【Bible Study】Mark 03: Two Kingdoms, Two Pursuits!
Bible Study: Mark
- 【Bible Study】Mark 01: The Gospel of the Kingdom of God!
- 【Bible Study】Mark 02: The Rules In the Kingdom of God!
- 【Bible Study】Mark 03: Two Kingdoms, Two Pursuits!
- 【Bible Study】Mark 04: The Great Rewards in the Kingdom of Heaven!
- 【Bible Study】Mark 05: No Sickness and Death in the Kingdom of Heaven！
- 【Bible Study】Mark 06: Our Confusion About the Son of God!
The first chapter of Mark is about "The Gospel of the Kingdom of God" and the second chapter is about "The Rules in the Kingdom of God." In this chapter, we will focus on this topic: "Two Kingdoms, Two Pursuits." We often pray: "Your kingdom come, you will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." This is one of the lines in the Lord's prayer which means the kingdom of God has come upon us.
This, then, is how you should pray: "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:9-13)
The world we live in is the kingdom of the devil where Satan rules on earth. If there is a portion of the kingdom of God on earth, you may wonder where did it come from? The answer is spiritual warfare. For the kingdom of God to come upon the earth, there will be a spiritual battle between two kingdoms. Therefore, if we want to expand a portion of the kingdom of God, we must fight against the devils in spiritual warfare.
Today, there are some brothers and sisters who do not want to fight against the devils. I don't think we have much of a choice. As we are Christians, we cannot serve two masters because there is no such thing. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the kingdom of God or despise the kingdom of the devil. The spiritual battle between the two kingdoms is fierce.
Christians who can fight against devils are like airborne troops, they will contest a small piece of land and form a small nation. I believe this is the process of establishing the kingdom of God. For example, the coming of Jesus Christ into the world was very torturous. Satan knew from the very beginning that Jesus was born of Virgin Mary, Satan did everything he could to prevent the birth of Jesus Christ. At the time when Jesus was working as a carpenter, Satan knew Jesus was the Son of God and wanted to kill Him. With the power of God, the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. Jesus came into the world to preach the gospel, which began to carve out a small portion of the kingdom of God.
How do you carve out a little piece of land in the kingdom of God? Preaching the gospel and casting out demons! If you do not cast out demons, how can you establish the kingdom of God? As for me, I cannot understand that you can build the kingdom of God and show the glory of God without casting out demons. We must cast out demons because the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
We can see that there are many problems in the kingdom of the devil. Why we do say that? Because a lot of people with all kinds of problems, they went to see the doctors but could not get any help and suffered from the diseases until they heard the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus announced the good news, many people came to Him from Jude, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon.
"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 1:15)
Repentance is simple. It is easier than spending money to see doctors. People just have to repent and turn to Jesus and they will get healed. The name of Jesus had spread widely, everyone who came to Jesus was healed. How did Jesus heal these patients? Jesus drove out all the devils from these people and gave them strict orders not to tell others about Him.
Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, "You are the Son of God." But he gave them strict orders not to tell others about him. (Mark 3:11-12)
A key feature for the kingdom of God to come upon us is to preach the gospel, cast out demons, heal and release. There are many problems in the kingdom of the devil, cancer is a typical example, as well as heart disease, angina pectoris, high blood sugar, high blood fats and high blood pressure, etc. These are some of the most difficult problems to deal with in this world. I believe the kingdom of the devil is all about burning, killing, looting and pillaging, making human life worse than death.
We have to know that there are many wonderful things in the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God has come upon us means much more than the healing of the sick. Imagine if we could go back to the kingdom of God, you will not find any cancer patients and poor people because there are no such problems in the kingdom of God! When we accepted our Lord Jesus Christ, we are entering the kingdom of God and we will start experiencing many wonderful things in our lives. It is not because of anything you do; it is simply because of the wonderful things in the kingdom of God. This is one of the characteristics of the kingdom of God. We were supposed to live without hope, but with the kingdom of God has come upon us, our lives will be filled with joy and hope.
Peter's perspective about the kingdom of God was preaching the gospel and casting out demons. You will find Peter mentioned it in Chapter 2 and repeated in this chapter. Jesus began by choosing twelve disciples and sending them out to preach by giving them authority to cast out demons. Preaching the gospel is one thing, giving them authority to cast out demons is another. That is to say, when the kingdom of God has come upon us, we are given the authority to fight against the devils. Jesus selected twelve disciples at first. After that, He appointed seventy-two others and sent them to preach the gospel and cast out demons. Both were evenly balanced; it may not be that accurate but we need to have an idea that the churches should also follow what Jesus had done.
