MARK 12 COMMENTARY

This is a commentary for you and me. It isn’t complicated, because Jesus wants you to understand it, so you can be healed physically and even more importantly, in your relationship with God, which was broken by sin.

Chapters 11-16 show us Jesus Christ’s heart that is completely obedient to His mission to die for us, compared with a heart that rejects Him, and therefore rejects God the Father. There’s nothing about physical healing in these chapters, but there is much about the incurable disease that ails our hearts, and how Jesus is able to heal us.

Verses 1-12 — Here we see evidence of the incurable disease and the resulting blindness. Jesus Christ was rejected by those who should have been able to easily identify Him as their Messiah. These were Jews who studied the Tenakh, the Hebrew name for the Old Testament. They knew it backward and forward. Why could they not see? Pride, desire for power and position, jealousy — in a word, sin.

Jesus refers to Isaiah 5 in the parable of the vineyard. God the Father rents His vineyard out to His own people, Israel. They are to tend it. But when He sends a slave (one of His prophets) to Israel to receive a harvest of souls on behalf of the Father, they beat him and send him away empty-handed. Why? I believe they have no souls to give to the Father, for they have already added much to the Word of God that not only blocks the way for others to enter into God’s kingdom, but they themselves do not enter (Matthew 23:13).

Then the Father sends another slave. They wound him in the head and send him away.

The next one, they kill, and so on. Some are beaten, some are killed.

Finally, the Father sends His BELOVED Son, Jesus Christ, saying, “They will respect my Son.” Note that Jesus Christ is the LAST one God will send. There will be no others.

But Israel’s religious leaders see God’s heir as a threat to their position, and they are jealous of Him. They think that if they kill Him, they will be the next in line to inherit the kingdom of God. How far from God they are, to think such a thing!

So they take Him and kill Him and throw Him out of the vineyard that is Israel. And it happened! At their order, Jesus, the Son, was illegally tried, scourged until he was nearly dead, and then nailed to a cross outside Jerusalem. He was the Stone the builders rejected, who became the Chief Cornerstone of God’s true church, birthed at Pentecost.

So what will God the Father do to those who nail His beloved Son to a cross? He will destroy those who reject His Son, and give the land of Israel to others. In 70 AD, Rome burned Jerusalem to the ground and destroyed the Temple, so Israel was scattered.

But what became of God’s vineyard between Christ’s crucifixion and the reestablishment of Israel in 1948, which happened according to prophecy (Isaiah 66:7-8 and elsewhere)? Did God’s vineyard simply cease? I believe giving it to others meant more than letting Rome overrun it. It meant that the all-Jewish followers of Jesus, who began the church, and Christians world-wide, have taken over the tending of His vineyard and continually present its fruit to Him.

Be assured of this: Israel will come back to Him in the end (Romans 11:25-27). Some already have. They are Messianic Jews, who see that Jesus is their Messiah, as did His first Jewish followers.

Jesus’ words about the vineyard anger the rejectors even more, because they understand the parable is about them. They want to seize Him, but they fear the large crowd. Perhaps the crowd will turn on them.

Verses 13-17 — They attempt to discredit Jesus another way, by trying to trip Jesus up (test Him) by their question about the denarius. They flatter Him. Then they ask Him if they have to pay poll taxes to Caesar. But He knew their hypocrisy. He knows everyone hates paying taxes to Rome, and being under Roman rule. Will His reply be affected by that? He knows their hearts, though they do not tell Him what they are thinking.

I tell you, He knows the hypocrisy of anyone who asks Him a question when they know the answer. He knows the hypocrisy of anyone who asks Him for something that is for their own personal gain. He knows what is in each one’s heart.

So He says that since Caesar’s image is on the money, the tax should be paid. Give Caesar what is his (the denarius was the Roman coin), but don’t forget to give God what is God’s (give tithes, offerings, and sacrifices). They wonder greatly at His response. It is impossible to argue with Him, for He is God in the flesh, possessing God’s wisdom, and able to see men’s hearts.

Verse 18-27 — The Sadducees do not believe in resurrection. So they think they will trip Jesus up by asking Him a resurrection question, regarding a woman who has been married and her husband has died, marries another, he dies, etc. Whose wife will she be in heaven? They do not believe in heaven!

