RESTORERS OF RUINS

[SW220] 02/12/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Restorers of Ruins”

Nehemiah’s name means, “Yahweh comforts.” Jesus Christ wants you to see that, when you are filled with the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, you will have a front row seat to watch Him work through you to restore ruins!

Texts: Nehemiah excerpts

Chapter 1 specific phrases:

v. 2 — I asked them concerning the Jews . . .

Has the Lord put it on your heart to be concerned about the state of your fellow human beings? Then He is calling you. It is a call to every Christian on the planet.

What is He calling you to?

v. 3 — The report: Great distress, broken down, burned . . .

You will hear a report that your fellow human beings are in great distress. They are in ruins — their walls and gates of protection are broken down by the enemy of our souls. Why? There are so many reasons, there were so many reasons for me, but the bottom line is sin. All have sinned and have fallen short of (lack) the glory of God (Romans 3:23). But He means to restore ruins, and put His glory in them!

v. 4 & 6 — I sat down and wept and mourned, fasting and praying, day and night;

All Israel and I and my father’s house have sinned . . .

The first step for restoration of ruins is for the restorers to weep, mourn, fast and pray day and night, and to confess the sin of those who are in ruins.

Even though Nehemiah was either born in captivity in Babylon, or just a child when captured, he confessed the sin of him and his fathers, though he had not sinned as they had. But he took upon himself their suffering, and carried his burden to the Lord, in prayer.  Sound like Anyone we know? It will be the description of you, when you become a restorer of ruins.

v. 8 — Remember the word, “If you return to Me . . .”

After weeping and mourning, fasting and praying, you may humbly remind the Lord of His promise that, if even you would repent and confess the sins of those who are in ruins, they would turn and He would gather them and bring them back to Himself.

v. 11 — Grant compassion with the king . . .

We serve a compassionate Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords. If you go to Him on behalf of those who are in ruins, you will experience His great compassion for them; you will be inwardly moved, as He is.

Chapter 2 specific phrases:

v. 3 — City lies desolate, consumed by fire . , ,

Report to the Lord that you see the desolation, the burned-out ruins.

v. 4 — What would you request? I prayed to the God of heaven . . .

Pray to the God of heaven. He asked the blind man, “What do you want Me to do?” The man said, “Restore my sight!” And Jesus did. And He will show you favor, when you ask Him. Ask Him what?

v. 5-6 — Send me, that I may rebuild it, so it pleased the king to send me . . .

Ask Him to send you. If your cry is, “Here am I. Send me,” the Lord will do it. That cry is always the cry of those who are Spirit-filled, who readily see the ruins of other lives. They are outward-focused, compelled to bless others, to let Christ use them to restore!

v. 7-8 — Letters that they may allow me to pass through, letter to Asaph for timber for beams for gates, the wall of the city, and the house to which I will go.

Tell the Lord exactly what is needed to restore the ruins. You need help to get through Satan’s territory. You need strong foundation-building material — the very Word of God and the power of God — to rebuild gates, walls, and houses.

v. 9 — The king sent me with officers of the army and horsemen . . .

The King of kings will give you more than you ask for. He is the God of more than enough. He will send protecting angels with you, the very hosts over whom He is Lord.

v. 10 — Very displeasing to enemies . . .

Satan will be upset when he hears the news that restoration is on the way.

v. 11 — Night, told no one what my God was putting into my heart . . .

Without making it known, go about the ruins of each life, take note of the damage. Let the ruined ones speak. Be still. Let them pour out their hearts to you. God has put something in your heart, but it’s not time to tell them until you compassionately listen to them tell you about their ruins.

v. 17 — You see the bad situation . . . come, let us rebuild so we are no longer a reproach . . .

Society unfailingly disapproves of and shuns people whose lives are in ruins. But you will hear a word from the Holy Spirit, “You see the ruins. Come, let us rebuild!” And when the ruins are restored, there will be no more shunning. Instead, the world will want to know how the ruined one became restored. That’s the whole plan!

v. 18 —The hand of my God had been favorable. Let us arise and rebuild!

