FALSE CHILDREN

[SW345] 09/22/2018 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018

False Children

 Text: Isaiah 30:9-19, etc.

Who are the false children? What do they do and say? And what does the Lord say to them? I tell you the truth, He longs to be gracious to them, if they will cry out to Him! His desire and mine is that all of his children be true to Him!

Verse 9 —

His own children who rebel against Him are the false children — they are untrue, faithless, and have lied to Him, pledging allegiance to Him while they go their own way. They execute a plan, but not His. 

The Lord says, They make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin. They rebel against Him by willfully disobeying Him, and further disobey Him by seeking help from Egypt (Isaiah 30:2).

What does that have to do with you? Egypt is a type, a symbol, of the world and of sin. Many of the Lord’s children do not look to Him. And so, this scripture is applicable to today’s church. She looks to man’s ways. She seeks help and allies herself with those who do not know God. 

Today’s church seeks to be a friend to the world, rather than evangelizing it. She ignores her call to speak the true gospel of salvation from the wrath of God and reconciliation to Him, by believing into Jesus Christ. Jesus says this, if you are truly His —

John 15:19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”

The Lord’s false children are unwilling to listen to His true prophets whom He has sent to them again and again. They are unwilling to hear and heed the instruction of the Lord, through His prophets. They prefer the words of the false prophets, who they view as kind and loving, and who speak words that please them and stroke their egos. It is the same in today’s church!

Verse 10 — 

His false children say to His seers, those who behold the Lord and hear His words, “You must not see!” They do not want to know what the Lord says. 

And to His prophets, who gaze upon the Lord’s face and hear His words, they say, “You must not prophesy to us what is right (that is, you must not prophesy straightforwardly, you must not prophesy against what we are doing).”

But who shall His true prophets obey? Peter and the apostles responded to the Jewish leaders who told them to stop teaching in Jesus’ name —

Acts 5:29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”

His  false children want pleasant words — smooth (flattering) things! I was at a women’s conference where a true teacher of the Word of God spoke from Isaiah, calling this group of women to repent. They had openly confessed that they willfully disobey God! 

What was their response? Nearly all the women rebelled, saying they are princesses and do not need to repent! They had been listening to false teachers who flattered them!

His false children do not want to hear the Word of God, which is living and active, and sharper than any double-edged sword, able to divide soul and spirit, joint and marrow, and which judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (see Hebrews 4:12)! Beloved, it is the same in today’s church!

Many who are in today’s church are unaccustomed to the word of righteousness, preferring to take in only milk, for they are yet infants. Thus, they are unable to discern good from evil. The writer of Hebrews says —

Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice (doing/obeying the Word of God) have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

His false children want the Lord’s prophets to prophesy illusions (deceit). They have listened to false prophets who tell them smooth things, who flatter them, who say, God will not deal with you for your rebellion against him. Come and rebel with us! Seek God for things. Do not seek to know Him intimately, or you might actually learn His truth and see us for who we are!

Verse 11 —

So, to the prophet who spoke at the conference, and to the prophets of Isaiah’s day, His children say, “Get out of the way! Turn aside from the path! Cease from speaking about the Holy One of Israel!”

A bishop in my denomination came to a large meeting, invited to speak by our bishop. The man said, I don’t often get invitations to speak. Most leaders of our denomination prefer that I just stay where I am, in the church the Lord has given me to shepherd. The people there are accustomed to the word of righteousness, for it is all that I speak, and they eagerly receive it. 

He teaches holiness of heart and action. They go hand-in-hand. When your  heart is pure, you will walk like Jesus in this world. Are you holy on the inside, so you walk holy, like Jesus did, in this world?

So, how does the Lord respond to His false children who rebel against Him?

Verse 12 —

Therefore, thus says the Holy One of Israel! He is the Holy One of the church, too! He is holy! Have you cried out for Him to make you holy? He longs to hear your cry!

The Holy One of Israel says to His false children, You have put your trust in oppression (tyranny, cruel and oppressive government) and guile (perversity), turning away from Me. You have relied on (sought the support) of the world, and of false prophets. Do you not realize that, rather than trust your God, you are trusting Egypt, which treated you cruelly? How quickly you forget that I delivered  you from their oppression and cruelty!

Do you not understand that today, the world will do the same? They do not know God, and they do not have His character, His truthfulness and faithfulness? Do you not understand that, if you listen to false prophets, you will be led down the broad path that leads to destruction? (See Matthew 7:13.) 

Verses 13-14 —

The Holy One of Israel continues, saying, Therefore, because you are false children, following after that which will destroy you rather than hearing and heeding My words, this iniquity (sin, turning aside from the Lord) will be like a breach about to fall. 

There is a breach, a broken place, between you and Me, says the Lord! It is about to fall, just as a breach in a wall causes it to fall! The collapse (crashing down) of His false children will come in an instant, suddenly, in the time it takes to wink your eye!

It will be like the smashing of a potter’s jar, so ruthlessly (He shall not have pity) shattered that a sherd (broken piece of pottery) will not be found among its pieces, large enough to take fire from a hearth, or scoop water from a well. Turn, beloved! Return to your Lord!

Verses 15-17 —

The Lord has said, In repentance and rest (sticking fast, like glue) you will be saved. In quietness (settling in with Me) and trust (trusting in Me) is your strength. But you were not willing. 

Instead, you wanted to hear flattering words. You wanted to be called princes and princesses. You listened to lying prophets and believed them. 

You shunned My prophets, who called you to repentance and rest, who called you to settle in with Me and trust in Me alone. These things will lead you to destruction. 

You say you will flee on horses (symbols of natural strength). Then you shall flee! Those who pursue you shall be swift. I, the Lord, the Holy One, will reverse what I did for faithful Joshua, who rejoiced when the Lord gave Israel victory over their enemies, saying 

Joshua 23:10 “One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.”

But 1,000 of you will flee one enemy, and you will flee at the threat of five. Your enemy, the devil, will defeat you!

Verses 18-19 —

But here is the mercy of the Holy One of Israel, O wayward church filled with false children who listen to false teachers! He waits on high for you to cry out.

Isaiah says, The Lord longs to be gracious to you, to adhere you to Himself, just as a bondservant who asks his master to permanently be his servant, even after his debt is paid, because the bondservant loves his master (Exodus 21;5-6).  

He waits on high to have compassion, to have pity, on you. He executes His justice upon you for your sin, but His justice also is expressed in His desire to restore you and bring you into a holy, intimate relationship with Him by filling you with His Holy Spirit, O believer!

