LESSON 1, FEBRUARY 20,
Mark's favorite word of transition is
probably "straightway" (19 times) or immediately (17 times),"
both of which translate the same Greek word, "eutheos." Mark
twice uses "forthwith" to advance his narrative.
But in our verse "so then" is selected by the
Holy Spirit to bring this great Gospel to its conclusion.
"So" is spelled "men" in Greek and means
"indeed" 22 times in the New Testament and "verily" more 14
times and "truly" 12 times as well.
"Then" is "nun" in Greek and carries the idea
of "therefore" 263 times and "wherefore" ... plus "then" 197
Mark is preparing us for his last few
Once Jesus had finished his Ministry, words
and deeds, He returned to Heaven.
The chain of words, the string, I mean "so
then," occurs 17 times in Scripture. However, at times one
sentence ends with "so" and the next begins with "then."
Paul is the champion of this terminology,
using it a dozen times. Hear the logic of the great Apostle.
Mark, even with his last "so then," is still
affirming the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ!
He is all He said Himself to be!
The preposition "after," which is "meta" in
Greek, is used here adverbially. It tells us "when" Jesus Jesus
ascended into Heaven.
Mark here calls Jesus "Lord," just Lord!
The One who has absolute control!
I realize that at times in Greek/Roman
culture "lord" could simply be a substitute for "sir." Just a
term of respect. But that is not how Mark is using it here.
The verb "had spoken" is "laleo" used as an
aorist infinitive in the active voice. If Jesus' precise words
were in view here, Mark probably world have used the verb "lego."
Here Jesus' voice and inflection and mannerisms are included
too! This is likely eyewitness information! The aorist sense of
time indicates that Jesus' first coming to earth is under
consideration here. When He comes again, He will have much more
We have so far had a concise summary of our
Lord's Ministry. For the full Story one must read Mark 1:1
through Mark 16:18.
"So then after the Lord
had spoken unto them ...." Mark 16:19a
The "them," the addressees, are the
disciples. Not just the Twelve, but all the Believers with Jesus
that last day! "Autois" is the dative plural personal pronoun
that Mark used.
Blessed ears, those that heard the words of
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 2, FEBRUARY 21,
Mark records the last minutes of Jesus on
earth, after His Resurrection I mean. "So
then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up
into heaven." Mark 16:19
As you know, Jesus being "received up" into
Heaven is called the Ascension. The verb translated here is "analambano"
and indeed means "to take" or even "to get hold of" something or
someone. The prefix "ana" can and often does mean "up" as a
direction. This specific verb shows the determined effort to
bring Jesus back to Heaven rests on God's part. It is then a
passive verb. Jesus was ascended to Glory!
Here's how Luke records the Ascension:
"And he led them out as far as to Bethany,
and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to
pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and
carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him ...."
Surprisingly, neither Matthew nor John record
this great event! Maybe Matthew, who presents Jesus as the
Divine King, leaves Him on earth where He some day will rule and
reign! And John, who reveals Jesus as God, very God of very God,
sees Christ as omni-present, everywhere at once, anyway. His
immediate location being not all that significant then!
However, Luke again tells us about Jesus'
ascending to Heaven in Acts 1:9-11. "And
when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken
up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they
looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men
stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of
Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus,
which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like
manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."
Jesus was definitely received up "into"
heaven! "Eis," when used with an accusative case object as here,
means "in, at, on, by, near or among," whichever best fits the
context. Jesus did not just go "near" Heaven ... but "into" it!
He's there right now, in the "midst," in the very heart of the
The Old Testament even "hints" at Jesus'
Ascension I believe. In Psalm 47, while God is being celebrated
and worshipped as King of all the earth, these words are penned:
"God is gone up with a shout, the LORD
with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises:
sing praises unto our King, sing praises."
There was shouting when Jesus got "Home!"
When the Saviour "went up" into Glory!
Someone grabbed the Trumpet and blew it
forcefully and victoriously!
Then creation erupted into singing, glorious
What great prophecy this is!
Messianic to the core!
But wait a minute, did I not just read in
Acts that ... "this same Jesus, which is
taken up from you into heaven, shall so come
in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."
He is coming back just like He went away to
Then, according to psalm 47, get ready!
When He returns, riding that white horse of
victory, there will be shouting!
And, oh yes, singing!
Praises to his Name!
We do not preach enough about these two great
Jesus' Ascension ... when He went away to
And His Revelation ... when He returns to
One history, one prophecy!
One past, one future!
But ... both are absolutely certain!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 3, FEBRUARY 22,
Our Text tells us that Jesus, having ascended
to Heaven, "sat on the right hand of God."
Psalm 110:1 prophesies this event, saying:
"The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at
my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool."
God the Father is talking to God the Son here!
