MARK 4 COMMENTARY

Now Jesus speaks of another kind of healing, even more important and earth-shaking than physical healing of an incurable disease! He teaches how to be healed in your relationship with God. It’s broken, but He will heal it.

Verses 1-2 — Jesus attracts large crowds, especially when He is teaching. Again, He gets into a boat by the sea and sits down. Everyone gathers on the shore. Jesus attracts large crowds when He is teaching through someone who knows Him intimately, too.

He teaches in parables (symbolism in stories) because the Jews have blasphemed the Holy Spirit. It is an important turning point. He taught plainly and directly, but now he teaches in what seem like riddles to some of his hearers.

Verse 3-8 — He speaks of things the crowd understands. Many work in the fields.

If seed falls by the road, where feet have compacted the soil, it simply lies there. Birds come and eat it.

If seed falls in rocky soil where the soil is shallow, a plant springs up, but its roots can’t go down through the rocks. So when the sun rises, the plant withers and dies.

If seed falls on thorns, plants will come up, but their fruitfulness will be choked out by the thorns. The plants may stay alive, but just barely. So they cannot produce what they should produce.

If seed falls on good soil, it grows up, it is productive, it increases. Every seed multiplies its production, creating a 30 or 60 or even 100 times greater harvest.

Verse 9 — Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear. Huh? “Ears to hear” means more than natural ears hearing a sound. It means ears to hear and heed what is said, ears to hear and understand the parable just spoken by Jesus. Hear, He says to such ones. Do you want to understand the words of Jesus? Then ask Him for ears to hear.

Verse 10-11a — Well, His followers have not experienced Pentecost yet (see Acts 2). So they do not understand.

And Jesus says something strange to them. He tells them they have been given a gift. He is speaking of their future, when they will understand His words. The gift is this — they will understand the mystery of the kingdom of God, because they will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).

It is not that the kingdom of God remains a mystery. It is a mystery revealed, for all who have ears to hear. It is a mystery revealed, for all who understand what Jesus is saying.

The kingdom of God that the Jewish leaders are looking for is a kingdom where one of King David’s descendants rides into town on a white horse, whips the Roman Empire, and sets the Jews free from slavery to Rome. Wrong!

His kingdom has to do with the heart. The kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:21).

It is also established in heaven. God and Jesus Christ are seated there, even now.

When I say “within us,” I mean that when you are “saved,” you receive a measure of the Holy Spirit in you, enough for you to be recognized by God as one of His children. Yet you still have trouble obeying God.

But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, God the Father and God the Son come to live permanently within you, filling your heart completely with the Holy Spirit (John 14:23). Then your heart belongs completely to God, Jesus Christ rules and reigns in you, and it’s easy to obey.

That makes it possible for Jesus to use you to work His powerful works and to make you a witness to the world that the Bible is true and Jesus Christ came to take away mankind’s sin and fill their hearts with His Spirit, just as the Bible says.

So He sets up His kingdom in the hearts of those with ears to hear, and they go out with the power of God within them.

They work mighty works, speak powerful life-giving words, and people see that God is real and that they need Jesus Christ to save them from their sins. That’s called “repentance.”

Miracles (works of power that defy known natural laws) yield repentance.

Repentance yields salvation. That’s fruit. Thirty, sixty, a hundredfold. There’s no end to the fruit you will produce.

And the fruit is also within the one who is filled with the Spirit, because that one has the characteristics of Jesus Christ. That’s fruit, too. Thirty, sixty, a hundredfold. There’s no end to the fruit you will produce.

Verse 11b and 12 — BUT . . . Jesus tells us in the last half of Verse 11 that those who are outside will hear and not understand. It will remain a mystery to them. They will not comprehend what He is saying.

Why? Because they don’t have ears to hear. They hear audibly, but their hearts are packed down soil, or their hearts are shallow soil, or their hearts are thorny soil. So they have no understanding. Their hearts are hard, because Jesus isn’t Who they expected, and because He tells them they are wrong about many things. So they see but they do not see the truth, they hear but do not understand.

If you see and see the truth, if you hear and understand, you will turn (repent) and be healed in your relationship with God.

Verse 13 — Jesus goes on to explain. He lets us know that if we understand this parable, we will understand all His parables. The Bible opens up in a wonderful way, when You are filled with its Author. You understand it.

Verse 14-15 — The seed is the Word of God (the Bible). When it is sown in a heart with packed-down soil, Satan comes like a bird, and snatches it up.

Verse 16-17 — When the seed is sown in a heart with shallow, rocky soil, there is an immediate joyous response. But it has no firm root. So when trouble comes, the Word in rocky hearts withers like a shallow-rooted plant withers. And the Word which started to grow there dies. The shallow, rocky heart doesn’t want to be harassed or killed. So those with such hearts go away.