He is waiting for the sound of your cry, He says. The Hebrew word means, “bleating.”  He waits to hear the bleating of His sheep who are in danger. And when He hears it, He will answer you. But you will not cry until you see your condition, and you will never see your condition if you continue to follow after false prophets who flatter you with the smooth things that they speak!

How blessed are those who long to adhere themselves to Him like glue, who long to ask Him to make them His permanent bondservant who serves out of love, though their debt is paid in the very blood of Christ! 

Lord Jesus, may your church hear Your voice, and see her folly. May she see the danger she is in, and may You hear the bleating of your sheep. I know that You will be gracious to them and will surely rescue them, if they cry out for you, just as you rescued me! Amen.

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HIS RESTING PLACE

[SW344] 09/15/2018 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018

His Resting Place

 Text: Isaiah 66:1-2, etc.

Where does the Lord look, for His resting place? He does not look to temples or church buildings that man builds for Him! His plan, from the beginning, is to make you His resting place!

To whom does He look? Believers who are humble (poor, lowly) and contrite (maimed, broken-hearted) in spirit, the ones who tremble at His word, in reverential awe. He will establish His resting place inside of them!

He who knows our hearts examines each one to see who is ready. No, that one still trusts in his own goodness and boasts about it. No, that one has not seen the condition of his heart. No, that one does not revere and respect My Word. Ah! One who has heeded My words, sees his heart and is crying out! I will make that one My resting place! 

Isaiah was given this from the Lord, 2700 years ago —

Isaiah 66:1 Thus says the LORD, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? 2 “For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble (lowly) and contrite (smitten, poor) of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”

In such ones He will establish His resting place, His abode, His residence, the place where He establishes a marriage relationship — the Bridegroom (John 3:29) comes to live in you (John 14:23), when you are filled with the Holy Spirit!

Yes, He is on His throne in heaven, but He also looks to believers who are truly humble in spirit, in their hearts. “Look to,” in the Hebrew-to-English, means to regard with pleasure, favor and care, and to cause to see Him! 

He will purify the hearts of such ones! Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God here and now, when He fills them with Himself (Matthew 5:8, Acts 2:3-4), and makes them His resting place, His abode, His residence, and establishes with them a marriage relationship!

Cry out, with a humble and contrite heart, and ask Him to fill you with the Spirit! He will surely do it!

Paul exhorts the believers at Corinth, for they have gone astray, following false teachers! He tells them he is jealous for them with a godly jealousy; for he betrothed them to one husband, so that to Christ he might present them as a pure virgin (for marriage), per 2Corinthians 11:2. 

He looks for those who are humble in spirit, humble and lowly inwardly, in their very hearts. He will not look to those who outwardly attempt to be humble, but are prideful in their hearts. Oh, humble yourself before Him, and He will regard you with pleasure, favor and care! He will come and fill you with Himself, and you will see Him!

He looks to believers who are contrite in spirit, who have heeded His words, have seen the poverty of their hearts, who have become broken-hearted over what they now see, and who have cried out for Him to change their hearts! He regards them with pleasure, favor and care, and causes them to see Him! He makes such ones His abode, the place He sets up residence, the place where He establishes a marriage relationship!

And He looks to those who tremble at His Word, who view the Word of God with great awe and reverence, understanding its power and significance! He looks to believers who honor and respect His Word, and do not twist or omit any of its content. He regards them with pleasure, favor and care, and causes them to see Him! He makes such ones His abode, the place He sets up His residence, the place where He establishes a marriage relationship!

Blessed are such ones! As I taught from Jesus’ words back on June 30, 2018 —

Matthew 5:3-8 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle (humble), for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (filled). Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

It is exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think! It is almost more than I can comprehend! Though He has established His resting place in me, I will not know the entirety of His great work until I see Him face-to-face (1Corinthians 13:12)!

Oh, beloved! Humble! Contrite! Trembling at His Word! It is all through the Word of God!

From King David —

Psalm 51:16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering (outward religious acts). 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

Isaiah 57:15  For thus says the high and exalted One, Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit, in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite (those who are broken-hearted because of their heart’s condition).

1Peter 5:6   Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time . . .

Humble yourselves! Heed His words, so you may see the poverty of your heart! That is the action you must take, in order to be one to whom the Lord looks! That is the action you must take, in order to be a resting place for the Lord! He will do the rest!

But as for those of His people and His church who have chosen to worship the god of self, and the gods of this world, the Lord will judge them —

Hebrews 10:26   For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. 

Heed the words of Jesus Christ today, and obey His command. He will look to you!He will fulfill the promise of the Father by filling you with His Spirit! You will become His resting place, and you will see Him! He will make you His witness here, and you will do His work. You will be able to say, with Jesus Christ 

Isaiah 61:1  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted (contrite, humble); He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted (broken in pieces), to proclaim liberty to captives (captives to sin) and freedom to prisoners; (prisoners of sin) . . . 

Lord Jesus, may Your people and Your church have ears to hear! Amen!

ANNOUNCING HIS WORDS

[SW343] 09/09/2018 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018

Announcing His Words

 Text: Jeremiah 23, etc.

Who announces the Lord’s words? Those who stand in His counsel and hear His voice. What do they announce? They call His people to turn back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds.

NOTE: Scriptures are from the NAS Bible, with emphases according to the Lord’s direction to me.

Jeremiah prophesied for 40 years in Judah. The Lord gave him words of warning to the false shepherds, and a call for God’s people to repent and return to the Lord.  It is the same in today’s church, for there are many false shepherds.

No one listened to the word of the Lord through Jeremiah, just as many do not listen today. So, the people of Judah were either killed by the Babylonians, or were carried into captivity in Babylon for 70 years. Many believers today are spiritually exiled from the Lord. 

Here are the Lord’s words, through Jeremiah —

Jeremiah 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the LORD. 2 Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,” declares the LORD.

Woe to the false shepherds who were supposedly tending His people Israel then, and those who are supposedly tending all believers now. They have caused His sheep to perish. They have dashed them to pieces. Because His sheep believed their lies, they have been driven away, banished from His presence. And the false shepherds have not cared for His sheep, but only for themselves. Jesus says 

John 10:12 “He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.”

Behold, O false shepherds! The Lord is about to tend to you (avenge, judge you), for the evil of your deeds. 

Jeremiah 23:11  “For both prophet and priest are polluted; 

Even in My house I have found their wickedness,” declares the LORD.

12  “Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, 

They will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; 

For I will bring calamity upon them, 

The year of their punishment,” declares the LORD.

Both prophet and priest, then and now, are polluted (corrupt, profane). He has found their wickedness (evil, wrong, harm) even in His house! 