The Greek verb Mark uses, "kathizo," means to
tarry or to continue or to be "set," as well as the physical act
Jesus is not going anywhere ... until He
returns to earth to catch us away at the Rapture! He will remain
at His Father's right hand.
The expression "right hand" is lovely. "Dexios"
means literally "the right side" of anything, as opposed to any
other side. Hence, right hand. It is founded upon the verbal
root "dechomai" which means "to receive!" Or "to accept!"
Usually in Scripture the "right hand" is the
hand of power and strength. It is also the side on which the
most honored guest sits at a banquet, just right of the host! I
found 167 times that the Bible uses that term, "right hand."
Most of the time it is just a direction, but a few times it is
God right hand is the hand of victory!
"Thy right hand, O LORD, is become
glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces
the enemy." Exodus 15:16 Then ...
"O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous
things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the
victory." Psalm 98:1
The right hand symbolizes faithfulness too.
"Ye shall observe to do therefore as the
LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the
right hand or to the left." Deuteronomy 5:32
It is the place of honor too!
"Bathsheba therefore went unto king
Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to
meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his
throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and
she sat on his right hand." 2nd Kings 2:19
Jesus, in one of the greatest Messianic
Psalms of all, said: "Thou wilt shew me
the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at
thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
The right hand saves! "Shew
thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right
hand them which put their trust in thee from those that
rise up against them." Psalm 17:7
God's right hand gives us stability according
to Psalm 18:35. "Thou hast also given me
the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me
up, and thy gentleness hath made me great." Then,
"My soul followeth hard after thee: thy
right hand upholdeth me." Psalm 63:8
God's right hand deals with his enemies!
"Thine hand shall find out all thine
enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee."
It too is righteous and holy!
"According to thy name, O God, so is
thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is
full of righteousness." Psalm 48:10
The One Who sits at the Father's right hand
is exalted! "Thou hast a mighty arm:
strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand."
The right hand is the avenue of God's
judgment too! "The Lord at thy right hand
shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath."
This word "valiantly" is translated "army" 56
times in our Bible! "The voice of
rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the
righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. The right
hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth
valiantly." Psalm 118:15-16
His great right hand ... loves us!
"His left hand is under my head,
and his right hand doth embrace me." Song of Solomon 2:6
God's Right Hand holds my right hand!
"For I the LORD thy God will hold thy
right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."
God's right hand was involved in creation!
"Mine hand also hath laid the foundation
of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens:
when I call unto them, they stand up together."
And It, He really, protects us, withholding
harm! "He hath cut off in his
fierce anger all the horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his
right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob
like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about."
The right hand of God is associated with the
High Priestly Ministry of Jesus too. From there, the right hand,
He is praying for you and me! "Now of the
things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such
an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of
the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of
the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man."
God's right hand ... on John,
literally! "And when I saw him, I fell at
his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying
unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last."
Pastors, especially for you! The "stars" are
the messengers of those seven churches in Revelation chapters 2
and 3, their preachers! "And he had in his
right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp
twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun
shineth in his strength." Revelation 1:16
At the right Hand of God!
I never knew it meant so much!
And there today sits my Saviour!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 4, FEBRUARY 23,
The remaining eleven Disciples of Jesus heard
these words anyway. Maybe others too who believed in Jesus. I am
speaking of the last words our Saviour spoke in the Gospel of
They they watched!
Beholding Him slowly rise into the heavens,
each Christian gazed intently at toward our Lord.
Then we are told: "They
went forth, and preached everywhere." Mark 16:20
That's exactly what Jesus had just commanded
them four verses earlier!
"And he said unto them,
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every
creature." Mark 15:16
Jesus was a Preacher!
Now, so are His disciples!
An unusual thing here, the pronoun, the
subject of this inspired sentence, is not simply indicated by
the verb, not that alone anyway. It is provided in the text by
the Greek word "ekeinos," a masculine plural demonstrative
pronoun. These preachers were men. Also I mention that the
pronoun here is the very first word in the verse. That shows
prominence. The Holy Spirit is emphasizing the response of the
disciples to Jesus' teaching.
The verb "went forth" translates "exerchomai"
as an aorist participle and means "to go away" or "to go out."
It can also mean "to come out" but that sense does not fit the
But watch what they do as they go!
They "preached" the Word of God!
"Kerusso," the specific verb employed here,
means "to proclaim" a message. Often this specific verb
indicates the man who is a forerunner of the King! His arrival
is indicative of a coming royal visit! He is exhorting folks to
"prepare," repent, clean up the surroundings, repair the
roadways, beautify the city ... the King is coming!
The "herald," which "kerusso" implies, public
preaching of course. With the authority of the King behind it
As I studied the textbooks said that the
herald expected results to his proclamations also! It upset him
if things did not begin to occur!
