THE REAL JESUS CHRIST — PART 1

[SW396] 9/21/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“The Real Jesus Christ — Part 1”

Text: Colossians 1:13-14, etc.

After I taught last week, the Lord showed me that I should now break Colossians 1:13-23 into a few verses at a time, and teach “The Real Jesus Christ” as a series. As I said last week, the church is flooded with many strange teachings about who Jesus is. I will not directly refute such teachings in this message, but will use the Word of God to show today’s believers who He really is. 

It was the same with the Colossian believers, in the days of the Apostle Paul. The church was flooded with false teachings regarding the identity of Jesus. But Paul did not begin his letter to them by refuting the words of the false teachers. 

Instead, he began by praying for them to be filled with the Holy Spirit —

— In Verse 9, he prayed for them to be filled with the knowledge (epignosis, full comprehension after the first knowledge) of God’s will. 

— In Verse 10, he prayed for them to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord (literally, in a godly way, walking as Jesus walked, per 1John 2:6)

— In Verse 11, he prayed for them to be strengthened with all power (literally, to receive divine power).

Why did Paul begin by praying for the Colossian believers to be filled? Because they were not yet filled with the Holy Spirit. If they were already filled, he would not have needed to pray for them to be filled. 

Many were still infants in Christ, like the believers at Corinth (1Corinthians 3:1). To pray for them to be filled was the first step in addressing the false teachings that had flooded their church. Why? It is only when you are filled with the Holy Spirit that —

— you have complete comprehension of God’s will, after having the first knowledge of it, 

— you walk in a godly way — that is, walk as Jesus walked (1John 2:6), and

— you receive divine power from God. 

Paul also knew that when believers are filled with the Holy Spirit (John 14:17), they are able to discern whether teaching is true or false. It is only then that the Holy Spirit teaches believers all things, all the truth (John 14:26, 16:13-15). 

Because the Holy Spirit does these things in Spirit-filled believers, they are thereby able to discern what is false and what is true. So that is another reason why Paul prayed for the Colossian believers, for they had accepted false teaching.

So, it is only when you are filled with the Holy Spirit that you fully know God’s will, that you walk as Jesus walked, that you have divine power, and that you are taught all things so you are able to discern what is false and what is true. 

That is why Jesus Christ commanded His disciples to stay and wait until they had received divine power —

Luke 24:49 “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

And after commanding them to wait for the promise of the Father (Acts 1:4-5), Jesus said —

Acts 1:8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon (literally into) you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

So, because it was essential, and a command of Jesus Christ, Paul prayed for the Colossian believers to be filled, so they would have full comprehension of God’s will, would walk as Jesus walked, would have divine power, and would be able to discern the true vs. the false.

So, I will do as Paul did. First and foremost, I always pray for you as Paul did, that you would be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then you will fully know God’s will, you will walk as Jesus walked, you will have divine power, and you will be able to discern the true vs. the false, and will reject the false.

Now, just as Paul did, I will show you the real Jesus Christ. If you hear and heed, you will see the truth.

Verses 13-14 —

For He (God the Father) rescued us from the domain (power) of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (that is, Jesus Christ), in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Remember that Paul is addressing believers. You needed to be rescued. If you did not need to be rescued, God the Father would not have rescued you. All human beings need to be rescued. 

Therefore, you cannot rescue yourself by good works or by any other means. Only God the Father can rescue you.

From what do all human beings need to be rescued? The power of darkness — that is, evil control. Who controls the power of darkness? Satan. It is his realm, his kingdom. So he rules over all who have not yet seen their need to be rescued, and he rules over those who scoff at their need to be rescued.

So, when you believed into Jesus Christ, God the Father rescued you from a position of being under evil control. Where does He place you after He rescues you? He transfers you to the kingdom of His Son. We are moved from our former position of being ruled by darkness to the position of being rescued by Him and placed in the kingdom of His Son.

“The kingdom of His Son” means Jesus Christ is God the Son —

John 1:1    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14   And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 

So, God the Son is king over a kingdom. You are rescued from Satan’s authority and placed under Jesus Christ’s authority, in His kingdom.

From what has been said thusfar, the truth is that Jesus Christ was not “a good man,” when He walked the earth. He was not a fine philosopher. He was then and is now God. Therefore, He is not like you, in any way. His nature is divine, not human. God does not have our human frailties and fears. He is God.

He was not sent here to learn what it was like to be human, so He could understand you better. He already knows what is in man (John 2:25). You will see, when I teach on Verses 15-16, that He created all things, including you. Therefore, He already knows everything about all that He created, including you.

He was not sent by God the Father to do good things. He was sent to do a very particular “God thing.” When I teach on Verses 21-22, you will see that Jesus Christ, who is God the Son, reconciled you to God the Father when He died on a cross, carrying the punishment you deserved (see Isaiah 53:5). That is the God thing that He did.

He surely did signs and wonders that only God could do. These things proved that He is God the Son. But He was sent by God the Father to die on a cross, which was the punishment you deserve for your sin. It was something only God the Son was qualified to do.

Paul writes —

Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

After God the Father rescued you from the rule of darkness, He brought you into God the Son’s kingdom. But Jesus Christ says you can only enter His kingdom if you do His Father’s will —

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.”

So, Jesus Christ is King over His kingdom. Therefore, if you have believed into Jesus Christ and you do the Father’s will (that is, obey Him), you become a member of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. 

He establishes His kingdom within you, when you are filled with His Holy Spirit (see Luke 17:21). His kingdom is not of this earth, but is heavenly — it is not a natural kingdom, but a spiritual kingdom located in heaven (see John 18:36), and also located in Spirit-filled believers. He rules and reigns in them.

So, God the Son is King over His kingdom. If you are in His kingdom, He is your King, and you are His subject, His servant, His slave.

Because you are a servant and you are not the King, you do not command the King regarding what you want the King to do for you. The King commands you, His servant, regarding what the King wants you to do for Him. The King provides for His servant, without the servant having to ask. 

So, when you believe into Jesus Christ and obey God the Father, you are able to approach Him as His servant. Because you are a servant, you do not demand that the King act. When you are filled with His Spirit, you will need to ask Him nothing, but will directly ask God the Father, in Jesus’ name (that is, having become a partaker of His divine nature, per 1Peter 1:4) —

John 16:23   “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” (KJV)

John 16:26 “In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.”

 

So, when you are transferred by God the Father to the kingdom of His Son, you become an obedient servant of your King. Hallelujah!

But you will not obey all of His commands until you are filled with His Spirit. It is when you are filled with His Spirit that you are filled to overflowing with His divine love, and obey Him because you love Him with His love, and because your sin nature has been crucified —

Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint (make us ashamed), because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

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

In Part 2, I will show you that Jesus Christ, God the Son, is the exact image of God and the Creator of all things. He is the Creator, and you are the creature. 

Again, the scriptures show that He is not like you. But He commands you to ask your Father in heaven to make you like Him by filling you with His Spirit! That is the Father’s will, for every believer.

The Lord has set my hand to show you these truths, so you will turn from the false teaching that has flooded His church. I pray that you see the truth, and repent and return to the real Jesus Christ.

Let it be so, Father and Son! Amen!

ISAIAH SESSION 26 — RESTORING HIS VINEYARD

Text: Isaiah 27:2-13

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be “Restoring His Vineyard.” The LORD will show us, through Isaiah, that we cannot restore ourselves, but the LORD will restore us, if we repent. Then He will make us fruitful!

All of this chapter is meant to awaken His people in Judah to their need to repent. So for them, this is a chapter filled with warnings, using His judgment of Jacob as a powerful example.

