TURNING THINGS AROUND

[SW249] 09/23/2016 message notes by

Reverend Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Turning Things Around”

[These notes are brief. Please view the video of this message. The links are to the right of this post, on my blog.]

Texts: 2Chronicles 7:14, Isaiah 29:13-16

The Lord seeks a turn-around — but for whom? And why? He disciplines the ones He loves, beloved (Hebrews 12:6, Revelation 3:19).

The Lord says He sends locusts upon His sinning people. He shuts up the heavens so there is no rain. He sends pestilence (disease) among His people. But if His people TURN . . .

He says, if MY people, not the world that is in such chaos. If you, beloved, will humble yourself and pray and seek His face and . . . TURN from your wicked ways.

And true to His Word, He will hear you and forgive you and heal your land.

He will restore what the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25). He will bring rain, streams on your dry ground (Isaiah 44:3), He will pardon your sin and heal all your diseases (Psalm 103:3)!!

If you TURN away from your penchant for turning things around, He will do it!

 

In this day, with all that is going on in America, I want this land to be healed. But just as Israel must turn from rejecting her Messiah, Jesus Christ, the church also must turn!

Jesus says, and also I hear from your mouths:

— Give ME what I want! (But what does the Lord want? And what have you given Him?)

— Fix MY life the way I think MY life should be! (But how does HE want it to be?)

— You HAVE TO heal ME because Your Word says so! You HAVE to make ME rich because Your Word says so! You HAVE to make me happy because Your Word says so! (But are you humble and contrite? That is the kind of heart that He will not despise.)

Jesus says you do these things while you yet sin (willfully disobey Him). And you turn Him into your servant, with a small “s.” But who is the Master? Is it not Him (Matthew 25:21ff)?

You may say that the Old Testament called Him a Servant. But he served you once for all by taking upon Himself the punishment you deserved for your sin (Isaiah 53:5). Now you are HIS servant. You have been bought with a price and are not your own (1Corinthians 5:20)!

You may say, “Oh, there is no sin in the church.” But pastors.com reports that in a survey of 500 men at a retreat, 90% have viewed p-rnography. And Christianity Today reports that 37% of Christians struggle with p-rnography on a daily basis. Then there are the church’s power plays, politics, and fights. And there are the many things you do in the dark, thinking God cannot see.

In Isaiah 29:13-16, the Lord says, like Israel, the church turns things around.  You pay Me lip service and your hearts are far from Me. You do deeds in a dark place and say, “He will not see me.”

In doing so, you say that the Lord didn’t really make you — so He can’t discern and understand. He is not smart enough to figure out what you are doing.

Therefore, it is time to TURN. Come humbly before the Lord, and ask Him to forgive you. And He WILL heal this land.

One person said, with recent events, that even if everyone was filled with the Holy Spirit, it wouldn’t be enough to change things in this country. That person does not fully understand that when God comes in, the things that are not of Him go out!

You have HIS fruit inside of you. You have HIS holiness inside of you. You have HIS righteousness inside of you. I tell you, you have HIS love inside you!

Do you think you will commit crimes? Do you think you will remain trigger-happy? Do you think you will remain a racist? NO!!!! You will become a witness of Jesus. We get our word “martyr” from the Greek word for “witness” that is used by Jesus Christ in Acts 1:8. You will walk as HE walked in the world (1John 2:6 and 4:17)!

How will that happen? When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you die so He can live in you (Galatians 2:20). You crucify the flesh with its lusts and desires (Galatians 5:24). I tell you, today is a good day for you to die to your self-centeredness, to the ME gospel, and come to the Christ who will set you FREE from the ME, because that is HIS gospel. Hallelujah!

But we do not believe He will do it. Do you believe He saved you? Then how can you not believe that He can purify your heart, clean you up on the inside? I tell you, He wants to do some house-cleaning in His church!

Believe! If He hadn’t done it in me, I could not even speak this word today. I can’t preach what I haven’t personally experienced. But He did, and I am His witness! I wanted ME out and HIM in! I humbly asked Him to do it, and He did!

HEALER OF HEARTS

[SW248] 09/16/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Healer of Hearts”

[These notes are brief. Please view the video of this message. The links are to the right of this post, on my blog.]

Texts: Isaiah 61, Psalm 51

You are a member of the Wounded Hearts Club, just like I was. Jesus Christ, the Healer of Hearts says, “Come humbly to Me, and I will heal Your heart!”

