COMMENTARY ON JOHN 1

NOTE: Please see John 3 notes for comments on 1:12-13. I missed saying anything about these verses in the commentary below.

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!

Please bear with me while I get just a bit technical in parts of the first few verses of the Book of John. He wonderfully sets the foundation for faith in Jesus Christ, right from the start. Many have misinterpreted these verses over the centuries, so I asked the Lord to help me, by using some word definitions, put an end to all those misinterpretations.

Verse 1 — I could spend a week on this verse alone! In the beginning (literally, in beginning), before anything was created, was the Word.

The Word? What is that? You will see. This Word was literally geographically located with God somewhere. And this Word was God. This Word was divinity. This Word existed before anything was created.

How can this Word be located with God and be God? You will see.

Do you hear the echo from Genesis 1:1? In beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Verse 2 — He (literally, this one, the same one John has just described in Verse 1) was in beginning, before anything was created. This Word is a “He.”

Verse 3 — All things came into being (were created) through Him — through this Word. All things. Nothing was created until He created it. Nothing simply created itself. Nothing came into being and was created except through Him.

Verse 4 — In Him was life (zoe), defined as “life as God has it, eternal life.” And this zoe was the light of men. This life from this Word shone on men, like rays of light. It was luminous. It lit up this Word.

Verse 5 — This Word, this luminous, shining light, this one who had the life of God in Himself, shines — here and now —  in the darkness. Everything was in the past tense until this verse. His light shines here and now. But the darkness did not comprehend it. The darkness could not overcome it. The darkness could not seize it. The darkness could not perceive it. The darkness could not possess it.

Why? In the natural world,when you flip a switch in a dark room, the darkness goes away. It cannot remain in the presence of light. You will later see that darkness (a symbol or “type” for evil in the Book of John) flees when the light of this Word shines on it. It cannot remain in His presence.

Verses 6-8 — John the Baptist is introduced. He was sent from God. He was a prophet of God. His marching orders are in Isaiah 40.

John the Baptist came as a witness, as one who testifies. What was he going to testify about? This Light, this luminous one, this one who shined on people, this one that made darkness flee, this Word, this one who was both with God and at the same time was God, about Him. Why? So that through John the Baptist’s words, given to him by God, all might believe.

John the Baptist was not the Light, but John the Baptist came to testify about the Light. He came to say, “This is the Light!”

Verse 9 — There He was! The true Light, the Light who the Apostle John is writing about. This Light, this God, this one who was with God, CAME into the world. He entered the world, He appeared in the world. He was not from the world, or He would not have needed to enter it from somewhere else.

And this Light enlightens every man. He shines upon every man. This light is not in every human being, but it shines upon every human being. When it does, it brings light, and makes the human being able to see.

Verse 10 — He was in the world. He entered the world and was geographically located in it.

He made, He created the world. This one who entered the world was the Word, was God who created the world and was with God at the time it was created.

But the world (human beings in the world) did not know Him. They did not recognize the One who created the world. They saw Him standing before them, but they did not know Him or perceive Him as their Creator.

Verse 11 — He came into His own. Again, He came. He entered into and met up with His own. He met up with all He had created. He met up even with a particular people who were set apart from the rest of His creation. But they did not receive Him. They did not associate themselves with Him, they did not have any kind of relationship with Him. They did not take Him, they did not receive Him. The opposite of receive? Deny, renounce, turn away.

Why did He come? You will see.

Verses 12-13 — But whoever (as many as) received Him, associated themselves with Him and had a relationship with Him — they became children of God. Prior to receiving Him, they were not children of God. They became children of God when they received Him.

What exactly did they do to receive Him? They believed He was exactly Who He said He was. Who did He say He was? You will see. John says He was God, was with God before anything was created, and entered the world, and was the One who shone like a light in the darkness.

Verse 14 — Now I can answer who this Word is. He became flesh. He was not flesh to begin with, but became flesh. He took on a body —

Hebrews 10:5  Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,

“Sacrifice and offering You have not desired,

But a body You have prepared for Me;

Psalms 40:6    Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;

My ears You have opened;

Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.

