CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED

[SW202] 09/18/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Christ and Him Crucified”

Texts: 1Corinthians 2:2-5, Acts 20:20ff

Paul determined that he would know nothing (not a thing) but Christ and Him crucified and preach Christ crucified.

Why? So the power of God would be demonstrated through him, by the Holy Spirit. He preached in his own weakness and fear and trembling, and the power of the Spirit was made evident. He did not preach using human reasoning and persuasion, or natural charisma.

Why? So the Corinthian’s and your faith would not be in the wisdom or persuasiveness of men, but in the power of God, which is demonstrated when Christ and Him crucified is preached.

My words must be spoken in the power of the Holy Spirit, as I preach Christ and Him crucified.  If I am not preaching Christ and Him crucified, God’s power will not be demonstrated.

As Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke says, “Preach the Gospel, and the Gospel happens.”

I will answer two questions:

1. What does it mean to preach Christ and Him crucified?

2. Why did Paul write these things to the church at Corinth?

Question 1: What does it mean to preach Christ and Him crucified?

— Everyone knows John 3:16. But WHY was it necessary for God to give His only Son? The alternative was that all of mankind would perish.

— Every human being on the earth has a fatal condition that no human can cure. But God sent His Son, Jesus Christ as the remedy. This was His plan from before time began (Revelation 13:8).

Until you believe into Jesus Christ:

— You are separated from God by your sinful state. All have sinned and lack the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Sinners face God’s judgment, when He draws all things to a close (Matthew 25:31ff, Revelation 20:11-15).

— On His cross, Jesus Christ bore the punishment that you deserved for your sin, so that you may be reconciled to God, and He rose on the third day so that you may have eternal life (1Corinthians 15:3-8).

— If you repent (turn from your sin) and believe that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, on your behalf, your past sins will be forgiven and you will be reconciled to God (Romans 10:9-10).

But you will find that you are still disobedient in your heart (Romans 7:14ff). The root cause of your fatal condition has not yet been eliminated. You were born that way, a child of Adam (Romans 5:12). But God — hallelujah — has the ultimate cure!

— When Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day, ascended, sat with the Father on His throne, and poured out His Holy Spirit, the purpose was to CLEANSE your heart of its inbred sin nature (Romans 7:14, 20).

— Therefore, when you ask your Father in heaven to fill you with the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), Jesus Christ will free you from slavery to sin. You will die to sin  — that is, the sin nature in you will die (1Peter 2:24, Galatians 2:20).

— This is the will of God, that you be filled with the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:2, 11, 16-18, 22; Ephesians 5:17-18). It is the only way you can be freed from slavery to sin, so you are able to become a witness that Jesus is the Christ (Acts 1:8).

That is what it is to preach Christ and Him crucified. And when that is preached in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Gospel happens — God manifests His power.

I have this ministry of reconciliation, to proclaim to you that you will be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ. If you have been filled with the Holy Spirit, this will be your ministry, too.

How serious is this ministry of reconciliation? It is a matter of life or death.

Acts 20:20 ff

Because Paul was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, he did not shrink from (cower, withhold, conceal, shun) preaching Christ and Him crucified, even though it was foolishness to the world, and despite the persecution he suffered because of his message.

Because he fully preaches Christ and Him crucified — including deliverance from slavery to sin —  considering his previous great knowledge as a Pharisee to be dung (Philippians 3:8), Paul says he is innocent of the blood of those to whom he has delivered the message.

Innocent of the blood?

Ezekiel 33:8 “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand.”

Question 2: Why was he writing this to the church at Corinth?

They were listening to false teachers who spoke of “secret wisdom,” and taught that you could continue to sin with your body, without losing your salvation as the consequence.

Then there were the Judaizers, who taught legalism — that is, that even if you were not born a Jew, the Law given to Moses must be followed in order for you to be saved.

Why did the Lord put it on my heart to speak this today? Many preachers:

— Preach only faith or

— Preach only grace, and even hyper-grace or

— Preach only healing or

— Preach only prosperity,

— But not Christ and Him crucified.

There is no mention of mankind’s fatal condition. And the faith of those who follow such preachers is in the wisdom of men, and not in the power of God. The power of God and wisdom of God is not demonstrated, but simply the human wisdom and persuasiveness and natural charisma of the preacher.