But know this — Jesus Christ also speaks through these scriptures, to believers who have sinned against Him and loved the god of self. As Paul says, when he exhorts and warns the believers at Corinth 

1Corinthians 10:6, 11   Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved . . . 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

Verse 2 —

“In that day.” What day? The day that He punishes Satan and the Antichrist? I do not think so. That is why I included Verse 1 with Chapter 26, which spoke of their punishment. In this case, “in that day” refers to the day His people repent and completely turn away from their sin and return to Him. Certainly, it is also eschatological, prophetic of the end times, when the temporary blindness, the partial hardening of His people will end —

Romans 11:25   For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery — so that you will not be wise in your own estimation — that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in . . . 

When they repent, the reverse of Isaiah 5 will be true. And it will be true for you, O believer, when you repent! The vine He planted, which was Israel, will no longer bear poisonous berries, but will be a vineyard of delight! Sing of it! Not only will they and you sing, but He will sing —

Zephaniah 3:17  “The LORD your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. 

He will exult (laugh) over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love (He will renew you in His love), He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy (He will spin around and sing).

Verse 3 —

Before Israel strayed, He took care of His vineyard. In the day that they repent, He returns as its keeper — Jesus says, “My Father is the vinedresser. (see John 15:1).

As its keeper, the LORD will once again water it every moment so that no one will damage (punish) it. He will again guard it night and day. Thus, it will be fruitful! It is a picture of the fruitfulness that comes when you repent and are restored to Him. 

What fruit will you bear, since Christ has come? He will make you bear His fruit, when you are filled with His Holy Spirit and the god of self is dead —

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control . . . (actually, Spirit control)

Verse 4 —

In that day, when you repent, He will have no more wrath toward you. He will remove you from His wrath. What is the meaning of the briars and thorns?

In Isaiah 5, briars and thorns grew up in His vineyard because He no longer pruned and hoed it. But now they are no longer under His judgment, for they have returned to Him!

Therefore, He will forever keep briars and thorns from growing up in His vineyard again. He promises not only that He will keep them, as their Vinedresser, but also that He will be a Victorious Warrior for them, trampling down and burning that which their enemies (and for us, Satan) tries to plant. 

And it will be the same for you, in that day, when you repent!

Verse 5 —

NOTE: My NAS Bible’s translation confuses the meaning by its translation method, so I went to the Interlinear Bible for the Hebrew-to-English direct translation. 

So, from the original Hebrew-to-English, it is a question from the LORD. Will he (Jacob, per Verse 6) rely on My protection (will He lay hold of my strength)? Will he make peace with Me? Let him make peace with Me. He welcomes them to make peace with Him! 

Jesus Christ says, “Blessed are the peacemakers (those who make peace with God), for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)!

Verse 6 —

In the days to come, Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout. And they will fill the whole world with fruit. 

Modern Israel is the breadbasket for the Middle East. They have sophisticated irrigation systems that provide their bountiful crops. But again, when they return to the LORD, recognize Christ as their Messiah, and are filled with the Holy Spirit, the blossom, the sprout, and the fruit will be of the Holy Spirit, not of man’s wisdom and ways. They will be watered with His living water, and will water others with His water —

John 7:37   Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Verses 7-8 —

These are rhetorical questions. Israel knows they were stricken and slaughtered. Isaiah confirms that the LORD struck them with His striking. Striking, struck, struck. They have been thoroughly judged by Him. 

Isaiah confirms that the LORD slaughtered them and they were slain. Slaughter, slain, slain. They have been thoroughly judged by Him. 

He contended with (rebuked) them by banishing them from the land. He drove them away from His presence. His fierce wind expelled them, on the day of the east wind. In Jeremiah 4:11, the LORD describes it as a scorching wind from the bare heights in the wilderness. It is this wind that will also strike Judah, 150 years later, when He banishes them from the land.

Again, this is a warning to Judah, and to you, O believer. Look at what He did to Jacob! Judah saw Jacob’s punishment, and did not repent. Will you?

Verse 9 —

What will be the price of the pardoning of Jacob’s sin? Through this, Jacob’s iniquity (perversity, sin) will be forgiven, and this will be the full price of the pardoning of his sin —

When Jacob makes all the altar stones like pulverized chalk stone, and when Asherim and incense altars (sun pillars) will not stand (shall not rise). The full price of the pardoning of their sin is to totally destroy everything false that they have worshiped — all false gods, whose root is the god of self, and all the implements of worship, including idols and altars.

He asks you to do the same — but He will be the one who crucifies the sin nature in you that leads you to worship you. When will He do it? When you repent, O believer, and ask your Father in heaven to fill you with His Holy Spirit! That is the price of the pardoning of your sin against Him!

Verses 10-11 —

Isaiah prophesies to Judah, saying, “Look at the fortified city of Samaria!” It will be isolated (desolate). It will be a habitation that is forlorn and forsaken. It will be like the desert. 

Instead of the golden calves worshiped in northern Israel at Bethel and Dan, real calves will graze in the desolate places. And real calves will consume its branches, stripping them of all their green shoots so that nothing will grow on them. 

When its limbs are dry because the vine has died for lack of green leaves, the continued blindness of Jacob will be astoundingly evident! Their women will come along and say, “Oh, let us gather these as firewood,” and then make a fire with them. There is no thought of repentance among them! 

So the LORD says they are not a people of discernment — they have no wisdom, or they would say, “Look at the LORD’s judgment upon us! Let us repent!”

Ah! It is the same today! Many are in ruins because they have forsaken the LORD and continue to sin against Him. But they do not see that their condition is His judgment. O believer, I see that you simply pick up the dry branch of your life after the Lord has judged your sin, and you try to make something of that dry branch! You do not say, “Look at the Lord’s judgment of me! I repent!” Thus you have no discernment —

Here is what Jesus says about fruitless vines —

John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.”

Because they have no discernment regarding His judgment and therefore do not repent, their Maker will not have compassion on them, and their Creator will not be gracious to them. He is compassionate, but He is also just and righteous, beloved. If you defy Him, He will not be compassionate toward you, nor gracious toward you. He will discipline and punish you, so that you will return to Him and ask Him to forgive you!

Verse 12 —

“In that day.” What day? The day Jacob destroys every false thing they have worshiped. Then the LORD will start threshing (beat off, as in harvest, in order to gather the grain). Where will He thresh? From the flowing stream of the Euphrates to the brook of Egypt — all the places where He has scattered His people. He will gather them up one-by-one. 

And He will do the same for you, when you destroy every false thing you have worshiped — even the god of self. He will gather you up from the place to which He scattered you. Oh the kindness of the Lord, if you will repent and ask Him to forgive you!

Verse 13 —

Now we return to the eschatological gathering of His scattered ones. In that great day a trumpet will be blown, as I showed you in Session 25. And those who were perishing in exile in the land of Assyria and were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD in the holy mountain at Jerusalem. 

Certainly, this happened when Israel was granted statehood, in 1948. There has been a great aliyah, a return to Israel of Jews from across the globe. And they have come to Mount Zion at Jerusalem. 

But their temple remains in ruins. The Temple Institute has created all of the temple’s implements of worship — vessels, garments, the altar — with the goal of rebuilding the temple on Mount Moriah. But the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. as a judgment on them for rejecting His Son whom He sent. Their blindness is astounding! They do not see that He does not live in temples made with human hands, but that He will gladly dwell in the heart of man whom He created with His hands!

There will be a time, says the LORD, when they will wake up! Many who were perishing in exile and scattered across the globe will come and worship the LORD on the new Mount Zion, not only the one in heaven, but the one that He will create on the earth. The LORD will gather them. 

It is a word of encouragement for those who repent and ask Him to forgive them. If you repent and believe into Jesus Christ, He will forgive your sin. 

If you are a sinning believer and return to Him, He will restore you. Even now, you will be released from exile. And when you obey Jesus Christ’s command to be filled with His Spirit, He will do it, and He and His Father and the Holy Spirit will indwell you permanently. Then you will no longer willfully disobey Him!

Lord Jesus, may believers see this warning, and this promise for those who repent  and ask You to forgive them. You will restore them from their ruins, and if they obey you, they will be filled with You forever. Amen, Lord! So be it.

