JESUS, TEACHER OF TEACHERS

[SW275] 03/31/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

[NOTE: These sermon notes are exegetical, not my usual prose, but it is so you may see and learn how to exegete — how to examine the scriptures and uncover truths.]

“Jesus, the Teacher of Teachers”

Jesus Christ did not need anyone to teach Him — He was and is the Teacher of us all, regardless of our education, and if we heed His words, we will see His kingdom! Do you hear the wind?

Verses 1-2 —

Nicodemus — A Pharisee (the most religious sect of Judaism)

— A ruler of the Jews (a member of the Sanhedrin, the same Council of 71 that questioned Peter and John (Acts 4:5)

— Came by night (secretly, not in fear)

— WE know (he and some others in the Sanhedrin), WE have seen signs performed by You

— Rabbi (a term of respect, but He was never taught, per John. 7:15)

— You have come from God as a teacher

— signs = from God, but be careful of false signs!

NOTE: Nicodemus sees the signs, but sees neither the King nor the Kingdom!

Verse 3 — Jesus abruptly says, Truly, truly I say to you (a great revelatory truth)

— UNLESS you are born FROM ABOVE (lit.), per John 1:12-13) (“again” is a poor translation!) . . .  you CANNOT SEE (spiritually) the kingdom of God (for God is Spirit, per John 4:24)

Natural birth —

— Prior to birth, no comprehension of what is outside the womb— senses present but limited — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching) but only that which is in the womb

— Then, at birth, you see a world you have never seen before

— That which was muffled now clear, senses unlimited

When born from above —

— Prior to birth, no comprehension of the kingdom of God

— Senses open only to natural world

— Suddenly, you are able to see the kingdom of God!

— Spiritual senses activated

— Seeing Him

— Hearing Him

— Tasting that the Lord is good

— Smelling the fragrance of His presence (2Cor 2:15)

— Touching Him as you pray, and feeling Him touch you!

Verse 4 —

— Nicodemus does not understand spiritual things, so tries to relate Jesus’ words to natural birth

1Corinthians 2:14   But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. (And this from Paul, a former Pharisee!)

Verse 5 —

— Truly, truly I say . . . IF you are NOT born of

— water (repentance, John 1:23, make straight the way) AND

— the Spirit (regeneration, John 20:20)

— You CANNOT ENTER INTO the kingdom of God

Verse 6 —

— Born of flesh (John 1:13), you are flesh, born of Spirit, you are spirit (the measure received when you believe — regeneration)

Verse 7 —

— Do not be amazed (do not wonder what it means)

— You MUST be born from above (regeneration simultaneously happens when you believe)

The “before and after” of being born from above —

Verse 8 —

— The wind blows, you hear it but you don’t know (perceive by seeing) where it comes from or where it is going (unless you check your weather app!)

— So it is of everyone born of the Spirit

—  Others don’t know where you come from (for unless they are born from above, they CANNOT see the kingdom of God)

— Others HEAR the change in you (out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks, per Matthew 12:34)

— It is unexplainable by ordinary reasoning

— You no longer love the world and the things of the world (1Jn 2:15)

— Those who HEAR the change in you say, “What has changed?”

— You are a new creature, the old has gone, the new has come(2Corinthians  5:17)

Verse 9-10 —

— Nicodemus does not understand

— Bluntly, Jesus asks, THE teacher of Israel does not know these things?

— You may be well educated

— You may know all the scriptures

— You may have memorized whole chapters or books of the Bible

— You may be a professor at a seminary

— You may be an excellent teacher

— But Jesus says you CANNOT see the kingdom UNLESS you are born from above

— And Jesus says you MUST be born from above, through repentance and regeneration, to ENTER INTO the kingdom of God

Verse 11 —

— Truly, truly I say those born of the Spirit speak of what they know (spiritual things) and testify of what we have seen (the kingdom of God)

— And you do not accept (receive, take in, get hold of) the testimony of those who are born from above (again, they cannot see or comprehend spiritual things)

Verse 12 —

— Jesus told Nicodemus earthly things (using the wind as a metaphor, a symbol)

— And Nicodemus did not understand the metaphor

— So how can Nicodemus understand heavenly things

NOTE: Those born from above speak of the spiritual things of the kingdom of God, which is in heaven. It is where they come from, spiritually, because they have been born from above, and it is where they are going.