Verse 18-19 — When the seed is sown in a heart where the worries of this world and deceitfulness of riches and desire for other things is present, these worries and greediness choke out the Word that has begun growing. It becomes unfruitful. The Word sprang to life in their hearts. It didn’t wither, it didn’t get snatched away. But it becomes unfruitful. The plant has grown, but there is no fruit.

Verse 20 — When the seed is sown in a heart that is not packed down or rocky and shallow or crowded with other things, that heart is good soil. And the fruit I wrote about is produced.

Verse 21-24 — Is Jesus changing the subject? Not really. Those whose hearts contain good soil, who hear and understand the Word, will be like lamps on a lamp stand, They will shine brightly, and not be hidden. To those who have ears to hear and understand, Jesus says, “Hear!”

If you hear, you will receive much wisdom and truth and power from God. And He will give you more and more.

Verse 24-25 — This sounds awfully harsh, Jesus. If you have, more will be given. But if you don’t have, what you have will be taken away from you. What do You mean?

The ones who don’t have are the ones who don’t have ears to hear. They do not understand the kingdom of God. They have their own kingdoms in view — like the Jews assuming they’ll be in charge after Christ comes in on a white horse and whips the Roman Empire. Then they’ll rule and reign in Israel. And THEIR kingdoms will surely be taken away from them.

Verse 26-29 — Jesus continues to teach what the kingdom of God is. It appears out of nowhere. And you don’t have to work really hard to make it grow. It just does, seemingly all on its own.

And it produces fruit, without you having to work hard to produce it. The fruit just happens. And then you harvest the fruit. God does the work THROUGH you.

God does the work in human hearts. Because the kingdom of God has been set up in your heart, you have a front-row seat so you can “oooh” and “aaah” over what God does.

Verse 30-32 — So the kingdom of God is within you. It starts small and miraculously grows. Then it is a shelter for all who come into its shade. They have to come near to come into its shade. But if they do, their hearts will become good soil, and they will bear much fruit. The kingdom of God is like that.

Verse 33-34 — Mark re-emphasizes that Jesus only speaks in parables, but explains everything privately to His disciples. He must, until they have the kingdom of God within them, and the Holy Spirit fills them. Then they will have the Explainer inside themselves.

Verse 35-41 — Jesus wants to go to the other side of the sea (of Galilee). It’s dark. A few boats set out, including the one Jesus is in. A fierce storm suddenly comes up. Boats are being swamped. The disciples are experienced fishermen who have worked the sea for many years. But this storm scares them. They think they’ll perish. Meanwhile, Jesus is asleep. So they wake Him and scold Him. Don’t you care about us? We’re going to die!

No big deal to Jesus. He just rebukes the wind. Hush, be still. It must obey, because Jesus said it. So the sea becomes calm.

Then Jesus rebukes them, because they haven’t understood yet that He is God in the flesh, and has power over everything. They’ve seen Him do all kinds of miraculous things. They’ve seen Him do the impossible. So why are they afraid? They do not yet understand. But they will, after Pentecost.

So they still do not understand that He is God. They are amazed that the wind and sea obey Him.

Well, dear reader, if Jesus can calm the wind and the sea, He surely can heal you in your relationship to God, giving you a heart with good soil. And He surely can heal your physical body. Do you believe Him?

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MARK 2 COMMENTARY

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

Verse 1-2 — Jesus has returned from Galilee to Capernaum, his home base. Crowds form, because they have heard what He did in Galilee. The place where He is staying is packed with people, and it is impossible to even squeeze through the door to get in.

I tell you, when Jesus works His works even today, He attracts crowds. As with your own case, there are many sicknesses and diseases and mental problems and demonically possessed people that are considered incurable by modern medicine. Even today, some Christian healing ministries are very large and famous. I leave it to God to judge which are truly the work of Jesus, and which are not. But Jesus is still working!

Verse 3-5 — Four men cannot enter by the usual way, with their paralyzed friend. They are sure if they can just reach Jesus, their friend will be healed. That’s faith. So they remove the tiles on the roof and make a big enough hole so they can lower their friend down. That’s faith. Jesus sees their faith.

What is His response? “Son, your sins are forgiven.” That means that his disease is related somehow to sin in his life. The sin problem has to be dealt with before the man is in a spiritual position to be healed. If you have confessed your sins and have been saved. You are in a spiritual position to be healed.

Verse 6-8 — The scribes (Jewish men who specialize in Jewish religious law), are upset that Jesus forgives the man’s sins. Only God can forgive sins, and by doing it, Jesus is proclaiming He is equal to God. They don’t say these words, but they are thinking them, in their hearts.

Here’s a very important point. Jesus knows what you are thinking without you speaking it. So be honest with Him. Are you doubting? He knows already. Be honest, confess it, and ask Him to increase your faith. He will.

Verse 9-12 — Both “your sins are forgiven” and “get up, pick up your mat and walk,” are equally easy for the Son of God. He’s already done the first. Now He does the second. And the man gets up, picks up his mat, and walks. He has to. Jesus said it.

