GREATER THINGS

[SW174] 02/20/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Greater Things”

What did Jesus mean when He said those who believe in Him would do greater things? You’ll be amazed to find out!

John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and  greater works than these he will do; because  I go to the Father.”

The keys here are “GREATER works he will DO” and  “BECAUSE I go to the Father.”

What possible greater thing (the word “works”  isn’t in the original Greek) could you do that Jesus did not do while He was on the earth?

What possible greater thing could be done by you BECAUSE He went to the Father?

What hadn’t Jesus Himself done while He was on the earth, but was something you as a believer would be empowered to do when He went to the Father?

We know that when Jesus went to the Father, He was glorified and poured out the Holy Spirit. The Spirit had not yet been given. (John 7:37-39). It was a new way of having the Spirit — He was to be you permanently, not just with you or upon you or “in” you for a specific task until it was done, like Bezalel (Exodus 31:2-3).

In that upper room in Acts 2, the 120 experienced a personal Pentecost. They were filled with God the Holy Spirit.

In order to  understand the greater they would do, you must understand what GOD worked in those who experienced a personal Pentecost that day. It is what empowered them to do the greater thing promised by Jesus.

The Holy Spirit purified their hearts (Acts 15:9), so those who were filled no longer had divided affections. God no longer had any rivals in their hearts.

Jesus prayed for the Father to put His love in them AND Him in them (John 17:26), so they would be filled Jesus Himself and with God’s actual love and love with God’s love — the same love the Father has for the Son. And that happened to those 120 in that upper room, when they experienced a personal Pentecost.

Jesus promised that because they were truly His disciples, they would continue in His word and know the truth by experiencing it, and the truth would set them free from slavery to sin (John 8:31-36). And that happened to those 120 in that upper room, when they experienced a personal Pentecost.

He promised that they would become partakers of His divine nature (2Peter 1:4), having His character literally residing in them. And that happened to those 120 in that upper room, when they experienced a personal Pentecost.

The Holy Spirit worked such a change in those who were filled, that they became Jesus Christ’s witnesses here, even to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8)!

So, with all of that in mind, what is it that the disciples were empowered to do, and what is it that you and I are empowered to do, when we experience a personal Pentecost?

John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and  greater works than these he will do; because  I go to the Father.”

He said it would be a greater thing that we would DO, a “God thing” that we would do, one that God in the flesh did not do while He walked the earth. And it was BECAUSE He went to the Father that we would be empowered to do this greater thing.

There is only one thing that Jesus did not do while He walked the earth that we are now able to do BECAUSE He went to the Father.

It is a greater thing than healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers, casting out demons, making the blind see and the deaf hear and the lame walk, which He and His disciples did when Jesus walked the earth.

The only thing Jesus did not do while He walked the earth, but we are now able to do, is described in Acts 8:17, 9:17 and Acts 19:1-7 —

Acts 8:17 Then they  began laying their hands on them, and they were  receiving the Holy Spirit.

Acts 9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after  laying his hands on him said, “ Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be  filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 19:1   It happened that while  Apollos was at  Corinth, Paul passed through the  upper country and came to  Ephesus, and found some disciples.  2 He said to them, “ Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No,  we have not even heard whether  there is a Holy Spirit.”  3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “ Into John’s baptism.”  4 Paul said, “ John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people  to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”  5 When they heard this, they were  baptized  in the name of the Lord Jesus.  6 And when Paul had  laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began  speaking with tongues and  prophesying.  7 There were in all about twelve men.

Beloved, when you experience a personal Pentecost and your heart is purified, God’s actual love fills your heart, and you are no longer a slave to sin, and you are a partaker of the divine nature, the greater thing you are empowered to do, the one thing Jesus did not do while He was on the earth, is to baptize others in the Holy Spirit.

Those three scriptures show you that baptism in the Holy Spirit happens when you lay hands on a fellow believer. BUT It may also happen while you are speaking the gospel of Jesus Christ —

Acts 10:44   While Peter was still speaking these words,  the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the  message.

When you experience a personal Pentecost and are filled with and baptized in the Holy Spirit, you are empowered to lay hands on others or even to speak the gospel with such power that they, too, are baptized in the Holy Spirit and filled to overflowing!

Why? So their hearts are purified just like yours, no longer having divided affections.

Why? So His love is in them, just like it is in yours, just like Jesus prayed to the Father.

Why? So they, too, are no longer slaves to sin, just as He promised in John 8:31-36.

Why? So they, too, become partakers of the divine nature

Why? So they, too can be Jesus Christ’s witnesses, even to the ends of the earth.

