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Friday, April 1 2016
Mark 5: The Faithful Of The Fringes
"And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the Commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring"
Ancient Gadara was one of the Decapolis (from the Greek meaning Ten Cities) that were inhabited primarily by Greek people who settled in the region after the time of Alexander the Great's conquest (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids and The Prophet Daniel: The Ram and The He Goat). After the Romans occupied the region from about 65 B.C. (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and Israel In History and Prophecy: Roman Judea), Gadara was made the capital of the Roman province of Peraea.
Gadara was located east of the Jordan River on a mountain about 6 miles / 10 kilometers south-east of the Sea Of Galilee. The people of Gadara were known as Gadarenes (as it is rendered into English), although the general area was also known as the "country of the Gerasenes" after the city of Gerasa which was about 45 miles / 73 kilometers farther south. They were still mostly Gentiles in the time of Christ, as indicated by their keeping of pigs (see What Makes Creatures Clean or Unclean?) in the Scripture references below. Prophetically in itself, that ancient Greek and Roman swine keeping and worship is directly connected to the "abomination of desolation" (see A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation) - the original "abomination of desolation" was committed by the Seleucid Greek king, Antiochus Epiphanes IV of Syria, who sacrificed a pig in the Temple in Jerusalem, and the end-time "abomination of desolation" will be committed by the Roman "beast" (see also In The Court Of The Happy Pig).
It was in the area of Gadara that one of the most famous healings of Jesus Christ's ministry took place - the cleansing of man from a "Legion" of unclean spirits by sending them into pigs:
"5:1 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. 5:2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 5:3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 5:4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. 5:5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
Centuries earlier, a commanded garment custom was established by the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) - that He observed Himself when He was born as a man. It was a visual, daily-life reminder so that "it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring" - as the rebellious fool generation had done on the border of the land that could have been their home if they had obeyed the LORD's Commands.
"15:37 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 15:38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: 15:39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: 15:40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. 15:41 I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God." (Numbers 15:37-41 KJV)
The original word of the Scriptures that is variously translated as "fringe" or "hem" in these verses is from the Greek word, pronounced cras-ped-on, which referred to small, dignified appendages of twisted wool along the edge of a garment, not merely a folded hem. Christ wore the "fringes" that He declared to Moses.
"9:20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 9:21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 9:22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour." (Matthew 9:20-22 KJV)
People recognized the customary significance of the "fringes" i.e. "That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God" (Numbers 15:40 KJV). The woman described above touched Jesus' "fringes" as an act of repentance and faith in the Law, not merely as an act of touching the man. Many others did the same:
"14:34 And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. 14:35 And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; 14:36 And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole." (Matthew 14:34-36 KJV)
So it was, in the full context of the healing of the woman, as recorded above:
"5:21 And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea. 5:22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, 5:23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. 5:24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
This Day In History, April 1
286: The accession of Maximian, Roman emperor 286-310 AD (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars, A History Of Jerusalem: The Herodian Dynasty, A History Of Jerusalem: Titus And The Zealots and A History Of Jerusalem: Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba).
457: As the military "superpower" (see The Two Super Commandments to understand the origin of the word "super") Roman Empire was collapsing from its moral rot and corruption (see What Happens To A Nation When God's Law Is Forsaken?), the Roman army proclaimed Majorian as emperor. The Roman Empire was superseded by Germany (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
527: Byzantine Emperor Justin I declared his nephew Justinian I as co-ruler and successor to the throne.
1564: All Fools Day (in France) is said to have originated when King Charles IX of France changed the calendar on this date. Before the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar (see Pope Gregory's Calendar; also The Antichrist Calendar), April 1 was observed as New Year's Day by cultures as varied as the Roman and the Hindu.
1578: English physician William Harvey discovered blood circulation.
1621: The first colonial treaty with "Indians" (early explorers thought that they had landed in India - and so erroneously named the native people "Indians") in North America was signed between Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoags, and English Pilgrims on behalf of James I at Strawberry Hill, Massachusetts.
1665: The Great Plague hit London (see also Leviticus 13: Bacteria).
1734: Canada's first lighthouse began operating, at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia.
1875: The Times of London was the first newspaper to print a daily weather chart.
1778: Oliver Pollock, a New Orleans businessman, reportedly created the dollar "$" sign.
1918: During the First World War (1939-1945; listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Force merged to form the Britain's Royal Air Force.
1920: The German Worker's Party changed its name to the National Socialist German Worker's Party - Nazi.
1924: Adolf Hitler was sentenced to 5 years in jail for high treason (a strange charge because Hitler was born in Austria, not Germany - his citizenship was settled only after he came to power and invaded Austria, declaring it part of Germany) after his failed 1923 putsch. He was released December 20 of the same year (see Why Does Satan Love Liars? and Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion; see also Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative?).
1924: The Royal Canadian Air Force was established.
1925: British statesman Arthur James Balfour dedicated Hebrew University on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Balfour Declaration).
1933: The Nazi government ordered a boycott of businesses owned by Jews and seized their bank accounts (see also Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings).
1937: The new constitution providing separation of Burma from India went into effect.
1939: Francisco Franco declared the end of the Spanish Civil War.
1948: The Berlin blockade began when the Russians began checking all road and rail traffic between Berlin and the Western Zones. The Berlin Airlift began in response to the blockade.
1976: Apple Inc. was established by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne.
1979: Iran became an Islamic Republic by a 99% vote, officially overthrowing the Shah, a U.S.-backed dictator.
1997: Comet Hale-Bopp passed perihelion (the point in the orbit of a planet or comet where it is nearest to the sun).
1999: Nunavut was established as a Canadian territory, becoming a separate part of the Northwest Territories.
2001: A U.S. Navy spy plane collided with a Chinese fighter jet that was challenging it near the Chinese coast (imagine what would happen if a Chinese military aircraft flew the same way along the U.S. coast). The Chinese plane and pilot were lost, the U.S. plane made an emergency unauthorized landing on a nearby Chinese military base where the U.S. crew was taken into custody before being released almost 2 weeks later.