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;

He has sent me to bind up (heal) the brokenhearted (hearts in pieces),

To proclaim liberty (the Year of the Lord’s favor for YOU) to captives

And freedom (rapid movement, spontaneous outflow) to prisoners (of their        . brokenness;

2  To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord

And the day of vengeance of our God;

To comfort all who mourn,

3  To grant those who mourn in Zion,

Giving them a garland instead of ashes,

The oil of gladness instead of mourning,

The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.

So they will be called oaks of righteousness,

The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

The Lord has brought many before my eyes lately, who have shattered hearts. He has come to bind up (heal) the broken-hearted, those whose hearts are shattered beyond any kind of repair that humans could ever perform. I am here to tell you that it is true, because He did it in me! I come to proclaim that what He says is true, so you may be healed and then declare the same thing!

My situation in 1976:

Abused

Addicted

Broken in every way (shattered heart and mind)

Confused

Desperate

My identity:

Member of the Wounded Hearts Club.

I had no other identity. I knew nothing but my woundedness. I did not know how to live any other way but as a wounded person.

I had:

Left my drug life and my drug-dealer first husband.

Come home to my parents.

But now what? I was no longer T.A.’s chick. I was separated from everything that had caused my wounds. I was afraid!

One night:

I cried out in the night, as I was lying in bed, “I don’t have the strength for this!”

And suddenly, in my heart, I heard as if it was an audible voice, “You have MY strength!” I knew it was God! Then I went to sleep.

The next day:

My mind was clear of the drug fog

I was no longer confused

I was no longer afraid

I had no desire for drugs

The personality I had before Tim and drugs was restored in me

Because the Lord removed the 2-1/2 years of scar tissue that was around my heart,

caused by emotional and physical abuse that my drug abuse dulled

I knew it was all right to divorce Tim.

And so:

I began to plan my life. I went back to college in the fall, met Jeff, fell in love. But my heart was not fully healed. I didn’t really understand that it was not healed, or that it needed healing. All I knew was that I did not trust Jeff, though he was always good and kind and loving to me.

Why didn’t Jesus fully heal my heart? It was because I went on with my life and ignored Him after that middle-of-the-night encounter. Had I stayed, He would have completed His work!

So Jeff finally said to me, “I am not Tim.” It was like a dagger in my chest. I could see what he was saying! We could not go on together unless I began trusting him and stopped expecting him to abuse me as Tim did. So I did an “attitude adjustment,” and in the natural, I began to trust Jeff more. So we married.

Eighteen years later, I was stricken with MS. I went back to church and both Jeff and I were saved and believed in Jesus Christ. We even became church board members. A few years after that, my newly appointed pastor, Rev. David “Doc” Uber, spoke from the pulpit that he had a vision and in it, I was healed!

Then he gave every member of the church board Tommy Tenney’s The God Chasers. The Lord put such a hunger in my heart to know Him that way! I cried out in prayer to Him.

I tell you He is good, He is merciful, and He brought me near!

Here’s how:

Before Pastor Doc would begin working with me to show me that Jesus still heals, he said I had to do two things. He gave them to me one at a time:

First, I had to ask the Lord if I was right with Him. I was offended but did not say so. But I thought, “What? I am saved, I am a church board member, of course I must be right with God.” But I couldn’t argue with the Holy Spirit. I felt compelled to obey Pastor Doc. So I asked that night, in a short prayer to the Lord. And I did not get an answer. I told Pastor Doc the next morning.

Now Pastor Doc gave me the second thing I must do before we could begin. “Do you have any unforgiveness (holding a grudge against someone) in your heart?”

Immediately, the Holy Spirit brought Tim to mind, and I blurted out, “My first husband.” So I went to the Lord that night. I just wanted to know Him, and I knew my unforgiveness was sin and stood in the way of knowing the Lord —

Matthew 6:14-15 Jesus says, “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.”

I knew I could not forgive without His help. So I asked Him to take my unforgiveness from me. I was broken, I was humble before Him, I was contrite before Him, knowing it was nothing I could do. I trusted Him that He would do it, and He did, as I prayed and asked, in that very moment. I felt it lift from my shoulders, as if the Lord had taken a burden from me (Matthew 11:28-30)!

Broken and contrite. This heart He will not despise. This heart He will recognize. This heart’s cry, He will hear.

It is just as it was with King David, who had sinned against the Lord with Bathsheba and arranged for her husband to be murdered. When God’s prophet spoke it to him, he repented. He said in Psalm 51:10, “Create for me a clean (pure) heart, O God, and renew an upright spirit in me . . .” Because he knew his brokenness was caused by his sin.

