MARK 6 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 was broken by sin.

Verses 1-6 — There are many listeners in the synagogue, but there is no mention of crowds in Mark’s account of Jesus teaching at Nazareth. Keep that in mind.

He is soundly rejected by His hometown synagogue. After all, He is simply a carpenter, the son of Mary. They are offended by Him. Who does He think He is, teaching us? Where does He get His wisdom? How did He get the power to do the miracles we’re hearing about? Humph!!!

When Verse 3 says “they took offense,” the word means they were tripped up. The Greek word is skandalizo, from which we get our word, “scandalous.” They disapproved of Him, which tripped them up. He became a stumbling stone, a rock of offense (Matthew 21:42, Romans 9:33, 1Peter 2:8).

So was it their unbelief that blocked Jesus from doing miracles in His hometown? No! As I said, there were no crowds. They did not believe He could heal, so most did not come to Him. But those few who DID come to Him were healed.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus is not stopped by unbelief; but if you do not come to Him for healing, you will not be healed by Him.

Verses 7-13 — The Twelve disciples are sent out in pairs. They are given authority over evil spirits. They also preach that men should repent (verse 12). They cast out many demons and anoint sick people with oil so they are healed (verse 13). Again, the “many” here indicates that if someone comes to them, they are set free from demons and healed of sicknesses.

We who belong to Jesus, who follow Him, love Him, and obey Him, also have this authority, and the ability to anoint for healing.

Note that as they are sent out, Jesus commands them to take only the clothes on their back and the sandals on their feet. Those to whom they minister are to provide for their needs. But if any reject them (verses 10-11), they are to shake the dust off the soles of their feet for a testimony against them.

The shaking off the dust from their feet (v.11) may be understood in the light of the Jewish custom of removing carefully the dust from both clothes and feet before reentering Jewish territory (cf. SBK, 1:571). For the Jews heathen dust was defiling. The significance of the act here is to declare the place to be heathen and to make it clear that those who rejected the message must now answer for themselves.

Don’t let their rejection cling to you, Jesus says. Amen!
Verses 14-29 — King Herod has been warned by John the Baptist that having sex with his brother’s wife is a sin against God (verse 18). So Herod imprisons him, but keeps him safe (though in a dungeon!). Then he makes a foolish vow to Herodias’ daughter. And John loses his head for Jesus. John’s disciples take his body away and lay it in a tomb.

Verses 30-32 — The disciples return from being sent out, report all that happened to Jesus, and He commands them to come away and rest. It is essential, when we are being used in such a way by God, that we rest afterwards, away from people who would like us to continue to minister. It is God’s power, not ours, by which we work, but intense ministry does tire our physical bodies.

Verses 33-44 — Our God is the God of more than enough. Jesus and the Twelve cannot keep the crowds away. They arrive ahead of them, and Jesus feels compassion for them. They are like sheep without a shepherd. He sees the same thing today. Many are misled, many are not offered anointing for healing, many remain possessed by evil spirits, many receive no teaching at all. So they wander around, directionless.

For everyone filled with Jesus, our inward parts are physically moved at such conditions. And the response of a Spirit-filled believer in Jesus Christ is to immediately begin teaching these sheep many things, because the Holy Spirit who has filled us is the Author of the Word of God, and He teaches us so we can teach others.

Jesus teaches for a long time, and the crowd is hungry. The disciples think Jesus should send them away so they can find food. But Jesus says, “YOU feed them!” With what? Five loaves and two fish. But there are 5,000, excluding women and children!!! How can this be?

He commands the crowd to sit down in groups, blesses the food as He looks heavenward, breaks the loaves continuously, and distributes the pieces of fish continuously — way beyond what He started with! He continues until every person is satisfied. Not just a taste. They are full.

This God of more than enough has more than enough of whatever you need. Have you heard Him teach? Seek Him out!

Verses 45-52 — This is the scene the Lord brought to mind the night I was healed of MS. His words here literally are, “Be comforted! I AM (I am the I AM of the burning bush in Exodus 3:14)! Do not fear!”

Are you in a storm of sickness or confusion or some other situation? Do not be afraid. He is coming. Invite Him into your boat. He will rescue you. He will calm the sea and the wind. Do not be astonished. He is God the Son! If you are astonished, it is because you do not yet see Him. Your heart is blind. Ask Him to soften your heart. He will do it, and you will see.

Verse 53-56 — Jesus is coming! Everyone runs to get sick ones. Everywhere Jesus goes, sick ones are laid in the market places, so they might touch the fringe of His garment. As many as touch the fringe of His cloak are being cured.