WHO IS JESUS?

[SW396] 9/21/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“Who Is Jesus?”

Text: Colossians 1:13-23, etc.

The church is flooded with many strange teachings about who Jesus is. But rather than refute the vast number of such teachings, the Lord has asked me to use the Word of God to show today’s believers who He is. 

It was the same in Colossae, in the days of the Apostle Paul, for many strange teachings regarding Jesus were flooding the church there. Jesus Christ’s identity was being misrepresented by false teachers. But Paul did not immediately begin to refute the false teachers. 

First, in Colossians 1:9-11, Paul prayed for the straying believers in Colossae to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Why? When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you can discern the true from the false.

After Paul prayed for the believers at Colossae to be filled with the Spirit, he reminded them of who Jesus is and what He has done. So, first he prayed for them to be filled, so they would be able to discern false teaching. Then he told them the truth.

Verses 13-14 —

For He (God the Father) rescued us from the domain (power) of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Jesus), in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

So, Jesus is God the Son. He is not like you. He was not sent here to find out what it was like to be human, so He could understand you better. He was sent to rescue you from the rule of darkness. 

God the Father rescued us from the rule of darkness —inferring evil control — and brought you into the kingdom of God the Son. Since Adam fell, every human being is born into the rule of darkness and needs to be rescued by God the Father, through God the Son. 

We who are saved have been rescued from evil control. We who were walking in darkness saw a great, never-before-seen light — Jesus Christ! God removed us from the rule of darkness, and brought us into the kingdom of Jesus, His beloved Son. 

God the Son is King over His kingdom. Therefore, we who have believed into Jesus Christ have become members of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ says His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).  It is the kingdom of heaven.

So, He is King, and we who have believed into Him are His subjects — we are His servants. The servant of the King does not command the King regarding what the servant wants the King to do. But the King commands the servant regarding what the King wants the servant to do. And the King provides for the needs of the servant, without the servant having to ask. 

Therefore, those who believe into Jesus Christ humbly approach Him, as His servants. We make no demands. We humbly pray for Him to act, and leave our prayers at His feet, trusting Him. And we obey all of His commands, when we are filled with His Spirit. Jesus says He who loves Him obeys Him, and if you disobey Him, you do not love Him (See John 14:23-24.)

Verse 15 —

(Jesus Christ) who is the image of the invisible God the firstborn of all creation. 

When Paul speaks of Jesus as the firstborn, He is the only begotten Son of the Father, born by the Spirit, not by man. 

So, Jesus was not born the way you and I are born. Mary was made pregnant with Jesus when the Spirit of the Lord came upon her in a completely holy way.

And He cannot be compared with the firstborn of a human family — that is, He is not the first child of God. He has eternally existed (John 1:1). 

He fully dwelled in a real human body while He walked the earth. He was not a ghost, but a person who was alive as you and I are alive, but at the same time, He was and is also fully God.

When Jesus’ disciple, Philip, asked Jesus to show the disciples, the Father, Jesus said —

John 14:9 Jesus  said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”

So, Jesus is the exact image of the invisible God. He is not in any way like you and me. He is exactly like His Father. 

And when you see Jesus, you are able to see all of God’s characteristics — His nature — because Jesus is God the Son. The Father and the Son are both God, both parts of the whole Godhead of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. 

And when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son come and indwell you fully and permanently (John 14:23). Then others are able to see the characteristics — the nature — of God through you, because God fully indwells you. You are not God, but the Godhead dwells in you, and you therefore have become a partaker of His divine nature (2Peter 1:4).

Verses 16-17 —

For by Him (Jesus Christ was the instrument), all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authority — all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

The Spirit-inspired writer of Hebrews says —

Hebrews 1:1   God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions (times) and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

 3 And He (the Son) is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.

So, not only did God the Father appoint His Son to be heir of all things, but it was through Jesus Christ that God made the world. God was the Designer, and Jesus was the Creator.  

So, Jesus was never a created being. He is the Creator who has eternally existed (again, John 1:1). He is before all things, having existed before anything was created.

He is the Creator who the Father appointed. He was the instrument God the Father used to create all things (John 1:3), in the heavens and on earth— the heaven where God dwells has eternally existed, but Jesus Christ created everything between here and there. 

He created both visible and invisible things. He created those who rule, be they evil or good rulers. Even Satan is a created being. He created you.

So through Jesus, all things have been created. And they have been created for Jesus. He is heir to all that has been created. It belongs to Him.

Therefore, you are the creature (the one He created) and He is the Creator. If you worship the creature (the god of self), instead of the Creator, God will give you over to the lusts of your sin nature, and you will perish (see Romans 1:25-27).

And you cannot create, because you are not the Creator. You cannot cause things to come into existence by your words, even if you use scriptures when you try to do so. There is just one Creator, Jesus Christ. He is the only One whom God the Father has ever appointed to create. 

Jesus is the exact manifestation of God the Father, the express image of His person, that is, His character, His nature. He has the Father’s glory (character, nature). 

Jesus Christ is not like you. He does not have your human nature. He has His Father’s nature. 

Therefore, you cannot attach human qualities and frailties and sins to Him, nor can you give Him a human personality. He is not — nor was He ever — human, but has always been fully God, even when He walked the earth in a human body. And He was, and always has been, sinless.

And Jesus holds everything together by His miracle-working command. So, the earth remains whole, you remain whole, and I remain whole, just as Jesus spoke all of creation, including you and me, into existence. 

Atoms do not fly apart because Jesus holds them together by His command. I do not fly apart because Jesus holds me together by His command. It is the same for you.

So, Jesus Christ’s power not only creates, but holds creation together. Humans do not have His power to create. But when we are filled with His Holy Spirit, He gives us power over the sin nature that snaps up every temptation of Satan. And He gives us the power to work miracles — when He commands us to do so. Because we are servants and not kings, we await His command.

He is equal with God the Father, but He subjects Himself to His Father. His Father has authority over Him, even though Jesus is equal to Him. And at the end of things, will turn His kingdom over to His Father (1Corinthians 15:23). All believers must submit themselves to God the Father and God the Son, for they are servants.

Verse 18 —

He is also head of the body, the church, and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.

There is only one head for a human body. A headless body cannot remain alive. If Christ is not the head of a particular church, that church is spiritually dead. It is by Jesus Christ, and by obedience to His commands and words alone, that the Body can live. If the Body departs from His commands and His words, it cannot remain spiritually alive.

There is only One who is the Head of the church, which is the Body of Christ There is only One who is your King. Therefore, no man or woman can be head of the church. 

It is scriptural for the church to have Christ-appointed apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11). But they must be under Christ’s rule. False teachers are self-appointed, are not under His rule, and mislead His church. Thus, much of the church is spiritually dead.

Jesus Christ is also the beginning (literally, corner, that is, cornerstone). He is the cornerstone of the church, upon which the church is built and without which it has no ability to support itself. If the Cornerstone is taken away, the building will fall. Jesus said to the Jews who were rejecting Him —

Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, “Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner (cornerstone): this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?”

He is also the firstborn from the dead — the first One to rise from the dead, never to die again. Being the first One means there are to be others, after Him, who rise from the dead at some point. 

The others who will rise from the dead are those who love and obey Him. Their spirits will immediately rise to Him when their bodies die. Being absent from the body means your body has died. But then you are then at home with the Lord  (2Corinthians 5:8). And at the end of things, obedient believers’ bodies will rise (1Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Jesus Christ has preeminence in everything. Every believer is subject to Him, and is His servant. If they are not His obedient servants, obeying His every command, then they are not His (see 1John 2:4).

Verse 19 —

For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him. 

Jesus Christ was fully God when He walked the earth. He did not need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. 