We preachers in a way are merely mouthpieces.
We are ambassadors, representatives, of
Christ who saved us and called us and commissioned us and sent
Now notice "where" they preached!
"Pantachou" in Greek incorporates the adverb
"pas" which means "any or all or the whole of something," here
earth itself, the land is in mind. That's right! Beginning at
Jerusalem they or their successors eventually preached in all
Judea and then Samaria and ultimately to the uttermost parts of
the earth! That's what Acts 1:8 tells us.
That's what they were!
Thank God for them!
"How beautiful upon the
mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that
publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that
publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 5, FEBRUARY 25,
These men not only preached, that glorious
act not being a solo endeavor!
Mark carefully adds: "the Lord working with
"And they went forth,
and preached every where, the Lord working with them
...." Mark 16:20
By now the respectful and, to the disciples
at least, Divine Title "Lord" had been affixed to Jesus!
At first He may have been Jesus, Jesus of
Nazareth! The Carpenter. The Rabbi. Mary's Son.
But as He made Himself known and gained
followers, their having been "born again from above,"
Jesus was soon addressed as "Christ" and "Lord" and "God" also!
He is God come in human flesh!
"Lord," in Greek "kurios," became a very
costly word for the Christian to use, that is to use concerning
Jesus Christ the Saviour!
Many of these Believers lived during the days
of the Roman Empire, during the era when the Caesar on the
throne invented and demanded "emperor worship." He proclaimed
himself divine or had the Roman senate do so, then expected at
first and demanded a little later that he be reverenced and
adored and worshipped!
However, all a citizen had to do was say
words like these: "Caesar is Lord!" To swear allegiance! To
pledge one's total loyalty!
But the Christians, under penalty of law,
could not do that!
They could only say: "Jesus is Lord!"
Well, the penalty stiffened!
No longer just loss of jobs or prison terms
for these "Christ Followers," but death itself! Throw them to
the lions! Burn them alive! Torture them into eternity!
Rome did too!
But Christians did not!
They did not compromise!
They would call no man "Lord" but Jesus!
Besides, Paul would later write that
"No man can say that Jesus is the Lord,
but by the Holy Ghost." 1st Corinthians 12:3
That's the Lord, "kurios" ... "the person to
whom one belongs," Mark means here. Our Master and Ruler and
Forerunner and Deliverer and Provider as well as Saviour!
The expression "working with them" translates
one word, a verb, "sunergeo." Immediately we know that the
prefix "sun" means "with" or "together," indicating some kind of
"union" obviously! The "sun" relationship is much closer that
the "meta" or "para" ones also! So says one of my lexicons. Then
"ergeo" means "to labor" and requires a good deal of effort and
toil! This term is a present participle in the active voice! The
Lord just kept on and on toiling and laboring and helping His
In 1st Corinthians 3:9 Paul plainly says that
"We are laborers together with God,"
with our Lord!
In the King James Bible "sunergos," the noun
now, is translated several ways: "fellowlabourers, fellowhelpers,
fellowworkers and companions in labour!"
Preachers, think of it!
"The Lord working with
Also ... "the Lord working with us!"
Lord willing, next Lesson we shall arrive at
one of the most exciting verbs in the whole Text!
I use it often in prayer, just before or just
after being in the Pulpit!
Until Monday ...
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 6, FEBRUARY 26,
"Confirming the Word!"
That's what the Lord is said to do for His
Preachers as they went forth proclaiming The Word!
Here's the whole verse.
"And they went forth,
and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and
confirming the Word with signs following."
The verb "confirming" is actually a
participle. That's a verbal adjective. It is describing the
Lord, the crucified and risen and resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.
The One Who has ascended to His Father's Right Hand according to
Mark's record in the previous verse. "So
then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up
into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God."
In Heaven sits Jesus as our great High
Priest, yet He's by our side as we Preach, "confirming" His
"Bebaioo" means "to establish." To "make
stable!" Steadfast! Firm! Sure! Its "root" seems to be founded
in the Greek "basis," which implies a foundation, the base of
anything! The verb "baino" means "to walk."
Using "bebaioo," Romans 15:8 has God
"confirming" His Promises to us! 1st Corinthians 1:8 reminds us
that God has "confirmed" us to the end! God can even "establish"
such things as friendships according to 2nd Corinthians 1:21. We
are to be "stablished" in the faith says Paul in Colossians 2:7.
God's Grace is an excellent "establishing" agent too according
to Hebrews 13:9.
Furthermore, just as Hebrews 2:3 teaches that
our salvation can be assured ... John Mark, in our current Text
here, teaches that the Word of God can also be so assured!
Yes, just as massive skyscrapers have
phenomenal foundations, many feet deep and heavily reinforced,
so must the Christian! And our dear Lord provides such a base
for His children, using the Word of God in the process! At least
that's the idea I get from "bebaioo."
