JOHN 19 COMMENTARY

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!

In John 19, we see the continued persecution of Jesus, even to His death and burial. He is hung on a cross, and there, He says, “It is finished!” What is finished? Come along with me, and I’ll show you!

Verse 1 — You need to know what scourging is. A whip with many thongs was used by the Roman soldiers. At the tip of each one was a sharp object, made of rock or glass. When such a whip connected with human flesh, the damage was immense.

But when the whip was pulled back so the victim could be struck again, it was even worse. Because the sharp objects grabbed onto whatever they struck, flesh and muscle were ripped away from the body, causing tremendous damage, blood loss and pain.

When Psalm 22 says Jesus could count His bones, it wasn’t because He was emaciated. It was because they were visible. The flesh and muscle covering them had been ripped off. Some Christian historians believe Jesus was scourged on both sides.

What was the purpose of scourging someone? To weaken them for a quick death on a cross.

IMPORTANT POINT #1:  Psalm 22 was written by King David 1,000 years before Christ was crucified. God showed him the crucifixion, and it is described in this Psalm. How much does God know? Everything. How much can you hide from Him? Nothing!

IMPORTANT POINT #2: This was just one part of the punishment WE deserved, for our sin against God.

Verses 2-3 — But that wasn’t all Jesus endured. The soldiers who had scourged Him weren’t through. They beat Him, slapped Him in the face, and pulled out His beard (Isaiah 50:6). They also mocked Him, dressing Him as a king, with a crown of long thorns and a purple robe. They made sure the thorns dug into His scalp and forehead. Through all of it, Jesus was silent, as a lamb being led to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7).

IMPORTANT POINT #1: Again, this was the punishment YOU deserved for your sin, dear reader (Isaiah 53:5).

IMPORTANT POINT #2:  Jesus fulfilled every prophecy about Him, in His life on this earth, and when He returned to His Father. These prophecies were written a very long time before He came. How much does God know? Everything that ever was, is, and will be.

Verses 4-5 — Pilate came out of the Praetorium again, to tell the Jews, for the second time (see 18:38), that he found no guilt in Jesus. Behold! It was an emphatic statement.

Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. “Behold the

Man,” exclaimed Pilate.

IMPORTANT POINT: Pilate, a notoriously evil ruler, did not want to crucify Christ. Wasn’t the scourging and beating enough?

Verse 6 — The Jewish elite saw Him and said, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate said, you do it, for I find no guilt in Him. That was the third time Pilate expressed Jesus’ innocence.

IMPORTANT POINT: To this very day, Jesus’ followers are persecuted and killed, though they are innocent.

Verse 7 — But, as Pilate well knew, the Jewish elite could not crucify Jesus because they were under Roman rule. The Jewish elite considered Jesus to be a blasphemer because He made Himself out to be (appointed Himself as) the Son of God. The punishment for such blasphemy was death, under Mosaic law. But it would have to be done by the Romans, because the Jews had no authority to condemn a man to death.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus did not appoint Himself anything. God the Father sent Him to die in our stead. But even today, many people accuse Jesus and His followers.

Verse 8 — Pilate was more afraid than ever . . . Jesus was innocent, and he knew it. But the Jewish elite was hell-bent on crucifying Him. What if He was the Son of God? What would happen to Rome, if Pilate killed God?

IMPORTANT POINT: Even a ruthless pagan governor was afraid of killing God, but the Jewish elite were not. How ironic!

Verses 9-10 — He entered into the Praetorium again, and asked Jesus where He was from. But Jesus did not answer. Pilate was irritated because Jesus did not respond. So Pilate told Jesus that His life was in his hands. He has authority to release Jesus and authority to crucify Him.

Verses 11-13 — Jesus said the only reason Pilate had authority to crucify Him was because it was given to Pilate from above (from God the Father). Pilate was simply fulfilling God the Father’s plan for our reconciliation to Himself. It was necessary for Jesus to be crucified, so we may be saved. Therefore, the chief priest who made the ruling that Jesus was guilty sinned more greatly than Pilate sinned by ordering Christ to be crucified. The Jewish elite committed premeditated murder, a greater sin.

IMPORTANT POINT: Sin is sin to God, and all sin leads to death (Romans 6:23). but there are some sins that He singles out as being more serious, and classifies some even as abominations, things that repulse Him because they are completely contrary to His nature.

So Pilate was more alarmed than ever, and sought to release Jesus. But the Jewish elite would not relent. They said Pilate would be guilty of treason if he released a Man who made Himself out to be (appointed Himself as) a King, thus speaking against Caesar, who was king over the Roman Empire and claimed to be a god.

Treason would have meant death for Pilate. So he brought Jesus out again and sat in the judgment seat at Gabbatha.

IMPORTANT POINT: Some will deny Jesus when they are threatened with death. But if we deny Him before men, He will deny us before His Father (Matthew 10:33).

Verses 14-15 — The Passover Lamb was about to be sacrificed. The Jews were thinking of natural lambs, but God the Son was the true Passover Lamb whose blood would atone for our sin, and let us live eternally with Him, if we believe in Him. It was 6 a.m. All of Jesus’ trials were illegally conducted at night.

Pilate exclaimed, “Behold your King!” He mocked the Jewish elite, who certainly did not want Jesus to be their King. And their response was, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Mocking them again, Pilate said, “Shall I crucify your King?” And the next statement of the Jewish elite is the ultimate in irony.

They had no king but Caesar. They rejected the kingship of God the Father when they rejected His Son. So they certainly had no king but Caesar. God was no longer their King.

IMPORTANT POINT: It wasn’t the first time Israel rejected God as their king. Check out 1Samuel 8:5 and forward. How foolish man is! What human king can compare with King Jesus? Don’t we still do that, when we decide we will be king over our lives, and that we don’t want to live under the glorious rule of the King of kings and Lord of lords?

Verses 16-17 — Pilate handed Him over to his guards to be crucified. They took Him to Golgotha, Place of the Skull. John says He carried His own cross, but the other gospels tell us that He required help, at some point, as He was led to His death.

Now, I must explain that crucifixion was the most excruciating way to kill a person. It was sheer torture The naked person was suspended by their hands on a cross, their hands nailed and sometimes bound, their feet on a tiny shelf, nailed to the cross. Tremendous blood flow resulted. Jesus had already lost a great deal of blood during the scourging and beating. He had very little left in His body by the time they nailed Him to that cross. His organs were beginning to shut down. His breathing was labored because of lack of oxygen-carrying blood. Then, hanging on the cross, it was impossible to inhale. The shoulders dislocated because of the weight of the person’s body. All His bones were out of joint (Psalm 22:4).

Between blood loss and asphyxiation, death usually came within hours.

He was crucified between two thieves. Thus Isaiah 53:9 was fulfilled. Wicked men were on either side of Him.

IMPORTANT POINT: He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, and knows the end of things from the beginning, before time began. Long before God the Father sent Him, both the Father and the Son knew what He would need to do, to reconcile us to God. (See Revelation 13:8, from the original Greek-to-English,

“ . . . the Lamb who has been slain form the foundation of the world. Also see 1Peter 1:20.)

Verses 19-20 — Don’t miss the significance here. Pilate again mocked the Jewish elite, by putting up a sign on His cross that read, “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.” He wrote it in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. What did it look like in the Hebrew?

Yeshua — Y — Jesus

Hanaseray — H — the Nazarene

Vimilek — V (our W) — King

Hayahuda – H — of the Jews

YHWH means I AM. Pilate identified Jesus as the I AM of the burning bush in Exodus 3! No wonder the Jewish Elite were upset. The sign made it look they were killing God!

IMPORTANT POINT: Many have tried to kill God, and erase His Word. But it will not happen. His word will never pass away (Matthew 24:35), and He always has been and always will be the eternally existent, living God.

