THE BREATH

[SW152] 08/29/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“The Breath”

The Breath! The Breath of God! It gives life to dry bones and makes them stand up, as an exceedingly great army!

Text:  Ezekiel 37

The vision Ezekiel saw, and the Breath that he prophesied, came to pass on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. The rushing wind of the Holy Spirit blew into an upper room filled with 120 Jews who obeyed Jesus Christ’s command to stay and wait in the city until they were clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49).

When those tongues like fire fell upon them, they were baptized in the Holy Spirit, and they inhaled the very Breath of God! Then they became an exceedingly great army!

But the church has fallen from that glorious place, particularly in the U.S., where I have been called to speak to her.

God’s intent and will:

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they  may have life, and  have it abundantly.”

Abundantly (4053 perissos) — in the sense of beyond; superabundant (in quantity), superior (in quality); by implication, excessive — exceeding abundantly above, more abundantly, advantage, exceedingly, very highly, beyond measure!

’Til it overflows!

Acts 2:1   When  the day of Pentecost  had come, they were all together in one place.  2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled  the whole house where they were sitting.  3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire  distributing themselves, and  they  rested on each one of them.  4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to  speak with other  tongues, as the Spirit was giving them  utterance.

It was the fulfillment of:

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

Pour out (8210 shaphakh), intensely, mounded up, gushing out!

If we are filled with God, He will overflow from us!

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.

With joy we have drawn water from the fountain of salvation (Yeshua):

Isaiah 12:3      Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.

We are temples of the Holy Spirit, His living water flows from us! Therefore:

Ezekiel 47:1   Then he brought me back to the  door of the house; and behold,  water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar.

Our temple is so full of His living water that it comes out from under the threshold of us, and flows, and flows, and flows, deeper, and deeper, and deeper! Wherever it goes, there is life!

We are full of His life, which overflows us!
We are full of joy unspeakable and full of glory:

1Peter 1:8 and  though you have not seen Him, you  love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and  full of glory,

It is His joy:

John 15:11 “ These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your  joy may be made full.”

He rejoices in us!

We overflow with His glory, full of His kabod!

Colossians 1:27 [His saints] to whom God willed to make known what is  the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the  hope of glory.

Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Psalms 45:13  The King’s daughter [bride] is all glorious within;

And we overflow with His love:

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.

Poured out to overflowing, gushing out to us, gushing out from us!

We freely give what has been given to us, doing as Jesus Christ commanded us:

Matthew 10:8 “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.”

Healing, raising, cleansing, casting out cannot help but happen when we overflow!

To today’s church:

Remember that picture of the church that the Lord showed me? She is like the old man with the long beard, sitting in a chair, bent over, looking down. No hope.

Much of today’s church is like the house of Israel, in exile in Babylon:

Ezekiel 37:11   Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our  bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’

Jesus is grieved by the dryness that is in the church, the complacency, the emptiness.

Even in those churches that have the life of God in them, that welcome the Holy Spirit, I see churchgoers who are content to enjoy His presence while they are in church.  But they go home as dry bones.

They go home empty rather than full of God’s life that overflows into the world,         empty rather than full of His living water that gushes from the belly,
empty rather than full of His joy,
empty rather than full of His love,
empty rather than full of His glory. May it never be!

We cannot overflow if we are not filled.

If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we overflow not only in the four walls of the church, but wherever we go. We are filled with the Holy Spirit, with life as God has it, with God’s actual love, with His living water, with His joy, with His glory.

And we who are overflowing call the rest of the church, the complacent church, the lukewarm church, to come and be filled, so they may overflow. The hour is late! The Spirit was given to empower the church. We must obey God’s command, and yield ourselves completely to Him. Only He can make us overflow!

Today I prophesy to the Breath — O Holy Spirit, blow through the churches of America! Let each one inhale deeply, and be filled, so she may be that exceedingly great army in Ezekiel’s glorious vision!

This is my last video message for this season. There have been many seasons in Jeff’s and my ministry: as associate pastors, as part-time pastors to a church off the coast of Maine, as church planters, as house church leaders, as those who assisted others in Florida during church transitions, as a safe place for ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ to come and rest (and that last one is still in effect).

But I have sensed a new season, even as we go from summer to fall. I am changing my ordination from Free Methodist to Church of God in Christ, and I am leaving the way wide open for the Lord and the church to use me as the Spirit leads them.
Amen, Lord! So be it!

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LEAPING BELIEVERS!

What is the purpose of being a leaping believer? That everyone may see our joyous celebration of the freedom only Jesus Christ can give!

[SW150] 08/15/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Leaping Believers!”

Text: Psalm 30, Acts 3:1-10

Psalm 30

Verse 1 – I will extol You, O, Lord, raising Your name high, like a banner! You have drawn me up out of the water, lifted me up, like a bucket is lifted up from a well. You pulled me up out of the Enemy’s plans and schemes!

Verse 2 – O Lord, MY GOD, You are MY God, and I am Yours! I cried to You, and You healed me!

Verse 3 – I was ready for Sheol, the place of the unrighteous dead! You kept me alive! You keep me, so I don’t go down into that pit!

Verse 4 – A characteristic of those who are His, and obey Him, and are therefore godly: They sing! They give thanks!

Verse 5 – You anger was for a very short space of time, when I did not commune with You because of my sin. I broke the holy intimacy You deserved.
[For myself, I had no relationship with you, no holy intimacy with you at all; I willfully rebelled against you.]