Why are these things taught? Paul says it is for personal gain — money (1Timothy 6:3-5).

And Jesus says, “My people love it so.” (See 2Timothy 4:3, Jeremiah 5:31.)

The blood of those to whom they preach is on their hands, because they leave people in their fatal and incurable condition.
But turn now, O preachers, and preach Christ and Him crucified, for your listeners are not exhorted to repent, to believe that Christ carried their sins on a cross, and that it is the will of God that you be filled with the Holy Spirit so you are no longer a slave to sin!

And turn now, O sinner, and O sinning Christian, for you have heard the truth of the Gospel, the whole gospel — salvation form past sins and freedom from slavery to sin. Turn and be healed, reconciled to God and made a witness that Jesus is the Christ!

And you will be a citizen of the kingdom of God, full of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17), and joy inexpressible and full of glory (1Peter 1:8)!

BECOMING THE PROOF

[SW200] 09/04/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Becoming the Proof”

I could tell you the truth about humanity’s condition and their need for a Savior, and with great passion, I could show you why it is true, but it will have no power to change hearts if I myself am not the living proof of it.

I could reason with you, I could show that there is archeological evidence that the Bible is true, I could argue with you endlessly about such things.

But I become living proof when God so changes me inwardly that it is impossible to deny the truth. That’s when the church becomes the church, beloved. When Christians claim the Bible is true but do not live out what it says, the world laughs.

If I am not like Jesus, I can tell you about Him all day long, and you will look at how I live, and scoff at me.

That’s why Jesus told His disciples to wait in the city to be clothed with power from on high. They already had authority to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons, and they had done so.

But this is a different kind of power. It is the power to live as Christ lived when He was on the earth. It is the power of the Holy Spirit, no longer beside them but IN them. He makes us new on the inside, giving us a new heart, a new nature, and the fruit of Him — His love, His joy, His peace, His patience, His kindness, His goodness, His faithfulness, His gentleness, and His Spirit controlling us.

It is the power to be His witnesses here, to be people who actually have Jesus inside of them, living through them, showing Himself to the world here and now.

When you are His witness (the original Greek word is the source of our word, “martyr”) because you have died and He lives in you, people will sense Him in you.

It isn’t that you do the Law, dotting i’s and crossing t’s to be sure you act right, but it’s being made right by God dwelling in you.

Then you don’t have to prove anything. He is obviously in you. So when you speak, your hearers  know it is God and they either receive or reject Him and His Christ.

You see, Ephesians 5:8-10 means much more than trying and failing and trying and failing to do what pleases God. When you are filled with God’s Spirit, you BECOME that which pleases God — obedient, and filled with His power and love.

It is great news, but millions in the church have not heard of it. We are happy to be saved, and rightly believe it is instantly done when we repent and believe. But we have a hard time believing that God can change our hearts permanently and totally, in an instant.
There’s plenty of evidence against it — all you have to do is look at how many of us live.
Our actions belie our claim that we are full of God. We act no different than we did before. We still sin, we still willfully disobey God, we still lust, we still covet, we are yet hypocrites.

And so we conclude that it is impossible to do what Christ clearly teaches. We see no evidence of it. There are no witnesses, we say, so it must not be true.

But there are witnesses! Some have offered the Lord their hearts in flames of holy love!

Some have testified, “Long my imprisoned spirit lay fast-bound in sin and nature’s night. Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light. My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee!” That was John and Charles Wesley’s testimony, and they were His witnesses.

And even today, some of us have totally abandoned ourselves to God, have received the fullness of His wonderful Spirit, and we are no longer slaves to sin! The chains have fallen off! And we rise and are able to follow, to obey, to live like Christ in this world. Our faces shine with His presence, and we leap and shout and praise His holy name!
We were beggars at Gate Beautiful who had never walked as God walks. We were born lame. And now we can walk!

Now, He works His wonders among us and through us, just as He did when He was on the earth. And just like He promises, we do greater, because now that His Spirit is poured out, those who are filled with Him can be used to fill others!

Will you believe it? If you know you are not living like Jesus, then I am here to tell you that even today, God is still ready and waiting to fill you with His Spirit and change you so profoundly that people will know God is real and He is in you!

