MARK 9 COMMENTARY

This is a commentary for you and me. It isn’t complicated, because Jesus wants you to understand it, so you can be healed physically and even more importantly, in your relationship with God, which was broken by sin.

So what’s the main point the Holy Spirit wants to make in this group of verses? He wants us to see what it means for the kingdom of God to come with power.

Verse 1 — Jesus says some who are with Him at this time in history will see the kingdom of God come with power, before they physically die. What does He mean? Is this a natural kingdom? Jesus says in John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world.”

Where is this kingdom? “In your midst” — that is, inside of you (Luke 17:21).

What will be the sign of this kingdom’s arrival? Miracle-working power. But don’t the disciples already have authority to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and cast out demons? Yes.

But Jesus does not yet rule and reign in His disciples’ hearts. When that happens, they will have not just His externally given authority, but His power residing within them. When will that happen? It will happen at Pentecost (Acts 2).

Then He will baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire, their hearts will be totally His, and His Spirit will perform miraculous signs and wonders from within them, literally. That will be the sign of His kingdom coming with power into their hearts. It will happen while they are still alive. The kingdom of God will come with power.

Do you want the kingdom of God to come in power while you are still alive? Put your self-interest to death, and ask Him to baptize you with the Holy Spirit so He rules and reigns in you.

Verse 2-8 — Jesus takes Peter, James and John up onto a high mountain. Suddenly, He is transfigured. The Greek word is the one from which we get the word “metamorphosis.” He becomes very different in appearance. His garments are brilliantly lit with a heavenly light. They are able to see with their own eyes that He truly is not of this world.

Then Elijah and Moses appear with Jesus. How did Peter, James and John recognize them? They are speaking with Jesus. He calls them by name. Peter has no idea what to do and is as the others — terrified by the change in Jesus’ appearance and the sudden appearance of Elijah and Moses. So Peter foolishly suggests erecting sacred tents (tabernacles) where Jesus, Moses, and Elijah can live. But that’s not why Peter, James and John are being shown this manifestation.

A cloud suddenly appears. God the Father’s voice comes from the cloud, “This My beloved Son, listen to Him!” God the Father makes it clear what this terrifying heavenly manifestation is about.

Important point: When you first see God the Son manifested before you, your reaction will not be jumping and running and shouting and laughing. It will be terror, because it will be so powerful and so different from anything you have ever seen. You will be convinced that Jesus is much more than you first thought, and you will be afraid. But when He has filled you with the Holy Spirit, you will no longer fear (1John

God the Father explains why Peter, James and John are being shown this terrifying manifestation —

First, this is My Son, the Son of God, this is God in the flesh. This is the one sent by Me. I am confirming it, here and now.

Second, because He is My Son give constant heed to Him — don’t just hear His words with your natural ears, don’t just let them go in one ear and out the other. Be doers of His words. Obey Him! He is not a man like you — He is God in the flesh.

IMPORTANT POINT: The Word of God is not a book of suggestions. It is not some form of philosophy or psycho-babble. It is inspired by God, and contains His commands.

After the Father’s explanation, Jesus suddenly returns to His normal appearance, and Moses and Elijah are no longer seen. The Father has revealed the truth to Peter, James and John.

Verses 9-10 — As they descend from the mountain, Jesus commands Peter, Paul and James not to tell anyone what they have just seen. Why would Jesus want to keep this heavenly event a secret? Why doesn’t He want the world to know, here and now, that He is the Son of God?

He tells them. My time has not yet fully come (John 7:8). He commands them to wait until after He has died and has risen from the dead. Then tell them. When He has risen, it will be obvious that He is the Son of God. Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain will be another eyewitness account that He is the Son of God.

As usual, the disciples can’t imagine what He means by “raised from the dead.” They think His kingdom is a natural one — even after seeing this heavenly manifestation. He’ll ride into Jerusalem on a white horse, with an army behind Him, and conquer the Romans. He can’t do that if He’s dead.

And what is this raising? Half of the religious leaders don’t believe in resurrection.

Jesus’ words don’t fit into His disciples’ idea of the kingdom that is coming with power. Again, their lack of understanding is because the kingdom of God has not yet come with power into their hearts.

Verses 11-13 — Since they don’t understand what He just said, the disciples take a stab at the possible reason for Jesus not wanting His Sonship to be revealed.

They remember a teaching of the scribes. Elijah has to come before the kingdom can be established. Isn’t that right, Jesus? Yes, Elijah has to come to restore. The religious system in Israel has strayed far from God’s plan. The first step back is repentance. That’s what Elijah preached to Israel, in the Old Testament.

But Jesus asks them this: If the coming of the kingdom of God with power means repentance, John the Baptist has already done that.

Why, then must Jesus suffer many things and be treated with contempt? Why must He die and rise from the dead?

Here is the reason. He dies, rises again to life, goes to the Father, and the Holy Spirit is poured out. Now mankind is able to ask Jesus to baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire, establishing His kingdom with power, within them.

