|Mark 9 |
1 And he said to them, "Truly I say to you, that there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they have seen the kingdom of God come with power."1
2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, and James, and John with him, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them.
3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white like snow; as no launderer on earth could whiten them.
4 And Elijah and Moses appeared to them; and they were talking with Jesus.
5 Then Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three shelters, one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
6 Because he did not know what to say; for they were very afraid.
7 And a cloud came that overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved Son, listen to and obey him." [Note! We too must listen to the Word of God, Jesus, in our hearts — and then keep his words, by learning his teachings, and obeying his commands. Surely he loves the people; all your holy ones are in your power. And they sit at your feet, each receiving your words. Deu 33:3]
8 And suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
9 Now as they were coming down from the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one of what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
10 So they kept it to themselves, discussing with one another what the rising from the dead meant.
11 And they asked him, saying, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
12 Then he answered and told them, "Elijah truly comes first and restores all things. And how it is written that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected?
13 But I tell you that Elijah has indeed come, and they have done to him whatever they desired, just as it is written of him."
14 Now when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude around them, and the scribes questioning them.
15 Immediately, when all the people saw him, they were greatly amazed, and ran to him greet him.
16 And Jesus asked the scribes, "What are you questioning them about?"
17 Then one of the multitude answered and said, "Master, I have brought my son to you, who has a dumb spirit;
18 And wherever he seizes him, he convulses him, and he foams and gnashes with his teeth, and languishes away. So I asked your disciples to cast him out, and they could not."
19 Then he said to them, "O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me."
20 So they brought the boy to him; and when the demon saw Jesus, he immediately convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
21 And Jesus asked his father, "How long has it been since this came on him?" And he said, "From childhood.
22 And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us."
23 Then Jesus said to him, "'If you can?' All things are possible to him who believes."
24 And immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief."
25 But when Jesus saw the people come running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying to him, "You dumb and deaf spirit, I charge you to come out of him and enter into him no more."
26 And the spirit cried and convulsed him violently, and came out of him; and the boy was like one dead, so that many said, "He is dead."
27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up, and he arose.
28 When he came into the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could not we cast it out?"
29 And he said to them, "This kind cannot be cast out by anything but prayer." [Later manuscripts added the words "and fasting" to this verse as explained by the Net Bible.]
30 Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know it,
31 For he was teaching his disciples. And he said to them, "The Son of man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after he has been killed, he shall rise the third day."
32 But they did not understand what he meant, and were afraid to ask him.
33 Then he came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, "What was it that you disputed about among yourselves on the way?"
34 But they held their peace; for on the way they had disputed among themselves about who would be the greatest.
35 Then he sat down and called the twelve and said to them, "If any man desires to be first, he must be last of all, and servant of all."
36 And he took a child and set him in the middle of them; and when he had taken him in his arms, he said to them,
37 "Whoever receives one of these little children in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me, but him who sent me."
38 Then John said to him, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and he does not follow us; and we forbade him, because he does not follow us."
39 But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him; for there is no man who does a miracle in my name, who can lightly speak evil of me.
40 He who is not against us is for us.2
41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you belong to Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.
42 And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.
43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed, than having two hands to go into Hell, into the fire that will never be quenched; [Jesus is emphatically telling us that Hell is horrible, and that if we wish to to escape Hell, sin has to go. He doesn't want us to maim ourselves. He wants us to come to Him so He can purify us and free us from all sin through obedient faith to the commands we hear Him speak to us as we wait on Him in humble silence.]
44 Where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out. [This verse did not appear in early manuscripts; along with verse 46, it was added by scribes, repeating the valid verse 48. Most bibles leave this verse blank or omit the number entirely.]
45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than having two feet to be cast into Hell, into the fire that will never be quenched;
46 Where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out. [This verse did not appear in early manuscripts; along with verse 44, it was added by scribes, repeating the valid verse 48. Most bibles leave this verse blank or omit the number entirely.]
47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into Hell fire;3 [In Matthew 5:28-29 Jesus tells that even looking at a woman with lust is sin enough to lead us to Hell. If we are to escape Hell, while on earth we must be freed from even the desire of our sins. All men's hearts are defiled and must be purified by Jesus to enter the Kingdom of God while we are on earth.]
48 Where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out. [What worm? The person in Hell quickly becomes aware that he is no better than a worm, which is a symbol of extreme lowliness; the Lord spoke of himself being considered nothing but a worm by the Jewish population of Jerusalem just before they demanded his crucifixion in mass.]