7  Then I said, “Behold, I come;

In the scroll of the book it is written of me.

8  I delight to do Your will, O my God;

Your Law is within my heart.”

Not only did He take on a body, but He dwelt (abided, stayed for a while) with us. “Us” means the writer of this gospel. “Us” means human beings, also.

And we saw His glory — John and the rest who saw Him and with whom He stayed for a while — saw His glory, His dignity, we experienced His weighty presence and His majesty which was deserving of honor and praise.

It wasn’t just any glory. It was glory given Him by the Father. Who is the Father? This is the first mention of a Father. This One is the only begotten (monogenes, which means always existing). This One is the Son.

This One is God, the Word that was with God in the beginning, and God is the Father of this One. Now you know the answer to the first question: How can this Word be located with God and be God? It is because God was the always existing Father of this always existing Word who was God. So we have God the Father, and God the Son — they are both God. They are not separate Gods. They are one God.

Genesis 1:26   Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Let Us — We make. The Hebrew word for “make” has a “we” on the end of it, in my Hebrew-to-English Bible. “We” is more than one. Both are God. They speak the same things, they do the same things. They are Father and Son, in one.

This is hard to “reason out” with the natural mind with which you were born. It is hard to grasp. But they operate as one and are both God, so they are God. Just accept it for now. You will see.

And this Word, this One who came, this Light, this Son of the Father, became flesh. He was not flesh before, but He became it.

He dwelled among us. He came here. He came to us. He stayed, He abided, until all that He had to do was finished.

He was full of grace and truth. He was completely filled with it. He was covered with it.

This Word was full of grace. What is grace? I looked it up. Most say grace is “unmerited favor.” But the Strong’s Dictionary says it is the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life. He was God, and filled with God, and His heart was entirely God’s, and it was reflected in His life. And He had a divine influence upon the hearts of humans, and on their lives. I like that!

This Word, was full of truth. What is this truth He was completely filled with? He concealed nothing. He was truthful. He told the truth about God. He was filled with truth and was the Truth, the embodiment of all that is truly true, not just truths humans have discovered, not truths espoused by philosophers or psychologists, but the truth regarding God. No other truth can compared with His truth, because His truth inwardly changes hearts and lives. You will see it.

Verse 15 — John the Baptist testified about Him, about this Word, about this Son. What did John say? “He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.”

What does that mean? John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus’ ministry. But Jesus is greater than John the Baptist. Why? Jesus existed before John the Baptist.

But John the Baptist was conceived first. So John is not testifying of their natural age difference. He is saying this One existed before Him. Not “was created,” but “existed.” This One is the always existent Son of God.

Verses 16-17 — Of His fullness (a filled container in view) we all received (the disciples/apostles, including the writer of the Book of John). We were filled with Him, the Apostle John says. He filled us up with the same fullness He has. What was Jesus full of? You will see.

They also received grace upon grace (literally, grace for grace). The Apostles received this divine influence upon the heart, and it reflected in their lives. It was heaped up in them. Jesus gave it to them so they would give it to others. Jesus gave it to them so they would have an abundance of grace in their lives, and abundance of this divine influence upon the heart, reflected in their lives.

Why did they need this fullness? Because the Law was given through Moses. The necessary truth about God, the truth that there had to be a change of heart in humans was realized, came into being, and arose through Jesus Christ. He is the Giver, and we are the Receivers.

Verse 18 — No one has seen God at any time. No human has stood before God and then come to stand before men to say, “I went to God and saw Him.” When humans see God, they are judged, and those who are His remain with Him.

So how do we know what God is like? Through the only begotten, the Son of God, who is in the bosom of the Father since He died and rose and was glorified and sat down at the right hand of the Father. This Son of God shows the Father to us, has explained God, declared God, told about God, and reported to us who God is.