NOTE: Nicodemus hears the wind of the Spirit, but cannot understand where it comes from or where it is going, because he has not been born from above and therefore CANNOT SEE the kingdom of God.

NOTE: Being born from above requires repentance (water) and regeneration (a measure of the Spirit given when you believe)

Verse 13 —

— Jesus says that no one has ascended into heaven (yet)

— But the Son of Man, who descended from heaven WILL ASCEND, after His death and resurrection, opening the way for all who are born from above.

— The Son of Man is the title He uses when describing

— His authority to forgive sins

— His return after His death, resurrection, ascension and glorification — His Lordship

— His role as the sinless, sacrificial Lamb of God who bore the wrath

we deserved

Have you seen His signs?

Have you repented and been baptized with water as an outward evidence of repentance?

Do you believe He is who He says He is?

Are you born from above?

If so, you can

— See His kingdom

— Understand spiritual things

— Have no love for this world

— Are a new creature evidenced by what comes out of your mouth (your heart’s contents)

If not, do it now! Today is the day of salvation from the wrath of God.

But He says, there is more I command you to do! Stay, wait! I will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire, and then you will be My witnesses!

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JESUS, THE JUDGE

[SW273] 03/24/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Jesus, the Judge”

So many of Jesus Christ’s “hard sayings” are left out, in the church today! But His judgment and His cleansing are mercy!

John 2:13-25

I love how the Holy Spirit gave this gospel to John. He begins with Jesus as God, the Son of the Father. Then he shows us that the Father gave His Son — the Lamb of God, His sacrifice — on our behalf. Then he shows us the new wine with which Jesus commands us to be filled!

Now, we must see this part of Jesus — the One who calls us to repent. It is the kind of judgment that He makes NOW. A judgment is coming in which there is no more opportunity to repent.

His judgment of what is going on in the Temple court at Passover is mercy. His judgment is mercy! He shows us our sin, and then gives us the Way out of sin — Him!

In Verse 14, Jesus found cheaters in the Temple. Many traveled from such distances for this required feast that they were unable to bring their own animals. Their money had to be exchanged for Temple money, and then the worshiper of God bought an animal for sacrifice. But the money changers rigged the scales in their favor, so they could keep back some of the money for themselves. And the money changers cheated them, not just of money, but of the entire experience of the holiness of God. It was no longer a house of prayer, but a place of merchandise.

Jesus was angry, with a righteous anger! Zeal for His Father’s house consumed Him (Psalm 69:9, John 2:17)! Matthew 21:13 says He called the place a robbers’ den — not only were the people of God being robbed, but the robbers made the Temple of God their den, the place where they planned their next robbery!

I could say much about today’s church at this point, but the Lord wants me to speak to you personally. What is in your temple that should not be there? What kind of sin is in you? Are you cheating Jesus Christ by not giving Him all of you, but keeping a part for yourself? He wants all of you, and commands you to give all of yourself to Him.

Have you sincerely said some words at an altar, but live an unchanged life? Do you still love the things of the world, placing them above Him? Then you are fooling yourself. When you repent and believe (and sadly, repentance is not even mentioned in some churches, as part of the “salvation prayer”), you change. You begin to want to walk like Jesus. You find you battle your sin nature, like the man in Romans 7, and you ask Him to cleanse you, filling you with His new wine, His Holy Spirit, the best saved until last, as I spoke last week!

He will drive all of that out of you and make you a dwelling place for the Father and Him  (John 14:23)! Sin separates you from God. He wants you to know Him in a holy, intimate way.

Many say, “It’s not religion, it’s a relationship.” But the hearers often don’t know what that means. It is to dine with Him and Him with you (Revelation 3:20). It is to be at the dinner table with the Father and the Son, to hear their conversation, to do and say what they do and say, and for many to come to Him as a result!

