UNSHAKEABLE!

[SW270] 02/17/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Unshakeable!”

A great shaking is coming! When? Who will it shake?

God’s past shakings —

#1 — Amos 9:8-10

Northern Israel (Samaria), because of King Jeroboam, but also Judah (see 2:4). He speaks through Amos of the altar and the capitals of the Temple in Jerusalem, in Amos 9:1.

Why? They rebelled by chasing after false gods, sacrificing their children to fires in order to please these false gods, and worshiping idols of their own making. They did not repent from their rebellion and turn back to the Lord.

POINT: If  you rebel, you will be shaken. These were prophecies about God’s own people, and still apply to believers and unbelieving Jews today. These things are written for our instruction (1Corinthians 10:11).

#2 — Haggai 2:1-6

Yet once more, the Lord says through Haggai, I will shake.

Why? Haggai prophesied in the era when the Lord returned a repentant remnant of Judah to the Promised Land, after a 70-year exile in Babylon. They were restored by the Lord, and had begun to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

So there was repentance, restoration and rebuilding.

And because Babylon and Assyria had gone far beyond the degree of punishment the Lord desired for His people (Isaiah 10:5ff), THEY were the ones to be shaken in this shaking. Their wealth was given to Judah (Ezra 6:8ff). per an edict from the Persian King Darius, who had defeated Babylon. This wealth from the nations was indeed shaken from the heavens, earth, sea, and dry land. But this is a double prophecy — it was fulfilled and was to be fulfilled again in the future. Watch!

POINT: If you repent, the Lord will restore you, rebuild you, and the Enemy, Satan, will be shaken! He loses you! That is a cost far greater than silver or gold. His greatest fear is a restored, rebuilt, Spirit-filled Christian!

#3 — Hebrews 12:28

Yet once more! It is the second fulfillment of the Lord’s word through Haggai.

When will the shaking happen? Only God the Father knows!

What will be shaken? Everything that can be shaken. All created things will be thoroughly shaken, as before — heavens, earth, sea, dry land. This is a prophecy of God’s final judgment, before the earth and heavens are destroyed and replaced.

What will remain? That which cannot be shaken.

What cannot be shaken? The kingdom of God that is within you (Luke 17:20)!

It is not of the earth, but from God’s dwelling place, which is inside of you (John 14:23), if you have been filed with the Holy Spirit in your own personal Pentecost!

POINT: The world and all that is in it will be shaken. If you have the kingdom of God in you, then you will not be shaken.

See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking, even speaking through me to you today (Hebrews 12:25)!

QUESTIONS: Is the kingdom of God in you? How do you know?

You have been in the refining fire of the great Refiner, Jesus Christ. You have offered your whole self, a whole burnt offering (Romans 12:1). That means He has baptized you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

I must add that in my NASB, Verse 28, “show gratitude” is a POOR translation of the original Greek — it is “have grace,” which is charis, the divine influence on the heart and the reflection in the life.

So, if you have been baptized with the Holy Spirt and fire, refined by the Refiner, Jesus Christ, your heart purified (Acts 15:9), then the kingdom of God is in you. You have charis.

(Is this true of you? Do you have the Lord’s divine influence on your heart? Is it reflected in your life? Have you offered your whole self to Him?)

You are thus able to offer an acceptable service (Malachi 3:3, Romans 12:1).

(Is this true of you? Have you offered what Jesus Christ deserves from you, for all that He has done on your behalf? Have you offered your entire self to Him, so He may refine you?)

You are thus full of reverence and awe toward the Lord, because you have offered your entire self to Him.

(Is this true of you? Have you offered your entire self to Him, being crucified with Jesus Christ so you no longer live, but He lives in you, per Galatians 2:20?)

If your answer to these is “no,” then you do not have the kingdom of God in you, you will be shaken, and you should fear our God, who is a consuming fire.

Right now is the time to repent! He will restore and rebuild the repentant. That is His promise to you, if you will turn to Him right now.

FAITH AND DENIAL

[SW269] 02/10/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Faith and Denial”

What is it to be faithful? What is it to deny the Lord? Why should you care? Paul shows us!

Text: 2Timothy 2:1-13

I was prayerfully looking for the common thread in these verses, and the Lord showed me that they are all about faithfulness.

Verses 1-7 (note that I am using the original Greek to English to keep us from erring in interpretation) —

To be faithful means —

— To be empowered to be able to remain in a fixed position, through the grace which is in Christ Jesus.

