YOUR REQUIRED SACRIFICE

[SW346] 09/29/2018 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018

Your Required Sacrifice

 Text: Hebrews 12:1-17, etc.

Oh, beloved, today is a good day for you to make your required sacrifice. Today is a good day for you to obey the Lord by asking Him to crucify your sin nature, so you cease from struggling against sin. He longs to have you ask Him!

Verse 1 —

There is a great cloud of witnesses before you, who did not receive the promise of seeing the Christ, but now are with Him in the kingdom of heaven. When Christ came, He was crucified on a cross so, when you believe into Him, your past sins are forgiven, and you are saved from God’s wrath and reconciled to Him. 

Now, you are required to ask Him to crucify you — that is, your sin nature. You are required to offer yourself entirely to Him. That is what is meant by the second half of this verse — to lay aside (vigorously cast off) every encumbrance (burden, weight), and the SIN which so easily entangles (thwarts our attempt to run the race)! The burden of the sin nature must be cast off so sin no longer entangles you.

If you will obey Jesus Christ and stay and wait to be filled with His Holy Spirit, you will able to run the race that is set before you, pressing on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God, in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). The sin nature must go, or you will be endlessly entangled by it, and unable to complete the race (more about that in Verse 14).

Verse 2 —

Fix your eyes on Jesus, consider Him attentively! He is the Author and Perfecter of faith. He endured a cross for the joy set before Him. What joy? He saw the cloud of believers who would be not only saved and reconciled, but filled and serving as His witnesses here! 

He is the Author of your faith, the One by whom you are saved. He is the One who perfects (completes, fulfills) your faith when you obey His command to be filled with the Holy Spirit. 

Beloved, you will be amazed at what He does in you when you ask Him to crucify your sin nature, and then through you, when you become His witness here by obeying  His command to be filled with His Spirit! I tell you the truth, beloved, when you see your heart’s poverty, you will immediately ask Him to purify your heart and fill you, for the joy set before you!

Jesus Christ fully surrendered to His Father’s will. Because of the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning the shame of it, and is now glorified at the right hand of His Father in heaven! He gave selflessly to you. He was the required sacrifice. Now it is your turn! 

You will rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, when you are set free from slavery to sin (1Peter 1:8, John 8:31-36) and empowered to be Christ’s witness to a lost and dying world, and to His wandering sheep!

Verse 3 — 

Consider Him attentively! Consider, understand, perceive, contemplate, apprehend the truth! He has endured such (true) hostility from sinners who rebel against Him, then and now.When you look at His sacrifice, the hostility you endure will seem slight in comparison. 

When He fills you with His Spirit and your sin nature is crucified, you will not grow weary, nor will you lose heart. The world will hate you (John 15;19), but you will press on. You will not be able to stop speaking of what you have seen and heard (Acts 4:20)!

Verse 4 — 

But here was the problem for the recipients of the letter to the Hebrews — the Jewish believers who were scattered because of persecution. They had not yet resisted (withstood) to the point of shedding blood in their striving (struggling) against sin. 

What does that mean? A spiritual crucifixion of the sin nature! The blood of the sin nature must be shed, or they (and you) will struggle against sin and lose the battle. 

Some commentators say Verse 4 refers to persecution, but I disagree. If they are able to set aside the tenets of their denomination that can influence their interpretation, and look at this in context, it clearly pertains to crucifixion of the sin nature. They are not struggling against persecution — they are struggling against sin!

Verses 5-6 —

The writer of Hebrews says, You have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you, as His children — “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him, for those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, and He scourges every child He receives (see Proverbs 3:11-12).” 

He disciplines you today, beloved, for you have not yet (withstood) to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin. But some believers do not even strive against sin, because they are told they don’t need to strive against sin. Beloved, that advice goes contrary to the Word of God! Run from those who tell you such things!

You are His child. He loves you. Therefore, He disciplines you today. He scourges (admonishes, convicts, tells a fault, rebukes, reproves) you today, for He has received you as His child. Do not disregard His discipline. Do not faint when you are rebuked by Him, when He tells you that you have a fault, that you need something you do not have. 

Verse 7 — 

If you endure (undergo) chastening (disciplinary correction), you are being dealt with by God as His child, for even in the natural, fathers discipline their children. But if you have not been chastened by Him, though all of His children have been chastened, then you reveal that you are illegitimate (false, a bastard) and are not His child!

Heed these words, beloved! You will likely never hear these truths from most of the teachers and preachers and prophets of today’s church. They will tell you, “God loves you! He is just love! He will not correct you. You don’t need to be filled with the Spirit. You don’t need to worry about sin. Once saved, always saved!”