I knew my brokenness was caused by my sin. At the rehearsal, the night before I married Tim, I had run from the church into the graveyard, crying, “This is not right! This is not right!” The Lord was trying to speak to me, but everyone said it was just the wedding jitters, and I did not obey God’s warning. I married Tim.

Not long after I confessed and asked the Lord to take my sin, I was healed of MS, (it has now been fifteen years!). But I didn’t run off, as I had when He said, “You have my strength.”

I stayed and waited and prayed to be filled with His Holy Spirit. On November 1, 2001, at 2 p.m., I was filled and the Lord COMPLETED the healing of my wounded heart. Now, not only had I forgiven Tim, but I freely forgive and love people with God’s actual love that has filled my heart (Romans 5:5)! Freely it has been given to me, freely I give (Matthew 10:8)!

It was scary to give up my identity as a member of the Wounded Hearts Club. It is scary for you now. You know only how to be a wounded person. It was the same with me. You do not trust. It was the same with me. You relive your wounds, over and over. It was the same with me.

But if you come to Him today, with a humble and contrite heart, He will hear your cry. He is gentle. A smoldering wick He will not extinguish, and a bruised reed He will not break. He is gentle.

Come! He will restore your personality and give you a whole new identity as a child of God! But don’t run off like I did!

Stay! He will heal your heart fully if you continue with Him and WAIT for the whole healing to be done, when He fills you with His Spirit! Stay, and He will complete the work, the healing that only He can do! Amen!

MEETING WITH GOD

[SW247] 09/08/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Meeting With God”

[These notes are brief, but there is much more detail in the video of this message. I encourage you to go and watch. The links are to the right of this post, on my blog.]

This is a “before and after” story — what it was like to meet with God BEFORE Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to fill us, and what it is like AFTER you are filled!

In Exodus 3:1ff, Moses met with God when he went to Mt. Horeb and discovered the bush that burned but was not consumed. God spoke to him, “Moses, Moses,” and told Moses what his assignment would be, to free Israel of slavery to Egypt and bring them to the Promised Land. The Lord directed Moses to remove his sandals, because he was standing on holy ground. Wherever the Lord was, that place was made holy by His very presence.

In Exodus 19 and 20, Moses met with God on Mt. Sinai, and then the Lord spoke the Ten Commandments to the people.

In Exodus 24:12, Moses met with God on Mt. Sinai to receive the law on tablets of stone. His face shone when he came down, because he had been in the presence of the Lord’s glory (the manifested presence of God, which is glorious, indeed!). The people were afraid, and so Moses veiled his face until the shine faded.

In Exodus 24:29-30, Moses met with God in the Tent of Meeting that the Lord directed him to make. It was away from the camp where Israel waited for the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire to move. Why was it away? The people sinned against God, so He was not in their midst. The Lord came down to the Tent of Meeting, Moses would go and meet with Him, and again, his face would shine and he would veil it when he came out of the Tent.

The Lord wants you to see that in the Old Testament, and even in the New Testament, BEFORE Pentecost, the only way to meet with God was to be called by Him to go to a place of meeting, be it mountain or tent.

In Matthew 17, Jesus (God the Son) leads Peter, James and John up the Mountain of Transfiguration, as we call it. And they saw Jesus shine, they saw Him as He truly is, they heard the voice of God the Father from the cloud, and they saw Moses and Elijah speaking with Him. Then they went down into the demon-possessed valley, and thanks be to God, Jesus was with them, and drove out the demon in the young man, the one that the disciples could not drive out.

But now we come to the AFTER! True to His word, true to His promises, Jesus died, rose, ascended and was glorified, and poured out His Spirit at Pentecost, in Acts 2! He commanded the disciples to stay in the city until they were clothed with power from on high. You see, they could not be the church until their hearts were filled with the Holy Spirit, and until God the Father and God the Son dwelled in them, just as He promised in John 14:23!

AFTER, they were led by the Holy Spirit in all that they did, and they testified that the Lord purified their hearts, making them His alone (Acts 15:9)! Then they became His church!

They had to experience the AFTER, as does every individual Christian. Beloved, you cannot BE the church unless you are filled with the Holy Spirit, with the very love of God, and with power over sin so you are no longer a slave to it!

What are the AFTER effects?

— Rather than you having to go somewhere to meet with God, the Lord comes in and meets with you and indwells you!

— You have a 24/7 conversation, fellowship with the Father and the Son (1John 1:1ff)!

— The Law is written in your heart, on the tablet of your heart, whereas BEFORE, it was written on tablets of stone (2Corinthians 3:3)! That makes it easy to do!