I repeat, as many as touch the fringe of His cloak are being cured.

They are desperate. They believe if they touch the fringe of His cloak, they will be healed. And they are. Are you desperate enough to ask Him to come by so you can touch His garment? Do you believe you will be healed, if you touch it?

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MARK 5 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 was broken by sin.

Verse 1-2 — Jesus calmed the sea and the boat reached the shore. Immediately a demon-possessed man meets Him. You will find that despite demon possession or illness, you will seek to meet Jesus when you see Him.

Verse 3-5 — The man is terribly possessed, breaking his chains, screaming, gashing himself.

Verse 6 — The man runs up to Jesus and bows down. The Greek word is proskuneo. He worships Jesus. That means he understands, despite his demon possession, that Jesus is God in the flesh.

Verse 7-10 — Then the demons speak from the man. Jesus is telling them to come out. They consider this to be torment. No demon wants to be in a spiritual desert. Demons want to enter into and possess someone or something that is alive.

Jesus asks the name of the demons, and the demons answer “Legion,” because there are many demons in this man. They didn’t want to be sent out of the country. What does that mean? Powers and principalities are demonic forces that occupy geographical areas all across the earth. They are in their area, and they don’t want to leave it.

Verse 11-14 — They can only do what Jesus permits them to do, and they must leave the man because He is commanding them to come out. So they beg to enter a herd of pigs. Jesus gives them permission. Why? He knows what is going to happen next.

As soon as the demons enter the pigs, the animals kill themselves by running into the sea and drowning. There were 2,000 of them. That means there were 2,000 demons in this one man! But NOTHING is too difficult for Jesus, and Satan and his demons must obey Him.

Verse 15-16 — The pig farmers run and report what happened. Everyone comes to see what has happened. They are frightened when they see the demon possessed man clothed and in his right mind, and when they hear the story. Why are they afraid? They know they are dealing with Someone much greater than them, and much greater than demons — they are dealing with God.

Verse 17-20 — Losing 2,000 pigs is a financial disaster. So the people strongly beseech Jesus to leave.

But the man who was delivered from all those demons asks to go with Jesus. But Jesus tells him to go home to his people (he is not Jewish) and tell them what great things the Lord has done for him. The man gladly obeys, and goes to the Decapolis, a cluster of 10 Greek (non-Jewish) cities nearby. Everyone who hears is amazed.

You will be like that man, when you are healed and delivered. You will shout from the rooftops! And people will be amazed at your testimony, just as they are amazed at mine. God the Son does GREAT things!

Verse 21-23 — Again a large crowd gathers as Jesus crosses the sea again and comes ashore. One in the crowd is Jairus, a Jewish synagogue official. He has a daughter who is at the point of dying. He also has a great deal of faith.

He falls at Jesus’ feet, and again, it is proskuneo. He understands that he is before the very Son of God, and he worships Him. He beseeches Jesus, he pleads for Jesus to come. If Jesus just lays His hands on Jairus’ daughter, Jairus knows she will be healed. He has faith!

Verse 24-29 — As Jesus starts to go with him, another large crowd follows, so large that people push up against Him.

But in that crowd, there is another person with faith. She has a bleeding problem which makes her unclean according to Jewish law. She is not supposed to be around other people, because her presence will make them unclean, too.

She has spent all her money on physicians, and endured much at their hands, but they cannot heal her.

She hears about Jesus, and breaks all the rules about uncleanness, breaks through the crowd, and comes up behind Him. She is desperate. As she pushes through, she is thinking, “If I just touch His garments I will get well.”

As soon as she touches His garments, the bleeding stops and she feels in her body that she is healed.

I know that feeling. When Jesus Christ healed me of progressive MS 14 years ago, I felt His power go through me, and I knew He was healing me.

Verse 30-34 — Jesus senses that power has gone out from Him. He asks, “Who touched My garments?”

Important point: Just touching His garments is enough to heal you! Are you desperate? Break the rules, break through the crowds!

His disciples think it is impossible to determine who touched Him, with the large crowd pressing in. But He looks and sees the woman.

She comes forward, afraid and trembling, and falls down before Jesus. Again, it is proskuneo. She worships Him.

You will worship Him, too, when He heals you. She confesses the whole truth. His response? Her faith has healed her. He commands her to go in peace. After all of that sickness, she is well, and at peace!