Jesus says that he who rejects Him, rejects the One who sent Him. Jesus was rejected by many who wanted to retain their traditions and political power. He came against all of it, simply by speaking the truth and being the Truth.

And it is the same today. We expect the world to reject Him. But it grieves God that much of the church of today rejects His Spirit and His truth. It is not unexpected, for Paul spoke of it in 2Timothy 3, writing that in the last days, all the lawlessness we see today would come, and that many would have a form of religion while denying its power. That means its power to change human hearts.

God and God alone profoundly changes human hearts. He is still at work. Jesus has not changed. God’s promises are still offered to you. Believe and receive.

GIVING UP

[SW198] 08/14/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Giving Up”

Do you ever feel like giving up on trying to be an obedient child of God? Don’t give up! But give up! It’s a different kind of giving up.

I’m asking the Holy Spirit to help me to serve you up a full-course meal of God’s Word today, choice pieces of meat, marrow and aged wine (Isaiah 25:6), so you may learn the truth, so it divides soul and spirit, and causes you to say to the Lord, “I give up!”

I’m speaking a word of righteousness to you. Many of you are accustomed to a diet of milk (the basic tenets of Christianity). It’s what you generally get on a Sunday in many churches. But you ought to be teachers by now, teaching and feasting on the meat — the word of righteousness! (See Hebrews 5:13).

Willful disobedience to God — sin — is an age-old problem, begun by the first man, Adam. We expect those who do not know Christ to sin. But it also has flooded the church.

It would never be, if we truly understood the depths of our depravity, our illness. We’d be seeking a cure!

How serious is sin? So serious that God the Father sacrificed His Son to heal us of our past sins and set us free from slavery to sin!

Even before the earth was formed, the Father had a lamb prepared (Revelation 13:8). We can’t even calculate or estimate or imagine the cost of our salvation!

But try to comprehend it. God sent His Son to die in order that you may live. On that cross, God the Son bore God’s wrath toward you. He took what you deserved. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!

Text: Romans 7:14ff

If you struggle with sin, join the wretched man Paul speaks of in Romans 7:14ff. You were born with a sin nature, just like he was. In verse 17, it is sin which dwells in him that causes him to disobey God. The sins he commits are the evidence of the sin nature that dwells inside of him.

But learn the truth — you don’t have to stay that way! Who shall save the man Paul writes about? Christ Jesus our Lord! He made the way for you to be freed from your sin nature and given His divine nature (see 1Peter 1:4)!

Paul did not only write Romans 7, but he also wrote Galatians 2:20 and 5:24. The divine nature doesn’t dwell in you when you’re a baby Christian, as evidenced by the problems Paul had to address with the Corinthians. But it surely does happen when you give up, and you will know it when it does!

The Lord wants YOU to give up. We get it wrong, thinking he wants us to give up habits, the people we associate with, dreams, situations, circumstances. He wants YOU. Once YOU have given up to Him, your heart will entirely change, and you will love to obey Him — there will be no more resistance, because His love accompanies His nature in you, so you love Him with the same love He has for you (Romans 5:5).

Some believe they won’t have fun anymore if they tell the Lord, “I give up!” Some Christians have told me that they like what they’re doing, they like their habits, they like their associates. They don’t want to give up any of that. They’re not ready, they say.

But if that’s your thinking, the struggle will continue, and your life will continue to be a mess until you give up that rebellious sinful nature and ask the Lord to kill it and put His nature inside of you.

Maybe you don’t like the idea of giving up, especially if it involves a spiritual crucifixion or getting on an altar and letting God’s fire consume everything in you that is not of Him. It certainly doesn’t sound comfortable.

Text: Romans 12:1

Many worship with great passion and emotion, but their disobedient living belies their passionate worship.

What is worship, according to God?

In light of all He has done for you, with that in mind, it is willingly placing yourself on an altar so He can purify you and make you holy on the inside. It is asking the Lord Jesus to baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire.

Some will say, “I spoke in tongues when I was baptized in water,” or “I spoke in tongues when I was baptized in the Holy Ghost.” Tongues are the initial evidence, as the scriptures show in the Book of Acts.

But where is the fruit of the Spirit in your life? Are you continuing to willfully disobey God?

Then I say you have not yet been to God’s altar; you may have received something from God, but you are not filled with and controlled by the Holy Ghost, or you would be holy from the inside out!