Verses 21-22 — So they said, “Do not write that.” Write “He said He was King of the Jews — that way it wouldn’t read YHWH. But Pilate said, “I’ve written it, and I’m not changing it.”

IMPORTANT POINT: This was Pilate’s final condemnation of the Jewish elite.

Verses 23-24 — Then the Roman soldiers cast lots for His garment, specifically His seamless tunic which was a symbol of His priesthood. It was considered valuable by His executioners, so they didn’t want to tear it into four pieces, as they had his other clothing. Thus, Psalm 22:18 was fulfilled. He would have been able to look down and watch them do it.

IMPORTANT POINT:  Do you see that God planned this long ago and spoke of it through His prophets? Does He know everything about you? Absolutely! Come to Him, confess your sin, and He will most assuredly heal you of it.

Verse 25 — These next verses are remarkable, because Jesus should not have had breath or strength to speak loudly enough for anyone to hear. But He saw His mother, who was with Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdelene, standing by His cross. He exclaimed to John who was also nearby, “Woman, behold your son!” and to John, “Behold, your mother!” Jesus thus made John responsible to care for His mother, and John knew that was the meaning of His words.

IMPORTANT POINT: Even in His extreme suffering, He still guided His disciples.

Verses 28-30 — Now, to fulfill Psalm 69:21, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” He was given vinegar. After He took it, He exclaimed loudly, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

What was finished? Everything God the Father sent Him to do. When some folks read that we must fill up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions (Colossians 1:24), they think His work was unfinished. He commands all disciples to deny ourselves and take up our crosses and follow Him (Matthew 61:24). Where? To Golgotha. Why? So we complete what is lacking in us — death of our old natures, so we become partakers of His nature (2Peter 1:4)!

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus finished His work, by which those who believe are able to be reconciled to God. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). That was the expression of God’s love to the world. He does not love sin. He loves sinners in this way only — He offered His Son, if they will believe, so they may be forgiven.

Verses 31-37 — The Jews insisted that the bodies be taken down from the cross, so they would not be on display and potentially ruin the special Sabbath of Passover. They assumed each one was still alive, and asked Pilate to have his soldiers break their legs, so they would quickly bleed to death. So the soldiers broke the legs of the two men crucified next to Jesus.

But Jesus was already dead, so they did not break His legs. It fulfilled the Passover lamb requirement — no broken bones (Exodus 12:46). And it also fulfilled Psalm 34:20.

Instead, to ensure He was dead, they pierced His side, rupturing His heart and pericardium (the fluid-filled sac around the heart). Blood and water immediately spurted out. Just as Zechariah spoke in Zechariah 12:10, the Jewish elite looked upon Him whom they pierced.

IMPORTANT POINT: The Roman soldiers knew nothing of these scriptures. Yet they did exactly what God’s prophets had spoken. How much greater is God than us? More than we can comprehend!

Verse 38-40 — Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Sanhedrin. But he was also a disciple of Jesus, secretly, because he feared the consequences. Because he was a prominent and wealthy man, he was able to approach Pilate and ask him for Christ’s body. Pilate agreed to it, and Joseph took His body.

Nicodemus, also a member of the Sanhedrin had also become His disciple. He had come to Jesus in the night, in John 3. Nicodemus brought 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes — such great amounts were only used for the burial of kings. So Joseph and he took the body of Jesus, bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, a Jewish custom.

IMPORTANT POINT: Joseph and Nicodemus knew Jesus was King of kings and Lord of lords, and treated Him accordingly, even in His death. Is Jesus your King? If so, you will treat Him accordingly.

Verse 41-42 — He was crucified on Golgotha, and nearby was a garden with a new  tomb. It belonged to Joseph of Arimethea (Matthew 27:60). Thus, Isaiah 53:9 was fulfilled — He was with a rich man in His death. Thus, He was buried, and a large stone rolled over the mouth of the tomb.

IMPORTANT POINT: Every detail of Christ’s life and death was foretold. God is all-knowing. Do not try to hide your sin from Him. Come into the Light of Christ for salvation, and then ask Your Father for your own personal Pentecost, for the infilling of His Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13)!

A VIOLENT LAND

[SW241] 07/23/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“A Violent Land”

Text: Ezekiel 8 and forward

Ezekiel addresses God’s people, with a word from the Lord. The land is filled with violence. Why? I prayed to the Lord, “I will not speak this unless You show me.”

Violence — Wrong, unjust gain, cruelty, damage, falseness, injustice, oppression, unrighteousness. It is violence in deed and in our dealings with one another, and it is violence in your dealings with the Lord.

In a vision, Ezekiel is taken back to Judah, to see sin among God’s people that is visible, and that which is not visible.

8:5 — Outside, north of the altar gate, in full sight, is the idol that takes the place of the Lord. He is a jealous God. He wants all of you. Our idols that we make are dead gods (Psalm 115). They are abomination to Him — loathsome, detestable, dangerous, sinister, repulsive, contrary to God’s nature. He is the only true and living God, and the only One who deserves our worship.

What is this idol that takes the place of the Lord? Prosperity. There are many big church buildings in the U.S. There is much preaching on prosperity, on naming and claiming, on the power of positive thinking, all centered on ourselves. There is political correctness, in order to keep the seats filled, so we can keep our buildings beautiful and our pockets full.

This idol of prosperity, which is visible to the whole world, takes the place of God. They serve it rather than God the Father and God the Son. They seek His hand, but are repulsed by His truth (Isaiah 6:10, Matthew 13:15).

What is the root of the idol of prosperity? I will show you later.

Brother Yun, one of China’s house church leaders, who wrote The Heavenly Man, was invited to the U.S. He was shown all of our big churches and parachurch ministries. He said, “You do not need more church buildings. You need revival.” A top leader in one denomination said he didn’t know what I meant by “revival.” Oh, my!  I suggested he read about what happened in the Hebrides in Scotland in the mid-20th century. I was appalled that he did not know.

8:6 — But there is an even greater abomination to God, something even more loathsome, detestable, dangerous, sinister, repulsive, and contrary to His nature. It is hidden. It takes the place of God. I had to dig for it. What is it, Lord?

Sensuality and perverted sexuality. In many churches, our leaders — the elders — serve it. They think the Lord does not see them. But He does. We are to be a royal nation, a holy priesthood. But pornography is rampant, as is sexual abuse, pedophilia. Homosexuality is celebrated openly in some churches, so I can’t include that as a hidden sin any more.
What is the root of the idol of sensuality and perverted sexuality? I will show you later.

8:14 — But there is an even greater abomination to God, something even more loathsome, detestable, dangerous, sinister, repulsive, contrary to His nature.

Tammuz was a fertility and rain god who died every fall and rose again in the spring. Worship of him involved sexual promiscuity. And when he died every year, women mourned him with a particular kind of wailing, because when he died, the land became parched.

Why is that a greater abomination than elders and leaders who serve sensuality and sex? Even women of God, in whose womb He knits together His children (Psalm 139:13), worship and serve dead gods.

Among the women of the church are those who practice such things and wail at their parched spirits. Oh, that they would turn away from their sin and back to the endless fountain, Jesus Christ! With joy they would draw water from Him!  (Isaiah 12:6)

What is the root of this licentiousness? I will show you later.

8:16 — But there is an even greater abomination to God, something even more  loathsome, detestable, dangerous, sinister, repulsive, and contrary to His nature. It happens between the porch and the altar, in the inner court.

Men who are leaders/elders (see 9:6) worship natural light, with their backs to the Lord.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Light of the world, but they have turned from Him to philosophy, psychology, and business practices to fill their seats and pockets, to keep their dying denominations alive.

The Lord does not want a church with filled seats. He wants a church filled with Him! That will surely bring life to our deadness, just as in Ezekiel 37. And when the Spirit comes in, we will rise up into an army, to possess the land!