But for our sakes, that we may see His Father’s perfectly right and wonderful plan for His church, Jesus told John the Baptist to baptize Him in water. When He came up, the Holy Spirit rested upon Him permanently. (See Matthew 3:13-17.)

So, God the Father and God the Son showed believers a picture of what Jesus Christ commands His church to do — be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11, Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5). 

If those in the church do not obey His command to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, they do not love Him (John 14:24). Again, those who love Him obey Him. Those who do not love Him do not obey Him (John 14:15, 23-24).

Verse 20 —

And (it was the Father’s good pleasure) through Him, to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him (to reconcile), I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven (literally, the heavens).

Through God the Son, Jesus Christ, the Father was pleased to reconcile all things to Himself — things on earth or things in the heavens. It required Jesus Christ’s death on a cross (Isaiah 53:5, 10). He endured the punishment you and I deserved, for our sin. 

Reconciling “all things” does not mean that eventually everything will be brought into a saving relationship with God, even if they do not believe into Jesus Christ. The scriptures are clear that salvation comes only by believing into Jesus Christ. 

Jesus Christ spoke of sinners as going away into “eternal punishment” (see Matthew 25:46). So, reconciling “all things” refers to the creation of new heavens and the new earth, free of sin, as described in Revelation 21:1.

So, Jesus Christ did not come to the earth to learn what it was like to be us. He did show us the Father while He was here, because He was His Father’s exact representation.

His assignment was this — He was sent by His Father to be the Reconciler that you must believe into, in order to have peace with God. That peace was accomplished through the blood of Jesus Christ, on the cross. “Believing into” means you pass out of death and into life, through the Door which is Christ (John 5:24, John 10:9). Thus, you enter into life. 

Verse 21-23 —

And though you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind (heart), engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him (Jesus Christ) holy and blameless (spotless and beyond reproach (unable to be accused, blameless). But there is a condition for your salvation. 

Paul continues, saying you are presented to Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach if indeed you continue (abide) in the faith, firmly established (the foundation of your faith firmly laid) and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, “and of which I Paul, was made a minister.” 

So, all humans were alienated (estranged, separated) and actively enemies of God in mind (heart), by the evil works they did, yet He has now fully reconciled those who believe into Him and obey Him. How did He accomplish this full reconciliation between God and mankind? It was done by the offering of His physical body, on a cross.

Why was it done? So He could present you before Himself holy and spotless and blameless. But there is an “if.” 

He will present you to Himself holy and blameless and spotless if you continue (abide, stay) in the faith. “The faith” means complete assurance and reliance upon the truth  — that you are saved only by believing into Christ alone, not by good deeds that you do. And staying in the faith means that you obey Him.

He will present you to Himself holy and blameless if you remain on the immovable rock of obedience to His words. If you obey His words completely, you will stand firm against all winds and storms of false doctrine. (See Matthew 7:24-25.) 

So, salvation is conditional, because there is an “if.” Many will say that it is impossible to be holy and spotless and blameless. It is true that it is impossible for anyone to make themselves holy and spotless and blameless. 

So, it is not true that when you are saved, you always remain saved. You remain saved if you do as the Spirit-inspired Paul has written.

But how can you be made holy and blameless and spotless? In Ephesians 5:26, Paul writes that Jesus will sanctify you and make you holy and spotless and blameless, and by sanctifying you, He will make you glorious (filled with His kabod, His glory, His weighty presence). 

To sanctify is to set apart. All believers are set apart from the world when they believe. But they are not yet holy and spotless and blameless because they are not yet filled with the Holy Spirit. I speak from my own experience and my observation of the words and actions of infants in Christ (1Corinthians 3:1) who are not yet filled with the Holy Spirit.

So, it is when you obey Jesus Christ’s command to stay and wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit that you become holy and spotless and blameless. Peter testifies that when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, your heart is instantly purified (Acts 15:9), and Paul testifies that the sin nature is crucified (Galatians 5:24).

God does not dwell where there is sin. He dwells in hearts that have been made holy and spotless and blameless. He dwells in hearts that no longer have a sin nature, but have His divine nature (2Peter 1:4).

This truth has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven. And like Paul, the Lord has made me a minister of this truth. He has made me a servant who runs with His good news, on the beautiful feet that He has given me (Isaiah 52:7).

The question is this — will you believe the Word of God? Will you cast away all of the false teaching you have heard about Jesus? Will you obey Him by asking your Father in heaven to fill you with His Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13)? Will you obey Jesus’ command to stay and wait until it is done? 

If you will obey Him, you will become what you have been called to become — His witness here, a living representation of the living Christ and the living Father.

Then you will be equipped to serve Him. I have been called to equip you, but I cannot equip you if you refuse to see that you have been listening to the false teachers who have flooded the church. 

Lord Jesus, may all who call themselves Yours see and hear and heed this clear representation of who You are. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.

ISAIAH SESSION 25 — THE LORD PROTECTS THE RIGHTEOUS

Text: Isaiah 26:7-21, 27:1

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be “The LORD Protects the Righteous.” Those who are righteous in His eyes will be protected in the day when the inhabitants of the earth, and Satan himself, are judged because they have defied Him and refused to repent.

Chapter 26

Verse 7-8 —

The way of the righteous is smooth. The Upright One, the LORD, makes the path of the righteous level. We walk in His righteousness when we humble ourselves before Him and repent, just as Isaiah prophesies in Chapter 40 —

Isaiah 40:3   The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley (that is, the humbled) shall be exalted (lifted up), and every mountain and hill (the proud) shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain . . . (KJV)

Isaiah 40 was John the Baptist’s marching orders for calling Israel to repentance (Matthew 3:2-3). He lifts up those who have humbled themselves before the Lord, per James 4:10 and 1Peter 5:6!

The way of the LORD’s judgments is this — he lays low those who exalt themselves and He exalts those who have humbled themselves before Him. He judges righteously. Therefore, His obedient ones wait for Him, entwining themselves with Him. 

I tell you the truth, when you entwine yourself with the Lord, it will be as Isaiah prophesies in Chapter 40 —

Isaiah 40:31 Yet those who wait for (entwinte themselves with) the LORD will gain new strength (exchanging theirs for His); they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

His name (His nature) and the remembrance of Him, are the desire of all of those who love and obey Him. They constantly meditate upon His nature — His goodness and righteousness. And, since Jesus Christ came and died and rose and ascended and was glorified, they become partakers of His divine nature (2Peter 1:4) when they are filled with the Holy Spirit!

Verse 9 —

Isaiah says to the LORD, At night, my soul longs for You. Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently. All who truly love the Lord are like Isaiah   

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. (KJV)

I praise God that He made me hunger and thirst for righteousness, for indeed, He filled me (Matthew 5:6), after I sought Him diligently. It is a great reward to be filled with Him!

Those who have diligently sought Him and entwined themselves with Him look forward to His righteous and just judgment of the earth and its inhabitants who have defied Him. The earth dwellers will learn that He is righteous, for He will righteously judge them! None will be able to claim that He has been unjust in His judgment of their defiance.

Verse 10 —

The wicked are shown favor — He causes the blessings of sunrise and rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). As I have said from the beginning of this study, He does not desire any to perish, but blesses all of mankind so they would see His righteousness and repent and diligently seek Him. 

But many continue to defy Him, dealing unjustly in the world that the LORD created. They do not perceive the majesty (excellency) of the LORD. Why? They who refuse Him are blinded by the god of this world, Satan, as Paul teaches the wayward believers in Corinth, who are being blinded by Satan’s false teachers —

2Corinthians 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Verse 11 —

Because those who defy the LORD are blind, they do not see that His hand is lifted up, poised to judge them. But they will surely see His uplifted hand, at the moment they stand before Him, in the day of judgment. Jesus says —

John 5:28 “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good (loving and obeying Him) to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil (defying Him) to a resurrection of judgment.”