So Jesus tells the Sadducees: 1) you are mistaken; 2) you do not understand the Scriptures; and 3) you do not understand the power of God. That’s because they do not believe in resurrection, which is clearly seen in the Scriptures they claim to understand. And what is worse, they do not understand that God’s power is resurrection power!

Then He explains that in the resurrection from the dead, we are no longer married to anyone.

But His answer goes beyond their foolish question. He proves to them that resurrection is real. Jesus reminds them of the burning bush, when God said, “I AM” the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Not “I WAS,” until they died and were annihilated. But “I AM,” which means He presently is their God. He cannot presently be their God unless they have risen from the dead and are alive and with Him. He is not the God of the dead, not the God of corpses (literal meaning of “the dead”), but the God of the living (those who have eternal life, and are with Him, and those who have His eternal  life in them, while they walk about on the earth)!

Verses 28-34 — Next comes an expert of the law of Moses, who heard the Sadducees trying to argue with Jesus. He sees that Jesus answered well. So he asks Jesus to tell him what the greatest commandment is. Jesus quotes the Shema. That is the foremost. He is One God, not many. Love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And the second is this (“like it,” per Matthew 22:39). Love your neighbor as yourself.

Why does He say both? Why is loving your neighbor like loving God? Because it is when you love God with all that is in you, because His love is in you, that you are able to love others with His love, just as He loves you with His love. Think about that one. It is key to understanding God’s heart and yours.

The scribe tells Jesus He is right, and calls Him Teacher. That is a title of respect. He adds that doing these two things is what is important — all the burnt offerings and sacrifices in the world cannot please God, unless our hearts are His and our motive is His love in us.

Jesus sees that this scribe’s mind has grasped the truth of those commandments. So He tells him he is not far from the kingdom of God. All the scribe needs is to see that God is standing in front of him. He’s that close!

Then everyone is afraid to ask Jesus any more questions. He has defeated their attempts to trip Him up, and has driven home what is wrong with their hearts — they are mistaken, they do not understand the Scriptures, they do not understand God’s power, and they do not love God. The problem is in their hearts, and it is the problem of pride, hunger for power and position, and jealousy.

Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). If the Holy Spirit is now showing you that you have rejected Jesus like those Jewish leaders, seeking to be in charge of your own life, thinking you have some innate goodness that will get you into heaven, then come to Him now and ask Him to forgive you. No one comes to (can be reconciled with) the Father except through Him. We must agree with Him that our hearts need fixing, no matter how many good deeds we may have done in our lives. We must agree with Him that we need hearts that only He can give us.

THEN and only then, He is able to use us to bring others to Himself.

What a great gospel! He gives us what we lack, He takes away our sin, so we may be reconciled to God and be ambassadors of His kingdom, announcing this reconciliation to the whole world!

Verses 35-44 — I’m grouping these together because they are a study in contrast:

First, there are the Jews who are either unable or refuse to answer Jesus’ pointed question about God AND God the Son, who is part of God. Who is this “Lord” that is speaking to the LORD (God)? David calls this one “my Lord.” If the Messiah is to be the son of David, why would David call him “my Lord?” The son should be calling David lord, if he is a natural son of David.  But the Messiah is not David’s natural son (though Mary’s lineage is Davidic). He is the Son of God, the Lord who is the son of the LORD. Otherwise, David would not have called Him Lord. The large crowd loves it when Jesus confounds the Jewish leaders.

And Jesus tells them to beware of the Jewish leaders, who want to be seen, who want to be better than everyone else,  who separate themselves from the people by wearing long robes and expect special greetings as they walk around, and places of honor at banquets.

Church, how often do our leaders demand private jets and fancy hotels and special food, if they come to speak at a church or in a stadium? Are they not also taking from poor women who send them all their money and ask them to sell their homes and give them the proceeds? How often do we see leaders who want to be seen doing pious things like praying? And how many pray long and complex prayers, to impress us? These will receive greater condemnation at the judgment that is coming!

