The Book of Mark
THE TWELVE SENT OUT TO PREACH
Text: MARK 6:7-13
1. Notice that in Mark 6:7, the Bible says, “And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two.” “The twelve” refers to the twelve apostles.
2. After the death of Judas Iscariot, they are referred to as “the eleven” or “the eleven disciples” or “the eleven apostles” (Matt. 28:16; Mark 16:14; Luke 24:9, 33; Acts 1:26; 2:14).
3. An apostle is someone who was sent forth by God. It was a special office. These men were chosen by God and “they were endued with sign gifts, miraculous powers which were the divine credentials of their office” (Scofield Bible, p. 1008).
4. There are no genuine apostles around today.
5. My message will be divided into three parts. The apostles cast out devils (6:7, 13), they preached that men should repent (6:12), and they healed the sick (6:13b).
I. THE APOSTLES CAST OUT DEVILS (6:7, 13).
1. As we study this message, we need to keep in mind that this was a transitional time in the early days of Christianity. Our Lord had just commissioned His apostles (cf. 3:14, 15).
2. The NT church is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph. 2:20).
3. But in Mark 6, the church had not yet been established. There were no officers, no Lord’s Supper, the Holy Spirit was not yet given, etc.
4. Today, no church would send missionaries off to a distant country with “no money in their purse” (Mark 6:8). If they did they would be irresponsible.
5. This was a temporary situation (cf. Luke 22:35, 36).
6. Second Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
7. Many people take Scripture out of its proper context and they go off the deep end. For example, they will read passages like Matthew 10:8, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give,” and claim that today all Christians should go out and raise the dead (Oral Roberts claims to have done this), as well as casting out devils and healing the sick, etc.
8. In a television show Benny Hinn told the audience, “I was in Ghana just recently – we had half a million people show up – and a man was raised from the dead on the platform. That’s a fact, people. A man was raised from the dead on the platform. We have it on video.”
9. A ministry named “IMPACT” asked Hinn’s television producer, Jeff Pittman, for a copy of the video, but they were told Hinn misspoke, and the cameras weren’t rolling at the time.
10. This is fraudulent nonsense, and gullible people are being deceived by crooked showmen like Benny Hinn. Why don’t these phony healers go visit the hospitals? (Answer: They cannot get a good offering there.)
11. For many years J. Vernon McGee offered $100 to anyone who would come forward and be able to prove that they were genuinely healed by a faith healer and not one person contacted him.
12. Many others have made similar offers. The whole charismatic tongues and healing movement is phony. It is helping to prepare people for the one-world church of antichrist. The RCC is full of people who experimented with this charismatic racket and are now back in bondage to Rome.
13. The apostles cast out devils, and there are many Christians who are casting out devils today, particularly in heathen lands. As America becomes more heathenistic we are seeing an increase of demonism here as well.
II. THE APOSTLES PREACHED THAT MEN SHOULD REPENT (6:12).
1. A pastor friend called me the other day and told me a sad story. A (former) friend of mine preached in his church and preached that men do not have to repent to be saved (cf. Luke 13:1-5; 24:47).
2. Spurgeon said, “Faith and repentance, like Siamese twins, are vitally joined together.”
3. That is why the apostle Paul said in Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
4. AC Dixon said, “In repentance you think of the sin you hate; in faith you think of the Christ you love.”
5. Repentance means a change of mind. This leads to a change in direction. The sinner was against God – at enmity with God – the wrath of God was abiding on him. But now he has repented! Now he has changed sides. Now he loves God and hates sin. Now he agrees with God.
6. RA Torrey said, “There surely is not the emphasis laid upon repentance in modern preaching that there is in the Bible.”
7. All of the OT prophets preached repentance.
8. John the Baptist preached repentance.
9. The Lord Jesus Christ preached repentance.
10. The apostle Paul preached repentance. And so did all of the other apostles (Mark 6:12).
11. If we want to see things happen like we see in the Gospels and in the book of Acts, we will have to go back to apostolic preaching. And apostolic preaching stressed repentance.