And the people marvel, because the scribes and Jewish leaders have no such power or authority. That’s why they have never seen anything like Jesus’ works.

Verse 13 — Note that Jesus never goes anywhere without teaching. It is never just a matter of laying hands on the sick so they get well. It is teaching, teaching, teaching. About what? About Him, about God, about sin, about repentance from sin, and about forgiveness from God.

Verse 14 — Again, Jesus says “Follow Me,” and Levi (Matthew) immediately leaves His money, His whole business, and follows Jesus. He cannot help but follow. Jesus said it. You cannot help but be healed, when you understand that Jesus says it.

Verse 15-16 — The scribes and Pharisees are holier-than-thou. If someone isn’t religious like them, they don’t want to eat with them, touch them, or get near them in any way. So when Jesus eats with the non-religious, and the Pharisees see that many are following Him, they are both jealous and upset. They don’t go to Jesus with their concerns. They ask His disciples.

Verse 17 — But Jesus overhears. He hasn’t come to save those who think they are righteous (that is, they are self-righteous and think they do enough good things to get them to heaven).

If they think they can get to heaven by dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” of the ceremonial Law, why would they see their need for a Savior? But those who know they are sinners will run to Christ. He comes for those who understand they have a heart condition (sin) for which He has a cure (salvation first, and then purification of the heart).

(NOTE: Righteousness is being right with God, by asking Jesus Christ to take away your sin, believing He died to take them away and rose on the third day. The outcome or fruit of being made right with God is that you live in a way that honors God and His Christ.)

Verse 18-20 — Even the disciples of John the Baptist question Jesus because His disciples do not fast three times a week (part of the ceremonial Law of Judaism).

Jesus refers to Himself as the Bridegroom, and as long as He is with His disciples (who will, with the rest of the 120 become the church in Acts 2), they should not fast. Why would a bride (the church) fast when Her Beloved husband (Jesus Christ) is present? When He is taken away from them (crucified), they will fast. Until He is risen on the third day, it will be fasting because they are mourning. But when they are filled with the Holy Spirit, it will not be fasting to obey a ceremonial Law, but to obey the Holy Spirit when He calls them to fast, as in Acts 13:2.

(NOTE: Jesus Christ is the Bridegroom. Look at John the Baptist’s testimony in John 3:29. John the Baptist identifies himself as the friend of the Bridegroom. In Jewish weddings, the friend of the bridegroom goes ahead of the bridegroom to announce that he has arrived on the scene. That is what John the Baptist did. Also, see 2 Corinthians 11:2 and Ephesians 5:25.)

Verse 21-22 — Just in case the reader doesn’t understand that Jesus is speaking of the self-righteous and their dependence on doing the ceremonial Law to get to heaven, Jesus adds these statements. The ceremonial Law is the old garment, the old wineskins, the old tradition.

He announces that He brings a new garment, a new wineskin. His new covenant (promise) cannot be applied like a patch on the ceremonial Law. His new wine (His Holy Spirit) cannot be confined to the wineskin of the ceremonial Law. It is a new thing, though the Ten Commandments still apply. You just do them automatically. If you want a little more depth on that point, I’ll be glad to supply it!

Verses 23-26 — The Pharisees who dot every “i” and cross every “t,” don’t understand Him. They continue to fuss with Jesus about the Law. They completely miss what the Sabbath is all about. His disciples are hungry, so they pick the heads of grain and eat. Oh, no! That’s work! You aren’t supposed to work on the Sabbath!

But Jesus reminds them of the Old Testament, which they seem to have forgotten, or which they have completely misunderstood.  David and his followers, when they were being hunted by King Saul, were given not just any old bread but (heaven forbid!) the showbread, which is considered untouchable. And what was worse, if the Pharisees are right about their idea of goodness, can you imagine what happened?? Horrors!! The priest was the one who gave the untouchable showbread to them. The Pharisees would say that David and his men, and the priest, disobeyed the Law!!! But of course, they did not disobey God’s will.

Verse 27-28 — To reinforce what Jesus is teaching the Pharisees and us, He tells them that God instituted the Sabbath for man. Who is man, that he should misuse the Sabbath as some kind of law that must be followed? For the Pharisees have misused it as a means of accusing Jesus and His disciples. They have taken it upon themselves to tell God the Son how the Sabbath is to be observed. How blind they are!

These verses are a reminder that no one can, by any of his own works, please God. If you try, you make your works your god, as the Pharisees, scribes and Jewish leaders did. Do you see it?

STRONG SUPPORT

[SW210] 11/27/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Strong Support”

God watches over you, to strongly support you, if your heart is completely His!

2Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.

— “The eyes of the Lord . . . His face, holy intimacy, His favor in view

— move to and fro . . . travel, run

— throughout the earth . . . over the whole earth

— that He may strongly support . . . fasten upon, strengthen, aid, encourage, help

— those whose heart is completely His . . . whose heart is perfect toward Him (KJV).”