Why? So they, too, can lay hands on others so they are filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit!

Jesus did not baptize people in the Holy Spirit while He was on the earth because it was not yet time.

AFTER He went to the Father and was glorified, it was time! Pentecost happened! And it is still happening today, in individual believers, beloved.

It’s what Paul was praying in Ephesians 3:14-19.

It’s the point to which apostles and prophets and evangelists and pastors and teachers seek to bring every Christian. It is God’s plan for building the church —

Ephesians 4:13 . . . until we all attain to  the unity of the faith, and of the   knowledge of the Son of God, to a  mature man, to the measure of the stature  which belongs to the  fullness of Christ.

Beloved, as Jeff once prophesied, God does not want a full church; He wants a filled church. God does not want a full church building. He wants believers who are filled!

Have you experienced a personal Pentecost? Is your heart pure? Are you filled with the same love God has for His Son? Are you no longer a slave to sin?

You must love and obey Jesus before the Holy Spirit will come and fill you to the full (Acts 5:32).

Are you still struggling with sin, Christian, pastor, church leader?

Then confess your sin, ask Jesus to forgive you! Repent!

Then ask, seek, knock, and He will purify your heart, fill it with His love, free you from slavery to sin, and give you His divine nature!

And you will be able to do something greater than what Jesus did when He walked the earth! It will be for His purpose. And you will become one of His ambassadors here, just as the Apostles and all of the church from that Acts 2 Pentecost, and for all time until Jesus returns!

Beloved, Jesus didn’t die and rise again so you could receive whatever blessings you demand from the Father’s hand.

He died and rose again so you would have a pure heart, one that obeys because it is filled with the very same love that the Father has for the Son, and so that you would be a vessel through which He would baptize many in the Spirit, to be His witnesses everywhere!

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GOD’S COMPASSION

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

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

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

Jeremiah 31:17-20 —

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

Why?

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

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

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

Matthew 18:21-35

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PREPARE TO BE FILLED!

[SW162] 11/21/2014 message notes by Sister Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Prepare To Be Filled”

Text:  Isaiah 54

IF you have done Isaiah 52:11 and IF you have agreed with God your need for Isaiah 53, then prepare to be filled! Then you will be more than a conqueror over the Enemy of your soul!

Enlarge

Enlarge what? The place of your tent. You are a tent for the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 5:2, 2 Peter 1:13-14). To be filled with God, you must make room! His promise: If you run in the way of His commandments, He will enlarge your heart (Psalm 119:32).

The key to ALL His promises? Obedience, which happens when you love Him.

Open wide to the Lord (2Corinthians 6:13)! You are restrained by your own affections, He says through the Apostle Paul.

Stretch out

Stretch out what? Your faith in your faithful God!

God is limitless, but we have placed our own limits on Him. We say we must carry around this old, rebellious nature and its sin, but He says, “Cast it off! Believe Me!” (Ephesians 4:23-24).

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing through a Word of God. Who will believe His report? To that one, the arm of the Lord will be revealed!

But beware of those who are teaching you because many have whittled Him down to their size, and made Him in their own image, so there is no longer a report to believe!

Lengthen

Lengthen your cords, that which holds the tent together. Lengthen your view of His love (Ephesians 3:14-19), and He will fill you up! Paul’s prayer is for the Ephesian believers, beloved, that they may be filled up!

He will lead you with bonds of love, and lift off your yoke of slavery to sin:

Hosea 11:4      I  led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love,
And  I became to them as one who lifts the yoke from their jaws;
And I bent down and  fed them

Strengthen

Strengthen what? Your pegs. The pegs are what make the tent immovable, even when buffeted by wind and weather.

Strengthen that which makes you steadfast, even amidst the buffeting of Satan’s messengers (2Corinthians 12:7).

We must cry out with King David,

Psalms 51:10   Create  in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Steadfast (3559 and 1476, Hebrew and Greek) to be erect, appointed, fixed, prepared, established, and standing, immovable!!

1Corinthians 15:58    Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in  the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

Then Verse 3 will be your reward:

You will possess Enemy territory and

You will restore what the Enemy has destroyed!

TRUE LOVE

[SW159] 10/31/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“True Love”

The Lord is urgently calling you to come away! Listen and learn what blocks us from coming away and the Lord’s glorious solution!

Text: Song of Solomon 2:10-13

First, a definition of AGAPE:

— God’s actual love, the same love He has for His Son

— Church so overwhelmed and filled with it in Acts 2 that they chose this unused Greek word for love, to show how different it is from human love!!!!