— YOUR earthly tent becomes the Tent of Meeting (see 2Corinthians 5:11)!

— The mountain where you meet with God is in YOU!

And 2 Corinthians 3:10-11, and 17-18 are your experience and testimony:

— The glory (manifestation of God) shining from you surpasses the shine of Moses’ face, because, beloved, it does not fade!

— You have liberty from slavery to sin!

— Your face is unveiled, always shining! It is the Holy Spirit, who has come in to you and the Lord now possesses your heart!

— And you go from image to image and glory to glory, by the Holy Spirit. You are happy to continually be transformed into greater and greater Christlikeness, because you have seen the effects as He has taken you on and on, and you delight to do His will and delight in the results!

Beloved, do you love Jesus Christ? Then obey His command. You cannot be the church. You cannot meet with Him as He commands until you go from the BEFORE to the AFTER! It is the only means by which you can become His witness here (Acts 1:8).

Many speak of Jesus but do not live as He lived on this earth. I was one of them. But when He came in on November 1, 2001, at 2 p.m., and fully possessed my heart, I was changed in an instant! It was not a ho-hum experience, but to have God come in is truly spectacular!

I knew I could not be a witness for Him if I wasn’t filled with Him, so for two months after He healed me, I cried out to Him to be filled. And true to His promise, my neighbor called me one afternoon. She had been in devotions and the Lord said, “Call Sue and ask her if she wants to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.” She did, and I jumped up and went over to her house. The Lord filled me marvelously. It was so strange at first, to feel Him inside me, in my innermost being, that I cried out for joy, and I still do, even 15 years later! And I love how He continues to transform me into His image! Praise the Lord!

So, right now, you are watching and you know the Lord has not made you His meeting place. You are in the BEFORE, but if you ask Him right now, He will take you into the AFTER. This is not optional, but a command from Him. And I pray by what I have spoken and written that you will see this truth and cry out to Him! Then you will be His church, His witness, set free from sin and full of Him!

MINISTERING TO THE LORD

[SW246] 09/02/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Ministering to the Lord”

[Please forgive the brevity of these notes. I am running a fever from the flu. The video will contain more detail.]

When we were in Maine, we were shepherds of a flock. But the Lord took us to Florida, where He taught us that the one thing necessary is ministering to Him, and out of that, all else flows!

The Lord began to show me this truth in Ezekiel 44:15-16. The priests descended from Zadok came near to THE LORD to minister to HIM. They stood before HIM.

They came near to HIS table to minister to HIM. They had remained pure, even when some of the Levites went astray into participation in idol worship (see Verse 10).

So what is it to minister to the Lord?

In Psalm 37:4, it is to delight yourself in the Lord, and that means to make yourself soft and pliable, and if you know you are not soft and pliable, to ask Him to make it so in you. Soft and pliable, able to be molded and shaped by the Potter! Ah, it is lovely! From image to image, and from glory to glory. How? By the Holy Spirit! (See 2Corinthians 3:18.) And out of that, all else flows!

In Isaiah 40:31, it is to wait on the Lord. But wait, the word “wait” is not what you think. It is to become entwined with the Lord, the idea of twisting together in view. It is like you interweave yourself with Him. And out of that, all else flows! Are you tired? Are you weary? Entwine yourself with the Lord, and you will exchange your strength for His! And out of that, all else flows!

In the New Testament, Mary shows us what it is to minister to the Lord. In Luke 10:09, we see Mary at His feet, learning from Him. The Lord loves it when we come and sit at His feet. It is a humble position. He thrives on our humility. So humble yourself before the Lord. That is what it is to minister to Him. And out of that, all else flows!

Again, Mary shows us in John 12:3, defying all social customs and mores, taking down her hair in public, humbling herself, and taking the most expensive thing she owned and pouring it out to Him as worship! Oh, Mary knew what it was to minister to the Lord! Her busy sister, Martha, rebuked her to the Lord, but the Lord corrected Martha. Mary was doing the one thing necessary (or needful, as John Wesley preached many times), and out of that ministry to the Lord, all else flowed!

I tell you, He will flow from you like rivers of living water, to everyone around you, if you will minister to Him first and foremost. You won’t have to wonder what to say, when you are meeting with someone who is hurting. He will give you a word, and you will speak it, and they will be blessed and encouraged, and sometimes corrected. It will be Him, flowing from you, and they will know that what you have spoken came from the Lord!

What will be the results, in your ministry (and all believers are ministers, beloved)?