If you are a Christian, your desire should be to do God’s will. And His will is that you be filled with His Holy Spirit, so you don’t struggle with sin anymore.

What a good word! What a freeing word! Will you believe Him? Do you really want to be His witness here, for more than Sunday morning?

But it is far more serious than being His witness here. It is life and death to you. The wages of sin is death. Keep on sinning, and you face the place where the worm never dies and the fire never goes out.

Cry out to God today! Tell Him you give up YOU! Beloved, He wants all of you.

Give YOU to Him. By faith, you asked God to forgive your past sins through Jesus Christ. By faith, ask Him to destroy sin’s power over you.

Will you believe He can do it? If you truly believe, He will show you that He can, and then He will do it, just as He did in healing me of an incurable disease and then making me so hungry for all of Him that for two months, I cried out to be baptized in the Holy Spirit!

That is how you become Jesus Christ’s witnesses here. You will have His Spirit in you, large and in charge. You will walk as He did on the earth (1John 2:6).

You will be tempted, as He was, but you will have power over sin, and be a super-conqueror (Romans 8:37).

You will walk, live, love, and speak as He did. And His very presence in you will cause many to repent and turn to Him.

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UNDERSTANDING SIN

[SW197] 08/07/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Understanding Sin”

If we understand the reality and extent of our sin and the availability and extent of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, we will love Him much! This is the very Good News of the gospel!

I am compelled by the love of God to speak of sin (Jeremiah 23:22) because all have sinned and lack the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

I have come to announce that God has the solution — Jesus Christ!

Text: Luke 7:36-50

What did the woman do?

She HEARD Jesus was in her city.

She CAME TO HIM.  Why?

I believe she CAME TO HIM because she knew she was sinning and had heard that He heals and also forgives sin (see Matthew 9:2, the paralytic). She did not need physical healing, but healing of her relationship with God.

She CAME TO HIM intending to worship Him, because she brought an alabaster vial of perfume.

Thus, she HAD FAITH that He was God in the flesh, for only God is to be worshiped, and only God can forgive sin.

She WEPT. As He reclined, she stood at His feet, weeping tears of repentance and gratefulness.

She BROKE ALL THE RULES, letting her hair down in public, to wipe the tears that fell on His feet. With her brokenness, she honored Him.

She WORSHIPED EXTRAVAGANTLY, kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. Oh how beautiful are the feet of Him who brings Good News (Isaiah 52:7)!

Thus, she LOVED MUCH, largely, abundantly, greatly.

What did the Pharisee do?

He INVITED Jesus to come to dinner.

He did not welcome Jesus according to custom — there was no kiss on the cheek, no washing of feet, no anointing with oil.

He went out of his way NOT to worship Him.

He did not seek forgiveness.

He did not have faith.

He judged the woman, and he judged Jesus.

He did not weep.

He did not break all the rules.

He did not worship Him extravagantly.

He did not honor Christ.

Thus, he LOVED LITTLE (literally, his love was puny).

You see:

1. If we understand the reality and extent of our sin
2. And we understand the availability and extent of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ
3. Then we love Christ much

I tell you the truth, a gospel preached with no sin and no repentance CANNOT cause you to respond to Jesus Christ by doing #3.

With that gospel, you will love little.

You might say, like the Pharisee, “I am a good person. I do good things. I obey the rules.”

You might even judge sinners by avoiding them. You might say, “Thank God, I am not like them” (see Luke 18:9ff).

You might even judge Jesus when He ministers to sinners. Why is He with THEM?

You might even judge Jesus when He sends someone to speak His truth to you. After all, if you have heard a gospel with no sin and no repentance, then no one has told you that He came to forgive you of your sins, if you repent.

You might even say, “You can’t be speaking for Jesus. He would never speak to me that way. He loves me just the way I am. We are buddies and the Father is my sugar daddy, giving me whatever I want.”

And so, you will love little, like the Pharisee, because you do not understand the reality and extent of your sin.

Who had faith?

Who was forgiven?

Who was saved?

Who went in peace?

The woman who loved much, because she understood the reality and extent of her sin and the availability and extent of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Again, a gospel preached with no sin and no repentance CANNOT cause you to respond to Jesus Christ by loving Him much.