BUT, FOR MANY:

— Foxes destroy our blossoms, v. 15 (no fruit)
— distractions
— fruit of the flesh, envy, jealousy, in-fighting, hurt feelings,
power plays, sin:

Galatians 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are:  immorality, impurity, sensuality,  20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities,  strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,  21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not  inherit the kingdom of God.

—- Foxes separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2)

SO REPENT:

Isaiah 55:6   Seek the LORD while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
7       Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his  thoughts;
And let him  return to the LORD,
And He will have  compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will  abundantly pardon.

O, Lord! You will pardon Your people and change their hearts IF they seek (enter into relationship with) You! But it is a limited time offer — while You may be found.

The Lord speaks this through Isaiah to Israel, who are God’s people. He speaks it to you today. He says, “Come away!” I will destroy the foxes if you will agree that you have them and I will fill your heart with My love.

Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love [agape] of God is shed abroad [to overflowing] in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

WHAT HE COMMANDS TODAY:

— Psalm 45:10  Forget all but Him
— Romans 5:5 Be filled with His true love, His agape, baptized in the
Holy Spirit!

OUR EXCUSE:

Galatians 5:17 For  the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

We say that our flesh will always war against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh. We will always struggle. But the Apostle Paul says:

Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If something is crucified, is it still alive? No, it is dead! Hallelujah! You don’t have to carry it on your back. It’s gone, completely gone, and can no longer control you.

He says, “Let me destroy your foxes, fix your eyes on Me and Me alone, and I will fill Your heart with My love and My fruit:

Galatians 5:22 But  the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  23 gentleness, self-control [really, Spirit-control]; against such things there is no law.

THE GLORIOUS RESULT:

— He makes us all glorious within (Psalm 45:13ff)!!!
— He makes us the church glorious (Ephesians 5:27)!!!!
— He makes us His beautiful ones
— He makes us able to answer His call to come away with Him!

WAKE UP!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OIL

We are abundantly supplied to work God’s works, when we are filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit!

[SW155] 09/26/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Oil”

Oil (of the olive):

— Heals
— Softens hard things
— Provides light

Exodus 27:20   “You shall charge the sons of Israel, that they bring you  clear oil of beaten olives for the  light, to make a lamp  burn continually.  21 “In the  tent of meeting, outside  the veil which is before the testimony,  Aaron and his sons shall keep it in order from evening to morning before the LORD; it shall be a perpetual  statute throughout their generations  for the sons of Israel.”

Our lamp is to burn continually, in the tent of meeting. In the New Testament, our bodies are to be the tent of meeting. We are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). This light must have a constant supply of clear, pure oil — the Holy Spirit!

We are to be sons of fresh oil:

Zechariah 4:11   Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right of the lampstand and on its left?”  12 And I answered the second time and said to him, “What are the two olive branches which are beside the two golden pipes, which empty the golden oil from themselves?”  13 So he answered me, saying, “ Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No,  my lord.”  14 Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones [literally, “sons of fresh oil”] who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth.”

Psalm 23:5      You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

God commands us to have an overflowing cup of the oil of the Holy Spirit, from His supply!

The Holy Spirit is the oil of joy:

Isaiah 61:3      To  grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.

The Holy Spirit is the supply we must have:

1Kings 17:14 “For thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘The  bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil  be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain on the face of the earth.’”

We must be filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit. God commands that we do so.

Text:  Matthew 25

It is as Jesus spoke to His disciples, when He told them about His second coming . . .

Verses 1-3 — The virgins (brides-to-be) represent the church which is the bride of  Christ. When He is about to come, we will go out to meet Him:
What can we learn from the five foolish and the five prudent?

They all had lamps that were supplied to them. All of them appeared to be virgins. looked like virgins, but only five had an extra supply of oil in their flasks. We must be sons of fresh oil so we have a constant supply of oil in our vessels — inside of us — beloved.

The foolish had no extra supply; they had nothing in their vessels.

[Foolish is moros, in the original Greek. It refers to the heart and character, not just the mind as being stupid, versus prudent, which means understanding, having keen discernment.]

Why did the foolish virgins have no oil with them? They relied on the oil they were given by others. We cannot rely on the light of others — we must have our own fuel.

Verses 5-6 ALL the virgins fell asleep because the Bridegroom delayed. At midnight, there was a shout, “Behold the Bridegroom! Come out to meet Him!”

Verses 7-9 The lamps had to be trimmed/prepared. The five foolish suddenly realized their lamps were going out. But they had no supply of oil. They were given lamps, they were given light, but the light was snuffed out because they had no fuel of their own.

