Mark Chapter 13 Part 1

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Shalom and welcome to v’ahavta Israel, a Hebrew phrase, which means, you shall love Israel. We hope you’ll stay with us for the next 30 minutes as our teacher, Dr. Baruch shares his expository teaching from the Bible. Dr. Baruch is the senior lecturer at the Zera Avraham Institute based in Israel. Although all courses are taught in Hebrew at the Institute, Dr. Baruch is pleased to share this weekly address in English. To find out more about our work in Israel, please visit us on the web at LoveIsrael.org. That’s one word, LoveIsrael.org. Now here’s Baruch with today’s lesson.

Speaker 2:

Would you not agree that if you’re unaware of something or that something is unimportant to you, it’s hard to live in a way that you’re expecting it to take place or that you’ll be ready for it to take place? Now, what we’re going to talk about today are the last days, and it’s very significant that over and over in the word of God, that HaShem, that is the Lord god of Israel commands his people, his followers, those who have hope of being in his kingdom to be ready to be prepared for the last days.

Speaker 2:

Now, we’ve been in the study for over a year in the gospel of Mark. We began in chapter one and now we have concluded all 12 chapters and we’re ready now for chapter 13. And this 13th chapter is a very unique one. Messiah speaks on something that he’s only briefly alluded to before, and that is the establishment of the kingdom of God and the events that must take place for that kingdom to be established.

Speaker 2:

And what we find in the scripture is that over and over the word of God commands us to be ready, to be prepared, to be on guard. And as I said, if you are unaware of prophecy, if someone were to ask you… Now, of course, no one knows the day or the hour, except God the father. But if someone were to ask you, “Tell me the events of the last day. Put these things in order, what’s going to happen first and second until the kingdom is established.” Would you be able to do that? Are you aware of the things that God has promised that will take place? Why is that important? Simply, because he tells us to look and expect these things so that we can respond to them with knowledge, to respond to them out of obedience so that we will give a proper testimony, a witness to those around us.

Speaker 2:

Well, take out your Bible and look with me, as I said, to the gospel of Mark and chapter 13. Now, the first that we’re going to see in this passage of scripture is that there’s an emphasis on the temple. Now, I wonder how many people today really think about the significance of the temple? Many people say, “Well now through faith in Messiah. Sure, that is Jesus. I’m a temple of the Holy spirit.” That’s true, but do not think that the temple that stood in Jerusalem is not going to be important in the future. In fact, God promises that that temple will be rebuilt. In fact, the rebuilding of the temple is one of the key signs that we have entered into the last days. Now, the temple is important because it speaks about something and that is God’s presence with man in a very unique way.

Speaker 2:

So let’s begin. As I said, Mark’s gospel chapter 13 and verse one, here we read that he was coming out of the temple, the first reference to the temple. And let me point out that there’s a couple different words in the scriptures for “temple”. This word “heron” has to do with just the general area, all that area known as the temple mount, not specifically, necessarily the temple structure, like the Holy of Holies or the courtyard that contain the alter. When we’re speaking about that Holy place, there’s another word. The word “naos”, which is use. So Messiah is coming out of the temple, obviously from teaching, from worshiping, whatever.

Speaker 2:

And we read here that one of his disciples says to him “Teacher.” Now that’s important, because we’ve talked about that the word of God and the disciples, they related to Messiah in a variety of ways. And when it says “teacher”, well, we can anticipate that Messiah is going to teach something. Now I want to correct, because many people wrongly think that the word might be “rabbi”. It is not here. It is “teacher”. The word “rabbi” does not mean teacher. It means “my great one” or “one who has abundancy”. So this simply means “teacher”. And we can anticipate that there’s going to be a lesson.

Speaker 2:

Verse one second, half. This one disciple says to Yeshua, “Behold what manner of stones and what manner of buildings.” Now, this phrase, “what manner”, is a one word in the biblical language. And it usually has a specific implication of something that’s splendor, something that is wonderful, glorious, something that is beautiful to behold. So when he says, “what manner of stones and building”, he’s talking about how beautiful, how glorious the splendor of this place.

Speaker 2:

And we know that that Herod The Great, he spent over 40 years building, remodeling the temple and making additional buildings. And it was a glorious building to behold. People would come and see just the majesty of that architecture and the work that was finally carried out over those 40 years.

Speaker 2:

So as a splendid place, but here’s the problem. What we see here is that the disciple… And I believe he’s speaking for more than just himself. The disciples, in fact, men in general, we tend to focus on the, what’s called the [inaudible 00:06:53], the outer, the external, rather than the internal. God, what’s important to God was not those buildings, but the fact that Jerusalem, the fact that that mountain is where God chose sovereignly for his name to dwell, his presence to be there. So the emphasis one should not focus upon the buildings, but on the fact that it is the house of the living, God.