Verse 8 —

If you had a good earthly father, and he disciplined you, how much more should you submit yourself to the discipline of the Father of spirits, your perfect heavenly Father, AND LIVE (have eternal life)? Will you revere Him as you revered your good earthly Father? Or will you reject this word?

The recipients of this letter are Hebrews who have believed into Jesus Christ. But they are still willfully disobeying God —

— They worship angels (Hebrews 1:1-14)

— They heed the words of Judaizers who urge them to follow the Law of Moses (Hebrews 8:13)

— They discount sin (Hebrews 3:17), as their fathers did

Their salvation is at stake. Either they will submit to Him and keep the eternal life they received when they believed, or they will lose it. Your salvation is at stake, O believer in today’s church. Will you submit, or will you reject this word?

Verses 10-11 —

If you had a good natural father, he disciplined you for a short time, as seemed best to him. But much more so, your perfect Father in heaven disciplines you for your good, so you may share in (become partakers of) His holiness. 

How do you become a partaker of His holiness? You ask Him to fill you with His Spirit, and thus crucify your sin nature. Then you become a partaker of His divine, holy nature.

These words of discipline do not give you joy right now, but rather sorrow (cause you grief). But to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields this peaceful fruit (fruit of good effect), the fruit of His righteousness. When you are filled with His Spirit and the Son and the Father dwell in you permanently, so does Their righteousness!

Verses 12-13 —

Therefore, though you are shaken by these words, strengthen your weak hands, strengthen your wobbling knees! Make straight paths for your feet (Matthew 3:1-3, John the Baptist quoting from Isaiah 40:3), so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, a reference to Jacob’s wrestling with the Lord (Genesis 32:24), until the Lord touched the socket of Jacob’s thigh, dislocating it and leaving Jacob with a permanent limp. 

The writer of Hebrews and I say, submit to your Father! You are spiritually lamed by your sin nature, unable to walk as Jesus walked in this world. But He will heal you of your lameness, by crucifying your sin nature! Then you will walk as He walked, and will be as He is (1John 2:8, 4:17)!

Verse 14 — 

The writer of Hebrews now issues two commands —

— Pursue (endeavor earnestly to acquire) peace with all men. Part 1 of “all men” refers to the church. Within the church, do not stir up strife. You know that such things are the result of the sin nature. When you pursue God and ask Him to change your heart, you will no longer stir up strife among the brethren, for your sin nature will be crucified. Part 2 of “all men” is to proclaim to everyone the gospel of peace with God through Christ.

— Pursue (endeavor earnestly to acquire) the sanctification (purity of heart) without which no one will see the Lord (Matthew 5:8)! Only He can do it in you. Ask Him to crucify your sin nature, and He will replace it with His pure, divine nature!

Verses 15-17 —

Another set of commands is given. See to it — look diligently — to ensure that no one lacks the grace of God. Remember, grace is the divine influence on the heart, and its reflection in the life. 

The lack of the divine influence on your heart will be evident if you bear the fruit of bitterness (poison), which springs up in Christians whose sin nature is alive and well. By their bitterness, many are morally contaminated and made unclean in the eyes of the Lord! Many then, and many now! 

Paul exhorts the church at Corinth —

2Corinthians 6:1   And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain —

Look diligently, also, to ensure that there be no immoral or profane person among you, no one like Esau, who sold his birthright for some stew Jacob had made (Genesis 25:29-34). After Esau sold his birthright, he did not inherit the blessing of God, even though he sought it with many tears. Instead, his father, Isaac, bestowed the promise of God on Jacob.

Paul exhorts the Corinthians —

1Corinthians 5:11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler — not even to eat with such a one.

Do not sell the blessing of the infilling of the Spirit and freedom from slavery to sin, in order to have what your sin nature now craves. If you sell it by refusing to give your required sacrifice, you will come short of it, and will fall, just as many did in the wilderness wanderings after their Exodus from Egypt —

Hebrews 4:1   Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of (lack) it. 

Hebrews 4:11 Therefore, let us be diligent to enter that rest (resting from our struggle against sin), so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.

Submit yourselves to this word from your Father in heaven! Ask Him fill you with His Spirit and thereby crucify your sin nature. Then you will have given your required sacrifice! You will have shed blood in your struggling against sin, and it will be entirely removed from your nature! Amen!

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FALSE CHILDREN

[SW345] 09/22/2018 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018

False Children

 Text: Isaiah 30:9-19, etc.