The hand of your God is favorable, Spirit-filled Christian. You will say, with the Holy Spirit, “Let us arise and rebuild!”

Chapter 3:

All build in unity . . .

It is not a superficial, outward unity, but an inward unity of heart that only God can work IN us (John 17:21, 26).

Chapter 4 —

v. 1 & 3 Enemy furious, very angry, mocking, casting doubt . . .

When he sees the work begin, the enemy of our souls will be furious and very angry. He will mock and cast doubt. But you will listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd and continue your work. You will run from the voice of the enemy. His voice is nothing like your Good Shepherd’s voice. Spirit-filled Christian, you know Satan is a liar and the father of lies. There is no truth in him. He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1John 4:4). Rebuke Satan, in the name of Jesus.

v. 6-8 — So we built the wall to half its height. The repair (healing) of the walls, further enemy threats . . .

You will reach the halfway point in completion of the restoration of the one who is in ruins. The report of the repair (I love that the Hebrew word means “healing”) reaches the enemy’s ears, and he threatens to attack and kill.

v. 9 & 14—  But we prayed to our God, remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight . . .

But you pray and fight! You are equipped with God’s own armor that He has tailored to fit you perfectly! You fight with the sword of Spirit which is the Word of God, and with prayer.

Chapter 6

v. 8 — The enemy spreads lies. But now, O God, strengthen my hands . . .

Satan will try to spread lies about you. But you will pray, and the Lord will strengthen you.

v. 10 — Enemy temptation to sin, I perceived God had not sent him

The enemy will tempt you to sin in order to escape enemy capture, but you will perceive that the one tempting you is really a mouthpiece for Satan (knowingly or unknowingly). So you will not sin.

v. 15 — The wall was completed in fifty-two days . . .

You, the restorer of ruins, will complete the rebuilding in a miraculously short period of time!

How wonderful! How exciting! Hear the promise from the Lord in Isaiah, for Christians who cease their inward focus and look outward, because they have asked the Lord to fill them with His Spirit and God’s actual love —

Isaiah 58:12  “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;

You will raise up the age-old foundations;

And you will be called the repairer of the breach,

The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.

Christian, put away your outward piety. The Lord is not impressed by it. Ask Him to clean you up on the inside, to fill you with His Spirit, and then your eyes will be opened to see the ruins around you. And you will have a front-row seat to watch Him use you to restore them!

I know about ruins, beloved. First I was in ruins from drugs, and God graciously restored me after I cried out in the middle of the night. Then, many years later, I was in ruins from MS — feet paralyzed, legs partially paralyzed, bladder paralyzing, knotted muscles no muscle relaxant could ease, severe tremors in my head, eyesight ever decreasing, and cognitive dysfunction — I could not think.

Are you in ruins? Pastor Doc was the restorer God used for my ruins. He asked about me, so the Lord gave him the report of my ruins. Then Jesus gave him a vision of me healed. Pastor Doc wept and prayed and fasted, He asked the King for all he needed to pass through enemy territory and rebuild me, and it was done in a miraculously short period of time!

Those in ruins, I have seen you. I have heard the bad report. I am always weeping, praying and fasting for you. And I will pray with you now.

π

STRONG SUPPORT

[SW210] 11/27/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Strong Support”

God watches over you, to strongly support you, if your heart is completely His!

2Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.

— “The eyes of the Lord . . . His face, holy intimacy, His favor in view

— move to and fro . . . travel, run

— throughout the earth . . . over the whole earth

— that He may strongly support . . . fasten upon, strengthen, aid, encourage, help

— those whose heart is completely His . . . whose heart is perfect toward Him (KJV).”

My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus! (Philippians 4:19)
He goes before you and is your rear guard (Isaiah 52:12)!

He is your refuge and strength, an ever-present help in time of need (Psalm 46:1).

He takes you from strength to strength (Psalm 84:7)!

He is with you and will strengthen you (Isaiah 41:10)!

No weapon formed against you will prosper (Isaiah 54:7)!