There are two Greek words commonly used for grace. Paul specifically uses the Greek charis for “grace” in this verse, defined as “the divine influence (of Christ Jesus) on the heart, and the reflection in the life.” He does not use the Greek charisma, which means “unmerited favor.”

— To appoint faithful teachers. Paul was faithful to teach Timothy. Then Timothy was faithful to teach others. Now, appoint those who heard and heeded to go and faithfully teach others!

— To suffer for Christ, who is your Commanding Officer in the army of God.

— To please God the Father, who enlisted you in His army, by NOT becoming involved in the affairs of everyday life. Faithfully be in the world, but not of it (John 15:19).

— To compete with total obedience to Christ’s commands, so you may reach the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

— To work hard, Him working in you. That is, don’t just sit there! Go out and preach the gospel, by the power of God that is in you! Lift up your eyes! The fields are white for harvest (John 4:35)!

AND NOW,  PAUL GIVES US A PRAISE BREAK . . .

He will show you the truth of these things! Hallelujah!

Remember . . .

— God’s faithfulness, in sending Jesus Christ. Remember Christ’s faithfulness to go to the cross, having done everything the Father sent Him to do, so He could cry, “It is finished!” (See John 19:30.) Remember God’s faithfulness to raise Him from the dead, just as He promised in the Old Testament, and just as His Son promised in the New Testament.

— Paul’s faithfulness, to suffer, even to be in prison as he wrote to Timothy, and nearing his execution, though he had done no wrong.

— The faithfulness of God’s Word! It cannot be imprisoned!

— Paul’s unwavering faithfulness, enduring all things for the sake of the chosen who will hear and heed and believe and obtain the salvation in Christ, and eternal glory!

And remember that we DIED with Him. The commentators agree with me. This is death to self (Galatians 2:20). If you’re dead, you don’t care how you are persecuted for the sake of the gospel.

Here are the rewards to the faithful:

— God promises that if we endure, if we are faithful as Paul has described to us in this passage, we will reign with Christ!

But there are consequences for those who deny Him —

— From Verse 12, if you deny Him (contradict and refuse Him, in the original Greek), He will deny you (see Mt. 10:33). He will refuse you.

— From Verse 13, if you are faithless (disobedient and disbelieving), He will remain faithful.

What does that mean? He will be faithful to judge those who contradict and refuse, who disobey and disbelieve. Acts 5:1-11’s Ananias and Saphhira, and also Joshua 23:14-15, are among the many examples of God’s faithfulness to judge.

God does not change. He cannot deny that He is just and righteous. He CANNOT, this verse says, contradict and reject Himself!

So this begs the question, “What is it to deny and be faithless?”

It is to do the opposite of the faithfulness the Lord has just shown to you! It is to disobey and disbelieve, to reject and contradict the Lord. It is to rebel against Him by the way you choose to live, to rebel against His Word that says He is able to cleanse you of all unrighteousness (1John 1:9), if you confess your sin. You rebel against His truth.

And so He cannot deny Himself. You will be judged.

I tell you, it is a false and misleading and downright devilish interpretation of, “He remains faithful,” as “You are free to rebel and He will still love you.”

But here is the good news. I believe there is still time to repent. But seek Him while He may be found. Call on Him while He is near. This is a limited time offer!

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, He will have mercy on Him, and He will freely pardon (Isaiah 55:6-7).

To the faithful, be ENCOURAGED! Be empowered, so you remain in a fixed position through the divine influence of Christ Jesus on your heart! Amen.

A HUMBLED HEART

[SW268] 02/03/2017 message notes by

Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“A Humbled Heart”

So the Lord has been doing some things in my heart (see my previous blog “Pride in Me!”). So this morning, I thought of Hezekiah, went to the Word of God, and the Lord showed me a truth.

It will be best if you watch the video (see link in the right margin of my blog page). But here’s the gist of it —

Texts:  2Kings 18:1-6, 2Chronicles 32:20-31

So Hezekiah was a good king, who did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all his father David had done (2Kings 18:3). He removed the idols form the land. The people had even made an idol of the bronze serpent that Moses had lifted up in the wilderness (see Numbers 28:8-9).

I did the same thing. I removed all the idols from my heart so God the Father and God the Son could come and dwell in me, by the Spirit. And they did! For that I praise God, because I can do nothing apart from the Lord.

Hezekiah trusted in the Lord (verse 5). He clung to the Lord (verse 6). I have spoken of the word “clung” before — it is to stick to something like glue. He followed Him with all his heart and kept His commandments.

