HIS CUP AND HIS BAPTISM

[SW372] 3/30/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“His Cup and His Baptism”

Text: Mark 10:32-45

James and John asked Jesus to seat them on His right and left. You want to be seated with Him in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). But just as Jesus asked James and John, He asks you today, beloved — “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 

John and James said, “Yes,” but Jesus told them they did not know what they were asking. He has asked me to show you the meaning, so when you ask, you will know what you are asking, and you will ask Him to make you able to do it.

Verse 32 —

Jesus and a group of His disciples, including the Twelve, were on the road going to Jerusalem. Jesus was walking ahead of them rather than with them. They were amazed and fearful, because they knew the Jews were trying to kill Jesus, yet He seemed eager to face them. 

They did not understand that His face was set to do what His Father had sent Him to do —

Isaiah 50:7 For the Lord GOD helps Me, therefore, I am not disgraced; therefore, I have set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.

Luke 9:51   And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem . . . (KJV)

If you want to be seated with Him in the heavenly places, beloved, you must drink His cup and be baptized with His baptism. You must set your face like flint and turn toward it in obedience to Him, when He shows you what it means.

Verses 33-34 —

He knew they were amazed and fearful, so He took the Twelve aside, and said, Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles (non-Jews). The Jews handed Him over to the Romans because they were under Roman rule and were thereby prohibited from doing executions.

He already knew Judas would betray Him. He already knew that He would die on a Roman cross. Jesus said the Gentiles would mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him. 

But three days later, He said, the Son of Man will rise again! His resurrection was the final proof that He is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ (Romans 1:4)!

Verses 35-37 —

They were unable to comprehend His words about being condemned to death, scourged and killed, just as with each time He had told them (Matthew 20:17-19, Mark 8:31 & 9:12, Luke 18:31-33, John 13:33 & 13:36) . 

His Twelve were not yet filled with the Holy Spirit. So even though Jesus had told them, they had no understanding that He had to die, taking upon Himself the punishment they deserved, so whoever would believe into Him would be saved from the wrath of God and reconciled to Him.

His Twelve disciples also had no understanding that His was not an earthly kingdom. So in their eyes, Jesus’ eagerness to get to Jerusalem meant that He was ready to take His place on the throne of David, defeat the Romans who ruled over and oppressed the Jews, and set the Jews free!

With that in mind, James and John wanted the choicest and most powerful positions in His earthly kingdom. So they went to Him and asked Him to do for them whatever they asked of Him. He asked what they wanted Him to do for them, and they told Him they wanted to sit on His right and left, in His glory (place of honor) in Jerusalem. 

They were not yet filled with the Holy Spirit, so they had their own interests in mind. The disciples often argued about who was the greatest (Mark 9:34, Luke 9:46, etc.). If Jesus agreed to their request, their powerful positions would prove to the other Ten that they were the greatest!

Verse 38 

Jesus said, “You do not know what you are asking.” In order to be part of His kingdom, they would need to be able to drink the cup that He drinks, and be baptized with the baptism with which He is baptized. 

He had already told them what it is to drink His cup. They would be falsely accused by the Jews, condemned even to death, mocked, spat upon, scourged so that their flesh would be ripped away from their bodies, and then killed, for the sake of His gospel. They were all martyred except for John, because he was to receive the book of prophecy called The Revelation.

Verses 39-40 —

James and John said, “We are able,” when He asked them if they could drink His cup and be baptized with His baptism. But He would not give them a place on His right and left, in His heavenly kingdom. It was not His to give. His Father knew who He wanted in those positions, and His Father would make it so.

Again, they had no idea what they were saying, when they said, “We are able.” But He said, You shall drink My cup, and shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized.

To drink the cup is to undergo the persecution He underwent, even to physical death. But what is the baptism with which He was baptized? Jesus was baptized into death on a cross, but their baptism into death would happen at Pentecost.

After He rose and breathed on them (John 20:22), they received a measure of His Spirit in them. But then, James and John and the rest of the 120 obeyed His command to stay and wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5). And Jesus Christ baptized them with the Holy Spirit and fire!

They were each individually filled with His Holy Spirit, and died to their own self-interests — that is, the sin nature that was on full display with James and John’s request and with the behavior of all of His disciples, before their personal Pentecost. 

Death to self, to the sin nature, is the baptism Jesus asked them if they were able to undergo. Paul writes of this baptism of death, the baptism of the Holy Spirit which is done in human hearts by Jesus Christ 

Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 6 . . . knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin . . .

Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

When they underwent the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they were empowered to drink His cup, even to the last drop. Before Pentecost, they had hidden from the Jews. After Pentecost, they preached Jesus in the temple. 