When Jesus says, “Your faith has healed you,” does He literally mean that faith heals us? No, God the Father heals us. God the Son, Jesus Christ, heals us.

Important point: We will not come to Him to be healed if we don’t believe He can do it. So in that way, the woman’s faith has healed her. If she had no faith, she would never have pushed through the crowd in desperation, in order to touch His garments and be healed by Him. Faith makes you desperate to touch Him.

Verse 35-40 —A bad report comes — it’s too late. Jairus’ daughter has died. No need to bother the Teacher. Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid (that it’s too late). Only believe.”

Only believe. That’s all you have to do. He’ll do the rest. Believe and He will show you that what He says is true. Without faith it is impossible to please God, for if you come to Him, you believe He is real and not just some theory. And He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Jesus arrives at Jairus’ house, accompanied by Peter, James and John. He is teaching them, their faith will be increased by what is about to happen, and they will be eyewitnesses who will report His miraculous works to others.

The professional mourners are busy at work. Unbelief saturates the whole scene. Woe! Woe! Woe!

But Jesus rebukes them and goes into the house. They laugh when He says she has not died; she’s just asleep. He puts them out — He removes the unbelieving ones from the scene, and goes into the girl’s room.

NOTE: When you know Jesus, you do not die. Your spirit goes to Him. To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord (2Corinthians 5:8). But your body sleeps.

Then, the Author of life does what only God can do. He takes Jairus’ dead daughter by the hand and says “Get up!” She has to do it. He has commanded it. And she begins to walk around. She is 12 years old.

And her parents and Peter, James and John are astounded. They wonder, they are amazed, they are astonished.

Jesus says, “Give her something to eat.” It is another proof that she is not a ghost, but alive!

I tell you, when Jesus does His work in you, many will wonder at it, many will be amazed, many will be astonished.

He gives life to the dead, physically and spiritually. He is still doing that, because He is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8)!

Only believe! If you do, you will come to Him, you will touch His garment, and you will be healed. Even though you have been given up for dead, He will raise you to life!

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?

MARK 1 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.

Verses 1-3  Why did Mark begin with Jesus Christ’s ministry, rather than with the story of His birth? Because he wants you to know RIGHT AWAY that this Jesus Christ is the One foretold by Isaiah in Isaiah 40:3 (the voice of one crying in the wilderness . . .) and Malachi 3:1 (Behold I send My messenger . . .).

Mark’s goal is to speak of Christ’s ministry, so you may know that He indeed is the Christ prophesied in the Old Testament (OT).

Verse 4-8 So the messenger in Isaiah 40:3 is John the Baptist. He baptized with water for repentance, for the forgiveness of sins. But Someone was coming who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. It was to be a whole new kind of baptism! This Someone was more powerful than John the Baptist.

Verse 9 But Jesus came from Nazareth, where He was raised, to John the Baptist. Why did the Son of God, the Christ, need baptism? He was perfect and sinless, so he had no need to repent. He needed no baptism of fire. He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). But He submitted to baptism according to His Father’s will.

Verse 10 Immediately after Jesus was baptized, God the Father gave visible signs — the  heavens opening, the Spirit descending upon Jesus like a dove, and the Father’s words that this is His Son, and He is pleased. Again, Mark says to you, “This is the Christ, God the Son!”

Mark only briefly mentions the wilderness temptation of Christ, because it is not important to the central message of his particular testimony of Christ. (NOTE: It is believed that Mark’s gospel was actually dictated to Mark by Peter, so it is believed that the Book of Mark is Peter’s testimony.)

In Mark 1:14 and forward, we see what Christ’s ministry looks like:

— He preaches the gospel of God to you, as follows:
— Now is the time, the Kingdom of God is near (so close, you can touch the King)
— Repent and believe in the gospel
— When He selects you, there is no dawdling or hesitation. When He speaks, you drop everything and follow Him. And He will make you a fisher of men.

Why doesn’t Jesus form a new church, right then and there? It is not time. He must die and be raised, ascend and be glorified. Then the church begins.

So in Verse 21, Jesus goes to the synagogue at Capernaum, to teach His people (He is born to a Jewess, so in the natural, He is a Jew).

He teaches as one having authority (Mark 1:22). That’s exousia, superhuman power. The scribes know the scriptures right side up, upside down, backwards and forwards, but they do not know the God of the scriptures, so they have no power when they teach. It is dry and dead.  A good lesson. It is important to first know Him and be filled with His Spirit. Then you will have the power to teach His Word.