And You had every right to be angry, because You created me for that purpose.

But I have returned to You! Your anger is gone, and Your favor is forever!

I wept during the time I was away from You [for myself, during the time I did not know you]. It was like a dark night, but morning came, Your light shone upon me once again, and now, I cannot help but SHOUT with joy!

Verse 6 – Now I declare I will not be moved, because I have returned to You. Lord, You have made me secure! I will never be moved!

Verse 7 – Your favor, Lord, makes my mountain stand strong. I could not do it in my own strength. I was afflicted and weak.

But through my weakness, Your power dwells in me (2 Corinthians 12:9). If I said I was strong in my own strength, You would not make Your power dwell in me.

When I had made You angry by sinning and thus breaking my relationship with You, I was dismayed, because You did not let me see You.

Verse 8 & 9 – I called to You, I cried out to You, I made supplication to You, asking for mercy, asking for favor . . .

I cried, “How can I praise You and declare Your faithfulness if I am dead?”

Verse 10 – In my distress, I said, “Hear, O Lord! Heed my cry! Be gracious to me! Help me!”

Verse 11 – And You turned my mourning into DANCING!
I no longer wear mourning clothing, because You have clothed me with gladness! (Isaiah 61 — the oil of gladness, a type or symbol of the Holy Spirit!)

Verse 12 – Why have You rescued me?

So that I would sing Your praise from the depths of my being, and not be SILENT. And O Lord, MY GOD, I will give thanks to You forever!
——————————————————————————————————–
Beloved, that was King David, in the Old Testament. A dusty old book? I don’t think so! Look what the Spirit of God did through Peter and John:

Acts 3

Verse 2 – Lame from birth, the man had never walked, just like everyone who doesn’t yet know Jesus Christ. We’ve never walked with the Lord. We are lame from birth.

And this man lame from birth was more than 40 (Acts 5:22)! I myself was 45! Beloved, it’s never too late!

We came to the Beautiful Gate, not even asking for healing, but crying for help, begging for natural provision, from anyone who would hear. We were spiritually impoverished and didn’t even know it.

Verse 3 – When we first saw Your servants, we begged them for natural provision, just like the others who passed by. We did not look up. We did not know Jesus Christ’s provision which He made on the cross.

Verse 4 – But they commanded us to look at them.

Verse 5 –  We looked at them.

Verse 6 – They said they were not rich in natural wealth, but in the name of Jesus Christ, walk!

Verse 7 – They helped us to arise, and immediately, our atrophied feet and ankles were made strong! Our atrophied spirits were made alive and whole, as they were originally meant to be!

Verse 8 – We didn’t just stand — WE LEAPED UP! The power of God coursed through us, because Your servants were filled with Your Holy Spirit!

We stood for the first time in our lives. WE LEAPED UP, physically and spiritually, and entered into life in Jesus Christ!

And for the very first time ever, we entered the presence of God, and we could not help but continue to LEAP and walk and PRAISE GOD!

Verse 9 – Everyone saw us walking and praising!

THIS IS THE PURPOSE OF OUR LEAPING AND WALKING AND PRAISING GOD: THAT EVERYONE SEE THE JOYOUS CELEBRATION OF FREEDOM THAT ONLY JESUS CHRIST CAN GIVE!

Verse 10 – And they knew we were the lame ones who used to beg for natural provision, who had never walked with Jesus! And everyone was filled with wonder and amazement. It is for Your glory, Lord!

And we continue to LEAP and walk and PRAISE GOD!

O Lord, You have turned our mourning into DANCING, loosed our garments of mourning and clothed us with GLADNESS!

And we cannot help but SING and PRAISE YOU and we cannot be SILENT! We give thanks to our Lord FOREVER!

To the church:

Do you leap? Do you shout? Do you sing? Do you praise? Do you give thanks publicly? Are you unable to keep silent?

This is the testimony of the true church of Jesus Christ.

If you do not leap, if you are silent, if you are mourning, if you are begging for natural provision, O Christian, you must humble yourself and cry out and ask the Lord God to help you!

You must establish communion with Him. You must have holy intimacy with Him. You must confess the sin that separates you from Him.

He is angry with you because He has provided Jesus Christ to die for your sin from you and be raised from the dead on the third day to send the Holy Spirit to set you free from slavery to sin!

He will draw you up out of the sin you’re drowning in, lifting you up like a bucket is lifted up from a well. He will pull you up out of the Enemy’s plans and schemes!

He will be your God, and you will be His child!

When you cry to Him, He will heal you!

He will immediately make you able walk with Him. He will also heal you physically, as he did the man at the Beautiful Gate.

You will come into His presence, LEAPING and walking and praising God, just as we do.

Do not judge leaping, dancing, shouting, singing, praising believers, calling us fanatics! Let Jesus Christ show you why we leap, so you may leap, too! ASK HIM TO MAKE YOU A LEAPER, SO EVERYONE CAN SEE YOUR JOYOUS CELEBRATION OF FREEDOM THAT ONLY JESUS CHRIST CAN GIVE!

GO TO THE LOST

When Jesus says, “Go to the lost sheep,” it is a command, and we are compelled by the power of His words to do it!

[SW144] 07/05/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Going to the Lost”

Text: Matthew 10:1-8, 14-15, 40-42

We are compelled to go after a single lost sheep until we find it, and then bring it back, rejoicing. We are compelled to light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully for a single lost coin until we find it (see Luke 15). Then we and all heaven rejoice!