12. What we are seeing today is a departure from sound Bible doctrine. The last days will be marked by a stubborn refusal to repent (cf. Rev. 9:20, 21).
13. When people refuse to repent, we are to depart from them and “shake off the dust” from under our feet (Mark 6:11). Shaking dust off their feet was a Jewish custom that prevented heathen soil from being transported back to the Holy Land. By applying this custom to unbelieving Jews, our Lord was pointing out that they were just as bad as pagans. Or maybe even worse (6:11b)?
14. Those who rejected the apostles were rejecting Christ.
15. And those who reject us today are rejecting Christ. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
III. THE APOSTLES HEALED THE SICK (MARK 6:13).
1. In the Bible, sin and sickness are always linked together. Andrew Murray said, “Sin and sickness are as closely united as the body and the soul.”
2. Romans 5:12 says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
3. Sickness and death are the result of the fall.
4. Mark 6:13 says, “And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.”
5. In the Bible, oil was never used for the edification of the dying, but for the recovery of the sick (Mark 6:13; cf. Luke 10:33, 34; James 5:14).
6. In the Bible, oil is a symbol for the presence of the Holy Spirit.
7. Some preachers and some churches erroneously teach that Christ not only died for our sins, He also died for our diseases and sicknesses.
8. They point out that in Matthew 8:17, the Bible says Christ “took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”
9. They point out that Isaiah 53:5 says, “and with His stripes we are healed” and I Peter 2:24, which says, “by whose stripes ye were healed.”
10. The Bible speaks of physical healing (Mark 6:13) and it also talks of spiritual healing.
11. In Psalm 41:4, David says, “Heal my soul; for I have sinned against Thee.” David is speaking here of spiritual healing. This is healing of the soul, not the body.
12. Such healing is moral and spiritual, not physical. It is a cleansing from sin and the consciousness of it.
13. In Hosea 7:1, God says, “When I would have healed Israel…” The context indicates spiritual healing, not physical healing.
14. In Hosea 11:3, the Lord says, “but they knew not that I healed them.” When people are healed physically they know it. But oftentimes people are healed spiritually and they forget all about it!
15. In Hosea 14:4, God says, “I will heal their backsliding.” Backsliding is not a disease of the body – it is a spiritual disease. Backsliding was to be found in Israel, and unfortunately it may be found among professed Christians today (cf. Rev. 3:14-19).
16. Therefore, when the Bible says, “With His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5), the healing is not the healing of the body, but the healing of the sin-sick soul.
17. We often sing that beautiful Fanny Crosby song:
“Trusting only in Thy merit,
18. God does heal in answer to prayer (James 5:14-16), but it is not always God’s will to heal people (II Cor. 12:5-10).
19. Some of the godliest Christians (Fanny Crosby was blind) have suffered through life with various ailments.
20. After praying thrice, Paul stopped praying for healing and he humbly submitted to God’s will (it was not God’s will to heal Paul at this time). “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities…” (12:9).
21. We also have the case of Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25-30). “For indeed he was sick nigh unto death” (2:27, 30). Epaphroditus did not seek out a so-called “faith healer.” No miraculous healing took place.
22. Also consider Timothy. The apostle Paul wrote to him, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities” (I Tim. 5:23).
23. Paul wrote in II Timothy 4:20, “Trophimus have I left at Miletus sick.” Those who teach it is always God’s will to heal ignore these Scriptures.
1. There is a principle here in Mark 6:11 that is frequently overlooked. The Bible teaches that there are different degrees of punishment in hell.
2. Otherwise how could it be “more tolerable” for the wicked perverts in Sodom and Gomorrah than for those who rejected Christ?
3. We know God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen.19). We know the perverts from Sodom and Gomorrah are still suffering in eternal hellfire (Jude 7).
4. Therefore, those who hear the Gospel, and understand the Gospel, and yet reject the Gospel will suffer far more than the immoral perverts from Sodom and Gomorrah (cf. Matt. 11:20-30).