MARK 3 COMMENTARY

Verses 1-4  Every time Jesus enters a synagogue, where Jews worship, He is watched and rebuked by the religious leaders, in this case, the Pharisees (see verse 6). According to Jewish law, no one is to do anything on the sabbath — including healing — because God has declared it a day of rest. Here comes Jesus, calling to a man with a withered hand.

When He commanded the man to get up and come forward, the man HAD to come forward, because Jesus said it. Again, when Jesus says something, it must be done. When Jesus speaks to you through these scriptures, you must do what He commands.

Then He questions the leaders. Of course, they can’t override their rules and regulations in order to help someone in need. They can’t even see the need. How long has the man with the withered hand attended their synagogue? And no one has asked God to work through them to heal him, because you can’t heal someone on the sabbath. It’s against the rules. They completely miss the heart of God in the command to observe the sabbath. It is never to override the need to set someone free.

Verse 5 — It grieves Jesus when our hearts are hard toward Him, when He doesn’t fit our idea of who He is, when He doesn’t play by our rules. “Grieved” means distressed, filled with sorrow. He isn’t a weepy Jesus, but once again, the Jews show that they do not recognize God in the flesh, standing before them. How far they are from their God, and they don’t even know it! He is angry, but not in a human way. His is passionate indignation.

Then He says to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” The man had to stretch it out. Jesus commanded him to do it. The normal hand didn’t need to be stretched out, but it was impossible to stretch out the withered one. But of course, nothing is too difficult for God. So the man stretched out the withered hand, and the hand was healed. He had to stretch it out in order for it to be healed, and he had to stretch it out because Jesus commanded him to do so. Do you see it? You take a little mustard seed of faith, lift it up to Jesus, and then watch Him do exactly what He has said He will do!

Verse 6 — Now the Pharisees conspire to kill Jesus. He is ruining their religious system, and they are both threatened by Him and jealous of Him.

Verse 7-12 — Jesus withdraws, but not in surrender or fear. He simply goes to a place where people will receive Him. He is surrounded  by crowds, because He has healed many — again, this really means “all.” Because of the crowding, He asks for a boat. Other gospels tell us He preached from there. Everyone with afflictions, everyone possessed by an evil spirit, wants to touch Him so they can be healed. You don’t have to wait for Him to touch you You can reach out right now and touch Jesus, and He will heal you. Get close to Him. There are no crowds to push to the side. There were no crowds in my bedroom, on September 1, 2001.

The demons know who Jesus is. The common people know who Jesus is. The Pharisees and other Jewish leaders do not know Him, though they ought to know Him. They study Him all the time in the Old Testament.

Jesus tells the evil spirits not to tell anyone who He is, but they SHOUT it anyway, as they fall down before Him. Why doesn’t Jesus want to be known to everyone as the Son of God? His time has not yet come. When He rises from the tomb three days after being laid there, everyone will know.

Verse 13-19 — An important point. You do not make a decision to receive Jesus. He chooses you. What happened after He chose them? He sent them out to preach and GAVE THEM AUTHORITY to cast out demons. Matthew 10:7-8 is a more complete description of what He told them to do. He is the One who gives us authority — we do not take it upon ourselves to heal, cast out, cleanse and raise from the dead. We do it under His authority and command.

NOTE: The Zebedee brothers are called “Sons of Thunder” because of the incident recorded in Luke 9:54.

Verse 20-21 — Back in Capernaum, crowds surround Jesus and the disciples. There is no room even to eat a meal! Everyone wanted to be set free! But what is the response of His family? They think He has lost His mind.

Verse 22-29 — The scribes are equally blind about Jesus. They say He is possessed by the devil (Beelzebul) and that it is by the devil’s power that Jesus casts out demons.

They have just committed the unpardonable sin — that is, they attribute what God is doing to the devil. They call the Holy Spirit unholy. Jesus explains in Matthew 12:31 that any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people (if they repent and turn to Him), but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. It is an eternal sin, as He says in Mark 3:29.