Before Pentecost, they feared persecution. After Pentecost, they were dragged before the Sanhedrin, the equivalent of the Supreme Court. The first time, they were warned not to speak the name of Jesus. And they boldly told the Sanhedrin that they could not speaking of what they had seen and heard (Acts 4:19-20). 

The second time, they were flogged and warned not to speak the name of Jesus. When they were released, they went from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for speaking His name, which the Jews had banned everyone from speaking (Acts 5:40-41). 

Jesus warned them that they would be persecuted (John 15:20). He knew that all but John would die at the hands of those who hated them. They drank His cup, underwent His baptism, and were made able to stand and even to rejoice in it!

Verses 41-44 — 

Jesus knew the rest of the Twelve were indignant about James and John’s request. So He called them to Himself. He exhorted them that they were not to lord it over each other, or exercise authority over each other, as unbelievers do. But they could not do it until they were baptized with His baptism and their sin nature was crucified.

It was not to be that way among them. Instead, if any of them wished to be great, they must become servants to one another, and if they wanted to be first, they must become slaves to one another. But they could not do it until they were baptized with His baptism and their sin nature was crucified.

Only Jesus Christ can take the self-interest out of you, when you ask Him to crucify your sin nature and fill you with His nature. Then you will serve as He served, walk as He walks (1John 2:6), and be as He is in this world (1John 4:17). Be baptized with His baptism, as He commands, and you will be empowered to do it, beloved!

Verse 45 —

Jesus said, even the Son of Man (a title of the Christ) did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Even God the Son did not come to be served! 

His Father sent Him as His Servant to endure the punishment we deserved, so that  all who will believe into Him will be saved from God’s wrath, be reconciled to God, and have eternal life!

In America, Christians are just beginning to experience persecution. Expect it to increase, just as Jesus Christ prophesied in Matthew 24 and 25.

In many countries, some Christians are executed in front of their families, some are beheaded, some are crucified, some are stoned to death, some are imprisoned until they die, some are burned to death in their homes or their church, some are mocked and spat upon. Some are beaten and whipped to the point of death.

Why?  Because they proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord. They are able to drink His cup, for they have undergone His baptism.

Again, here is His question to you — are you able to drink His cup, and be baptized with His baptism? He knows you do not fully understand it. But He commands you to do it. If you love Him, you will obey Him (John 14:23).

When you have drunk His cup and been baptized with His baptism, you will be able to say, with Paul —

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

He gave Himself up for you! When you give yourself up to Him so your sin nature is crucified, you will live for Him and not yourself, and He will fully live in you!

Lord Jesus, You are worthy of our immediate obedience to Your words. I pray it will be done. Amen.

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HIS WORDS REVEAL YOUR HEART

[SW371] 3/23/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“His Words Reveal Your Heart”

Text: John 6:26 and forward

The Lord spoke His hard words to His people, the Jews, and to you. He speaks His words — even hard words—  to you in order to reveal your heart to you. He showed me my heart through His hard words, after I believed and came to know that He is the Christ. So I repented and asked Him to change my heart. That is His intent for you, today.

He says that those who are offended and reject His words do not believe that He is God the Son, nor do they believe in God, or they would recognize Jesus as His Son and believe —

John 8:19 So they (the Pharisees) were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.”

But if you hear His words and say, “Even when Your words are hard, I will both hear and do them, for You have the words of eternal life. I believe and have come to know that You are the Christ, God the Son,” then praise Him! He has revealed your heart to you, and you have repented. You know He is God the Son! Therefore, you know His Father also.

Verse 26 —

After teaching 5,000 (plus women and children) from a mountain and healing those who were sick, Jesus fed them all with two loaves of barley bread and five fish. He did such signs as one of many testimonies that He is God the Son —

John 5:36 “But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish — the very works that I do — testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.”

Yet the crowds did not seek Jesus the next day because they understood by His words and His works that He is God the Son. They sought Him in the place where they had been fed. He had returned there.

So He told them, “Truly, truly I say to you, you seek Me not because you saw signs (miracles), but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.” Thus, He revealed their hearts to them.

They followed Him for natural blessings, not because they believed He is the Messiah, the Christ, and His words are words of eternal life. They did not believe He is God the Son. If they had believed He is God the Son, they would have repented. And they did not believe in God, or they would have recognized His Son.

Verse 27-29 —

Then, in His great mercy, He told them what they needed to seek — not food which perishes, but food that endures (stays) to eternal life — and told them that only He could give it to them. If they sought His food, they would not perish. He offered it to them, in the authority of the Father, for He is the Son of Man (a Messianic title).