He also informs them that John the Baptist is the Elijah of this time (Malachi 4:5). He has preached repentance, and they (men)  have done with him just as it is written. Just as with all the prophets sent to them (Matthew 5:12), Israel’s religious and political leaders rejected John and he has suffered by being imprisoned and beheaded at the hands of King Herod.

Verses 14-23 — They arrive in the valley and immediately come upon a chaotic scene. The rest of the disciples are surrounded by a large crowd, the scribes are arguing with them, and a young man is writhing on the ground.

The crowd runs to Jesus to greet Him. He asks them to explain what is happening. He already knows, but He wants a particular person to speak.

One in the crowd says his son is possessed with a spirit. He says he told the disciples to cast it out, but they could not do it. The kingdom of God has not yet come in power, in the disciples’ hearts. They have Jesus’ authority. But they do not yet have the kingdom inside them.

Jesus rebukes the disciples for their unbelief. They do not have faith to deliver this young man, and they do not have the spiritual discernment to understand that prayer is required to cast out this particular kind of spirit.

He commands that the young man be brought to him. The spirit in the young man reacts violently to Jesus.

Jesus asks how long the young man has been this way. From childhood, the father says. “If you can do anything, he says, take pity on us and help us!”

Jesus says, “IF you can? All things are possible to him who believes.”

IMPORTANT POINT: There are no IFs in the kingdom of God. IF Jesus will heal me, IF it is Your will, Jesus . . . no! All things are possible to him who believes, Jesus says.

Do you believe, or are you still in “IF mode?” Say, as the young man’s father says, “I do believe, help my unbelief.” He will.

And so Jesus commands the spirit to come out, and it comes out, leaving the young man looking like a corpse. The crowd thinks he’s dead. He probably is. But Jesus takes him by the hand, and raises him, and the young man gets up.

Even death has no power over God. He has power over death!

Privately, the disciples ask Jesus why they couldn’t drive out the demon. He says, this kind cannot come out by anything but prayer. They have looked to what they have been able to do in the past, and expected to be able to do the same. They do not yet have the power to discern when a spirit must be prayed out. The kingdom of God has not yet come with power, inside them.

Verses 30-32 — Because the disciples still think Jesus’ kingdom will be in Jerusalem and He will overthrow Rome, they do not understand Jesus’ next statement. He tells them he will be delivered into the hands of men, killed, and rise three days later. They are afraid to ask Him what He means. It is so contrary to the way they think, and their previous guesses have been wrong, so they are afraid to ask Him.

Verses 33-37 — The disciples argue among themselves. Which one of them will be the greatest in Jesus’ kingdom in Jerusalem?

IMPORTANT POINT: I often see this in today’s church, much to the grief of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why does the church argue about who is the greatest? Why the power plays and politics? They have their own self-interests in mind, just as with the disciples. They have not yet had the kingdom of God come with power inside them. They have not yet been filled with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus asks the disciples what they are discussing, and they are too embarrassed to tell Him. The church should feel the same when He questions her!

He says this to the disciples and to today’s church: If you want to be first in My kingdom, serve everyone else before yourself. Your self interest and your desires and your needs and your ambitions are not to be considered at all, ever.

He says you must believe as a child for the kingdom of God to enter you (Mark 10:15). You must trust and believe He is able to establish His kingdom with power, inside of you. If you do, He will!

Then, when you encounter someone who is a child in the faith, someone others would consider to be insignificant and unworthy, you will receive (that is, accept and take in) and you will serve them.

By doing that, you will show that you have received Jesus, and indeed, have received God the Father, and the very kingdom of God is established with power, in your heart.

Verses 38-40 — The disciples encounter a man who is not following Jesus with them, but he is casting out demons in Jesus’ name. They try to prevent him.

But Jesus corrects them. If the man is doing a miracle in Jesus’ name, he surely won’t speak evil of Jesus.

He is not defaming Jesus’ name. He is not rejecting Jesus, as the Jewish leaders do. So he is not against Jesus, but for Jesus.

Do not stop him! The disciples do not understand because the kingdom of God has not yet come in power, in their hearts.

IMPORTANT POINT: Do not try to prevent someone from doing miracles in Jesus’ name. If they are doing the miracles in His name, He will be glorified. He will judge false prophets at the proper time (Matthew 7:15-23). In the meantime, you will know them by their fruits.

Verses 38-47 — Do you want to be rewarded? Give Jesus’ followers a time of refreshment and rest. But if you cause these little (that is, humble) followers of Him to be tripped up or enticed to sin, you might as well have a heavy stone hung around your neck and be cast into the sea.

And regarding sin, Jesus commands you to cut off anything from yourself that causes you to be enticed to sin. Better to enter heaven crippled than cast into hell.  Just as heaven is real, so is hell, according to Jesus. And in hell, the worm never dies — that is, suffering never ends. And the fire never goes out — it is an everlasting burning (Isaiah 33:14).

Who sends people to hell? They send themselves, by not repenting. God doesn’t desire that any should perish, but all should come to repentance (2Peter 3:9).

Verse 49 — Everyone will be salted with fire. Salt purifies. The fiery baptism of the Holy Spirit purifies the heart, its motives, and there is only one love in such a heart — God’s actual love.

