WHY GOD HATES RELIGION

[SW068] 11/18/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
“Why God Hates Religion”

God hates religion, but Christianity is NOT a religion. What??!! Read, and then shout, “Hallelujah!”

Isaiah 1:11 “ What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?”
    Says the LORD.
    “I  have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
    And the fat of fed cattle;
    And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats.
12 “When you come  to appear before Me,
    Who requires of you this trampling of My courts?
13 “Bring your worthless offerings no longer,
     Incense is an abomination to Me.
     New moon and sabbath, the  calling of assemblies —
    I cannot  endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.
14 “I hate your new moon festivals and your  appointed feasts,
    They have become a burden to Me;
    I am  weary of bearing them.

God hates religion! He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to put an end to it.

Understand this — Christianity is not a religion. What??!!

It is not a religion,
but a completion.
When we come to Christ, we cry, “Abba, Father, the Holy Spirit  testifying with our spirit that we have become a child of God
and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:15ff).

It begins not with a vow,
but an 180-degree turn toward Christ, NOW.
Just as Zaccheus turned immediately (Luke 19:8),
when Jesus called him by name
and said He must stay at his house “today.” Oh! He wants to come to YOUR house, TODAY! He wants to dwell there!

It is not a change only as deep as your skin,
but a completely changed heart, a change deep within.
The old goes, the new comes, and
we become new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17),
born from above — a spiritual rebirth (John 3:7)!

It is not a life spent in rote learning,
but an experience wrought by an inner yearning.

It is not knowing about Christ, knowing “the facts,”
but knowing Him intimately (Ephesians 5:27, etc.), and doing His acts,
. . . and even greater (John 14:12)!

It’s not a series of “do’s and don’ts,”
but your heart and lips saying, “Unless it’s God’s will, I won’t.”
“Behold, I delight to do Your will, O God . . . ” (Psalm 40:7-8)
My heart desires and is prompted to do nothing but obey!

It is not a pain, a chore and a bore,
But a life praising Christ, who opened heaven’s door (John 10:9),
and heaven in our souls right now and more and more!

It’s not just saying prayers
or lifting up our hands in the air,
But continual communion,
24/7 union,
with a God who is LIVING!
That is praying “without ceasing!” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

It is not attending and critiquing a Sunday service,
but Christ’s own heart in you so you are His servant. (Matthew 20:26-28), not for you to be served, but to serve Him, to minister to Him.

It is not just one hour, one day a week given,
but in your soul, heaven — 24/7!

It is not singing in a choir,
but your old nature placed on a funeral pyre. (Galatians 2:20)

It is not Bible study in which you weigh and compare,
but beholding the face of Christ Jesus there,
until you look like Him here. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

It is not one of many paths to eternal life,
but the only way, made by Christ’s sacrifice. (John 14:6). The Son of God means what He says and says what He means!

It is not  simply to “make a decision” for Christ,
but to make Him Master, Owner, Lord of your life!

It is not a philosophy or some truth you confess,
but a treasure for which you’ll sell all to possess. (Mathew 13:44)

It is not insurance against hell’s fire,
but a heart set ablaze with the Spirit’s holy fire (Matthew 3:11). He has come to baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire!!! O, Refiner, come!

It is not simply admiring Christ,
but a heart filled with His love, and inside us, His life!
(Romans 5:5, John 17:26)

It is not that Jesus is our example,
but that He gives us His Spirit, heaven’s sample (Ephesians 1:14),
and it’s for the praise of God and Christ’s glory!

It’s not something out of His disciples’ imagination,
but Christ, God’s promise to Abraham, a blessing for all nations!
(Genesis 12:3, Galatians 3:16)

—————————————————————————————————
O church, O seeker . . .

I am blowing the trumpet:
 In many churches, religion has taken the place of Christianity!!!

God hates religion because:

It deceives.
It is all outward appearances,
while the heart is filled with dead men’s bones and unclean things.             (Matthew 23:27)

It is disobedience to His Word.
Christians are “a sinful nation,” just as Israel and Judah were in Isaiah’s day.
He says, “Be holy,” and we say “No, but we will do what we want,
what seems right to us.” (Jeremiah 42:14)

It is a form of godliness while denying its power to transform. (2 Timothy 3:5)
It is “going through the motions.”
Our hearts are not in it.