Going to the lost. Many in today’s church think He is saying, “Go to those who do not believe in Me,” but Jesus says, “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel!”
God’s people? Lost? It is the same now as it was then. Many of God’s people were and are lost sheep.

Today, Jesus not only commands us to go to the lost sheep of Israel who do not see that He is their Messiah, but also to go to the lost sheep of the church.

Notice that the disciples did not question Jesus (What do You mean? We do not see any lost ones!). Nope. They knew there were lost sheep in Israel.

What signs do I see that there are lost sheep within today’s church? Many sheep in the church are:
— distressed     — oppressed     — depressed
— confused        — compromised     — afraid
Or worse:
— lulled to sleep OR
— slaves to sin, when Jesus came to set us free, indeed!

Why are the sheep lost? Do they not have apostles and prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11)?

Israel had priests and experts in the law of Moses, but Jesus found fault with them. He declared to them that they did many things to misguide His people.

He finds fault with the leaders of today’s church, too, who do many things to misguide His people.

Lamentations 2:14  Your prophets have seen for you
                False and foolish visions;
                And they have not exposed your iniquity
                So as to restore you from captivity,
                But they have seen for you false and misleading  oracles.

We should not be surprised. Jesus spoke of false shepherds, wolves among the flock (Verse 16). There were wolves in sheep’s clothing within the fledgling church (Acts 20:29-31).

But we in today’s church have not been on guard as Paul commanded by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Acts 20:29.

And the people are biblically illiterate and therefore cannot discern — few know the Word of God. They are sheep that do not know the Good Shepherd’s voice.

As a result, they follow the voice of strangers, and even love it, as in Jeremiah’s day:

Jeremiah 5:31 The  prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule on their own authority; And My people love it so!

What can be done? We obey the command of Jesus Christ, and go to them!

What does He give us as we go to the lost sheep of the church?

(Not as we sit, but as we go!)

In Matthew 10:1, He gives us authority over evil spirits to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness (also see Luke 10:19).

Why does He give us such authority? So people will know the kingdom of heaven draws near!

He commands us that as we go, we are to preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He commands us to preach repentance (Mark 6:12).

Then the authority comes into play, as the evidence that the kingdom of heaven is near: we heal, raise, cleanse and cast out.

These are the accompanying signs (Mark 16:17), the attesting miracles that show the lost sheep that God and Christ are the true reality and not just philosophical ideas to which they give mental assent.

But we cannot preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand unless the kingdom of heaven is in our midst — within us. And when the kingdom of heaven is within us, we will have His authority, and we will heal, raise, cleanse and cast out.

FREELY we have received, and FREELY we give (Verse 8).

What do we FREELY give? FREEdom to the captives (Isaiah 61), to the lost sheep of the church!

We do it not give in our own power or by man’s wisdom, but in God’s power and wisdom and might! The Spirit of the Lord God is upon us!

What will be the result of our going to seek the lost sheep of the church? One of two things will happen, Jesus says:

#1 — We will not be received, and so we must do as He commands in Verse 14. Beloved, this will happen much in today’s backslidden church. It happened to Christ Himself, as He walked the earth! The consequence:
15 “Truly I say to you,  it will be more tolerable for the land of  Sodom and Gomorrah in  the day of judgment than for that city.”

#2 — We will be received, welcomed, accepted, and those who do it will receive a reward:
Matthew 10:40   “ He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
41 “ He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet [that is, as a prophet sent by the Lord] shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man [that is, a righteous man made righteous by the Lord] shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
42 “And  whoever in the name of a disciple [as a disciple of Christ] gives to one of these little ones [prophets and righteous men] even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” [my interpretation in brackets]

Beloved, I am praying for today’s church to receive those whom Jesus is sending out even now.

I am praying that the lost sheep of the church will be found and carried back with rejoicing.

I am praying that the lost coin will be found and cause great rejoicing, in heaven and on the earth!

I am praying that many in the church will ask for the kingdom of heaven to be within them — that is, asking for God the Father to fill them with His Holy Spirit.

THEN they will receive authority. THEN they will proclaim that the kingdom of heaven has drawn near and their hearers must repent.

And I am expecting to see the attesting signs.

Amen, Lord. Let it be so!

REBUILDING THE CHURCH — DISCERNMENT

Beloved, if we ask, the Lord will give us discernment, and with that, we will be one step closer to a rebuilt church!

[SW141] 06/14/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Rebuilding the Church — Discernment”

Jesus is showing me something in the Book of Nehemiah. It’s about today’s church, and what she must be taught and how she must be exhorted. In Nehemiah, the Lord reveals the necessary steps to rebuilding:

Chapter 1 — Intercession

Chapter 2 — Christ’s provision

Chapters 2 and 3 — His Inspiration and Strength

Chapter 4 — Spiritual Warfare

Chapter 5 — Conviction of sin

Chapter 6 — Discernment

Chapters 8 and 9 — Repentance/Public Confession of Sin

Chapter 10 — Consecration

Chapter 13 — Cleansing

First we intercede standing in the gap between a broken church and a God who heals brokenness. Then we seek the provision necessary to rebuild.

Then we act upon the inspiration of God, the heart of God which we have sought and got!
But in the midst of the building, the Enemy who is Satan will mock, despise and attack us.
How do we defeat him? Spiritual warfare! 

Remember that we cannot blame Satan for the sin that has caused the church to become broken down. Our own lust is at the root of all sin. Our leaders must convict us of our sin, so we will turn from it.

