Bible Study~Mark Ch. 4

This is part of Mark, chapter 4, and I’d like to share it with you.

Jesus was teaching by the sea side, and so many people were there to hear him, that he had to get into a ship, and teach from the water to the people on land.

A portion from THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER:
Mark 4: 5,6 –  And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth;  and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:

But when the sun was up, it was scorched;  and because it had no root, it withered away.

Now, Jesus explains the parable, and this is the part that pertains to the above Scriptures:

Mark 4:16,17 – And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground;  who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

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.

See that word, “offended”?  It is used 29 times in the New Testament, and here are the meanings:

Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
skan-dal-id’-zo Verb
Definition
  1. to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, metaph. to offend
    1. to entice to sin
    2. to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey
      1. to cause to fall away
      2. to be offended in one, i.e. to see in another what I disapprove of and what hinders me from acknowledging his authority
      3. to cause one to judge unfavourably or unjustly of another
    3. since one who stumbles or whose foot gets entangled feels annoyed
      1. to cause one displeasure at a thing
      2. to make indignant
      3. to be displeased, indignant

Are YOU one who has NO ROOT in yourself, and you are offended, or do you wither away, and shrink back,  when affliction or persecution happens to you because of your Christianity, your profession of Jesus Christ as Lord of your life?  Do you get angry, or do you wither away when people, or one person in particular, makes fun of you, or calls you names, or rejects you?  BE CAREFUL, you will fall away into HELL, unless you work to establish that ROOT in yourself, by renewing your mind DAILY, by reading the King James bible, read it EVERY day, think about it during the day, and when bad thoughts arise in your heart, THINK ABOUT the bible’s wisdom and admonition, think about God’s promises, and establish a very good and deep root system for yourself!  You don’t want to be one who falls away when persecution arises for the word’s sake!!  Be STRONG in the LORD, and in the power of His might!  Put on the whole armor of God, and if you don’t know what the whole armor consists of, LEARN IT!  Ephesians 6:10-18!

May you submit your thoughts and life to God today, and every day from now on.  Pray for me, and for one another.

 

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Book Review~ Night Preacher by Louise A. Vernon

This is a book about Menno Simons, who became the leader of the Anabaptists, now known as Mennonites. Menno was born in the Frisian ( a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea in what today is mostly a large part of the Netherlands, including modern Friesland, and smaller parts of northern Germany.)  town of Whitmarsum, in 1496,  which is in the Netherlands.

** Little is known about Menno’s childhood and home. His parents were probably dairy farmers. Menno may have received his training in a nearby monastery. He had some knowledge of the church fathers, knew Latin and a little Greek but no Hebrew.

Menno Simons - engraving by Jacob BurghartMenno was consecrated  a (Catholic) priest at Utrecht, in 1524. For twelve years (1524-1536) he served as a parish priest, first for seven years in his father’s village Pingjum, later for five years in Witmarsum. He would later write about how he and his fellow priests lived an easy going life, spending their time “playing cards, drinking, and in diversions as, alas, is the fashion and usage of such useless people”. quoted from:http://www.mennosimons.net/life.html

This story is told from the viewpoint of Bettje, Menno’s daughter, who is about 10 years old at the time.  Since the Catholic church was in control of things at the time, severe persecution was part of the risk of being an Anabaptist in parts of the Netherlands, and this book tells of the constant danger Menno and his family were in, simply for speaking the Gospel, and telling people the truth about what Jesus REALLY says in the Bible. Since it was against the man-made law to practice any religion except the Catholic one, most of Menno’s preaching and teaching was done at night, in in country fields, attics or barns, or secret house meetings.  There was always the danger of neighbors spying on Anabaptists, and turning them over to the Catholics, so meetings had to be arranged in strict secrecy.  Sometimes, though, there were untrustworthy people in the groups, and eventually, this would lead to Menno and his family having to pack up everything and sneak out of the city and move to another safer abode.

During one move, someone told about the Hollanders who were draining marshy land in Oberland, and establishing whole villages of no one but Anabaptists.  This was exciting news, being able to have a self-contained community where they could worship Jesus Christ properly, without fear of persecution or martyrdom.