They asked what they should do, to do the works of God. They saw that He was not going to give them more food, so they wanted to  know how to do it themselves. In His great mercy, He taught them, saying, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” 

Verses 30-36 —

When they fell back on Moses and the manna in the wilderness (Exodus 16:13 and forward), Jesus corrected them, saying, “Moses did not give you the bread out of heaven.” God sent it from heaven, both to feed them in the desert, and as a foreshadowing of the coming of His Son! 

Jesus said, “It is My Father who gives you the true bread of heaven, for the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” 

The crowd said, “Lord, give us this bread!” So Jesus told them He is the Bread of Life, and said, “Whoever comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will not thirst.”

Though they had seen Him do miracles that only God could do, they only wanted what He could do for them, in the natural. They rejected His words when He said that He came down from heaven. So He spoke frankly and bluntly to them concerning their hearts, saying, “You have seen Me, and yet do not believe.” 

But when He spoke those words, they did not repent and believe into Him. Thus His words revealed their hearts to them. They did not believe He is God the Son. If they had believed He is God the Son, they would have repented. And they did not believe in God, or they would have recognized His Son.

Verses 40-44 —

Jesus said, “This is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise Him up on the last day.” 

But the Jews grumbled at (quietly murmured against) Jesus’ words. Who did He think He was, saying He was the bread that came down out of heaven? They were offended at His words. They reasoned that they knew Him, and they knew His family. Yet He was calling God His Father, thereby saying He was God’s equal! That was blasphemy! And He was saying that only those who believe in Him would have eternal life.

Jesus repeated His words, and rebuked them saying, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and then I will raise him up on the last day.” 

They were further offended by His additional words. Thus, His words revealed their hearts to them. They did not believe He is God the Son. If they had believed He is God the Son, they would have repented. And they did not believe in God, or they would have recognized His Son.

Verse 51-54 —

Jesus told them that the manna eaten by their fathers in the desert did not give eternal life — their fathers died in the desert. Again, He said, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven,” and told them, “If anyone eats this bread, which is My flesh, they will have eternal life.

Now the Jews were even more offended! They argued among themselves. Jesus had come against the Law of Moses, because cannibalism was prohibited! They did not see that to eat Jesus is to believe into Him, and receive His eternal life into themselves.

Then Jesus added that they must drink His blood. Again, that was against the Law of Moses. They did not see that to drink His blood is to be filled with His Holy Spirit and to become partakers of His divine nature (2Peter 1:4). 

Why did He continue speaking words that He knew would offend them? So that their hearts would be revealed to themselves. He spoke hard, shocking words so they would see that they did not believe He is God the Son. If they had believed He is God the Son, they would have repented. And they did not believe in God, or they would have recognized His Son.

Verses 60-66 — 

Many of His disciples said His words were difficult (tough, severe, harsh). Who can hear (understand) them, they said? They grumbled (murmured against Him), at a distance. Thus, His words revealed their hearts to them. They did not believe He is God the Son. If they had believed He is God the Son, they would have repented. And they did not believe in God, or they would have recognized His Son.

Though He could not hear them, He knew they were grumbling, and challenged them further — “What will you do if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before (that is, in heaven)?”  Again, He was saying that He had come down from heaven.

In His great mercy, He told them, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” He was not saying they must eat His literal flesh and drink His literal blood! 

He knew their hearts, long before they grumbled. So, He told them that He knew some did not believe. He knew who did, and who did not. He knows your heart today. 

As a result of His words, many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. Thus, His words revealed their hearts to them. They were offended by and rejected His words. They did not believe He is God the Son. If they had believed He is God the Son, they would have repented. And they did not believe in God, or they would have recognized His Son.

Verses 67-69 —

After many of His disciples left, the Twelve remained. So He asked, “Do you want to go away also?”

But Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”  Thus, His question revealed their hearts to them. They believed He is God the Son and had repented. And they believed in God, because they recognized His Son.

Earlier in His ministry, many Jews were wondering who He was. So He asked the Twelve a question —

Matthew 16:15  He  said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” 

His Father had given the Twelve a revelation that He is the Christ! How I pray that for you today!

Do you recoil at His hard words? Do you reject them, and only receive the ones that please your ears? Do you seek Him so He will bless you in the natural? 

Do you say His miracles are not “for today?” Do you have a form of godliness — are you a churchgoer — but deny the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to give you a new heart, filled with His Holy Spirit (2Timothy 3:5, Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5)? Do you say, “I do not need that?” Then His words have revealed your heart to you. You do not believe He is God the Son. If you believed He is God the Son, you would have repented. And you do not believe in God, or you would have recognized His Son.

In His great mercy, Jesus Christ has spoken hard words to you, so you would repent, and believe into Him! He reveals your heart to you! Repent and believe into Him and His Father!