Like Sardis, they have a reputation for being alive, but they are dead (Revelation 3:1). I see dead men’s bones, lying in a boneyard (Ezekiel 37:1). Can these bones live? Lord, You know. Only by God’s Spirit coming in and filling each one heart!

What is the result of all of the practice of these abominations, these things that are loathsome, detestable, dangerous, sinister, repulsive, and contrary to God’s nature?

8:17 — First, by doing these things, God’s people and leaders repeatedly provoke (grieve, anger) the Lord.

Second, God’s people and leaders fill the land with violence — wrong, unjust gain, cruelty, damage, falseness, injustice, oppression, unrighteousness, violence in deed and in how we deal with one another, and in how we deal with the Lord.

The land is filled with violence,O wayward church, and you have no one to blame but yourselves. (See 2Kings 17:7ff.)

These are the difficult (literally, fierce) times of 2Timothy 3:5 —

2Timothy 3:1-2  But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.

2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy . . .

2Timothy 3:5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

Fierce times! That word was used of the Garesenes demoniac. These are demonic times.

What is the root of all of these abominations?

Love of self, and thereby, worship of ourselves. Christianity has become “me-centered” instead of “Christ-centered.”
Therefore, the land is filled with blood and the city with perversion (9:9).

What is the Lord’s response?

Verse 18 — Wrath, no pity, and He will not listen to those who commit all these abominations.

What will happen?

9:4 — Those who sigh and groan over all the abominations will be spared.

9:6 — As for the rest? Destruction, which will start from the Lord’s sanctuary, just as Peter warns —

1Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

With whom will the destruction begin? Why?

11:2 — The elders, because they led His people into these things. They devised such things. They gave evil advice to the church, to people who have no knowledge of God and are therefore easily deceived. They have said, “Go far from the Lord. You are saved.” (See Ezekiel 11:15.)

But the Christians who follow these elders and gather them to themselves will also be destroyed because of their lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6) and thereby gathered such teachers to themselves (2Timothy 4:3). As Jesus said, when the blind lead the blind, they both fall into a pit (Matthew 15:4).

Is there any hope for the church that has committed abominations, those things that are contrary to God’s nature?

11:17-18 — It will not be a complete destruction. Repentance is the only hope of those who have gone astray, as I myself have experienced when I turned away like the prodigal son (Luke 15:12).

The Lord always will have a remnant composed of those who repent and those who did not commit abominations against Him. Those who repent will confess their abominations to the Lord and ask Him to purify their hearts. He will give them one heart and put a new spirit within them — His Spirit (Ezekiel 36:27).

11:21 — But as for those whose hearts go after their detestable things and their abominations, He will bring their conduct down on their heads.

11:23 — The Lord’s glory, His presence, is on the mountain. His glory has lifted off His church.

He is standing on the mountain right now. He is waiting for you, O Christian, to repent.

Revelation 3:20 says He stands at the door of the church, and knocks. He is not inside the church, but outside, knocking. He is waiting for individuals to open to Him. Will you open? If you return to Him, He will return to you!

Beloved! I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin (2Corinthians 11:2)!

JOHN 18 COMMENTARY

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!

In John 18, Jesus reaches the divinely appointed hour when the Father allows the Jews and Romans to arrest His Son, and illegally conduct trials against Him. And  you will begin to see what it cost God the Father to have you become His child. I honor and glorify the Father and the Son for while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me, taking upon Himself the punishment I deserved! There was no other way for me to be saved from the wrath of God.

Verse 1-2 — Jesus went to a well-known meeting place, with His disciples. It was a garden known as Gethsemane (named in the other gospels). Judas knew the place, but he was not with them. He had gone to betray Jesus.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus never hid from His accusers. His Father had given Him a mission, and He was about to fulfill it.

Verse 3 — Most movies depict this verse with oh, maybe 15 soldiers and some Jews. A Roman cohort is 600 soldiers, called upon by the chief priests and Pharisees to go and arrest Jesus Christ. They went to the garden well-armed. The high priest was with them (see Verse 10), as well as Jewish officers.

IMPORTANT POINT: Though Jesus had walked among them daily, they felt it necessary to use 600 men to arrest Him. They had seen His power, and were afraid of Him. Satan knows His power, too. And Jesus Christ was victorious over him on that cross. Satan still attempts to deceive, but if you know His voice, you are able to discern Satan’s as well.

Verses 4-9 — Jesus knew everything that was coming upon Him. So He went forth to be arrested. He did not run, or hide, or doubt. He simply did what the Father sent Him to do. He asked whom they sought. They said Jesus the Nazarene.

Then Jesus said, “I AM.” And all 600 drew back and fell to the ground, just from the power of His words. Then He said again, whom do you seek? And they said Jesus the Nazarene. And again he said, I told you I AM. Take Me. Let the others go their way (to fulfill John 17:12).

IMPORTANT POINT:  The Jews were right. Just saying “I AM” was enough to bowl over 600 soldiers!

Verses 10-11 — Simon Peter drew a sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave, Malchus. So Jesus commanded Peter to put the sword into the sheath. Jesus would not refuse the cup the Father had given Him.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus knew what He had been sent to do. He didn’t worry or fret. He drank the cup. He died on a cross for your sin and mine. Our sin separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2), but when we confess our sin, turn from it, and receive what Jesus did on that cross, we are saved and reconciled to God the Father.

Verses 12-14 — So the 600 Romans soldiers and the commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus and bound Him and took him to Annas first, because he was related to Caiaphas, the designated high priest. Annas had been high priest before his son-in-law was appointed. He was the one who unknowingly prophesied that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people (John 11:50).

IMPORTANT POINT: Many are eager to kill the followers of Jesus, and do not worry about the legalities of arrest and trial. In the 20th and 21st centuries, more martyrs have died because they would deny Christ than in all previous centuries since the church began.

Verses 15-16 — Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did John (“another disciple” refers to him because the writers of each gospel never wrote of themselves in their accounts). The high priest (Annas) knew John, so John spoke to the doorkeeper so Peter could be brought inside, with John.

Verses 17-18 — The doorkeeper was a slave girl. She believed he was one of Jesus’ disciples, and asked him if he was. He denied it. Then he joined those who were around a charcoal fire, and warmed himself.

Verse 19-21 — Annas questioned Jesus about His disciples and His teaching. But Jesus said, I have spoken openly to the world, and in the Temple and in the synagogues. I spoke nothing in secret. So why do you question Me? Ask those who heard what I spoke. They know what I said. He was stating the facts.

This was an illegal first trial for Jesus. on the night before He was crucified. Jewish law said no one is tried at night, and the accused one has the right to testify on his own behalf. The Jews violated their own law. They were on a mission to kill Jesus, because they were jealous of Him and were offended by what He said about them.

Verses 22-24 — One of the officers struck Jesus. Why? No one questions the high priest. It was considered to be disrespectful. The officer said, “Is that the way you answer the high priest?” Jesus said, if I have spoken wrongly (lied), tell me in what way I lied. But if I did not lie, why do you strike Me? And Annas sent Him on to Caiaphas.

Verses 25-27 —Before following Jesus to Caiaphas, Simon Peter remained at the fire, warming himself. And those around the fire questioned him again. Aren’t you one of His disciples. Peter denied it. And one of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of Malcus, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with Him? Peter denied it again, and a rooster crowed, fulfilling Jesus’ prophetic word to Peter, recorded in Matthew 26:34, Mark 14:30, Luke 22:34, and John 13:38.

Verse 28 — Jesus was led to Caiaphas, and then to the Praetorium (the Roman governor’s courtroom). But the Jewish leaders would not go in, because the Romans were Gentiles. If they went in, they would become defiled and could not eat the Passover meal that night.