And what is more, a gospel preached without sin and repentance cannot bring you to the truth that Jesus will set you free from slavery to sin, by baptizing you in the Holy Spirit (John 8:31-36). Sin is not mentioned, repentance is not mentioned, and so you do not understand that you are a slave to sin.

But if you repent and ask His forgiveness for your sin, He will not only forgive you, but He will show you that He commands you to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4).

These also are commands, given by the Spirit-inspired Apostle Paul:

Romans 6:19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

Romans 12:1   Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

And the result will be inward holiness because the Holy Spirit dwells in you, large and in charge!

And you will be filled with the actual love of God,  you will love Him with His love, and you will not struggle to obey Him, for your heart will be entirely His!

And He will shine forth from you, drawing people to Himself through His presence in you, so they, too may understand the extent of their sin, and the availability and extent of Gods forgiveness through Jesus Christ, and they will love Jesus Christ much!

Romans 10:14   How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?  15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”

GLAD SHEEP

[SW196] 07/24/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Glad Sheep”

Sheep always are glad when they hear the voice of their shepherd and see him approaching. They run to him, without delay, and obey his voice!

Jesus Christ looks around even today, and sees that His people were distressed and dispirited; that is, thrown down, a deliberate, extended hurling, a long distance.

And He says, even today, “I AM the Good Shepherd!”

Matthew 9:36   Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.

He felt compassion for them. He was inwardly moved, because they were confused by the message that came from the Jewish leaders and priests.

They went through the religious motions as directed, but they continued to struggle with sin.

They were under Roman rule, and many were impoverished, not only by heavy Roman taxes, but false teachers who stole land, even out from under widows, and in the Temple, when offerings were given, they rigged the scales in their favor!

Worst of all,  they were under a yoke no one can bear (Acts 15:10) — a form of religious godliness that denies the power of God to change a human heart (2 Timothy 3:5).

Their teachers were hypocrites, teaching one thing and doing another. They did not enter into life, and did not allow those who were in the process of entering to actually come in. (Mt. 23:13)

What good news He shared! He is the One who will gather them and hold them in His bosom (Isaiah 40:11) — He will enclose them in a holy, intimate way, and He will be IN them!

His announcement is in John 10, right after He healed the man born blind, and His work was rebuked by the Jewish religious ones, the Pharisees.

Verse 1-2 — Highly important, truly, truly! There are thieves and robbers, false shepherds!

They climb up over the protective fence around the flock, to steal the sheep. They are being used by Satan, the chief thief.

But there is a true shepherd!

Verse 3-4 — He leads them out. and the sheep hear His voice. He knows their names, He calls them, and the sheep follow (obey!) because they know, they have intimate experience with, hearing His voice.

Verse 5 — Because they know their Shepherd’s voice they are able to discern a stranger’s voice. And they run from a stranger’s voice, because they do not know or have intimate experience with hearing the voice of that stranger.

Verse 14 — I AM the Good Shepherd, Jesus says, and I know My own and My own know Me intimately and experientially. They have experienced Me.

Verse 27 — My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow (obey) Me!

What good news for sheep who obey the Good Shepherd. Their obedience is evidence that they know Him intimately, by experience.

“But what do I see, even among the flock that is Mine?” That’s what the Lord says today.

Disobedient sheep, who claim to be Mine. They do not follow me. They do not obey My voice.

They climb down onto precarious ledges to eat something that looks good to them! They have gone after ear-tickling messages from thieves and robbers!

Isaiah 65:2      “I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts . . .

Many are out on a ledge, unaware of their condition!

When it is dark, the Lord says, you will be afraid and panic because you know you can’t see to climb back up to safety.

I will wait until you are exhausted, when you have no fight left in you.

When you cry out to Me, when you are ashamed and turn from turn from going after what looks good to you, things that thieves and robbers are teaching, I will rescue you.

Then you will know that I AM the Good Shepherd, and you will ask and I will give you a heart to obey Me.

If you refuse —

Isaiah 65:13        Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD,
“Behold, My servants will eat, but you will be hungry.
Behold, My servants will drink, but you will be thirsty.
Behold, My servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame.

14      “Behold, My servants will shout joyfully with a glad heart,
But you will cry out with a heavy heart,
And you will wail with a broken spirit.
15      “You will leave your name for a curse to My chosen ones,
And the Lord GOD will slay you.
But My servants will be called by another name.”