Oh, beloved! Blessed are you if you hear all of His words, even the hard ones, and say, “Lord, to whom shall I go? You have words of eternal life. I have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” His words have revealed your heart. You have repented and believed into Him!

How I pray that today’s church today would speak His hard words, so churchgoers’  hearts are revealed to them! But I rarely His hard words from pulpits in America and in other countries. Instead, churchgoers are given a gospel of easy words, a gospel that purposely avoids the hard words of Jesus. So their hearts are not revealed to them!

Lord Jesus, may Your words from this message reveal the hearts of those who are watching. May they repent and ask You to change their hearts, for You will surely be gracious to them at the sound of their cry; when You hear it, You will answer them (Isaiah 30:19). Amen.

SHIFTING SAND

[SW370] 3/16/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“Shifting Sand”

Text: Matthew 7:22-29

Surely, the rock was Christ in the wilderness (1Corinthians 10:4), and He is the rock of our salvation (Psalm 89:26). Hallelujah! But in this passage, Jesus Christ warns that you must stand on the rock of hearing and doing His commands.

Verses 24-25 —

At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ says, “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 the rock.” When He says, “these words of Mine,” He means the whole of what He has just spoken, and all of His words.

Do you see that the “rock” in this parable is obedience to His words? Jesus says that everyone who both hears and does His words is wise, for they have obeyed His commands. They live in a state of obedience to His words. They do not reject any of His words.

Their faith stands strong, because they have obeyed even His words that He spoke just before He ascended to heaven, and when they did, their hearts were profoundly changed by Him!

So, their faith is based upon the rock of hearing and doing all the words of Christ. Even when the rain and floods and winds of persecution blow and slam against their faith, they will not fall.

Jesus warns His disciples that they will be persecuted 

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. 20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you . . . 

John 15:21 “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.”

Verses 26-27 —

In contrast to those who hear and obey His words, everyone who hears His words and does not do them is foolish, because they disobey His commands. They live in a state of disobedience to His words. 

They live as they lived before they heard His words with their ears. They have not both heard and done His words that He spoke just before He ascended to heaven, so there has been no profound change in their hearts.

Those who hear His words and do not do them have faith that is based on the shifting stand of disobedience to His words. Their faith is not based upon the rock of obedience to Christ’s words. Therefore, their faith has no foundation at all, and it will fail them.

When the rain and floods and winds of persecution blow and slam against their faith, they will fall — and great will be their fall. Why? Their hearts have not been profoundly changed, for they have not heard and done His words.

Verses 28-29 —

When Jesus had finished teaching, the crowds responded with amazement. They were struck with astonishment at His teaching.

Why? He did not speak as one of their scribes, who were experts in the Law of Moses but did not know the Lord. Thus, their words were not spoken in His authority. 

But Jesus was teaching as One having authority. He spoke in God’s authority, for He is God the Son. 

Today’s Church

Many believers today foolishly stand on the shifting sand of disobedience. They are led to do it by false teachers who speak by their own authority, not God’s. They know about the Lord but do not know Him. 

False teachers do not exhort believers to stop sinning, nor do they warn them of the consequences of their sin. But Jesus commands five of the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 to repent of their sin. False teachers do not speak of losing your salvation, though Jesus tells the church at Sardis to repent, so that their names are not erased from the book of life (Revelation 3:5).

Why do believers follow them? Because they do not like Jesus Christ’s “hard words,” and false teachers do not speak those words. They tell them what they want to hear, instead of what they need to hear. If someone then comes to followers of the sandy gospel with the true words of Jesus, they recoil and reject Jesus’ words. 

So, false teachers and those who follow them are foolish. They have built their faith on the shifting sand of disobedience, instead of on the rock of obedience to all of Jesus Christ’s words. They have not obeyed Jesus Christ’s commands that He spoke just before He ascended to heaven, so their hearts have not been profoundly changed.

Therefore, the faith of those who heed false teachers has no foundation at all. Beware! Know the Word of God, so you may do His will! Stay away from false teachers, for with their words, they kill you.

The faith you have in the Jesus taught by false teachers will fail, when the rain and floods and winds of earthly difficulties come. And you will fall a very great fall! Why? You have not stood on the rock of obedience to Jesus Christ’s words, but on the shifting sand of the deceptive words of false teachers!

When a large storm hits the beach, the waters are completely undermined, carried off, and eroded to the point where just a narrow strip remains. It is not enough to stand or walk on.

The sandy gospel does the same to the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The more you listen to the sandy gospel, the more the truths of Jesus are undermined, carried off, and eroded. In the places where the sandy gospel is taught, not even a small strip of Jesus remains.

