The Ravings of a Madman! #10

Sunday, October 16, 2022

“And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself” (Mark 3:20,21 KJV).

Who here is “beside himself?” Why has this designation been applied?

Saints, as we manage our lives and ministries, we must (!) remember our loyalty is solely to the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not follow preachers, denominations, or theological systems. We are not here to share “feel-good messages” so everyone will love and praise us. Our Lord Jesus conducted His life and earthly ministry to think like and serve Father God (John 8:28,29). He was not here to please people. Likewise, we are to be about Father God’s will, thinking like He does, walking by faith in His rightly divided Scriptures—regardless of what any fellow humans say or think about us. What is of ultimate importance is Heavenly Father’s assessment of us.

This is precisely how the Holy Spirit caused our Apostle Paul to view his life and ministry: “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God(1 Corinthians 4:3-5).

Let them belittle us: we need not their applause anyway. Let them abhor us: we need not their love anyway. Let them kill us: we need not their world anyway. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1,2). If we have the renewed mind, we are truly not the madmen! 🙂

The Ravings of a Madman! #9

Saturday, October 15, 2022

“And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself” (Mark 3:20,21 KJV).

Who here is “beside himself?” Why has this designation been applied?

Christendom’s prevailing spiritual insanity is the false notion that a system of rules and regulations will bring victorious Christian living. First Timothy chapter 1: “[5] Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: [6] From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; [7] Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm [encourage, support]. [8] But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; [9] Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, [10] For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; [11] According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.”

In their lunacy, legalists—“understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm” (verse 8)—force people under the law system when it cannot give anyone a right standing before God. It can only point people to Christ the Saviour (Galatians 3:24,25). When we place ourselves and others under a performance-based acceptance system (obey to receive a blessing, failure results in a curse), this is legalism, the law system being contrary to the grace system. Understanding the Scriptures “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:15), we recognize we live in this “the Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:1). “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid [God protest, may God never let that happen!]” (Romans 6:14,15).

To avoid spiritual craziness, we must not only be Scriptural but dispensational too….

The Ravings of a Madman! #8

Friday, October 14, 2022

“And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself” (Mark 3:20,21 KJV).

Who here is “beside himself?” Why has this designation been applied?

Porcius Festus (Roman Governor of Judaea) and King Herod Agrippa II heard the Apostle Paul’s testimony in Acts chapter 26. As Saul of Tarsus, some two decades prior, Paul had led Israel’s rebellion against Jesus Christ: “[9] I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. [10] Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. [11] And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad [insane, crazy, lunatic] against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.” Saul had oppressed Israel’s believing remnant in chapters 7–9. Like his unbelieving nation, he had no renewed mind—but that all changed in chapter 9 when he met and trusted the ascended Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour (Acts 26:12-23)!

While listening to Paul’s testimony, Festus responded like any lost or natural man: “And as he [Paul] thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself [crazy]; much learning doth make thee mad [lunatic] (Acts 26:24). Paul was certainly an educated man (see Acts 22:3), but the Holy Spirit was also speaking through him so as to convict Festus. Festus’ human intellect, fallen and insane, was unable to make sense of God’s wisdom: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned [judged, evaluated]” (1 Corinthians 2:14). Hence, non-Christians find it impossible to understand God’s words that we speak.

Yet, if we are not careful, even we Christians can actually rave like madmen, falling into the trap of true spiritual lunacy ourselves….

The Ravings of a Madman! #7

Thursday, October 13, 2022

“And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself” (Mark 3:20,21 KJV).

Who here is “beside himself?” Why has this designation been applied?

Although Christ healed all sorts of ailments and disabilities during His earthly ministry, one particular class of afflicted people He delivered was “those which were lunatick” (Matthew 4:24). In Matthew chapter 17, verse 15, there is a devil-possessed man who is also “lunatic;” Jesus healed him too (verses 14-21). While these are literal, historical cases, the mature Bible student will appreciate the striking symbolism.

As the Holy Spirit afforded him the ability to see into the future, Moses stated the following concerning his nation in the ages to come: “Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee” (Deuteronomy 32:18). Israel is not thinking like the LORD God designed her to think. She has been careless in remembering the Rock that gave birth to her coming out of Egypt. What has happened is she has pushed aside the Hebrew Scriptures entrusted to her (see Romans 3:1,2), and thought about anything and everything else—that is, all the beliefs and practices of the nations’ religions. Preoccupied with worthless information, she is now in Satan’s trap, and God’s purpose and plan for the earth cannot come to pass because His earthly people are willfully ignorant of His will for them and words to them. This continued for several centuries, all the way to Christ’s earthly ministry.