My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus! (Philippians 4:19)
He goes before you and is your rear guard (Isaiah 52:12)!

He is your refuge and strength, an ever-present help in time of need (Psalm 46:1).

He takes you from strength to strength (Psalm 84:7)!

He is with you and will strengthen you (Isaiah 41:10)!

No weapon formed against you will prosper (Isaiah 54:7)!

You are kept by the power of God (1Peter 1:5)

I will be with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20)

These promises are for those whose heart is perfect toward Him, completely His . . .

But we have to look at the rest of the verse we began with . . . I cannot speak, “Peace, peace” when there is no peace (Jeremiah 6:14, Ezekiel 13:10).

“. . . You (Asa, king of Judah) have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.”

In what did Asa (and in what does the church) act foolishly?

2 Chronicles 14:2  Asa did good and right, called on the Lord and not man, and Ethiopia’s army, which was nearly twice the size of Judah’s, was routed by the Lord.

After Asa’s victory, the prophet Azariah warns him . . .

2Chronicles 15:1   Now the Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded,  2 and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.

2Chronicles 15:7 “But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.”

2Chronicles 15:8   Now when Asa heard these words and the prophecy which Azariah the son of Oded the prophet spoke, he took courage and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He then restored the altar of the Lord which was in front of the porch of the Lord.

BUT WHEN ANOTHER ENEMY THREATENS . . .

2 Chronicles 16:1 The king of Israel comes to fight Judah. Asa does not call on the Lord, who gave him such a great victory over Ethiopia. Instead, he bribes Ben-hadad, the king of Aram. But the Arameans were Judah’s enemy, too, off and on, as was their custom.

2 Chronicles 16:7 So the prophet Hanani calls Asa out — he lied on his enemy to defeat his enemy! Don’t you remember Ethiopia, King Asa?

That was the foolish thing that Asa did. And he was enraged at Hanani and imprisoned him.

Asa’s heart was not completely the Lord’s.

Three years later, Asa died of a disease in his feet. He did not seek the Lord for healing, but the physicians.

Beloved . . .

—When you as a church leader seek man’s wisdom and man’s ways to make your church successful,

— or when you speak peace, peace when there is no peace, just to increase your numbers,

— or when you as a Christian seek natural means for provision, healing and deliverance instead of humbly asking the Lord for help,

. . . you sin as Asa sinned — he did not believe the Lord was able to rescue him; you do not seek the Lord’s wisdom, you do not believe He will increase your numbers, you do not believe He is your provision.

Asa did not repent before the Lord. He no longer sought the Lord, even for healing of the disease in his feet. But you can repent, right now!

The Lord wants His promises to be yours. But in order to do that, you must give your heart entirely to Him and no other.

How do you give your heart entirely to Him? Only the Father can do it, when you ask Him —

Ezekiel 36:26 “Moreover, 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.  27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

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

1Timothy 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

This purity of heart, this devotion to God, comes when you are filled with the Holy Spirit!

When you ask the Lord to fill you, He will make you steadfast, immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord (1Corinthians 15:58)!

And His eyes will move to and fro across the earth, to strongly support you, because your heart is completely His!q Turn to Him today! Amen!

WHAT GOD MAKES YOU

[SW182] 04/17/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“What God Makes You”

What does God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit make you when you are saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost? Oh, my! I’m about to tell you about it!

Text: Isaiah 61

NOTE: This text is a promise for Israel, God’s people, if they see their Messiah, Jesus Christ. But you have also been made one of God’s, even His adopted child, so these promises are for you, too!

When the Spirit of the Lord has filled you up, and Jesus Christ rules reigns in you (John 14:17), beloved, by way of His Holy Spirit —

61:1    He makes you anointed and appointed, consecrated and assigned! To do what?

— Use those beautiful feet (Isaiah 52:7) to bring good news of God’s great salvation to the afflicted, that is, the contrite and humble, those who know they need what God has (and we all need it), just like God did for you. Those are the ones who will gladly receive what you bring!

— Bind up (wrap firmly and heal) those whose hearts are shattered in pieces, just like God did for you!

— Proclaim liberty (freedom, rapid movement, and spontaneous outflow!) to the captives of sin, just like God did to you!

— Proclaim freedom to prisoners, but the literal is much more powerful! Complete opening to the bound ones, just like God did to you!

— Proclaim the favorable year of the Lord, a very long year that began about 2000 years ago and is still continuing, just like God did for you!

61:2     — Proclaim the day of vengeance of our God, when He will take revenge upon Satan and those who reject His Christ. Amen! We must speak of God’s judgment, for He sent His Son to keep us from it, if we will believe!

— Comfort those who mourn over the wickedness that is done in high places  in this world, just like He did you.