The ministries that false teachers build are often exposed by the Lord, and their ministries fall. He has rejected them because they destroy His people —

Hosea 4:6  My people are destroyed (utterly destroyed, they perish) for lack of knowledge (intimate knowledge of Me). Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. 

But until Jesus Christ returns, other false teachers will come behind them and will build new ministries of the sandy gospel. And many believers will flock to them, for the sandy gospel sounds good to their ears.

Beloved, what are you standing on — the rock of obedience or the shifting sand of disobedience? What must you do, in order to keep from falling?

The Answer — A Profoundly Changed Heart

The Lord does not desire that you perish, but that you come to repentance (2Peter 4:9). So, repent! Turn from the sandy gospel! Ask Him to forgive you!

Put away your devotional books and devote yourself to His Book! Open the Bible, pray for the Lord to teach you, and read it! He will teach you!

Then you will see that He commands you to be filled with His Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5)! If you hear and do these words of His, He will profoundly change your heart so you do all of His words! You will stand on the rock of obedience, and be immovable, regardless of the degree of persecution that you will surely undergo.

When you ask your Father in heaven to fill you with the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), you will no longer willfully disobey any of Jesus’ words. You will no longer consider any of His words to be hard, for He has profoundly changed your heart, crucifying your rebellious sin nature that loved the sandy gospel that catered to your lusts. 

In place of the sin nature, you will be filled with His divine nature (2Peter 1:4), by which you will say —

Psalms 40:8  I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”

While it is still today, repent and ask the Lord to do in your heart what only He can do! Then you will no longer follow the sandy gospel, and will immediately discern the sandy gospel and its false teachers. 

You will refuse to listen to the gospel built on shifting sand, and warn others to turn from it, just as the Apostle Paul warned the church at Corinth —

2Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. (NIV)

2Corinthians 11:19 For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly. 20 For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face.

So like Paul, I warn you today, with this word from the Lord! Do not be a foolish follower of false teachers who teach a false Jesus and give you not the Holy Spirit but another spirit. Do not listen to a different gospel than what Jesus speaks!

Lord Jesus, there are so many in Your church who have built a false faith on shifting sand! I have spoken this word, as you have asked. May there be ears to hear and do what You command, I pray! Amen.

WHEN YOUR SIN IS EXPOSED

[SW369] 3/10/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“When Your Sin Is Exposed”

Text: Psalm 51:10-17

King David knew he had sinned, but he tried to cover it up. It wasn’t until his sin was exposed by the Lord, through His prophet, Nathan, that David saw that he had sinned against the Lord Himself.

His response to the Lord’s rebuke should be yours today, O believer, just as it was for me, when the Lord exposed my sin through my Nathan’s question. Pastor David “Doc” Uber exposed my sin. 

But where are the Nathans in today’s church, through whom the Lord will expose your sin, who will say, “You are the one?” O Lord, have mercy! Send Nathans!

I will briefly relate the account of David’s sin. He sent for Bathsheba, whom he had seen bathing on the roof of her home. But she was married to Uriah, who was a leader in David’s army and was battling against Ammon. 

Nevertheless, David had relations with her. Then she went back to her home (2Samuel 11:2-4).

Bathsheba became pregnant by David. But instead of repenting before the Lord and telling the truth to Uriah, David sent for Uriah and urged him to go and be with Bathsheba. When Uriah did not go to his wife, David got him drunk. Again, Uriah did not go to his wife. He told King David that the ark was in a temporary shelter, as was the army of Judah, so how could he go to his wife at such a time (see 2Samuel 11:5-13)? 

David’s plan for covering up his sin with Bathsheba was that if Uriah had relations with his wife, he would believe the child was his own, and no one would know the difference except Bathsheba and David. But twice, his attempts failed.

David knew he had sinned! That is why he attempted to deceive Uriah and cover up what he had done. Sin always leads to deceit, but the Lord will ensure that your deception fails.

The heart is deceitful above all things. Who can know it? The Lord knows it (see Jeremiah 17:9-10)! Nothing is hidden from the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13).

 It was very good that the Lord knew David’s heart, and very good that He knows yours, for it is life to you, if you repent. I will show it to you.

Finally, David sent Uriah back into the battlefield. He ordered Joab, his commander, to place Uriah on the front line, and then withdraw from him so that he would be struck down and die. 

And Uriah died in battle (2Samuel 11:17). By arranging for Uriah’s death, David further sinned, committing murder. One sin always multiplies into many, when you try to cover it up.

Bathsheba mourned for her husband for a period of time. Then David took Bathsheba as his wife, and their child was born. 

What David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord (2Samuel 11:27). So the Lord sent Nathan to him, to expose David’s sin (2Samuel 12:1). 

Nathan had no way of knowing that David sinned with Bathsheba. Nathan was not there when David ordered Uriah to be sent to the front, so he would be killed. But the Lord knew David’s sin, and Nathan heard from the Lord!