IMPORTANT POINT: How ironic! Kill God the Son, the true Passover Lamb who would make death pass over (not affect) all those who believed in Him,  but be careful to observe the Mosaic Law so they could eat the Passover seder, which signified death passing over (not affecting) the Jews on the night the Egyptian firstborns died in Egypt. The seder was just a shadow of Jesus Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice, offered on behalf of whosoever would believe in Him.

Verses 29-32 — So, Pilate, the Roman governor, went out to them. What accusation did they bring against Jesus? Their answer? He is an evildoer. Otherwise we would not have brought Him to you. Pilate said, then you deal with Him according to your law.

But the Jews said, we are not permitted to put anyone to death. The illegal trials were not yet completed, but the Jews had already sentenced Jesus to death, before He was tried. It was their plan all along.

But the Jews had a problem. God had allowed the Romans to overrun Judah. Rome was in charge. Roman rule said that those who were Roman captives (as the Jews were) could not execute anyone. At that time, Rome executed criminals by crucifying them.

So the Jews fulfilled Jesus’ prophetic word that He would be “lifted up,” meaning onto a cross (John 3:14, 8:28, 12:32-33, also Matthew 20:19). Jesus knew all of this ahead of time.

Verses 33-34 — Pilate entered the Praetorium, had Jesus brought to him, and began to question Him. Are you the King of the Jews? Jesus answered with a question. Do you say this of your own initiative (from yourself, from knowing that I am), or did others tell you about Me?

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus was asking whether Pilate himself believed, or was just repeating what the Jews had told him.

Verses 35-36 — Pilate said he wasn’t a Jew. Your own people delivered You to me. What have You done? Jesus answered that His kingdom is not of (derived from or a part of) this world . If they were, His servants would be fighting so He would not be handed over to the Jews. But My kingdom is not of this realm (from here).

IMPORTANT POINT: His kingdom is not of this world. It is not from here. But it will be literally established here (Revelation 21), and is already established in the hearts of believers (Luke 17:21)

Verse 37 — Pilate said, so You are a king? Jesus said, you say that I am a king. I was born for this, and came into the world for this — to testify of the truth. Everyone who is of the truth (willing to receive it) hears My voice.

IMPORTANT POINT: Everything Jesus says is the truth. Not only are His words true, but He speaks the one and only truth. Others may call their beliefs the truth. But Jesus tells us the truth, repeating what He hears God the Father say.

Verse 38 — Pilate, like many in today’s world, say “What is truth?” No one really seems to know. But Jesus Christ is the ultimate truth, the Way to the Father, the Truth, and the Reality. He is real, and His message is true.

And Pilate could not find any guilt in Jesus Christ.

Verses 39-40 — Pilate offered the Roman custom that he release a prisoner at the Passover. Did they wish to release Jesus? No, they wanted to release Barabbas, a robber.

IMPORTANT POINT: You will be arrested, if you are a believer. The legal system will find no guilt in you. But many will want to persecute you (John 15:20), and will also want to kill you. There is a great deal of hatred of Jesus Christ in this world, for exactly the reasons Jesus speaks in John 15:18 and forward.

FAITH-FILLED!

[SW240] 07/15/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Faith-Filled”

The Lord has clarified my understanding of faith to such a degree that I am able to walk with unshakable confidence that all things are possible with God. All things! Even the healing of this country.

And He would not have shown it to me unless He wanted me to share it, so you can walk with complete confidence that all things are possible with God.

This is a “faith to faith” (Romans 1:17) revelation for me, and I pray it is for you!

Beloved, from my position as a watchman, I see a great deal of faithlessness in the church. She does not believe God for much, and that unbelief disables her.  What do I mean? She is not able to bring people to a place where they cry, “What must we do to be saved?” (See Acts 2:37, 16:30.)

Only the Lord can give us the faith we need in this dark hour. We are coming into a shaking, in which everything that can be shaken, will be shaken. Our natural faith can surely be shaken. But God’s faith is unshakable.

God gave me faith to be saved through Jesus Christ. It was not of myself, but a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). When I was sick with MS, I sought to know the Lord deeply. And as I began to read the gospels, Jesus Christ stirred my faith. So I was able to offer Him a mustard seed of faith, on the night I was healed of MS. And He responded according to His Word.

But there is a faith that is greater than my little mustard seed.

While reading a devotional on July 10, I was stopped by this phrase — “Faith goes on to be an act, a reality, a deposit of God.” I saw that faith is a deposit made in us, when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Not MY mustard seed, but God’s actual faith which is perfect and complete, because He is!

This revelation didn’t come out of God’s Word directly, so I had to test it against the scriptures, and consult some references. I had to study it out. Scripture, reason, experience — that was John Wesley’s assurance against misinterpretation.

First, I opened up my Exhaustive Concordance and looked up the word “faith,”  (pistis in the original Greek). It means belief, conviction of the truth, and it is belief concerning divine things, which produces holy fervor!

The Word Study Dictionary for pistis referred to 2Timothy 4:7, in which Paul writes to Timothy that Paul has kept the faith.

That word “kept” means guarded, watched, preserved. To keep the faith means you are a keeping one, a keeper.

Well, If I am a keeper of something, that means I must have it in my possession at the time I am keeping it. I can’t watch over something I do not have in my possession.

So Paul possessed faith. He was a keeper of the faith deposited in him.

How did He come to possess this faith of which He was a keeper? He was filled with it when he was filled with the Holy Spirit. On what basis do I say that?

In Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and Spirit-control. But lo and behold, the original Greek word in that passage is “faith,” not “faithfulness.”  Faith is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and it is produced when we are filled with Him.

I always teach and understand and experience that the fruit of the Spirit is not natural love, joy, peace and so on. It is nothing we possess as humans. But when we are filled with God’s Holy Spirit, God’s fruit is produced in us, because God the Father and God the Son dwell in us (John 14:23).

Just as I teach and believe and know by experience that when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you are filled with God’s love (Romans 5:5), God’s joy (John 15:11), and God’s peace (John 14:27), I will now teach that when you are filled with the Spirit, you are filled with God’s faith — divine faith produced by the Holy Spirit.

So when I am filled, I am not operating according to my natural, human faith. I am operating according to His faith that has now filled me! I don’t have to rely on natural faith that wavers and fades, but I draw on His faith that is in me! It is the same with love and joy and peace and the rest of the Spirit’s fruit.

I used to say, “Lord, I have come to the end of my faith. Increase my faith.” The Lord understood that I didn’t fully see that just as His love had filled me, His faith had also filled me — HIS faith for that which is impossible. And His faith is as limitless as His love.

With His faith inside of me, I can believe for anything! I am faith-filled, filled with His faith! Faith to believe Him when He gives me a word. Faith to lay hands on the sick so they become well. Faith that He is at work and will deliver me and others from dire circumstances — beyond what you can imagine . And the same will be true for you, when you ask the Lord to fill you with His Spirit.

And I also see that you may have faith to move mountains, but if you do not possess the actual love of God, if you are not filled with His love, you are nothing (1Corinthians 13:2). The works you do are yours, not His.

But when you are filled with the fruit of the Spirit, you are filled with all of His fruit, including God’s actual love. You possess God’s faith, we possess God’s love, and the two work together to give God the Father and God the Son honor and praise!

What will be possible for the church, if she understands that all of the fruit of the Spirit, including faith, are the fruit of God the Holy Spirit and not us? I think all things will be possible, beloved.

You will ask according to His will, beloved. And you won’t have to wonder if something is His will.

When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, He will show His will to you, just as He did Paul when He filled Him with the Holy Spirit (Acts 22:14).

That’s why Paul prays for the people of the church at Colossae —

Colossians 1:9   For this reason also, since the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding . . .

We must be filled to know His will! And when we are filled, we will have His faith to believe that with God, all things are possible!

And this scriptural truth will be lived out by us —

1John 5:14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
He hears us! And as we walk it out in our lives, glory, praise and honor will go to God the Son and God the Father.