Who are the false children? What do they do and say? And what does the Lord say to them? I tell you the truth, He longs to be gracious to them, if they will cry out to Him! His desire and mine is that all of his children be true to Him!

Verse 9 —

His own children who rebel against Him are the false children — they are untrue, faithless, and have lied to Him, pledging allegiance to Him while they go their own way. They execute a plan, but not His. 

The Lord says, They make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin. They rebel against Him by willfully disobeying Him, and further disobey Him by seeking help from Egypt (Isaiah 30:2).

What does that have to do with you? Egypt is a type, a symbol, of the world and of sin. Many of the Lord’s children do not look to Him. And so, this scripture is applicable to today’s church. She looks to man’s ways. She seeks help and allies herself with those who do not know God. 

Today’s church seeks to be a friend to the world, rather than evangelizing it. She ignores her call to speak the true gospel of salvation from the wrath of God and reconciliation to Him, by believing into Jesus Christ. Jesus says this, if you are truly His —

John 15:19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”

The Lord’s false children are unwilling to listen to His true prophets whom He has sent to them again and again. They are unwilling to hear and heed the instruction of the Lord, through His prophets. They prefer the words of the false prophets, who they view as kind and loving, and who speak words that please them and stroke their egos. It is the same in today’s church!

Verse 10 — 

His false children say to His seers, those who behold the Lord and hear His words, “You must not see!” They do not want to know what the Lord says. 

And to His prophets, who gaze upon the Lord’s face and hear His words, they say, “You must not prophesy to us what is right (that is, you must not prophesy straightforwardly, you must not prophesy against what we are doing).”

But who shall His true prophets obey? Peter and the apostles responded to the Jewish leaders who told them to stop teaching in Jesus’ name —

Acts 5:29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”

His  false children want pleasant words — smooth (flattering) things! I was at a women’s conference where a true teacher of the Word of God spoke from Isaiah, calling this group of women to repent. They had openly confessed that they willfully disobey God! 

What was their response? Nearly all the women rebelled, saying they are princesses and do not need to repent! They had been listening to false teachers who flattered them!

His false children do not want to hear the Word of God, which is living and active, and sharper than any double-edged sword, able to divide soul and spirit, joint and marrow, and which judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (see Hebrews 4:12)! Beloved, it is the same in today’s church!

Many who are in today’s church are unaccustomed to the word of righteousness, preferring to take in only milk, for they are yet infants. Thus, they are unable to discern good from evil. The writer of Hebrews says —

Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice (doing/obeying the Word of God) have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

His false children want the Lord’s prophets to prophesy illusions (deceit). They have listened to false prophets who tell them smooth things, who flatter them, who say, God will not deal with you for your rebellion against him. Come and rebel with us! Seek God for things. Do not seek to know Him intimately, or you might actually learn His truth and see us for who we are!

Verse 11 —

So, to the prophet who spoke at the conference, and to the prophets of Isaiah’s day, His children say, “Get out of the way! Turn aside from the path! Cease from speaking about the Holy One of Israel!”

A bishop in my denomination came to a large meeting, invited to speak by our bishop. The man said, I don’t often get invitations to speak. Most leaders of our denomination prefer that I just stay where I am, in the church the Lord has given me to shepherd. The people there are accustomed to the word of righteousness, for it is all that I speak, and they eagerly receive it. 

He teaches holiness of heart and action. They go hand-in-hand. When your  heart is pure, you will walk like Jesus in this world. Are you holy on the inside, so you walk holy, like Jesus did, in this world?

So, how does the Lord respond to His false children who rebel against Him?

Verse 12 —

Therefore, thus says the Holy One of Israel! He is the Holy One of the church, too! He is holy! Have you cried out for Him to make you holy? He longs to hear your cry!

The Holy One of Israel says to His false children, You have put your trust in oppression (tyranny, cruel and oppressive government) and guile (perversity), turning away from Me. You have relied on (sought the support) of the world, and of false prophets. Do you not realize that, rather than trust your God, you are trusting Egypt, which treated you cruelly? How quickly you forget that I delivered  you from their oppression and cruelty!

Do you not understand that today, the world will do the same? They do not know God, and they do not have His character, His truthfulness and faithfulness? Do you not understand that, if you listen to false prophets, you will be led down the broad path that leads to destruction? (See Matthew 7:13.) 

Verses 13-14 —

The Holy One of Israel continues, saying, Therefore, because you are false children, following after that which will destroy you rather than hearing and heeding My words, this iniquity (sin, turning aside from the Lord) will be like a breach about to fall. 