Verse 50 — The Jewish leaders may have been flavored with God’s salt at one time, but they no longer have that saltiness. Like the salt from the Dead Sea, there are impurities mixed in, and those impurities have caused their saltiness to fade.

Jesus commands His disciples to have God’s salt in them, to be pure salt, so their saltiness will not fade. When the kingdom of God comes into their hearts with power, they will have Christ’s peace inside them, and will be at peace with each other.

IMPORTANT POINT: When the kingdom of God comes into the hearts of those in today’s church, they will have Christ’s peace inside them, and they will be at peace with each other.

I STAND IN AWE

[SW213] 12/24/2015 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“I Stand In Awe”

I have a song in my heart, a song of the gospel of Jesus Christ! It goes far beyond the manger . . .

Silent night, with velvet sky . . . a baby born to die —

John 10:17 “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.”

John 12:27   “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.”

His life was given . . . a debt to pay —

Colossians 2:13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,  14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

You were sent to save, Jesus, You were sent to save — 

Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Acts 2:21  ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

Gift of God to all the earth

John 3:16   “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

To redeem mankind

1Peter 1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,  19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

The angels speak, the humble hear

Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;  11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

And You draw them near, so near, and You draw them near

John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”

Unthinkable, Your sacrifice, on the cross it was done —

Hebrews 9:26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Philippians 2:5  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness. 8  And being found in appearance as a man,

he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!

You rose and sent Your Spirit Lord, to fill each willing heart, You will, fill each willing heart — 

John 20:16 Jesus  said to her, “Mary!” She turned and  said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).  17 Jesus  said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene  came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

Romans 1:4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

Acts 1:5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” . . . 8  but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Acts 5:32 “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

For all You did, and all You are, O glorious, brilliant Morningstar —

Revelation 22:16   “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

I stand in awe, what can I do, but bow and praise and worship You!

John 4:23 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.”

You, too, will stand in awe, if you have eyes to see and ears to hear. And you, too, will bow and praise and worship Him!

MARK 8 COMMENTARY

This is a commentary for you and me. It isn’t complicated, because Jesus wants you to understand it, so you can be healed physically and even more importantly, in your relationship with God, which was broken by sin.

In Chapter 8, Jesus shows us that He is the God of more-than-enough who brings food that gives life and changes hearts, and that causes blind eyes to see — both spiritually and naturally.

It doesn’t make any difference how little you bring to Him. The point is to bring it, to respond to what He is offering you. Real food, and real sight. He is the One who convicts us of our blindness and opens our eyes, if we ask Him to do it. That’s what this chapter is all about.

Verses 1-3 — As in Mark 6:33 with the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus has another large crowd with Him — this time, 4,000 (see verse 9) — and there is nothing for them to eat. Jesus is inwardly moved, literally and spiritually, because the crowd has followed Him for three days, just to listen to Him. Some have come from far away, and the trip back home will be too much for them, if they do not receive food now.

Are you so hungry for the words of Jesus that you will follow Him anywhere?

Verses 4-10 — Jesus’ disciples have forgotten the feeding of the 5,000. They are still spiritually blind to the truth that demonstrated, because they can’t imagine how, in this desolate place, sufficient food can be provided.

Are you in a desolate place, a dry place, because of sin in your life? Do you think it is impossible for you to receive anything from the Lord? Come to Him humbly. He will open your eyes.

Jesus asks what natural things are available. This time, it is seven loaves and a few small fish. Jesus gives thanks and breaks the bread and blesses both the fish and the bread, and feeds the whole crowd.

And indeed, all 4,000 have much more than just a taste — they are completely satisfied and full. AND there leftovers, as with the 5,000 — but an even greater amount! Twelve smaller baskets of leftovers were collected after the 5,000 were filled. Seven large provision baskets of leftovers are collected after the 4,000 are filled.

Important point: Jesus multiplies and enlarges small things, and makes them satisfy many. He is God in the flesh, after all! He will make you much more than you are, when you realize your smallness and humbly ask Him to enlarge your heart so it can contain Him.

Verses 11-12 — Again, blind guides that they are, the Pharisees confront Jesus as soon as He reaches Dalmanutha. They want a sign from heaven, to test Him. The test? They want Him to do some great sign or miracle, but God has not told Him to do any such thing for them.

Many signs from heaven had already been given regarding Jesus — John the Baptist’s testimony, the very works Jesus performed, the Father’s voice of approval when John baptized Him, and the Scriptures themselves (John 5:33-39).

Jesus sighs because of their blindness, and says no. He only does what He sees the Father doing, and says what the Father is saying (John 5:19, 8:28).

Verses 13-21 — He and His disciples leave the Pharisees. But His disciples forget to bring bread for the boat trip. In Israel in those days, a person always carried bread with them, in case of unexpected troubles, so they would have something to eat.

So as He warns His disciples about the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod, all the disciples can think about is the bread they forgot to bring.