So He will turn the paths they walk into slippery paths. He will drive them away, for they have driven His people away from Him. They will slip and fall down into the darkness of hell. He will bring these calamities upon them, for they have brought these calamities on His sheep! 

The Lord declares — for He alone declares and decrees — that He will bring the year of their punishment upon them.

Jeremiah 23:13 “Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria I saw an offensive (foolish) thing: 

They prophesied by Baal and led My people Israel astray.

14  “Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: 

The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; 

And they strengthen the hands of evildoers, 

So that no one has turned back from his wickedness. 

All of them have become to Me like Sodom, 

And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

False prophets, both then and now, appeal to the lusts of believers whose sin natures are alive and well. Sex, money, power, prestige — the false prophets dangle these before the eyes of the Lord’s flock, and lead them down the broad path to hell. 

False prophets, both then and now, urge people to commit spiritual adultery against the Lord by worshiping the things the world worships. They lie to His sheep in many ways. They tell His sheep that they all must join hands with the world and water down the gospel, removing its call to repentance, so that people are not offended by it.

False prophets, both then and now, encourage sinners to sin. Or they say that there is no cure for sin, but the Lord understands that they cannot help but sin. Therefore, no one repents. So, in the Lord’s eyes, His flock has become like Sodom and Gomorrah, wildly disobeying, committing acts completely contrary to His nature.

Jeremiah 23:16 Thus says the LORD of hosts, 

Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. 

They are leading you into futility; 

They speak a vision of their own imagination, 

Not from the mouth of the LORD.

O church to whom I am sent, do not listen to the false prophets who are prophesying to you! They are leading you into emptiness, they speak a vision of their own conjuring, and not from the mouth of the Lord. They do not and cannot stand before Him, for they are lawless. He never, ever knew them (Matthew 7:23)!

Jeremiah 23:17 “They keep saying to those who despise Me, 

‘The LORD has said, “You will have peace”’; 

And as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, 

They say, ‘Calamity will not come upon you.’

The false prophets boast and promise this to those who blaspheme and provoke Him — you will have peace. They say, God will never leave you, regardless of the evil that you do, regardless of your love for the world’s ways and your running after the things of the world. “Come and get your blessing,” they say, regardless of your heart’s condition.

To His sheep, who walk in the obstinacy and lust of their own hearts, the false prophets say this — calamity (evil) will not come up on you. God will not judge you for the sin you are doing. Again, it is a lie. They are listening to their father, the father of lies, the devil (John 8:44).

Jeremiah 23:18 “But who has stood in the council of the LORD, 

That he should see and hear His word? 

Who has given heed to His word and listened?”

Again, His words are not announced by false prophets who feed your lust for sex, money, power and prestige. His words are announced by those who stand in His counsel, who stand before the Lord, who are able to ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place because He has given them clean hands and pure hearts (Psalm 24:3-4). What do they announce? They call His people to turn back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds.

Jeremiah 23:21 “I did not send these prophets, 

But they ran. 

I did not speak to them, 

But they prophesied.

The Lord did not send these false prophets who are destroying and scattering His sheep. He did not ask them to run with a message from Him, to deliver it to you.

He did not speak to them. But they prophesied as though He had spoken to them. It is the same today. 

Jeremiah 23:22 “But if they had stood in My council, 

Then they would have announced My words to My people, 

And would have turned them back from their evil way 

And from the evil of their deeds.”

Who stands in His council? Who consults with Him in a holy, intimate, one-on-one encounter? The one with clean hands and a pure heart, the Elijahs (1Kings 17:1) and Elishas (2Kings 3:14), the Pauls (2Timothy 4:1) and Timothys (2Timothy 2:14), and those in today’s church who are filled with the Lord’s Holy Spirit.

And the words they announce are, “Turn back! Repent! Turn away from the evil you are doing against your God!” That is what the Lord says to the church, and His people Israel, today! The ones who stand before Him say —

Lamentations 2:14 Your prophets have seen for you 

False and foolish visions; 

And they have not exposed your iniquity 

So as to restore you from captivity, 

But they have seen for you false and misleading oracles.

False. Foolish. Misleading. There is no restoration from the exile that symbolizes separation from God’s presence. Even in exile, God’s people and today’s church continue to listen to false prophets.

Jeremiah 23:23 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, 

“And not a God far off?

24  “Can a man hide himself in hiding places 

So I do not see him?” declares the LORD. 

“Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.

No one can hide his evil thoughts and deeds from the Lord. All things are open and laid bare in the sight of Him to whom we must give an account for what is in our hearts (Hebrews 4:13), when we stand before His judgment seat!

Jeremiah 23:28 “The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?” declares the LORD. 29 “Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?”

If a true prophet has a dream, he may relate his dream. Listen to Joel’s prophecy of the coming baptism of the Holy Spirit 

Joel 2:28    “It will come about after this 

That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; 

And your sons and daughters will prophesy, 

Your old men will dream dreams, 

Your young men will see visions.

But also, those who have the Lord’s word, and not their own, will speak His word in truth, for they stand before the One who is the Way and the Truth and the Life. His true prophets stand in His council.

His word is like fire, which will burn away the evil in you and purify your heart, if you heed it. But it will consume you if you ignore it and reject it. Oh, beloved, come to the Purifier (Acts 15:8).

His word is like a hammer which breaks through your heart of stone, if you heed it. But it will break your heart into pieces if you ignore it and reject it, not allowing it to change your stony heart. 

His promise to those who hear and heed (Matthew 7:24), and stay and wait (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), is that He will remove their stony hearts and give them new hearts that respond to His every whisper (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

I announce His words to you today, because He has cleansed and purified me so I am able to stand before Him and consult with Him, in holy intimacy. I call His people Israel, and His church, to turn back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds. I speak these words with certainty, for they are His truth. 

The Lord does not desire that any should perish, but that all, even those in the church, come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). Therefore, repent!

Lord, I stand before You and ask you to send these words in Your power, by Your Spirit. Surely, they will not return empty, but will accomplish all that You want them to do (Isaiah 55:11). Amen.

THE WILL OF MY FATHER

[SW342] 09/01/2018 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018

The Will of My Father

Text: Matthew 7:13-29

Jesus Christ says, “The one who does the will of My Father is the one who will receive eternal life.” What is the will of His Father? First, that you believe into His Son, per John 3:16, and then, that you stay and wait for His promise, per Acts 5:1-4, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so you are able to keep the eternal life He has given you.