Verses 19-24 — Here’s how John the Baptist’s testimony about Jesus came about. The priests and Levites (sent by the Pharisees, per verse 24) asked him “Who are you?” Not the Christ (Daniel 9:25, Isaiah 53, etc.). Not Elijah  (1Kings 18). Not the Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:18). Then who are you? John the Baptist quotes from his marching orders in Isaiah 40:3.

Verses 25-28 — So if you’re not the Christ, Elijah, or the Prophet, why are you baptizing, John the Baptist (in Bethany, by the Jordan, just a couple of miles outside Jerusalem)?

Let me tell you, he says. I’m baptizing in water, but One stands among you that you don’t know/recognize/acknowledge. He’s the One who comes after me. I’m not even worthy to untie the thong of His sandal. (He baptizes with the Holy Spirit and fire, per Matthew 3:11.)

Verses 29-31 —-The next day, John the Baptist saw Jesus coming to him. What did John say, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Why did He come? To take away the sin of the world. He was to be a sacrificial Lamb, killed to remove sin. Not just one or two sins. Not just in some people and not others. But sin, the whole principle of sin, the whole nature of sin that is in humans, the thing that requires the grace, the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.

This is the One who is greater than me, who existed before me, even though I was conceived before Him, here on earth.

John the Baptist did not recognize, did not fully understand and know that Jesus was the Son of God until it was time for Jesus to be recognized by John the Baptist and the world as the Son of God, the Lamb who came from God the Father.

And this Son of God, this Lamb who would be a sacrifice for the sin in all of us, is the reason John the Baptist came baptizing. He prepared the way in hearts, by speaking a message of repentance from sins. That is the first step, for all of us.

We do not come to Christ because He does good things. We come to Christ because we need the change of heart that only He can do.

Verses 32-34 — I am an eyewitness that the Holy Spirit descended and did not come and go as with Old Testament Prophets, but remained on this One. The Spirit descended from heaven like a dove. Heaven is up. That is where the Holy Spirit comes from. The Holy Spirit gracefully descends. And beginning with Jesus Christ,    the Holy Spirit does not come and go. He comes and stays. How does that happen?

By baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire. Baptism with water reflects that a person repents for his way of life and turns from it. Baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire is done by Jesus Christ, and it means the Holy Spirit comes and burns something up and fills you with the divine influence upon the heart, and it is reflected in your life. What does He burn up? The sin nature that the divine influence replaces.

John the Baptist says that God, who sent him to baptize with water per Isaiah 40, told John the sign he was to look for — the Holy Spirit descending and remaining. When John the Baptist saw it, that was His sign that Jesus was the One who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.

John concludes his testimony, for the time being. I am an eyewitness. I have seen the sign. I have testified about this One, that this One is the Son of God. He is divine, He is God the Son.

Verses 35-37 — John the Baptist stood with two disciples. Jesus walked by, and John exclaimed again, “Behold the Lamb of God!” That was so these two would follow Jesus.

Verse 38-42 — Jesus saw them following. “What do you seek?” He’ll ask you that, too, when you start to follow Him. They call Him Rabbi, a term of respect for a teacher, and say they want to know where He is staying. That means they want to be with Him. It was about 4 p.m., our time.

He says, “Come, and you will see.” Well, they would see where He was for that day, and later, they would see where He really stays. They would see that He came from God the Father.

One of the two was Andrew, Simon’s brother. First, he went to find Simon, and said, “We have found the Messiah (which translated means Christ).” They had heard the words of John the Baptist and followed this One that John identified as the Christ. Then Andrew brought Simon to Jesus.

Jesus had never met Simon, but He knew his name and his father’s name — Simon bar Jonah, Simon the son of John. That’s because He came from God the Father, and was God the Son, in a human body. He gave him a new name. He will give you a new name too. It was Cephas (Peter), which means “a stone”). He will make you a stone, too, a living stone (1Peter 2:5).