There is a breach, a broken place, between you and Me, says the Lord! It is about to fall, just as a breach in a wall causes it to fall! The collapse (crashing down) of His false children will come in an instant, suddenly, in the time it takes to wink your eye!

It will be like the smashing of a potter’s jar, so ruthlessly (He shall not have pity) shattered that a sherd (broken piece of pottery) will not be found among its pieces, large enough to take fire from a hearth, or scoop water from a well. Turn, beloved! Return to your Lord!

Verses 15-17 —

The Lord has said, In repentance and rest (sticking fast, like glue) you will be saved. In quietness (settling in with Me) and trust (trusting in Me) is your strength. But you were not willing. 

Instead, you wanted to hear flattering words. You wanted to be called princes and princesses. You listened to lying prophets and believed them. 

You shunned My prophets, who called you to repentance and rest, who called you to settle in with Me and trust in Me alone. These things will lead you to destruction. 

You say you will flee on horses (symbols of natural strength). Then you shall flee! Those who pursue you shall be swift. I, the Lord, the Holy One, will reverse what I did for faithful Joshua, who rejoiced when the Lord gave Israel victory over their enemies, saying 

Joshua 23:10 “One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.”

But 1,000 of you will flee one enemy, and you will flee at the threat of five. Your enemy, the devil, will defeat you!

Verses 18-19 —

But here is the mercy of the Holy One of Israel, O wayward church filled with false children who listen to false teachers! He waits on high for you to cry out.

Isaiah says, The Lord longs to be gracious to you, to adhere you to Himself, just as a bondservant who asks his master to permanently be his servant, even after his debt is paid, because the bondservant loves his master (Exodus 21;5-6).  

He waits on high to have compassion, to have pity, on you. He executes His justice upon you for your sin, but His justice also is expressed in His desire to restore you and bring you into a holy, intimate relationship with Him by filling you with His Holy Spirit, O believer!

He is waiting for the sound of your cry, He says. The Hebrew word means, “bleating.”  He waits to hear the bleating of His sheep who are in danger. And when He hears it, He will answer you. But you will not cry until you see your condition, and you will never see your condition if you continue to follow after false prophets who flatter you with the smooth things that they speak!

How blessed are those who long to adhere themselves to Him like glue, who long to ask Him to make them His permanent bondservant who serves out of love, though their debt is paid in the very blood of Christ! 

Lord Jesus, may your church hear Your voice, and see her folly. May she see the danger she is in, and may You hear the bleating of your sheep. I know that You will be gracious to them and will surely rescue them, if they cry out for you, just as you rescued me! Amen.

HIS RESTING PLACE

[SW344] 09/15/2018 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018

His Resting Place

 Text: Isaiah 66:1-2, etc.

Where does the Lord look, for His resting place? He does not look to temples or church buildings that man builds for Him! His plan, from the beginning, is to make you His resting place!

To whom does He look? Believers who are humble (poor, lowly) and contrite (maimed, broken-hearted) in spirit, the ones who tremble at His word, in reverential awe. He will establish His resting place inside of them!

He who knows our hearts examines each one to see who is ready. No, that one still trusts in his own goodness and boasts about it. No, that one has not seen the condition of his heart. No, that one does not revere and respect My Word. Ah! One who has heeded My words, sees his heart and is crying out! I will make that one My resting place! 

Isaiah was given this from the Lord, 2700 years ago —

Isaiah 66:1 Thus says the LORD, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? 2 “For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble (lowly) and contrite (smitten, poor) of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”

In such ones He will establish His resting place, His abode, His residence, the place where He establishes a marriage relationship — the Bridegroom (John 3:29) comes to live in you (John 14:23), when you are filled with the Holy Spirit!

Yes, He is on His throne in heaven, but He also looks to believers who are truly humble in spirit, in their hearts. “Look to,” in the Hebrew-to-English, means to regard with pleasure, favor and care, and to cause to see Him! 

He will purify the hearts of such ones! Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God here and now, when He fills them with Himself (Matthew 5:8, Acts 2:3-4), and makes them His resting place, His abode, His residence, and establishes with them a marriage relationship!

Cry out, with a humble and contrite heart, and ask Him to fill you with the Spirit! He will surely do it!

Paul exhorts the believers at Corinth, for they have gone astray, following false teachers! He tells them he is jealous for them with a godly jealousy; for he betrothed them to one husband, so that to Christ he might present them as a pure virgin (for marriage), per 2Corinthians 11:2. 