So Nathan spoke a parable to David, a story of a man’s ewe lamb being taken from him by another man. David said, “This man deserves to die!” (2Samuel 12:5). Nathan responded —

2Samuel 12:7   Nathan then said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘It is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul.’”

2Samuel 12:9 ‘Why have you despised the word of the LORD by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon.”

David’s sin was exposed by the LORD, through Nathan. Then David saw that he had sinned against the LORD Himself —

2Samuel 12:13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.”

But the Lord said, through Nathan, that the child, who was just a few months old would die. The child became ill, and David asked the Lord to spare the child, but the child died and went to the Lord.

So, the Lord showed me these things —

#1 — David was a believer and followed the Lord faithfully, until he lusted after Bathsheba. It is just as the Spirit-inspired James writes, describing how the sin nature operates. 

James 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

Your own lust — a product of the sin nature you were born with — entices you to sin. And your sin leads to death. 

But there is a cure! Jesus Christ has come not only to save, but to change human hearts! Keep listening.

#2 — The result of David’s lust led to further sin — deceit, and then murder. Sin always leads to further sin.

#3 — David knew he had sinned, but only when Nathan exposed David’s sin did David see that his sin was not just against Bathsheba, and not just against Uriah, but against the Lord Himself. O believer, it is true for you! When you sin, You do not just sin against people (Matthew 18:15), but against the Lord Himself.

When David’s sin was exposed by Nathan, and he saw that he had sinned against the Lord Himself, what did he do? He cried out for a new heart and a new spirit! 

What is the cure? You must cry out for a new heart and a new spirit, when the rare Nathans of today’s church speak the Lord’s rebuke to you. But your cry will differ from Davids’ because the Lord has given the Holy Spirit in a new way. So I will add what Christ has done for believers today.

Psalm 51:10-17

Verse 10 — 

David cried, Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me! My heart is not pure. I cannot make my heart pure. You must do it, God! 

Make a new, upright spirit within me! I am not upright, I am not right before You. Only you can make me righteous!

You have promised that you will purify my heart when you fill me with Your Holy Spirit (Acts 15:9). Then I will have Your Holy Spirit in me permanently, and be filled with Your righteousness. Fill me, Lord!

Verse 11 —

Do not cast me away fromYour presence! Lord, you have been with me and have come upon me many times. I love to be in your presence, and to have Your Holy Spirit come upon me. 

But ever since I sinned, You have withdrawn from me. You do not remain where sin is. Crucify my sin nature (Galatians 2:24), so I no longer lust and no longer sin against you. O Lord, set me free from slavery to sin (John 8:31-36)!

Verse 12 — 

Restore to me the joy of your salvation! I used to rejoice, but since I have sinned against You, and You have withdrawn, I have no joy. Sustain me with (establish in me) a willing spirit — a heart that does Your will.

Fill me with your Holy Spirit, and Your joy will fill me, just as you promise —

John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you (literally, My joy is in you), and that your joy may be made full.”

Fill me with your Holy Spirit, so I always do Your will —

Psalms 40:8 I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”

Verse 13 —

As long as I am sinning against You, I cannot teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will not be converted (turned back) to You. They will look at the way I live and mock You and me, and will not heed my words. 

My sin keeps me from being Your witness here (Acts 1:8). Fill me with Your Spirit so I am Your witness here (Acts 1:8)!

Verses 14-15 —

O God, the God of my salvation, Deliver me from my bloodguiltiness, for I am responsible for the murder of Uriah. Deliver me from this sin that I have sinned against You! Deliver me from my sin nature, with its lusts and desires, and replace it with Your divine nature (2Peter 1:4)! 

Then I will sing of Your righteousness. I will sing of Your salvation for those who repent and ask You to change their hearts! 

O Lord, when You fill me with Your Holy Spirit, my lips will open, and my mouth will declare Your praise! I will not be able to stop speaking about what I have seen and heard (Acts 4:20)!

Verses 16-17 —

Lord, you do not delight in outward sacrifice (as with animals sacrificed on an altar), otherwise, I would give it. You are not pleased with animals offered as burnt offerings. These are only outward acts of repentance. 

But the sacrifices of You, O God, are a broken (shattered) spirit. My spirit is shattered because I now understand that I have sinned against You! A broken (shattered) and contrite (crushed, crouching, humble) heart, O God, You will not despise (scorn). You will respond to those who are humble and shattered of heart. 

You command me to offer myself as a living sacrifice. That is the sacrifice which is holy and pleasing to You (see Romans 12:1). You want me to die to self, to my sin nature, so You live in me (Galatians 2:20)! Then I will no longer sin against You.