By curing those with mental illness, Christ in His earthly ministry was proving to Israel how He could heal her spiritual insanity. After all, He was preaching the very words that could educate them in Father God’s will. The miraculous demonstrations (miracles) they would see and hear would confirm whatever words or truths Father God wished to teach them. If they believed His message and esteemed His works, then they would no longer be ignorant of their Creator’s purpose and plan for them. Such spiritual insanity continues throughout the world today, including in Christendom….

The Ravings of a Madman! #6

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

“And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself” (Mark 3:20,21 KJV).

Who here is “beside himself?” Why has this designation been applied?

Read Luke 6:6-11 in your own Bible. When religious, but lost, Israel watched Christ heal a man’s right hand that was “withered” (deformed, dry, lacking bodily fluids, shrunken), they responded negatively because it was the Sabbath Day. The rabbis taught that medical aid was not to be rendered on the Sabbath unless for life-threatening conditions. In their confused minds, Jesus should have healed that crippled hand the day prior or day after. Verse 11: “And they were filled with madness [lunacy/craziness]; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.” Instead of connecting this Sabbath miracle with the Sabbath rest of God’s future earthly kingdom—thereby failing to appreciate this miracle that validated the Gospel of the Kingdom—they plan Christ’s murder (Matthew 12:14; Mark 3:6)!

As Jesus is nailed to Calvary’s cross after three years of earthly ministry, utterly rejected of His own people, He cries out in Luke 23:34: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Israel is spiritually insane, murdering their innocent Messiah because they think He is a criminal. The nation has been completely given over to the spiritual darkness they have preferred (see John 12:37-50). Peter the Apostle, preaching after Christ’s resurrection, says to his fellow Jewish people, “And now, brethren, I wot [understand] that through ignorance ye did it [refused and killed the Prince of life, verses 13-15], as did also your rulers” (Acts 3:17).

If a man is accused of being “beside himself,” the imagery conjured is that he is standing in one place but his mind is standing off to his side. He is isolated from his wits (mental faculties). Unbelieving Israel “diagnosed” Jesus as such in today’s Scripture (cf. John 10:20). Dismissing Him as “mentally ill” was the only way they could account for His extraordinary words and conduct. Actually, nothing was wrong with Him. They were lunatic, dead in their trespasses and sins, totally unable to welcome Almighty God’s wisdom and work….

The Ravings of a Madman! #5

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

“And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself” (Mark 3:20,21 KJV).

Who here is “beside himself?” Why has this designation been applied?

Apostate Israel, not Jesus Christ, is really the madman. So as to appreciate the depths of their spiritual lunacy, we consult the Apostle John that he inform us in chapter 8 of his Gospel Record: “[31] Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; [32] And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. [33] They [not the believers of verse 31, but the unbelieving Pharisees of verse 13] answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?”

Their answer was strange, to say the least! Whereas Jesus spoke of freeing people, some in His audience denied they were ever enslaved to anyone. Why this is utterly absurd is simple: they are in bondage to the Roman government at that very moment, with the Roman soldiers patrolling their land (Matthew 8:5; Luke 7:6), their taxes going to Roman emperors (Luke 2:1-5; Luke 3:1), their fear of losing their clout and position to aggravated Roman officials (John 11:47,48), and their political inability to carry out the death penalty unless they appeal first to the Roman Governor of Judaea (John 18:29-32).

Of course, however, these Jewish people would never admit how God had given them to Gentile dominion because of their national sins centuries prior (Daniel chapter 2). They were slaves to Rome because they were slaves to sin—and, to their eternal detriment, they overlooked both problems. Jesus announced to them, “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do…” (John 8:43,44). It is offensive, yes, but it is true.

Let us see unbelieving Israel’s spiritual mental illness found elsewhere in Scripture….

The Ravings of a Madman! #4

Monday, October 10, 2022

“And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself” (Mark 3:20,21 KJV).

Who here is “beside himself?” Why has this designation been applied?

Quoting Messiah seven centuries in advance, the Prophet Isaiah penned in chapter 50 of the Book that bears his name: “[4] The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. [5] The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. [6] I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.”

When Christ Jesus conducted His earthly ministry, He did so according to what He had studied and believed in the Hebrew Bible (our Old Testament Scriptures). His Father was speaking to Him through these words, and, as a faithful and obedient Son, He listened to those words and lived according to them. He was “about [His] Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). “…I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things” (John 8:28). The words Christ said and the works He did, were to fulfill Bible prophecy (for example, compare Isaiah 61:1,2 with Luke 4:16-21). Had Israel been walking by faith in these very Scriptures, they would have recognized and accepted Jesus as their promised Messiah/Christ.