You are kept by the power of God (1Peter 1:5)

I will be with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20)

These promises are for those whose heart is perfect toward Him, completely His . . .

But we have to look at the rest of the verse we began with . . . I cannot speak, “Peace, peace” when there is no peace (Jeremiah 6:14, Ezekiel 13:10).

“. . . You (Asa, king of Judah) have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.”

In what did Asa (and in what does the church) act foolishly?

2 Chronicles 14:2  Asa did good and right, called on the Lord and not man, and Ethiopia’s army, which was nearly twice the size of Judah’s, was routed by the Lord.

After Asa’s victory, the prophet Azariah warns him . . .

2Chronicles 15:1   Now the Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded,  2 and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.

2Chronicles 15:7 “But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.”

2Chronicles 15:8   Now when Asa heard these words and the prophecy which Azariah the son of Oded the prophet spoke, he took courage and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He then restored the altar of the Lord which was in front of the porch of the Lord.

BUT WHEN ANOTHER ENEMY THREATENS . . .

2 Chronicles 16:1 The king of Israel comes to fight Judah. Asa does not call on the Lord, who gave him such a great victory over Ethiopia. Instead, he bribes Ben-hadad, the king of Aram. But the Arameans were Judah’s enemy, too, off and on, as was their custom.

2 Chronicles 16:7 So the prophet Hanani calls Asa out — he lied on his enemy to defeat his enemy! Don’t you remember Ethiopia, King Asa?

That was the foolish thing that Asa did. And he was enraged at Hanani and imprisoned him.

Asa’s heart was not completely the Lord’s.

Three years later, Asa died of a disease in his feet. He did not seek the Lord for healing, but the physicians.

Beloved . . .

—When you as a church leader seek man’s wisdom and man’s ways to make your church successful,

— or when you speak peace, peace when there is no peace, just to increase your numbers,

— or when you as a Christian seek natural means for provision, healing and deliverance instead of humbly asking the Lord for help,

. . . you sin as Asa sinned — he did not believe the Lord was able to rescue him; you do not seek the Lord’s wisdom, you do not believe He will increase your numbers, you do not believe He is your provision.

Asa did not repent before the Lord. He no longer sought the Lord, even for healing of the disease in his feet. But you can repent, right now!

The Lord wants His promises to be yours. But in order to do that, you must give your heart entirely to Him and no other.

How do you give your heart entirely to Him? Only the Father can do it, when you ask Him —

Ezekiel 36:26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

1Timothy 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

This purity of heart, this devotion to God, comes when you are filled with the Holy Spirit!

When you ask the Lord to fill you, He will make you steadfast, immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord (1Corinthians 15:58)!

And His eyes will move to and fro across the earth, to strongly support you, because your heart is completely His!q Turn to Him today! Amen!

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!

GOD’S COMPASSION

[SW168] 01/17/2015 message notes by
Licensed Leader Susan J. Wynn ©2015

Give thanks to the Lord, for His compassion — His chesed, His mercy, His lovingkindness, His steadfast love — endures forever (26 times in Psalm 136)! And He insists that He must put that same chesed inside you, so you forgive exactly like He forgives.

Look at what God did with Judah, after they were overrun by Babylon and exiled because of their sin against Him:

Jeremiah 31:17-20 —

He tells him there is hope for their future and that their children will return to the promised land!

Why?

He has heard them grieving over their sin. They have said, “We were like untrained calves, going against You continually, and you have punished us. But now, bring us back! Restore us! For we have turned back to You, we have repented. You showed us our sin, and we were ashamed and humiliated. We bore the reproach we deserved, for we were like young and foolish ones.”

His response to their repentance is to remember them, His heart yearns for them, and He has mercy — checed — on them!

Here is why the Lord insists that we must have His chesed . . .

Matthew 18:21-35

v.v. 21-22  Peter thinks a little forgiveness is enough, but Jesus corrects him. Peter must forgive endlessly!

v.v. 23-24 It is time to settle accounts with our King. He finds that you owe Him more than you can fathom.