Filled with the Holy Spirit, so we may be filled with the knowledge of His will!

Filled with the Holy Spirit, so we are filled with God’s actual faith!

Beloved, you will never be able to work up enough faith to believe God. It is God who gave you the gift of faith to believe in Jesus Christ. And it is God who will fill you with His faith.

Then, you will know without a doubt that with God, all things are possible, and when He speaks to you, His faith that He has deposited in you will rise up! And His limitless faith will give you the courage to speak boldly to the world, so they hear and see the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

COMMENTARY ON JOHN 17

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!
In John 17, God the Son prays to God the Father to return Him to the glory He had before anything was, fully reveals what unity really means, and through His prayer, you will learn how to receive this unity, if you will but believe. Oh, how you will bring glory and honor and praise to Him, if you do!

I am again stirred greatly by the truth and beauty of God’s Word, and its life-giving nature. Oh, my! When I tasted of the Lord through His Word, I found Him to be good!

Verse 1 — When Jesus prays, I believe the disciples are present to hear Him. He says the hour has come, not just for His death on a cross, but for His glorification because indeed, it is finished, just as He spoke from that cross (John 19:30). He accomplished absolutely everything for which the Father sent Him.

So what is this glorification that will come to Jesus because He has asked His Father to do it?

— He will be lifted up on a cross to pay the price for your sin and mine, and all of mankind will be drawn to Him (John 12:32) or reject His cross as foolishness (1Corinthians 1:18).

— He will be raised up just as the Word says (Isaiah 53:9-11, Psalm 16:10 Hosea 6:2), and He will ascend as the Word says (Ephesians 4:8, Psalm 68:18) , and He will be glorified (Isaiah 52:13 and 53:12, as the Word says, and He will pour out the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 36:27, Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4 and 1:8), as the Word says. It all began with His cross.

— He set everything in motion so God’s promises are completely fulfilled through His church. Thus everyone should praise God (except for those who reject His Son), because He keeps His promises AND they are stunning!

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus Christ accomplished everything the Father sent Him to do. And that means He offers to you not only forgiveness of sins but a heart change and His divine nature. It has been the Father’s plan from before anything was. Read on!

Verse 2 — And the Father has given His Son all authority (ability, power, and strength) over all of mankind. The result? “To all whom You have given Him,” literally means “everything the Father has given the Son,” makes the Son able to give eternal life to all mankind, whoever will believe in Him.

IMPORTANT POINT:  Only Christ can give you eternal life.

Verse 3 — What is eternal life? Let Jesus tell you! It is to know (ginosko, in a prolonged way, to know absolutely) God the Father, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He sent.

Keep in mind that this “knowing” is not “knowing about,” but a personal relationship with God the Father and God the Son. And this life is life as God has it, not the mere existence you have before you know God in a prolonged and absolute way.

So when does eternal life begin? The moment you know God the Father and God the Son absolutely, in a prolonged way!

IMPORTANT POINT: Many think of eternal life as something we will have someday, when we die and go to heaven. Yes, we will have it then, but we also have it here and now! Eternal life, life as God has it, begins here and now! Am I repeating myself and using lots of exclamation points? Absolutely! It’s THAT important! Jesus Christ has come that He might give this God-life, and give it abundantly, until it over flows (see John 10:10)!

Verses 4-5 — Jesus speaks as if the cross and resurrection and the rest have already occurred. He will do that throughout this chapter. Jesus glorified the Father on the earth. He accomplished all the Father gave Him to do, so He knows His Father will answer His prayer. He prays then, Father, glorify Me, and glorify Yourself! Do it with the same degree of glory that I, Jesus Christ, had with You before the world began. Again, Jesus Christ is the Word that was with God and was God before anything existed. He is the eternally existent God the Son.

IMPORTANT POINT: The cross is not a tragedy, but a victory, for Jesus and for us. It was the means by which Jesus Christ returned to the same position of glory and honor He had before anything was. It is also the only means by which we receive forgiveness (victory over sins committed) and victory over slavery to sin, because the Cross led to Pentecost. Your personal Pentecost will break the chains of sin!

Verses 6-8 — Jesus manifested (showed) the character and personhood of God the Father to His disciples. Jesus Christ is the exact representation of the Father’s nature (Hebrews 1:3). These disciples belonged to God the Father, and the Father gave them to Jesus Christ.

IMPORTANT POINT: How can these disciples belong to the Father, when Jesus has not yet paid the debt for their sins? God the Father sits above time. He sees the end from the beginning. So He sees which ones will come to Him of their own free will, long before they come.

And these disciples have kept the Father’s word. They have and will keep all the word Jesus gave them, and indeed, everything that He gave them, because they understand that those things and words were given to Him by the Father. They received them (grabbed hold of them), and now truly understand that Jesus came from the Father and was sent by the Father.

IMPORTANT POINT:  Jesus’ words are the Father’s words. If you do not keep them (that is, if you disobey God), you are not His disciple.

Verse 9 — Jesus asks the Father on their behalf. He doesn’t ask on behalf of the world, but on behalf of the disciples the Father has given Him, because before they ever freely came to Christ, the Father saw it.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus prays for YOU in John 17, if you have come to faith through the gospels and preaching of God’s Word.

Verse 10 — All that Jesus has, belongs to the Father, and all that the Father possesses, belongs to the Son. And as Jesus said in John 16:15, Jesus takes of all of this immeasurable truth and power and love, and discloses these things to His followers, including you and me!

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus possesses everything that the Father has. And He discloses all the Father has to YOU, if you intimately know and love Him. Hallelujah! That’s a powerful truth! He discloses to you what He has, through His Holy Spirit (John 16:14)! So you may have a revelation of ALL that the Father and the Son possess. It is the privilege of those who are made children of God.

Verse 11 — Jesus prays now for the disciples, saying He is no longer in the world. That will soon be true. He speaks it ahead of time (John 14:29, Isaiah 42:29), so you and I will know He is God the Son.

IMPORTANT POINT: Even on earth, Jesus knew the future. Do not ever try to humanize Him. Do not try to make Him like you. While on the earth, He was fully God, not just fully man. And if He knew the future then, He certainly knows it now. Ask Him, and He will let you sit at His table, to sup with You, and you with Him. And He will speak to You (Revelation 3:20), when He speaks to the church at Laodicea. He speaks that to today’s church, because for the most part, she is totally out of contact with Him and has no knowledge of Him and thus, cannot hear His voice or be His witness.

But His disciples are in the world. Therefore, Jesus comes to the Father and says, “Keep them, Father.” Watch them, guard them “in Your name,” according to Your character and nature, Father, which is perfect and righteous and true. Father, it is the same nature and character I have. Father, give them that same character and nature, so they may be one just as We are one.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus prayed for you to have the same nature and character as the Father and the Son. Will you do your part, and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit so you have His nature? You cannot be one with Him until you do it.

It is an amazing truth!The unity the Lord speaks of is unity of nature, having the same nature and character as the Father — His fruit, His divine nature in us because He is in us, per John 14:23!

IMPORTANT POINT: We cannot get together at church and pray and call that unity. We cannot all get together to sing and call that unity. We cannot all get together and join hands in a circle and call that unity. We cannot get together with other denominations and have a pleasant meeting and call that unity. Why? Unity can ONLY come when we have the same nature in us that is in the Father and the Son. When you have the divine nature, and you meet others who have the divine nature, the unity is instantaneous.

I must tell you that much of today’s church is not filled with the Spirit, and thus, they are disconnected from their Head, Jesus Christ. (Colossians 2:19). Much unpleasantness results, because they do not yet possess His divine nature. Their sin nature, the one they were born with, still rules and reigns in them, and sin results.