Indeed, fire will devour the LORD’s enemies —

Revelation 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Verses 12-13 —

The LORD will establish peace for us — and He means peace between Him and us! Jesus Christ died on a cross to remove us from God’s wrath, and to reconcile (make peace) between the Father and us (Isaiah 53:5)! It is the Lord who has done it — He has faithfully performed it for us!

And He fills us with His peace, when we are filled with His Holy Spirit (John 14:27)! Again, it is the Lord who has done it!

Other lords have ruled His people — kings of other lands, and even the god of self, which is behind every false idol His people have worshiped and been enslaved to, then and now. But in this verse, His people have turned back to Him, and now His name is written over them, just as Jesus promises 

Revelation 3:12 “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.”

Verse 14 —

Those who have defied the LORD and are therefore spiritually dead will be judged, and will not have His eternal life. Those who have died in their sin will not rise to life, but only to judgment —

John 5:28 “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good (believed in and obeyed Him) to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil (defied Him) to a resurrection of judgment.”

Verse 15 —

Isaiah twice repeats “You have increased (enlarged) the nation.” Remember that when the LORD repeats the same phrase twice to His prophets, it means it will be a sudden event. Indeed, He has extended the borders of His kingdom, by making His Son a light of salvation to those who are not Jewish by lineage, as He speaks through Isaiah —

Isaiah 49:6 He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Verse 16-18 —

Isaiah now speaks to the LORD about His people. He sees a vison of their repentance, in which they sought Him in their distress — they turned back to Him! As I have said, He disciplines and punishes them so they will seek Him! And it worked! 

Their strength upon which they had relied was gone. They were so weakend that they could only whisper a prayer of repentance, because His chastening (restraint in order to discipline) was upon them. It was true of me, when He brought me low in order to bring me in!

Again, Isaiah sees a picture of their weakness, and their inability to prosper by their own strength. They could not increase themselves, even though they were pregnant and in labor. They could not deliver themselves, but gave birth to wind, to nothingness. They could not deliver the earth — only the LORD is able to do it, for all who repent!

Verse 19 —

Your (literally, My) dead will live! All who are the LORD’s, all who obey Him, and all who repent with their whole hearts, will live! Their corpses will rise, to a resurrection of life, at the time of the Rapture. Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica to explain how it will all unfold —

1Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep (died) in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up (Latin: rapturo) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Jesus said, when briefing His disciples prior to His crucifixion —

Matthew 24:30 “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. 31 “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect (all who believe into Him) from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”

And Paul writes to the believers at Corinth —

1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

Those who lie in the dust will awaken and shout for joy, for their dew (covering) is as the dew of the dawn (which covers everything). They have been covered, and

now, the earth will give birth to those who have died in Him!

Verse 20-21 —

The LORD will provide those who love Him with a safe place, in the day of judgment of the dwellers on the earth. He says, “Come, My people!” Enter your rooms, and close the door behind you. Hide for a little moment, until My indignation passes over.” Why must they hide?

For behold! Isaiah sees that the LORD is about to come out from His place, to punish the inhabitants of the earth because of their sin, for they have defied Him. The earth will reveal both the bodies and the blood of all those whom Jesus Christ will righteously and justly slay the wicked —

Revelation 19:11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 

14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword (the Word of God), so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Chapter 27

Verse 1 —

In that day, the day when Jesus Christ comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth because of their sin, He will also deal with Leviathan, the fleeing serpent. Leviathan is a type, symbolic of Satan.

In pagan cultures, Leviathan represents the chaos god, out of whom the world came. But the true god of chaos is no god at all — it is Satan, a created being. 

Satan will try to flee from the LORD, but the LORD will easily capture Him. Satan’s destruction is marked out for him, as I have spoken in previous studies (see Revelation 20:10)!

Jesus Christ will slay him with His fierce and mighty sword — the Word of God. And He will also kill the dragon who lives in the sea (a type of the people of the world), who is the Antichrist, the beast who comes up out of the sea (Revelation 13:1). 

The LORD is victorious over all evil, in the end. But even now, if we are His, we become super-conquerors when He indwells us fully —

Romans 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer (literally, we are super-conquerors) through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Beloved, are you still willfully disobeying Him? Then you are defying Him. Turn from your sin, ask Him to forgive you and fill you with His Holy Spirit, and you will walk in His victory over sin.

Lord Jesus, may believers who obey You rejoice at both their present and their future with You! And may both the inhabitants of the earth and those who rebel against You while claiming to know You repent and turn back to You today, for you will surely hear their cry and answer! Amen.

THE CURE FOR BLINDNESS

[SW395] 9/14/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“The Cure For Blindness”

Text: Mark 10:46-52, etc.

There was a time when I had returned to church, but I was spiritually blind. I did not see my heart’s condition. But in His great mercy, the Lord not only showed me my blindness, but gave me the cure for it. And most of today’s believers need the same cure, for they are spiritually blind, just like I was.

I will interweave my testimony with this passage in Mark 10. Eighteen years ago, the Lord healed me of an incurable disease — secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). And two months after He healed my body, He healed me of my spiritual blindness! 

The first miracle caused His name to be praised, for through it, He showed the world that nothing is too difficult for Him — not even incurable diseases! The second miracle opened my spiritually blind eyes and healed my heart’s condition, so His name would be praised by me, and by all who see that only the Lord could do such a thing!

May my testimony give you a real-life example of the Lord’s amazing cure for spiritual blindness, and encourage you to diligently seek Him, for He is a rewarder of such ones (Hebrews 11:6)!

Verse 46 —

As Jesus was leaving Jericho, a blind beggar, Bartimaeus was sitting by the road. Beggars often sat by roads or by synagogues or by the gates of the temple, in those days.

I was spiritually blind. I had the sense that something was missing in my life, and I knew it was God. So I returned to church, and sat there, a spiritual beggar. 

Blessed are the poor in spirit — those who know their spiritual poverty — for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:13)! Recognizing that I was spiritually poor was the first step toward the cure for my spiritual blindness.

Verse 47 —

As he sat on the roadside, Bartimaeus heard a commotion. Someone was coming! 

When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 

There is great significance in what Bartimaeus shouted. One of the titles of the Christ is “Son of David.” He called Jesus the Christ. He must have heard of what Jesus was doing and saying. Everyone was talking about Jesus, and what He was doing and saying. 

So Bartimaeus realized Jesus was the Christ. And Bartimaeus knew that only Jesus could cure him of his blindness. And he knew that Jesus was merciful (literally, (compassionate with God’s compassion). So, he cried, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

I was sitting in the church pew. But I had come to believe that Jesus is the Christ. 

I was still spiritually blind to my heart’s condition, but then my pastor gave a book to the church board. Through that book, and through my pastor’s preaching, I learned that it was possible to know Jesus in a much greater way than the way I knew Him. There was a way to know Him deeply and fully and intimately. 

So I cried out, “Lord, I want to know you that way!” But I did not cry out to be healed, because I did not believe that healing is “for today.”

Then I heard He was coming by!  My pastor made an announcement from the pulpit in April 2001. He had seen a vision, and in it, I was healed! 

So when I heard through the vision that He was coming by, I began to cry out, “Jesus the Christ, have mercy on me!” I knew He was the Christ. And I knew that He was merciful, full of divine compassion.

I knew that only by crying out to Jesus, I would I come to “know Him that way.” And I began to believe He would also heal me of progressive MS. So my pastor encouraged me to cry out to be physically healed, too! 

Verse 48 —

When Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me,” many sternly told him to be quiet — literally, they began to forbid him and rebuking him, because he was crying out.

But their words just made Bartimaeus cry out all the more, and he kept shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Why? He knew His only hope for being healed of blindness was through Jesus Christ!

When I began to cry out to the Lord because I saw that I could “know Him that way,” I did not tell anyone at my church. And when I heard that He was passing by, and that He wanted to heal my body, I told a few people what I was doing. The reaction shocked me.