Verses 43-51  — Jesus went to Galilee, and found Philip. He said, “Follow Me,” and Philip did so. Philip lived in the same city as Andrew and Simon Peter.

Philip found Nathaniel and told him this is the One Moses wrote about. This is the Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:18). This is Jesus of Nazareth. He is the son of Joseph. Philip didn’t know who He really was, yet.

Nazareth was on the northern edge of Judah. Many of its people were non-Jews (Gentiles), and were looked down upon by the Jews around Jerusalem. Galilee of the Gentiles was in the land of Zebulun and Naphtali, and to them came God the Son, and when He came, He made it glorious (Isaiah 9:1), filled with God’s weighty presence.

So that is why Nathaniel asked, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” And Nathaniel said, “Come and see!”

As Jesus saw Nathaniel coming, He told Nathaniel he was an Israelite among Israelites. There was no guile in him. Nathaniel was not a plotter and schemer, not a conniver. He was honest. Jesus saw his heart, though Nathaniel had not yet uttered a word. That’s true for you, too. Nathaniel had nothing to hide. And if you are like him, you will hear those words from Jesus.

The words of Jesus touched Nathaniel. “How do you know me so very well, Jesus?” And Jesus tells him that He saw him under the fig tree. Jesus did not give up His powers when He came from God the Father. He could see hearts, and see where people were sitting, before they ever actually stood before Him. That’s true for you, too.

Nathaniel’s response should be our response. You really are the Son of God. Jesus says, you haven’t seen anything yet! I’ll do much greater things than what I just did with you. Truly, truly — IMPORTANT! You will see the heavens opened (to you) and the angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man. What does that mean? Jacob’s ladder —

Genesis 28:12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

Jacob saw, in his vision, a representation of what God would do many years later. God would make heaven, where the angels reside, open to everyone who would believe that Jesus is the Way, the Ladder. He is the Way to God the Father. He is the means by which heaven is opened and the means by which we may ascend to heaven.

 

FREELY GIVE

[SW217] 01/22/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Freely Give”

Text: Matthew 10:1, 8 and Matthew 28:19-20

You may freely receive so much — more than you can think or imagine — at no cost to you! What happens next? You freely give!

Matthew 10:1 is a “go out” command. Matthew 28:19 is a “going out” command. Jesus Christ always gives “go out” commands to His followers, never “stay in.”
Why? Because if you are His follower, you surely have received MUCH, at no cost to you. He doesn’t give freely to you so you can hold it for yourself. He gives so you can freely give, at no cost to anyone!

What may you receive from Jesus Christ? I made a list:

Salvation

His grace

Healing

Deliverance

Sonship

His inheritance

His authority, as in this passage

Himself in you

His Father in you

His Spirit in His fullness, in you

His presence in you

His power in you

His love in you

His zeal in you

His boldness

His eyes, so you see as He sees

His wisdom

His understanding

His enlightening of the Word of God

And when you receive these things from Him, you are no longer focused on yourself, your needs, your wants, your security, your plans.

You are outwardly focused, and God-focused. You hear from Him and do what you see Him doing and say what you hear Him saying.

He says, freely give! Go pour out what I have poured into you! Well, when He does, I can tell you that you cannot help but pour it out!

The lost, the lame, the blind, the weak, the straying sheep, the troubled, the oppressed, the depressed, the disheartened — all of these, you see as He sees.

And you are overwhelmed with His compassion, and compelled by His boldness to GO!

Please know that I am still being matured by the Lord, but He has freely given me all that I’ve listed above, praise His holy name! I can’t help but pour it out! Why would I want to stay in?

Just a couple of things He has done through me, because of what He has done IN me:

— A woman deeply hurt from the time she was three years old, who thought her sin was too great for God to forgive her, who thought she was nothing and less than nothing, whose mind was confused. The Lord told me to go and stand beside her, and be the Bible for her. She stood up, her mind cleared, she was saved, she and I prayed for reconciliation with her children. Even the daughter who was hurt the most, came back to her and lived right next door to her, until this woman went to be with the Lord!