Dear brothers and sisters, God had given us the authority! We need to fight against the devils for the kingdom of God to come upon us. It is very easy for God to overcome Satan, but for God to save us from the devils is much harder than expected. Why is that? Because we all have to make a decision whether to believe in our Lord Jesus Christ or not. When we made our decisions and have faith in God, we will be given the power from God to overcome the devils and the spiritual forces of darkness.
You may wonder why God is doing this. We have to think in this way: God can still do things without us! Our own choices are just part of it, the key is that God wants to work with us, and God wants us to get rewarded. There are many things that we cannot accomplish without God, but God has given us the authority and power so we can do things in His name. God is willing to help us so we can be rewarded. Our God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love!
We want to serve this generation on earth, we would not be able to do it without God. For the day when we go back to the kingdom of heaven, God will reward us for everything we have done on earth. All these things will be accomplished by God, not us. Because we are just doing these things with Him, we are the ones who will get rewarded. God is rich in kindness and grace, He will do exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask, think or imagine.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (Ephesians 1:4-6)
It turns out that God wants His people to be glorified with Him. The kingdom of God is rich in glory, God wants to share His grace with us! God has the power to overcome Satan, but God wants to use us to glorify His name. Are you willing to undertake this mission? Some people lost their destinies because what they see in their eyes are the things in this world. We have to know that this is something related to the two kingdoms and two pursuits. Dear brothers and sisters, we should never underestimate our destiny.
Sometimes, I worry about some brothers and sisters, who have experienced preaching the gospel, casting out demons and witnessing the healing of the sick. They have done all these things with me together. I am wondering what would happen if they leave the church one day. They could say to me: "Oh, I am not leaving God, I am just leaving the church." There are many reasons for people to say this, but the problem is that you and I have driven out many devils. If you stop fighting against the devils, they will certainly come to you later. No matter what happens, we must be in the kingdom of God at all times. If you are in the kingdom of God, then you must obey the word of God, the word of God tells us to preach the gospel and cast out demons because we are the disciples of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the kingdom of God is all about two kingdoms and two pursuits.
When we are casting out demons today, many people may think we are crazy. It's not just us but also Jesus Christ. This is one of the devil's tactics, which is very powerful. Devils will start to make us feel like it is not something normal to have power in the church. For example, when we start praying in tongues, it may seem strange to those people who just joined.
Thank God, all the people who came to our church did not find it strange for the prayer. Rationally speaking, it is crazy because the kingdom of God is supposed to be like this. That was the reason why people said Jesus was crazy. It is not surprising that people said we are crazy because we are the disciples of Jesus Christ; we have to pay the price of being a disciple. It doesn't matter if people think we are crazy, it happened to Jesus Christ as well.
Today, we are doing what Jesus had been doing in the past: preaching the gospel and casting out demons. We need to know how to live in order to please God. Jesus did nothing but pleased God, He did what His Father was doing. We should also do the same as Jesus had done.
Jesus taught us that there is a spiritual battle between two kingdoms. You must tie up the strong man so you can save the people from the hand of the devil. Why do I ask you to pray for your family and preach the gospel to your family? Because this is a matter between the two kingdoms. We do not want our family to be ruined by the kingdom of the devil while we are enjoying all the wonderful things in the kingdom of God. If you choose not to fight against the devils and the spiritual forces of darkness, you will not be able to bring your family into the kingdom of God.
I found a very interesting phenomenon. Many brothers and sisters could not bring their families into the kingdom of God. It was a pity that they were influenced by their families and fell into the kingdom of the devil. The tactics of the devil are very powerful. If a person is living in flesh and using worldly vision to see the problems, he or she will never see things clearly because the person cannot see if there is a spiritual battle between two kingdoms. So, what did Jesus say about this?
Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. (John 3:6)
Today, I encourage you to start tying up the devil and release your family from the darkness. Don't ever think there are good things in the kingdom of the devil. Whether we will come to Jesus one day to count everything we have done on earth or because of the love we have for our families, we need to grow up and become stronger so we can fight against the devils in spiritual warfare.
If we want to serve this generation and be a blessing to all nations on earth, we must become a blessing to our families. In the book of Genesis, Joseph was a blessing in his family before becoming a blessing to many. Evangelism should begin in our families first, you may not agree with the way I am preaching, but I will not force you to agree because I am taking a drastic way which may not be suitable for everyone. You can have your own choice, but I encourage you to choose an effective way because the time is running out.