They asked the five prudent for some of their oil, but there wasn’t enough for both. Each must have their own supply of the oil of the Holy Spirit. So the prudent urged the foolish to go and get what they lacked.

Beloved, my own heart said, “I will be able to give them what they lack! I will lay hands on them so they have oil in their vessels!” But that is not what Jesus said.

Verse 10 — But it was too late. The Bridegroom came while the foolish were going away to purchase oil. The prudent, who were ready, went in to the wedding feast. And the door was closed. I tell you the truth, there will come a time when the door is closed to those who did not ask the Lord to fill them with the oil of the Holy Spirit!

Verse 11-13 — The foolish came later, and said, “Lord, Lord, open up for us.” But the Lord said something shocking: “Truly I say to you, I do not know you.” It literally “Not I know you.” It is emphatic. He has no knowledge of them. There has been no holy intimacy with them, no connection to them. Jesus says:

Luke 6:46   “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

Oh, beloved, there is still time to ready yourself.

There is still time to obey His command to be filled with His oil of gladness, His oil of joy, His oil that provides healing and light, His oil that will soften your heart!

Turn now to Him, and ask for the supply that you will need, for He is coming soon. Do not wait until it is too late!

FIRE

The Holy Spirit and fire are inseparable. You can’t have one without the other. And it is God’s command that you be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire.

[SW154] 09/20/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Fire”

Matthew 3:11 [John the Baptist said]  “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

A few things about the baptism of the Holy Spirit:

— Repentance must precede the baptism. Not only repentance, but the fruit thereof.

— The Holy Spirit and fire are inseparable. You can’t have one without the other.

— John the Baptist was not baptizing those who did not yet believe. He was baptizing believers in God.

— That means that those believers in God needed to repent, needed to turn to God. They were going through the motions but sinning on the side, and John’s words convicted them of their sin.

— The most religious were the ones he most strongly rebuked. Dotting i’s and crossing t’s does not make you right with God.

So why repent and be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire? I could tell you all the things that will change in you and all the things that you will become, but here’s the bottom line: God commands it. Isn’t that enough reason?

John the Baptist, and Jesus Christ, and the disciples, preached for God’s people to repent. It is the repentance that leads to life:

Acts 11:18 When they [Jews upset that Peter had gone into the home of the Gentile Cornelius] heard this, they quieted down and  glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads tolife.”

So repentance must come first. Then you live. Then you seek the baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire, because God commands it (see Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8, Ephesians 5:17-18).

What will the Holy Spirit’s fire do?

— Refine you and purge you of all admixtures, burning off every other inferior metal so you are made pure, so your heart is completely God’s (Malachi 3:3). Again, Malachi prophesied to the people of God, even the Levites who were designated as His ministers and worshipers, not unbelievers.

His eyes move to and fro across the earth to strongly support those whose hearts are entirely His, beloved (2Chronicles 16:9)! Halleujah!

— Cleanse you (Acts 15:9). The house of Cornelius did speak in other tongues, which is evidence of baptism with the Holy Spirit throughout the New Testament, but what really impressed Peter was that their hearts were cleansed. Again, purity of heart is in view.

—  Provide you with light to lead the way. He is the pillar of fire by which Israel was able to journey by night (Exodus 13:22). You will hear a voice saying, “This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right or the left.” (See Isaiah 30:21.)

— This fire will burn but not consume, so that you may be as the burning bush (Exodus 3:2), and the Lord may speak through you.

For today’s church:

We blame much of our problems on the devil. We say he’s at work, and that’s why our lives are so messed up. But that’s not what the Bible says:
James 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when  sin  is accomplished, it brings forth death.  16  Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

God will deliver you from your lust when you are baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire. Listen to Peter:

2Peter 1:4  For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent  promises, so that by them you may become  partakers of the divine nature, having  escaped the  corruption that is in the world by lust.

Beloved, Christianity is not a religion — it is a relationship with God that is intimate and continual. I hear “relationship” a lot in the church-at-large. What I rarely hear is that you cannot have a relationship with God if  you continue to willfully disobey God (that is, SIN).

1John 1:6  “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness [that is, sin], we lie and  do not practice the truth;”

Do not deceive yourselves, beloved. Give God full reign in you.

Turn from your willful disobedience! Turn from your sin! Jesus Christ is the only Way to God the Father. No one comes to Him except through Jesus.

Don’t just mouth the words — truly turn away from the sin you’ve been doing. Then ask Him for the Holy Spirit and fire. He’ll refine, purge, cleanse, light your path, and remove your chains so you’re no longer a slave to sin.

Believe and receive!