He looks for those who are humble in spirit, humble and lowly inwardly, in their very hearts. He will not look to those who outwardly attempt to be humble, but are prideful in their hearts. Oh, humble yourself before Him, and He will regard you with pleasure, favor and care! He will come and fill you with Himself, and you will see Him!

He looks to believers who are contrite in spirit, who have heeded His words, have seen the poverty of their hearts, who have become broken-hearted over what they now see, and who have cried out for Him to change their hearts! He regards them with pleasure, favor and care, and causes them to see Him! He makes such ones His abode, the place He sets up residence, the place where He establishes a marriage relationship!

And He looks to those who tremble at His Word, who view the Word of God with great awe and reverence, understanding its power and significance! He looks to believers who honor and respect His Word, and do not twist or omit any of its content. He regards them with pleasure, favor and care, and causes them to see Him! He makes such ones His abode, the place He sets up His residence, the place where He establishes a marriage relationship!

Blessed are such ones! As I taught from Jesus’ words back on June 30, 2018 —

Matthew 5:3-8 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle (humble), for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (filled). Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

It is exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think! It is almost more than I can comprehend! Though He has established His resting place in me, I will not know the entirety of His great work until I see Him face-to-face (1Corinthians 13:12)!

Oh, beloved! Humble! Contrite! Trembling at His Word! It is all through the Word of God!

From King David —

Psalm 51:16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering (outward religious acts). 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

Isaiah 57:15  For thus says the high and exalted One, Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit, in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite (those who are broken-hearted because of their heart’s condition).

1Peter 5:6   Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time . . .

Humble yourselves! Heed His words, so you may see the poverty of your heart! That is the action you must take, in order to be one to whom the Lord looks! That is the action you must take, in order to be a resting place for the Lord! He will do the rest!

But as for those of His people and His church who have chosen to worship the god of self, and the gods of this world, the Lord will judge them —

Hebrews 10:26   For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. 

Heed the words of Jesus Christ today, and obey His command. He will look to you!He will fulfill the promise of the Father by filling you with His Spirit! You will become His resting place, and you will see Him! He will make you His witness here, and you will do His work. You will be able to say, with Jesus Christ 

Isaiah 61:1  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted (contrite, humble); He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted (broken in pieces), to proclaim liberty to captives (captives to sin) and freedom to prisoners; (prisoners of sin) . . . 

Lord Jesus, may Your people and Your church have ears to hear! Amen!

ANNOUNCING HIS WORDS

[SW343] 09/09/2018 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018

Announcing His Words

 Text: Jeremiah 23, etc.

Who announces the Lord’s words? Those who stand in His counsel and hear His voice. What do they announce? They call His people to turn back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds.

NOTE: Scriptures are from the NAS Bible, with emphases according to the Lord’s direction to me.

Jeremiah prophesied for 40 years in Judah. The Lord gave him words of warning to the false shepherds, and a call for God’s people to repent and return to the Lord.  It is the same in today’s church, for there are many false shepherds.

No one listened to the word of the Lord through Jeremiah, just as many do not listen today. So, the people of Judah were either killed by the Babylonians, or were carried into captivity in Babylon for 70 years. Many believers today are spiritually exiled from the Lord. 

Here are the Lord’s words, through Jeremiah —

Jeremiah 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the LORD. 2 Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,” declares the LORD.

Woe to the false shepherds who were supposedly tending His people Israel then, and those who are supposedly tending all believers now. They have caused His sheep to perish. They have dashed them to pieces. Because His sheep believed their lies, they have been driven away, banished from His presence. And the false shepherds have not cared for His sheep, but only for themselves. Jesus says 

John 10:12 “He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.”

Behold, O false shepherds! The Lord is about to tend to you (avenge, judge you), for the evil of your deeds. 

Jeremiah 23:11  “For both prophet and priest are polluted; 

Even in My house I have found their wickedness,” declares the LORD.

12  “Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, 

They will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; 

For I will bring calamity upon them, 

The year of their punishment,” declares the LORD.

Both prophet and priest, then and now, are polluted (corrupt, profane). He has found their wickedness (evil, wrong, harm) even in His house! 

So He will turn the paths they walk into slippery paths. He will drive them away, for they have driven His people away from Him. They will slip and fall down into the darkness of hell. He will bring these calamities upon them, for they have brought these calamities on His sheep! 

The Lord declares — for He alone declares and decrees — that He will bring the year of their punishment upon them.

Jeremiah 23:13 “Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria I saw an offensive (foolish) thing: 

They prophesied by Baal and led My people Israel astray.

14  “Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: 

The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; 

And they strengthen the hands of evildoers, 

So that no one has turned back from his wickedness. 