Of course, it makes no sense that the devil would want to cast his own demons out of people. The devil’s house would be divided against itself. It is absurd. How can Satan cast out Satan? Why would Satan want to do that? I tell you that Satan is finished. It happened on a tree in Calvary. But he’s still around, afflicting those who do not know Jesus, and lying to those who DO know Jesus. Don’t believe a word he says. Believe Jesus.

Verse 30-35 — Outside are the mother and brothers of Jesus, who think He has lost His mind. They want Him to come with them. Jesus says His true mothers and brothers are before Him already! His true mothers and sisters and brothers, His true family, are those who do God’s will. Many claim they are part of the family of God and that Jesus is their Savior, but they disobey God. They are not part of His family at all.

Advertisements

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.

SCRIPTURE PRESCRIPTIONS FOR HEALING

I am posting this excerpt from my book today, to help a young man who is pursuing healing. Maybe it will help you, too:

APPENDIX 1 – Scripture Prescriptions

Ephesians 6:14-18 (NIV) The Armor of God
“Stand firm, then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Does He dwell in your heart? Then put on God’s armor every day, in preparation for Satan’s attacks. God’s armor covers you entirely so that when Satan looks at you, he will only be able to see His armor, not you. And God also promises to be your rear guard (see Isaiah 52:12), so you know by faith that there is no part of you that Satan can successfully attack. And pray, pray, pray.

1 John 4:4 (NIV)
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God? Then Jesus is in you. The devil is “the one who is in the world.” Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Jesus in you defeats Satan every time.

James 4:7 (NIV)
“Submit yourselves, then, to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” You have faith in God and Christ. You are reading His Word. You are obeying Him. You are worshiping Him.  If these things are true, then the devil has to flee. You’re submitting to God!

Hebrews 11:1 (NASB)
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Your situation is hopeless, Satan whispers in your ear. If Jesus dwells in your heart, you have faith. You don’t need to see the results yet. You just know and trust your Father and His Son, no matter how bad things look.

Isaiah 40:31 (NASB)
“Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” This promise is for those whose hearts have Jesus in them. The word “wait” means “entwine yourself with.” Wrap yourself around the Lord. You’ll gain His strength.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Do you know Jesus personally? Do you sometimes doubt His ability to help you? Demolish those arguments against God. Take captive every thought. Obey Christ’s teachings. Believe Him.

Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)
“But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Have you been born from above into the kingdom of God? No? The Good News is that Jesus died to take away all the bad things you’ve done. He’s also come to give you an obedient heart. He’s also come to heal your physical body, just like it says in Isaiah 53:4 and Matthew 8:17.  He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.

Hebrews 13:8 (NASB)
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” There are no time limits on Jesus’ work. He is still saving, delivering and healing.

1 John 5:45 (Amplified Bible)
“For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith. Who is it that is victorious [that conquers] the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on that fact].” If you are born of God, you believe Jesus is the Son of God. God gave you that faith. Now, walk in His victory. You are more than a conqueror through Him who loves you (see Romans 8:37).

Psalm 91 in its entirety (NIV)
Read it and believe it. Remember that to dwell in the shelter of the Most High, you must be united to Him in love and settled down with Him like in a marriage. If this describes you, Psalm 91’s promises are yours. If not, ask God to forgive you and change your heart. He will.

Psalm 107:19-20 (NASB)
“Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”  The Word heals in every way. He’s wonderful. It’s wonderful. Read it!

Seek God – Matthew 6:33 (NASB)
Jesus said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” When you seek first the kingdom of God, allowing Him to sit on the throne in your heart, you are covered with Christ’s righteousness and the Father’s hand will provide what you need.

Seek God – James 4:8 (NASB)
“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” Are you far from God? Then draw near. He’ll draw near to you. You were created to have intimate fellowship with Him. That’s His design and plan. Do what I did. Rejoice evermore!
Healing a Benefit of God – Psalm 103:1-5 (NASB)
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” The original Hebrew word for “diseases” is tachalu. It literally means “sicknesses, maladies.” Two of His benefits are in view here –– forgiveness of sin and physical healing. That is what Jesus Christ did when He walked the earth, and what He still does today. Want to be healed? First seek forgiveness for your sins and forgive others who have sinned against you. Then believe His promises are yours.