Why are they so seemingly dense? They are not yet filled with the Holy Spirit, so they think naturally and not spiritually. They cannot understand spiritual things yet; they are spiritually blind (See 1Corinthians 2:14.) They speak to one another — man, we should have brought bread!

Jesus was aware of what they are whispering among themselves. Do you not understand? Is your heart still hardened? Do you have eyes but yet not see? Are you as blind as the Pharisees? Don’t you remember the 5,000? Do you not understand?

Absolutely! They do not understand. His disciples are as blind as the Pharisees, though they do not reject Him as the Pharisees do.

Important point: You cannot understand the spiritual things Jesus speaks until you are filled with His Spirit. Then the light bulb comes on, and you can understand. That is one of the reasons it is so important to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then you have God’s wisdom and understanding and love literally inside of you. The result puts Oprah’s “aha moments” to shame! His truths open up to you so you can understand them, and His truths are life-giving and heart-freeing!

Verses 22-26 — Jesus has dealt with those who are blind because they have a religious spirit (the Pharisees), He has dealt with those who are His followers who are blind because they are not yet filled with the Spirit (His disciples), and now, in Bethsaida, He deals with a man literally blind.

Jesus brings the blind man out of the village because Bethsaida is an unrepentant city. They have rejected Jesus (Matthew 11:21), because they have not repented from their sin upon hearing His words. He removes the man from an unbelieving group, for the man’s sake.

Even then, after He spits on the man’s eyes and lays hands on him, the man doesn’t see well. Does that mean Jesus does halfway healings? May it never be! The man’s faith was not enough after the first act of healing by Jesus. But He lays His hands on the man’s eyes, and the man sees clearly. And He sent the man back home, but said, “Do not even enter the village.” That is a strong, imperative command from Jesus.

Thanks be to God, He gave me faith to stand against unbelief, after I was healed. I was surrounded by unbelief, by questioning, by lies, by assumptions, even to the point that one person said, “What will you do when you fall?” She meant, “What will you do when your MS returns?” I said, “The Lord healed me of MS. It will not return.” And it has not. I remain strong by God’s grace, for He has given me faith to believe that ALL His promises are “Yea and amen” in Christ Jesus!

Verses 27-30 — Peter begins well, and then blows it. “Who do people say that I am?” Some say John the Baptist, because He preaches repentance. Some say Elijah, because He preaches repentance and performs miracles and healings. Some say one of the (other) prophets.

But Peter says, “You are the Christ.” In Matthew 16:17, Jesus tells Peter this revelation was given to Him by God the Father.

This is the first absolute revelation that Jesus is the Christ. But Jesus doesn’t want others to know. It isn’t time yet.

Verse 31-33 — Why isn’t it time? Because He has to be killed by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and then rise again in three days.

But Peter, who just had the revelation that Jesus is the Christ, now rebukes Him. No way, Jesus! You aren’t supposed to die! But that has been the plan, from the beginning, before time began. He was the lamb, slain before the foundation of the earth.

Important point: Partial revelation isn’t enough. Seeing or hearing or sensing some of God, but having no knowledge of the plan or heart of God, will send you down dangerous paths.

Jesus rebukes Peter, because Peter understands who Jesus is because God has shown him, but he doesn’t understand that God’s interests are for mankind be redeemed, and that means Jesus must die on a cross, just as David prophesies in Psalm 22.

Peter’s response reveals that he has his own interests in mind. He and the rest of the disciples think Jesus will become King of Israel and save them from Roman rule. if He dies, that won’t happen. And what will Peter do, if Jesus is taken from him?

His display of self-interest and selfishness is the mark of an unchanged heart. Satan can use those with unchanged hearts to cause division and strife in the church. They have their own interests in mind, not God’s.

And what Jesus says is meant to tempt Jesus to forego the cross. So Jesus says to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan.”

Important point: Do you want Jesus just for your own benefit, just so you can be blessed? Then your heart needs to be changed. Do you want Jesus to fill your heart so you can be His witness in your hometown, in the nation, and in the world? Then your heart has been changed by the Heart Changer!

Verse 34-38 — Here is God’s heart and God’s plan:

You lose your life for the sake of Jesus Christ who dies for you. Does that mean physical death? No! It means death to your self-interest.

Your selfish sin nature is crucified (Ephesians 5:24), so Satan can’t use it against you and the church. He will still tempt you, but you will have only God’s interests in mind, and will be able to quickly identify Satan’s temptations.

Submit to God (entirely), dying to your self-interest, and you will be able to resist the devil and the devil MUST flee. He has to. God says so (James 4:7)!

LOVING HIS APPEARING

[SW212] 12/18/2015 message notes by
Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Loving His Appearing”

Have you loved Jesus Christ’s appearing? If you have, you will not fear when He returns. And He will award you with a crown of righteousness!

But if you have not loved His appearing, you will not be ready for His soon return.

Text:

2Timothy 4:8 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.

“Appearing” means brightness, manifestation. It refers to what has already taken place — Jesus Christ’s presence and power when He walked the earth, and His light that He shed on all mankind (John 1:9). But it also refers to His brilliant return from heaven to earth, which will be like lightning flashing across the sky (Matthew 24:27).

