“MARK AND AVOID”

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20151106_222938A pleasant good morning to you and for all the good gifts around us to lift up our hands and head to heaven and say thank you Lord for another day. My brothers and sisters in the Lord and The Mystical Order this is the day that the Lord has allowed us to live and continue to serve Him in the beauty of Holiness. Today we want to look at a unique portion of scripture from the book of Paul’s writing to the Church in Rome.

Romans 16:17-18

There can be no doubt that Christians are commanded to “mark and avoid” certain members of the church. It is practised very little in the overall picture, I am sorry to say. Churches which choose to ignore the command will pay a price for their neglect on down the line, even in this life. Ask me about it and I will tell you the price for going softly on situations that warrant the very harsh measures. It is not pleasant for Christians to “mark and avoid” at the moment; so we have a tendency to ignore the divine instruction. We trade immediate relief for future disaster. We are commanded to “mark” both the bad and the good. Let us now consider the following passages.

“Mark” The Evil Ones
(Romans 16:17-18) “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”

The word “mark” means “to look at, behold, watch, contemplate;” which is used metaphorically of “looking too.” It is used (Romans 16:17) of a warning against those who cause divisions, and in (Philippians 3:17) of observing those who walk uprightly that Christians might choose to walk after the example of the apostle and his fellow workers. In (Luke 11:35) You are warned to take heed and do not let your light be overtaken with darkness.

The word “avoid” means, “to turn away from, to turn aside, turning away from those who cause offences and occasions of stumbling, turning away from division makers and terrorists.” It seems that we are enjoined to keep out of their way and not fall in with them. Shun them, having nothing to do with them. It appears to me that this would pretty much demand absolute avoidance. The reason is obvious. If a quarrelsome person is left to herself she will soon have nobody with which to quarrel.

The church had not been in existence very long when false teachers entered the scene. (Acts 15:1) “And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, {and said}, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.” Paul called them “false brethren.” (Galatians 2:4) “And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage.” In fact, the books of Galatians and II Corinthians were written in part to counteract their poisonous doctrine. It seems these false teachers were working for their own sensual aggrandizement, they served their own belly. In all likelihood they would be coming to Rome with their “missionary zeal,” but not with “missionary love.” Their smooth and fair speech could easily beguile the hearts of the innocent. Paul is calling for a strong, sharp, unhesitating stroke to take the wind out of their sails. These false teachers were sometimes zealous in their disruptive work because of their jealousy of God’s accepted leaders. Whatever their motive, they are very destructive of God’s cause. I want the members of This Mystical Order to look out for the wolves that approach.They will not stop until they achieve their goals. Here me now that God will ever allow His children to be destroyed by the enemy.

I am sure you have observed that the first passages under consideration deal with “false teachers.” But, what about those who otherwise “walk disorderly?” “For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.” (II Thessalonians 3:11) Verse (14) gives the answer: “And if any man obeys not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.” Regardless of whether it be a false teacher, or one among us who walks disorderly, or one who has chosen to sever fellowship form us and is in sin, the action should be the same. We must “note” them, “mark and avoid” them. “Marking” starts with the public announcement of their spiritual demise. “Avoiding” is how we react to them in the days that follow. Both of these take great courage. 

Mark The Good Ones
In (Philippians 3:17) Paul writes, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example.” “Mark” here means to fix the attention on and is used in order to imitate. In (Romans 16:17) it is used in order to “avoid.” Paul says,  “Brethren be followers together of me.” In (I Corinthians 11:1) he adds, “as I also am of Christ.” Christians are to pick out men and women in the church who are worthy of imitation and make “note” of them. We are to “mark” those good examples for our encouragement. It is regrettable, but some focus on the “failures” in the church rather than the “successes.” Let us remember the advice of the Psalmist. “Mark the blameless (man), and observe the upright; For the future of (that) man (is) peace.” (Psalms 37:37).

What keeps us from obeying the Lord’s commands to “mark” good men among the saints to be heroes? Most of the time it is because our values are misplaced. What keeps us from obeying the Lord’s command to “mark and avoid” wicked brethren? Sometimes, relatives are involved. On occasions, close friends are involved. It may even include someone with financial power and we are afraid of the effect on us. But, brethren, when all our excuses are given, God’s instructions are still there. We need the attitude of Peter and the rest of the apostles who said, “We ought to obey God rather than men,” (Acts 5:29).

I thank you for reading and sharing with me the word of God in these days. I pray that you take these words seriously and walk according to your vocation. Hear O, children of The Mystical Order, the Lord our God is one Lord. Have a great day and may Almighty God bless and Keep you.

Your servant and brother,
+ Sir Godfrey Gregg
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
Administrator and Apostolic Head

Follow me on Twitter @ArchbishopGregg
@MysticPatriarch

Facebook Page The Mystical Order of Spiritual Baptist Inc
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Author: Godfrey Gregg

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