If a person made $10.00 per hour, working 8 hours a day, the 21st century equivalent of 10,000 talents would be $4.3 BILLION.

You surely cannot pay the debt you owe, and you fully understand how great is that debt!

v.v. 25-26 By all rights, you should be sold into slavery until you can repay, and you know you can never repay Him. Your situation is hopeless!

So you plead with the King — have patience, I will repay! And you fall down before Him.

But this is not just falling to the ground, as my Bible translation says. It is proskuneo, which means, “to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand; to fawn or crouch down, to prostrate oneself in homage, to revere and adore, to worship.”

You think the King might give you time to repay the impossible debt if you humble yourself in His sight, bow and worship Him, for He is God the Son.

v. 27 And God the Son has compassion on you, His chesed is poured out to you, His innermost parts are literally moved on your behalf.

And He sets you free and completely forgives your impossibly huge debt!

Remember that the key to His forgiveness is His compassion.
But what do you do with those who owe you? How do you respond to them?

v.v. 28-30 Someone owes you a small debt compared to what you owed your King.

The 21st century equivalent of a hundred denarii is $8,000, compared with the 4.3 BILLION you owed your King.

But you go to the one who owes you this small amount, and you choke him. You’re going to get what he owes you.

The King did not choke you, but your heart is not like the King’s.

Your debtor pleads with you just like you pleaded with the King.

But you are unwilling — literally, you will not. And you punish him by locking him up until he has paid what he owes you.

v. 31 Your fellow slaves report you to your King. And your King summons you.

v. 32 The King rebukes you, calling you wicked — evil, hurtful, derelict, vicious, malicious!

v. 33 The King says you should have shown the same mercy that He showed you.

v. 34 Moved with anger, even enraged by your behavior, He turns you over to the torturers until the impossibly huge debt you owed Him is paid off. Luke 16:28 tells us the place of torture is hell, beloved.

v. 35 Then Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, says His heavenly Father will do the same to you, unless you forgive FROM THE HEART. That’s from your innermost being.

I used to say that the reason we don’t forgive one another is that we don’t fully understand the extent to which God has forgiven us, and that when we do, we will forgive. But this slave knew how much he had been forgiven. And so do you, beloved.

Jesus says:

Matthew 6:14 “ For if you forgive  others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 “But  if you do not forgive  others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

The key is compassion — you are born lacking God’s compassion, His chesed.

You will say, “I lack it, so my situation is hopeless. I can try to forgive like God forgives, but I can’t do it.

“I will not take back my angry words that I have spoken, I will hold my grudges and bitterness, and they will be like a cancer in me (Hebrews 12:15). My bitterness and grudge-holding will devour me and defile, contaminate and taint my fellow Christians, and God will not forgive me because I cannot forgive. I am doomed to hell.”

God would NEVER leave you in that condition! It is not His will for any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9)!

The New Testament equivalent of chesed is found in Thessalonians 5:23-24 —

1Thessalonians 5:23   Now  may the God of peace  Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your  spirit and soul and body be preserved complete,  without blame at  the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  24  Faithful is He who  calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

Sanctified entirely, completely, absolutely, perfectly — not just on the outside, not just partly on the inside, but through and through! He will do it if you ask Him:

Luke 11:13 “ If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your  heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

He will fill you with His Spirit! You will be given God’s actual compassion in your heart, His love in your heart, His divine nature in your heart!

Then you will be able to forgive in the exact same way He has forgiven you, regardless of what anyone does against you, regardless of how you are wrongly attacked, regardless of how your character may be falsely maligned.

If you do not forgive, Father God will not forgive you.

Beloved, this is not humanly possible, but with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26)!

All you have to do is humble yourself, proskuneo toward Him, confess that your heart is not right. He is faithful! He will do it!

GOD’S PROTECTION

God promises to go before you as a warrior, and to defend you from your rear, where you cannot see! Find out how!

