Keeping Close

You combine the Word of God and prayer and you’ll come out with knowledge and power.


Scripture: Mark 12:24, II Timothy 1:7, Romans 1:16, Ephesians 3:20

Transcript

Alright, thank you very much and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? This is your friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you and we’re looking at Mark chapter 12. If you have a chance to turn to the Word of God, that helps you to look at the text as well as listen. Of course if you’re driving to work or something, you better keep your eyes on the road and just open your ears and your heart for whatever the Spirit of God may drop in as you go. So many people have written to say that the broadcast helps them get ready for their work day. Teachers and professional people, office workers and home makers and laborers and all sorts of folks, truck drivers my I thank God that that’s so. I’m so glad that whatever God says through my throat because the Holy Spirit of God indwells the believer, I’m so glad that whatever God says does a good job in somebody’s heart. That’s an answer to prayer. If you ever think of me you just pray that that process might continue would you? I want to spill over blessings as long as I am able.

We are in the 12th chapter of Mark and now they are coming to Him from a different direction, coming to our Lord from a different direction. Said they come the Sadducees which say there is no resurrection, here you have a theological group. First you had the ultra-nationalists and then the Herodian’s the pragmatic people who wanted to cooperate with Rome. Now the Sadducees were a theological division. No resurrection. And they asked Him, now they are going to see if they can catch Him. “Master, Moses wrote unto us if a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed,” — that is descendants for his brother. “Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died and left no seed. The second died and neither left he any seed and the third. And the seven and so on. All seven had married her and last of all, the woman died also”. Well at that point I should think she would. She would be tired enough of all those men, wouldn’t she? Ha haha. Well they said, “In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be? For the seven had her to wife”.

Alright, now Jesus said, “Do you not therefore err, because ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are as the angels which are in Heaven. And as touching the dead, that they rise.”

Now He’s going to get them on their own ground, He says you folk are arguing about the resurrection. Anyway He says, “Have ye not read in the book of Moses in the bush how God spake unto Moses and said I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, He’s not the God of the dead but the god of the living you do therefore greatly error”. Now He says you err because you don’t know the Scriptures, you are in error because you don’t know the power of God and you are in error because you don’t know that God is the God of the living. These are the three things He said to them, you want to think about that with me for a moment?

Error comes primarily because people refuse to read and study the Word of God. They follow their feelings, you know there was a popular song some years ago “it must be alright because it feels so right” well a thing can feel right and lead you right straight to the grave. So there are so many I think today who are just in all sorts of problem areas because they don’t read and study the Word of God. The Scriptures are very plain on matters over which many people seem to argue and the error comes because they don’t know the Word of God. Dr. James M. Gray who was President of the Moody Bible Institute when I went there as a boy, used to say, I remember so clearly, he used to say master what the Bible says, you’ll have very little trouble with what it means. Master what the Bible says and you’ll have very little trouble with what it means. You get the truth of the Word of God clearly fixed in your mind and you will have varying points from which to reason and to decide and to guide your pathway through life. You know not the Scriptures; ignorance of the Word of God is the first step toward getting in trouble. Now how do you get to know the Scriptures? You want to think about that for just a moment?

Number one read them. You take a book of the Bible and you read it through again and again and again. Start with the Gospel of John for example. And then read the Gospel of John through once and then again then again and then again. In repeated readings of the Word of God you will find that these various truths fix themselves in your mind and you get an overview of the Book that you wouldn’t get in piece meal, cafeteria style reading. Smorgasbord study the Bible may be good but it isn’t good enough. So read the Word of God. Read it seriatim, read it through. Read a Book of the Bible and repeat it. Romans, Mark, some of these other great books of the Bible, read them, re-read them until you have saturated your mind with the truths of the Book and I’ll clue you in on something, you’ll find something new and thrilling every time you repeat your reading of that particular Book of the Bible. You won’t get bored, don’t worry. You won’t get bored; there will be something new and thrilling every time.

What else, memorize portions of God’s Word. You’ll find as you read the Book, any given Book of the Bible that there are verses there that are particularly precious and interesting and challenging. Mark them and then come back to them and memorize them. I learned from the Navigators that the best way to memorize is by putting the location of the verse first and afterwards. Say the location and then say the verse and then the location again. II Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7 see? That’s the way you do it, memorize them alright?