— Exponential spiritual growth in you

— Always a word, in season and out of season

— You will consult Him for the word needed by your flock on a Sunday morning.

— He will give you His heart for them.

— The heavens will no longer be brass to you.

— You will correct without hesitation but with His very love flowing from you.

— Ministry will become a joy!!!!

— Living water will flow from you, and you will be light and salt that does not lose its savor!

There is a requirement for you, though, as I inferred when talking about the Levites that went astray into idol worship. They were no longer able to minister directly to the Lord, because of their sin. They were impure. Their hearts had gone after the idols that the people worshiped. The priests of Zadok had not gone astray. They had remained faithful, so they were able to minister directly to the Lord.

But today, if you have gone astray, I say to you that you may have something the wayward Levites did not have. There was no way for them to be made pure inwardly. But there is a way for your heart to be completely purified, so that you can be a pure vessel through whom the Lord flows, so that you can stand before the Lord, so that you can minister to Him directly! And out of that, all else will flow!

What is this way? Ask the Lord to fill you with His Holy Spirit. The church couldn’t do a thing until they obeyed and humbled themselves and waited to receive Him. And when they did, their hearts were purified (Acts 15:9), and all else flowed from their ministry to the Lord!

When their ministry became busy with the needs of widows, the apostles assigned not just anyone to attend to the widows, but men filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom (Acts 6:3). And the apostles then had the time to minister to the Lord, in ministry of the Word and prayer. And out of that, all else flowed!

Do you see it? If you have gone astray, ask the Lord to fill you with His Spirit, and your heart will be made pure. Then you will eagerly want to minister to Him first and foremost, and all else will flow from your ministry to Him! Glory to God. Ask Him TODAY! Amen.

EVEN THE CHRISTIAN MUST REPENT

[SW245] 08/27/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Even Christians Must Repent”

I asked the Lord, “Why do you want me to preach this?” He said, “So you may present to Me a bride, spotless, blameless, and pure.”

It is possible to be declared righteous by God, through faith in Jesus Christ, and then to fall into sin, so you must repent. What is your recourse? Be filled with the Holy Spirit.

The Lord declared Job to be blameless and upright (righteous), in Job 1:8. The Lord allowed extreme trials into Job’s life — it reminds me of when I had MS, but I was very far from the Lord. These trials revealed a heart problem in Job, for he trusted in his own righteousness. When the trials came, he soon began to accuse the Lord of being unfair.

How did the Lord respond to him? From Job 40:8, He said, “You condemn Me so you can be justified.”

Job’s response? He repented in dust and ashes (Job 42:6). He had declared that which he did not understand, God’s wonderful things, which he did not know (verse 3). He had heard of the Lord, but now his eyes saw Him! So he repented.

Even righteous Job had to repent. He was forgiven by the Lord, and afterwards, the Lord restored him twofold.

As I lay in bed a couple of nights ago, I asked the Lord, “Where in the New Testament do you want me to go, Lord?” He said, “My letters to the churches.” In Revelation 2 and 3, there are five churches that He commands to repent. There are two churches that require no repentance.

Keep in mind that these were actual churches at the time of the revelation to John from Jesus Christ, and they also pertain to you, personally.

First, the churches that were commanded by Jesus Christ to repent:  Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, and Laodicea. Please keep in mind that there was a remnant who had not sinned, in each of these five churches. All of them had been declared to be in right-standing with God, through faith in Jesus Christ. But what did the majority of each church do that required repentance, and what were the consequences if they did not obey and repent?

In Revelation 2:1-7, Ephesus was doing some good things, by rooting out false teachers. But they had LEFT their first love (Verse 4). Who was that? Jesus Christ! They had left Him at the altar, in their pursuit of false doctrines.

Do you remember when you first believed, how you loved Jesus? How is your love for Him now? Examine yourself.

In Verse 5, Jesus commanded them to repent and do the things they did at first, or they would lose their place. There would not be a place in the kingdom of God for them, if they did not repent. Thus, once again, even the righteous had to repent.

I tell you, Jesus must not only be first but be the very center of you, and you must minister to Him by sitting at His feet listening to Him teach you, by adoring Him, by worshiping your Father and Jesus Christ in Spirit and truth. Do you want His love? You must be filled with the Holy Spirit, and He will fill you with His love!

Next is Pergamum, in Revelation 2:12-17. Immorality and idolatry was practiced there, and Jesus saw it. I tell you, He knows your deeds, also. In Verse 17, Jesus Christ commands them to repent, or He will come to them quickly (suddenly), and He will make war with those committing these sins, with the sword of His mouth, which is the Word of God. That is judgment, beloved. He said His words would judge those who sin (John 12:48). So again, even the righteous had to repent.