Many church members began to forbid me and rebuked me! Some said, “That is not for today,” while others chided my pastor, saying, “You are giving her false hope.” Even the retired pastor’s daughter told me, “Stay away from the new pastor. What he is telling you is not right.” 

But I believed the vision, and I was hungry and thirsty to know Him! I was sitting by the road, and He was coming by! So I kept crying out all the more, “Jesus the Christ, have mercy on me!” 

I was determined to listen to this pastor who knew something I did not know. When he preached, it was authentic — I knew that he had personally experienced what he was preaching. I wanted to know Jesus that way!

Beloved, if you see through my testimony that it is possible to know Jesus Christ intimately, and if you see that Jesus still physically heals, do not let the church stop you! Keep crying out, no matter how many church leaders, teachers, preachers and members begin to forbid you and rebuke you! 

I tell you the truth, the church’s unbelief grieves the Lord greatly, and keeps many from being healed, both physically and spiritually. From denominational leaders to those in the pews, few believe Jesus is who He says He is!

Verse 49 —

When Jesus heard Bartimaeus crying to Him, He stopped and said, “Call him here.” Jesus heard his cry for mercy from the Christ! The crowd then called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.”

I tell you, when Jesus hears you calling for Him, He will call you to Him! Someone like my pastor will say He is calling for you. 

So take courage! Be bold! Stand up! Arise! Why? He is calling for you! When He heard your cry, He knew you had a mustard seed of faith.

Verse 50 — 

The blind man threw away his cloak, which was probably his only possession. He jumped up and came to Jesus. 

I am so glad that I threw away everything I thought I knew, in order to come to Jesus to have Him heal my spiritual blindness! Hallelujah!

My heart jumped, and I came to Jesus. My body was stricken severely with secondary progressive MS, so I could not physically jump. 

Both feet were paralyzed, both legs were paralyzing, my bladder was paralyzed, my ability to function mentally was severely impaired, and I had irreversible tremors that made my head bob, and I bobbed at the waist when I bent over. 

But when He called me to Himself through the vision, I jumped up spiritually, and came to Him!

Verse 51 —

After Bartimaeus jumped up and came to Jesus, the Lord said, “What do you want me to do for you?” What a strange question! Bartimaeus was obviously blind. But the Lord wanted him to ask for exactly what he needed.

But Jesus’ question did not stop Bartimaeus. He said, “Lord, I want to regain my sight.” Literally, He told the Lord, “I want to see!” It was an act of faith, a mustard seed presented to the Lord.

My heart jumped up and came to Jesus. He asked me what I wanted Him to do for me. I said, “O Lord, I want to see! I have been praying for months to know You the way I have learned I can know you!” It was an act of faith.

And I also cried, “O Lord, heal me of this incurable disease!” My pastor asked me to pray to the Lord and tell Him exactly what needed to happen in my body. So I told the Lord, in great detail. It was an act of faith.

On the night that He healed me, Satan flooded me with every doubt imaginable. Jesus said to my heart, “You are sinking in a sea of doubt.” So I cried out to the Lord, with my mustard seed of faith. Satan’s flood could not wash away that little seed, for it had been planted by the Lord!

After I was healed, I continued to cry out, “Lord, fill me with the Holy Spirit!” I had learned that the Holy Spirit would give me power to testify about what Jesus Christ had done. And I knew I still did not know Jesus in the way I wanted to know Him.

Verse 52 —

After Bartimaeus told him what he wanted Jesus to do, Jesus said to Bartimaeus, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately Bartimaeus saw, and began following Jesus on the road.

Bartimaeus’ faith had made him well. He could not heal himself, beloved. Only Jesus does that. But he acted upon what he believed —

  He believed Jesus is who He says He is,

  he cried out to Jesus as He was passing by,

  he disregarded the naysayers,

  he came to Jesus when He stopped and said, “Call him here,” and

  he told Jesus exactly what he wanted Him to do. 

If Bartimaeus had not believed, he would not have done these acts faith.  He would never have come to Jesus to be healed, if he did not believe Jesus was the Christ, and that He was healing people. 

In Jesus’ own home town, few came to Him, because they did not believe He is who He says He is (see Mark 6:5)! There were no crowds. They were familiar with Him. He had grown up there.  They knew his family. So they did not believe He is who He says He is. 

It is true in today’s church — many are familiar with Him, and even know the Word of God, but they do not believe He is who He says He is. So they are not healed of their spiritual blindness. They continue to be blind to their heart’s condition. And they are not physically healed.

The Lord healed me in the middle of the night on September 1, 2001. The Lord filled me with His Spirit on November 1, 2001. My faith could not heal me, nor could it cause me to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

But if I had not I believed Jesus is who He says He is, I would never have cried out to Him. I would never have disregarded the naysayers. I never would have come to Him and told Him what I needed Him to do.  

If I had not believed Jesus is who He says He is, I would have been in a nursing home by 2003, as my neurologist at Brigham and Women’s in Boston told me. I would have died of aspiration pneumonia — food going into my lungs because I couldn’t swallow properly.

But even more, if I had not believed that Jesus Christ is who He says He is, and that it is possible to be filled with the Holy Spirit, I would not have kept crying out to the Lord to do it. So, I never would have been healed of my spiritual blindness! 

I never would have seen my heart’s poverty-stricken condition. If I had not cried out to know Him, my heart’s condition never would have been healed. I would not have the intimate relationship with Him that I now have. I would not have power to testify of Him.

O, beloved! Many of you are spiritually blind! Many do not see their heart’s condition. Many have not believed Jesus is who He says He is. Many have put limitations on what He can do. 

It is not too late to change your ways, beloved! He is passing by right now! 

Cry out to Him! Cry out to Jesus the Christ, the One who has great compassion! Believe He is who He says He is! If you cry out, He will answer your cry and call you to Himself. 

Then, throw off all you think you know, and jump up and go to Him! He will ask you what you want Him to do. Tell Him you want Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit, just as He commands in Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4-5. 

Tell Him you know it is the only way to cure your spiritual blindness. He will heal you of it, and change your heart by filling you with His Holy Spirit. It will happen in a moment of time, just as it did for me.

That is the cure for the spiritual blindness from which so many believers suffer! And if you suffer from a disease, do the same! I testify to you that He will do both, if you will believe He is who He says He is, and call out to Him!

O Lord, may believers see that you are passing by right now, may they understand that they are spiritually blind, and may they cry out to you to heal them! Let it be so, I pray. Amen!

ISAIAH SESSION 24 — THE LORD’S PERFECT FAITHFULNESS

Text: Isaiah 25:1-26:6

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be “The LORD’s Perfect Faithfulness.” He is perfectly faithful to His Word — wonderful news for those who love and obey Him, and a wake-up call for those who do not. Just as He is perfectly faithful to fulfill all of His promises to those who love Him, He is also faithful to perform all His judgments against those who do not love Him.

Isaiah 25

Verse 1 —

After the LORD gave Isaiah the prophecy of the judgment of the earth, Isaiah bursts into praise and thanksgiving! He says, I will exalt you, I will raise Your name high, I will give thanks to Your name, Your very character seen in Your righteous acts!

The LORD has worked wonders! For His enemies, He has worked wondrous judgment. But for those who are full of faith in Him and endure despite persecution, His salvation and His sanctification (purifying of hearts) — wondrous works, for our good and for His glory!

You may say, “I do not want to believe in a God who judges.” But He is righteous, and just. If your heart is filled with His light and His love, you need not fear (1John 4:18). But if you judge Him by saying it is wrong for Him to judge, then you will be judged, for He has given you every opportunity to repent and believe.

Paul writes to Timothy of those who deny Him by refusing to believe into Him, or deny Him by disobeying Him, or deny Him by refusing to believe that He can change the hearts of those He created — 

2Timothy 2:11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him (death to the sin nature), we will also live with Him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us; 13 if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

Those who deny Him will be denied by Him, for He and His Son have said so (Matthew 10:33). And for those who are faithless (disobey), He will faithfully execute His justice and judgment. Why? He cannot deny His character.