Me, too! We are in the New Testament now, because Jesus has come and died and risen and ascended and been glorified, taking His place once again to the right hand of the Father. So, when He filled me with His love (Romans 5:5), I clung to Him like glue. And I no longer willfully disobeyed Him. This rebel without a cause was a rebel no more.

So, this was great! I was glad to be able to walk with Jesus, and to hear Him, and to go to work for Him. Just like Hezekiah, I did everything with a full heart and sought to bring others to Jesus. I threw away my old life, and took up His. Hallelujah!

Now we go to 2Chronicles 33, starting with Verse 20. The Assyrians were at the gates of Jerusalem, and planned to overrun the city. Hezekiah and Isaiah cried out to the Lord, and He caused a great slaughter among the Assyrians. They were afraid and fled. After he returned to his homeland, the king of Assyria was murdered by his own sons, while he worshiped his god.

It was such a miracle, this salvation from the very powerful Assyrians, that word got around and many nations brought gifts to Hezekiah. He became very rich.

The Lord healed Hezekiah of some kind of boil that caused him to be mortally ill! I mean, God was everywhere in Hezekiah’s life, blessing and prospering and delivering Him.

Me, too! He healed me of MS, He blessed me, He prospered me.

But the Lord searches the heart and examines the mind. We do not know our own hearts (see Jeremiah 17:9-10). In Psalm 139:23-24, King David asks the Lord to search his heart, to see if there is any wicked way (literally, way of pain) in him.

Hezekiah became proud, and did not search his heart, and that pride spread through all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And the Babylonians came, bearing gifts, and Hezekiah showed them all of his treasures (see the whole story in Isaiah 39). God had left him alone to test him, to show him what was in his heart (2Chronicles 33:31). Since the Lord already knows our hearts, He simply shows us what He sees.

Me, too! I was blind to the fact that I was prideful. I believed I knew better, I knew a better way to do things. And that’s pride. It was sneaky. I did not see it for the longest time. But the Lord showed it to me, through His faithful servants at my church.

So when Hezekiah saw his heart, he “humbled the pride of his heart.” Verse 26 says the inhabitants of Jerusalem also repented. And the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.

After him came his son, who sinned like crazy against God. And then God punished Judah, sending them into exile in Babylon for 70 years — the time it took for that generation to die of old age. Then, because they were His people and He would not let them completely perish from off the earth, they were freed and some returned to Jerusalem to rebuild it.

And so, I have humbled the pride of my heart. And because I am the Lord’s, He has freed me from that pride, and I am able to serve Him and His people as I ought to serve Him. I repented, He forgave me, and cleansed me of that pride.

Do you think I am going to be watchful, and also try to find out how it got started so the Enemy of my soul can’t mess with me again? You’d better believe it! I count on my brothers and sisters in Christ to sound a warning if anything begins to creep in, because I may not see it, just as it was this time.

I thank God that He redeems when I err, and in those places where I was unfruitful before, He sent His servants to accomplish His work. His goal is always redemption!

So maybe this will encourage you, and maybe this will convict you. But I believe I was to speak it today. Let it work in your heart. Amen.

PRIDE IN ME!

So this is a public confession of the sin of pride, in me. It’s public because it has affected many of you. I did not see it for a very, very long time, but I am so thankful for my pastors and counselors and the Lord Himself finally opening my eyes to it. My pride was this — I knew better. I knew everything better. I knew how to do everything better.

And so I missed opportunities to reach people for Christ. It was the very thing I wanted to do, but I could not see what made them step back. I have asked Christ’s forgiveness, and for the rest of you, I ask yours as well.

And I thank the Lord for so gently and lovingly showing it to me, through the leadership at our church. I still have some years, I think, and I hope and pray to be fully healed of pride so I may be useful for the kingdom of God.

In the meantime, I’ll be putting up posts and doing videos, to let you know how it’s going. I pray these things are an encouragement to you!

DID I NOT SAY?

The power of You, Lord . . . we do not know

We say, “It is too late . . . there is no hope.”

The deadness tests our faith . . . it’s all we see.

“Where were You, Lord?”  we cry . . .

“Look, Lord, Your church has died,”

And You are grieved.

“Did I not say,” You ask,

“That life would come from this?

“That I would have a church

“full of My glory?

“I raise the dead to life!

“Believe My words to you,

“I speak, and up they rise,

“So God is glorified,

“And I am glorified.

“Believe My words, My child!”

WILL YOU STAND OR FALL?