Now the contrast — the widow who has nothing, offers all she has. She is humble, she is not there to impress anyone. She just gives all she has. She is obedient. That’s what He wants from us. Obedience and compassion (mercy) are better than sacrifice (Mathew 12:7). The sacrifice pleasing to Him is when we humbly offer ourselves wholly to Him (Romans 12:1).

So Jesus calls His followers to Himself. See? She put her whole livelihood in the treasury. She gave her whole life for God the Father, trusting Him to take care of her needs. The rich (those who think they are rich) gave only a portion because they did not trust God, and even went so far as to sound a trumpet when they gave, so everyone was impressed. Matthew 6:2). Look at their pride!

If we are humble and obedient, and willing to give our whole heart to God, trusting Him, then God will surely fill us with His Holy Spirit, so we can do it. Then we will bear His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) and be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). Amen.

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MARK 11 COMMENTARY

This is a commentary for you and me. It isn’t complicated, because Jesus wants you to understand it, so you can be healed physically and even more importantly, in your relationship with God, which was broken by sin.

Chapters 11-16 show us Jesus Christ’s heart that is completely obedient to His mission to die for us, compared with a heart that rejects Him, and therefore rejects God the Father. There’s nothing about physical healing in these chapters, but there is much about what incurable disease ails our hearts, and how Jesus is able to heal us.

Verses 1-7 — These verses speak of God the Son’s omnipotence; that is, He knows what’s going to happen before it happens. Even though He was fully human when He walked the earth, He was also fully God, as we see from the works He does and displays like the one in these verses.

Jesus and His disciples are on the way to Jerusalem, where Jesus has told them He will be arrested, tried, and crucified, and then rise on the third day.

He tells them exactly where they are to go, exactly which young donkey to pick, and what to tell the people when they ask to borrow it — “the Lord has need of it.” And of course, the people gave them permission because of Jesus’ words. Jesus fulfills the scripture that prophesies about Him in Zechariah 9:9 by entering Jerusalem in this way.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus, who is God the Son, has all of God’s characteristics — He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, who knows the end from the beginning. What does that mean? He knows everything that has been, is now, and will be. And so, He knows your need for forgiveness. He knows your need for salvation. He knows your need for healing. He knows your need for a changed heart. He knows your need for Him. But you must ask Him for that which you need.

It is humbling to have to ask someone for something. We live in a culture where independence is worshiped. But in the culture of the kingdom of God, to be great, you must become the servant of all. To be rich with His kind of riches, you must set all your earthly treasures aside. Everything seems upside down, when we look at the kingdom of God. But we are really the upside down ones — His kingdom is right side up!

Verses 8-10 — Jesus is worshiped as He comes into Jerusalem. This fulfills the scripture that prophesies about Him in Psalm 118:24-26. When we sing, “This is the day that the Lord has made,” and think it’s about any day, we miss it just a bit. That scripture is really about THE day that Christ came to Jerusalem to take up His cross and bear upon His own body our sins and the punishment we deserved.

It seems they are worshiping Him, but they are looking for an earthly king to set them free from Roman rule. A few days later, many of these will be among the crowd that cries, “Crucify Him!”

IMPORTANT QUESTION: Do you worship Him to get a blessing from Him, or to bless Him? If you do it to “get a blessing,” to be set free of an earthly chain or to get material prosperity or even get Him to physically heal you, that’s the wrong reason because it is selfish and manipulative. Worship Him because He is the Son of God. He is worthy!

Verses 12-14 — This looks like it doesn’t fit here, but if you go back and read what this chapter is about and understand the symbolism here, it will make sense. Jesus is hungry. He sees a fig tree, but when He looks for fruit, there is none. It isn’t the season for figs. He curses the tree — “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!”

IMPORTANT POINT: If our heart is not God’s, we cannot bear fruit for Him — the fruit that identifies us as belonging to Jesus. What is the fruit? We live as He does in this world, if our heart is God’s.

Jesus knows He will be rejected in Jerusalem. He must be rejected, In order to complete His mission. He is rejected because many Jewish hearts (especially the Jewish religious leaders and Pharisees) are not God’s, and they do not bear fruit. They are all leaves (outward appearance of godliness) and no fruit.