All of them have become to Me like Sodom, 

And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

False prophets, both then and now, appeal to the lusts of believers whose sin natures are alive and well. Sex, money, power, prestige — the false prophets dangle these before the eyes of the Lord’s flock, and lead them down the broad path to hell. 

False prophets, both then and now, urge people to commit spiritual adultery against the Lord by worshiping the things the world worships. They lie to His sheep in many ways. They tell His sheep that they all must join hands with the world and water down the gospel, removing its call to repentance, so that people are not offended by it.

False prophets, both then and now, encourage sinners to sin. Or they say that there is no cure for sin, but the Lord understands that they cannot help but sin. Therefore, no one repents. So, in the Lord’s eyes, His flock has become like Sodom and Gomorrah, wildly disobeying, committing acts completely contrary to His nature.

Jeremiah 23:16 Thus says the LORD of hosts, 

Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. 

They are leading you into futility; 

They speak a vision of their own imagination, 

Not from the mouth of the LORD.

O church to whom I am sent, do not listen to the false prophets who are prophesying to you! They are leading you into emptiness, they speak a vision of their own conjuring, and not from the mouth of the Lord. They do not and cannot stand before Him, for they are lawless. He never, ever knew them (Matthew 7:23)!

Jeremiah 23:17 “They keep saying to those who despise Me, 

‘The LORD has said, “You will have peace”’; 

And as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, 

They say, ‘Calamity will not come upon you.’

The false prophets boast and promise this to those who blaspheme and provoke Him — you will have peace. They say, God will never leave you, regardless of the evil that you do, regardless of your love for the world’s ways and your running after the things of the world. “Come and get your blessing,” they say, regardless of your heart’s condition.

To His sheep, who walk in the obstinacy and lust of their own hearts, the false prophets say this — calamity (evil) will not come up on you. God will not judge you for the sin you are doing. Again, it is a lie. They are listening to their father, the father of lies, the devil (John 8:44).

Jeremiah 23:18 “But who has stood in the council of the LORD, 

That he should see and hear His word? 

Who has given heed to His word and listened?”

Again, His words are not announced by false prophets who feed your lust for sex, money, power and prestige. His words are announced by those who stand in His counsel, who stand before the Lord, who are able to ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place because He has given them clean hands and pure hearts (Psalm 24:3-4). What do they announce? They call His people to turn back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds.

Jeremiah 23:21 “I did not send these prophets, 

But they ran. 

I did not speak to them, 

But they prophesied.

The Lord did not send these false prophets who are destroying and scattering His sheep. He did not ask them to run with a message from Him, to deliver it to you.

He did not speak to them. But they prophesied as though He had spoken to them. It is the same today. 

Jeremiah 23:22 “But if they had stood in My council, 

Then they would have announced My words to My people, 

And would have turned them back from their evil way 

And from the evil of their deeds.”

Who stands in His council? Who consults with Him in a holy, intimate, one-on-one encounter? The one with clean hands and a pure heart, the Elijahs (1Kings 17:1) and Elishas (2Kings 3:14), the Pauls (2Timothy 4:1) and Timothys (2Timothy 2:14), and those in today’s church who are filled with the Lord’s Holy Spirit.

And the words they announce are, “Turn back! Repent! Turn away from the evil you are doing against your God!” That is what the Lord says to the church, and His people Israel, today! The ones who stand before Him say —

Lamentations 2:14 Your prophets have seen for you 

False and foolish visions; 

And they have not exposed your iniquity 

So as to restore you from captivity, 

But they have seen for you false and misleading oracles.

False. Foolish. Misleading. There is no restoration from the exile that symbolizes separation from God’s presence. Even in exile, God’s people and today’s church continue to listen to false prophets.

Jeremiah 23:23 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, 

“And not a God far off?

24  “Can a man hide himself in hiding places 

So I do not see him?” declares the LORD. 

“Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.

No one can hide his evil thoughts and deeds from the Lord. All things are open and laid bare in the sight of Him to whom we must give an account for what is in our hearts (Hebrews 4:13), when we stand before His judgment seat!

Jeremiah 23:28 “The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?” declares the LORD. 29 “Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?”

If a true prophet has a dream, he may relate his dream. Listen to Joel’s prophecy of the coming baptism of the Holy Spirit 

Joel 2:28    “It will come about after this 

That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; 

And your sons and daughters will prophesy, 

Your old men will dream dreams, 

Your young men will see visions.

But also, those who have the Lord’s word, and not their own, will speak His word in truth, for they stand before the One who is the Way and the Truth and the Life. His true prophets stand in His council.