O church, when you see it, you know the words Christ speaks are for you:

Mark 7:6 And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
    ‘ THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS,
    BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.” (Isaiah 29:13)

O church, when you see that your whole head is sick (2483, full of malady, anxiety, calamity, and grief) and your whole heart is faint (1742, troubled) [see Isaiah 1:5],

When you see that you are weighed down with sin, pulling it behind you as if with cart ropes (Isaiah 5:18),

When you have come to the end of yourself,
when you are ruined, undone, (Isaiah 6:5),
and see that Christianity is not at all what you thought it was
or what you were taught it was,

When the wall you’ve been leaning on has fallen over (Isaiah 30:13, Ezekiel 13:14),

When you know you are in spiritual famine and drought,
because the Lord has sent His army of locusts to devour your “religion,”

REJOICE! It is in His mercy that he has revealed this to you! His mercy is here for you TODAY! What’s been spoken thus far may sound like bad news, but all words from God are good news because they are life-giving words! These words will give life to you, if you receive them!

Rend (tear) your heart and not your garments (robes)!
Mourn from the depths of you, not just so you “appear” to be spiritual!
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted —
comforted by the Comforter, the Holy Spirit!
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be filled!

Even now! Even now! Even now! Do not outwardly mourn, but from your very heart! Mourn the condition of your soul which you now see! Mourn that you have been duped all these years into following “religion,” when Christianity is a completion!

Even now! Even now! Turn to the Lord!

Joel 2:12     “Even now,” declares the LORD,
        “return to me with all your heart,
        with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
Joel 2:13    Rend your heart
        and not your garments.
        Return to the LORD your God,
        for he is gracious and compassionate,
        slow to anger and abounding in love,
        and he relents from sending calamity. (NIV)

O pastors and leaders who belong to God and minister to the Lord face-to-face,     read and obey Joel 2:17-18:

Joel 2:17 Let the priests, the LORD’S ministers,
    Weep  between the porch and the altar,
    And let them say,
    “ Spare Your people, O LORD, [and the church]
    And do not make Your inheritance a reproach,
    A byword among the nations.
    Why should they among the peoples say,
    ‘ Where is their God?’”
        18 Then the LORD will be zealous for His land [and the church]
And will have  pity on His people.

Then read His promise. Join Jeff and me and many others and weep for her:

Joel 2:25 “Then I will make up to you for the years
    That the swarming  locust has eaten,
    The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust,
    My great army which I sent among you.
26 “You will have plenty to  eat and be satisfied
    And  praise the name of the LORD your God,
    Who has  dealt wondrously with you;
    Then My people will  never be put to shame.
27 “Thus you will  know that I am in the midst of Israel, [and the church]
 And that I am the LORD your God,
    And there is  no other;
    And My people will never be  put to shame.

Oh, it will come about after this! He will deal wondrously! He could have written us off, but wonder of wonders, His arms are opened wide to receive us!

It will come about after this! After what?
After you rend your hearts, O church, after you weep, O pastors and leaders,
after you see you are ruined and undone, O church,
listen to what will come about!

Joel 2:28   “It will come about after this
    That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
    And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    Your old men will dream dreams,
    Your young men will see visions.
29 “Even on the male and female servants
    I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”
32 “And it will come about that  whoever calls on the name of the LORD
    Will be delivered;

O church, He will pour out His Spirit in your ruined, undone hearts,
and exchange those hearts for His!

Christianity will no longer be your religion, but your completion!
You will cry “Abba, Father!” and you will know it is true,
and the world will take notice that you have been with Jesus,
and they will come to Him.

Beloved, do not be fooled. They will not come to your “religion.”

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FELLOWSHIP IN THE SPIRIT

[SW061] 09/30/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
“Fellowship in the Spirit”

As I look at the church from the wall You’ve set me upon,
I see what John saw in 1 John.
Some are in fellowship with You.
And some are not.
And if they are not in fellowship with You,
then You do not know them. (Matthew 7:23, 1 John 3:6)

Show them what the fellowship is.
Then show them what blocks fellowship
and tell them how to enter into fellowship with Me.