Verse 12 — While Jesus was with them, He kept them, guarded them, and guided them while He represented the nature and character of the Father to them. Not one perished except Judas, who was the son of perdition (damnation), one who acted freely when he betrayed Jesus, an act that fulfilled the scriptures (Psalm 41:9, John 13:8).

IMPORTANT POINT: God never condemns a human being to hell, before they are even born. It is always our own actions that send us to hell.

Verse 13 — The result of Jesus’ prayer to His Father will be that the disciples and you and I will have Jesus Christ’s joy made full in themselves. Full of His joy, which happens when you are filled with His Holy Spirit. Not your idea of joy, not mere happiness, but pure, unadulterated, joy that is beyond description!
IMPORTANT POINT: When you have the same nature as the Father and the Son, you will also have Jesus Christ’s joy. You will be filled with His joy. Nothing in this world can compare with it, because it is not of this world — it is His divine joy! Do I seem joyous when I meet you? It is His divine joy, spilling out of me!

Verses 14-16 — Jesus has delivered the Father’s words to His disciples. And the world has hated them because they are not of this world, just as Jesus Christ was not of this world. He doesn’t ask the Father to take us out of the world, but to keep us from the evil one, Satan.

IMPORTANT POINT #1: Indeed, we are protected/kept by the power of God (1Peter 1:5), when we know (ginosko, in a prolonged way, know absolutely) the Father and the Son.

IMPORTANT POINT #2: Why doesn’t He ask the Father to remove believers from the world in which they are now strangers and hated ones? Because like Him, we are lights in the world, the Holy Spirit shining brightly from us, to draw men to Jesus Christ and convict the world regarding sin, righteousness, and judgment through our words. We are an occupying army, taking possession of Satan’s territory (Deuteronomy 2:3) until Christ returns.

We are not of the world, just as Christ was not of this world. He repeats it. That means it must be important.

IMPORTANT POINT #3:  If we are not of the world, why does the church try to take on the world’s culture and why does she try to be politically correct at the expense of the truth of God’s Word? Because most of the church does not know (ginosko, in a prolonged way, to know absolutely) God the Father and God the Son. If the world loves you, then you’d better check your walk, beloved.

Verses 17-19 — Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth. Truly sanctify them, Father, according to Your promise, by filling them with the Holy Spirit. Father, You always speak the truth. Now, set them apart, purify their hearts as You fill them with the Holy Spirit.

Why? I am sending them into the world, Father, just as You sent me into the world.

I set Myself apart to be crucified, die, be raised, ascend, and pour out Your Holy Spirit so they may be truly sanctified, through and through.

IMPORTANT POINT: You are more than simply set apart when you are filled with God’s Holy Spirit. You are purified, separated from sin, and set apart to God.

Verse 20 — Jesus asks not only on behalf of His disciples, but to all who will believe in Him through their testimony and the words they receive from the Father and the Son via the Holy Spirit.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus prayed for you and me to receive the same as what He prayed for His disciples just before He was to be crucified. Will you be the answer to that prayer? Will you ask the Lord to fill you with His Spirit?

Verse 21 — What is the purpose of being filled with the Holy Spirit?

— So that we are all one (we all have His divine nature). This is repeated by Jesus, from Verse 11. This unity of nature is the same unity of nature that is between the Father and the Son. How will this unity of nature happen? We will be in the Father and the Son, vitally connected by the Holy Spirit when we are filled with Him.

— Then the world will believe that Jesus was sent by His Father, because we have His nature in us. The purpose of being filled with the Holy Spirit is to give us power to be His witnesses in our hometowns, in our states, in our country, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Being His witness is not “witnessing.” It is walking the same way He walked because You have His nature in you.

IMPORTANT POINT: If you do not have His nature in you, then you cannot cause those in the world to believe in Jesus Christ. You will not be like Him unless you have His nature. You cannot be His witness unless you have His nature. You cannot have His divine nature unless you are truly sanctified through and through, by being filled with His Holy Spirit.

Verse 22 — Again Jesus speaks of the future as if it has already been done. The glory (the Holy Spirit) which You have given I have given them, so that they may be of the same nature as You and I, Father.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus prays for you to have the same nature as His Father and Him. Do you? If not, pray and ask Him to do it.

Verse 23 — This unity of nature means Me in them, and them vitally connected to Me. Then they will be perfected in unity — completely united. They all will be partakers of Our divine nature. What is the purpose?

— So that the world will know that You sent Me, and You love them with the same love You have for Me, Father.

IMPORTANT POINT:  You must be a partaker of His nature in order to be completely united. Otherwise, you are unable to show the world that the Father sent the Son. And being a partaker of His nature is the proof that the Father loves you with the same divine love that He has for His Son.

Verse 24 — Father, I want those whom you have given Me to be with me where I am (He will soon be seated at the right hand of the Father, as He was before anything was. Father, I want them to see Me glorified, something which You have given Me. Again, the Father will give Jesus Christ the glory He had before anything was, after He is crucified, buried, rises again, and ascends back to the Father. Do this, Father, because You loved Me before the world was founded.

IMPORTANT POINT: The eternally existent Son asks this of the Father. We who know (ginosko, in a prolonged way, to know absolutely) Him will be where He is. He goes to prepare a place for us (John 14:2). And meanwhile, He will be in us, and we will be in Him.

Verse 25 — Jesus prays, Father, I have known You (ginosko, in a prolonged way, to know absolutely). The world has not known You. All My disciples who have come and will yet come to Me? They know You sent Me.

IMPORTANT POINT: Disciples must know Jesus was sent by the Father. That is the first step, and that makes a disciple a believer.

Verse 26 — And through Me, Father, they have come to know Your character and

nature. I have been Your exact representation. And yet, there is another step they must take. They do not know yet  knowYou in this prolonged way. But they will know you in this prolonged and complete way, when they are filled with Your Holy Spirit.

And when that happens, they will not love with human love any more. They will be filled with Your actual love, the same love You have for Me. And I will be in them, literally inside of them, dwelling with You there.

IMPORTANT POINT: I pray, dear reader, that you see the importance of asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then you will become the fulfillment of Jesus Christ’s prayer in John 17.

WHO AM I, LORD?

[SW239] 07/08/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Who Am I, Lord?”

The truth in the words I speak today is able to change this very day’s headlines. I pray you will have ears to hear and heed them today.

Are you and I able to build the Lord a house? No! But He will make you His house, if you ask Him. Then you will cry with King David, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far?”

Text:  1Chronicles 17
Verses 1-2 — David wanted to build the Lord a house, and his seer, Nathan, said God was with Him to do it. The Lord had always shown David favor.

Verses 3-4 — Then the word of God came to Nathan, as well as a vision (see verse 15). “You shall not build a house for Me to dwell in.” Why would the Lord not want David to do such a God-honoring thing?

Verses 5-9 — The Lord recounted how He had never asked for a house, and did not need one. He recounted how He had favored, honored and blessed David and all Israel. He took David from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of His people Israel. He took David from humble beginnings and made him a king. He gave him victory over his enemies.

Verse 10 — He would continue to subdue all of David’s enemies. But beyond that, the Lord wanted to build a house for David, a kingdom of his descendants that would last forever. And indeed, it was through David’s lineage that the Christ would come.

Verses 12-13 — And the throne of  God’s Son, Jesus Christ, would be established forever by His Father!

Verse 17 — David knew this word from the Lord was, “for a great while to come,” that is, far into the future. David confessed that He had no honor of his own, but that it was the Lord who had bestowed honor upon David as a gift. It was not anything that David worked in his own power.

Verse 18 — What more could David say? The Lord did everything, and would do everything regarding the building of David’s kingdom, so that God’s own Son would take the position of King of kings and Lord of lords. It was a great honor for the Lord to show David the kingdom of God!

Verses 23-24 — Let it be done as you have spoken. Because You will do it, Your name will be established and magnified forever.