Judgment is coming, but Jesus has come! It is God’s mercy to you! If you will repent and turn to Him NOW — and He does say NOW — then you will not face His judgment at the end of things. Do you not know that Jesus Christ will be your Judge? Look at John 5:22, 25-29. He is Judge, appointed by the Father, and all will come. Every knee, of both evil and good, will bow and every tongue will confess (Philippians 2:10). Then the evil will go to hell, says Jesus (Mark 9:47-58), and the good (those who believe He is who He says He is, who do God’s will, the ones in whom He dwells), to life forever with Him in heaven.

Some say, “Preach healing and prosperity!” Jesus says, “First things first!” Did He preach healing? No, He preached repentance. Did He heal? Absolutely! Does He heal now? I am a testimony of His healing of the incurable disease, MS.

But do you know when I sought Him, it was not for healing? I didn’t even know that was possible. I just wanted to know Him. I had a hunger, and I pray He would put a hunger in you — a hunger to know Him in this holy, intimate way, to sit at the table with God the Father and Him. It is glorious, and from there, He uses us to do His works that He has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10), for how will we know what to do unless we are sitting with Him and hearing and seeing?

Do you not know your body is to be a temple for the Holy Spirit, that you are not your own, but you were bought with a price. (1Corinthians 6:19-20). The Father gave His Son as a Lamb unblemished, so you could be the temple of the living God! Do not rob God! Do not cheat Him! Repent and ask Him to take His whip of cords and clean you out!

When you are cleansed, and the Father and He come in, when you are filled with the Holy Spirit and your heart is purified (Acts 15:9), then you will be able to do what you are here for — you will be a God container, and people will come to Jesus Christ because of you.

Much of the church will say, “Don’t call people to repentance. That’s judging!” No, it is mercy! If Jesus didn’t care, He’d let you go your own way. But He is in me, and He says, “You have things in your temple that do not belong there, and you have been holding them back from Me! Stop it!” As Him to cleanse you!

Do it now! We do not know the Day of Judgment, but we know it is coming. The Bible points to it and speaks of it. Jesus says He will be the Judge. His mercy is here now! Seek Him while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6) — this is a limited time offer! Amen.

JESUS, THE WINEMAKER

[SW273] 03/17/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Jesus, the Winemaker”

So why would the Holy Spirit inspire John to write about a wedding and lack of wine?

I cannot diminish or “reframe” the purpose of Jesus’ coming in any way, because if I do, I rob the gospel of its power.

He has been reframed and refashioned by much of the church. Thus, such churches rob the gospel of its power.

John 2:1-13

John recorded some very specific miracles in his gospel account. He performed many other attesting miracles that showed He was God the Son. These specific miracles were so you — yes, you — may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing, you may have zoe, His eternal life in His name (see John 20:30-31), because that is who He is and what He came to do, and He is who He says He is.

Again, why would the Holy Spirit inspire John to write about a wedding and lack of wine?

It was a family wedding — Mary the mother of Jesus was part of that family, and Jesus was invited, and His disciples.

I want you to understand these next few verses, because Jesus Christ is perfect in every way, including the way He spoke to His mother.

If a family hosting a wedding party ran out of wine, it was a dishonor to them. So Mary went to Jesus about it, in Verse 3. She already knew who He was, because Gabriel had told her, when he announced she would bear the Son of God in her womb (Luke 1:32).

In Verse 4, it was common to call a mother “woman.” It was not derogatory. God the Son would not dishonor the woman who bore Him. And men and women, and every tribe and tongue, are welcome at His table IF they will repent of their sin and believe in Him.

He said to Mary, “My hour has not yet come.” What did that have to do with running out of wine?

I tell you the truth, if you know who He is, you know we all out of wine, we are all in need. And He has the wine we need. But He had to die and be raised and ascend and be glorified in order for us to have it. And it wasn’t time for that quite yet.

Mary knows who He is. So she says, “Do what He says.”