The next element necessary to the rebuilding is discernment.

Discernment. Daniel had it, and refused to eat the king’s unclean delicacies (Daniel 1:8). Jesus had it, and refused to listen to Satan’s entreaty to worship him. Paul and John and Peter had it, and knew how to identify false teachers and false brothers (2Timothy 6:3-5, 1John 4:1ff, 1John 1:6 and 2Peter 3:17ff, to name just a few references)! Discernment. It comes from the Lord, and not the world.

Nehemiah 6

When all of  Israel’s enemies heard that the wall had been rebuilt and no breach remained in it (though the doors had not been set in the gates), they used Satan’s favorite weapons: deception, slander and fear.
They sent a message to Nehemiah. “Come, let us take counsel together.”

“Let us take counsel together.” The Lord asks, “Who have you taken counsel with lately, beloved?”

Or do you say, like Nehemiah did, “I am doing God’s work here. Why should I stop to meet with you?” The message was sent four times, and four times, Nehemiah responded that way.

From the beginning, Nehemiah DISCERNED that his enemies could not have a part in the rebuilding (2:20). He heard of their  mocking, how they despised Israel. They had plotted to fight Israel, and the people feared, but Nehemiah heard of it and equipped the people for battle, and so their plans were frustrated, broken and annulled (4:15).

And these say, “Come let us take counsel together?” They must think Nehemiah has a very short memory! How is your memory, beloved? Do you remember what Satan has said of you? Do you remember his mocking and how he despises you? Have you heard of his plans and asked the Lord to equip you for battle by filling you with His Spirit so Satan’s plans are frustrated, broken and annulled? Why, then, would you take counsel with him now? Why does the church join hands with those who hate Christ?

Our word to Satan must be, “Get thee behind me, Satan,” per Matthew 4:10. And we must know God’s Word and thereby, God’s heart and God’s nature, in order to DISCERN Satan’s nature. And we must DISCERN that it is necessary to have Christ’s nature in us in order for Satan to have to obey when we say, “Begone!”

When you refuse Satan, he will slander you, just as Sanballat and the rest did to Nehemiah (6:6-7). “You seek power, you seek to rule, you’ve appointed your own prophets to say you should lead.” But Nehemiah said, “These accusations are from your imagination.”

Satan is a liar and the father of lies. There is no truth in him. For him, to lie is to speak in his native tongue, it is to speak from his own nature (John 8:44).

When Satan’s lies come at you, do you run to your Good Shepherd? Do you run from the stranger’s voice (John 10), or do you listen to him? Run from the stranger’s voice! Know and believe the Word of God (in your heart) and you will be able to DISCERN!

Nehemiah DISCERNED that his enemies were trying to use fear, which births discouragement. Then the work stops. Nehemiah DISCERNS this truth. So what does Nehemiah do? He prays, “Now, O God, strengthen my hands!” What do you do when Satan tries to make you fear? Are you discouraged? Then you have fallen for his tactics. Stand up now. Cry out to the Lord, “Strengthen my hands!”

Strengthen (2388 chazaq) to fasten upon; hence, to seize, be strong (figuratively, courageous, causatively strengthen, cure, help, repair, fortify). O God, fasten upon my hands and seize them, making them strong so the rebuilding may be completed in YOUR strength!

Next, Nehemiah DISCERNS that one of his fellow Israelites, Shemaiah (ShemaYAH, which means “he hears from God”), is trying to bait him, to make him sin.

O beloved, beware! Even from those who call you brother, those who call themselves Christians, who say they hear from God, you may hear Satan speak tempting words.
The Enemy will say, people seek your life — run and hide in the temple! Sounds like a good idea. What better place to hide than in the Lord’s house? But if you are hiding, you do not trust God.

Nehemiah DISCERNED this, and he also knew the Word of God. He could not go into the temple and live (6:11). Beloved, he was cupbearer to King Artaxerxes. It was the custom of pagan kings to castrate any men who worked closely with them, so the men would have no sexual desire toward the king’s wives and concubines. Nehemiah was an eunuch. He was emasculated (Deuteronomy 23:1), and thus barred from the temple. To go in would be a sin against God. So he refused.

[NOTE: Praise be to God, since His Son Jesus Christ came and died and rose and ascended, He has now lifted that ban (Isaiah 56:3-5). “To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial.”]

Nehemiah DISCERNED that God had not sent ShemaYAH, for he encouraged Nehemiah to sin!

O beloved, are you with people who say it’s alright to continue to sin against God once you have come to Christ? Do these say they hear from God? If you have asked the Lord for His DISCERNMENT, you will not listen to them.

Satan hires people like ShemaYAH for this reason: that you may become frightened and act accordingly so that Satan is able to say you feared and hid, so he can reproach you (6:13).

Remember Satan, O God, for what he has done. And beloved, remember that we do not war against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities:

Ephesians 6:12 For our  struggle is not against   flesh and blood, but  against the rulers, against the powers, against the  world forces of this  darkness, against the  spiritual forces of wickedness in  the heavenly places.

What is the result, when we have DISCERNMENT? The wall is finished (6:15-19) the worship begins (7:1ff), and God is glorified, for He promised and it is DONE, and has proven Himself faithful to His Word (Psalm 138:2)!

EXHORTATION TO BELIEVERS AND THE CHURCH-AT-LARGE:

Do you have discernment from God and therefore refuse Satan’s invitation to take counsel with him?