He chooses to look for figs out of season to make the point that there is no fruit of God-likeness among His people. Those who will soon be His judge and jury are prideful religious men whose hearts do not belong to God. And they are cursed unless they turn to Jesus.

Plants receive water and nourishment from their roots. Just as the roots of this fig tree die and dry up, then the whole fig tree dies (see verses 20-21), the roots of these men will dry up, and then they will die. Jerusalem was destroyed In 70 A.D., approximately 37 years after Jesus hung on that cross. All they knew and loved was burned to the ground, many died, and the rest were scattered. But the Jews will yet return to their God and recognize their Messiah (Romans 11:25-26).

Verses 15-18 — The hearts of the religious are so unlike God that they have turned His house into a den of robbers. They are thieves that plan their next caper in God’s house!

How do they rob? The priests have made a law that people must exchange their coins for Temple coins in order to give their tithes and offerings. The priests use weights rigged in their favor to weigh money brought to the Temple. The priests have also filled the house of God with animals and birds used for sacrifices, charging huge and unfair fees to purchase them.

They do business in God’s house to make money for themselves, but God’s house is supposed to be a place of prayer, worship, reverence, awe, and safety from evil like thievery. In their thievery, they misrepresent God’s nature and character.

So Jesus cleans house! He destroys and casts down all of the things they use to cheat people, and boldly calls them robbers!

God help us if we do the same today in His church, charging money for handkerchiefs or oil flasks that have been prayed over, robbing widows to fill the church’s coffers . . .

Verses 19-26 — We have already talked about the fig tree’s roots being withered, from the roots up. But when the disciples notice what has happened to the fig tree, Jesus tells them that if they have faith, whatever they ask for will be done. Verse 23 is used often, in the church. If you do not doubt and say to a mountain, “Be taken up and cast into the sea,” and believe it will be done, it will be done. So pray and ask —wait a minute, what happened to “say to the mountain?” Pray and ask before you say, and then believe you have received what you have asked for, and you will receive it.

BUT Jesus goes on to say that if you ask while you have something against someone (a grudge/unforgiveness), your prayer will not be answered. If you do not forgive them, Your Father in heaven (He’s speaking to Christians) will not forgive you (Matthew 6:14-15). What you did against your Father in heaven was many times worse than anything any human could do to you, and yet He forgave you. So you have no right to refuse to forgive. That’s why refusal to forgive is a sin.

And sin separates you from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). He does not hear sinners (John 9:31). Your prayer will not be answered until you forgive and repent before the Lord. He is ready and willing to forgive you then, and will then hear your prayers.

IMPORTANT POINT: Right now, ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and show you if you have unforgiveness or other sin in your heart. He will show it to you, just as He did me when I was desperate to know my Father in heaven. Forgive from your heart (really forgive, not just with empty words), and then ask your Father in heaven to forgive you. If the Holy Spirit shows you a different sin and you turn away from it completely and ask Your Father in heaven to forgive you, He will do it, and then He will hear your prayers.

Verses 27-33 — Again Jesus is challenged by the priests and scribes (lawyers of the law of Moses) and elders. They are spiritually blind, by their own doing, and do not see their Messiah. They want to maintain their position and power. Jesus is a threat to them. They hate Him and want to kill Him.

They question His authority to “clean house” in the Temple. But He answers them with a question. By what authority did John the Baptist call for repentance and baptize? They are caught red-handed. They had questioned and shunned John the Baptist. Now they were questioning and shunning Jesus.

Deep down, they know both John the Baptist preached repentance and baptized by God’s authority, and Jesus’ works could only be done by God and under God’s authority.  There is no other explanation for His wisdom and His miracles.

Notice their self-centeredness in the way they reason to arrive at an answer. What will happen if we say John received his authority from heaven? We are guilty, then, of rejecting one who was sent by God. And if we say he received his authority from men, the people will reject us, because they believe John was a prophet from God. It’s all about them — what will happen to us if we answer this way or that way?

So they say, “We do not know.” Of course they do! And yet they deny it. So Jesus says, if you don’t believe John’s authority was from God, and I have done much more than John, why would you believe My authority comes from God? You will reject Me just as you rejected him. So I will not tell you where My authority comes from. He knows they already know very well where His authority comes from.