You who are on a precarious ledge, turn now! Repent now! Cry out now!

He will go out of His way to go and get you, when you cry out (Luke 15:1ff)!

Do not wait — the hour is late and the time is short!

Come into the fold of the Good Shepherd, and He will lead you!

THE MARKS OF A TRUE PROPHET

[SW195] 07/17/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Marks of a True Prophet”

When people are trained to easily identify counterfeit money, they don’t study counterfeits. They study real money. In these days, we must know the true so we can discern the false.

What are the marks of a true prophet of God? How can we recognize one?

Texts:  Jeremiah 23:22, 1 Kings 22:7ff

Jeremiah 23:22 True prophets stand in the Lord’s council. That means they intimately know God. They stand before Him, and hear His words.

And they announce His words to His people. What words does God speak to His true prophets?

Repentance. That they would turn back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds. What? God’s people do evil things? Beloved, not all of God’s people follow Him.That’s why He sends prophets — to warn.

What else is the mark of a true prophet? He or she doesn’t stop speaking God’s words, even though the words they speak are rejected by God’s people. They continue, until they are murdered or die of old age.

The Lord told Jeremiah that the people would not listen. In Ezekiel 2, He told Ezekiel eight times that His people were a rebellious people, and that they were stiff-faced and hard-hearted.

Samuel didn’t leave out a word of what God showed him (1Samuel 3:17), even when Israel rejected the Kingship of the Lord over them (1Samuel 8:4-7). He also encouraged them when they saw their sin and feared God (1Samuel 12:19-25). But he continued to warn them as long as he lived.

And as long as the hearts of God’s people remain unchanged, they will continue to rebel. He sends His prophets to announce His judgment, but also to tell them that Jesus Christ is a Heart-Changer, if they will turn away from their sin.

Another mark of the true prophet is that his message is rejected by God’s people:

— Sawing the true prophet asunder, as with Isaiah

— Hatred because the prophet does not prophesy good about them (1Kings 22:8)

— Closed hearts (2Corinthians 6:11-13)

— “Don’t judge me” (though it is God who judges and the prophet announces His judgment). Judging is for the church, too (1Corinthians 5:12,24 and 1Timothy 5:20).

— “Don’t speak out” (Micah 2:6)

— “Go back home” (Amos 7:12)

— “Get out of our way; let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 30:11)

So, the marks of  true prophets are that they will faithfully proclaim all the words of the Lord at all costs, and that they will be rejected and accused of judging by God’s rebellious people.

And that’s not just Old Testament stuff, beloved. John the Baptist lost his head for Jesus at the hand of Herod, and the Apostle Paul lost his head by way of the Roman emperor Nero, because Paul would not stop proclaiming the truth.

Peter was crucified upside down. All of the apostles were martyred but the Apostle John, who was tortured but survived, exiled so he may write the Book of Revelation to warn the churches and the world to repent.

Going back to Jeremiah 23:16ff, we see the marks of false prophets:

— They lead people into futility (fill them with false hopes)

— They speak a vision from their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord.

— They keep saying to those who despise the Lord, “Everything is fine, you will have peace.” To those who stubbornly rebel, they say, “Calamity will not come upon you.” Modern false prophets speak only of all the ways God wants to bless you, regardless of your rebellion against God.

— They run (with a message) without being sent by God. He does not speak to them, but they prophesy.

Lamentations 2:14  They see false and foolish visions, and have not exposed your sin, so as to restore you from your chains of capacity. What they say is false and misleading.

Paul warns Timothy of the conceit, lack of understanding, and depraved minds (minds given over to evil) of those who do not agree with the sound words of Jesus Christ — the doctrine of godliness, which means a transformed life, when hearts are transformed through the baptism of the Holy Ghost (see 1Timothy 6:3-5).

Knowing these things, how will you respond to them? Examine yourself and examine the prophets you like to hear. Are they true, or are they false? Do their words prick your conscience, or stroke your ego and feed your greed?

Seek true prophets, and heed their words, for they have been sent by God for your own good. If you obey and follow what the Lord says through them, you will have eternal life.

Seek no other blessing, but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness to be established inside of you (Matthew 6:33). There is nothing that can compare with fellowship with the Father and the Son, by way of the Holy Spirit, and all else that you need will be supplied by Him.