When the Spirit of the Lord has filled you up, and Jesus Christ rules reigns in you, beloved —

61:3    —Those who mourn over their spiritual condition will, like you, receive a change in character and condition!

— A garland (victorious crown) instead of ashes on their heads, just like He did you!

— The oil of gladness instead of mourning — oh, they will receive through you the glorious oil of the Holy Ghost, righteousness, peace and joy in Him (Romans 14:17), so they, too, can be anointed and appointed, consecrated and assigned, just as God made you!

— The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting, which means praise will be like a robe upon them, just like God put that mantle of praise on you!

And just like you, they will be called oaks, strong and long-lived, even oaks of righteousness, standing firm and right with God because God is in them to empower them to live holy lives! Why? So He is glorified! So people see Him in you, and say, “The Lord, He is God!” They see that, like you, these have been with Jesus!

It won’t be their work, but God’s. He’s the Planter, and when He looks over His great and vast plantations of oaks of righteousness, He is glad, indeed!

61:4 — Then they will join you in:

— Rebuilding the ancient ruins of the lives of those around them!

— Raising up those who have been devastated by Satan’s work in their hearts!

— Repairing that which seemed impossible to restore because it had been in ruins for so long!

61:5 — Strangers, those they and you do not now know, will supply your natural needs for food and drink, just as the widows did for Elijah and then Elisha.

— But why won’t they and you and they be tending to those things?

61:6 — Just as God has made you, they will be called priests of the Lord (1Peter 1:4-5), a royal priesthood! It’s a full-time job, so others will supply their natural needs for food and drink, in a similar way to the Levitical priesthood in the Old Testament. Oh, my!

— They, like you, will be ministers of our God (Ezekiel 44:15), those who directly minister to God, face-to-face, coming extremely near to Him to minister to Him, having holy intimacy with Him, pouring out of the love He poured into their hearts to overflowing, just as He poured it into yours (Romans 5:5)!

— They, like you,  will enjoy the spoils of victory over this world system!

61:7  Just as God has made you, they will exchange their shame for an inheritance!

— They, like you, will receive the inheritance of the first born, a double portion!

—They, like you become co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)!

— And they, like you, will shout for joy because of it! Not for just a moment, but everlastingly, joy unspeakable and full of glory (1Peter 1:8)!

61:8    Just as God made you, they will offer themselves as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing (Romans 12:1), when they, like you, are filled with the Holy Ghost!

— This is just and right to God. He loves when His brand of justice is done!
He hates a partial offering, a lukewarm offering, an offering accompanied by complaint. Glad and full surrender is what pleases Him!

— And they, like you, will receive their reward, and an everlasting promise will be made to them by Him!

61:9 —They will be made bearers of blessed children, just like you! Everyone will recognize the Holy Ghost in them and their children!

61:10    — And like just like you, He will make them into rejoicers, those who rejoice greatly in the Lord and exult God! Why?

— Like you, they will know that they are clothed with salvation and wrapped in a robe of righteousness!

— Like you, they will know that there is a victorious Bridegroom coming for them, and they will be adorned with great spiritual riches in preparation for the day He comes!

Well . . .

62:2-3 — Like you, they will have a new name given to them by God. That designates that change in their condition and character!

— He will make them into a crown of beauty and a royal diadem (turban) in His hand, that is, under the control and care of God.

I could go on and on! I am one who stands on the wall, who cries to the church and those who do not know Christ to repent, to turn, until they shine brightly with the righteousness, like the brightness of the dawn’s radiance (62:1)!

I am a watchman who will never keep silent, I will not take rest, and I will cry out to God until He establishes and makes the church, and His people Israel who receive their Messiah, a praise to the earth!

Now, my brothers and sisters, has God made you these things? You must ask Him to do it, so you can lead others to the same thing! You can’t lead them to it if He has not made you that which you are proclaiming! You can’t fake this. You can’t be all nice in church on Sunday and live like hell the rest of the week! Amen!

Examine yourself right now, before Him. Bow, kneel, contritely and humbly. If you are not doing these things, ask Him right now to save, sanctify, and then fill you with the Holy Ghost. And He will make you these things. It is His promise, and He never goes back on His promises.

STEADFAST AND IMMOVABLE

[SW181] 04/11/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Steadfast and Immovable”

Steadfast and immovable! Standing firm! Nothing and no one able to sway you or move you from your faith in Jesus Christ and God’s promises!

1Corinthians 15:58   Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

Superabounding, excelling in the work of the Lord, proclaiming Jesus Christ! His glorious, powerful, life-giving work!

Going and making disciples of all men, teaching them to obey Christ (Matthew 28:19-20)!

Healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers, casting out demons (Matthew 10:8)!

When you yourself have been filled with the Holy Spirit, laying hands on your fellow believers, so they are filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:6).