IMPORTANT POINT: When people are doing works that only God can do, and speaking and living like Jesus in this world, the spiritually blind will question their authority. The blind will see them as threats to their own man-made authority, to their positions of power, and will want to somehow shut them down. But if you see and are not blind, you will gladly receive them as messengers from God who are working under His authority.

And God will bless you for it!

 

STORMS

[SW211] 12/11/2015 message notes by
Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Storms”

Storms (troubles) come to all of us. You want your storm to be stilled, but you must first understand the cause of the storm. Then you will know how to cry out to your Father in heaven, and He will rescue you!

Please know that Jesus Christ has rescued me out of each of the storms described in Psalm 107.

So why do storms come into your life?

The Holy Spirit tells us, through the psalmist —

vv. 4-9

Cause: Unbelief/lack of trust in God, referring to Numbers 13:31-33, when all but two spies said Israel was not strong enough to defeat the giants in the land.

Result: Desert wandering/humbling

The cry to the Lord: Help my unbelief, change my heart! A broken and contrite, crushed and crouching heart, He will not despise (Psalm 51:17).
The Lord’s response: Deliverance!

Your response: Thank Him for His lovingkindness and His wonders, on your behalf! Continually. Forever.

Don’t do as I did, when the Lord delivered me from drug addiction. I just woke up in my right mind, and went on my merry way without a thought of Him! Thank You, Jesus, for forgiving me, Lord, when I turned to You many years later!
vv. 10-15

Cause: Rejecting God’s wisdom/Word

Result: Chains, labor, darkness, shadow of death

The cry to the Lord: Forgive me, Lord! Change my heart!

The Lord’s response: He brings you out!

Your response: Thank Him for His lovingkindness and His wonders, on your behalf! Continually. Forever.

Well, that’s what happened because I didn’t turn to God after He healed me of drug addiction. I went on, unchanged, not wanting to hear His name mentioned in conversation. But a time came when I found myself in chains and in the shadow of death, and I no longer rejected His wisdom and His Word.

vv. 17-22

Cause: Rebellion/sin

Result: Sickness, just as when I was stricken with MS, an incurable disease!

The cry to the Lord: Forgive me, Lord, Change my heart! Heal me!

The Lord’s response: He sends His Word and heals you, and delivers you from the pit!

NOTE: Example in Isaiah 38: 21 — the poultice of figs to heal King Hezekiah’s boil! For me, “You’re sinking in a sea of doubt.”

Your response: Thank Him for His lovingkindness and His wonders, on your behalf! Continually. Forever. Yes, Lord, yes. Now I do!
vv. 23-31

Cause: A test of faith that has nothing to do with rebellion, sin, unbelief, or rejection of God’s Word and counsel.

The Lord Himself raised up a strong wind.

Result: All their wisdom was swallowed up.

The cry to the Lord: Don’t You care that we are perishing? (Mark 4:38)
Save us, Lord! (Matthew 8:25)

Now the Lord wants to fill you with His Spirit (which had not yet happened to His disciples in this passage), so you won’t cry, “Don’t You care?” You know He does; you just ask what He wants you to do. If it’s just “sit tight,” then you do it. You trust Him to bring you through.

The Lord’s response: He calms the winds and sea.

Your response: Thank Him for His lovingkindness and His wonders, on your behalf! Continually. Forever.

vv. 39-42 Princes (those who do not think they need to cry out) end up in misery, chains, captivity. But He sets the needy (who know they need to cry out) in an inaccessibly high place (seated with Him in heavenly places, per Ephesians 2:6)!
Glory to God!

v. 43 Consider, give heed!

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!

WHAT ARE YOU EATING?

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

“What Are You Eating?”

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

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

Text: Hebrews 5:11-14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the list goes on!

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

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

But now:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHERE ARE YOU SITTING?

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

“Where Are You Sitting?”

Location is everything! Where are you sitting?

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

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

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

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

Access to God (2:18)

Boldness and reliable access (3:12)

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

Every spiritual blessing (1:3)

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

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

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

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

But . . . much more . . .