— A woman whose lips had turned blue, because she was in status asthmaticus. Jesus directed me to lay hands on her upper chest, and within one minute, she breathed freely. The next day, she said, “I still feel your hand on my chest!” I said, “That’s the hand of Jesus that you are feeling.” We rejoiced together!

— My husband, Jeff, who had a massive heart attack in May of 2011. The doctors called it a widow-maker. The whole front of his heart was completely deprived of blood. The cardiologist on duty put a stent in his heart, but there was a lot of damage. It didn’t look good.

But the Lord gave me a word, and I gave it to Jeff. “I will give life to Jeff’s heart muscle by the Holy Spirit who indwells Jeff.” And then, on the third day (I love it!), the Lord woke me up in the morning and said, “Take your guitar, go to Jeff’s room in the step-down unit, and worship with him.” I called to be sure it was OK with the nurses. They said yes. I unpacked my guitar, began to play “Invitacion Fountain,” and Jesus entered the room! Jeff’s arms went up, even though he was tethered to some machines, his face lit up and he knew he had been healed!

He never had a pain or a complication from all that damage. The fact that his heart was healed was confirmed 41 days later, when his regular cardiologist tested his heart’s efficiency. It was normal!

Jeff said, “Jesus healed me,” and the cardiologist exclaimed “It sure wasn’t us that healed you!” The cardiologist became a true believer!

Jesus Christ doesn’t just work through me. He will work through you, too, IF you have freely received. Beloved, listen closely now. You cannot give what you have not received.

I have seen too many “stay ins” who sit in church pews all of their lives, never going out, even though Christ has commanded them to go out. Neighbors and friends do not even know they are Christians except perhaps by watching them enter and exit a church. They do not mention His blessed name, do not speak, do not go.

The Word of God says they are like the man who was given a talent and buried it (Matthew 25:18ff). He was judged as a wicked, lazy slave by his Master, for what he was freely given, he did not give. His inaction made him useless to his Master. And he was sent to the outer darkness, where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth (agony).

Matthew 25:29 says it all — to everyone who has freely received from Jesus, more SHALL be given, and they will have an abundance. But for those who does not have the humility to ask the Lord for what they need in order to go out, or who receive and yet do not give, eternal life with Him will be taken from them.

If you have sat in a pew, not daring to go out, not feeling adequate to go out, I have a “GO” command from the Lord for you. GO TO HIM!

Tell Him you know you are not adequate (NONE of us are, until we ask Him for His authority and the infilling of His Holy Spirit). Tell Him that is why you have not obeyed Him. Confess it to Him, and ask Him to forgive you and that you want to receive what He freely gives. He will do it!

If you have not obeyed Him because you saw no benefit to yourself in going out, confess it to Him and ask Him to forgive you. Then tell Him you want to receive what He freely gives. He will do it!

WHAT GOD MAKES YOU

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

“What God Makes You”

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

Text: Isaiah 61

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

61:4 — Then they will join you in:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

REST FOR YOUR SOUL

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

“Rest for Your Soul”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You are overburdened, fatigued.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You gladly obey, because you have submitted.

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

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

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

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

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

It is rest from slavery to sin.

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

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

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

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

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

You will be persecuted, as He was persecuted —

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Come now to Him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

ASK FOR RAIN!

[SW177] 03/20/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Ask for Rain”
Word:  The Lord is setting the stage for revival. It’s time to pray!

Text: Zechariah 10:1ff

Spoken to: The remnant that returned from Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. Zechariah and Haggai prophesied to the rebuilders, encouraging them (Ezra 5:1, 6:4), for their natural AND spiritual restoration!

v. 1 Ask rain from the Lord at the time of the spring rain — it is spring, as of today!

— Ask rain not from man, but from the Lord! He is the only One who has what we need — His life, His heart, His love and His power in us!

— So if we ask the Lord, He will give us showers of rain

Joel 2:23 NIV    Be glad, O people of Zion,
rejoice in the LORD your God,
for he has given you
the autumn rains in righteousness.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.