[SW267] 01/27/2017 message notes by

Reverend Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Will You Stand or Fall?”

Will you stand or fall, when storms come? Just like with a house, it depends where you have built it. Ask the Master Builder for HIS PLANS, and you will not fall. Hallelujah!

Text: Matthew 7:24-29

In good weather, a house built on rock and a house built on sand seem equally sound and sturdy.

But storms reveal whether or not the location was wisely chosen.

In Jesus’ parable, a few things are important to note:

— Both houses experienced the same kind of storm

— Both builders heard Jesus’ words

Before I go farther, what are the words Jesus refers to, in this parable?

He just preached the Sermon on the Mount, so I’ll do a brief flyover of that sermon.

— Humbly mourn over your spiritual poverty

— Hunger and thirst for righteousness

— Be pure in heart

— Be a living example of reconciliation and peace with God through Jesus Christ.

— Expect to be persecuted, rejoice and be glad for it

— Your righteousness must exceed that of people who outwardly do good things to earn their way to heaven.

— Do not be angry.

— Reconcile with those who have something against you.

— Even looking at a woman or man with lust is enough to send you to hell, so cast off the thing that makes you lust.

— Do not divorce because you lust for another person’s husband or wife.

— Be truthful always, your yes being “yes” and your no being “no.”

— Turn the other cheek, give your prized possession, and pray for your enemies and those who persecute you.

— Do righteous acts anonymously and in secret, not to be seen by men.

— Forgive others, or your Father in heaven will not forgive you.

— Do not be a servant to money.

— Do not worry, but seek My kingdom and My righteousness, and I will provide for you.

— Do not be judgmental. Do not be a hypocrite.

— Enter My kingdom through the small gate and travel the narrow path that looks difficult to navigate. Do not follow the “many” who go through the wide gate and travel the broad path. It leads to destruction!

— False prophets will come, and they will look like you. Know them by their fruit. That requires the righteous kind of judgment.

These are the words Jesus refers to in this parable. And there are two kinds of people who hear His words —

The one who hears and does

Everyone — no exceptions, praise God — who

Hears His words AND

Does them — that is, obeys them

Is wise!

Why? They have built their house on a rock (their obedience to Jesus’ words).

So YOU WILL STAND, when the rain comes down and the rivers overflow and the winds come and beat against you. What Good News!

The one who hears and does not do

Everyone — no exceptions — who

Hears His words AND

Does NOT do them — that is, disobeys them

Is foolish!

Why? They have built their house on sand. The storm’s rain and floods erode the sandy base, and the wind easily destroys it. Totally.

You cannot stand, for you have chosen not to obey Jesus’ words. Great will be your fall! The picture is of total destruction. The picture is of hell.

What? But I go to church every Sunday, and I go to church every time the doors are open! You have heard His words, but you have not obeyed them.

The Lord is gracious and merciful to tell us what will happen when we obey His words, and what will happen when we choose to disobey His words.

You may say, “But it’s too hard to obey His words all the time!”

You’re right!  It is hard until (here comes His Good News) . . . you ask Him to make the WAY for you to OBEY His words as easy as breathing. How?

Jesus tells you, in Matthew 7:11, and Luke 11:13!
Obey THESE words, and He will make your heart obedient to all His words. And indeed, you will be able to withstand any storm.

Will you be a hearer only, or will you be a doer (James 1:23-25)?

Come to the Heart Changer and Chain Breaker. He will do it, if you confess that you are disobedient and ask Him to break the chains of slavery to sin and change your heart!

STRANGE LAWS

Many scoff at some of the laws of the Old Testament — even our former president did so, and warned Christians that they didn’t even know what the Old Testament said, or they would not be so quick to quote it regarding homosexuality and other issues. But those strange-sounding laws were for this purpose — that Israel would not follow any of the customs and sacrificial systems of the lands around them or of Egypt, from whence they were delivered.

Leviticus 18:3 ‘You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes.”

These laws are for God’s people, and God does not change. Since Jesus Christ came, that category applies to all who believe in Him, Jew or non-Jew. The world, if it continues in its ways, will face judgment for their actions. But Christ’s goal, and ours, is to proclaim that there is a way out of bondage to sin — He is the Chain Breaker! It is to proclaim that God the Father sent His Son to do just that. Such were some of you . . . but you were saved (1Corinthians 6:11)! What a great heart our God has! He made me a “such were!” He made me a “formerly,” at 45 years of age! Bless His holy name, He will do it for whosoever believes in Jesus Christ!