Next is Thyatira, in Revelation 2:18-29. A false prophetess was there, and leading His bond-servants astray, into idolatry and immorality, which included orgies and sexual perversion.

He gave the prophetess time to repent, but she refused. So she would be judged. And unless they repented, so would her followers, her spiritual children (Verse 23).

Next is Sardis, in Revelation 3:1-6. Jesus said they were dead. From Verse 1, “dead” means “corpse.” There is none of His life in them, and they are unclean, which means they are not holy. They were like the valley of dry bones (see Ezekiel 37). They do not have the Holy Spirit, nor are they filled with Him. And He commands them to wake up and repent, or He will come to them like a thief in the night. They were not children of the light (Ephesians 5:8) They will not be ready, and therefore, they will be judged. Again, even those who are righteous must repent.

And the fifth church commanded to repent is Laodicea, in Revelation 3:14-22. They are rich and wealthy, in the natural, as is much of the church in America. But they are poverty-stricken in the spiritual, as is much of the church in America. Most of what we do is natural, and we are able to do it because we are wealthy, in the natural. But such churches, like Laodicea, are lukewarm. They say they are in need of nothing. So Jesus Christ tells them they are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked (Verse 17). He commands them to buy pure gold, refined in the fire (they need to be purified). Those whom He loves, He reproves and disciplines. Therefore, He commands them to be zealous (on fire for Him), and repent. Unless they do, the shame of their nakedness will be revealed in the day of judgment (Verse 18).

Now, to the two churches that Jesus Christ did not command to repent. What did they do that was right before the Lord?

The first church that was not commanded to repent is Smyrna in Revelation 2:8-11). They were persecuted, and therefore, poor in the natural. But Jesus said they were rich, in the spiritual (Verse 9)! They had been filled with the Spirit, for beloved you cannot be spiritually until that happens. Jesus Christ commanded His disciples to wait until they were clothed with power on high, and when they were filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, they were made rich! Many were about to be martyred, but He would give them the crown of eternal life (Verse 10)!

And the second church that was not commanded to repent was Philadelphia. He presents to them an open door that no one could shut! Why? They have a little power! First, I said, just a little power? But it is a little dunamis, God’s miracle-working power! Not simply authority, which Jesus gave His disciples in Matthew 10, but dunamis! Because they had this power, they were able to keep His word (obey Him) and not deny His name. This is the power of the Holy Spirit, when you are filled with Him. And these would be kept from the hour of testing (Verse 10)!

I tell you this, beloved, from my own experience. Before I was filled with the Spirit, I could not obey. I kept failing and falling. But after I was filled, I hated sin like God does, and was filled with God’s love so I loved Father, Son and Spirit with His own love, and His church with the same love. It is the love that compels me to speak to you today, that you may repent.

So, now is your opportunity. Will you repent? He will certainly forgive you, if you do. And when you ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit, He will do that, and you will be rich, and have a little power! Turn now from your sin!

O church, turn now from your celebration of sin, and repent! Amen.

ARE YOU A CONTENDER?

[SW244] 08/19/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Are You A Contender?”

The Lord says, “Put up your dukes, church!”

A contender is one who has a chance at a title match, in prizefighting. For what must Christians contend? What is the prize?

Jude 3   Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.

Contending — to struggle for earnestly, as a combatant, with intensive force.

Jude exhorts you, implores you, calls you near and beseeches you to be a combatant!

You do not combat sin in yourself, because you have died to sin so you do not continue to live in it (Romans 6:2). If this is not true of you, then repent and ask God to do it.

You do not combat slavery to sin, trying to loose yourself from its ponderous chains, because Jesus has fulfilled His promise to free you from those chains if you are truly His disciples, for you continued in His Word and know the truth. (John 8:31-36).

For what are you a combatant, then?

The faith — The gospel expressed in the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is to stand up for the faith upon which the church was launched in the Book of Acts. To see how this faith was contended for, go to Acts 2 to read Peter’s sermon, and Romans 5 and 6 to read the basic tenets.

But if you do not know His Word, you are boxing as if beating the air (1Corinthians 9:26), and you are easily deceived. No sword (Ephesians 6:17), no contest against deceivers.

You are required by the Lord to fight the good fight of faith (1Timothy 6:12).

Paul writes to Timothy, not long before the Romans beheaded him for his faith in Jesus Christ —

2Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept (guarded, protected) the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Ah! That is the prize! The crown of righteousness, awarded by our Lord!