As I said in the beginning, Pastor Doc exposed my sin to me. How? He first asked, “Are you right with the Lord?” There was no answer when I prayed and asked the Lord. 

Then he asked,  “Do you have any unforgiveness in your heart?” That was my sin! I had buried it deeply, but the Holy Spirit put his finger right on it! That was why there was no answer when I had prayed, “Lord, am I right with You?”

And I saw that my sin separated me from the Lord. So I prayed that night, saying, “Lord, I see that I have unforgiveness in my heart. Take it, Lord, because I want to know You as much as a human can possibly know You, and my sin stands in the way. Immediately, I felt the weight of it leave my shoulders. I knew He had forgiven me.

Beloved, when you sin, you know you have done it. You see it. The Lord has sent me to say, “You are the one!” 

Repent and ask the Lord to forgive you and change your heart. There are so few Nathans in today’s church! Few will come to you with this word from the Lord — YOU ARE SINNING AGAINST THE LORD! But it is the only way you can be forgiven and cleansed.

Cry out to Him, as I have shown you. He will surely answer, and give you a pure, new heart that is filled with His Holy Spirit, a heart that no longer willfully disobeys Him! Obey Jesus Christ’s command to stay and wait for the promise of the Father (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5)! 

Lord, this word is for all believers who have sinned and are trying to cover it up. May they see that they are not right with you because of their sin. May they see that they sin not only against others, but against You Yourself. May they repent, and ask You to give them new hearts! So be it, I pray! Amen.

NO KNOWLEDGE? NO FEAR! NO VISION!

[SW368] 3/3/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“No Knowledge? No Fear! No Vision!”

Text: Lamentations 2:8-9, 13-14, etc.

The Lord has shown me that the reason there is no fear (reverential awe) and no vision (revelation) in much of today’s church is that many do not know the Lord, but only know about Him. So, the idol of self rules, leaders lead in their own wisdom, and prophets prophesy from their own imagination.

It was the same in the days of Jeremiah. The LORD sent Jeremiah and many others to exhort God’s people to repent, and warn them of the consequences of their sin.When they heard his words from the LORD, the kings and false prophets accused him of lying, mocked him, and put him in chains, and tried to kill him.

In Lamentations, Jeremiah grieves for his people whom he exhorted and warned again and again, for over 40 years. Now they have borne the consequences of their sin. What were the consequences?

Lamentations 2

Verse 8 —

The LORD determined to destroy the wall (protection) of the daughter of Zion, Jerusalem. He stretched out a line — a plumb line — and found them to be crooked instead of straight. So, He did not restrain His hand from destroying them, by way of the Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, because they refused to go into captivity in Babylon.

“Both rampart and wall lament,” Jeremiah writes. If only they had feared the LORD! Then they would have listened to the prophets that the LORD sent, and would have turned from their idolatry! But now, all the man-made protection they had trusted in was destroyed.

The LORD had sent His prophets again and again (Jeremiah 25:3), in His great mercy. He does not desire that any perish, but that all come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). 

Why, then, did the kings and the people listen to false prophets, and not the prophets sent by the LORD? Because they did not know Him, but only knew about Him. Therefore, they did not revere Him and stand in awe of Him. So, they did not have revelation from Him, or they would have discerned that the prophets were false and would not have listened to them.

Verse 9 —

Gates and bars — again, man-made sources of protection upon which Jerusalem had relied — were destroyed. The king of Judah and his princes were taken into captivity, along with the people. Those who refused to go into exile were killed by the Babylonian army.

They were no longer under the Law of Moses, which they claimed to know but disobeyed. Instead, they were under the law of Babylon, and under the rulership of Nebuchadnezzar, a despotic, cruel oppressor.

As Babylon was at their gates, her false prophets (not the LORD’s) became desperate and sought a vision, a revelation, a word from the LORD. But they found no vision from Him. How can we escape? Oh, help us, LORD! But there was only silence. They did know the Lord and thus, did not fear the Lord. So, they had no vision from Him. 

I shudder as I say it is the same today, among believers and their leaders. As in the days of Jeremiah, many leaders and believers do not know the Lord. They simply know about Him. Therefore, they do not fear Him. They do not revere Him, nor do they stand in awe of him.

So, they have no vision. There is no revelation from the Lord, but leaders and false prophets give their followers the soothing words they want to hear. Meanwhile, Babylon is at the gates of the church! The world system that defies the Lord is about to overrun her completely!

Already, many in the church call evil good, and good evil (Isaiah 5:20). Should someone come to them with a word from the Lord, they mock them and call them liars. They do not see that they are under the thumb of the most cruel oppressor of all, Satan.