49 For everyone shall be salted with fire,4 and every sacrifice will be salted with salt. [For the day [of the Lord] will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will try and test every man's work, of what sort it is. 1 Cor 3:13]
50 Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its saltiness, with what will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another."
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1 This verse 9:1, coupled with 8:28, says some standing there would see him coming in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. Jesus preached the time has come, the Kingdom is near. He is not talking about a Kingdom thousands of years later. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded saying that some then standing with him, 2000 years ago, would see his glorious coming with the Kingdom before they died. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded saying all the end times prophesies would be fulfilled before the generation of 2000 years ago died.
2 Then John said to him, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and he does not follow us; and we forbade him, because he does not follow us." Jesus said: "Do not forbid him; for there is no man who does a miracle in my name, who can lightly speak evil of me. For he who is not against us is for us." Citing these verses, a common plea of the ministers in the time of the Early Quakers was: leave us alone, we're Christians too. But those doing miracles in the name of Jesus were not preaching a different formula for salvation, or gospel; they were doing miracles in his name, casting out demons. Further, Paul said: if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed, Gal 1:9; and For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake; Titus 1:10-11. (They preached for money, against the commands of Christ and command of Peter and Paul.) Doing miracles in the name of Christ does not damage the work of Christ; but to preach a false salvation or false gospel, immeasurably damages the work of Christ.
And anyone who gathers without Jesus' specific directions and supplied words is preaching a gospel without Jesus' direction, without Jesus. And so they scatter, making every convert twice as fit for hell as the one doing the independent converting. The ministers of Christendom are not taught by the Lord's voice and light, not perfected by the Lord, not gifted with an authorized ministry, not sent by the Lord, and not speaking words from the Spirit of the Lord; rather they speak from their carnal minds, the nature of death, and preach their vain opinions from the imagination of their evil hearts. These ministers of Satan's Babylon masquerade as ministers of righteousness, themselves fooled to believe they are ministers of Christ.
3 If you are still sinning, you would be better to cut off your foot, or pluck out your eye, or cut off your hand — anything is better than going to Hell. He doesn't want us to maim ourselves. He is only illustrating how serious continuing to sin is. Jesus is desperately trying to tell us that to enter the Kingdom and to escape Hell, sin has to go. He knew false ministers with false gospels promising freedom to continue to sin would arise after he left. Changes in our heart through the missing cross to purity can take away the desire of the hand, foot, and eye to cause us to sin.
Regarding the fire that is not quenched. The Hell Fire-Damnation preachers threaten the everlasting fire; which fire is everlasting. But look, the baptism of the Holy Spirit burns up the chaff with unquenchable fire, which cannot be put out. Mat 3:11-12. Now few would argue that one is burned forever by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. For sure, to be cast in the lake of fire in order to be purified is a painful experience of great loss; an experience to be avoided at all costs; there a person sees himself as a low worm, wishing to die, but unable to die. The fires itself lasts forever, but a person is not left in the fire forever — except the original deceiver, Satan. The smoke from the burning of the whore (the false church) arises forever, but not from the deceived; the smoke is like a memory that is never forgotten. See Is There Hope for All for more on this subject.
4 Jesus said that everyone shall be salted with fire; for all must be purified before they can enter Heaven. This is done by the unquenchable fire of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, while on earth; or in the lake of fire, (Hell), in the next life. Sinners cannot live in heaven with God, or heaven would turn into Hell. We all have to be purified to live in God's presence and to live in perfect harmony and love with our brothers. A common belief is that all fleshly Christians who are still sinning will be instantly purified in the last minute of their lives, to then live in heaven. This is wrong because God will never take away our free will; and if he purifies us without our having learned to loathe and hate our selfish habits and addictions, once instantly purified, we would drift back into the same patterns of selfish behaviors that cause us to embrace sin. So in this life or the next, we have to: 1) discover the bitterness of the passions and pleasures that our hearts desire, and 2) over time suffer the consequences of our passions and pleasures, while longing to have them removed by desperately seeking the grace of God to be changed. In Hell, our passions are unrestrained, similar to how we are without restraint to lusts and violence in our dreams. For our passions are the worst of tyrants. When we are placed so that we are entirely given up to them, they will torment the heart, and, like a torrent, sweep all before them, and yet never be satisfied. We must discover that true liberty is to be found only in Him, whose truth shall set us free, and who shall lead us to understand that only in perfectly virtuous words and deeds, (prompted and energized by Him as His will to be done), are we really free. In this way, when our heart's defects are removed, one at a time, we are certain not to return to sin in our free wills. Love never forces its own way, instead it helps us see the error of the wrong way, so we can choose the right way; and then rewards us with the grace of change, finally resulting in purity.
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