His word is like fire, which will burn away the evil in you and purify your heart, if you heed it. But it will consume you if you ignore it and reject it. Oh, beloved, come to the Purifier (Acts 15:8).

His word is like a hammer which breaks through your heart of stone, if you heed it. But it will break your heart into pieces if you ignore it and reject it, not allowing it to change your stony heart. 

His promise to those who hear and heed (Matthew 7:24), and stay and wait (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), is that He will remove their stony hearts and give them new hearts that respond to His every whisper (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

I announce His words to you today, because He has cleansed and purified me so I am able to stand before Him and consult with Him, in holy intimacy. I call His people Israel, and His church, to turn back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds. I speak these words with certainty, for they are His truth. 

The Lord does not desire that any should perish, but that all, even those in the church, come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). Therefore, repent!

Lord, I stand before You and ask you to send these words in Your power, by Your Spirit. Surely, they will not return empty, but will accomplish all that You want them to do (Isaiah 55:11). Amen.

THE WILL OF MY FATHER

[SW342] 09/01/2018 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018

The Will of My Father

Text: Matthew 7:13-29

Jesus Christ says, “The one who does the will of My Father is the one who will receive eternal life.” What is the will of His Father? First, that you believe into His Son, per John 3:16, and then, that you stay and wait for His promise, per Acts 5:1-4, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so you are able to keep the eternal life He has given you.

Verse 13 — 

Jesus commands that you enter through the narrow gate (the one that has obstacles standing near it). Enter the gate that seems hard to enter. Enter the unlikely gate, the unattractive gate, the one that is going to restrict you from bringing in anything that is not of Him.  

Verse 14 —

Why enter this obstacle-studded, unattractive, restrictive gate? Because the gate is wide and the way is broad  that leads to destruction (eternal ruin), and there are many who enter through it because they do not do His Father’s will. It grieves Him, and it grieves all who are filled with Him.

Many enter through the wide gate — abundant and plentiful crowds continually pass through it. They love the easy words spoken by those who lead them in the broad way, who proclaim another Jesus — one who neither calls believers and unbelievers to turn from their sin and repent (2Corinthians 11:4), nor command believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the Father’s righteousness.

Passionately seek the small gate, the one that has obstacles standing near it, the one that is so narrow you must surrender yourself and drop all that you have in you that is not of God! It leads to eternal life (zoe) here and now, and in heaven! But there are only a few (a puny number) who find it, who perceive it and then follow it.

How shocking! There are four billion people today who claim Jesus Christ as their Lord, but only a puny number of them will enter eternal life! Why so few?

The broad way looks so much easier, so much more pleasant. It requires nothing of you.

Those who teach the broad way encourage you to continue just as you are. Jesus loves you, even though you continue to willfully disobey Him after you have believed. They soothe your conscience, saying you can’t help but sin, and they say that the more you sin, the greater His grace. May it never be (Romans 6:1-2)!

Those who teach the broad way tell you that God wants to bless you with wealth and success.They urge you to tell God that He is required to make you rich and successful, because it says so in His Word! They urge you to “speak into existence” whatever you crave! It surely pleases the ears and stimulates the greed and selfishness of those whose sin natures are alive and well, for they think God will give them the earthly treasures they greedily seek! 

So, nearly all believers flock to teachers who point to the wide gate and the broad way. And they are led to destruction, eternal perishing.

You may say, But I was saved at an altar! Or, I raised my hand while everyone had their eyes closed! You received eternal life, when you believed into Jesus Christ. But have you obeyed His command to wait for the promise of His Father, so you continue in His eternal life and are filled with His Holy Spirit, or are you still sinning against Him? No sinner will enter the kingdom of heaven —

1Corinthians 6:9   Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Jesus says, if you are truly His disciple, you will continue (dwell) in His word, which is the small gate by which you enter the narrow way. It is living and active, able to penetrate even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It will judge the thoughts and attitudes of your heart (see Hebrews 4:12). It was not comfortable for me, and it will not be for you, but beloved, let His Word do its work. Why?

If you continue in His Word, you will know the truth — that if you cry out for Him to change your heart, He will do just as He promises (again, Acts 1:4-5) and you will be filled with His Holy Spirit and His love and His divine nature and His righteousness. Then, you will have done and will always do the will of His Father! Your heart will be pure, and you will no longer be a slave to sin, but free, indeed (see John 8:31-36)!

Verse 15 —

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing. They are the ones who call out for you to enter the broad path that leads to destruction. Outwardly, they look like you, O sheep! They look righteous on the outside, like the scribes and Pharisees. But inwardly, they are ravenous wolves — ones who suddenly seize you and rob you of eternal life!