Verse 13 — 

Jesus commands that you enter through the narrow gate (the one that has obstacles standing near it). Enter the gate that seems hard to enter. Enter the unlikely gate, the unattractive gate, the one that is going to restrict you from bringing in anything that is not of Him.  

Verse 14 —

Why enter this obstacle-studded, unattractive, restrictive gate? Because the gate is wide and the way is broad  that leads to destruction (eternal ruin), and there are many who enter through it because they do not do His Father’s will. It grieves Him, and it grieves all who are filled with Him.

Many enter through the wide gate — abundant and plentiful crowds continually pass through it. They love the easy words spoken by those who lead them in the broad way, who proclaim another Jesus — one who neither calls believers and unbelievers to turn from their sin and repent (2Corinthians 11:4), nor command believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the Father’s righteousness.

Passionately seek the small gate, the one that has obstacles standing near it, the one that is so narrow you must surrender yourself and drop all that you have in you that is not of God! It leads to eternal life (zoe) here and now, and in heaven! But there are only a few (a puny number) who find it, who perceive it and then follow it.

How shocking! There are four billion people today who claim Jesus Christ as their Lord, but only a puny number of them will enter eternal life! Why so few?

The broad way looks so much easier, so much more pleasant. It requires nothing of you.

Those who teach the broad way encourage you to continue just as you are. Jesus loves you, even though you continue to willfully disobey Him after you have believed. They soothe your conscience, saying you can’t help but sin, and they say that the more you sin, the greater His grace. May it never be (Romans 6:1-2)!

Those who teach the broad way tell you that God wants to bless you with wealth and success.They urge you to tell God that He is required to make you rich and successful, because it says so in His Word! They urge you to “speak into existence” whatever you crave! It surely pleases the ears and stimulates the greed and selfishness of those whose sin natures are alive and well, for they think God will give them the earthly treasures they greedily seek! 

So, nearly all believers flock to teachers who point to the wide gate and the broad way. And they are led to destruction, eternal perishing.

You may say, But I was saved at an altar! Or, I raised my hand while everyone had their eyes closed! You received eternal life, when you believed into Jesus Christ. But have you obeyed His command to wait for the promise of His Father, so you continue in His eternal life and are filled with His Holy Spirit, or are you still sinning against Him? No sinner will enter the kingdom of heaven —

1Corinthians 6:9   Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Jesus says, if you are truly His disciple, you will continue (dwell) in His word, which is the small gate by which you enter the narrow way. It is living and active, able to penetrate even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It will judge the thoughts and attitudes of your heart (see Hebrews 4:12). It was not comfortable for me, and it will not be for you, but beloved, let His Word do its work. Why?

If you continue in His Word, you will know the truth — that if you cry out for Him to change your heart, He will do just as He promises (again, Acts 1:4-5) and you will be filled with His Holy Spirit and His love and His divine nature and His righteousness. Then, you will have done and will always do the will of His Father! Your heart will be pure, and you will no longer be a slave to sin, but free, indeed (see John 8:31-36)!

Verse 15 —

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing. They are the ones who call out for you to enter the broad path that leads to destruction. Outwardly, they look like you, O sheep! They look righteous on the outside, like the scribes and Pharisees. But inwardly, they are ravenous wolves — ones who suddenly seize you and rob you of eternal life!

Verse 16 —

But how will you identify the false teachers and prophets? Jesus says, You will know them by their fruits. Just as you cannot gather grapes from a thorn bush, or figs from thistle plants, you cannot gather good from them. Their fruit is revealed by what they seek — money, fame, success, acceptance by the world. 

Their fruit is revealed by what they do, behind closed doors and even openly, as they feed your greed, saying, “Give to me, and you will get a hundredfold in return!”

Verses 17-20 —

Every good (worthy, spiritually valuable) tree bears good fruit, but the bad (worthless, corrupt) tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Why? The good tree is filled with goodness, and the bad tree is filled with corruption. 

A tree can only produce what is inside of it. If you eat of a bad tree, you will be filled with its corruption and bear its fruit. Beloved, every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire (John 15:6)! He is the Righteous Judge, and He is speaking of hell, beloved!

So, then, you will know them by their fruits. You will be able to fully perceive them and discern whether they are good or bad trees, because you will look at their fruit and see either worthiness and spiritual value, or corruption and immorality and greed. Thanks be to God, He is merciful and exposes many bad trees, for there is no discernment among most of those in today’s church!

Verse 21 —

Referring to the false prophets, Jesus says, Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven. Many say His name, but they do not know Him, because their hearts are corrupt.

Who will enter the kingdom of heaven? Jesus says, only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven! Heed His words, see the poverty-stricken condition of your heart, and cry out for Him to change it! He will! Then, supremely blessed will you be!

Verse 22-23 —

Jesus says, Many will say to Me, on the day of judgment, Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy and cast out demons and perform many miracles in Your name? We used your name! We exhibited miracle-working power, we cast out demons and prophesied. We “declared and decreed!” Look at all we did!

But He will declare to them — for He alone declares and decrees — I never knew you! The Greek means never, not ever, not at any time, not at all did I have any kind of relationship with you.

He will say, Depart from me — begone — you who practice (do) lawlessness (wickedness, things contrary to the will of My Father, unrighteousness, sin). He judges them, and sentences them to hell.

So, you may ask, by what power did they do miracles and cast out and prophesy? It cannot be by His power, for He never, ever knew them. Beware!

Verses 24 -25 —

Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them (does them) will be compared to a wise man who built his house on a rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and slammed against that house. And yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on a rock! The rock is Jesus Christ, and you will stand, in all circumstances, if your foundation is His Word!

Verses 26-27 —

Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell — and great (exceedingly big) was its fall!

Is your foundation the truth which is in Christ, or are you foolish, believing the sandy words of false prophets? I tell you the truth, a storm is coming, one that will shake everything that can be shaken, so nothing remains but that which cannot be shaken 

Hebrews 12:27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 

Beloved, you will stand or fall, based on what you are believing. Follow Jesus’ words! Enter the small gate, go the narrow way, and you will not be shaken!

Verses 28-29 —

When Jesus had finished His words for that occasion, the crowd was amazed (astonished, struck with amazement) at His teaching. Why?

He taught them as One having authority, and not as their scribes. He taught with the power of God, because He is God the Son! The scribes spoke by the authority (teachings) of others; Jesus spoke on His own authority, for He is God the Son.

Jesus spoke in the first person (“But I say”), not as an interpreter of Scripture, but as its Author. Jesus said He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, because He is God the Son, the Messiah sent to us by His Father. He determines who enters the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is the Judge appointed by His Father, and He banishes the wicked. 