God’s Will – John 5:19 (NASB)
“Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.’” Jesus sees the Father heal. Jesus heals. Jesus sees the Father deliver. Jesus delivers. It’s God’s nature.

God’s Will – 1 John 5:14-15 (NASB)
“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” God will not answer your demands, but He will answer your heartfelt, humble prayer. When you ask, don’t doubt. He’ll do it, if your heart is right before Him.

God’s Will – John 10:10 (NASB)
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  God’s will is to put Christ’s abundant life into your heart, so you can become like Jesus. Ask Him to live and reign in your heart. He’ll take care of the rest. Trust Him.

God’s Will – Matthew 8:1:16 (NASB)
“When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.” Jesus healed each one.

God’s Will – Matthew 12:15b (NASB)
Aware that the Pharisees sought to destroy Him, “Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed Him, and He healed them all.” Jesus excluded no one.

God’s Will – Matthew 8:2-3 (NIV)
“A man with leprosy came and knelt before Him and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’  Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ He said, ‘Be clean!’” The Lord is willing to cleanse and heal you.

God’s Will – Matthew 10:1 (NIV)
“He called His twelve disciples to Him, and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” His name is above everything. Only the Father is greater than Jesus (John 14:28). Nothing can stand up against Jesus. Do you believe the message?

God’s Will
“Who has believed our message, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (Isaiah 54:1, NIV.) The strength of the Lord is revealed to those who believe. Matthew 8:16-17 confirms it: “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to Him [by people who believed He could help them], and He drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took up our infirmities, and carried our diseases.’” Christ heals in every way.

Faith – Hebrews Chapter 11
Read it and meditate upon it. Then walk in faith because you know God is faithful.

Faith – Matthew 8:10 (NASB)
“Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, ‘Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.’” The centurion has unwavering faith that Jesus can heal his servant without Christ ever touching the servant!

Faith – Mark 9:23-24 (NASB)
A man brought his epileptic son to the disciples, who were unable to heal the child. The man saw Jesus returning from the Mount of Transfiguration, and said, “But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” And Jesus said, “ ‘If you can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Have you reached the end of your faith? Cry out, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” He will.

Faith – Matthew 15:27 (NASB)
The Canaanite woman  bravely asked for mercy from Jesus for her demon-possessed daughter. “Then Jesus said to her, ‘O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed at once.”

Faith – Matthew 9:27 (NASB)
Two blind men approached. “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” Jesus asked. They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘It shall be done to you according to your faith,’” and their sight was restored. They had faith that He was able to make them see, and they were healed according to their faith.

Matthew 4:17 – Repentance (NIV)
From that time on, Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near!” To repent means to have a change of heart and attitude, turning away from sin and toward God. In Mark 1, Jesus proclaims the kingdom of God, saying, “Repent! For the kingdom of God is near!” Indeed it is! If you turn to God, and seek Him, He will set up His kingdom in your heart. Then He will rule and reign, and you will rejoice evermore, here on earth and later, in His kingdom in heaven.

Sins Forgiven – Matthew 2:3 (NIV)
“A paralytic was lowered through the roof, to where Jesus was teaching. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven . . . get up, take up your mat and walk.’” First the man’s sins were forgiven; then he was healed.

Man Born Blind, But Had Not Sinned  – John 9:1-41 (NIV)
Jesus heals the man born blind. “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” Sin wasn’t the issue with this man. He was born blind so he could be miraculously healed by Jesus Christ.

Worship Confuses the Enemy – 2 Chronicles 20:21-24 (NASB)
Read the account. The enemy armies destroy each other when Jehoshaphat sends out worshipers ahead of his army. Worship God. He will confuse Satan and his demons.