And then meditate on the Word of God. What does that mean? Think about it, chew it over, think about what God has said. Think about it until your mind has had a chance to chew on it and turn it over and look at it and consider the implications of the truth and then pray about it. One of the best ways to get blessed on God’s Word is to pray the truth back to God. This Lord is what you have said to me and pray it back to God and then share it with somebody as soon as you can that day. Whenever the Lord blesses you with something, share it with someone. You don’t have to preach to them, just spill over like you would a brand new recipe for an apple pie, whatever, just spill it over out of the interest of your heart. Share it with someone. That’s how to get to know the Scriptures.

Study of course, you study subjects, you study biographies, you study the lives of people, you study the great movements of history as revealed in the Bible, you study the prophetic Scriptures to see what God was prophesizing and how He fulfilled His prophesies, you study the great doctrines of the Christian church so you get to know what Christians believe. Know the Scriptures all these different ways to get to know your Bible and you’ll stay out of error. Stick to the Word of God, don’t worry about what Dr. Blow says about it, you know some learned Doctor who has an opinion about the Bible, forget it, study your Bible and know what the Bible says and live your life on that basis.

Now in the second half of Mark 12:24 “He said, Do you not therefore err because you know not the Scriptures neither the power of God.” Here’s the other source of error, you have to balance these things out. To emphasize the Scriptures without God’s power is to get off into Phariseeism and to emphasize the power without the Scriptures is to get off into fanaticism. Sensate religion leads to error inevitably but so does cold hearted intellectualism. Either way, you have to balance them out.

So he says the power of God. What do we mean when we say the power of God? Well, the Gospel is the power of God unto Salvation everyone that believeth Romans 1:16 and Ephesians 3:20 God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us. Power that you might be strengthened with might according to His glorious power. Ephesians, the power of God, what is it? It’s power to save, power to keep, power to accomplish, power to live for God, power.
You want to know something about that? Where do you get the power? In prayer. You get an experience of God’s power in prayer. You combine the Word of God and prayer and you’ll come out with knowledge and power. Now if that seems overly simple, let it be. Some of my faculty throughout the years have said “Cook, you’re too simplistic” well, maybe that’s so, but some of the most profound truths are quite simple. Has anyone ever plumbed the depths of the three words I love you? Ha ha, have you gotten to the end of that yet? No, you haven’t. God is love? No. You know, some of the most profound truths are quite simple.

Someone asked a great theologian was it Karl Barth or somebody like that, asked what was the greatest thought he ever had and he thought a moment and then he said Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so. Very simple but deeply profound. So don’t worry about it being simple, combine the Bible and prayer and you get knowledge and power and you are kept in the process from error. Isn’t that great? Now the other thing He said they didn’t know was that God is the God of the living and that applies directly to you and to me as well as to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Yes He’s the God of the living, they are still alive. Abraham is still alive, Isaac is still alive, Jacob is still alive yonder in the presence of God. He’s the God of the living but He’s also the God of you and of me. He’s the God, now you name your name here, what’s your name? He’s the God of, you put your name in there. He’s the God of Bob Cook. Put your name in there. He is alive and so are you and there is a dynamic relationship between the two of you because Jesus died and rose again. Let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need says the writer to the Hebrews. There is a dynamic powerful relationship between you and the God who made and who runs the universe because of our Lord Jesus Christ and because of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God who indwells the believer. Do you know that today?

See one of the sources of error is that people are not acquainted with the indwelling power of God. They grub along doing their best, learning their best, saying their best, going through the motions but He says you don’t know the power of God and you don’t know that He’s the God of the living. He can be your God at the ten o’clock of a Tuesday morning, yes He can. He can be your God at two o’clock of a Thursday afternoon when everything has fallen in pieces and you’re about to break up. God is still on the throne, Hallelujah.

I used to go on the air at seven o’clock in the mornings back in 1935 and I sang in those days, can you believe it? I had a theme song ha ha aren’t you glad I don’t sing now?God is Still on the Throne”, that was the song I would come on singing. “God is still on the throne. He never forsaketh His own, though burdens oppress us and trials distress us, He never will leave us alone. His promise is true, He will not forget you. God is still on the throne”. Well I believe it today just as I did a good many years ago. God is still on the throne. He is the God of the living. Trust Him beloved, He’ll see you through.

Dear Father in Jesus name may we be close to the Word of God and close to Thee as we live our lives for thy glory in His name, Amen.

Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!



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