Do you have discernment from God, so you know the Good Shepherd’s voice and run from the voice of the stranger?

Do you have discernment from God, so you know Satan’s tactics?

Do you have discernment from God, so you ask Him to clothe you with His armor and fill you with His Spirit and His Word, so Satan cannot harm you?

Do you have discernment from the Lord, so you refuse to sin, even when a brother, one who calls himself a Christian, says, “But I hear from God, and He says it is alright”?

Do you have discernment so you know whether you may test the spirits of men?

1John 4:1    Beloved, do not believe every  spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because  many false prophets have gone out into the world . . . 5  They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.  6  We are from God;  he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Through this message, you are convicted that you have sinned, that you have taken Satan’s bait, that some hireling has spoken and you have believed him. If you will agree with God, He will cleanse you of your sin and fill you with His Spirit so you have DISCERNMENT. And He will rebuild your wall and set its gates in place.

But there is yet more — there must be revival with public confession of sin(Nehemiah 8-9), then dedication and purification (Nehemiah 10). These must happen in you individually, and also in today’s church-at-large, so we may be rebuilt to be the church of the Book of Acts, and the world may know that the Father sent His Son:

John 17:23  ” in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected  in unity, so that the world may  know that  You sent Me, and  loved them, even as You have loved Me. 24 “Father, I desire that  they also, whom You have given Me,  be with Me where I am, so that they may see My  glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before  the foundation of the world. 25   “O  righteous Father,  although  the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that  You sent Me; 26 and  I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that  the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
 

REBUILDING – SPIRITUAL WARFARE

We must be fully submitted to God to defeat the Enemy’s attempts to keep the church of today from being healed of its brokenness!

[SW139] 05/03/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Rebuilding the Church — Spiritual Warfare”

First we intercede standing in the gap between a broken church and a God who heals brokenness. Then we seek the provision necessary to rebuild. Then we act upon the inspiration of God, the heart of God which we have sought and got!

But in the midst of the building, the Enemy who is Satan will mock, despise and attack us. How do we defeat him? Spiritual warfare!

Jesus has shown me something in the Book of Nehemiah. It’s about today’s church, and what she must be taught and how she must be exhorted. In Nehemiah, the Lord reveals the necessary steps to rebuilding:

Chapter 1 — Intercession

Chapter 2 — Christ’s provision

Chapters 2 and 3 — His Inspiration and Strength

Chapter 4 — Spiritual Warfare

Chapter 5 — Conviction regarding sin

Chapter 6 — Discernment

Chapters 8 and 9 — Repentance

Chapter 10 — Consecration

Chapter 13 — Cleansing

Ezekiel 22:26-31 describes the spiritual condition of Israel that led to the Babylonian exile of Judah (southern Israel) about a hundred years after Samaria (northern Israel). Judah had sinned greatly against the Lord, and refused to listen to the prophets the Lord sent to them, who warned them to repent. And so God sent them into exile in Babylon for 70 years.

Nehemiah 4

Nehemiah interceded for Jerusalem after his countrymen brought him the sad news that the city was in great distress and reproach, with its wall broken down and its gates burned with fire.

He asked the Lord for favor with King Artaxerxes, and reminded the Lord of His promise to return them to Jerusalem if they returned to their God.

He found favor, indeed! The king sent Nehemiah with authority, timber, officers of the army and horsemen to rebuild Jerusalem.

Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, with something God was putting on his heart to do for Jerusalem. After surveying the destruction, he spoke to the people:

Come, let us rebuild
The hand of my God has been favorable to me
The king supports us

Enter the Enemy, in this case represented by a Horonite (that is, from Moab). Sanballat’s name means “may sin (the moon god) give him life.” He was the governor of Samaria, which used to be northern Israel before they were sent into exile because of their sin. The King of Samaria peppered the land with a mixture of followers of many gods.

When he heard of the repairs (so cool — the literal word is healing), Sanballat mocked, despised, accused. He was furious (2734 burning with anger) and very angry (3707 provoked). So he insulted them in Verse 2. I love Sanballat’s last words in that verse: Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble, even the burned stones?” Oh, yes! Our God can revive the church and make her living stones again (1Peter 2:4-10)!!!! All things are possible with God:

Matthew 19:26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, “ With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Mark 9:23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’  All things are possible to him who believes.”

Mark 10:27 Looking at them, Jesus  said, “ With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

Sanballat’s cohorts are Tobiah the Ammonite and Geshem the Arab. Tobiah chimes in with Sanballat. What the Jews are building will fall under the weight of a fox. Thus, the Jews who are building become demoralized.

Does Nehemiah get armed men together to physically attack the Enemy? No, he calls on God, in Verse 4-5. God, not Nehemiah, put it in Nehemiah’s heart to restore Jerusalem. Since it wasn’t Nehemiah’s idea, he was able to call on God.

So the whole wall was joined to half height, for the people had a heart to work.

What does the Enemy do when he sees us succeed in rebuilding? He forms a conspiracy to come and fight against and destroy the rebuilders. But we have One who has come to give us His life, His power, His Spirit abundantly!

Does Nehemiah get armed men together to physically attack the Enemy? No, he prays to God. He calls on God, he prays to God and sets up a guard. Prayer is the offensive weapon in spiritual warfare, and guarding is the defensive weapon:

2Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war  according to the flesh,  4 for the  weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but  divinely powerful  for the destruction of fortresses.  5 We are destroying speculations and every  lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the  obedience of Christ . . .