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

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

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

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

Obedience:

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

— I am no longer a son of disobedience

— I no longer live in the lusts of my flesh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then you will have these promises —

Access to God

Confident access and boldness

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

Every spiritual blessing

Intimacy

His power

His inheritance

God’s ear

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

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

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

GO, AND I WILL SHOW YOU

[SW204] 10/16/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Go, And I Will Show You”

Text: Genesis 12:1-2

When I went to my assignment in San Diego, I had no plans of my own. I was totally inadequate for the job, but my adequacy comes from the Lord.

He said, “Go, and I will show you.” When I spoke to Dean and his parents prior to visiting them, I said, “I don’t know what God is going to do, but it will be wonderful!”

What did You show me, Lord?

9/28/15    —    YOU establish the connection (You in me is the key).
Servanthood comes naturally, because You have given me
Your nature.
YOU showed me that my joy and transparency were unexpected,
and that they break down walls and disarm those to whom I am
ministering. Dean said, “I am pleasantly surprised. I thought you
would be a Bible-thumper.” Score one for Jesus! I am assured
that I do not need to change my personality — you will use me
just as I am.

9/29/15    —     YOU reveal the truth, and salvation results!
— Why did Jesus come? To do good things.
— Yes, but Isaiah 53, He took the punishment you
deserved. Dean repents, asks forgiveness, receives Jesus.
YOU reveal the truth and expose Satan’s lies re: pressure to
perform.
— John 5, the power of Jesus’ words
— Not my work or Dean’s, but the power of God.
— Relief, relaxing now, compassion, laughter, and
truth

9/30/15    —    YOU stir Dean’s heart, just as You did me. He confesses openly.
We know we are on Satan’s Most Wanted List, and we are glad!

10/1/15    —     YOU show me Psalm 37:5-6, 34. I will see it!

10/2/15    —     YOU provide a sister in Christ for fellowship and encouragement,                 and show me that transparency is essential for encouragement!
YOU give me Psalm 64:4, 7, 10!
YOU instruct on spiritual warfare from John 10.
YOU shoot at Satan with Your arrows, shooting at him who
shoots at us.

10/3/15    —     YOUR word is powerful.
— Isaiah 61, then YOU cause me to spontaneously speak Matthew 11:28-30.
— Immediately, Dean spontaneously asks You to give him Your yoke, and explains to You what his is (MS). He “gives” his MS to You, out loud. Faith!

10/4/15    —     YOUR words unexpectedly come to free others.
YOU have Jeff and I minister together, even a continent apart.

10/5/15    —     YOU remind me to stay focused. No distractions. The Enemy is
trying to distract. YOU direct me to fast, to break the yoke.

10/6/15    —     YOU are the yoke-breaker. It will come. “Dean, what would God                 say now, if you asked Him if you are right with Him?” With no hesitation, Dean smiled broadly and said, “He would say, ‘You are right with me!’”

10/7/15    —      YOU fill Dean with the Holy Spirit, by the laying on of my hands
upon his head, and he speaks with other tongues.

10/8/15    —     YOU give us all a promise — Psalm 27:13-14, despite a bump in the
road with Dean’s natural condition.

10/9/15    —     Changes in scenery and players, even unknowing statements of                 unbelief,  do not affect Your work. Your compassion and love trump unbelief.

10/10/15    —     We change our strength for yours (Isaiah 40:31). YOU prompt me
to say, “Get up, pick up your mat and walk.” Dean begins to get up, then sits back down. “I’m afraid to stand up. Jesus, take my fear!” Faith!

10/11/15    —       YOU ask through me, “Why is My church glorious?” Dean says, “Because the Father and Jesus are inside of her!”
YOU will do the final stage of healing when Dean and You are alone together. You always do great things when you get women and men alone with You (Jacob’s name change, Abraham and the covenant-cutting, Paul and the three days fasting, and time in Arabia,
and many more)!

10/12/15    —     All YOU directed me to do has been done. I go in peace, and leave                 my peace with Bob and Inger’s home, and with Dean. I have had a                  front-row seat to watch You work! You continue that on the plane and in the taxi from the airport to our home! Hallelujah!