Worship – John 9:31 (NIV)
“We know that God does not listen to sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and a worshiper of Him and does His will, He listens to him.” God does not listen to sinners. Turn away from your sin, ask God to forgive you and then worship the Lord with every breath you take.

Worship/Revelation of Christ as the Son of God –  John 9:38 (NASB)
“And he said ‘Lord, I believe!’ And he worshiped Him.” This man would never have worshiped a mere human; he had a revelation that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, the Son of God.

Worship/Revelation of Christ as the Son of God – Matthew 8:2 (NASB)
“A man with leprosy came and bowed down before Him, and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean.’ The original Greek word for “bowed down” is proskuneo, which means “to worship, to kiss toward.” No man worships another man . . . but he worships God.

Worship/Revelation of Christ as the Son of God – From Matthew 9:18-26 (NIV)
“A ruler came and knelt before Him and said, ‘My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.’”  Again, the ruler would not have worshiped a mere man.

Worship/Revelation of Christ as the Son of God – Mark 5:6  (KJV)
“But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshiped him.”  The demon-possessed man living in the tombs had a revelation that Christ was deity, the Son of God.

Authority over Satan – Mark 3:14-15 (NASB)
“He appointed twelve—designating them apostles—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” If you follow Jesus, you are His disciple and you have this authority.

Authority over Satan – Mark 6:7, 13 (NASB)
“Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” He gave them authority. As a result, they drove out demons and healed the sick.

Authority Over Satan – Mark 16:17-18 (NASB)
Jesus said, “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Authority Over Satan – Luke 10:19 (NASB)
Jesus said to His disciples,  “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”

Man’s Wisdom vs. God’s Wisdom – Isaiah 55:8-9 (NASB)
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” If God’s thoughts and knowledge and mind are that much greater than ours, why not seek His wisdom, rather than relying on man’s? “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man” (Psalm 118:8, NASB).

Man’s Wisdom vs. God’s Wisdom – 1 Corinthians 1:20 (NASB)
Paul wrote: “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”

Man’s Wisdom vs. God’s Wisdom- 1 Corinthians 1:23 (NASB)
Paul wrote, “But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and foolishness to Gentiles . . .”

Man’s Wisdom vs. God’s Wisdom-1 Corinthians 3:19 (Amplified Bible)
“For this world’s wisdom is foolishness (absurdity and stupidity) with God . . . the Lord knows the thoughts and reasonings of the [humanly] wise and recognizes how futile they are.”

WHAT ARE YOU EATING?

[SW208] 11/13/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“What Are You Eating?”

The food  you give your physical body affects your health. And the food you give your spirit affects your spiritual health.

Jesus Christ is returning for a healthy church, and He and I want you to be ready.

Text: Hebrews 5:11-14

Here are some believers who were doing well, but they have gone backwards. They ought to be so spiritually healthy that they are able to instruct others, but instead, they need to be taught spiritual truths all over again.

They need milk — basic spiritual principles. They can’t digest meat — the deeper things of God, the word of righteousness — any more.

Something happened to their spiritual digestive system. They stopped eating meat and went back to milk. Now they can’t digest the meat they need, the meat that will bring them to a place of surrender (Romans 12:1).

Infants must have mother’s milk or formula, but as children grow, they begin to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods. If they return to drinking milk only, their physical health takes a nosedive.

As an adult, you eat things that are good for you. But then you become attracted to junk food — food packed with calories but not nutrition — and your physical health takes a nosedive.

Both of these things were happening spiritually to the Hebrew Christians, and these things are are happening in the church today.

What is the milk that the church is drinking once again? What is the meat that she used to eat? What is the junk food the church devours?

The milk is the elementary principles of Christianity. What are they?

Repentance from sin
Repentance from believing good works get us to heaven
Jesus Christ as Savior from our sins
Eternal judgment
Resurrection of the dead
Healing
Deliverance
God’s blessings

The meat is the word of righteousness. What does that mean?