In the spiritual warfare between the two kingdoms, you are given the authority from God to fight against the devils in the name of God to cast out demons, you will surely be blasphemed by other people. I believe whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit is in the spiritual forces of darkness. A person who obeys the power of darkness will not be forgiven, he or she is a pawn of the devil or an accomplice of the devil.
Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin. (Mark 3:28)
Let's look at the verses below. It is very interesting.
Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you." "Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother." (Mark 3:31-35)
What was Jesus talking about? Jesus was talking about the fact that what is born of spirit is spirit and what is born of the flesh is flesh. Do not ever think that anyone born of the flesh is in the kingdom of God. If we are looking at things with a carnal view: "Well, this is my dad and this is my mom. What is wrong with them?" We have to be careful, probably they are in the kingdom of the devil and might pull you out of the kingdom of God. So, if you look at this from a consanguine perspective, you may feel miserable and struggling. Jesus did not see it from a carnal perspective because He only considered whoever does the will of God is His brother and sister and mother.
From a carnal perspective, there is nothing wrong with loving your mother because Bible also teaches us to love and honour our parents. But this is a matter related to two kingdoms, so what would you do? The blood relationship may rule over you. This was what Jesus said:
Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:37)
Can you understand the verses? If you love your parents and children more than you love Jesus, then you are not worthy to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Becoming a disciple of Jesus is crucial, because if you do not love Jesus more than you love your parents, then your parents are bound to put a lot of obstacles in the way of faith or even pull you out of the kingdom of God.
Today, I want to share with you again the idea that if you do not bring your family to the kingdom of God, then your family will bring you to the kingdom of the devil. This is because there is a blood relationship between you and your family. You are connected with your parents in the spiritual world, when they feel bad and suffering, you will feel the same as well. As soon as the devils rule over them, you will be playing into their hands. So, what choice do we have? I don't think we have much choice; you can let me know if you have a better choice. We don't have many options except to release our family from the hand of the devil.
If we cannot release our family from the kingdom of the devil, I will give you a piece of advice. This is what I have done for my family: I will never allow my family to stop the way of faith. I will always rely on God until I see Him. Let us be clear that because we love our family, there is a chance that this love will become bondage. If you love your family more than you love Jesus Christ, devils will surely make them to rule over you.
For example, there is a button and the devils know that if they touch this button, you will become anxious. So, the devils will certainly touch it. But if we don't put anything above God, then the devils cannot press that button at all because the devils will be touching Jesus which will prick their hands.
Today, we need to re-examine our ideas about building the church because it is about expanding the kingdom of God, a spiritual battle and a risky action between two kingdoms. We have to pay a heavy price for this venture. People who do not have a conception of the kingdom of God will hardly understand when they see Jesus doing such things. Jesus said: "It is very important for people to do the will of God." Today, God has given us two things: one is called the Great Commission and the other is called the Great Commandment.
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:15-16)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
If we lost both great commission and great commandment in our lives, it means that we have fallen into the kingdom of the devil. We do not want to see people falling into the kingdom of the devil because the kingdom of the devil is full of destructions and disasters. We cannot predict when the disasters will come upon us because the devil will never tell us: "Oh, you did this today, so I will bring a disaster to you tomorrow." If God has mercy on you, then God will do something before it happens, so people have a chance to repent. What if God has no mercy? I can tell you that would be God's election. One of the mysteries which Apostle Paul discovered was that God is the one who is building the church.
So, what does it matter if people just come to the church and leave at their discretion? It doesn't matter because I am not the one building the church, it is God who is building the church! God can take away whatever He wants. I am hoping that we can work together in the future to build a glorious church, we will cross the finish line and be crowned with glory.
The will of God, the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Are they still in our hearts or are we still thinking about day-to-day living in this world? I can tell you that if you ever want to live a comfortable life, in the long run, you will surely be ruined by the devils. Don't ever think about it and don't blame me for not warning you. We can see that Jesus had the spirit; I also encourage you to have the same spirit and become someone who does the will of God!
Tags Two Kingdoms Two Pursuits Kingdom of the devil Great Commission Great Commandment Will of God Born of the flesh Born of the spirit Blood relationship Spiritual warfare Repentance Disciples of Jesus Devil's tactic Spiritual forces of darkness Become a blessing Rule over Glory of God Work with God