Why is it essential to contend for the faith? Look at Verse 4 in Jude —

“For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness (immorality) and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

They are pretenders. They have crept in unnoticed because there were no contenders for the faith. They are savage wolves among the flock (Acts 20:29).

These pretenders deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ, by saying the more we sin, the more God’s grace abounds (see Paul’s response in Romans 6:1-2), and by saying that we cannot help it — we will always sin. How is that a denial of Christ?

Before Satan deceived Eve, she told him what God had prohibited. Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. To eat of it would be willful disobedience of God’s command — that is the definition of sin. But Satan said, “You surely will not die.”

In the same way, these highly popular pretenders say, “You can’t help but sin. But surely you will not die, for Jesus will receive you just the same. His blood covers all the sin you have done, are doing, and will yet do.” Just as Satan said to Eve, they say, “You surely will not die.” That is the “hypergrace” message of Joesph Prince, and others. God is grieved!

The wages of sin is death, whether you are “saved” or not, whether you go to church or not!

If you say you sin every day in thought, word and deed, then repent and ask the Lord to purify your heart by filling you with His Spirit!

And if you say that you must continue to sin, Christ died for nothing, for you are just as wretched and condemned as you were before we were “saved” through the teaching of these pretenders.

Some highly popular pretenders avoid mentioning sin at all, because if they do, you might not feel good about yourself. That is the teaching of Joel Osteen and many others.

If you go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, what awaits you? Christ is no longer able to save you, because you have trampled Him underfoot, treated His blood as unclean, and insulted the Holy Spirit. A terrifying expectation of judgment awaits you. (See Hebrews 10:26-27, 29.)

Jude goes on to say that these pretenders follow their own lusts. Many of them are very, very rich. They are arrogant, and they are flatterers, so they can gain an advantage with you (Jude 16).

These highly popular pretenders dangle God’s GOODIES before their followers, and their followers chase after them, instead of chasing after the Lord and asking Him to fill us with His GOODNESS! If you follow such pretenders, you will become like them.

Some of these pretenders teach just as the gnostics taught — that all flesh is evil and as long as we are in our bodies, but our spirits are pure because we are children of God.

Others say, “Thanks be to God for the blood of Jesus that keeps washing and washing and washing us dirty sinners!” That is a Baptist teaching.

I surely still need His blood to cover sins of ignorance — I do not always realize that I have inadvertently offended someone.

But beyond that, Christ has dealt with my sin nature, so that it is crucified and I live for Christ (Galatians 2:20)!

My flesh has died so I cease from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God (1Peter 4:1-2)?

I have died to sin (Romans 6:2)! He has filled me with His Spirit, so that I have power over sin and hate sin like He does!

I have escaped the corruption that is in the world because of lust! God’s divine power has granted to me everything pertaining to life and godliness (2Peter 1:3-4)!

These pretenders teach that homosexuality is no longer an abomination to God.

And in the same way as in Sodom and Gomorrah, they give hearty approval to those who practice homosexuality (Romans 1:32).

Against such things, beloved, you must ask Christ to enable you to contend, to defend the gospel as a combatant against the Enemy’s false teachers and their doctrines of demons (1Timothy 4:1).

How? Ask Him to fill you with His Spirit so you know Him personally and with a holy intimacy and are strengthened with His strength so you may fight the good fight of faith, guarding it and watching over it!

Here is the question of the day —

Are you a contender, or a pretender? Do you contend for the faith and truth which is in Christ, earnestly struggling as a combatant against the pretenders, or are you one who teaches as they do, or a follower of them?

Examine yourself to see if you are in the faith (2Corinthians 3:5)!

If you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will boldly decry and identify the pretenders. You will boldly speak the truth which is in Christ. You will be a combatant against the pretenders.

Then you will be able to say, with Paul —

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept (guarded, protected) the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

 

Amen.

ARE YOU CONTENT?

[SW243] 08/12/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Are You Content?”

We live in troubled times. So did Paul! But in Philippians 4:11, Paul says he has learned to be content in whatever circumstances he is in. What does he mean? The answer may surprise you.

Let me explain. In Webster’s, content means “happy enough with what you have or are, not desiring something more or different, satisfied.” That is not the kind of contentment Paul has.

The Greek word for “content” means self-sufficient, needing no assistance, with the idea of adequacy.
But Paul would say of these definitions, “May it never be!” Yet he is content, even with all he suffered for Christ’s sake:

— From 1Corinthians 4:10-13

— a fool for Christ’s sake

— condemned to death

— a spectacle to the world and to angels and to men

— hungry and thirsty

— poorly clothed

— roughly treated

— homeless

— toiling, working with his own hands

— reviled

— persecuted

— slandered

— considered to be the scum of the earth, the dregs of all things

As if that is not enough to cause discontentment, let’s go on!

