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Working and Confirming: What’s Unbelief Got To Do With It? – Mark 16:20

During the almost fifty five years I have been on this earth, I’ve not noticed the important information in this verse before. Isn’t the Holy Spirit a great person full of the knowledge of God? And not to mention that He shares that knowledge with us when we quiet ourselves and believe when He speaks to us.  Thank you for stopping in to read.

Mark 16:14- 20 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 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.  

What was unbelievable to me is that “the eleven” walked with Him for nearly three and a half years before His death and burial; they witnessed the miracles, and even performed miracles themselves; they were told beforehand about His resurrection from His lips, and was still found to be in unbelief when Jesus returned the first time.  Oops! That’s a heads-up warning sign for us about His second coming. (TYHS)  After His resurrection, for forty more days He walked the earth working and confirming the word with signs for all to believe. Although all of those people are dead, Jesus asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit to witness to us through His working and confirming. Lord, help our unbelief.

Question…Does the Holy Spirit work and confirms the word (task) with signs (actions) that follow when we have belief or when we have unbelief in God?

I’ve been wrestling with the Five Ws and one H since the beginning of February, so I wrote an article about it.  (Read my latest newsletter here for more details->  SheSpeaks4U)  It seems fitting to include the Five Ws and one H as an exercise in truth when we are dealing with occurrences of unbelief.  Who should I believe? What should I believe? When do I believe? Where do I find the truth to believe? Why do I need to believe? And the How can I believe?  Those were the questions the Holy Spirit also brought to my attention about unbelief as I read Mark 16 last eve.

Unbelief (skepticism) and hardness (resistance) of the heart appear to go hand in hand according to many bible verses. This grieves the Lord, especially after He has led us “through many dangers, toils, and snares.” What’s Unbelief Got To Do With It? Unbelief is the reason “the eleven” and the Israelites were “upbraided.” Let me share an example of these two things that go hand in hand that exists even today with the “partakers of Christ.”

In  Hebrews 2:1-4 we have been given a warning to pay attention.

We have also been given a warning against unbelief by the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 3:7-18. For “forty years” the Israelites yo-yoed up and down, back and forth between belief and unbelief.  Sin was crouching all around that desert. As I wrote that I had a LOL vision. Let me share it with you.  I saw sin in the form of a yo-yo string repeatedly going up and down from its spool labeled “Unbelief” in a desert. The string was cut from above by a hand holding a sword and poof, the desert became an oasis. Hmmm, now that was a message to me from the Holy Spirit.

Lo, I can testify from experience that unbelief can lead to sin crouching at the door. Disobedience to and rebellion against the Lord is just around the bend when unbelief yo-yo’s in and out of the heart. Amen. We all have and will experience yo-yo moments of unbelief. It is written. But God.  A remedy for those moments of unbelief is also written. It instructs us to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” ~ (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Recall the story in Mark 9 told of the father who had a son with a dumb spirit since he was a child. Mark 9:17-26.  The father responded to Jesus’ inquiry with “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. It is evident that as a believer way back when and even now we experience unbelief with our mind and eyes along with a hardness of the heart. Because of these actions, more oft than not, we too must be upbraided (reprimanded or told off) by the Holy Spirit. It’s called conviction.  

Throughout the NT, we learn about the leadership and servanthood of Jesus. He worked and confirmed His works through believing in the Holy Father, teaching, rebuking, healing, shewing mercy, etc. His accomplishments can never be attributed through a working of unbelief.  Got it? His actions were in sync with His words and belief. Let me put it to you in a present day setting. 

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Thar She Flows!

If you believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, don’t be up in the pulpit or on a stage preaching about the Lord when your actions and words show signs of unbelief in and disobedience to the Lord.  You will be upbraided by the Lord, even if it’s done via the Holy Spirit through another person. Don’t be in the pews and choir stands worshipping the Lord during the service, then afterwards display nasty attitudes, counterfeit smiles, and stares towards others while at the same time you experience an onset of the gossip-nitis plague. Those actions are in sync with the signs of unbelief.  Damnation is yo-yoing its way down to those “that believeth not.” You too, will be upbraided.

Let me close this by replying to the blog title…Working and Confirming: What’s Unbelief Got to Do With It? It has a lot more to do with it than we are willing to admit. “Let’s talk Gospel” as Noel, my WordPress brother in Christ would say.

  • Unbelief leads us to wander off to the land of disobedience.  Per say, would you partake in something or be obedient to someone that you have no belief in? When we read the OT, we find many stories of the Israelites belief and unbelief as they wandered in the desert for 40 years. Their disobedience to the Lord is what caused the wandering.
  • Disobedience stems from a hardened, i.e. “evil heart of unbelief.”  Such a heart leads to acts of sin that can cause a “departing from the living God.”
  • Unbelief hinders a believer from moving forth to preach the gospel everywhere. It stalls the working and confirming of the word with signs following.  
  • Unbelief resides in others who are against the Lord working and confirming the word with signs following to His believers. A great example of this is Satan’s indwelling of the prince of Persia. He delayed the angel’s attentiveness to Daniel’s “words” for twenty one days. Read the story here Daniel 10.
  • Today’s immigration laws ain’t got nothing to do with it!  And they (believers) shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.  And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.~ (Luke 13:29-30) 

Lastly, here are two more questions for you to think about. How often does the Holy Spirit have to upbraid you because of your unbelief and hardness of heart? What is going on in your life right now that has caused you to have unbelief?

 

Easter is approaching, please listen to this:

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7 comments on “Working and Confirming: What’s Unbelief Got To Do With It? – Mark 16:20

  1. Shelia, you have touched upon some crucial points in this post. But ‘unbelief in God’ is what jumped off the page at me. Unbelief was the biggest problem among Jesus’ disciples. The same is true in our Churches today. Getting in the boat with Jesus does not mean you trust him. It means you have identified something in Him that interest you. And if you want to learn more you have to get in the boat with Him daily. Soon, you will get to a place where you realize He is everything you need.

    Just like the disciples, we need the Holy Spirit to guide us. Once we make room for Him to live in us, everything changes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always liked Mark 9 when the father says, “I believe. Help me in my unbelief.” He was so honest in his bankruptcy and it is a lesson for us to do the same.

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    • I totally agree, because so many of us as believers do have unbelief dwelling within our hearts alongside of belief. That was a great lesson for me from the Holy Spirit.
      Thanks Ted for sharing your thoughts. Onward cook!

      Liked by 1 person

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