom used to say that to me. Who would kiss a cow? Well, I'm sure you, anyway, okay. Verse 16. My mother, not me, okay? Lay off.

Don't be talking about my mom. Verse 16. And he would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. He stood guard. He flips the tables.

You could see them scurrying to pick up the money, scurrying to get the birds back in the cages, scurrying to get the lamb. It's a madhouse there and nobody can stop him. How come the temple authorities didn't come in and deal with him? Because it's a miracle, that's why. Both times, when he deals business out at the temple, you and I couldn't do it and survive. He did.

Twice. So their view of the temple had plunged out of the sight of godliness and became this monstrosity. No longer holiness to the Lord. You know, the high priest was supposed to have that as a banner on his hat. Holiness to the Lord. When you saw him, you were supposed to be impressed by a man that was able to talk to God in places you could not.

Those days were gone. Instead of holiness to the Lord, it was profit. It was profane.

It was personal gain. Ecclesiastes 5.1, which was in existence at this time, walk prudently when you go to the house of God and draw near to here rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil. That's why they're fools. They don't want to know. You know, when the Bible talks about fools in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, he's talking about people who had the aptitude.

They just opt out. Well, again, not a political protest. This was a spiritual counterattack.

It was a spiritual cleansing. They were wrong, not him. He is not wrong.

He is not the villain. Again, Psalm 5. They are high priest and they're deputy high priest.

Those two men will have a big say-so in murdering their own Messiah. Verse 17, then he taught saying to them, is it not written my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a den of thieves. This is a composite quotation from Isaiah chapter 56 and Jeremiah 7. And he is saying, this is the scriptural basis for my behavior. This is not just, he could have just said, you know, I make an edict right here, right now. But he doesn't do that. He says, this is scriptural. He probably could have said, why haven't one of you done this earlier? Well, actually the prophets have worded that. Where is the man to stand up?

But that would take too much time to go into. So, he wants them to understand that there's a connection between all his behavior and all the scripture said. Luke 21, 38 says that they got there early in the morning. Then early in the morning, all the people came to him in the temple to hear him. Now, I'm connecting that with verse 17 in that he is teaching the people because they wanted to hear him. They had an appetite for God's word. They could sit and listen to God's word taught by God's man. Many of them did not know the ins and outs of who he was, his birth in Bethlehem, things like that like we do.

They were just listening to his teachings and aware of his miracles and he had their undivided attention. My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. At the beginning of his ministry, he called the temple of God my father's house in John 2 16 where he flipped the tables over the first time. This is my father's house. Here at the end of his ministry, where he still says my house but not my father's house, it's my house. See what's happening here? He's departing. He's withdrawing from such people, withdraw yourselves. Then finally, to the corrupt leaders of Israel, he says your house is left to you desolate.

Your house. And that's not strict chronology, but that is still the movement of his language. Where else does this kind of behavior show up in Ezekiel? Ezekiel saw the Shekinah of God leave the temple of Solomon in stages. He moved out of the tabernacle, moved a little further away across the valley until it was out of sight in phases.

What is that? It's the reluctance of God. It's God saying I don't want to do this.

This is not what I had in mind. The backslider knows about that. The backslider knows God says this is not what I want. I don't want you sliding backwards. I want you moving forward or at least standing your ground.

Many backsliders come back to Christ. He says but you have made it a den of thieves. What a corruption. This is something that should never have happened.

It sent matters over the top with Christ. So when he is standing guard, again that's a righteous indignation. He is hot. If you were to walk up at that moment, you would not walk up to him at that moment and ask him change for a dollar. Or you wouldn't ask him anything.

You would say this man is not to be approached right now. Because again, he was hot. It was a righteous, he was not in the flesh, not at all.

Totally in the spirit. When fire and brimstone began to rain on Sodom and Gomorrah, God was, no pun intended, it was hot anger. It was not casual. It was not something done.

You could see that smoke from miles away. You knew that there was something big taking place and it was the judgment of God. The disciples, as do churchgoers to this day, wondered if it was wise for him to be provocative. Should he have provoked the establishment?

Pastor, should you have said that? He had dealt with this before. Jesus knew it was unwise to provoke God. So he didn't care. Well, he did care.

He did not care enough to suppress the righteous indignation that he was going out with at this critical moment. And if we look at these passages carefully, it has an impact on us. Verse 18, then and the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy him for they feared him because all the people were astonished at his teaching. You bet they were astonished at his teaching.

What did you know about teaching? You wouldn't teach God's word. You're preoccupied with your greed and your smokescreen traditions. He publicly disapproved and defied the apostate authorities and they're worried about Rome. How are we going to deal with this public figure and not bring the ire of Rome down on us? He says because all the people were astonished at his teachings.

What about us? What about you who've been walking with Christ for a long time? You've heard teachings on almost every book of the Bible, if not all of them. Are you still astonished at his teaching through his anointed or not? One of the protections of pastors get is he doesn't have to be the smartest person in the church.

He just has to be the anointed one in the pulpit. And that we are supposed to love. Verse 18, and the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy him for they feared him because all the people were astonished at his teaching. Verse 19, when evening had come, he went out of the city. Nothing more to do for that day, but he's coming back. Verse 20, now in the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

It's now Tuesday. And the tree could not exist. Life could not exist without his maintained blessing. He is the creator and the sustainer.

He is not a deadbeat dad who creates children and walks away from them having no good influence on them whatsoever. God created the universe and he maintains the universe. He upholds the universe. Colossians 1 verse 17, and he is before all things and in him all things consist.

They are held together. The atoms, he could just let them explode. You know what would happen then. Hebrews chapter 1 verse 3, who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person. Again, the deity of Christ.

You can say that about no other, no created being can have that said about them and not be laughed at to their face. Who being the brightness of his glory, the express image of his person upholding all things by the word of his power. It then connects it to his death for us on the cross.

But he upholds it. Well for this fig tree, he stopped upholding it and it died. Verse 21, Peter remembering said to him, Rabbi look, the fig tree which you cursed has withered away, Peter. They go by the next day and they catch a glimpse of this dead thing that was once just the foliage on it was just robust, inverted and now this thing is dead. Trees don't die overnight. You can cut a tree down in the spring and next spring if the stump is left, it can still sprout. Did you see the bud turn green? There's still sap in it.

Well, what was part of life. They don't die overnight. I don't care what you pour on it. Adam bomb wouldn't just blow it up but it wouldn't. Well, never mind.

It shows what I know about physics. They don't die overnight. It is a miracle judgment. In fact, in Matthew 21, Matthew says the disciples said it's dead so soon. That's Matthew 21 verse 20. So when he cursed the tree, it was not wasted on these men. They heard him say it.

They probably just dismissed it but they never forgot it once they saw that tree dead. And the Hebrew people had become God's greatest hindrance instead of God's greatest help. Oh, may it never be the church. May this church, may no church that loves the Lord ever move from being a help to God to becoming a hindrance to God.

There is such a thing as wrath of the Lamb and no one can withstand it. One pastor of long ago said, if we fail to answer the ministry of his love, we must be blasted by the ministry of his judgment. He's commenting on this verse. What a powerful comment that is.

The tree was the symbol, but the nation was what was on his mind and his eyes and on his heart. Verse 22. So Jesus answered and said to them, have faith in God. 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, crossreferenceradio.com. Once you're there, you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the Book of Mark, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-23 09:12:28 / 2023-08-23 09:21:59 / 10

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