What is it to love His appearing, then?

I can look back now and say I love God’s promise of Christ’s appearing in Isaiah 9, a great Light to a people living in deep darkness. I was in darkness, but then I saw His great light!

I love God’s promise of Christ’s appearing in Isaiah 60, to know that a light would come and shine upon me, and that His glory and light would even be upon me, so kings would come to the brightness of my rising, the appearing, the manifestation, the brightness of His glory literally inside of me! Glory to God!

I love His appearing as Simeon and Anna did, when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem, to be presented and dedicated to the Lord (see Luke 2). They were waiting, the Lord had promised Simeon that he would see it in his lifetime, and God was faithful to His promise. And Anna, who had waited and fasted and prayed, joyfully proclaimed that this little child was the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ!

I was glad when He spoke to me in the night when I had no strength to continue. I was addicted to drugs, beaten until I bled, and He healed me of my addiction.  But I did not love Him then, nor did I thank Him then. But now I can say that I love His appearing to me on that night, 35 years ago.

I loved His appearing when He came to me in the middle of the night 14 years ago, when His presence was manifested to me as He spoke to me and said I was sinking in a sea of doubt. I reached up, and cried out to Him, and shortly after, His presence was manifested to me even more, as He healed me of the incurable disease called MS! Oh, His glory moved all through me!

Not long after that, I loved His appearing when He manifested Himself in a vision to me. I looked up and saw Him on the cross, covered with His own blood. He looked down at me with a love that no words can describe. I saw what He had done for me, in living color. I awoke sobbing, with a deep understanding of His sacrifice on my behalf, and on behalf of all mankind.

I will love His appearing when He brings revival to the church — not a jumping and hollering revival, but a falling-on-your-face and weeping revival as His holiness and majesty is powerfully manifested to the church, and He heals her of her sin.

And I love the promise of His appearing once again, like lighting flashing across the sky. Everyone will see it! That time is coming soon!

What will happen then? Some will be judged and punished. Those who love His appearing will not fear judgment, though, because God has filled them with His perfect love, poured into their hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5, 1John 4:18).
Praise God!

Then those who love His appearing will receive a crown of righteousness. It won’t be because of anything we have done, but because of what He has done in us! Praise His name!

Therefore, I love the promise of His soon appearing! I am ready!

What is God’s heart in this scripture? That you be ready!

Why wouldn’t you be ready? If we look at the whole chapter, it’s about standing firm in the truth which is in Christ, and on the Word of God, amidst a time when many are turning away from it.

Paul gives a solemn charge to Timothy, and to all who preach and teach. As he writes, Paul stands before God and Christ, spiritually. He swears it, by Christ’s appearing and His kingdom.

What is Paul’s charge? Preach the Word. Don’t make excuses for it. Don’t apologize for it. Don’t water it down. Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all patience and instruction.

Why? The time has come now when many do not endure sound doctrine, but want only messages that make them feel good when they hear them (ear-tickling messages). And they pile up around themselves heaps of teachers who will teach that way. They turn aside to false teaching, taught by those who have no conscience, who do not love His appearing, but the appearance of money in their coffers. That’s the truth!

But we who love His appearing will be sober, watchful in all things, and will be about our Father’s business (Luke 2:49), evangelizing and ministering, doing what God has ordained and empowered us to do.

We will fight the good fight against the prince of the power of the air, Satan. We will keep the faith despite the tremendous pressure to cave in and dumb down our message.

Beloved, if there is no sword, there is no conviction, there is no surgery, there is no healing.

It is the double-edged sword of God’s unadulterated Word that pierces, divides, and exposes so hearts are convicted and heart surgery can be done by the Holy Ghost. I love to watch Him operate! Don’t you?

He operated on me, and the outcome was LIFE, ABUNDANTLY, ’TIL IT OVERFLOWS TO OTHERS!

ALTAR CALL:

Ask Him to do heart surgery on you this morning! Ask Him to forgive you, then ask Him to fill you with the Holy Ghost, and you, too, will love His appearing. He will manifest Himself to you:

John 14:21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

In Matthew 24 and elsewhere, He commands you to be ready. Let Him fill your heart with His love today, so you love His appearing, because you know you will not face judgment and punishment when He comes. Then you will be ready!

MARK 7 COMMENTARY

This is a commentary for you and me. It isn’t complicated, because Jesus wants you to understand it, so you can be healed physically and even more importantly, in your relationship with God, which was broken by sin.

Jesus is coming against Satan’s work in this chapter, all the way through. First, He calls out the Pharisees and scribes on their religion of tradition and legalism. They have a religious spirit (see comments below). Then, He frees a young girl who is not even present with Him but is afflicted by a demons. Then, He heals a man who is deaf and unable to speak.

He does not do these wonderful works in Jerusalem, but in non-Jewish cities. The mother of the child with the demon is not Jewish. The man who is deaf and mute lives in a non-Jewish region and is likely not Jewish.