**http://www.mennosimons.net/life.html

Hermes Micron, John a Lasco, and Gellius Faber, and the Muensterites are also mentioned in this book.  You might find it interesting and valuable to your store of knowledge to find out more about them.  This is a good introductory book for young teens and older children, to learn about Anabaptist’s/Mennonite’s  beginnings.

Product details

  • Age Range: 9 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 – 7
  • Series: Louise A. Vernon
  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: Herald Press (September 11, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836117743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836117745
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches

 

Book Review of Sandi’s Anchor of Hope by Romaine Stauffer

Sandi’s Anchor of Hope
by Romaine Stauffer

This is a true story about a woman who survived years of abuse and neglect growing up in a very dysfunctional home. Sandi struggled almost daily with her mother’s alcoholism, verbal and physical abuse,
neglect, and selfishness. She had understandable fears and insecurities, which manifested themselves in both her childhood through adulthood. No sense of permanance, since her mother would move the family almost every year, from one run-down dwelling to another. Sandi attended many schools, and had no one
to help her with her studies at home, and as a result lagged behind in academics.

This true story may seem too sad and depressing to read, but it’s really not. You get to see how God orchestrates events in Sandi’s life that eventually lead her to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. It is a painful journey to take with this battered child, who ached for love and freedom from threats of danger, but it’s a happy ending indeed. No matter what your situation is, no matter how hopeless it is, how crushing andfrightening, there is an answer and a way out. Read this story of a person who found security, love, and
acceptance in Jesus Christ, who gave her answers and direction in her life.

It really does have a happy ending, and is also an interesting introduction to the Mennonite community. I became interested in finding out more about them, as a result of reading this book.
It would be wonderful, I think, to be in a congregation of conservative believers who reject worldliness and support one another in staying strong in the faith.
I hope you can get a copy of the book, Sandi’s Anchor of Hope, by Romaine Stauffer, and take time to read it. God’s love and mercies are there in our lives,

even before we seek Him. 

Betteken’s Refuge, by Diane Yoder

This is a moving, beautifully portrayed story of a Dutch Anabaptist martyr’s life, as seen through the eyes of her young daughter, Betteken Wens. The year is 1573, and the historical fiction story takes place in the city of
Antwerp, Belgium, the richest city in Europe at this time. In this story, the persecution of the Anabaptists is becoming more ominous, one reason being because they refused to join the state church, which was the Catholic church. Time after time, Betteken, her parents and family are witnesses to the public humiliation of devout born again Christians by the Catholic’s Spanish soldiers, who march both men and women through the streets, and then burn them alive, all because of their faith in Jesus Christ and the Word of God.

Even though this book was written for a much younger audience, I believe Christians of all ages will benefit greatly from reading Betteken’s Refuge.
Several footnotes document the persecution of the Catholics against the Protestants and the Anabaptists, such as the reference to St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, in 1572.


The reader gets to know Mattheus and Maeyken, the parents of Betteken, and Adrien, and Hans, her brothers. You feel the tension in the air as the father leaves home again, in order to preach the Gospel to others in villages and cities, helping seekers to truly repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as the only way to eternal life and God the Father.
There are incredibly deep moments of faith and truth presented by the author, and many times I paused to think about the profundity of the perseverance of the saints in those times of great difficulty as their faith was tried, literally, by fire. Please take time to read this book, it will profit you greatly, and deepen your resolve to stand firm and remember that no matter what, for the believer, The LORD is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jesus will sustain ALL who surrender to Him.

If you have not yet repented of your sins and dedicated your life to God, I urge you to do so now. We know that God hears and answers prayer. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Read Romans 10:8-13, and be born again.
The back of Diane Yoder’s book has a full 2 pages explaining the way to God and peace. She is a faithful witness, and may her work continue to glorify God the Father, and Jesus Christ His only begotten Son.