Note in Mark 1:24 that demons are quicker to recognize God than the synagogue officials. And note that driving out demons takes no effort at all on Jesus’ part. He speaks, and it must be done.

I hope you are getting this very important characteristic of Jesus. He says follow, and people must follow. He rebukes demons, and they must flee. Whatever He speaks must happen. Only God can do such things. So again, Mark cries, “Jesus is the Christ, God the Son!”

Verse 27 —Everyone is amazed that Jesus can do these things. That is because they see Him as a man, not God in the flesh. They spread the news of this Jesus.

Verse 29 — Just as soon as Jesus leaves the synagogue, He and the others come into Simon Peter’s house. Note that Simon’s mother-in-law is sick. Jesus takes her by the hand, and the fever leaves. She is instantly healed. Her response? Service. She serves them. That’s what happens when Jesus touches you — you immediately begin serving Him.

Verse 32-34 — All who were ill and demon-possessed were healed. It says “many” in Mark 1:34. That Greek word means “altogether.” As Matthew says in Matthew 4:24, He healed all who came or were brought to Him. No disease or demon is too powerful for Him.

Verse 35 — Note that Jesus goes off to pray by Himself. That’s important. He spends time with the Father while the rest are sleeping. It is His quiet time, where He communes with the Father and prepares for the next steps.

Verse 37 — Everyone looks for Jesus. It is not so true today. Few look for Him. Most are offended by Him, because He saves sinners, not those who think they are good.

Verse 38 — He moves on to other towns, preaching and casting out demons. How many Christian preachers do you know who do such things today? The church is in a fallen state.

Verse 40 and forward — There is a VERY important lesson for all of us. Lepers were forced to cry, “Unclean, unclean,” as they walked about, so no one would catch leprosy from them. He wants Jesus to make him clean, to heal his leprosy. He knows Jesus can do it — “You CAN make me clean.” He just isn’t sure it is God’s will.

Do not pray, “If you are willing, please heal me.” This is the VERY important lesson: He is willing — no ifs, ands, or buts. It is ALWAYS God’s will to heal. Note also that Jesus was moved with compassion — He literally was inwardly moved with pity.

Note that it does not take a long time for the leper to be healed. It happens immediately (Mark 1:42).

Now what’s this about the leper showing himself to the priest as a testimony? The Old Testament speaks of lepers being sent out into the desert. When they came back, the priest had to examine them and declare them healed.

Who healed them? Only God can heal leprosy. God healed them in the desert. This leper, by the fact that he is healed, is a testimony that God is here, and God has healed him of leprosy. Again, “Jesus is the Christ, God the Son!”

Why does Jesus tell him not to tell anyone but to go to the priests? Because He already knows how the Jewish leaders and priests will react. They will feel threatened. They will be jealous. They will come after Jesus. But Jesus knows the healed man will speak anyway.

How can I keep it a secret, when Jesus heals me?

The leper’s testimony draws people from all over. So will yours.

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!

GREATER THINGS

[SW174] 02/20/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Greater Things”

What did Jesus mean when He said those who believe in Him would do greater things? You’ll be amazed to find out!

John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and  greater works than these he will do; because  I go to the Father.”

The keys here are “GREATER works he will DO” and  “BECAUSE I go to the Father.”

What possible greater thing (the word “works”  isn’t in the original Greek) could you do that Jesus did not do while He was on the earth?

What possible greater thing could be done by you BECAUSE He went to the Father?

What hadn’t Jesus Himself done while He was on the earth, but was something you as a believer would be empowered to do when He went to the Father?

We know that when Jesus went to the Father, He was glorified and poured out the Holy Spirit. The Spirit had not yet been given. (John 7:37-39). It was a new way of having the Spirit — He was to be you permanently, not just with you or upon you or “in” you for a specific task until it was done, like Bezalel (Exodus 31:2-3).

In that upper room in Acts 2, the 120 experienced a personal Pentecost. They were filled with God the Holy Spirit.

In order to  understand the greater they would do, you must understand what GOD worked in those who experienced a personal Pentecost that day. It is what empowered them to do the greater thing promised by Jesus.

The Holy Spirit purified their hearts (Acts 15:9), so those who were filled no longer had divided affections. God no longer had any rivals in their hearts.

Jesus prayed for the Father to put His love in them AND Him in them (John 17:26), so they would be filled Jesus Himself and with God’s actual love and love with God’s love — the same love the Father has for the Son. And that happened to those 120 in that upper room, when they experienced a personal Pentecost.