Beloved, do not just hear His words — heed them! Remember that His words are addressed to His disciples who believed in Him, to the multitude of Jews and others who were being drawn to Him, and to the scribes and Pharisees who thought they could work their way to heaven by outwardly obeying the Law of Moses. Your righteousness must exceed theirs, in order to enter the kingdom of heaven!

Blessed are the poor in spirit who realize the poverty-stricken condition of their hearts, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven! 

Blessed are you when you mourn over your condition, for you shall be comforted by the Lord by being filled with the Comforter, the Holy Spirit! 

Blessed are you when you are humbled by your condition, for you will inherit the earth! 

Blessed are you when you hunger and thirst for righteousness, for He will fill you with His Spirit, His righteousness, His love, and His nature, and purify your heart! Then you will be one who does the will of my Father! Hallelujah! 

I pray that many hear and heed, Lord Jesus, for surely, a day of judgment is coming, when everything that can be shaken will be shaken. When they cry out, I know you will make them ready, and unshakeable. Amen.

THE CURE FOR HYPOCRISY

[SW341] 8/25/2018 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018

The Cure for Hypocrisy

Text: Matthew 7:1-12

Jesus addresses these next verses to hypocrites, those who are religious counterfeits, actors assuming the role of the holy and righteous, but inwardly, they have impure, sin-filled hearts. It is the same way, in today’s church. 

But before I speak to today’s church, listen to Jesus’ words —

Verses 1-2 — 

Remember that Jesus is speaking to the multitudes, to His disciples, and to the scribes (experts in the Law of Moses) and Pharisees, who constantly tried to trick Him into speaking something contrary to the Law of Moses, so they could accuse and judge Him. And He is speaking just as boldly to today’s church!

Therefore, Jesus says, Do not judge so as to condemn to hell, and you will not be judged and condemned to hell. For in the way you judge and condemn, you will be judged and condemned by the Lord, and by your standard of measure for appropriate punishment, it will be measured to you — that is, you will be punished by the Lord. 

The scribes and Pharisees were hypocrites. They placed great burdens on the backs of the Jews, and condemned and shunned them for even the smallest infraction of ceremonial law. John the Baptist called them a brood of vipers (Matthew 3:7).

Despite their outward attempts to appear righteous and holy, the scribes’ and Pharisees’ actions revealed that their hearts were filled with sin. They even refused to recognize the Messiah who stood before them, because He threatened the power structure they had so carefully built. 

Here is a sample of Jesus’ indictments of them 

Matthew 23:13   “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

Matthew 23:15   “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte (convert to Judaism); and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”

Matthew 23:25   “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 “You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.”

Matthew 23:27   “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 “So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

Matthew 12:34 “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.”

Matthew 23:33 “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?”

It was the scribes and Pharisees then, but I tell you there are many actors on the stage of today’s church — ones who are equally guilty and whose hearts are equally dark! They have a form of godliness, but renounce the Lord’s power to change a human heart (2Timothy 3:5)! Turn away from such men as these!

You know that you see it in the headlines all the time. It grieves me to report that what has been exposed is just the tip of the iceberg.

So, by the standard of measure used by the hypocrites, the actors, the religious counterfeits, it will be measured to them. They condemn, so they will be condemned. 

Verses 3-4 —

Hypocrites point at the speck in their fellow believer’s eye, but do not see the log (beam of timber) of hypocrisy in their own eye. Their beam of timber obscures their view! Blinded by their own hypocrisy, they certainly cannot offer to help their brother remove his speck! Indeed, they are blind guides! 

Behold! Is there a log in your own eye? Are you a religious counterfeit, an actor assuming the role of the holy and righteous, while you hide your own sin?

Are you quick to judge your brothers and sisters in Christ, so as to condemn them to hell? Do you see their sin and point a finger at them rather than calling them to repent so they are forgiven, and calling them to be filled with the Holy Spirit so their hearts are purified? 

God knows your heart! Nothing is hidden from the eyes of Him with whom you have to do (Hebrews 4:13)!

Many of today’s preachers and teachers have applied this whole passage to all Christians, rather than hypocrites. They conclude that Christians cannot judge anyone (including our fellow Christians), and that is a partial truth.

But here is the rest of the story, beloved — it is essential that we judge sin in the church. Paul writes 

1Corinthians 5:11  But actually I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler — not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES (Deuteronomy 22:24, 24:7).

The Expositors Bible Commentary confirms that the expected reply to “Do you not judge those who are within the church?” is “Yes!” The brother who sins must be removed, until he repents. 

John Wesley’s penitent bands served that purpose. Sinning Christians weren’t condemned to hell, nor were fingers pointed at them, in his “societies.” But they were removed from the congregation until they heeded Christ’s words, saw the poverty of their hearts, and cried out for Him to change them. When Wesley saw the fruit of repentance in them, they were invited to rejoin the rest of the believers.

Verse 5 —

Jesus boldly and frankly says, You hypocrites, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. How do you, a hypocrite like I used to be, take the log out of your own eye? By heeding Jesus’ words, seeing the poverty of your heart, and crying out for Him to change it. The beam of timber will instantly be gone, when He answers by crucifying the sin nature in you and filling you with His Spirit! Then, blessed will you be!

Verse 6 —

Do not give what is holy to dogs, or they will tear you to pieces. Do not cast your pearls before swine, or they will trample you with their feet. 

Not everyone will receive the truth you give them. Therefore, be filled with the Holy Spirit so you have discernment as to the state of the hearts of some. You must give (speak) the treasures of the gospel, which is holy, and which is the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:46). But expect dogs and swine to retaliate, just as they did throughout the Book of Acts!

Verses 7-8 —

But here is the cure for hypocrisy! Ask (beg, crave) and the cure will be given to you. Seek (passionately desire) the cure, and you will find it. Knock (on the door of heaven, the source of the cure), and it will be opened to you.

Why should you ask, seek and knock? For (because) everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him to knocks, it will be opened! And no one can shut what Jesus opens (Isaiah 22:22)! Blessed are you if you ask, seek and knock!

What are you asking, seeking and knocking in order to receive? Money? Fame? Success? Happiness? Peace? Joy? He will not open to you. But ask, seek and knock for this one thing only — heart change by way of the infilling of the Holy Spirit! Then He will open the door to you! Hallelujah!

Verses 9-11 —

If you ask for a loaf of bread, no man among you will give you a stone. If you ask for a fish, no man among you will give you a snake. 

So, if you who are evil (because the sin nature in you is alive and well) know to give your children what they ask for, then how much more will your Father in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him? 