Verse 16 —

But how will you identify the false teachers and prophets? Jesus says, You will know them by their fruits. Just as you cannot gather grapes from a thorn bush, or figs from thistle plants, you cannot gather good from them. Their fruit is revealed by what they seek — money, fame, success, acceptance by the world. 

Their fruit is revealed by what they do, behind closed doors and even openly, as they feed your greed, saying, “Give to me, and you will get a hundredfold in return!”

Verses 17-20 —

Every good (worthy, spiritually valuable) tree bears good fruit, but the bad (worthless, corrupt) tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Why? The good tree is filled with goodness, and the bad tree is filled with corruption. 

A tree can only produce what is inside of it. If you eat of a bad tree, you will be filled with its corruption and bear its fruit. Beloved, every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire (John 15:6)! He is the Righteous Judge, and He is speaking of hell, beloved!

So, then, you will know them by their fruits. You will be able to fully perceive them and discern whether they are good or bad trees, because you will look at their fruit and see either worthiness and spiritual value, or corruption and immorality and greed. Thanks be to God, He is merciful and exposes many bad trees, for there is no discernment among most of those in today’s church!

Verse 21 —

Referring to the false prophets, Jesus says, Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven. Many say His name, but they do not know Him, because their hearts are corrupt.

Who will enter the kingdom of heaven? Jesus says, only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven! Heed His words, see the poverty-stricken condition of your heart, and cry out for Him to change it! He will! Then, supremely blessed will you be!

Verse 22-23 —

Jesus says, Many will say to Me, on the day of judgment, Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy and cast out demons and perform many miracles in Your name? We used your name! We exhibited miracle-working power, we cast out demons and prophesied. We “declared and decreed!” Look at all we did!

But He will declare to them — for He alone declares and decrees — I never knew you! The Greek means never, not ever, not at any time, not at all did I have any kind of relationship with you.

He will say, Depart from me — begone — you who practice (do) lawlessness (wickedness, things contrary to the will of My Father, unrighteousness, sin). He judges them, and sentences them to hell.

So, you may ask, by what power did they do miracles and cast out and prophesy? It cannot be by His power, for He never, ever knew them. Beware!

Verses 24 -25 —

Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them (does them) will be compared to a wise man who built his house on a rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and slammed against that house. And yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on a rock! The rock is Jesus Christ, and you will stand, in all circumstances, if your foundation is His Word!

Verses 26-27 —

Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell — and great (exceedingly big) was its fall!

Is your foundation the truth which is in Christ, or are you foolish, believing the sandy words of false prophets? I tell you the truth, a storm is coming, one that will shake everything that can be shaken, so nothing remains but that which cannot be shaken 

Hebrews 12:27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 

Beloved, you will stand or fall, based on what you are believing. Follow Jesus’ words! Enter the small gate, go the narrow way, and you will not be shaken!

Verses 28-29 —

When Jesus had finished His words for that occasion, the crowd was amazed (astonished, struck with amazement) at His teaching. Why?

He taught them as One having authority, and not as their scribes. He taught with the power of God, because He is God the Son! The scribes spoke by the authority (teachings) of others; Jesus spoke on His own authority, for He is God the Son.

Jesus spoke in the first person (“But I say”), not as an interpreter of Scripture, but as its Author. Jesus said He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, because He is God the Son, the Messiah sent to us by His Father. He determines who enters the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is the Judge appointed by His Father, and He banishes the wicked. 

Beloved, do not just hear His words — heed them! Remember that His words are addressed to His disciples who believed in Him, to the multitude of Jews and others who were being drawn to Him, and to the scribes and Pharisees who thought they could work their way to heaven by outwardly obeying the Law of Moses. Your righteousness must exceed theirs, in order to enter the kingdom of heaven!

Blessed are the poor in spirit who realize the poverty-stricken condition of their hearts, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven! 

Blessed are you when you mourn over your condition, for you shall be comforted by the Lord by being filled with the Comforter, the Holy Spirit! 

Blessed are you when you are humbled by your condition, for you will inherit the earth! 

Blessed are you when you hunger and thirst for righteousness, for He will fill you with His Spirit, His righteousness, His love, and His nature, and purify your heart! Then you will be one who does the will of my Father! Hallelujah! 

I pray that many hear and heed, Lord Jesus, for surely, a day of judgment is coming, when everything that can be shaken will be shaken. When they cry out, I know you will make them ready, and unshakeable. Amen.