Speaker 2:

Now, when we read on, we find something very unique. When this disciples speaking about the external, notice what Messiah says in verse two. “And Yeshua said to him, look at these great buildings.” And then he says, “Ooh, me”, which means it’s a double negative. Now in English, a double negative makes it positive. But not in the biblical language. This double negative is used to emphasize to say something is absolutely whatever. And what we find here is that these stones, not one stone upon another, no, not one, absolutely not, will be left that are not torn down. Now, this is how Messiah leaves them. And you can imagine that they had some questions at temple, this glorious building, they were in hopes. Well, they thought he was the Messiah and they were under the impression that he would restore the kingdom to Israel very soon. And what does he begin to talk about? That the temple’s going to be destroyed.

Speaker 2:

Move on to verse three. “And sitting upon the Mount of Olives, which is opposite the temple.” Now here, again, he could have just said, “Sitting on the Mount of Olives”, people know where it is in reference to the temple. But the fact that the temple was mentioned is to emphasize something. To emphasize the significance of that place and something, which unfortunately, people don’t see today. In fact, most of the world is against a temple standing in Jerusalem. There’s a lot of discussion over the past many, many years about a peace process in Israel. And imagine what would happen today. If the prime minister said, “We are putting together a program for the rebuilding of the temple.” Well, you can imagine what the Palestinians would say, what the Arab league would say and not just Muslims, but also the European union, the United Nations and the White House.

Speaker 2:

They would see a great problem in even a discussion of the temple being rebuilt. Well, that’s not going on by and large. If you were to ask the leading rabbinical council, that rabbinate in Israel, “Does there need to be a rebuilding of the temple today?” They would tell you, “No, we’re just going to wait for Elijah to come. For Messiah, he’ll take care of that. We don’t need to do anything.” But what we find scripturally is very different. There needs to be a desire. We need to acknowledge that, but the world’s against that.

Speaker 2:

Not too long ago, a few months ago, a religious Jewish family walked up on the Temple Mount. Now Arab individuals do it all the time. Other Gentiles do it at certain times, this family of a mother, father and several children, they went up there not to cause problems. They didn’t come to make any problem with anyone. They came because it is the holiest place in Judaism. And what happened? Well, if they did not have Israeli security, the people up there, the Muslims, they attacked them. They yelled at the children. They scared the children. They wanted them off. They yelled various things.

Speaker 2:

And here’s the point. We see how controversial that is. But before the kingdom is established, that kingdom, before the kingdom is established, that temple is going to be rebuilt.

Speaker 2:

So look on again to verse three. “And sitting on the Mount of Olives”, significant for where Messiah is going to return to, “Sitting on the Mount of Olives, which is opposite the temple. Privately, they asked him”, and who asked him? Well pay attention. It says Peter and James, John and Andrew.

Speaker 2:

Now, let me ask you, when you see that, does anything seem odd to you? Something problematic? We’re talking about two sets of brothers, Peter and Andrew, James and John. But if you look at what’s written here, the order is different. There’s a change. And why is that? Well, I asked some of my friends, some of my family, others, read that verse and tell me what’s wrong. And you know, I probably asked more than a dozen people and not one said anything about the order. But this is the message, there’s going to be a change in the order. What the world perceives is right, good. What the world, for example, the United Nations is trying to establish, well, there’s going to be a great change in this world. And therefore we see a change in order.

Speaker 2:

Now there’s another reason why brothers are mentioned. Here again, if you were to come from a Jewish, observant background, trained in some of the writings of the great sages of old, whenever you talk about a brothers, a set of brothers, there’s something significant, because in the book of Genesis, chapter 48, and in that section known in Hebrew as [inaudible 00:00:13:14], which means, “And he will live”, a very important term. There is a blessing.

Speaker 2:

This is when Jacob blessed the two sons. That means brothers. There’s two sons of Joseph. And that blessing had to do with Messiah. It had to do with victory. It had to do with the kingdom. Likewise, and we studied this, when Messiah began to call his disciples, it’s not an accident that he began the call two brothers. And then two more brothers. Why? Because brothers are significant. Two brothers significant in regard to the kingdom of God, biblically speaking.

Speaker 2:

So we have these two sets of brothers coming and doing something, asking him a question privately. And what is that? Well, look at it. Verse four, they spoke and they said, “Tell us when will these things be”, that’s the first. And then secondly, they asked, “And what is the sign when all is about to be brought to its end?” Now, it uses a very important term in the Greek language, which means “the absolute end”, the end of this age.