What is the good He will give? The infilling of the Holy Spirit, just as the Spirit-inspired Luke writes in Luke 11:13!

Verse 12 —

Therefore, because your Father in heaven gives what is good to those who ask Him, you do the same — “treat people the way you want them to treat you.” But that is a poor interpretation, inserted by the NASB editors. 

Your Father in heaven gives what is good (the Holy Spirit) to those who ask Him! So, go and do likewise, after you are filled! This is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets! Give the Holy Spirit to those who ask you, just as Paul always did —

Acts 19:1   It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. 2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them (entered them), and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. 7 There were in all about twelve men.

Now, I must speak bluntly to today’s believers. As I said at the beginning, there are many hypocrites among the congregations of today’s sin-soaked church. 

Today’s hypocrites profess to love the Lord but are actors who, outside and within the church walls, commit immorality, covet power, and rail against others behind their backs. Peter calls such ones stains and blemishes who revel in their deceptions, and goes on to say much more about them, in 2Peter 2:13-22! Go there with me!

Painful words produce godly sorrow that leads to repentance (2Corinthians 7:10). Many churches are dying because no painful words are spoken to the hypocrites. Therefore, for their lifetimes, they maintain their positions in the church. 

But what will the hypocrites say when they stand before Jesus? And what will their leaders say, for they did not speak painful words to the hypocrites, for fear of reprisal and less money in the offering plate?

Many who are being drawn by the Father to His Son come to church, but find hypocrisy there. So they leave and never return. If this is Christianity, they will say, who wants it? That is why Paul warns the believers at Corinth —

1Corinthians 5:11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler — not even to eat with such a one. 

Beware, believer! Do not be counted among the hypocrites, but heed Jesus’ words today. If you see yourself in Jesus’ words, that means you have headed His words and have seen the poverty-stricken condition of your heart. 

Now that you have seen your heart’s darkness, cry out for Him to change your heart, for He will do it! Then, supremely blessed will you be, for you will be free of your hypocrisy and filled with His Spirit and His love!

Beloved, Matthew 7:1-12 has been rendered painless and toothless by a stubborn and willful people — even the church! I have been sent to call you to sorrow that is according to God’s will, and to repentance. I have spoken the truth. Lord Jesus, may many in Your church repent! Amen.

THE MARKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, Part 2

[SW340] 8/18/2018 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018

The Marks of His Righteousness, Part 2

 Text: Matthew 6:16-34

What are the marks of God’s righteousness in a believer? When you are filled with His righteousness, your eye is single — you are focused entirely on Him! But Jesus says those whose hearts have not yet been changed are focused on themselves and their needs and desires. 

Heed His words, see the poverty-stricken condition of your heart, and cry out for Him to change it! He surely will, and blessed will you be!

In this passage, Jesus Christ utterly destroys the underpinnings of the prosperity and success gospels that are so popular in today’s church, so that these false gospels collapse into the dust. Amen!

Verses 16-18 —

Those who fast in order to be noticed by others have their reward in full — they are noticed by men and praised for their righteousness. They disfigure their faces with ashes or makeup, so men see that they are fasting. 

When they fast, they do not wash, nor anoint their heads with oil (so their hair looks disheveled), to make it obvious that they are fasting. Their outward act of righteousness mean nothing to God, because they are doing it for man’s praise. They will receive no reward from Him. They will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

But those who are filled with His righteousness anoint their heads with oil and wash their faces when they fast. We fast in secret because we do not want our fasting to be noticed by men, but by our Father who is in secret (hidden). Our eyes are on Him whom we love with His divine love! And He sees us, and rewards us with eternal life, here and now! And when our earthly tents fall away, we go to be with Him!

Verse 19 —

Many store up for themselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Preachers of the prosperity gospel tell believers that God wants them to have lots of money, and many possessions. It is an ear-pleasing message, and they have many followers! 

But what is the focus of such a gospel? Earthly treasures! Their followers’ eyes are on riches for themselves, not on Christ! The greedy sin nature in them is still alive and well, their hearts are yet poverty-stricken, and they are in danger of losing the true treasure, eternal life, unless they heed, see, and cry out for Him to change their hearts!

Jesus says, Do not store up these things for yourself. They will rust and decay and be stolen. Thus, the prosperity gospel is destroyed, in a few simple words from the Lord. And the success gospel, which says that God wants you to be successful, is simply a variation of the prosperity gospel. If you are successful, you will be rich with earthly treasures. Both gospels play to the sin nature’s greed.

It is as James warned the believers from the twelve tribes, who were scattered because of persecution, and were greedy for personal riches —

James 1:11 For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away (be extinguished, like a fire).

Verse 20 —

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, for those treasures will not be destroyed or stolen. When you are filled with His righteousness, you have sought and received true riches — the infilling of His Holy Spirit, intimate fellowship with the Father and the Son, and a purified heart.

Then your eyes are on Him alone! He will use you greatly to bring many souls to Himself, and set many captives free! And when you stand before Him, He will say to you —

Matthew 25:21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’”

Oh, the joy of my Master! That is the true reward, beloved! That is the true treasure! Store up treasures in heaven, by being filled with His Spirit and His righteousness! Blessed will you be!

Verse 21 —

Jesus boldly teaches that where your treasures are, your heart will be, also. Where is your heart? What are you seeking? 

Are your eyes on Him, or on earthly treasures and pleasing yourself? See the poverty of your heart, and cry out to Him to change it. Then, your eyes will be on Him alone, and blessed will you be!

Verse 22 —

The eye is the lamp of the body. It is the means by which we see, it lights our way. Spiritually, if your eye is clear (single, focused entirely on Him), your whole body will be full of light. 

What light? His light! It will shine from you, because His light has filled you. The Father and the Son are light; there is no darkness in them (1John 1:5)! And you now have their divine nature in you! There is no longer any darkness in you — your sin nature has been crucified (Galatians 5:24). Hallelujah!

You are filled with Christ’s righteousness! The Father, the Son and the Spirit fully indwell you (John 14:23)! 

Nations will come to your light, and kings to the radiance of your shining (Isaiah 60:3)! Blessed are you, for you have heeded His words, seen the poverty of your heart, and cried out for Him to change it! And He has done it!

Verse 23 —

But if your eye is bad (evil), your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you (what is shown to be in you) is darkness, how great (how much) is that darkness! Your eyes are not focused on Him but on yourself and on worldly desires for honor from men, success, and riches. How great is the darkness that is in you! It is so great that it has filled you and blinded you!