If you are steadfast and immovable, you know without a doubt that this great labor in the Lord is not in vain. You won’t come to Him empty-handed, but bearing the fruit of His works in you and through you!

What rewards there are to those who remain steadfast and immovable?

Revelation 3:8-10 — You have a little power, you have kept His word, you have not denied His name. You are a faithful representative of Him, walking in this world like Him. You have kept the word of His steadfastness. You are steadfast, immovable, always superabounding in this work!

So Jesus Christ puts before you a door for you which no one can shut. It is a door that opens into great and effective work for Him. And false teachers will come and bow down at your feet. Jesus will make them know that He has loved you.

You say, “Jesus loves me, this I know! And you also say, “Jesus knows me, this I love!”

And you will not have to endure what those who reject Him and deny Him will endure. He will keep you, guard you, be a fortress around you! You will be protected from that hour!

And because you remain steadfast and immovable, even if your body dies before Jesus Christ returns, it will be resurrected when that trumpet sounds (1Corinthians 15:50-57)! Death has no victory! Death has no sting!

Therefore, be steadfast, Paul exhorts! Immovable! Against what? Is there something that could move you? What is the “therefore” there for?

Many winds of false teaching swirled around the Corinthians, and swirl around us today.

Great waves are stirred up by these winds, and if we are children and not mature in our faith, we will be tossed here and there, just as some of the Corinthians and Ephesians were (see Ephesians 4:14). But Jesus Christ will change us from children to adults, when we ask Him to make a 24/7 connection between us and the Father and the Son, by the Holy Spirit!

Back in 1Corinthians 15, deceitful teachers tried to convince the Corinthians that there is no resurrection of the dead (15:12).

So, they said, you don’t have to walk as Jesus walked when he was on the earth. Live the way you want to live. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die (15:32).

I tell you, the devil is at work. His goal is to kill you, to steal what God has given you, to destroy you, so you perish with him eternally (see John 10:10). Don’t let him get you!

BECOME steadfast, immovable! How? Ask Him to do it in you!

Christ has come that you may have superabundant life — His life, His eternal life (John 10:10)! Superabundant life that overflows, that becomes a rushing, flood-stage river of living water!

Paul said it was the risen Christ and not human reasoning that motivated him to fight with the demons that were in Ephesus.

He knew without a doubt that when men are delivered and saved, THEY will know without a doubt that Jesus Christ is Lord and that their own resurrection is sure! His labor was not in vain!

But some of the Corinthians were yet children, just as with some Christians today. They continued to live wildly, for which Corinth was world-renowned. Eat, drink and be merry!

Paul warns them and you today, to stop listening to false teachers who say you can do what you want — God’s grace covers you! Hyper-grace! Cheap grace! 

Shall we continue to sin so grace may increase? May it never be (Romans 6:1-2)!

Get drunk, do just as you did before you said “I do” to the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul tells the Ephesians, “Don’t get drunk with wine! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!”

Ah! That’s the key! When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you won’t be a child any more, and the process of becoming more like Jesus will go into hyperdrive!

In Verse 34, Paul tells the Corinthians (and you), to become sober-minded (rouse yourself out of your stupor! Wake up! If some need to become, they are not yet!
They and you need to “become!” Stop sinning!

Those false teachers have no knowledge of God, no intimacy with Him, or they would never teach that you can sin and still be fine with God! Paul spoke it to the shame of those who listened to such ones. And the same goes for you, beloved!

Ask God the Father to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and He will give you discernment so you will run from the strangers, the hirelings the false teachers who are in it for personal gain. You will hear and heed the voice of the Good Shepherd (see John 10)!

And even when you are filled, continue to grow —

2Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness,  18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

You will ever increase in Christlikeness!

You will remain steadfast and immovable, knowing without a doubt that when you proclaim Jesus (which is your work in the Lord), your work will bear the fruit of deliverance for many!

And you will know without a doubt that you will be with the Lord forever! And ever! And ever! And ever! Amen!

GOD’S GREAT PROVISION

[SW179] 04/03/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“God’s Great Provision”

Text: Genesis 22

A foreshadowing of God’s great, amazing provision — His one and only Son, Jesus Christ!

What better time to contemplate such a thing! It is GOOD Friday, the church’s observance of His crucifixion. Why is it GOOD? Because of what happened three days later! He rose! Hallelujah!

Exegesis of Genesis 22 —

vv. 1-2  The Lord calls Abraham responds immediately. He hears God’s voice and says, “Here I am.” So should it be for all of us!

The Lord gave the command for Abraham to do what seems out of character with God, for it was never in His mind to have children burned as a sacrificial offering to Him (Jeremiah 7:31, 32:35). Only those who worshiped other Gods did such things!

So why did He ask?

He gave this command so Abraham would act out prophecy. Hebrews 11:17-19 reveals the mind of God and of Abraham, as he offered his one and only son, the one who was to continue the promise that Abraham’s descendants would bless the earth (see v. 18). Abraham believed that, even if Isaac was sacrificed, God would raise him from the dead. The Lord’s request and Abraham’s response was a type, a symbol of something.