But as for those of who love Him and obey Him, we rejoice and praise and thank Him! We lift His name high, for He is faithful to save us from our past sins, and then from our sin nature! He is faithful to free us from slavery to sin (John 8:31-36), and thus, from the hand of our Enemy, Satan. He has nothing on us, because the Lord has removed the sin nature that Satan manipulated!

Verses 2-3 — 

In these verses, Isaiah praises and thanks and exalts the LORD because He has made a city into a heap, a fortified city into a ruin, a palace of strangers (profane pagans) is a city no more. It will never be rebuilt.

Of what city does Isaiah speak? He has already prophesied of the destruction of Assyria and Babylon. But Isaiah also refers to end times, when the earth is judged. 

So, this fortified city is also the “city of chaos” referred to in Isaiah 24:10, which will be destroyed and will never rise again. Isaiah sees the destruction of all evil! It is no wonder that Isaiah rejoices at the LORD’s wondrous and powerful judgment against the enemies of those who love the LORD!

Therefore (because of the LORD’s judgment of the city), Isaiah says, A strong people — those who defied Him and oppressed His people — will glorify (honor) His power and righteousness. And ruthless (tyrannical, oppressive) nations will fear the LORD. The remnant of them (Isaiah 24:13-14) will be frightened because of His wondrous works against them.

Verses 4-5 —

Both those who love the LORD, and those who have seen His judgment, will see His wondrous work of salvation of Judah, and the final salvation of all who love Him —. He has been and yet is a defense (fortress) for those who love Him and yet endure fierce persecution. He has been and yet is a fortress for the needy in His distress. 

The needy are those who rely on His strength and not theirs. He has been and yet is a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat. Because of the LORD’s favor toward them, the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall — it cannot penetrate and thus, cannot harm.

Like heat in a drought, the uproar of pagans is vanquished, for they must bend the knee to their great Conqueror (Philippians 2:10-11). Like heat which ceases when covered by the shadow of a cloud, the song of the ruthless is silenced (humbled). Hallelujah!

Verse 6 —

This passage surely refers to the marriage supper of the Lamb, (Revelation 19:9), which is for Jesus Christ’s bride who has made herself ready. Who is His bride? All who believe into Him! John the Baptist rejoices —

John 3:29 “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears Him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full.”

The LORD of hosts, a title of Jesus Christ before He was sent by His Father to the earth, will prepare a lavish banquet — a banquet of fat things, a phrase used to emphasize the richness of the food and drink He will provide. Who will partake? All peoples who are His bride, believers from every tribe and tongue and nation and people and nation —

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”

John writes —

Revelation 7:9   After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands . . . 

Where will the wedding feast be held? On the heavenly Mount Zion! What will be on the menu of this lavish banquet? Fat things, choice pieces with marrow, and refined, aged wine. As we eat of it, we will celebrate all that He has swallowed up!

Verses 7-8 —

The LORD of hosts will swallow up:

1) The covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched out over all nations, blinding them —

2Corinthians 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world (Satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

As I said earlier, even those who are perishing will see Jesus Christ, and bow their knees and confess that He is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11)!

2) Death — for all time! Those who have defied Him will go into the lake of fire, but those who love Him will never face death again, for we will be eternally with Him! Even now, we have His eternal life within us! 

The Lord will wipe tears from all faces — the tears of those who love Him and have endured persecution and even death, because they are His (see the entire New Testament!).

And He will remove the reproach (rebuke) of His people from the face of the earth. True believers in Christ are rebuked and despised by many, even in America in these days. It was not always so, in this country. But it is just as Jesus said in Matthew 24, when He briefed believers on the end time persecutions. Lawlessness (defiant sin) will increase. These are just birth pangs; the frequency and intensity of our persecution will increase as the day of Christ’s return approaches.

Why is Isaiah sure that all this will happen? Why am I sure? Because the LORD has spoken it, and what He says must be done!

Verse 9 —

And it will be said in that day, See! This is our God for whom we have waited expectantly, that He save us! This is the LORD for whom we have waited expectantly! We rejoice are are glad in His salvation! 

He is faithful to those who love Him, fulfilling His promises with perfect faithfulness! We are saved, and will yet be saved at the end of things, if we endure to the end, and do not falter in our faith. Oh, be filled with His Holy Spirit, and you will be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1Corinthians 15:58)! You will not be shaken —

Hebrews 12:26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” 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. 28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

Verses 10-12 —

The hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain, Mount Zion. And Moab, which worshiped many false gods, will be trodden down (trampled) in Moab’s place in that day, the day of judgment. Moab is also a symbol of a divided heart that worships the LORD but also many other false gods — even the god of self! Such ones will be trampled by Him in His day of judgment. 

Isaiah sees a picture of this trampling. It is like straw trodden down in the water of a mature pile. Those with divided hearts will spread out their hands in the middle of it, in the same way a swimmer spreads out his hands to swim, and they will be trodden into the manure.

The trickery (spoils) of those with divided hearts will not be able to save them. Trickery means “spoils gained from war.” The LORD will lay low their pride, and restore those who love Him from their persecutors.

He will bring down the unassailable walls which they have erected and in which they have trusted. The LORD will lay low everything that they trust in, and cast them to the ground, even to the dust. Isaiah sees a picture of sudden, utter humiliation and defeat of the LORD’s enemies, exactly according to His promises which He made in His perfect faithfulness!

Isaiah 26:1-6

Verses 1-2 —

When the LORD humiliates and defeats the enemy of Judah, a song will be sung! It will be sung in Judah, and in the end times, it will be sung in heaven!

In Judah, His people will sing, “We have a strong city, but not by our own efforts. IT is the LORD who has set up ramparts and walls for security.” He has set them up. They will no longer rely on their own strength to protect them.

They will sing, “Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, the one that remains faithful (has kept faith in the LORD, even in adversity)!” The gates of heaven are open to the righteous, even now —

2Corinthians 5:6   Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord7 for we walk by faith, not by sight — 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 

Verses 3-5 —

The people of Judah will sing, “The steadfast of mind (heart), You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You!” They have trusted, and He has saved them from the hand of their enemies. And we who are filled with His Spirit are filled with His peace, here and now —

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

They will sing, “Trust in the LORD forever, for in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock!” We will sing the same, for we stand on the rock of His words, for we have not only heard but done them (Matthew 7:24-25)!

They will sing, “It is because He has brought low those who dwell on high (who are prideful), the unassailable city.” But they are assailable by the LORD. In perfect faithfulness, He lays them low, even to the ground, casting them to the dust! We will sing the same of Satan, who will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10)!

Verse 6 —

They will sing, “The foot will trample it, the feet of the afflicted, the steps of the helpless.” Those of the people of Judah, who their enemies have afflicted, those who were helpless agains their enemies!

Paul writes his letter to the believers at Rome —

Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

And here is the song that will be sung in heaven, at the end of things —

Revelation 19:1 After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2 BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.” 

And we will sing —

Revelation 19:3 And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.” 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 

And we will sing —

Revelation 19:5 And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” 6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.”

Indeed, He reigns now! But are you one who has a divided heart, who is like Moab? Are you one who has defied Him and rebelled against Him, sinning against Him? Then today is the day to repent, to turn away from your sin and turn to the LORD, for the day of judgment is coming, and He does not desire any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). 

Lord Jesus and Father, may many see Your majesty, Your power, Your justice, and Your righteousness, and repent. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.

HOLY INTIMACY

[SW394] 9/7/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“Holy Intimacy”

Text: Psalm 91, Matthew 7:24-25, 16:24-25, etc.

The Lord has asked me to show you the holy intimacy with Him that He commands all believers to have. For all who see the truth of what I am about to say, He will restore what was lost in the Garden of Eden because of Adam’s sin, and you will know Him intimately!