Oh, may you heed, for then you will see His light shining on you, and you will cry out, and He will remove the darkness that is in you, and fill you with His Spirit and His light and His righteousness, just as He did me! 

Verse 24 — 

Jesus says no one can serve (be in bondage, be a slave to) two masters. He will either hate the one and love the other, or will be devoted to one and despise the other. 

You cannot serve God and mammon (earthly treasures). You either serve God, or wealth.

If you serve wealth, you love wealth. It is your god. So, you hate God, in comparison to the god of wealth. If you are devoted to the god of wealth, you will despise God, in comparison to the god of wealth, upon which your eyes are focused.

Oh, beloved! Do you see the falseness of the prosperity and success gospels? He is showing you! See, heed and cry out! He will change your heart, and fill you with His Spirit and His righteousness, and your eyes will be on Him alone, and you will serve Him alone!

Verse 25 — 

For this reason — because you cannot serve both God and the god of wealth — Jesus says to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

If you worry about such things, you reveal that your eyes are on earthly treasures, so you can have the drink and food and clothing that you crave. Your eyes are focused on your desires, your self, and not on the Lord. Your heart has not yet been changed. Heed, see, cry out, beloved!

Life is more than food, drink and clothing! Those who are filled with the Holy Spirit have obeyed Jesus’ command to stay (Luke 24:49) and wait (Acts 1:4-5, 8). They have passionately sought and have been filled with Christ’s life, and He is the Bread of life! They have passionately sought His living water! They have passionately sought to be inwardly filled with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, so they are temples for the Holy Spirit! Have you become His temple?

Verses 26-30 —

Jesus shames believers who worry about (take thought of, are anxious about) what they will eat, what they will drink, and what they will wear. He shows you your heart!

The birds of the air do nothing but live, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than them, to Him?  

Can you add a single hour to your life by worrying? He knows the number of your days, beloved. He sits above time, so He knows the end from the beginning —

Isaiah 46:10  Declaring the end from the beginning, 

And from ancient times things which have not been done, 

Saying, “My purpose will be established, 

And I will accomplish all My good pleasure . . .” 

And why are you worried about clothing? The lilies of the field do not toil, yet they are arrayed more gloriously than King Solomon in all his glory. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you?

You of little faith, Jesus says. Don’t you trust your Father? Your worrying reveals that you are not yet able, because your eyes are focused on your desires. 

It was the same with His disciples (and with me) before they experienced their own personal Pentecost and were filled with His Spirit. They thought His kingdom was of this world, and that He was going to free them from Roman rule! That was their desire. 

But His desire was to purify their hearts, and establish His kingdom in them! Thanks be to God, when He fills you, He establishes His kingdom in you, and your eyes are focused on Him alone!

When you cry out for Him to change your heart, you will no longer take thought of such things. He will fill you with His Spirit, and your eyes will be focused on Him. You will no longer be littlefaiths, but will be blessed, indeed!

Verses 31-32 —

Jesus commands, do not worry. Those who do not believe into Him worry about such things! They eagerly seek (intensely crave) all these things! Your Father knows that you need food and drink and clothing. 
Verse 33 —

But seek after (passionately pursue), His kingdom and His righteousness to be established in your heart! And all that you need will be added (given) to you, by Your Father in heaven.

When your eyes are on Him, and He has filled you with His Spirit and His light and His righteousness, you will not crave what the world craves! The self-centered gospels of prosperity and success will mean nothing to you. And you will be light in the darkness, His witnesses here! Hallelujah!

Verse 34 —

Do not focus your eyes on tomorrow. Look to Him! You will, when you are filled with His Spirit and His righteousness!

You may say, why is it wrong to be anxious and take thought of tomorrow? Many Christians whose hearts are not yet changed do such things. Many of them are so anxious and fearful that they seek psychiatric help and are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Their eyes are not yet focused on the Lord, but on their natural circumstances. Oh, if they would just heed, see and cry out, the Lord would change their hearts, and they would no longer be anxious about anything!

Tomorrow will worry about itself. Sufficient to each day is its own wickedness That is the original Greek-to-English of, “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Each day will have evil in it, for there will be evil in the world until the day of the Lord. He is not the author of evil, but hearts that reject Him are under the thumb of the evil one, Satan, a created cherub who fell from heaven because of his pride. 

But if you heed His words, see the poverty of your heart, and cry out for Him to change it, He will! Beloved, He will deliver you from false gospels, and from your sin nature, and He will fill you with His Spirit, His righteousness, and His divine nature! Then, your eyes will be on Him alone, and blessed will you be! 

Lord Jesus, may hearts respond to  your words, and the gospels of the god of wealth be exposed. Amen!

THE MARKS OF HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, PART 1

[SW339] 8/11/2018 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018

The Marks of His Righteousness, Part 1

 Text: Matthew 6:1-15

What are the marks of one who is filled with the Holy Spirit and the very righteousness of Christ? And what are the marks of one who is self-righteous? Jesus Christ continues the Sermon on the Mount, revealing your heart to you, just as He did with me! 

Paul writes, None are righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10). That is why we need a Savior, to reconcile us to God, and a Sanctifier, to fill us with the Holy Spirit and the righteousness of Christ. 

Heed His words, see the poverty-stricken condition of your heart, and cry out to Him to change it! Blessed will you be, if you do it! He will fill you with His Spirit, and His righteousness, and your heart’s motive will be to glorify Him, and not yourself. 

In these verses, notice the phrases Jesus uses —  noticed by men, honored by men, seen by men. In today’s church, there are those who boast about the number who attend their church, the beauty and vastness of their buildings, the money they raise, and the good works they do — not “God works,” but the same kind of good works that any benevolent organization does. They seek to be noticed, honored, and seen by men!

Verse 1 —

So Jesus says, Beware of practicing (doing) your righteousness before men, to be noticed by them. If you seek to be noticed and admired by men, for all of your good deeds, you reveal your heart’s motive! It is your righteousness you want people to see. 

O believer, you will have no reward with your Father in heaven. You have received your reward from men — their praise of you, their honor of you. But God is not praised and honored by what you are doing. So your actions mean nothing, in God’s eyes. 

Verse 2 —

So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

What reward do you have, if you seek to be honored by men? You will be honored by men, but not by God. You want everyone to see your righteousness and honor you! You want them to say, Wow! How generous you are! And that is your reward in full. You will receive no reward from your Father in heaven. Your motive is that men honor you, not God.

Verses 3-4 — 

But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

When you are filled with God’s righteousness, and you give to the poor, your right hand will not know what your left hand is doing. You will not trumpet (announce) what you are doing, nor will you keep a personal record of what you give. You will just give, secretly. 