Verse 13 —

Jeremiah asks, “How shall I admonish (witness for) you?” He has nothing to bring before the LORD on their behalf, in order to intercede for them. The people of Judah have refused the LORD’s words which he faithfully spoke to them for 40 years. What more could he say?

He continues,“To what shall I compare you, Jerusalem? To what shall I liken you,  as I comfort (breathe strongly, sigh, and pity) you?” 

Their ruin is as vast as the sea. Who can heal them? Who can cure them of their rebellion, and make them whole? If only they had repented! The LORD would have had mercy on them, and would have delivered them.

But foolish Judah and Jerusalem did not repent from their rebellion, so there was no cure, no healing! O foolish church, Babylon is at the gates! Do not harden your hearts! Repent from your rebellion while it is still today (Hebrews 3:7-8)!

Verse 14 —

Jeremiah says to the people and their leaders, your prophets (not the LORD’s) have seen for you false (evil, idolatrous) and foolish (desolate, empty) visions. They did not expose your sin. If they had, you would have repented and would not be prisoners of Babylon. 

What was the result of the false oracles and visions? The destruction of which Jeremiah had warned — both of the false prophets, and all who loved their words.

The false prophets did not know the LORD. They did not fear the LORD. Therefore, they had no vision from the LORD. 

It is the same today, for many leaders and for the believers they lead! This is a lamentation and has become a lamentation (Ezekiel 19:14).

Many of today’s leaders and false prophets do not expose your sin, nor do they exhort you to repent and warn you of the consequences of your sin. By their inaction, the leaders and false prophets reveal that they do not know the Lord. Thus, they do not revere Him and are not awestruck by Him, nor do they have revelation from Him. 

In their own man-made reasoning, they have determined that exhorting their followers to repent, and warning them of the consequences of their sin, will make their followers feel bad about themselves. 

So, they discount and downright distort the Word of God, and form Jesus Christ into their own image, excluding His “hard words” from their teaching. Such leaders, and their followers, call good evil and evil good (Isaiah 5:20). But all the ramparts and walls and gates and bars of man’s reasoning, in which they trust, will come crashing down.

Many leaders and their followers in today’s church celebrate and elevate those who openly sin against the Lord. David prophesies about such ones —

Psalm 36:1  An oracle is within my heart, concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. 2 For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin. 3 The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful; he has ceased to be wise and to do good. 4 Even on his bed he plots evil;

he commits himself to a sinful course and does not reject what is wrong. (NIV)

There is no fear of God before the eyes of many of today’s leaders and all of their false prophets! They know about Him, but they do not know Him. Yet their followers listen to their words and love it so, just as in the days of Jeremiah —

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; and My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?

 

Prophets prophesy falsely. Leaders rule on their own authority. They were never sent by the Lord. Your love for their words reveals that you do not know Him, but only about Him, nor do you fear or receive revelation from Him. 

So, what will you do at the end of it, beloved?

The greatest evil committed by leaders and false prophets is that they take their followers with them to destruction! Jesus says —

Matthew 7:13   “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.”

Listen to the LORD’s warning, through Jeremiah —

Jeremiah 29:8 “For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Do not let your prophets who are in your midst and your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream. 9 For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,’” declares the LORD.

The church as we know it will be overrun by Babylon, the world system that defies the Lord. Jesus prophesies of it 

Matthew 24:10 “At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 “Because lawlessness (sin) is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”

What will you do at the end of it? Will you endure, or will you fall away from the faith?

When the church as we know it is about to be overrun, the leaders and false prophets will seek a vision from the LORD. But He will be silent. Hear this. They do not know Him, and He does not know them —

Matthew 7:21   “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE (do) LAWLESSNESS (sin).’”

What will you do at the end of it? There will be nothing you can do, at the end of it! There will be no more words that I can speak to the Lord, to intercede on your behalf. 

But while it is still today, I intercede! And while it is today, there is hope, if you repent and ask the Lord to forgive you and change your heart — 

Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh (one that responds to His every whisper).”

He will fill you with His Holy Spirit, and destroy the sin nature in you that rebels against Him. He will purify your heart. He will make you a partaker of His divine nature. You will be set free from your slavery to sin, and will love and obey Him and the words of those He sends to you.

O believer, who is leading you? Who is prophesying to you? Do they tell you all the truth which is in Christ, or just the parts that will please your ears? Then they do not know Him, do not fear Him, and have no vision from Him. Such ones will lead you down the path to destruction!

Turn back to the Lord! Run from those who soothe your ears, and repent before the Lord! Ask Him to forgive you, and ask Him to give you a new heart that is filled with His Spirit!

Lord, may believers have ears to hear and heed, for surely, if they repent and call out to you to change their hearts, You will do it. Amen.