[SW168] 01/10/2015 message notes by Sister Susan J. Wynn ©2015
“God’s Protection”

Isaiah 52:12  But you will not go out in  haste,
Nor will you go as fugitives;
For the LORD will go before you,
And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

God’s Almighty promise is that He will go before you —

Go before = halak to walk continually, be conversant, lead, march, run

As you go, He continually is with you, ahead of you!
— He is Almighty God, and nothing and no one can overcome Him or defeat          Him
— He leads you, and you walk in His way
— He converses with you, He talks with you as you follow Him
— He is on the march, a mighty warrior leading his troops
— He protects you from what lies ahead of you
— He moves obstacles out of your way
— He exposes and destroys enemy plots and traps

And He is your rear guard!

— No one will attack you from the rear, because of His presence. Enemy              defeat is assured!
— The Enemy’s most subtle attacks are from that position, but God is there!
— He defends you at your weakest point, because you cannot see behind              you as you walk forward
— He makes sure you stay focused as you march forward
— You will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way; walk in it,” when you turn to the right or the left (Isaiah 30:21).

You can’t lose, with God before you and behind you!

Let’s look at a King who had these promises, so we might learn a truth:

2Chronicles 17:4 Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, sought God.
— He treaded God’s way,
— frequented God’s presence,
— followed God
— Worshiped God,
— diligently inquired of God.

He did not seek the Baals or golden calves, like Ahab, King of northern Israel, who was one of God’s chosen people, but in name only.

2Chronicles 18:1 But Jehoshaphat took his eyes of God and tried to manipulate his circumstances.

He made an alliance with wicked Ahab, arranging a marriage between Ahab’s daughter and Jehoshaphat’s son, Jehoram (2Chronicles 21:6), to secure peace with Northern Israel.

The prophet Jehu rebuked him (2Chronicles 19:2-3), saying, “ Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD and bring wrath on yourself from the LORD? But   there is good in you, for  you have removed the Asheroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God.”

Then, in 2Chronicles 20 —
— A huge army came against Judah (20:1)
— Jehoshaphat prayed to God (20:6-12)
— A prophet gave him a word that the Lord will fight for Judah (20:17)
— Jehoshaphat sent forth worshipers before his army (20:21)
— The Lord sent an ambush, without the involvement of Judah’s army,
and his enemies ultimately killed each other off (20:22-23)

What a great victory! The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, going before him, and being his rear guard, just as God promises in Isaiah 52.

But then:

2Chronicles 20:35-37
— He again took his eyes off God and tried to manipulate his circumstances by making another alliance with King Ahaziah, Ahab’s son who now reigned in Northern Israel.
— So he built ships with the rebellious King of Israel

But a prophet came and said, “The Lord destroys your works,” and indeed, the Lord destroyed what Jehoshaphat and Ahaziah had built.

The Lord says to us that if we take our eyes off Him, and try to manipulate our circumstances by making alliances with the world, with backsliders, with compromisers, He will not go before us nor be our rear guard.

Why? Is God a liar? May it never be! He is not a man, that He should lie (Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2).

Look at Isaiah 52 again:

Isaiah 52:11 Depart, depart, go out from there,
Touch nothing unclean;
Go out of the midst of her,  purify yourselves,
You who carry the vessels of the LORD.

AND THEN comes Isaiah 52:12, His promise to go before us and be our rear guard!

Jehoshaphat took his eyes off the Lord and made alliances with those who rebel against God in order to manipulate his circumstances. If you do the same, God will not go before you or be your rear guard. What you build will be destroyed by Him, O church, O Christian!

Paul quotes Isaiah 52:11 to the Corinthian church:

2Corinthians 6:14    Do not be  bound together with  unbelievers; for what  partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?  15 Or what  harmony has Christ with  Belial, or  what has a  believer in common with an  unbeliever?
16      Or  what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are  the temple of  the living God; just as God said,
“ I WILL  DWELL IN THEM AND  WALK AMONG THEM;
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
17      “ Therefore,  COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord.
“AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN;
And I will welcome you.
18      “ And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be  sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty.

How do we keep from straying, from being bound together, from making alliances that lift His protection off us, so He will not go before us and be our rear guard, be our Father, and make us His sons and daughters? We must read on!