Speaker 2:

So they asked two questions. One has to do you with when, as Messiah said, “Not one stone will be left upon another, not building, no building, standing up there.” And by the way, you can go to Jerusalem today and you can go into what’s called the Davidson Center, and you can look in this [inaudible 00:14:54], this area where some great stones, these same stones that we’ve read about in the first part of our study. Where they were cast down, exactly as Messiah said, cast down to the streets below, and you can see the dense, the damage that was caused. And many of those stones are still there in the very place that they have been for over 2000, or almost 2000 years. So Messiah’s words are true. And they ask not only about the destruction of the temple, that took place in 70 A.D., but also the end of the age.

Speaker 2:

Now, we need to be cautious about something. Now, there are some scholars that they want to say, what Messiah speaking about here has already been fulfilled. It has not. There’s other people that want to date the writing of this book, the gospel of Mark and all the gospels after 70 A.D. Why? Because Messiah spoke about the destruction of the temple and they don’t believe in prophecy. They don’t believe that Messiah could have told and prophesied that the temple was going to be destroyed 40 years before it actually was. But I would suggest to you that he said these words, they were written down long before, perhaps 20 years before the destruction of the temple. But what’s emphasized here is not the destruction of the temple, but what is said in the second half of that verse, “Tell us also, what is the sign concerning the coming together of all things that bring about the end?”

Speaker 2:

That’s the question. And that is what Messiah is going to be speaking to. Now, what we need to glean is that in the same way that Messiah spoke the truth, what he said was accurately fulfilled with the destruction of the temple. So too, what he said concerning the last days is going to be fulfilled.

Speaker 2:

Look on to verse five. “And Yeshua began to speak to them”, and notice the first thing he says, “Look”. Now that’s important because, remember how we began the study. If we’re going to be faithful, if we’re going to be able to discern what’s going on in the last days, we have to be looking. And looking for what? These key events. These things that Messiah promise and not just him, but also the profits. Let me tell you, if you want to be pleasing to God, if you want to be found faithful, if you want to have a testimony that God is going to be well-pleased with, then you need to understand prophesy. What the prophets taught. It begets a repentant spirit within us, and it gives us the ability for discernment. When these things happen, being able to understand them and respond in a proper way.

Speaker 2:

So look again, verse five. “And Messiah, he began to speak to them and he says, look that no one should deceive you.” Now, this is a theme that not only Messiah spoke several times of, but also for example, the apostle Paul, and many of the prophets. You see, there’s going to be… We see this in a couple of different places. In the last days, there’s going to be a strong spirit of what? A strong spirit that is going to delude people, strong delusion, as one scripture says. And if we’re not looking for these events, understanding them in light of scriptural truth, we’re going to be, and here’s the warning, we’re going to be deceived. And the problem is this, very few people are emphasizing the last days. And when they do, it’s usually in order to get money out of your pocket, rather than preparing you for the end.

Speaker 2:

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. There’s been a lot of discussion about the concept, blood moons. You can Google that, and when you bring up most websites that speak to them, there’ll be something there for you to buy something to get. And let me tell you, most of it is not worth having. Why? Because they speak about the blood moons, or the four blood moons, as a prophetic sign of something. There’s not four blood moons in the scripture. That term “blood moon” is simply a colloquium, that man has come up with. The term “blood moon” in the scripture relates to one thing and only one thing. And what is that? Well, if you look at the book of Joel, if you look at the book of Revelation and chapter six, it speaks to one thing. And that is yes, the coming of God’s wrath, not some Mati event, not something that’s going to fill all the newspapers, but one specific thing. The sun will turn dark. The moon will turn to blood before the coming of the day of the Lord, before the wrath of God begins to fall.

Speaker 2:

And we need to understand something. God has promised us, for example, in first Thessalonians chapter five in verse nine, that we have not been appointed for wrath, but to obtain salvation. But as I’ve said, many times, we have not been appointed for wrath, but as we’re going to see, especially next week in our study, believers can go through great amount of persecution. Not the wrath of God, but satanic persecution. That’s shouldn’t surprise us, because Messiah says, “They persecuted me. They’ll persecute you. That is us.” They hated him. They’re going to hate us. We’re going to find that in the last days, there’s going to be great suffering for ones faith. Why is that? Well, that’s what we’re going to see in a moment.