Bible Study

I’ve been working through a good bible study course, offered free by  a church in Greenville, MI, called Liberty Baptist Church:  http://www.libertybaptistgreenville.com/

So far I’ve finished a study on Islam, and a study booklet about music, what is Godly, and spiritual, and how to tell if music is appropriate for Christians to listen to.  They talk about content, control, and context of music.

Some quotes from the booklet:  “There is no such thing as neutral music.  All music has an effect upon the listener-without a word ever being spoken.  That is why God stated that all music which Christians listen to must have a melody to it, something with harmony, organized tones, and a sweet and agreeable sound. Very little of today’s contemporary Christian music can pass this test.”

They also bring up the fact that many churches entertain rather than exhort, reprove, and rebuke the members.  The booklet states:  What is true of babies?  They cannot do anything for themselves.  They have to be entertained, or they cry.  …… He cries out…..I cannot understand that old King James bible, so he finds a church that entertains with worldly music and a watered-down translation of the Bible.

If you’re interested in this free Baptist bible study, you can get some booklets mailed to your home or office, free.  Go here:  http://www.libertygospeltracts.com

Here’s the church’s web page:  http://www.libertybaptistgreenville.com/

 

Also, I’m reading another book by Cathy Gohlke, called, “William Henry is a Fine Name“.  It was her debut novel, and it won a well-deserved Christy Award.  The book will appeal to everyone from young adult to senior citizen.  A review is coming soon, God willing.  In the meantime, get yourself a copy, and read it.

The Lord’s Day — PLEASE REPENT, CHRISTIANS!

Lukewarm, but born again Christians:
[21] Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
[22] But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Matthew:  [8] Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
[9] And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Why do today’s Christians want to be known as Christians, but they don’t want to ACT and THINK as Christians? It’s like a man who wants a job, but he still wants to be able to skip work, dress against the work code, never learn what his company does, never read the instruction manual,  DO no work, go into work late or hung over, and still get that paycheck.
If you talk to a Christian about the things WE ARE TOLD TO DO by our Saviour, and then ask them why they don’t practice holy living, they scream and call you a legalist.  A Pharisee!  Here’s just a smidgen of what Jesus says about how Christians are supposed to act and think and do:  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth
1 Peter 1:15 – But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation

24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

James 2:24 – Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
 
Today’s Christians, for the most part, are like men and women who want to be married, they want that ring, but they still want to date others, and be as unfaithful as they can to their spouse. They don’t want to be one flesh, they are selfish and always want their way, they ignore the marriage vows, they do nothing with their spouses, spend NO TIME with them to learn about them, but they still tell everyone they’re married?    Why do you say you’re a bride of Christ, but you act and dress like a WHORE?   You say you have on the wedding garments of the bride of Christ, but they’re filthy, torn, and ugly.    Ezekiel:
7 Thus she committed her whoredoms with them, with all them [that were] the chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted: with all their idols she defiled herself.
 
8 Neither left she her whoredoms [brought] from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her.
This is what I see in a lot of Christian’s lives:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

REPENT OF YOUR WICKEDNESS, get on the strait and narrow path.  Do you know what Jesus says about apathetic Christians?  They won’t stay on the strait(difficult) and narrow(you won’t fit in with the world at all)!

[18] If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
[19] If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Does everyone think you’re wonderful, and such a sweetheart, and so easy to get along with, so agreeable to everything?  REPENT!  You’re most likely following the devil, who is out to destroy you.  You have no enemies?  Then you’re not doing much of anything for Jesus Christ.  Selfish, lazy Christian.  REPENT!

REPENT!  PLEASE!  Give your MIND and HEART and Body to JESUS, the only One who can save your soul from burning eternally in the fiery pits of hell, darkness, torment day and night, eaten by worms and never dying, begging for water, the flames burning, burning, and burning you!

Mark 9:48 King James Version (KJV)48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

NO LIARS WILL BE ALLOWED IN HEAVEN!  Do you lie?  REPENT or you will die and burn in the Lake of Fire at the second death!  [14] Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
[15] For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
[16] I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
[17] And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
[18] For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
[19] And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
[20] He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.