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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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Pastor's Pen - October 20, 2007
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October 20, 2007

Mark 12-13
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Following Scripture Verses
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Chapter 12
  1. And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.
  2. And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.
  3. And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.
  4. And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.
  5. And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.
  6. Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.
  7. But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.
  8. And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.
  9. What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.
  10. And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:
  11. This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
  12. And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.
  13. And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.
  14. And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?
  15. Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.
  16. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's.
  17. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.
  18. Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,
  19. Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
  20. Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed.
  21. And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise.
  22. And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also.
  23. In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.
  24. And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?
  25. For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.
  26. And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
  27. He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.
  28. And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
  29. And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
  30. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
  31. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
  32. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:
  33. And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
  34. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.
  35. And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David?
  36. For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.
  37. David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.
  38. And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,
  39. And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:
  40. Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.
  41. And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
  42. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
  43. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
  44. For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

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Chapter 13
  1. And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!
  2. And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
  3. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,
  4. Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?
  5. And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:
  6. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
  7. And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.
  8. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
  9. But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
  10. And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
  11. But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
  12. Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.
  13. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
  14. But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:
  15. And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:
  16. And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.
  17. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
  18. And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.
  19. For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.
  20. And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.
  21. And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:
  22. For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
  23. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
  24. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
  25. And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
  26. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
  27. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
  28. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:
  29. So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
  30. Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
  31. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
  32. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
  33. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
  34. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
  35. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
  36. Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
  37. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

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Thought for the day:
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 Mark 12 contains two short sections which contain concepts that people still have questions about. The first of these is found in verses 13-17. In this passage the Pharisees and Herodians brought a question to Jesus which was designed to trap Him. Before we continue, I think it is worth noting that the Pharisees and the Herodians didn't particularly like each other. The Pharisees were a religious group that was committed to rigid enforcement of the Old Testament Law. The Herodians were a political group committed to the policies of Herod, who was certainly not concerned about putting the Levitical system into practice in his personal life. Yet these two groups found a common enemy in Christ, and worked together to destroy Him: the Pharisees because His teachings contradicted theirs and the Herodians because they feared that His kingdom would overthrow Herod. Unfortunately, hatred of Christ will bring groups together that would normally oppose each other. Don't ever be surprised to see this happen.

 The question concerned whether or not it was appropriate to pay taxes to the Roman Empire. Prior to asking, these rebels attempted to get the Lord off His guard by flattering Him with platitudes that they did not believe. Again, when dealing with the spiritual enemy, don't allow yourself to be swayed by their compliments. They hate your God, and anything nice that they say to you is ultimately intended to trip you up. The purpose of the question was to get Jesus to say something that would make some group of people angry at Him. If He said that it was right to pay taxes, the Jewish populace would hate Him because they hated the Roman occupation and its unfair taxation. If He said that it was wrong to pay taxes, then He would anger the Roman leadership and risk being executed. Of course Jesus, Who knew their thoughts, could not be caught in such a trap. He pointed out that He knew their motivation, and then asked for a coin. He asked whose picture was on it, and when told that it was Caesar's He stated,

"Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's".
The principle here is this: nothing that belongs to God ought to ever be surrendered to the government. However, it is not wrong for citizens to pay taxes to their government, even if they don't approve of the way the government handles issues. In fact, it would be wrong for citizens NOT to pay their taxes. Caesar has the right to collect tariffs, and Christians have a responsibility to obey their civil authorities, so no Bible-believing Christian can ever say that the Bible permits him to disobey the law in this regard. In the United States, if we don't like a law we can attempt to change it, but we do not have a Biblical right to defy it unless this law is in direct violation of the Word of God. Since paying taxes is not a violation of the Scriptures, then we need to do it.

 The second question was asked in the verses immediately following by the Sadducees, another Jewish sect which did not get along with either of the previous two. It was a religious group, but denied (among other things) the reality of a resurrection. They asked a hypothetical question concerning the concept of a Levirate Marriage. This was a situation where the widow of a man who died without children would marry his brother in an attempt to raise up children in the name of the first husband and continue his lineage. After going through a story where this event occurred seven times they asked Jesus which man would get to have the woman for his wife in Heaven. The Lord pointed out that they were ignorant of the Scriptures, and that there was no marrying in Heaven. I do not know exactly what the living arrangements will be in Heaven, but according to this verse we will not be living as husband and wife. I have no doubt that we will know our loved ones there, but it appears that we will not live together as individual families. Christ then cut to the heart of the problem, which was their rejection of the plain teachings of the Bible which revealed that there was life after death and that the resurrection would take place. He proved that they were wrong by showing that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were still alive when God spoke to Moses at the burning bush, even though they had passed off the earth hundreds of years earlier.

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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