Jesus promised that because they were truly His disciples, they would continue in His word and know the truth by experiencing it, and the truth would set them free from slavery to sin (John 8:31-36). And that happened to those 120 in that upper room, when they experienced a personal Pentecost.

He promised that they would become partakers of His divine nature (2Peter 1:4), having His character literally residing in them. And that happened to those 120 in that upper room, when they experienced a personal Pentecost.

The Holy Spirit worked such a change in those who were filled, that they became Jesus Christ’s witnesses here, even to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8)!

So, with all of that in mind, what is it that the disciples were empowered to do, and what is it that you and I are empowered to do, when we experience a personal Pentecost?

John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and  greater works than these he will do; because  I go to the Father.”

He said it would be a greater thing that we would DO, a “God thing” that we would do, one that God in the flesh did not do while He walked the earth. And it was BECAUSE He went to the Father that we would be empowered to do this greater thing.

There is only one thing that Jesus did not do while He walked the earth that we are now able to do BECAUSE He went to the Father.

It is a greater thing than healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers, casting out demons, making the blind see and the deaf hear and the lame walk, which He and His disciples did when Jesus walked the earth.

The only thing Jesus did not do while He walked the earth, but we are now able to do, is described in Acts 8:17, 9:17 and Acts 19:1-7 —

Acts 8:17 Then they  began laying their hands on them, and they were  receiving the Holy Spirit.

Acts 9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after  laying his hands on him said, “ Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be  filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 19:1   It happened that while  Apollos was at  Corinth, Paul passed through the  upper country and came to  Ephesus, and found some disciples.  2 He said to them, “ Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No,  we have not even heard whether  there is a Holy Spirit.”  3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “ Into John’s baptism.”  4 Paul said, “ John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people  to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”  5 When they heard this, they were  baptized  in the name of the Lord Jesus.  6 And when Paul had  laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began  speaking with tongues and  prophesying.  7 There were in all about twelve men.

Beloved, when you experience a personal Pentecost and your heart is purified, God’s actual love fills your heart, and you are no longer a slave to sin, and you are a partaker of the divine nature, the greater thing you are empowered to do, the one thing Jesus did not do while He was on the earth, is to baptize others in the Holy Spirit.

Those three scriptures show you that baptism in the Holy Spirit happens when you lay hands on a fellow believer. BUT It may also happen while you are speaking the gospel of Jesus Christ —

Acts 10:44   While Peter was still speaking these words,  the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the  message.

When you experience a personal Pentecost and are filled with and baptized in the Holy Spirit, you are empowered to lay hands on others or even to speak the gospel with such power that they, too, are baptized in the Holy Spirit and filled to overflowing!

Why? So their hearts are purified just like yours, no longer having divided affections.

Why? So His love is in them, just like it is in yours, just like Jesus prayed to the Father.

Why? So they, too, are no longer slaves to sin, just as He promised in John 8:31-36.

Why? So they, too, become partakers of the divine nature

Why? So they, too can be Jesus Christ’s witnesses, even to the ends of the earth.

Why? So they, too, can lay hands on others so they are filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit!

Jesus did not baptize people in the Holy Spirit while He was on the earth because it was not yet time.

AFTER He went to the Father and was glorified, it was time! Pentecost happened! And it is still happening today, in individual believers, beloved.

It’s what Paul was praying in Ephesians 3:14-19.

It’s the point to which apostles and prophets and evangelists and pastors and teachers seek to bring every Christian. It is God’s plan for building the church —

Ephesians 4:13 . . . until we all attain to  the unity of the faith, and of the   knowledge of the Son of God, to a  mature man, to the measure of the stature  which belongs to the  fullness of Christ.

Beloved, as Jeff once prophesied, God does not want a full church; He wants a filled church. God does not want a full church building. He wants believers who are filled!

Have you experienced a personal Pentecost? Is your heart pure? Are you filled with the same love God has for His Son? Are you no longer a slave to sin?

You must love and obey Jesus before the Holy Spirit will come and fill you to the full (Acts 5:32).

Are you still struggling with sin, Christian, pastor, church leader?

Then confess your sin, ask Jesus to forgive you! Repent!

Then ask, seek, knock, and He will purify your heart, fill it with His love, free you from slavery to sin, and give you His divine nature!

And you will be able to do something greater than what Jesus did when He walked the earth! It will be for His purpose. And you will become one of His ambassadors here, just as the Apostles and all of the church from that Acts 2 Pentecost, and for all time until Jesus returns!

Beloved, Jesus didn’t die and rise again so you could receive whatever blessings you demand from the Father’s hand.