— From 2Corinthians 11:24-28

— Five times from the Jews receiving 39 lashes

— Three times beaten with rods

— Stoned

— Three times shipwrecked, a night and day in the deep

— Frequent journeys

— In dangers from

— robbers

— his countrymen

— the Gentiles (non-believers)

— in the city

— in the wilderness

— on the sea

— among false brethren

— In labor and hardship

— Through many sleepless nights

— In hunger and thirst

— Often without food

— In cold and exposure

— Daily pressure on him from concern for all the churches

Well! And as if that is not enough, Paul was so content that he wrote his letter to the church at Philippi while he was in a Roman prison!

That’s not all! Paul and his colleague Silas were so content that even having been struck with many blows from wooden rods, thrown into the dungeon, and their feet placed in stocks, they gladly sang praises and prayed to the Lord from within that dungeon (Acts 16:22ff).

What is this contentment? What had Paul and Silas learned? What is their definition of contentment? And how was the kingdom of God advanced by their contentment? (That is, after all, the purpose of that kind of contentment!)

This contentment surely is not “happy enough with what you have or are, not desiring something more or different, satisfied.” Nor is it “self-sufficient, needing no assistance, with the idea of adequacy.”

Beloved, if you are like Paul and Silas, filled with the Holy Spirit, you have learned (you fully know by experience) —

— that you are Christ-sufficient (His grace — the divine influence on the heart, and its reflection in the life — is sufficient, for power is perfected in (your) weakness, per 2Corinthians 12:9),

— that your adequacy is in and from Christ (2 Corinthians 3:5ff),

— that you must seek Christ’s assistance, because you fully know by experience that apart from Him, you can do nothing (John 15:5)!

And what happened when Paul and Silas sang praises and prayed from within that dungeon?

— The prisoners listened to Paul and Silas as they sang praises and prayed from the dungeon!  O Church, O Christian, if you are content the way Paul was, you will sing praises and pray in the midst of persecution! And the captives will be listening!

— There was an earthquake, a shaking that caused prison doors to fly open! It was the miracle-working power of God. O Church, O Christian, there will be a shaking wrought by God among you, one that frees captives!!

But the prisoners didn’t flee. They remained. They were drawn by these men who understood they could do nothing apart from Christ! They saw that Paul and Silas possessed something they did not have. O Church, O Christian, if you repent of your self-sufficiency and ask the Lord to change you, the captives will stay with you after they are freed. They will be drawn by you. They will see that you possess something they do not have.

The jailer saw the prison doors were open, and was ready to commit suicide rather than be killed by his superiors because the prisoners had escaped. But Paul said no one had left! Then the jailer called for lights and rushed in and fell down before Paul,  trembling with fear, crying, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul told him, and he and his whole household were saved! O Church, O Christian, when the captives are freed, your persecutors will call for lights and rush in and fall down before you, trembling with fear, crying “What must I do to be saved?”

I tell you that bounce houses and carnivals won’t work. I tell you that seeker-friendliness won’t work. I tell you that fantastic music won’t work. I tell you that programs designed by men won’t work. Here’s what will work — become discontent until God gives you HIS kind of contentment!

Paul and Silas were filled with God’s Holy Spirit. They were fully God’s. And the power that goes with that, beloved, is God’s dunamis, God’s miracle-working power!

What will happen if you, O Church, and you, O Christian, are transformed from complacent to content?

What will happen if you are transformed from passive to possessed by God’s Holy Spirit?

You will no longer be self-sufficient and self-reliant, or satisfied, seeking nothing more than what you have.

When you ask your Father in heaven to fill you with His Holy Spirit, His dunamis, His miracle-working power, His righteousness, His love, His fruit, His divine nature, then you will be free from sin, even from the sin of self-reliance and self-sufficiency and complacency that so easily entangles you!

Then your circumstances will not matter. In every circumstance, even thrown into dungeons by your persecutors (and be assured, persecution is coming and is already here), you will sing praises to God and pray, and He will work miracles that cause many captives to be set free!

You see, He frees you so that you free others! But you must freely receive to freely give.

So repent! Ask the Lord to fill you, so you are content in the same way Paul was — Christ sufficient, knowing your adequacy comes from Him, and seeking His assistance, because apart from Him, you can do nothing!