Some believers bristle at the word “command.” But I tell you the truth, when you obey Him, you will understand why He commands it. You will have intimate fellowship with the Father and His Son, just as John beseeches the churches in 1John 1:3).

Psalm 91 describes the holy intimacy that Old Testament prophets felt, when the Spirit came upon them. But the Holy Spirit lifted from them, after they had prophesied. Since Jesus Christ came and died and rose and ascended and was glorified and poured out His Holy Spirit, I will show you that Psalm 91 is also prophetic, because that holy intimacy becomes constant when today’s believers are filled with the Holy Spirit.

This scripture has been a reality for me since I was filled with the Holy Spirit nearly 18 years ago. Yet there are times when the Lord shows it to me more fully, through life events and storms that happen around me. He keeps me in perfect peace, for my heart is stayed upon Him (Isaiah 26:3). I exalt and praise Him with all that is in me!

Verse 1 —

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

Shelter and shadow, in the presence of the Most High God! But the meanings of the Hebrew words reveal that it is much more than being beside Him, as I used to think of it. 

With the original translation and definitions from Hebrew to English, this first verse reads —  He who settles down with the Lord, as in a marriage, is secretly covered by the Most High. And he stays permanently in the shadow of the Almighty. Beloved, have you settled down with the Lord, as in a marriage? Do you know Him in a holy, intimate way?

To be in the constant presence of the Lord is beyond description and beyond words. It is to be what you are meant to be, and what He commands you to be!

Beloved, you must be very near to someone to be in their shadow. When you are filled with Him, He is in you, fully and permanently indwelling you — that is the nearness this Psalmist prophesies about! It is then that He overshadows you with His protection. 

Verse 2 —

I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust!”

Original Hebrew-to-English — I will say to Yahweh (the voice from the burning bush), the I AM,  “You are my shelter and my strong place, my God in who I am sure and am confident!

I testify that He became these things for me, after I, as a believer, hungered and thirsted to know Him intimately. He answered my prayer! Have you hungered and thirsted, beloved? Then He has become these things for you, too!

Verse 3 —

For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, and from the deadly pestilence (plagues).

I had no power to rescue myself from the snare of Satan, the Trapper. I could not deliver myself from my sin nature that snapped up everything Satan dangled. Nor did I have any power to deliver myself from the deadly (wicked) pestilence —the disease of sin. It is Jesus Christ who rescued me from these things, crucifying the sin nature in me and purifying my heart, when I was filled with His Holy Spirit! He set me free from slavery to sin (John 8:31-36)!

Verse 4 —

He will cover you with His pinions (feathers), and under His wings (skirt) you may seek refuge. His faithfulness is a shield (an immeasurably large guard) and bulwark (fortress).

The Lord does not have feathers, but it is a picture of Him spreading His protection over you and hiding you. But just according to Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34, the Lord has said to me that He has longed to gather all believers — both Jew and non-Jew — under His wings, as a hen gathers her chicks, but He says, “You are not willing.” Repent, O believer!

Under His skirt you may seek refuge. It is a reference to the kinsman-redeemer ritual Ruth performed in Ruth 3:4-13, and the response of Boaz. She laid down at his feet. And Boaz faithfully took her as his wife.

So, when the Lord covers you with His skirt, it is a gesture of His redemption and of His intent to take you as His bride. Do you not know that spiritually, the purified church is His bride (Ephesians 5:25-27)? 

Have you humbled yourself before Him and laid down at His nail-pierced feet, as I did? He will take you as His bride, and will protect you! 

I tell you the truth, when you are filled with His Spirit, you will not need to seek Him for refuge, for He will be in you, fully and permanently! The Father and the Son will make you Their abode. You will remain in that glorious position of holy intimacy with Him forever!

Beloved, are you willing? He longs to gather you! His promise is true and established. His word stands forever (Isaiah 40:8)! 

Verses 5-8 —

You will not fear when you see all the evil that will come in the days leading up to Christ’s return. This is a truth for you, O believer, when you have a holy, intimate relationship with the Lord, as in a marriage. 

At the end of things, there will be fearful events at night, arrows (that which pierces), disease, pestilence (plagues), and destruction. But you will not be afraid. You will see many fall, at the end of things, but it will not approach you. 

You will only look on to see the recompense of the wicked. The Lord has promised retribution to those — even His own people — who rebel against Him and refuse to obey His commands.

Verses 9-10 —

If you have made the Lord your abode, you will not fear, because you have made the LORD, my own refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. That is my testimony to all who have settled down with Him, as in a marriage. 

You are filled with His Spirit, and He fully and permanently indwells you. You have 24/7 holy intimacy with Him. He sups with you, and you with Him (Revelation 3:20). 

He is knocking, O believer! I pray you hear, and open the door, for He will come into you (Revelation 3:20)!

He will send evil and plagues upon the rebellious (see Revelation 6 and forward). But I can attest to you that no evil sent upon the rebellious will befall you, nor will any plague sent upon the rebellious come near your body. You will simply look upon the Lord’s judgment of those who disobey Him, per Verse 8.

Verses 11-13 —

If you have holy intimacy with the LORD, He will command His angels to keep you, in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands. You will not strike your feet against a stone; you will not stumble or be slain. 

You will tread upon the devil, the roaring lion who seeks to devour (1Peter 5:8). You will tread upon the serpent of old (Revelation 12:9).

Verse 14 —

The Lord says, “Because you have set your love on Me, therefore, I will deliver you.” Because you have been filled with His divine love when you were filled with His Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5), and because you now you have holy intimacy with Him, He will keep you safe. 

He will set you securely on high, in the kingdom of heaven. You will be seated with Him (see Ephesians 2:6), even while you are physically on this earth.

Verse 15-16 —

Because you have obeyed Jesus Christ’s command to be filled with His Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), you will call on Him, and He will answer. Why? Because you no longer sin against Him, and have become a partaker of His character and nature (2Peter 1:4). So when you call on Him, He will hear your prayer. He does not hear the prayer of sinners — even sinning believers — unless it is a prayer of repentance (John 9:31). 

He will be with you in trouble (persecution because you believe in Him). He will rescue you, and honor you, just as with Stephen, in Acts 7. 

He will satisfy you with a long life, because you will be His faithful servant and His witness here (Acts 1:8). And He will make you see His salvation — His deliverance and His victory — both now, as you live this life in Him, and when you are caught up with Him in the clouds, at the end of things (2Thessalonians 4:17).

My prayer for all believers 

I pray that you are greatly stirred to pursuing the Lord, so you may know Him intimately, as I have described. I pray you come to Him with no other desire in your heart than to know Him intimately.

I pray that you hunger and thirst for His righteousness (Matthew 5:7), because He has shown you the condition of your heart. Thus, you know you cannot possibly become righteous on your own, or by your good works.

I pray that you sit at His feet and listen to and do as He commands (Luke 10:38-39). 

I pray that you utterly reject yourself and your life, so He can live in you —

Matthew 16:24   Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny (disown, utterly reject) himself, and take up his cross and follow Me (for the sin nature to be crucified). 25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (His life, in you).”

I pray that you will obey the commands He gave His disciples, before He returned to heaven and sat at the right hand of the Father —

Luke 24:49 “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

And —

Acts 1:4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

 

If you already enjoy holy intimacy with the Lord, you will rejoice at this message. If you do not, beloved, then this is a divine appointment for you!

Humble yourself today, O believer! Return to Him, and He will return to you —

Zechariah 1:3 “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Return to Me,” declares the LORD of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the LORD of hosts.

Lord Jesus, I know you hear Jeff’s and my prayers for all believers, both Jew and non-Jew. I will continue to pray, and will not be silent, nor will I give you rest, until you make them a praise in all the earth (Isaiah 62:7)! So be it. Amen!