David’s question reflects the true humility of his heart. Out of his love for the Lord, he wanted to honor the Lord by building a house for Him. But the Lord showed David that He would build a house for David, a house beyond all he could think or imagine.

And so David humbly said, “Who am I, Lord? I can relate!

Who was I, Lord, to try to do it myself, even when my motive is to honor You?

I wanted to build myself into a temple for You . . .

But You were the One who healed me and gave me victory over Satan. I could not do it.

And I could not build myself into your temple.

So I said, “I yield — You build!” And you made me a living stone, and You began to build . . .

1Peter 2:4-5   And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

I wanted to prepare a place for You . . .

But You are preparing a place for Me, so where You are, I am also (John 14:2-3, 17:24).

And even now, You made me Your dwelling place, until that day (John 14:23). You filled me up with Yourself and established Your kingdom within me (Luke 17:21)!

Let me go back further into my past, Lord —

I was far from You . . .

But You brought me near (Ephesians 2:13)

I say that I found You . . .

But the truth is, You found me (Luke 15:6).

I did not choose You, but You chose me (John 15:16).

I was dead . . .

But You made me live again (Luke 15:32)

I sought Your face . . .

But You made me hungry for You (Matthew 5:5)

I was a sinner, inside and out . . .

But You made me a saint when You filled me with Your Holy Spirit and cleansed me, inside and out (Acts 15:9).

And here’s what preceded Your making me a house for You —

I hungered to know You intimately . . .

But it was You who paid the price on a cross, to make that intimacy possible (Philippians 2:8).

I had only human love . . .

But you filled me with Your love (Romans 5:5).

I sought to know You through Your Word . . .

But You filled me with Your Spirit, and He illuminated it so I could know you more and more deeply.

I had no power to speak and walk like You . . .

But You gave me Your power to do it when You filled me (Acts 1:8).

I had no fruit of the Spirit . . .

But You filled me with Yours (Galatians 5:22-24).

And then —

I was unworthy of honor . . .

But You made me worthy of a crown in heaven (Revelation 4:10), one

that I will gladly cast down at Your nail-scarred feet, to honor You.

I had nothing about me that was of eternal value . . .

But You made me part of a royal priesthood — both a king and a priest for You.

The operative words in all of these statements are “But You.”

Lord, You did what I could not possibly do! What can Susan say? What can any of us say, in whom You have done these great things?

I often hear Christians say, “I have to try to love more. I have to try to be a better Christian. I have to try to keep myself pure for God. I have to try not to sin.”

You cannot do these things, beloved, even when your motive is to honor God. You cannot build yourself into His house.

But He make you His house, if you ask Him.

Christianity is not a dry, dead, system of beliefs, with many outward rules and regulations. It is literally life from the dead, reconciliation with God the Father through God the Son.

And then —

He purifies you so you love Him only.

He fills your heart with His love when He fills your heart with the Holy Spirit.

He establishes a 24/7 connection so you hear what the Father is saying and say it, and see what the Father is doing, and do it.

He puts heaven in your soul!

He provides you with the power to walk as Jesus walked!

Do you know His house-building is for His glory, and that you will be blessed forever before the Lord (1Chronicles 17:27)? Ask Him now!

Let Your name be magnified, O Lord! Be glorified by what You have done, are doing, and will yet do!

COMMENTARY ON JOHN 16

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!

In John 16, the King of kings and Lord of lords gathers all of His teaching in John 14 and 15, and expands upon it. He has spoken many things to you, to keep you from stumbling. The Holy Spirit is coming to you. My Father and I will dwell inside of you. Do not be afraid, nor let your heart be troubled. My peace I give you. Love with My love. The Holy Spirit will make it possible. In John 16, He more deeply describes the work of the Holy Spirit.

Verses 1-2 — All that He has spoken in John 14 and 15 are so that you will be kept from stumbling, from being tripped up, from being enticed to sin, from being offended. There will be a power inside you that will keep you from hating those who hate you. That power is a He — the Holy Spirit.

Human love seeks its own self-interest. If you love me, I will love you. If you do something I don’t like, I won’t love you any more. If you meet my needs, I will love you. If I believe you no longer meet my needs, I won’t love you anymore.

But here is a command from Jesus that is only possible to obey when God’s actual love fills our hearts —

Matthew 5:44-45 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain [a blessing in Israel] on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

An hour is coming . . . this is the divinely appointed time when Jesus Christ is taken prisoner and unjustly tried and condemned, and His disciples will be subject to the persecution He endured.

IMPORTANT POINT: The first work of the Holy Spirit is to give us power — the power of God’s actual love in our hearts — so that we do not hate those who hate us, persecute us, and murder us. In the power of His love, we will pray for those who hate us and spitefully use us, proving that we have God’s actual love in us and are thus children of our Father in heaven.

Verse 3 — Why will you be persecuted? Then and now, those who know about Jesus Christ but do not know Him will hate you, excommunicate you, shun you, and make you outcasts. In this coming hour, those who kill you will think they are doing a service to God (or whoever they call their god). More Christians have been murdered for their faith in the past two centuries than in all the previous centuries since Christ was crucified.

The Pharisee named Saul (whose Roman name was Paul) is a fine example, traveling near and far to round up Christians (followers of The Way) and imprison them, where they were held until they were murdered. He saw them as blasphemers, so he thought God would be pleased. After all, the Law said the penalty for blasphemy was death.

But on the road to Damascus (see Acts 9), he lost his eyesight and had a vision of Jesus who asked, “Why do you persecute Me?” Three days later on Straight Street, he was filled with the Spirit and indeed, he saw with new eyes.

Verse 4 — He has spoken everything in John 14-15 to His disciples, and to us, so that when that hour comes, we will remember His promise of the Holy Spirit and seek to be filled with Him, and we will remember His warning that we will be persecuted.

While Jesus was with His disciples, they were not persecuted. But when the Holy Spirit has filled them, they will be compelled by His love to speak of Him, and so, they were persecuted. Nevertheless, they and you will not stop speaking of what you have seen and heard (Acts 4:20).

Then, when we are rejected and enticed to hate those who hate us, God’s love poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5) will give us the power to love our enemies. We will not stumble, we will not be offended, we will not be tripped up in the midst of a hail of hate, if His love has filled our hearts.

IMPORTANT POINT: Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Persecution will come. He will make you ready by filling you with God’s actual love. Am I repeating myself? Yes! This teaching is essential. I will speak of it always, and often, so you may understand, ask for and receive the gift of God’s actual love in your heart. Hallelujah!

Verses 5-6 — But now Jesus says He is going back to God the Father who sent Him. No longer did His disciples ask, “Where are you going? How do we get there?” He has already answered them. But their hearts are filled with sorrow. They are preoccupied with grief  because their Master will no longer be with them. They don’t yet understand John 14:23.

Verse 7 — But it is to their advantage, it is better and more profitable, that He goes away.  This must have puzzled His disciples at the time. Wasn’t it better for Him to be physically with them? But Jesus promised in John 14 that He had been WITH them, but the Holy Spirit would be IN them.

Jesus went away so He could send the Helper, the Holy Spirit. He had to die, rise, ascend, and be glorified by returning to His place at the right hand of His Father (John 7:39). The Helper would not come until then. And just as promised, the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost.

IMPORTANT POINT #1: Today, many churchgoers see Jesus as One who walks beside them, One who is WITH them. They are not taught, nor do they seek to know by reading the Bible, that He must be IN them in order for them to be His witnesses, to live as He did when He was on the earth, and to love with His love.

IMPORTANT POINT #2:  If loving with God’s love is the proof that we are children of our father in heaven, why do we have “church wars,” beloved? Those who quarrel prove that they are not filled with God’s actual love, because they have not been filled with His Holy Spirit.