Showers of blessing (Ezekiel 34:26)!

— And we who are His people will be fruitful and have abundance once again. What abundance? The Holy Spirit. What fruit? His fruit. When His fruit is manifested, many souls will be saved.

Rain represents blessing and revival. The need to pray for it means something has been amiss between God and us. The next verse tells us what is amiss.

v.v. 2-3a False gods, false shepherds

— We have looked to dead, inanimate things that cannot answer us (Psalm 115:4-8), rather than to the living God. We have listened to ear ticklers, so we are wandering sheep without a shepherd. We have not heeded the voice of the Good Shepherd.

v. 3b But the Lord has visited his flock! He is our true Shepherd!

— Why does He use the past tense? Because in heaven, where He dwells, He sees the end, and He sees the beginning. He sits above time, so He says He has visited, even before we see that He has visited.

— Visit means He will go to see, avenge, care for, deliver to keep, and remember!

When we went astray, He left us to our own devices. But He has not forgotten us. At the appointed time, He returns to us — that’s what “remembered” means.

— He will make us like HIS majestic horse in battle.

— Horses were a superior instrument of warfare battle in those times.

— They were a symbol of swiftness, sure-footedness, power.

— No longer will we trust in men or natural horses. Instead, we will be like the Lord’s horses! Swift. sure-footed, powerful in His power! And He never loses a battle!

v. 4     His Cornerstone —  His Christ
His tent peg — His support
His bow of battle (He trains our fingers for battle, and makes us able to bend               a bow of bronze (Psalm 144:1, 18:34)
His rulers — no longer chosen by men, but by Him

v. 5     We will be as mighty warriors (2 Cor 10:5)
We will tread down the enemy (1John 4:4, James 4:7)
We will fight, for the Lord will be with us (2 Chronicles 20:15, 20)

v. 6    The Lord will strengthen us (make us firm so we prevail against the Enemy)
He will deliver us (save us out of the miry clay we’ve been in)
He will bring us back to Himself
He has racham toward us (tender mercy, like a mother toward her child)!

It will be as though He never rejected us (cast us off, moved us away from Him), though He did reject us when we followed false gods and false shepherds.

Why? Because HE is our God.

He will visited us, go to see  us, avenge us, care for us, deliver us to keep us, and remember us!

v. 9 Our exile from His presence caused us to remember Him, and now, He will remember us.

v. 10 He will bring us back from sin (Egypt).

v. 11 We will cross over and out of the sea of distress (trouble, anguish) and not drown in it.

He will strike the waves in the sea, as in the Exodus, so that even the mightiest waters dry up.

The scepter will depart Egypt — sin will no longer rule us.

Assyria’s (in this case, a typology or symbol of Satan as well as a real kingdom) pride will be cast down, it will fall down, Satan will fall down.

v. 12 Again, He says I will strengthen you in Me.

— Not in our own strength

— And He says, “They will walk in My name,” as representing Me, having My character and nature. He declares it!

We will, indeed, become partakers of the divine nature, and that will permanently repair the rift between us and our God. HALLELUJAH!

Beloved, a warning from the Lord — when He sends the rain, do not try to manage it or manipulate it. Just stand by and let Him work in hearts. Simply rejoice as you watch Him!

And remember, it will no longer be necessary to work real hard to be like Jesus — He will do the heavy lifting. All we have to do is agree with Him as we walk with Him!

Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain! He is coming to visit us once again, to free His people and bring them back to Himself!

Come back to Him even now, this very moment! Cast away your idols and false shepherds to the moles and the bats! Now is the time!

SEEKING HIS HAND

[SW175] 02/27/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Seeking His Hand”

When someone is in chains, they are totally bound — legs, arms, neck.

But there’s one chain that has a lock on it, and when it’s unlocked, the prisoner is set free from those chains.