1 John 1:1 What was from the beginning, what we have  heard, what we have  seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and  touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life —  2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us — 3 what we have seen and  heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 These things we write, so that our [and your] joy may be made complete [full, fulfilled, brought to completion].

FELLOWSHIP IN THE SPIRIT . . .

It begins with a bang,
a sudden realization that though we may hold the church’s highest position [like Isaiah],
we have impure lips that reflect an impure heart.
And we are undone, we are ruined!
But God . . . He extends the coal of Christ!
It touches us and purifies our lips and thus our hearts.
Then we are able to hear Him say,
“Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”
And we say, “Here am I! Send me! (Isaiah 6:1ff)
“I delight to do Your will, O God!” (Psalm 40:8)

FELLOWSHIP IN THE SPIRIT . . .

It happens in those whose hearts have been made pure, who obey Jesus Christ:

Hearts that are joined to Jesus’ heart,
beating in time with His,
gathering together to share the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
with one another
and then going out and about,
God’s continuing work in them
evidence (witnesses) of Christ’s resurrection,
owners of new, pure hearts from the Giver.

It is a glorious bouncing back and forth of the Spirit
as He resonates in us, between us.
We sense it even when, as strangers, we meet. We are refreshed by one another!

He moves among and between us and in us,
touching one, then touching another.
Revelation, depth of vision, everything increasing
As we go from image to image — more like Him —
and glory to glory!

The gifts flow freely,
because none of us has an agenda or a plan of our own.
He gives us His heart, His thoughts,
God’s wisdom and knowledge are shared
Words come forth that encourage and transform
healing, prophecy, faith, miracles, discernment.
as we journey together to freely give
what has been freely given to us.

Always outward-looking
to see where the Lord wants us to be
in the next moment.
Who can we touch with You, Lord?

He is in us and with us
and has completely filled us up to overflowing,
and the overflow is shared among us.
Joy unspeakable and full of glory!
We raise our hands in reverence.
We fall down and worship.

The Spirit moves and we rejoice!
The presence of God comes upon us in like a great holy weight,
and there is a holy hush
as we sense that He is not only in us,
but has bent down from His throne
to give us an outward sign and to bless our hearts!

The fellowship of His obedient ones is filled with His glory!

The Lord says to you,  “Do you experience this kind of fellowship with My followers?”

FELLOWSHIP IN THE SPIRIT . . .

With the Father and the Son (out of this fellowship comes the fellowship I’ve just described):

Koinonia (2842) partnership, participation, spiritual communication, communion.

Rich words! The heavenly treasure we’re commanded to store up!

Partnership. Being about the business of one with whom you work hand in hand.     We are about the Father’s business (Luke 2:49, KJV),
just like the Son who lives in us.
But it is not just the work He directs us to do,
from moment to moment.

It is also for us to actually partner with Him,
To be full of Him, full of His Spirit
Intimately linked to Him because He has given us His nature.

Then we are able to hear and see
what business the Father is doing next —
knowing all ministry to others
flows from our intimate partnership with Him,
and our ministry to Him.

Participation. Taking part in what is being done,
and possessing particular qualities of the other participant.
We are co-laborers in the harvest of souls for Christ.
And the fields are white! The fields are white!
Participating in the gathering of souls
to the heart of the Father
through the blood of His Beloved.

Possessing His qualities — the fruit of the Spirit
His love, His joy, His peace, His patience . . .

Sitting at His table, united in a holy intimacy,
fully involved and enveloped,
fully possessed and owned by Him,
experiencing His presence continually,
welcomed into the room
where the plans are set,
and where He Himself is seated.

Communication. Imparting or exchanging of information or news,
a means of connection between two or more.
Hallelujah! We receive the Good News from Jesus Christ,
and we go forth with beautiful feet,
feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace!

But let’s go even deeper . . .
God imparting Himself to us! Connection, indeed!