Since Jesus Christ had a “renewed mind” (thinking like Father God), but they did not (they were thinking like “father” Satan; John 8:44), they failed to value what He was doing and saying among them for those three years. They supposed that listening to Him was a complete waste of time (see John 10:20): “Why pay attention to that nutcase, that loon, that mentally-unstable person?!” Again, in actuality, it was just the opposite. They were the crazy ones, and they themselves were expressing the ravings of a madman….

The Ravings of a Madman! #3

Sunday, October 9, 2022

“And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself” (Mark 3:20,21 KJV).

Who here is “beside himself?” Why has this designation been applied?

Read the context of today’s Scripture: “[7] But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea, [8] And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him. [9] And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng [swarm, trample, stampede] him. [10] For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues.”

Christ ordains His 12 Apostles in verses 13-19; “And they went into an house” (verse 19). We now reach today’s Scripture: “And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.” The sense of, “And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself,” is something like this: “We had better go restrain and detain ‘crazy’ Jesus and bring Him back to where we can supervise Him, lest He get into further ‘trouble.’ These crowds will not leave Him alone [see verse 20]. His ‘mental illness’ allows others to take advantage of Him. We need to take Him home.” To state it another way, their only explanation for Christ’s “unconventional” conduct is He has lost His mind! (With such “friends,” does Jesus need enemies?!) Rather, these “friends” (HA!) of Christ should have rejoiced: “Praise God all these masses are coming to the Lord! They appreciate God’s wisdom as spoken by Christ!”

Later, in John 10:20: “And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad [lunatic]; why hear ye him?” Again, the Lord Jesus is insulted as a “madman.” No, He is not crazy. They are….

The Ravings of a Madman! #2

Saturday, October 8, 2022

“And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself” (Mark 3:20,21 KJV).

Who here is “beside himself?” Why has this designation been applied?

Observe Ephesians chapter 4: “[17] This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, [18] Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: [19] Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness [rampant/wild/unrestrained acts], to work all uncleanness with greediness.” Like Romans 1:18-32, this is the description of the world’s nations ever since the Tower of Babel 4,000 years ago.

While the LORD God was dealing with and imparting spiritual light to Israel (Romans 2:17-24; Romans 3:1,2; Romans 9:3-5), He had given the Gentiles (non-Jews) over to Satan and sin’s darkness (Acts 14:15-17; Acts 17:22-31; Ephesians 2:11,12). That was “time past.” However, with the “but now,” the Apostle Paul’s ministry, salvation and blessing from Israel’s God were now going to the Gentiles without Israel’s national conversion and without her rise to kingdom glory (see Romans 11:11-14; cf. Isaiah 60:1-3).

Paul’s converts, including the saints in Ephesus, were to no longer think and live like lost people because they no longer were lost people. They were now fellowshipping with the one true God through Jesus Christ’s heavenly ministry (Paul’s ministry). Ephesians chapter 4 resumes: “[20] But ye have not so learned Christ; [21] If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: [22] That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; [23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; [24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

That evil world system to which lost Gentiles belong, Israelites during Christ’s earthly ministry had allowed it to contaminate their own nation, causing Israel to have a negative view of Jesus Christ Himself (today’s Scripture)….

The Ravings of a Madman! #1

Friday, October 7, 2022

“And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself” (Mark 3:20,21 KJV).

Who here is “beside himself?” Why has this designation been applied?

Throughout the last 20 centuries, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have been ridiculed (and even tortured, imprisoned, and murdered!) for their alleged “craziness.” It is not uncommon for the lost family members and friends of new Christians to reply even now, “What in the world happened to you?! You have completely lost it, you are totally flipped out, you are utterly fanatical!

Imagine the pious lady who walked to her local “church” every day for 30 years before finally realizing she was in a cult and headed for Hell. Someone told her about the Gospel of Grace, she trusted it, and how bizarre it was that she never again visited her long-time “assembly.” (True story!) Consider the former marijuana-plant grower now talking about the Lord Jesus Christ. Friends and relatives could not fathom such a change. (True story!) Think of the woman who, having just trusted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour, was so excited to share that good news with her religious—but unsaved—mother. Content to be lost, the mother exclaimed, “Stop talking about ‘God’ so much!” (True story!) Imagine the man who met an old classmate after many years apart: when she asked what he had done with his life, he replied that he was a pastor, so she rejoined in disbelief, “You?!” (True story!) Think of the drunkard couple, once dead in trespasses and sins, now alive in Christ and sober—their relatives stunned at the reversal. (True story!)

When the God of the Bible is at work in souls, people look and act differently. The change is unmistakable. Their thoughts and conduct show improvement; they bear no resemblance to what they used to be. To unregenerate people, they appear to be lunatic, mad, crazy, insane (their minds left behind). If we happen to be labeled as such, so be it….