Verse 8-11 —The second work of the Holy Spirit is to convict (tell a fault, rebuke and reprove) those with whom we speak and live. I must emphasize that loving with God’s love means we communicate God’s truth to the world around us, by the power of the Holy Spirit who has filled us. Conviction is an act of God’s love. To love with God’s love does not mean that we tell sinners that “they can continue in their sin because God loves them.” If the Holy Spirit is in us, our words will convict.

Who does He convict, and what conviction does He bring? He convicts the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:

— Regarding sin, because they do not believe in Jesus Christ. Unbelief in God the Son, sent at great cost by God the Father, is sin. Those who do not believe in Jesus Christ will reject the words of the Holy Spirit that He gives you to speak.

— Regarding righteousness, because when the Holy Spirit gives you the words to speak, God’s own righteousness will be evident in you. You will speak the gospel of Jesus Christ: God the Son was sent by God the Father, He died on a cross, rose on the third day, and ascended to heaven exactly as described in the Old Testament. Therefore, He is the Savior sent for the whole world.

This is the message of the gospel, the Good News. We have a righteous God who sent His Son to save us, even while we were yet sinners, and hostile toward God. Sinners! Hostile! The people of the world will say, “Sinners? We are not sinners. Who needs a righteous God? We can do good deeds and go to whatever form of heaven suits our personal beliefs. We can be righteous in our own eyes. We do not believe in your God. We do not need Jesus Christ.”

— Regarding judgment, because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged. A lake of fire is prepared for him (Revelation 20:10). All those who reject Jesus Christ and His gospel are under the influence of Satan, who is a liar and the father of lies. As long as they refuse Christ, they remain under God’s wrath. And they will be judged, in the final judgment of the unrighteous, when their names are not found written in the book of life (Revelation 20:11-15).

IMPORTANT POINT:  Those in the presence of believers filled with the Holy Spirit often are convicted without a word being spoken by the believer. God has used me that way, with a woman who had fallen and broken her hip. Her 10-year-old grandson knew she was not saved, and asked me to visit her. The Lord had already prepared her heart. As I took her hands in mine and looked at her, she looked intently at me, saw Jesus in my eyes, and began to weep profusely, confessing her sin, without me saying a word. Then I spoke the gospel to her. And she was saved and rejoiced in the Lord!

Verse 12 — The disciples could not bear (take up and carry, endure) the “many more things” that Jesus had to speak to them. Not then. But when Penetecost happened, He would tell them and they would understand.

Verse 13 — The third work of the Holy Spirit is to guide you into all truth. When He guide you, that does not mean that He puts a sheet over your head and lead you by the hand (I have seen it demonstrated that way, though!!!). To guide into all truth is to speak to you the very words of God. What He hears from God the Father and God the Son, He will speak to you. And then you will speak what He has told you.

He may speak to you in dreams and visions, or He may speak to you through the Word of God, or He may speak directly to your heart. I have never heard an audible voice, but when I hear in my heart, it is similar to hearing an audible voice. I know Who is speaking.

The fourth work of the Holy Spirit is to disclose the future to you — what is to come.  The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, prophesies. He is not a fortune teller. When God tells Him to disclose and reveal the future to you, He does it. Here are some examples —

Acts 18:9-10 And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.

Acts 11:28 One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius.

IMPORTANT POINT #2: The Holy Spirit has not changed. He will guide you into all truth, and disclose the future to you, when you are filled with Him.

Verse 14 — The fifth work of the Holy Spirit is to glorify God the Son. How can you know that what you have heard is from the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit always glorifies God the Son. If what the Holy Spirit leads you to do and say gives God the Son praise and honor, then you can be assured that what you have heard is from the Holy Spirit, who repeats what God the Father and God the Son say and does not speak anything but what He hears.

IMPORTANT POINT: Many get “stuck in neutral,” always afraid that what they think they have heard might not be from the Holy Spirit. There is an easy test. Will God be glorified? If the answer is yes, then do it!

Verse 15 — Jesus says, “All things that the Father has are Mine.” So, the Holy Spirit takes of what God the Son has, which is the same as what God the Father has, and discloses it to you. What do God the Father and God the Son have? Truth. You will know the truth, not just someone’s personal opinion of the truth, but the living God’s truth.

IMPORTANT POINT #1: Think of it — ALL OF GOD’S THINGS will be disclosed to you by the Holy Spirit, when you are filled with Him!

Verses 16-19 — Now Jesus reminds them that very soon, they will not see Him. But not long after that, they will see Him. It sounds like a riddle to His disciples. And what’s this about Jesus going to the Father? His disciples do not now understand, but they will when they are filled.

Jesus knew they were talking amongst themselves and wanted to ask Him.

IMPORTANT POINT: Do you want to ask Jesus a question? He already knows your question. All of your questions will be answered when you ask Him the most important question — Lord, will you fill me with Your Holy Spirit?”

Verses 20-22 — The disciples will weep and lament at Jesus’ death on the cross, but the world who rejected Him will rejoice. The disciples will grieve. You may weep, lament and grieve when your eyes are opened to see what great price Jesus Christ paid in order for you to be reconciled to God. But their grief and yours WILL be turned to joy. A woman goes through great pain to bear a child, but that pain turns to joy when she holds her child in her arms. In the same way, you first grieve, but then your heart will rejoice! AND NO ONE WILL TAKE YOUR JOY FROM YOU! Why? Because when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you have Jesus Christ’s joy in you (John 15:11)!!

IMPORTANT POINT: No one can take your joy from you, when you are filled with the Holy Spirit!

Verse 23 — You will no longer question Jesus (you will not ask Him anything) when you are filled with His Spirit. Why? You will ask the Father directly. When you ask ANYTHING in Jesus’ name (that is, as one having His divine character in you), He will give it to you.

Verse 24 — Until now, the disciples have not had His divine character in them. But when they do, they (and you) will ask and receive, and your joy will be made full, complete, as a vessel being filled to overflowing. You will rejoice to ask according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and rejoice to see the outcome — sinners saved and Christians filled with the Spirit!

Verse 25 — What Jesus spoke to His disciples at that moment seemed “figurative” to them, like a proverb or a parable. But when they are filled, they (and you) will understand everything that He has said and will yet say.

Verses 26-27 — Again, He repeats that in that day, the day of Pentecost, you will ask the Father in My name, which means you have His divine character in you. Jesus will no longer need to be a go-between. You will ask the Father directly, because the Father Himself loves you. Why? Because you love Jesus Christ and have believed that He is God the Son who came forth from the Father.

Verse 28 — Jesus says, I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world again and going to the Father. He speaks to them in straightforward manner.

Verses 29-30 — The disciples say they understand! Lo! Behold! Now we get it. Jesus You know all things. You have no need for anyone to question You. By this we believe you came from God. But their very words show that they do not understand. Yes, Jesus knows all things, but they do not understand that they will not need to ask Him for things. They won’t understand that until Pentecost.

Verses 31-32 — Jesus knows their hearts. They said they understood and believed, but an hour has come when they scatter and leave Him alone. But Jesus Christ was never alone. The Father was with Him.

IMPORTANT POINT: The only time the Father withdrew from the Son was when Christ hung on the cross with the world’s sin on His blessed shoulders. Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 58:1-2).

So on the cross, Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?” He was reciting from Psalm 22, David’s prophecy about Christ’s crucifixion.

Verse 33 — Again, Jesus speaks these words to His disciples and to us so we may come to Him, be vitally connected to Him as branches of the True Vine, and be filled with His peace. There will be tribulation (persecution) in this world, but take courage — be strong and courageous! Why? He has overcome the world. He is victorious over all those who reject Him, even those who put Him to death. All that they did to Him was according to God’s plan, not theirs. And now, God’s promise to believers will be fulfilled — forgiveness of sin, reconciliation with God, and the promise of the Holy Spirit!