Do you know who He is? Will you do what He says? If you do, He will give you the wine you need.

In Verse 6, I must explain these large, 20-30 gallon stone water pots. What were they for? Purification. The guests were to wash themselves with the water from these pots. It was outward cleansing. That water couldn’t wash their hearts clean.

There was something interesting in this water. It had the ashes of a red heifer mixed in (Numbers 19:1ff). That was the purifying agent, per the Law of Moses. They would take a red heifer outside the city, slaughter it, and burn it completely, to ashes. They tossed into the fire scarlet material (the blood of Christ) and cedar wood (the cross). Don’t you know they took our Lord outside the city and killed Him on a cross? He did it so we are able to be purified.

So Jesus said, “Fill ‘em up!” And the water pots were filled, right to the brim. He wanted there to be plenty. He wanted these jars to be full. He wanted them to be full right to overflowing. Full of what?

Not water mixed with ashes! He commanded the servants to draw some off and take it to the headwaiter, the one who oversaw all activities to make sure the needs of each guest were met. When they took it to the headwaiter, he realized it was wine! The water had been turned to wine! The Winemaker did it!

The servants knew, when they drew some of it off, at Jesus’ command. They could smell it, they could see its color. It was full-strength, new wine, highly intoxicating.

And in Verses 9 and 10, the headwaiter calls the bridegroom. He says,“Now, you have done something new. Every MAN (emphasis intended) serves the best first, and then the watered-down stuff later. You saved the best for last!”

Don’t you know, the Lord has done something new? He has saved the best for last. You see, outward cleansing won’t do. Repent and be saved, and that is surely essential. But stay (Luke 24:49) and wait (Acts 1:4)! God has the best for last — inward cleansing with new wine! He will fill you with it! And you will be inwardly cleansed!

Go to Acts 2:13 . . . there it is! Some thought they were drunk (Acts 2:15). This wasn’t natural wine, nor special cleansing water that only cleansed externally. It was the new wine of the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit! They had been filled with the Holy Spirit, the best saved for last.

Do not get drunk with wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 5:18)!

So what was it about this miracle that would make you believe that Jesus Christ is who He says He is, and believe in Him and be saved and have eternal life, zoe, life as God has it?

First, this miracle reveals that God is above nature. He made nature. So it is subject to Him. He doesn’t have to override nature. He made it. So it was easy for God to simply transform something that was outward, and make it something that you take into yourself.

So, only God could do this miracle. And in performing this miracle, Jesus reveals (manifests) who He is — we see his Godhood here (see Verse 11). And His disciples (all who were following and watching and listening to Him) believed in Him.

Second, this miracle was a picture of the fulfillment of God’s promise, given in Ezekiel 36:26-27. Only God can fulfill His own promises. So, Jesus is God the Winemaker and Promise Keeper.

Third, this miracle was a type, a shadow of what would happen to any Christian who asks their Father in heaven to fill them with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49), in their own personal Pentecost. That shadow was fulfilled at Pentecost in Acts 2.

It is the same today. Because He is God the Son, it is easy for Him to transform you after you have been outwardly cleansed, after you have confessed Jesus as Lord and turned from your wicked ways. He made you.

It is easy for Him, if you will ask Him, to transform you inwardly, to purify your heart through and through (Acts 15:9). That’s what happened in that Upper Room, that’s what happened to Cornelius and his household, and that’s what will happen in your heart, if you ask the Lord to do it right now. He commands you to stay and wait until it has been done in you.

Then, you will no longer lose your battle against sin. You will be more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). You will no longer be a slave to sin. You will be free, indeed (see John 8:31-36).

Your heart will be filled with God’s perfect love, and you will no longer fear judgment, and you will walk in this world as Jesus walked —

1John 4:17-18 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

When you walk like Him because you are filled with His Spirit, you will be His vessel and His witness, full of His Spirit, proclaiming His truth wherever you go. That is His command and His will. Do it now. Amen.