I tell you, Jesus wants to set some prisoners free today, and there’s a particular chain the Lord wants to break so all the rest fall to the ground!

Text: Psalm 78:12-33, 40-43

Israel longed for the things of Egypt (Numbers 11:1-6).

They forgot the oppression and the hard master they served there.

They forgot what the Lord had done for them:
— The plagues He set upon Egypt that resulted in their freedom, and
especially, the night the firstborn of Egypt were killed, but Israel’s
firstborn did not die. Death passed over them.
— Deliverance at the Red Sea
— The manna, bread from heaven
— Water from a rock, enough for a million of them
— The pillar cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, to lead and protect them
— The promise of the Promised Land

How could they forget? Or more importantly, why did they forget?

Numbers 11:33-34

Greediness!

They sought His hand and not His face (His presence).

Hey, Lord, I’m hungry. Feed me. But it has to be the kind I desire.

What is this? Manna? You expect me to eat this stuff?

I want meat, like I had in Egypt. I never should have left.

As Richard “Stonefingers” Johnson wrote in a song, “I Want To Go Back:”

I want to go back to Egypt.

That pillar of fire’s light keeps me awake all night.

I want to go back the slavery I once knew, something I can hold on to.

This desert is hot, a picnic it is not, I miss the cool Nile breezes and the shade.

This promised land’s a dream, that I have never seen.

Who does God think He is, to make me live like this, out here with all these scorpions and snakes?

If I was in charge, I’d stop this forward march, and hustle my way straight back to Egypt.

Israel didn’t trust God. They demanded from Him, saying “Fulfill our own desires (Psalm 78:18, Numbers 11:8-20).

Even today, there are pastors who encourage people to complain to God, demand what they want from Him, to seek His hand, to ask for material blessings continually.

But these pastors do not tell them that their hearts are selfish and that, by demanding that God fulfill their desires, they are rejecting what He has already supplied, and rejecting God Himself!

These false teachers feed on greed — the greed of the people who want their ear-tickling message. It even works in underdeveloped countries, which amazed me.

But fallen human hearts are the same everywhere — greedy, selfish, and desperately in need of transformation by God’s Holy Spirit!

May the Lord bring upon them something that will make the ears of all who hear tingle (vibrate, quiver with fear) not tickle (see 1Samuel 3:11, 2Kings 21:12, Jeremiah 19:3).

What is the cure for greed?

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.

Hallelujah! By what has He granted that we become partakers of His nature and escape the corruption and lust of this world?

2Peter 1:2  Grace and peace be multiplied to you in  the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

Knowledge — full knowledge, the knower having an experiential relationship with the One whom he knows. He knows God because he has experienced God, by being filled with the Holy Spirit!

Matthew 6:19   “ Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 “But store up for yourselves  treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal . . .”

Matthew 6:33 “But  seek first  His kingdom and His righteousness, and  all these things will be  added to you.”

Nowhere in the gospels does Jesus say, “Demand what you want from God. He’s here to meet your lusts and desires.”

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.

The Holy Spirit! Father God gives you a new heart when you are filled with the Holy Spirit! He is the One who makes you a partaker of the divine nature. It must be done in you in the same way it was done in Peter in the upper room in Acts 2!

— Father God’s love, the very same love with which He loves His Son! In you, filling your heart!

— Knowing Father God deeply and experientially and intimately because He is in you!

There is no other way to know Him but through Jesus Christ, His Son (John 14:6).

And there is no way to receive unless you are willing to offer yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing, for that is your spiritual act of worship (see Romans 12:1). The sacrifice in view here is a whole burnt offering. But you get to live after sin has been burned out of you, after the Refiner has come and purified!

Then you will no longer have greed in your heart, even greed toward God, wanting Him to give, give, give you what you lust for. You will always approach God with your needs, humbly and contritely, but with confidence.

No greed — once that chain is broken, the rest fall to the ground!

As Charles Wesley wrote:

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.
My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Is that chains that I hear falling, in the name of Jesus?

There is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain!

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!