And from the Interlinear Greek-to-English literal translation:

Ephesians 6:10 Be made powerful in the Lord, and in the might of His strength. Put in all the armor of God, for you to be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil, because we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against the authorities, against the rulers of this world, of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenlies.”

And the last weapon spoken of in Ephesians 6?

Ephesians 6:18    With all prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all  perseverance and  petition for all the saints  . . .”

In Nehemiah 4:10, the people of Judah confess that they are unable to rebuild the wall in their own strength. God will do it!

The Enemy plans to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), but Christ has come that we may have His life in us, abundantly! And if we have His life in us, the Enemy has nothing on us.

The Enemy plans to attack and kill and put a stop to the rebuilding.

The Jews who lived near them heard of their plan, and told the leaders 10 times that they would come up from every direction and attack — words of fear, spoken 10 times. It is as Israel did in Numbers 13:33, coming with a bad report that they were like grasshoppers among the people of Canaan. These are words of unbelief!

Did Nehemiah form an army to physically attack the Enemy? No. He armed the people, but they were to stand:

Ephesians 6:13 Therefore, take up  the full armor of God, so that you will be able to  resist in  the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.  14 Stand firm therefore,  HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING  PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,  15 and having  shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;  16  in addition to all, taking up the  shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the  flaming arrows of  the evil one. 17 And take  THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the  sword of the Spirit, which is  the word of God.

Do we have no armor for our backs? Of course we do:

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.

The people feared. But Nehemiah exhorted them to remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for what He has promised you (Verse 14). Because God put the rebuilding into Nehemiah’s heart and it was not a scheme Nehemiah cooked up on his own, God would fight for them!

Remember what happened to the people when they decided to enter the promised land anyway, after the Lord rebuked them for their unbelief? They were defeated. It was their idea, not God’s, to enter the land after God’s rebuke and His promise that they would wander 40 years in the desert before entering the land. There is no victory if the Lord is not in the midst, beloved!

Once the Enemy heard that their plan had been discovered and God had frustrated their plan, they could not carry it out. So the rebuilders continued their work. But not without the armor (Verses 16-17).

And a trumpeter was assigned to blow the trumpet if he saw the Enemy approaching. He would sound the trumpet and the people would assemble themselves where the trumpet had been sounded. But they would not fight — God would fight for them.

The work went on from the rising of the dawn to when the stars came out. Half of the workers held spears for defense, even carrying their weapon to the water, and never removing their clothes. They stayed in the city continually, not leaving to return home, so they could both guard and labor without ceasing.

Admonishment to today’s church:

Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)! Pray for the rebuilding of the church!

Beloved, unless you are submitted to God, He will not hear your prayers, and you will not defeat the Enemy who is continually conspiring to keep the church from being rebuilt (James 4:1-7)!

Submit to God, beloved. Ask Him to change your heart, to give you a new one, a heart that is not out for its own interests, that does not demand its own rights, that does not hate, but one that completely belongs to God and is filled with His love. The Enemy cannot stand and will retreat, his attack foiled, if we are fully submitted to God, and following what He has put into our hearts, and not our own imaginings.

The Lord will be your rear guard under these circumstances only:

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.

Go out of the midst of the world, purify yourselves. Then He will go before you, and He will be your rear guard, and you will have victory over the Enemy!

JOY INEXPRESSIBLE!

[SW137] 04/19/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014

“Joy Inexpressible!”

He is risen! (He is risen, indeed!) We do not physically see Jesus Christ, but He has revealed Himself to us, and He and the Father have come to dwell in us!

Joy is in the hearts of all who believe! And that joy began a long time before Christ rose from the dead . . .

Imagine the joy of Moses, when he received the creation story from God, and heard that the Enemy of our souls would be defeated:

Genesis 3:14 The LORD God said to the serpent . . .
    15 And I will put enmity
    Between you and the woman,
    And between your seed and her seed;
     He shall  bruise you on the head,
    And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Imagine his joy as he prophesied of a coming prophet who would be like him, used by the Lord to set free the captives —

Deuteronomy 18:15   “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.”

Imagine the joy of David, who in the Spirit calls the Messiah “Lord, ” and speaks of His victory —

Psalms 110:1  The LORD says to my Lord:
        “ Sit at My right hand
        Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
(also see Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:42-45)

And even from the beginning of the Psalms, David speaks what he hears from the Lord in the Spirit, prophesying about the Son of God:

Psalms 2:6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King
    Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

    12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry
    and you be destroyed in your way,
    or his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Imagine the joy of Isaiah, when the Lord spoke through him and he prophesied of the Messiah —

Isaiah 9:2   The people who walk in darkness
    Will see a great light;
    Those who live in a dark land,
    The light will shine on them.
    4 For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders . . .
    6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
    And the government will rest on His shoulders;
    And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor,  Mighty God,
    Eternal  Father, Prince of  Peace.
    7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace . . .

And —

Isaiah 53:5    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.
        11  After the suffering of his soul,
        he will see the light[of life] and be satisfied;
        by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
        and he will bear their iniquities.

Imagine the joy of Jeremiah, when the Lord spoke through Jeremiah, and he gladly prophesied —

Jeremiah 23:5   “Behold, the  days are coming,” declares the LORD,
    “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
    And He will reign as king and  act wisely
    And  do justice and righteousness in the land.
    6 “In His days Judah will be saved, and  Israel will dwell securely;
    And this is His name by which He will be called,
    ‘The  LORD our righteousness.’”