Speaker 2:

But look again, he began to teach them verse five. He says, “Look that no one might deceive you.” Now, we’re not talking here… And this is important. We’re not talking about a salvation context. He’s not talking about someone being able to deceive you and cause you to fail so you lose your salvation. No such thing. What he’s talking about here is robbing us of a godly testimony. Robbing us from being a godly witness, to bring other people into the truth that they might look to us and see the confidence that we have. Now, why are we going to have confidence? Well keep reading in this passage, verse six. He says, “Now many is going to come in my name, that is in the name of the Messiah, and say that I am now here again.”

Speaker 2:

Many scriptures they want to add a word, “That I am he”. But it’s talking about is “I am”. And you know the significance of that phrase. It’s talking about those who will come saying that they are, God, God-appointed, that they are divine leaders and such. And it says that they’re going to make no mistake about it. That they are going to deceive many. Not talking about a salvation, but talking about a proper conduct. We’re called in the midst of these things to be a people. That can speak truth, to give illumination, insight to others. And why do I say that? Well, look, if you would to verse seven. He says, “When you hear of wars and rumors of war.”

Speaker 2:

Now, what we’re speaking about in verses seven and eight is events. Things that are going to take place that is going to bring instability into the world. And the world is going to be at panic. They’re going to be confused. They’re going to be fearful. And what should our response be? Well, look again, verse seven. He says, “When you hear of wars and rumors of war”, that means there is going to be many wars. And there’s going to be many other places where war is very close to breaking out. War is a fearful thing. It is a hard thing. And what does he say? He tells us, “Do not fear”. Why?

Speaker 2:

Middle of verse seven. “Because these things must be.” Now, do a good study of this word. It’s the word “de” in Greek, meaning “its absolutely necessary”. And many people, they read that and they conclude something that they ought not. And that is that it’s God’s will to bring about war. And they put this upon his character, his attributes, saying what type of God is it that would allow war and bring war about? But understand the implications to it.

Speaker 2:

What does God want? God wants your attention. God wants your obedience. God wants you to respond to him. And the problem is that when people are in tranquility, prosperity, everything’s Shangrila, what happens? They don’t think about God. So because God knows what’s best for you is to give your life to him, that you focus upon his truth in order to capture your attention. Oftentimes troubles, afflictions, hardships, come your way. He’s not the cause of them, but he allows them to be. And in that same way, in order to capture the attention of all the world, he’s going to allow there to be wars and rumors of war they need to be. But understand, he says at the end of verse seven, “But the end is not then.” There’s some other things, not just wars and rumors of war, but look on to verse eight.

Speaker 2:

For… Now, most Bibles say, “Nation will rise against nation. Kingdom against kingdom.” Now that’s similar, “Nation and kingdom”, but it doesn’t say “nation”. It says the word “ethnos”, is where we get the English word ethnicity. And what do we see today? We see many conflicts, many people being savagely put to death, not because of some border conflict, but because of who they are, one race, one ethnicity fighting with another. And that’s happening more than it’s ever happened in this world. And it’s a sign that we’re growing near.

Speaker 2:

So it says ethnicity will struggle, will fight will war against ethnicity and kingdom, that is nation or empire against nation or empire. And he says that there will be earthquakes in many places. And there’s an increase in earthquakes in our day. And one of the outcomes of earthquakes, well, think about a few years ago in Haiti, that country still is far from recovery. All the hardship, the death, the disease and the famine. And that’s what it says here. There’s going to be earthquakes in many places and there’s going to be famines.

Speaker 2:

But what? Finally, end of verse eight. “But these are just the beginning of the birth pangs”. Now, why does he use that term? Well, my wife, we have three children. Labor is not pleasant. And why would she… Maybe the first time she was unaware of how painful it was going to be, but she did it the second time and third time, not because labor became easier, it was less painful, but because of a purpose. And that is the child, that was the result. And in that same way, he uses this term “birth pangs”, to tell us that you have to go through these hardships, but there’s a purpose for it. It’s not to go through it so that you can birth air, but to give birth to a child. And in this, we find that these birth pangs, as terrible as they are, they are necessary for the kingdom to be established in people’s hearts. So people will respond to the truth of the living God.

Speaker 2:

Well, my time is out. May God richly bless you until we press on, into Mark chapter 13 next week.

Speaker 1:

Well, we hope you will benefit from today’s message and share it with others. Please plan to join us each week at this time and on this channel for our broadcast of LoveIsrael.org. Again, to find out more about us, please visit our website, LoveIsrael.org. There you will find articles and numerous other lectures by Baruch. These teachings are in video form. You may download them or watch them in streaming video. Until next week, may the Lord bless you in our Messiah Yeshua, that is Jesus. As you walk with him, Shalom from Israel.

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