Filled with His Spirit,
hearing the very voice of our Good Shepherd,
living in Him from moment to moment,
no plans of our own,
but wherever we are,
He ministers through us.

And we minister to the heart of God,
for the Giver of the new heart
has come in and done His work!
He rejoices in heaven and within us!

Communion. Sharing or exchanging intimate thoughts and feelings,
on a spiritual level.
How can I even describe this, Lord?
You touch me and I weep for joy!
You give me Your heart,
You whisper in my ear and I shout from the rooftops!

I feel Your grief at the unspiritual junk food
coming from many pulpits.
I share Your joy
as another son or daughter is brought to glory!

The Lord says to you, “Do you experience this fellowship with Me?”

REALITY CHECK:

John saw what the Lord showed me.
Some of the church had fellowship with the Father and the Son,
and some did not.

“And some did not.” Why do I say that?
He was led by the Spirit to invite them into fellowship. The result? His joy, and theirs!

Why did they NOT have this fellowship with the Father and the Son?

Some had become entangled in false teaching, listening to the Gnostics:

— Jesus didn’t literally come in the flesh because the flesh is evil.
So it just SEEMED that He had a body.
That’s why John emphasizes that he saw and touched Jesus (v. 1-2)

— The body, which is is evil, is separate from the spirit, which is pure.
so you can sin in your body,
and your spirit will remain pure.

— The spirit is pure and cannot be affected by what you do with your body?
It is being taught even today in many Christian denominations!
Beware! Beware! Run from the stranger’s voice!

THE TRUTH? SIN SEPARATES US FROM GOD (Isaiah 59:1-2).

That is a warning from the watchman’s wall.

But the good news is this —
John invites the wayward ones into fellowship with the Father and the Son!
It is not too late for them (or you) to turn away from sin
and ask the Lord to cleanse.

What must they do?
They must turn from following the Gnostic teaching (and you from your sin),
and REPENT —
that means to see the inward state of your heart,
not just ceasing from what you’re doing.

Again, repenting is not just ceasing from doing something,
but understanding your inward crookedness
and asking God to make you straight.
Inward crookedness. It’s the state of the heart!
It’s the heart of the matter.
The fact that they follow the Gnostic teaching
reflects that their hearts want to keep sinning.

There is still rebellion in their hearts,
and it prevents them from having life-giving and glorious
fellowship with God.
If they continue to sin,
they trample on the Son and
insult the Spirit. (Hebrews 10:26-29).

And so, John warns them and you and me:

1 John 1:5  This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that  God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. [There is no evil or sin in God; He IS light, and love.]

6  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; [We can’t have fellowship and walk in sin. We lie to ourselves and deceive ourselves if we say we can willfully disobey Him and yet have fellowship with Him. The word “practice” is not in the original Greek. We do not the truth — that is, we do not do the truth.]

7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and  the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. [Those who have only light in them have been inwardly cleansed by Jesus Christ of the rebellious nature, the sin nature. Then NOTHING blocks fellowship with the Father and Son and the rest of His obedient ones. The heart is made pure in motive. His love fills our hearts and we hate sin as He does.]

John 3:19 [Jesus says] “This is the judgment, that  the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for  their deeds were evil. 20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

If we say that we have no sin, [the Gnostic teaching] we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and  to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  [Dear one, do not deceive YOURSELF by saying you can sin in your body and your spirit will remain pure! Confess your sins, and He will cleanse you of all your non-rightness with God and make your heart pure toward Him.]

10  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. [If we are sinless and have pure spirits regardless of what we do AND apart from Christ’s work in our hearts, as the Gnostics taught, we never needed the Savior He sent at great cost — His one and only Son, and His Word is a lie!]

Dear ones, shall we continue to sin so grace may increase?
May it never be!
How shall we who have died to sin continue to live in it? (Romans 6:1-2)

Get clean! Repent! See your inward spiritual condition!
Ask the Father to forgive you, ask the Son to cleanse you,
so you’re clean on the outside because you’re clean on the inside!

Then join the true Church and the Father and the Son
in joy-filled, continual FELLOWSHIP IN THE SPIRIT!
My joy, and yours, will be complete, fulfilled, as we are all filled full of the Spirit!