Therefore the Scriptures themselves must
have, and do have, an ineffable foundation! Built on solid rock!
As far as the English word "confirming" is
concerned, it is built of two Latin terms. The prefix "com" is
an intensifier here, making the root verb even stronger! It
means "with" in normal Latin vocabulary. "Firmare" means "to
strengthen!" As a Latin noun "firmus" means "stable."
Things so entrenched will not be easily
Often before I preach, or just after ...
maybe even when driving back home, the Holy Spirit brings this
verse, Mark 16:20, to mind. Then I pray, asking the Lord to
"confirm His Word" as preached that very evening!
It is amazing how He answers such a request.
After all, His Word being made strong and
stable in our lives, certainly glorifies His dear Name!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
The Greek verb stem that provides our
participle "confirming" is amazing. After writing the Lesson
here, I consulted a Greek Dictionary and saw these definitions.
Bebaioo, standing firm on the feet! Maintaining solidity! In
ancient Greek literature bebaioo is often found in connection
with logos, the Word! To verify! To assure! "Give me a basis in
Thy Word!" True security! Solidly grounded! Guaranteed, in a
legal and commercial sense! Some even teach that "arrabon," the
word for "earnest" in a real estate transaction, and "bebaios"
are synonyms. Also it can be used synonymously with "streizo,"
the verb for "fix, set up or make firm!" Then "inwardly secure"
or "well grounded" occasionally appear. I have here researched
and quoted from Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the New
Testament, Volume 1, pages 600-604. I do not recommend this ten
volume set in its entirety. However, it is the most detailed
Greek Dictionary we have today in the English language. The very
best way to determine the meaning of a word is to study how the
Holy Spirit uses it in Scripture!
LESSON 7, FEBRUARY 27,
The word we must discuss today is "signs."
Our two-verse Text includes Mark 16:19-20,
the last things John Mark ever wrote Scripturally.
"So then after the Lord
had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on
the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every
where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the
word with signs following. Amen."
We learned previously that our Lord Jesus
Christ, even sitting in Heaven at God's right Hand, can still
impact things on earth! Especially the preaching of His Word!
He can "confirm" the Book as His men travel
and preach it ... "with signs following."
In Mark's day, and in context, those signs
may have included certain Apostolic activities that are no
longer operational today. "And God wrought
special miracles by the hands of Paul: so that from his body
were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the
diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of
them." Acts 19:11-12
But today what do they involve?
We must investigate the noun "signs" to see.
In Greek "semeion" indicates certain "marks" or "tokens" that
point to some object, some truth or person being
This is one of the New Testament's favorite
words for Jesus' miracles too, especially in the Gospel of John
where he uses the word 17 times! It occurs another 7 times in
Jesus' miracles and God's supernatural works
are designed to POINT to Someone! To Jesus I believe!
They manifest His power and glory and
And when Mark tells us that the Lord
accompanies his Preachers, confirming the Word and allowing
"signs" to follow them, I believe such things are meant as souls
being saved! Young men being called to preach! Churches started!
Christians repenting and confessing and forsaking sin! Believers
growing in Christ! Love for the Bible increasing! A Revival
spirit engulfing the people of God! And, above all, Jesus being
glorified in everything!
Those are "signs" enough!
That is, until Jesus comes again!
Then, if you want to talk about "signs," we
shall let Him lead the discussion!
Until then, our task is to remain faithful to
His call in our lives!
Preach the Word!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 8, MARCH 2,
The present participle "following" is built
on the verb "epakoloutheo" and means something like this:
walking down the same road with someone.
"Keleuthos" in Greek is a road or a pathway!
The "a" prefix is simply a particle of union,
strengthening the meaning.
And the initial prefix, "epi," means a
superimposition, that is ... "over" or "upon" something.
These indicators or signs are "all over" the
preaching of God's Word!
See what I mean: "
And they went forth, and
preached every where, the Lord working with them, and
confirming the word with signs following."
The "present" sense of the participle means that
the action being presented is constant or durative.
As long as the preachers proclaimed the
Scriptures, the Lord worked with them, confirming His Word with
Then, as with all the Gospels, the final note
is sounded: "Amen!"
This Greek term is built upon a Hebrew stem.
In Greek "amen" means that which is firm or faithful.
It's Hebrew forerunner means "truth!"
The Old Testament spells it "emeth."
Interestingly, that word for truth begins
with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, aleph, and ends
with the last letter, tav.
Are we being told that the Truth is also the
First and the Last?
The Beginning and the End?
Or to enter the Greek world of Mark, the
Alpha and the Omega?
I believe so!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
WE PRAY THESE LESSONS
HAVE BEEN HELPFUL! STAY IN THE WORD OF GOD! IT'S OUR SPIRITUAL