A CROOKED HOUSE

[SW194] 07/10/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“A Crooked House”

You can’t build a house with a crooked wall — it throws off every other measurement. The more you build around a crooked wall, the more crooked the whole house becomes!

Texts: Amos 7:1-9, 1Peter 4:17

Last week’s message was for those in this country who have rejected Jesus Christ. It was Daniel’s interpretation of the handwriting on the wall, for Belshazzar, King of Babylon, who did not believe in God.

This message is for those who profess faith in Jesus Christ.

I will speak all that the Lord gives me, and will not leave out a word (1Samuel 3:7).

When God the Father disciplines those who believe in His Son, it is so we can share in His holiness — so that we might cry out and asked to be filled with His Spirit, so we are no longer slaves to sin and so we are empowered to do the works He has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). He disciplines those He loves. (See Hebrews 12:6, 10.)

When churches have gone far from Jesus Christ, as with five of the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, He calls them to repent.

Jesus calls the church to repent today, for indeed, she has gone far from Him, though there is a remnant that is faithful.

Judgment is coming first to the household of God, beloved (1Peter 4:17).

I repeat — You can’t build a house with a crooked wall — it throws off every other measurement. The more you build around a crooked wall, the more crooked the whole house becomes!

He holds up a plumb line of judgment, and finds most of His church to be crooked rather than straight. What is the plumb line? His Word.

Throughout the church, He hears and sees many things like this from those who profess that they are His:

1. God wants you to be rich. God wants you to be financially successful. Share this post and you’ll get a Mercedes Benz with no payments. Jesus Christ was rich.

—What does His Word say? Do not seek treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, but sore up for yourselves treasures in heaven. You cannot be a servant of God and a servant of your lust for money. (Matthew 6:19-20, 24).

2. God doesn’t care if you sin, after you make Jesus your Savior. He understands.

— What does His Word say? I use the New Testament, to remove the usual objection that we are now under grace.

— “If your eye causes you to sin, throw it out; it is better for you to enter life (eternal life) with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.”

— “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” (John 8:34)

— And His servant Paul says, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2)

— And Paul says, “Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” (Romans 6:6-7)

— To Ananias, a member of the church, Peter says, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land . . . you have not lied to men, but to God.” And Ananias was stricken dead (Acts 5:3). Beloved, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

—“Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.” (1Timothy 5:20)

Beloved, many false teachers and prophets are the church who tickle the ears of its members, gently stroking their sinful natures that have not yet been crucified. Greed, pride, selfishness are coddled.

There are many crooked apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, both men and women, who have built one crooked wall after another to make the whole house crooked1

And in the church’s desire not to offend, and to make herself more palatable to the world, she has removed the requirement for confession of and repentance from sin from the salvation message.

But what does Jesus say about becoming palatable to the world?

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.”

Do we not know that the time is short, and that the Lord is coming soon? How then should we found by Jesus Christ? Spotless and blameless (2Peter 3:14).

What? We are to be holy as He is holy, perfect as our Father is perfect? We cannot make ourselves that way, and in much of the church, we are taught that it is impossible to be sanctified through and through.

Then why does Paul pray that for the church at Thessalonica (1Thessalonians 5:23). That is how we are preserved without blame, found spotless and blameless.

I have prayed for a long time that the church would ask for the Lord to do in them all that He promises —

Ephesians 3:19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. (This requires removal of sin from your very nature, because God and sin cannot dwell together.)

2Peter 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

This is a clarion call. I am sounding the trumpet, as a watchman on the wall. God has placed a plumb line beside you and found you to be crooked, O church, for you do not line up with His Word!

“Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’” (Ezekiel 33:11)

O church! Do you not know that this is a word to you, too? God does not change!

Repent, for judgment is coming soon. If not in my lifetime, certainly we will all stand before the judgment seat when our bodies die. Will he find you to be plumb, or will He find you to be crooked, O Christian?

If you ask Him right now, He will make the crooked straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be upon you (Isaiah 61:2)!

Wake up, sleeping one, and rise up from among the dead ones, and Christ will shine on you (Ephesians 5:14)!

Then He will welcome you, saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant! Come join in the joy of your Master!” Those are His promises for you who turn back to Him today!