Go to the land of Moriah, which means, “seen of God.”

And there, offer your son, your one and only Son, whom you love1 God recognizes Isaac as the only seed of Abraham, the one through whose descendants the world will be blessed.

Where have we heard that? John 1:14! John 3:16! For God to make this extreme sacrifice, our need must be great, beloved!

Do you already see the parallel to God the Father offering God the Son — His one and only eternally existent, sinless Son?

vv. 3-4 Abraham made preparations, and began the journey to the place the Lord had shown him when the Lord spoke to him. He saw it in the distance, on the third day.

v. 5-6 Now Abraham and the lad (adolescent, teen) went to worship, leaving his two servants behind. Abraham told his servants that both of them would return. See Abraham’s confidence in God! Note: Isaac carried the wood on his back — he was not a little child, but an adolescent, old enough to carry a large load of wood.

Do you see that Jesus Christ also carried a large load of wood on His back, even His cross?

v. 7-8 “My father!” Isaac asked about the lamb for the sacrifice. There was none. What would they offer?

Abraham didn’t say, “You!” Rather, he said, “God will provide FOR HIMSELF the lamb. Provide — that is see. God will see to it! Abraham was confident of it. He believed God, he knew His faithfulness. And they walked on.

Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Go to Isaiah 53. God saw to it that this sinless Lamb of God bore not only a cross, but our sin, taking the punishment we deserved! And it pleased the Father to do it!

v. 9-10 Isaac willingly accepted being bound and laid on the altar. Abraham was ready to kill and offer his son. It was the same to Abraham as sacrificing himself, for Isaac was his true seed, the promised son.

The Lamb of God, the Son that the Father promised us, willingly accepted being bound, beaten and mocked, for our sake!

v. 11-12 The angel of the Lord (God’s voice) called from heaven. “Abraham, Abraham!” The obedient Abraham said, “Here I am.” Don’t do it! “Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” From Me! It is the Lord who is speaking.

I know you fear God —- literally, I know you are a fearer of God, one who worships, reveres, has confidence in, trusts, and loves (see Easton’s Bible Dictionary).

v. 13-14  A ram, a grown lamb, a sacrifice provided seemingly out of the blue, seen by Abraham as he raised his eyes from the altar on which his one and only son laid. A provision by God! On the mountain of the Lord, the mountain where it shall be seen, Mount Moriah!

Do you see it? Jesus Christ, the grown Lamb of God, the one and only Son of God, offered in place of us, a wrath-bearer, taking upon Himself what we deserved!

And it took place on the mountain called Moriah. Many scholars believe Moriah,  the mountain where Isaac was bound and prepared to be offered, is the very mountain where the Lamb of God was provided by the God the Father!

Do you see Him on the mountain? YHWH yireh, the root of which is of ra’ah, which means to see! If you really see it, you will bow down and worship God the Father and God the Son right now!

v. 15-18  The Lord promises that Abraham’s confidence in Him yields great reward! He repeats His promise from Genesis 12 and 15, but adds that Abraham’s descendants will be as the sand on the seashore, and that they will possess the gates of their enemies.

Beloved, if you believe in and are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are a recipient of this promise (see Romans 9:8)!

Why did the Lord promise? Because Abraham obeyed, knowing the Lord so well at this point in his life, and loving Him, that he trusted Him even with his one and only son.

Isaac is not mentioned again until Genesis 24, when Abraham’s servant is sent to bring a wife for Isaac. Well! What a picture of Christ, three days in the grave and risen, and His bride, the church, being prepared now by the Holy Spirit for Him.

So what will you do in response? While you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you!
While you were yet hostile toward God, He sent His Son! (See Romans 5:8, 10). He demonstrates His own love for us by doing so.

Do you see the Descendant of Abraham, Jesus Christ, through whom the whole world is blessed, when men and women repent, confess their sins, and receive what He has done?

My brother, my sister, fellow believers, and those who are just now believing, will you respond to this grace of God, this love of God, this sacrifice of God on your behalf, this Son who bore our sins?

Confess your condition, confess your rebellion, confess your sin. He will save you who are just now believing!

And brothers and sisters in Christ, your response is Romans 12:1. Christ’s extreme sacrifice requires your extreme commitment, completely and entirely committing yourself to Him! That’s your part of the deal. Then you are able to speak Galatians 2:22 with the Apostle Paul.

Then Christ will live in you and through you, for the glory of God and the salvation of many! Hallelujah!

REST FOR YOUR SOUL

[SW178] 03/27/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Rest for Your Soul”

Rest! For your soul! It is a gift from Jesus Christ. I will show you how to receive it.

Matthew 11:28   “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

In v. 28, “rest” means intermission from labor, a refreshment to strengthen.