JESUS, THE LAMB OF GOD

[SW272] 03/03/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Jesus, the Lamb of God”

I cannot diminish or “reframe” the purpose of Jesus’ coming in any way, because if I do, I rob the gospel of its power.

He has been reframed and refashioned by much of the church. Thus, the gospel is robbed of its power.

John 1:29-36

The Lamb OF God — He is God the Father’s sacrifice, on behalf of the world. God sacrificed His Son for even me!

He GAVE His only begotten Son, a part of Himself, so that I may live. There had to be a great need! What was it?

Isaiah 53:5-8

Sin!

He takes away, bears up and carries away, the sin of the world! Not plural, but singular. Sin. The sin of the whole world, He will take away. For whoever will believe. What is this sin?

It is the nature in us that we were born with, as children of Adam. But He gives us the right to become children of God! And through Him only, we are reconciled, and through Him, only, we are set free from the sin nature and given His divine nature, His character!

It has been a problem from Adam onward, one the Father was aware of from before anything was. He had a Lamb prepared (Revelation 5:5-6, 13:8)!

We needed a perfect Lamb, a perfect sacrifice, who would reconcile us to God, and because He is also the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit, He is the One who will take away our “sin singular,” our desire to sin, our sin nature, who will cleanse and purify, just as He says He will in Malachi 3:3.

The announcer, the messenger (Malachi 3:1), John the Baptist, was there to clear the way before Him, calling out that all must make their hearts ready by a baptism that is an outward indication of their repentance, and announcing this Lamb of God as the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, the Purifier of your entire heart!

Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb (1Corinthians 5:7, Exodus 12:3ff), if we will believe in His name, that He is who He says He is. With His blood on the doorposts of our hearts, death passes over and does not touch us, for His blood gives eternal life, here and now and there and then!

The Lamb, God’s sacrifice, is shadowed in Genesis 22:7, and in the entire account of the binding of Isaac, Abraham knew he was acting out prophecy (Hebrews 11:17-19).

God had promised Abraham that from him, through Isaac’s line, the world would be blessed. So even if he sacrificed his son, his one and only son, he knew God was able even to raise the dead. God keeps His promises!

On the mountain of the Lord, a ram was provided in place of Isaac. On the mountain of the Lord, He Himself provided the offering.

On the mountain of the Lord, the Lamb of God has been provided! Glory to God! This is the gospel! Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten, was offered on the same hill where Isaac, Abraham’s only begotten was offered, say many scholars.

I tell you, on the mountain of the Lord it has been provided! He Himself has provided an offering, the Lamb OF God! He is God’s sacrifice on your behalf!

He was unblemished and sinless. He was therefore the perfect sacrifice, the only sacrifice Who could carry God’s wrath upon Himself, forgive us for past sins, and deliver us from our sinful natures.

I hear teaching that He is lamblike, meek, and that is why He is the Lamb of God. Therefore, He is an example for men to follow, so they are not cruel to their wives and families and others. Be meek like Jesus. Work at it. You can do it, they say.

It sounds good, doesn’t it? But that is not why Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God. He is not our Good Example to try real hard to follow.

And by that erroneous teaching, the gospel is robbed of its power to convict the hearts of men and women of their sin and transform their hearts, cleansing them from sin, and purify our hearts by Jesus Christ’s baptism with the Holy Spirit, cleansed because God’s Sin Offering, the Lamb of God, was sent to us by God the Father! Then He has done it in you, and you are able to walk like He walked. Do you see it?

Why do they teach it? Because people want to hear how God will bless them, and how He can be used to make their everyday lives easier — they do not want to hear what they must do to receive God and to have pure hearts. How do I know that is true? Look at the number of people who follow this, “Me Gospel.”

Well, if that’s the kind of gospel you have been listening to, I pray you have had ears to hear this one, because this is directly from the Word of God, with no reframing or any such thing! I will not rob the gospel of it’s power!

Repent now — John the Baptist was the essential one, sent to call for repentance so hearts would be prepared for the Lamb of God to come and reconcile you to God and bear your sin away, cleansing and purifying your heart! If you repent, He will do the rest — He is the only One who can!