God calls us to continuously live in a right relationship with Him
Full surrender to God, offering ourselves as living sacrifices
Baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire, to purify our hearts and fill
us with God’s own love and holiness
Crucifixion of our sinful nature
Partaking of the divine nature
Deliverance from slavery to sin

What is the junk food that is making the church spiritually sick?
Easy-believism — no mention of sin or repentance.
Jesus just came to do good things
Hypergrace
You can’t help but continue to sin
God is your sugar daddy
God is your Santa Claus
Name it and claim it, regardless of how you are living (disobedience)
God wants to make you successful and very rich
Legalism — all about outward appearance, not about your heart condition

And the list goes on!

At one time, the church ate meat. When I look back at sermons preached by men and women from the birth of the church to the first half of the 20th century, there’s meat there! There is the call to righteousness, to holiness.

And those who ate the meat came into the wonderful rest (Hebrews 4:9) —where we rest from our works and then God works through us — that God has for each of us. Those who eat the meat enjoy holy intimacy with God the Father and God the Son, fellowship through the Holy Spirit!!!

But now:

— The leaders of the church have decided that they will serve milk only. Just the basics.

The meat is too difficult for the congregation to digest. There are infants among the congregation. They won’t understand it. Let’s just talk about Easter.

So the whole church goes backwards. When she finally hears the word of righteousness somewhere, she scratches her head, never having heard it before.

“Rouse yourself out of your spiritual stupor and stop sinning, for some have no knowledge of God,” Paul had to tell the church at Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 15:34)! They were back on the the milk bottle and had settled down for their afternoon nap.

But if the church repeatedly was taught AND EACH CHRISTIAN MEDITATED DAILY UPON God’s Word, she would see His call to be holy as He is holy and perfect as He is perfect, and she would grow to the point where she says, “I can’t live this way by my own strength! I must seek to be baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit and fire!”
Then comes FREEDOM and the ability to EASILY walk with Jesus Christ and obey Him. He enlarges your heart so you run in the way of His commandments (Psalm 119:32). Running means it’s easy!!

— Or the church eats popular, ear-tickling preaching, the junk food of this generation.

Her spiritual arteries are so clogged with false teaching that she’s in danger of having a heart attack.

Her spiritual digestive system is a wreck. Again, unless she reads and meditates upon God’s Word, she’ll never detect the junk food. Sounds good, tastes good. but it will kill you.

— Or the church adds the things of this world to that deadly meal. She eats what the world eats, chases after treasures that moth and rust destroy and thieves steal. She clogs her arteries with godless TV programs, violent sports, drugs, alcohol and pornography . . . what are you eating?

Beloved, the writer of Hebrews tells us that God speaks correction and discipline to you because you are His children (Hebrews 12:4ff).

You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin. That means you have not yet crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24).

You have not said, “I can’t be obedient! Lord, purify me, fill me with Your holiness and righteousness, so obedience is natural and easy!”

Strengthen your hands (with which you do things) and your knees (with which you walk)! Seek HIS strength, and it will be easy to do right and walk right!

Pursue peace, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. Amen.

WHERE ARE YOU SITTING?

[SW207] 11/06/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Where Are You Sitting?”

Location is everything! Where are you sitting?

Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

God hit the pause button here . . . I can’t go on until I fully move in what God says is true, in this passage, until I believe and practice every part of it.

I am raised up with Christ, and seated with God and Christ in the heavenly places. It’s an enormous thought, an enormous truth, if I can grasp it!

What does it mean to me, to be seated with God and Christ in the heavenly places?

Access to God (2:18)

Boldness and reliable access (3:12)

Far above  . . . every name which can be named now and in the world to come (1:21).

Every spiritual blessing (1:3)

Intimacy/intimate knowledge (3:18-19). I experience Him.

His power (1:19), the same as what He used to resurrect Jesus Christ

His inheritance (1:11), I am a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)

God’s ear (John 16:26-27), so He hears and answers me

But . . . much more . . .