2Corinthians 7:1   Therefore, having these promises,  beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of
God. (NOTE: “Let us” is not in the original Greek. So this is a command, not a suggestion.)

This is a word for us, the answer to our waywardness. King Jehoshaphat sought the Lord most of the time, and trusted Him most of the time. But he could not perfect (complete) holiness. He could not completely fulfill or accomplish or finish it. He kept taking his eyes off God and trying to manipulate his circumstances, making alliances with the wicked that made God lift His protection off him.

When God the Father sent Jesus Christ to die and be raised again, to ascend back to Him and be glorified at His right hand, Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit in a new way, so when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, we are able to walk in the promise of protection because our hearts no longer wander!

We have the promise that He will make us holy, set apart for Him, when His Holy Spirit indwells us, but also the promise that He will make us no longer slaves to sin, to wandering, to manipulating our circumstances, to taking our eyes off God. Holiness is completed in us, so that we hate sin and backsliding and compromise just as He commands, and will not make alliances with those who rebel against Him — the world, and those in the church who give God lip service but their hearts are far from Him.

If you have been as Jehoshaphat, come into the truth today. Ask the Lord to baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire, and He will come and cleanse your heart from waywardness. And surely, the Lord will go before you always, and always be your rear guard!

 

WAKE UP!

[SW157] 10/17/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Wake Up!”

Today, the Lord asks us to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith (2Corinthians 13:15)!

Text: John 5:24-29
Judgment coming!
— Good, to resurrection of life
— Evil, to resurrection of judgment

How are you walking? (Ephesians 5:1ff)
— In love (His love), verses 1-2?
— Did you give yourself up? It’s the only way to walk in His love!
— Or in evil (verses 3-6)?
— Do you walk as a child of the light (verse 8)?
— Are  you living proof of what pleases God (verse 10)?
— Or are you sleep-walking? Wake up! (verse 14)
— Walk wise (v. 15)
— Redeem the time (v. 16)
— Be filled with the Spirit (v. 17-18). It is the Lord’s will!

If  you do these things, you will not be subject to the judgment Jesus spoke of.

The fruit? You will subject yourself to others, in the fear of Christ (v. 21):
— No more demanding my rights
— No more power plays
— No more one-upmanship
— No more willful disobedience of God, which is sin
— 1 John 2:6 and 4:17

Please go to the link to my video sermon on Youtube to see and hear what the Lord has to say about these things.

WATER!

[SW153] 09/16/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Water”

(NOTE: These are notes and scripture references. I urge you to watch the video on Youtube, because it is an interpretation of John 4 that I believe will speak to your heart. The video message will be available later today. The link is in the right-hand column on my blog site.)

I announced last time that I would discontinue this video ministry, to make myself available for other ministry as needed, but the Lord showed me that I can vary the days I speak a video message. So I will continue.

Breath — Last time, I spoke about the breath, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, a breath that is breathed into dry bones.

The Lord instructed me to continue with a few other symbols of the Holy Spirit:

Water — Living water which flows from the bellies of those who are filled to overflowing.

Fire — Purifies our hearts and make them completely and entirely God’s, with no other rival.

Oil — That which keeps a flame burning.

So today, I speak about water.

You are thirsty with a thirst that nothing has quenched. Your sins leave you dry, the gods you’ve worshiped leave you dry, preachers who preach ear candy leave you dry. Jesus Christ has living water for you today, and you will never thirst again.

Text:  John 4 — the condition of the woman at the well (and of you, beloved), and the solution.

The nature of living water:

Zechariah 14:8   And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.

These are waters that never dry up! In Israel, rivers and streams often flow in the winter but dry up in the summer. But the living water of the Holy Spirit is an endless source of life!

Zechariah 10:1        Ask  rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain —
The LORD who  makes the  storm clouds;
And He will give them  showers of rain, vegetation in the field to each man.

Zechariah 10:12 “And I will strengthen them in the LORD,
And in His name they will walk,” declares the LORD.