And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Why? Your motive is His divine love, with which He has filled you. When that is your heart motive, all that you do is done by and for Him, working through you. It is the mark of His righteousness, in you. And what is your reward, from your Father?

Matthew 25:34   “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’”

But when you are giving so men will notice, honor, and see you, though you address Jesus as your Lord, here is your reward —

Matthew 25:46 “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

O believer, seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness (Matthew 6;33)!Then, there is no motive in your heart other than God’s divine love with which He has filled you, and you bear the marks of His righteousness, and you will be blessed of your Father in heaven! 

Oh, blessed will you be if you heed His words, see the poverty-stricken condition of your heart, and cry out for Him to fill you with His Spirit, His love, His righteousness! 

Verse 5 —

When you pray, do not  be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners, so that they may be seen by men. 

They do these things so men notice and say, “Oh! What a fine prayer!” They love to do it! So, they have their reward in full — the praise of men, but no praise from God.

Why? They pray for themselves, to be seen by others. The Pharisee, in Luke 18:11 and forward, was not praying to God at all, but telling God how good he was! But the tax collector who stood some distance away, pounding his chest in mourning, crying out for mercy because he saw the condition of his heart, was justified (made righteous by God). 

He exalts the humble, not the one who exalts himself —

1Peter 5:6   Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time. 

If you humble yourself by acknowledging the state of your heart and crying out for Him to change it, He will fill you with His righteousness, and blessed will you be!

Verse 6 —

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 

If you are filled with Christ’s righteousness, you will go into your inner room, close your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret (not physically seen). You pray in secret, and you pray to Him. And your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you, for you are serving Him, and not yourself.

 What do you pray, when you are filled with His righteousness? You will see it in verses 9-13. 

Verse 7 —

And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles (unbelievers) do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.

When you are filled with Christ’s righteousness, you know your prayer is heard! There is no need to ask over and over again. The man born blind, who now sees because Christ healed him, says —

John 9:31 “We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.”

The only prayer the Lord will hear from a sinner or a sinning believer is this — “I repent! I see my heart! Only Your Son can save me from myself! Please forgive me and receive me!”

Do you pray in order to be seen by men? Then He will require the same prayer from you.

Verse 8 —

So do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. 

If you are filled with His righteousness, you know that your Father knows what you need before you ask Him! So you do not pray, “Give me, give me, I need, I want!” You know He will meet your needs, for you have heeded Jesus’ words, seen the condition of your heart, and cried out for Him to change it! With great passion, you have sought His kingdom to be established in you, and His righteousness to fill you, and He has done it! Blessed are you!

Verse 9 —

Pray then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. 

Earlier I said I would show you how you pray, when you are filled with His righteousness? You pray for your Father’s kingdom to be established in human hearts, and His righteousness to fill every human heart!

Our Father who is in heaven! Father of us, in the heavens! Abba! My Father!  

Let Your name, Your holy character and reputation, be venerated, revered, greatly respected and honored.

Verse 10 —

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

I am asking you to establish Your kingdom in every human heart, just as you have done in me. 

I am asking You to fill every heart with Your Holy Spirit and Your righteousness and Your divine love, so everyone will be able to say 

Psalm 40:8  “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”

I am asking You, my Father, to establish Your kingdom here on earth, so Your will is done just as it always has been in heaven, where Your kingdom is established, and Your will is always done. 

Your kingdom is not of this world, but a kingdom that is already established in heaven, and a kingdom that you establish in human hearts — 

John 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”

Luke 17:20   Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst (within you).”

Verse 11 — 

Give us this day our daily bread.

Those who are filled with His righteousness ask our Father to give us this day our daily bread. He is our Provider, not only of the bread we eat, which is life-giving in the natural, but the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, and the Bread of the Word of God, which nourishes our spirits. We depend on Him entirely.

Verse 12 — 

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And we pray, Father, forgive us our debts (unintentional sin that does not violate God’s Law). We are filled with Your Spirit and Your righteousness, so we no longer willfully disobey you, but we freely acknowledge that we may offend someone, and not realize it. Forgive us of such things, in the same way that we have already forgiven others.

If you are a believer who is willfully disobeying God, have been warned to repent, and continue to sin, He will deal with you the same way He deals with unbelievers. Do not test Him! Just as with unbelievers, you must immediately turn away from your sin, repent from your heart, ask Him to forgive you and most importantly, ask Him to change your heart1

Verse 13 —

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Father, do not let us succumb to temptation.  Everyone is tempted, but when you are filled with His righteousness, you are able to resist temptation, because He has purified your heart! 

You are fully submitted to God, which is a mark that you are filled with His Spirit and His righteousness. You have drawn near to God. He is in you! Your hands are cleansed, your heart has been made pure! Listen to James’ exhortation of the Jewish believers scattered because of persecution —

James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 

8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Do not let us succumb Who is the tempter? Satan, just as he tempted Jesus in the wilderness, in Matthew 4:1-11, and just as He tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, in Genesis 3:4-5. He has not changed. 

Why do you ask this of your Father? Because His is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen! This is not in early manuscripts, but it is surely true! 

Verses 14-15 —

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

You may say, Why do I have to forgive others when they sin against me? Don’t I have the right to be angry, to hold a grudge, to take legal action against them? 

I ask you this — didn’t God forgive you, though He had every right to punish you? 

Beware! You reveal your heart’s poverty! Remember that anger’s root is hatred, just as with murder. And your hatred means your sin nature is alive and well, and your heart has not yet been changed.

When you have been filled with His righteousness, there is no longer any hate in your heart. So you freely forgive!

Beloved, you must allow the Lord to change your heart, to take out the hate that makes you stubbornly refuse to forgive others! I see it in many believers. But If you do not forgive, your Father will not forgive you! 

Do you understand what Jesus is saying? When you stand before Him in the day of judgment, He will judge you and find you guilty as charged, and it will be for you as it was for the one in Matthew 18. He was forgiven a debt he could never repay (just as God forgave you when you believed into Christ). But he would not forgive his fellow man for a small debt. And so his impossible-to-pay debt was no longer forgiven, and he was thrown into hell. He would never be able to pay “every last cent!”

Oh, beloved! Heed Jesus’ words! See your poverty-stricken heart! Only he can change it, filling it with His Spirit and His righteousness and His love, filling it with His divine nature! Then you will be able to obey Jesus’ command that you be His witness here — that you walk as He walked in this world, and that you be like Him in this world! 

If you ask Him to change your heart, He will do it! Then, blessed will you be!