And —

Jeremiah 33:15 ‘In those days and at that time I will cause a  righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute  justice and righteousness on the earth.”

But they did not yet fully see how it would come to pass, nor did they see the Messiah face-to-face —

Jesus says:

Matthew 13:16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 “For truly I say to you that  many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

And the Apostle Peter says:

1Peter 1:10  As to this salvation, the prophets who  prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries,  11 seeking to know what person or time  the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.  12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who  preached the gospel to you by  the Holy Spirit sent from heaven — things into which  angels long to look.

Imagine the joy of Mary, when Jesus spoke to her in the garden at the tomb —

John 20:15 Jesus  said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she  said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”  16 Jesus  said to her, “Mary!” She turned and  said to Him in  Hebrew, “ Rabboni!” (which means,Teacher).  17 Jesus  said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to  My brethren and say to them, ‘I  ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” 18  Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

Imagine the joy of the disciples, when Jesus came to them —

John 20:19   So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for  fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and  said to them, “ Peace be with you.” 20 And when He had said this,  He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then  rejoiced when they saw the Lord.  21 So Jesus said to them again, “ Peace be with you;  as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

Imagine the joy of the Apostle Paul, who saw the risen Lord on the road to Damascus and in later visions —

Romans 1:1    Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle,  set apart for  the gospel of God,  2 which He  promised beforehand through His  prophets in the holy Scriptures,  3 concerning His Son, who was born  of a  descendant of David  according to the flesh,  4 who was declared  the Son of God with power  by the resurrection from the dead, according to the  Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord . . .  

And imagine the joy in everyone who even this day confesses that they are sinners in need of Jesus Christ’s forgiveness and cleansing, and receives all of what the cross represents —

1Peter 1:6  In this you greatly rejoice, even though now  for a little while,  if necessary, you have been distressed by  various  trials . . . 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and  full of glory,  9 obtaining as  the outcome of your faith the salvation of  your souls.

He is risen, indeed, and He is alive today! He reveals Himself to those who believe, who love and therefore obey:

John 14:21 “ He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “ If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.”

Oh, it is indeed joy beyond anything we can think or imagine, when God the Father and God the Son enter a human heart to dwell there, by the Holy Spirit! There are no words sufficient to describe it!

Even though we have not seen Him in the flesh, as did Mary and the disciples, we see Him and FEEL HIM in our hearts! His joy is in us, His peace is in us! His Spirit makes us cry out, “Abba, Father,” because we know beyond any doubt that Christ has risen and God has adopted us as His own and has become our Father!

Oh, beloved, do you have this joy indescribable? Do you know beyond any doubt that Christ has risen and you are now a child of God? Have you had the witness of the Spirit, the “Abba, Father!” rising up in your heart, filling you with joy?

The Lord extends His grace to you today.  On the day we celebrate His resurrection from the dead, He offers you resurrection, if you will turn to Him:

1Peter 2:21 For  you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,  22 WHO  COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH;  

1Peter 2:23  and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;  24 and He Himself  bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to  sin and live to righteousness; for  by His wounds you were  healed.  25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. 

JESUS’ PROMISES TO OVERCOMERS

Those who overcome this world by way of Jesus Christ, who overcame the world, have great promises from Him!

[SW134] 03/28/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Jesus’ Promises to Overcomers”

First, the definition of “overcome” —

3528. nikao, nik-ah´-o; from 3529; to subdue, conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory.

3529. nike, nee´-kay; conquest, i.e. (figuratively) the means of success, victory.

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Overcomers —

— Repent from leaving their first love

— Stand steadfast in Christ amidst persecution even to death, thus gaining the crown of life

— Repent from eating things sacrificed to idols and committing sexual immorality

— Repent from tolerating/compromising false teachers in the church who teach the above (i.e., it’s OK to sin) and from following such teaching

— Repent from their deadness and wake up, remembering and keeping what they have heard

— Remain steadfast in their faith in Christ, so as not to lose their crown

— Repent from their pride and from trusting in their riches, and seek
the purification of heart that only the Lord, our Refiner can give

To Ephesus:

Revelation 2:7 ‘ He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’

This is a promise to those who repent from leaving their first love, Jesus Christ . . .
and is also a promise to all overcomers.

The tree of life in the Paradise of God

Genesis 2:9 Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

This is the tree of life from which God prohibited Adam to eat, after he sinned against the Lord (see Genesis 3:22). And this is a word of restoration . . . He who overcomes eats of it, in heaven. 

For those who overcome, eternal life starts here and now, in that His eternal life is in us, but we will also eat its fruit with God in heaven! Hallelujah!

To Smyrna:

Revelation 2:11 ‘ He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’

This is a promise to those who remain steadfast in Christ, despite persecution even to death . . . and is also a promise to all overcomers.

No harm from the second death,

Defined at the end of the sequence of events in Revelation 20:4-11:
The first resurrection — His saints come to life and reign with Christ for a thousand years.

[NOTE: remember Paul’s words — absent from the body, our spirits go to the Lord (see 2 Corinthians 5:6-8). When we die, our spirits go to the Lord, but there is a later resurrection of our bodies.]

Then Satan is released for a period of time.

Then there is great battle on the broad plain, with enemy armies surrounding Jerusalem — instantly defeated by the Lord who rains down fire on them.