It is water that strengthens, water that transforms you so that you become God’s representative, walking in the name of Jesus Christ, as His ambassador, obeying God, walking as Christ walked when He was on the earth. The strengthening rain, the living water, the Spirit! He is what is required to make it so!

Water! The Holy Spirit, who was poured out at Pentecost, with a fisherman named Peter preaching repentance in Acts 2, for repentance is the first step:

Joel 2:12 “Yet even now,” declares the LORD,
“ Return to Me with all your heart,
And with  fasting, weeping and mourning;
13      And  rend your heart and not  your garments.”
Now return to the LORD your God,
For He is  gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness
And relenting of evil.

and then . . .

Joel 2:28  “It will come about after this
That I will  pour out My Spirit on all mankind; [all who ask, Luke 11:13]
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.
29      “Even on the  male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

And the day that Peter preached, and in the days that followed, thousands upon thousands were transformed, healed of their rebellion against God, and reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ! Peter had flood-stage living water flowing from his belly!

Poured out! Water! Rivers in the spiritual desert of Judah’s exile in Babylon, and also in the desert of today’s Christianity!

Only our God, the one who called forth the generations from the beginning, can help us, and He will gladly restore and revive the fallen-away church, if she will turn. Here is His promise:

Isaiah 41:18  “I will open  rivers on the bare heights
And springs in the midst of the valleys;
I will make  the wilderness a pool of water
And the dry land fountains of water.
19      “I will put the cedar in the wilderness,
The acacia and the  myrtle and the olive tree;
I will place the  juniper in the desert
Together with the box tree and the cypress,
20      That  they may see and recognize,
And consider and gain insight as well,
That the  hand of the LORD has done this,
And the Holy One of Israel has created it.

These cannot grow in a dry desert . . . they require water! But  He promises water:

Isaiah 44:3  ‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty land
And streams on the dry ground;
I will  pour out My Spirit on your offspring
And My blessing on your descendants;

For today’s church:

Who is the Source of living water? Who will relieve you of the dryness that I know you feel? Who is the One who will take you out of your desert, out of your wilderness, the place of dryness that results from sin?  Jesus Christ!

What is your sin, you ask? Rather than idols made of stone or wood or metal,  the idolatry of self is your sin. (I was the same way, before I received the Holy Spirit’s living water.) And most pastors build their sermons around you and your sensual desires. That may make you feel good for a moment, but then you find you are still dry. Theirs is a deceptive stream; it dries up quickly. You are still in your idolatry. If your pastor does not speak of sin and righteousness and judgment and repentance from sin, you remain a slave to sin.

Jesus Christ is in the business of making people free from slavery to sin (John 8:31-36), and that is by the Holy Spirit, the living water:

John 7:37   Now on  the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me,  as the Scripture said, ‘From  his innermost being will flow rivers of  living water.’” 39 But this He spoke  of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Who receives the living water of the Holy Spirit? He who believes in Christ, not just in a mental assent that Christ lived and died and rose again, but who obeys Christ out of love! He who has repented and asked God to do it! That one will have living water flowing from his belly like a flood-stage river!
Jesus Christ was sent by God the Father for this reason:

Isaiah 42:7      To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the dungeon
And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.

This water, the Holy Spirit, will open your blind eyes and  deliver you from your prison of selfishness and rebellion against God, and make you an oasis for the lost (Isaiah 42:7). He who gives you sight and freedom will do the same for them, through us!

And there is another purpose for His living water:

Acts 1:8 “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be  My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and  Samaria, and even to  the remotest part of the earth.”

The living water of the Holy Spirit gives you power to be a witness that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God, that He came and died and rose again, because His Holy Spirit will fill you with His presence and His love and His holiness and His power, and that will trigger repentance in others!

You cannot be the church without His living water!

The cure for your dryness, the exit from your desert, is before you now. Jesus Christ will give you living, overflowing water that will never dry up, living water that will make you a witness that Christ is real. People who see God’s power in you and living water flowing form you will repent and believe.

Beloved, most of today’s church cannot claim to be witnesses of Him, but His offer is open NOW. Repent, turn from your idolatry of self, cry out to God and receive His living water!