Hearing and seeing what HE is saying and doing (John 12:49, 14:10). Then I know what needs to be done, and what needs to be said, to set captives free!

How can I do such a thing? I am a mere human being. But because I am seated with God, I have access to the resources of Almighty God.

What else does it mean to be seated with Him? It implies that I have His fullness, that I am baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. Why do I say that?

The CONDITION for these promises is obedience (2:1-3). That only happens when I am baptized in and filled with the Holy Spirit.

Obedience:

— I no longer follow the prince of the power of the air

— I am no longer a son of disobedience

— I no longer live in the lusts of my flesh

— I no longer have the nature of a child of wrath, but His divine nature

I am holy and blameless before Him (1:4), because the Holy Spirit has come in and purified my heart and filled me with God’s love (Acts 15:9, Romans 5:5).

Why does God want us to be seated with Him in the heavenly places?  So He is praised and glorified (1:6, 12, 14), because He will do in us and through us things that we can’t even think or imagine, and others will see His fingerprints on us and His power working in and through us!

His grace provides salvation (2:8). You believe that.

His grace provides spiritual resurrection (2:5). You believe that.

His grace provides a pure heart. Do you believe that? If you believe, He will show you that He will do it.

Where are you sitting? What is the alternative to being seated with God and Christ in the heavenly places? Go to Psalm 1 and read the whole Psalm. Sitting in the seat of scoffers? Walking in the way of the wicked? Standing in the path of sinners? The second half of the Psalm is where you are headed. Turn around!

If you do not believe, then Ephesians 5:5 applies to you. Do not be deceived.

You cannot sit with Him in heavenly places unless you are obedient, and your heart, like mine, does not naturally obey. A supernatural work — His work — must be done in our hearts, to make you and me obedient out of love! Repent! Ask Him to fill you!

Then you will have these promises —

Access to God

Confident access and boldness

Far above  . . . all powers of this world and the one to come

Every spiritual blessing

Intimacy

His power

His inheritance

God’s ear

Hearing and seeing what He is saying and doing so you can be used to set captives free!

It is so He is praised and given the glory He deserves, because no one will be able to deny that what has been done in you and what you are doing are evidence of His power and the reality of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, the sacrifice given so we might have life as He has it!

Freely it has been given to you  . . .  freely you must give!

WRETCHED OR FREE?

[SW206] 10/30/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Wretched or Free?”

Text: Romans 7, etc.

Does God want us to remain wretched, sold into bondage to sin? No! He sent Jesus Christ to free us. Will we believe Him?

Romans 7:14, 19, 24, 25

Sold into bondage to sin!

Wretched man that I am!

Who will set me free? Jesus Christ!

“Wretched” was Paul’s former condition.

“Free” is his present condition.

Why is he no longer wretched?

Jesus makes clear in John 8:31-36 that He is able to set us free, indeed! Free from what? slavery to sin!

Romans 6:1-3, 7, 11, 18, 22

WE die, HE lives. That’s how we get there.

1Peter 2:24, Galatians 2:20 and 5:24!

There must be a death, and it happens when we ask Jesus Christ to baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire! Hallelujah!

THEN there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1).

UNTIL THEN, we are like the church at Laodicean — and He warns them and us (Revelation 3:17-19).

Are we really to remain wretched? What kind of salvation is that? What kind of God would we serve, if that were true?

Satan is very clever. He will take a Scripture and twist it, then whisper it in the ears of Christians. He has twisted Romans 7 in the minds of many, and it is taught almost everywhere that Romans 7 must be the present condition of believers.

Throw that back to theft of hell from whence it came! Romans 7 is not:

1. A good Scripture to use if believers want an excuse for sinning.

2. The present condition of Christians.

BUT . . . will you believe God? Will you believe Jesus? God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19).

And you know Satan is a murderer, a liar and the father of lies, and that there is no truth in him (John 8:44). He comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), but Jesus Christ came that you may have life as God has it, eternal life, abundantly, here and now! Will you believe God?