Verses 1-5 — Before He does these miraculous things, Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees and scribes. Their tradition says you have to wash your hands not just with water and soap, but also do a ritualistic washing with special water. They do the same with pots and cups and pitchers. You’re not pure, or the object is not pure, unless you do both.

Think of it — they are confronting Jesus, who is performing all kinds of miracles that can only be done by God, about a bunch of rituals. They have a religious spirit which is demonic in nature. In John 8:44, He flat-out tells them that the devil is their father. They are truly blind guides of the blind (Matthew 15:14), because they don’t recognize their Messiah, their Christ, even with the evidence all His “God works!”

So they come right out and ask Him. They accuse His disciples of eating with impure hands.

Verses 6-13 — His answer? He says the prophet Isaiah was right! They are hypocrites, telling people to follow tradition, while they dishonor God the Son who stands before them. They go through the motions of honoring God with their religious observances and rules. They say honorable things about God.

But their hearts are far from God, or they would recognize Jesus as God the Son. So their worship of God is outward only — their hearts aren’t in it. They are not worshiping God in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

The highest commandment of God is to love Him. They neglect this highest command by not loving God the Son.

And they teach their rules and regulations as if they came from God, holding to those traditions, but they do not love God.

They go so far as to say, “Sorry, Mother and Father. I can’t help you financially. All of my money is dedicated to God.” By doing so, they dishonor their mothers and fathers. And they teach others to do the same. They make the Word of God null and void by overriding  it with their man-made rules and regulations. And they do many things like that, Jesus tells them.

Their hearts are far from God.

Important point: Christianity is a religion of the heart, not i-dotting and t-crossing.

Verse 14-16 Jesus then calls the crowd to Himself. He will teach them. Listen and understand. When Jesus speaks, you can’t just hear it; you have to understand it, comprehend it, and become wise from what He says.

If you ask Him, He will help you understand it. How do I know that?

When I was on my journey to being healed by Jesus of MS, I asked the Lord to make His Word real in my heart, and He did. Later, when I was filled with His Holy Spirit, the whole Word of God became understandable, and I began to connect the dots (like that old childhood puzzle) until my view became much clearer and wider. It’s an ongoing process, even now.

None of these outward rules and regulations matter to God. What you wear, ritualistic washing, or food does not make you pure or impure. God looks at your heart. Impurity resides in the heart. Your heart is either pure or impure. If it is pure, purity will come out of you. If it is impure, impurity will come out of you, and you will be completely impure because of the contents of your heart.

Important point: Again, Christianity has to do with the heart, not outward rules and regulations. God’s purpose and goal and will is that your heart be purified by the Heart-Changer, when He fills you with His Holy Spirit. Then you obey Him from a heart that is filled with His love, and people notice that you have been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). His Holy Spirit’s fingerprints are all over your heart. It is visible to everyone. Then you are Jesus Christ’s witness where you live and everywhere you go.

So if anyone has ears to hear and heed, let him hear.

Verses 16-23 — Jesus’ disciples aren’t filled with the Holy Spirit yet, so they don’t understand. He marvels at their inability to comprehend such a basic truth. So He teaches them privately. What issues forth from the heart either makes someone impure or pure. Christianity is a heart religion. God wants your heart — all of it — so He can make it pure and take out everything that isn’t like Jesus.

If you eat something, it is digested and excreted. So food neither makes you pure or impure, because digestion has nothing to do with your heart. Jesus comes against the Jewish laws about food, because they have turned those laws into a measuring stick for how good you are.

It is out of the heart that evil proceeds: evil thoughts, the desire to have sex before marriage, thefts, murders, adulteries, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. That’s what makes a person impure, and they will remain that way until they ask the Heart-Changer to remove all of that.

Verses 24-26 — Jesus travels to Tyre. But He can’t escape notice. News traveled quickly, even with no Internet, Facebook or CNN. The Healer and Deliverer is here! What good news! And if you are His disciple, He will use you even now to heal and deliver.

Syrophoenicians are especially hated by Jews (but not hated by Jesus), because they are non-Jewish and have been, through the centuries, the enemies of Israel.

How brave, how desperate this woman is, then! An enemy of Israel, a Gentile dog, comes and falls at His feet. That’s proskuneo — she worships Him. Unlike the blind Pharisees and scribes, she clearly understands that she is coming before God the Son.

She refuses to go away. She asks him to cast a demon out of her daughter, who is not even on the scene. That’s desperation. Are you desperate? God loves people who come to Him with desperate hearts, people who are willing to crouch low before Him, honoring Him and agreeing with Him that He is God and they are not.

Verses 27-30 — Now she will have to go toe-to-toe with Jesus. He tells her He was sent to Israel — God’s original children — first. So they are God’s children. Will the woman rob them of their food from Him?

She persists. Her faith is amazing. She knows that if He says so, her daughter will be set free from the demon. So she says, “Give me a crumb. All I need is a crumb.”

She answered well. All she needs is a crumb. Jesus says it’s done. And she believes Him and goes home and finds her daughter delivered, long-distance.

All you need is a crumb from His table. I’m living and well today because I persisted in asking for a crumb.