He died and rose again so you would have a pure heart, one that obeys because it is filled with the very same love that the Father has for the Son, and so that you would be a vessel through which He would baptize many in the Spirit, to be His witnesses everywhere!

THE SEED OF FAITH

[SW171] 01/31/2015 message notes by
Licensed Leader Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“The Seed of Faith”

The Lord wants to plant a seed in you today, He wants to rain on you today, He wants to show you the divine simplicity of faith.

Text to begin with — Ephesians 2:8

In Israel, the deserts are dry and desolate-looking. But once in a while, the great rains come, and the desert blooms. Seeds dropped during the last great rain, seeds that have laid dormant for years, suddenly produce a sea of flowers and grasses.

Faith is like that. It’s a seed. God plants it in you. It’s a gift from Him (Ephesians 2:8).

You want to understand faith, you want God to do what He says He will do. But the more voices you listen to, the more complicated it seems to be. I pray you will see its divine simplicity today.

It is by grace you are saved, through faith.

It is by grace you are healed, through faith.

It is by grace you are delivered, through faith.

Beloved, Jesus Christ has come to set the captives free (Isaiah 61, Luke 4:18-19). And He’s the same yesterday and today and forever. It all begins with the seed of faith deposited in you by God.

I am praying that God will plant a seed of faith in you, and that the great rains come to water it, as I tell you what He did in me.

#1 The seed

I had a hard time pinpointing when I received the seed of faith, but just this morning, the Lord showed me it was when I was a little child, maybe five years old. I remember my parents taking me to church. But then I strayed far away, and there was no rain, so the seed laid dormant for 40 years.

#2 The rain

My pastor gave our church board Tommy Tenney’s The God Chasers. I was sick with progressive MS. But the rain came, and the seed stirred. I got face-down on the floor and prayed, “God, I want to know you like that!”

Then there was the vision from Pastor Doc. He obeyed God and from the pulpit, spoke the vision God had given him (Romans 10:14-17). In that vision, I was healed. More rain! My face lit up, I couldn’t help but smile, the seed stirred more!

#3 The conviction and confession

Conviction of sin came next. When I saw it, I came to God humbly and contritely (Psalm 51:16-17).

— The Holy Spirit convicted me of sin, through the instructions God gave Pastor Doc (praying to God to see if I was right with Him, and receiving no answer).

— Pastor Doc obeyed and asked if I had any unforgiveness in my heart. Yes, toward first husband. I confessed my sin (Matthew 6:15), and asked God to take unforgiveness from my heart. I felt it lift off my shoulders as I prayed.
I was not right with God until I asked Him to take it from me. That’s why there was no answer to my first prayer.

— Pastor Doc obeyed again and showed me Hebrews 13:8 (more rain!), making me speak it out loud. The Holy Spirit convicted me that I was limiting God by saying healing is not for today, and I repented.

#4 The growing

Still more rain! I needed it in order to break ground and come into flower and sway in the breeze of the Holy Spirit!

Word — The scripture prescriptions assigned by Pastor Doc, at God’s direction.

Worship — Continuous, worship music from when I arose to when I went to bed.

Prayer — Lord, show me, teach me, put this Word in me so I know You, and so I believe You will heal me.

#5 The believing — acting on the seed of faith God gave to me

Here’s all it was (but it is much, when I think about it!) — I reached up in the night and asked Jesus to rescue me from drowning in a sea of doubt (Matthew 14:30, John 11:4 and 40, Isaiah 53:1).

#6 The seeing

Healed, then baptized in the Spirit, and growing, faith to faith, image to image, glory to glory (2Corinthians 3:18)!

#7 The purpose

That I would be a witness to the world, living proof that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, and that He loves me just as He loves His Son (John 17:21, 23)

Altar call:

Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Seek Him, not what He can do.

Approach God humbly and contritely. Crouch down as low as you can go. Ask Him for a seed of faith.

Ask Him to show you if there is sin in your heart, and when He does, don’t shrink back. Just ask Him to remove it so you’re no longer separated from Him (Isaiah 59:1-2).

Be careful of preachers of faith. Some of them teach only part of the picture.

Ask God to put someone in your path who will show you the whole picture.  He is faithful, and He will do it.

Obey what that one says to do. Submit. Pray, read, worship.

When Satan tries to strip everything away by sending a wave of doubt over you, that little plant of faith in you, grown from the seed that was a gift from God, will remain.

And He will answer and save you and heal you and fill you.

Amen.