But in v. 29, “rest” means cessation of labor, refreshment, and re-creation.

Jesus does both. First v. 28, when you come to Him, and v. 29 when you take His yoke upon you. We’ll get to that later.

The word “come” isn’t a suggestion or invitation. It is an imperative command, urgent and authoritative. It is, “Follow!”

Why does He command it. He knows you have no rest, you are rest-less.

If you are rest-less, you are weary (fatigued from labor) because you are heavy- laden (loaded up, overburdened).

You are overburdened, fatigued.

What is your burden that fatigues you from the labor of carrying it?

Surely Jesus does not talk to us today of the yoke of legalism, “Do not handle, do not taste,  do not touch” (Colossians 2:21).What else is a burden to you? For you, Today, the Lord says your burden is sin. All sin, all rebellion against God. If you come to Jesus Christ, He will lift from you:

— bitterness
— addiction
— grudge-holding/unforgiveness
— anger (murder)
— and much more!

He commands you to come to Him. He will give you rest. It’s a gift from Him.

You are carrying a heavy burden. You are carrying sin. You are in a single yoke, a human yoke, made for a single human to bear. He wants to break it TODAY!

Isaiah 9:4      For You shall break the yoke of their burden
and the staff on their shoulders,
The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.

Hallelujah! It is Christ and Him alone who can do it. He was sent by the Father for that purpose.

When does He break the yoke of your burden? When you come to Him. When you respond to His imperative, authoritative and urgent command.

Why does He break your yoke? To give you rest (373, intermission from labor, a refreshment to strengthen).

Once He has broken your yoke, He commands you to take up HIS yoke.

Matthew 11:28   “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Take HIS yoke upon you. Didn’t He just break the one that was on you? Why would you want to take another yoke?

The yoke Christ is asking you to take up is the kind used with two animals — one animal is older, the other younger. The older teaches the younger what to do, whether they are attached to a plow or to a cart.

Some say Matthew 11:28-30 refers to a yoke designed for a human. Surely, that’s the one He’ll break, as I said above, but  if He commands you to take up HIS yoke and learn from Him, then He must be in it with you. Glory to God!

Why? Because it is the only way you will learn from Him. It is submission to Him, submission to the will of God. It is a yoke of submission, it means you have been crucified with Christ so He can live in you.

Then you have that cessation of labor, that re-creation that I talked about in the beginning of my message. Hallelujah! No more single yoke, no more burden of the sin nature you were born with.
In His yoke, He is the One who will continually teach you His humility and His meekness.

You submit to His yoke, and it will be easy to learn, because He is in it with you!

You gladly obey, because you have submitted.

But all of your life, He will show you how to be more and more like Him, going from image to image and glory to glory (1Corinthians 3:18)!

Oh, beloved! You will find rest for your souls, refreshment, cessation of your rest-lessness, and re-creation.

Re-creation — the old will go, the new will come.

You will be a new creature, with a new heart, a new life in Him, no longer heavy-laden with sin, but set free, indeed!

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:  Not free TO sin, but free FROM slavery to sin!!!!

It is rest from slavery to sin.

It is an inward change, where you rest and He works through you.

It is submission to His yoke, which is easy, carrying the burden He carries, which makes it light. He gives you the power to carry it.

What burden did AND does He carry? He carried a cross, it is true. He tells us to take up our cross and follow Him. That is submission, that is obedience. Taking up our cross is like taking up His yoke.

So what is the burden? I asked the Holy Spirit to show me.

It is that we will see as He sees. We will see the lostness of the world, and the hardness of hearts. We will see the vast fields white for the harvest. We will see the sheep without shepherds. You will feel the grief He feels, but you will also feel the joy He feels, joy unspeakable and full of glory!

You will be persecuted, as He was persecuted —

John 15:18   “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

The world will hate you, and the world that has wormed its way into the church will hate you.

But He is in the yoke with you, which makes seeing and experiencing all these things bearable. And you will walk in His power, and through you, He will free the captives, through us! So the burden is light and pleasant!

Beloved, do you see that it’s not about getting blessed?

It’s about blessing God by obeying His Son’s command. It’s about submission to God.

Certainly, the side benefit of following Jesus’ command is certainly freedom from slavery to sin and intimacy with God the Father and God the Son through God the Holy Spirit, and that is surely a blessing!

Are you in it for what you can get from Him, or are you in it to know Him intimately, to have a relationship with Him?

Come now to Him.

He will give you rest, like your first good night’s sleep in eons.

He will break the yoke of sin that’s on you.

You will take up His yoke, submitting to Him fully, no longer seeking what’s in it for you, but living to learn Him more and more.

He will teach you more and more deeply what it is to be humble and lowly like Him.

And you will find rest for your soul, that cessation from the labor of carrying your sin. Total cessation. Freedom from slavery to it.

Come now to Him. He says it urgently and authoritatively and imperatively!