And distance means nothing in the spiritual realm. Jesus, and those who are filled with His Spirit, are able to heal from afar. Glory to God!

Verses 31-37 — Traveling from there, Jesus goes back to the Decapolis, where He sent the man delivered of 2,000 demons in Chapter 5. When the people hear He has arrived, they bring the deaf and mute man to Him and plead with Jesus to lay His hand on him to heal him.

Jesus doesn’t always heal by the same method. Sometimes He says, “Get up!” Sometimes He touches. Sometimes He makes mud and puts it in the eye sockets of someone who was born without eyes (see John 9). Sometimes someone touches His clothing and healing power flows from Him to heal them.

This time, He takes the man away from the crowd, away from all distractions — not for Jesus’ sake, but for the man’s. Jesus worked in crowds all the time.

Jesus puts His fingers in the mans’ ears. Then He spits on His hands and puts His spit-covered finger on the man’s tongue. Then He looks to heaven, sighs deeply, and commands, “Be opened!”

And the man instantly hears and speaks. Word gets around, even though Jesus told everyone not to speak of what He had done.

What made the crowd superabundantly, exceedingly astonished beyond measure? A demon caused the man to be deaf and mute. When Jewish exorcists drove out a demon from a person, the demon had to first say its name. This demon made this man mute, so the demon couldn’t speak the demon’s name through the man’s mouth. The demon did that on purpose, knowing that Jewish exorcists would therefore not be able to deliver the man. But that didn’t make any difference to Jesus; He was able to cast out demons regardless of whether they could say their names, or had made their victims mute. The man’s ears and mouth HAD to be opened when He spoke, “Be opened!.” The crowd had never seen anyone who could cast out a demon without having it speak its name through the mouth of its victim.

Important point: When He speaks, it must be done. No demon can disobey His command. No sickness is too great. No heart is too dark that the Heart-Changer can’t change it, instantly. Do you believe Him?

STORMS

[SW211] 12/11/2015 message notes by
Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Storms”

Storms (troubles) come to all of us. You want your storm to be stilled, but you must first understand the cause of the storm. Then you will know how to cry out to your Father in heaven, and He will rescue you!

Please know that Jesus Christ has rescued me out of each of the storms described in Psalm 107.

So why do storms come into your life?

The Holy Spirit tells us, through the psalmist —

vv. 4-9

Cause: Unbelief/lack of trust in God, referring to Numbers 13:31-33, when all but two spies said Israel was not strong enough to defeat the giants in the land.

Result: Desert wandering/humbling

The cry to the Lord: Help my unbelief, change my heart! A broken and contrite, crushed and crouching heart, He will not despise (Psalm 51:17).
The Lord’s response: Deliverance!

Your response: Thank Him for His lovingkindness and His wonders, on your behalf! Continually. Forever.

Don’t do as I did, when the Lord delivered me from drug addiction. I just woke up in my right mind, and went on my merry way without a thought of Him! Thank You, Jesus, for forgiving me, Lord, when I turned to You many years later!
vv. 10-15

Cause: Rejecting God’s wisdom/Word

Result: Chains, labor, darkness, shadow of death

The cry to the Lord: Forgive me, Lord! Change my heart!

The Lord’s response: He brings you out!

Your response: Thank Him for His lovingkindness and His wonders, on your behalf! Continually. Forever.

Well, that’s what happened because I didn’t turn to God after He healed me of drug addiction. I went on, unchanged, not wanting to hear His name mentioned in conversation. But a time came when I found myself in chains and in the shadow of death, and I no longer rejected His wisdom and His Word.

vv. 17-22

Cause: Rebellion/sin

Result: Sickness, just as when I was stricken with MS, an incurable disease!

The cry to the Lord: Forgive me, Lord, Change my heart! Heal me!

The Lord’s response: He sends His Word and heals you, and delivers you from the pit!

NOTE: Example in Isaiah 38: 21 — the poultice of figs to heal King Hezekiah’s boil! For me, “You’re sinking in a sea of doubt.”

Your response: Thank Him for His lovingkindness and His wonders, on your behalf! Continually. Forever. Yes, Lord, yes. Now I do!
vv. 23-31

Cause: A test of faith that has nothing to do with rebellion, sin, unbelief, or rejection of God’s Word and counsel.

The Lord Himself raised up a strong wind.

Result: All their wisdom was swallowed up.

The cry to the Lord: Don’t You care that we are perishing? (Mark 4:38)
Save us, Lord! (Matthew 8:25)

Now the Lord wants to fill you with His Spirit (which had not yet happened to His disciples in this passage), so you won’t cry, “Don’t You care?” You know He does; you just ask what He wants you to do. If it’s just “sit tight,” then you do it. You trust Him to bring you through.

The Lord’s response: He calms the winds and sea.

Your response: Thank Him for His lovingkindness and His wonders, on your behalf! Continually. Forever.

vv. 39-42 Princes (those who do not think they need to cry out) end up in misery, chains, captivity. But He sets the needy (who know they need to cry out) in an inaccessibly high place (seated with Him in heavenly places, per Ephesians 2:6)!
Glory to God!

v. 43 Consider, give heed!