Then the devil joins the beast and the false prophet (see Revelation 19:20) in the lake of fire where they are tormented day and night forever and ever.

And then the second death is defined:

Revelation 20:11  Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.

So that we may understand:

Revelation 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Remember —Revelation 3:5 “‘ He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”

It is possible for a name to be erased from the book of life.

To Pergamum:

Revelation 2:17 ‘ He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’

This is the promise to those who repent from eating things sacrificed to idols and sexual immorality, who repent from the things of this world, and is also a promise to all overcomers.
Hidden manna

Reflects a Jewish tradition that the pot of manna that was placed in the ark for a memorial to future generations (Exodus 16:32–34; cf. Hebrews 9:4) was taken by Jeremiah at the time of the destruction of Solomon’s temple (sixth century B.C.) in the Babylonian overthrow of Jerusalem, and hidden underground in Mt. Nebo (2 Maccabees 2:4–7). There it was to remain until the coming of the Messiah when Jeremiah would reappear and return the ark and its contents to the new messianic temple in Jerusalem. [Source: New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT)]

White stone

Again from the NICNT, I believe the white stone refers to a tessera (small block of stone like a mosaic tile) that served as a token for admission to a banquet. They were distributed to the poor in Rome by the emperors to insure a regular supply of corn, and to victors at games.

But I believe these two uses of the tessera fit best:

— A token for admission to a banquet. We are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb, when we will be bride to our Bridegroom, united in a way not possible here on the earth! Read Isaiah 25:6 to hear what will be served!

— Given to gladiators who had won the admiration of the public and had been allowed to retire from further combat. We will have fought the fight and been victorious, and in a sense, we will retire! Read 1Timothy 1:18 and 6:12, and 2Timothy 4:7!

As for the stone’s color, white indicates purity.

Our new name

The new name written on the stone, I think, is as the Lord did with Simon Peter, saying:

Matthew 16:18 “I also say to you that you are Peter (4074 petros, a piece of rock), and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”

To Thyatira:

Revelation 2:26 ‘ He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS; 27 AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star.”

This is the promise to those who repent from compromise and tolerance of false prophets and prophetesses who say it’s OK to sin, because our spirits are saved anyway, a version of Gnostic teaching. It is also a promise to all overcomers.
Psalms 2:7   “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”

Authority over the Enemy, and authority to rule with Christ, having become co-heirs with Him (see Luke 10:19, for we have authority now, but more so when we stand before Him at the end of things:

Romans 8:17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

If we will suffer persecution, and spiritually, death to our sin nature and become filled with His nature, by His Holy Spirit, we are indeed heirs.

Morning star

Morning star (5459 phosphoros) light-bearing, morning star, daystar.

2Peter 1:19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.

Revelation 22:16   “ I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

I believe this is in reference to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. Right now, the Holy Spirit is an earnest, a pledge:

Ephesians 1:13b-14 . . . the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

I believe the morning star is a greater portion of the Holy Spirit than we can contain in physical bodies.

To Sardis:

Revelation 3:5 ‘ He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

This promise is for those who wake up and repent from their deadness, and remember and keep what they have heard, and is also a promise to all overcomers.

Mark 9:2    Six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and brought them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; 3 and His garments became radiant and exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them.

White garments — exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them. Heavenly clothing!
The book of life

Psalms 69:28 May they [the wicked] be blotted out of the book of life
And may they not be recorded with the righteous.

Luke 10:19 “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. 20 “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

Philippians 4:3b . . . and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Revelation 13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him (the beast), everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

Again, so that we are sure:

Revelation 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Confessing them before God

Matthew 10:32  “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.”

To Philadelphia:

Revelation 3:12 ‘ He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.

This is a promise to all who remain steadfast, and thus do not lose their crowns, and and is also a promise to all overcomers.

Pillars

I believe He speaks of the two bronze pillars made by Hiram for Solomon’s Temple —

1Kings 7:21 Thus he set up the pillars at the porch of the nave; and he set up the right pillar and named it Jachin, and he set up the left pillar and named it Boaz.

Jaquin (3199) He will establish AND Boaz (1162) quickness (life, strength). He will establish us, in His strength! Thus, we are pillars in the temple of God that is in heaven.

And the overcomers will not go out from it anymore!

What will He write on us?

— the name of My God, YHWH

— the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem

Revelation 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

— My new name, the one He did not have until He was sent by the Father, crucified, dead, buried, risen, ascended, and glorified, Yeshua haMashiach.

To Laodicea:

Revelation 3:21 ‘ He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

Hebrews 1:3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high . . .

Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Again, these are the promises, to all who:

— Repent from leaving their first love

— Stand steadfast in Christ amidst persecution even to death, thus gaining the crown of life

— Repent from eating things sacrificed to idols and committing sexual immorality

— Repent from tolerating/compromising false teachers in the church who teach the above (i.e., it’s OK to sin) and following such teaching

— Repent from their deadness and wake up

— Remain steadfast in their faith in Christ, so as not to lose their crown

— Repent from their pride and from trusting in their riches, and seek
the purification of heart that only the Lord, our Refiner can give

Beloved, it is not too late to turn. If the Holy Spirit has shown you that you are like Ephesus, or Pergamum, or Thyatira, or Sardis, or Laodicea, it is because of His love that He rebukes you. Turn now, for His grace is here to change your heart!

Those who are like Smyrna and Philadelphia, ask Him to continue to establish you in His strength, that you may remain steadfast and faithful, pillars in His temple! Hallelujah!