MARK 6 COMMENTARY

This is a commentary for you and me. It isn’t complicated, because Jesus wants you to understand it, so you can be healed physically and even more importantly, in your relationship with God, which was broken by sin.

Verses 1-6 — There are many listeners in the synagogue, but there is no mention of crowds in Mark’s account of Jesus teaching at Nazareth. Keep that in mind.

He is soundly rejected by His hometown synagogue. After all, He is simply a carpenter, the son of Mary. They are offended by Him. Who does He think He is, teaching us? Where does He get His wisdom? How did He get the power to do the miracles we’re hearing about? Humph!!!

When Verse 3 says “they took offense,” the word means they were tripped up. The Greek word is skandalizo, from which we get our word, “scandalous.” They disapproved of Him, which tripped them up. He became a stumbling stone, a rock of offense (Matthew 21:42, Romans 9:33, 1Peter 2:8).

So was it their unbelief that blocked Jesus from doing miracles in His hometown? No! As I said, there were no crowds. They did not believe He could heal, so most did not come to Him. But those few who DID come to Him were healed.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus is not stopped by unbelief; but if you do not come to Him for healing, you will not be healed by Him.

Verses 7-13 — The Twelve disciples are sent out in pairs. They are given authority over evil spirits. They also preach that men should repent (verse 12). They cast out many demons and anoint sick people with oil so they are healed (verse 13). Again, the “many” here indicates that if someone comes to them, they are set free from demons and healed of sicknesses.

We who belong to Jesus, who follow Him, love Him, and obey Him, also have this authority, and the ability to anoint for healing.

Note that as they are sent out, Jesus commands them to take only the clothes on their back and the sandals on their feet. Those to whom they minister are to provide for their needs. But if any reject them (verses 10-11), they are to shake the dust off the soles of their feet for a testimony against them.

The shaking off the dust from their feet (v.11) may be understood in the light of the Jewish custom of removing carefully the dust from both clothes and feet before reentering Jewish territory (cf. SBK, 1:571). For the Jews heathen dust was defiling. The significance of the act here is to declare the place to be heathen and to make it clear that those who rejected the message must now answer for themselves.

Don’t let their rejection cling to you, Jesus says. Amen!
Verses 14-29 — King Herod has been warned by John the Baptist that having sex with his brother’s wife is a sin against God (verse 18). So Herod imprisons him, but keeps him safe (though in a dungeon!). Then he makes a foolish vow to Herodias’ daughter. And John loses his head for Jesus. John’s disciples take his body away and lay it in a tomb.

Verses 30-32 — The disciples return from being sent out, report all that happened to Jesus, and He commands them to come away and rest. It is essential, when we are being used in such a way by God, that we rest afterwards, away from people who would like us to continue to minister. It is God’s power, not ours, by which we work, but intense ministry does tire our physical bodies.

Verses 33-44 — Our God is the God of more than enough. Jesus and the Twelve cannot keep the crowds away. They arrive ahead of them, and Jesus feels compassion for them. They are like sheep without a shepherd. He sees the same thing today. Many are misled, many are not offered anointing for healing, many remain possessed by evil spirits, many receive no teaching at all. So they wander around, directionless.

For everyone filled with Jesus, our inward parts are physically moved at such conditions. And the response of a Spirit-filled believer in Jesus Christ is to immediately begin teaching these sheep many things, because the Holy Spirit who has filled us is the Author of the Word of God, and He teaches us so we can teach others.

Jesus teaches for a long time, and the crowd is hungry. The disciples think Jesus should send them away so they can find food. But Jesus says, “YOU feed them!” With what? Five loaves and two fish. But there are 5,000, excluding women and children!!! How can this be?

He commands the crowd to sit down in groups, blesses the food as He looks heavenward, breaks the loaves continuously, and distributes the pieces of fish continuously — way beyond what He started with! He continues until every person is satisfied. Not just a taste. They are full.

This God of more than enough has more than enough of whatever you need. Have you heard Him teach? Seek Him out!

Verses 45-52 — This is the scene the Lord brought to mind the night I was healed of MS. His words here literally are, “Be comforted! I AM (I am the I AM of the burning bush in Exodus 3:14)! Do not fear!”

Are you in a storm of sickness or confusion or some other situation? Do not be afraid. He is coming. Invite Him into your boat. He will rescue you. He will calm the sea and the wind. Do not be astonished. He is God the Son! If you are astonished, it is because you do not yet see Him. Your heart is blind. Ask Him to soften your heart. He will do it, and you will see.

Verse 53-56 — Jesus is coming! Everyone runs to get sick ones. Everywhere Jesus goes, sick ones are laid in the market places, so they might touch the fringe of His garment. As many as touch the fringe of His cloak are being cured.

I repeat, as many as touch the fringe of His cloak are being cured.

They are desperate. They believe if they touch the fringe of His cloak, they will be healed. And they are. Are you desperate enough to ask Him to come by so you can touch His garment? Do you believe you will be healed, if you touch it?