ASK FOR RAIN!

[SW177] 03/20/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Ask for Rain”
Word:  The Lord is setting the stage for revival. It’s time to pray!

Text: Zechariah 10:1ff

Spoken to: The remnant that returned from Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. Zechariah and Haggai prophesied to the rebuilders, encouraging them (Ezra 5:1, 6:4), for their natural AND spiritual restoration!

v. 1 Ask rain from the Lord at the time of the spring rain — it is spring, as of today!

— Ask rain not from man, but from the Lord! He is the only One who has what we need — His life, His heart, His love and His power in us!

— So if we ask the Lord, He will give us showers of rain

Joel 2:23 NIV    Be glad, O people of Zion,
rejoice in the LORD your God,
for he has given you
the autumn rains in righteousness.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.

Showers of blessing (Ezekiel 34:26)!

— And we who are His people will be fruitful and have abundance once again. What abundance? The Holy Spirit. What fruit? His fruit. When His fruit is manifested, many souls will be saved.

Rain represents blessing and revival. The need to pray for it means something has been amiss between God and us. The next verse tells us what is amiss.

v.v. 2-3a False gods, false shepherds

— We have looked to dead, inanimate things that cannot answer us (Psalm 115:4-8), rather than to the living God. We have listened to ear ticklers, so we are wandering sheep without a shepherd. We have not heeded the voice of the Good Shepherd.

v. 3b But the Lord has visited his flock! He is our true Shepherd!

— Why does He use the past tense? Because in heaven, where He dwells, He sees the end, and He sees the beginning. He sits above time, so He says He has visited, even before we see that He has visited.

— Visit means He will go to see, avenge, care for, deliver to keep, and remember!

When we went astray, He left us to our own devices. But He has not forgotten us. At the appointed time, He returns to us — that’s what “remembered” means.

— He will make us like HIS majestic horse in battle.

— Horses were a superior instrument of warfare battle in those times.

— They were a symbol of swiftness, sure-footedness, power.

— No longer will we trust in men or natural horses. Instead, we will be like the Lord’s horses! Swift. sure-footed, powerful in His power! And He never loses a battle!

v. 4     His Cornerstone —  His Christ
His tent peg — His support
His bow of battle (He trains our fingers for battle, and makes us able to bend               a bow of bronze (Psalm 144:1, 18:34)
His rulers — no longer chosen by men, but by Him

v. 5     We will be as mighty warriors (2 Cor 10:5)
We will tread down the enemy (1John 4:4, James 4:7)
We will fight, for the Lord will be with us (2 Chronicles 20:15, 20)

v. 6    The Lord will strengthen us (make us firm so we prevail against the Enemy)
He will deliver us (save us out of the miry clay we’ve been in)
He will bring us back to Himself
He has racham toward us (tender mercy, like a mother toward her child)!

It will be as though He never rejected us (cast us off, moved us away from Him), though He did reject us when we followed false gods and false shepherds.

Why? Because HE is our God.

He will visited us, go to see  us, avenge us, care for us, deliver us to keep us, and remember us!

v. 9 Our exile from His presence caused us to remember Him, and now, He will remember us.

v. 10 He will bring us back from sin (Egypt).

v. 11 We will cross over and out of the sea of distress (trouble, anguish) and not drown in it.

He will strike the waves in the sea, as in the Exodus, so that even the mightiest waters dry up.

The scepter will depart Egypt — sin will no longer rule us.

Assyria’s (in this case, a typology or symbol of Satan as well as a real kingdom) pride will be cast down, it will fall down, Satan will fall down.

v. 12 Again, He says I will strengthen you in Me.

— Not in our own strength

— And He says, “They will walk in My name,” as representing Me, having My character and nature. He declares it!

We will, indeed, become partakers of the divine nature, and that will permanently repair the rift between us and our God. HALLELUJAH!

Beloved, a warning from the Lord — when He sends the rain, do not try to manage it or manipulate it. Just stand by and let Him work in hearts. Simply rejoice as you watch Him!

And remember, it will no longer be necessary to work real hard to be like Jesus — He will do the heavy lifting. All we have to do is agree with Him as we walk with Him!

Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain! He is coming to visit us once again, to free His people and bring them back to Himself!

Come back to Him even now, this very moment! Cast away your idols and false shepherds to the moles and the bats! Now is the time!

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YES AND AMEN

[SW176] 03/13/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Yes and Amen”

All the promises of God are yes and amen, if you are in Christ Jesus. The question is, do you believe ALL of them?

2Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. (KJV)

We receive from God promises from the beginning to the end:

— From the head of the serpent (Satan) being crushed (Genesis 3:15)

— To Jesus Christ’s promise that, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” (Revelation 22:20)

In order to receive ALL of God’s promises, you must understand:

—  the PROBLEM that made His promises necessary,

— the PURPOSE of those promises,

— the PROMISES themselves,

— the PRAYER of Jesus Christ that activated those promises,

—- and the PROOF that those promises have been and are still being fulfilled to all who will believe His promises.

THE PROBLEM THAT MADE HIS PROMISES NECESSARY:

In one word, it is waywardness (backsliding, turning away). This is not a surprise to God. From before time began, He had already prepared the solution (Revelation 11:8).

Here’s what the people of God said (and still say), and the Lord’s response —

Deuteronomy 5:27 (Moses quotes the people) ’Go near and hear all that the LORD our God says; then speak to us all that the LORD our God speaks to you, and we will hear and do it.’

Deuteronomy 5:28   (Moses says) “The LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the LORD said to me, ‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They have done well in all that they have spoken.
Deuteronomy 5:29 ‘Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!”

Speaking the right words isn’t enough. There’s something wrong with our hearts. You and I need a new heart in us, so we will revere and honor and obey the Lord!

Jeremiah 29:11 was spoken to Jewish captives in Babylon who were captives because of their wayward hearts.

Go to Psalm 81:11-13. Just like Israel, you say you will obey, but then you don’t. If you say you never sinned, you do not tell the truth (1John 1:10). We were all born rebels, Adam’s kids who inherited his rebellious nature. So when you hear that oh-so-popular phrase, you may truly say, “I was born that way.” But God says you don’t have to stay that way!

It’s a sickness in your heart, for which only God has the cure — and He will gladly do it!

And you must be healed! Why? Waywardness is deadly, for the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

But God does not desire that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2Peter 3:9).

THE PURPOSE OF HIS PROMISES

The purpose of God’s promises — all of them — is redemption, here and now, AND on the day of judgment (Ephesians 1:14, 4:30).

He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the ransom for which you were held captive by Satan, because of your sin.

He offers His marvelous grace — forgiving your sin — through Jesus Christ. That’s a promise many of us celebrate! Your past sins are forgotten by God when you confess them, turn from them, believe in Jesus Christ, and ask the Lord to forgive you.

But beloved, there is more that He promises.

If you don’t believe the “more,” it is because of what you’ve thought, and what you’ve been taught, things that do not match up with the Word of God, beloved.

Many will teach you that your sin nature, your inborn rebellion, doesn’t die until you are on your deathbed.

But what is the good of that? How can you be the witness Jesus promises He will make you, if you wait to be clothed with power from on high (Acts 1:8, Luke 24:49)? Being a witness requires you to live and walk and talk!

And why, then, does Paul pray for the Thessalonians to be sanctified through and through (1Thessalonians 5:23), made completely holy on the inside by being filled with the Holy Spirit? If it was only for the deathbed, there would be no need for Paul to pray that way.

THE PROMISES HE MAKES TO YOU

What does the Lord promise He will do with our waywardness?

These promises are throughout the Bible, but go to Ezekiel 36:22-27!

Will you believe it today?

Will you say “Yes” and “Amen” to this promise of God?

Or would you rather pick and choose what you believe God can do?

It is a life and death choice, beloved.

THE PRAYER THAT ACTIVATED THE PROMISE

John 17! Jesus prayed there, and the pivotal heart-changing verse is —

John 17:26 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.”

It is by way of the love of God filling our hearts to overflowing, and by way of Christ Himself in our hearts via the Holy Spirit, that the promise of Ezekiel 36 is fulfilled!

THEN you are His witnesses!

THEN you are set free, indeed —- no longer a slave to sin (John 8:31-36)!

THE PROOF OF GOD’S PROMISE

The Book of Acts! When the day of Pentecost came, the men and women in that upper room were transformed! They no longer argued among themselves about who was the greatest. They were no longer confused about nearly everything that Jesus taught them! They were set free from their selfishness, from their waywardness, once and for all!

Jesus spoke of the Jewish leaders in Matthew 13, quoting from Isaiah 6 —

Matthew 13:15      FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL,
WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR,
AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES,
OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES,
HEAR WITH THEIR EARS,
AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN,
AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’

Is your heart dull, that is, calloused over? Have you stopped up your ears and screwed your eyes shut because you’ve always thought and been taught the promise of a new heart can’t possibly be true?

Then turn today and be healed of your waywardness! You were born that way, but you don’t have to stay that way!

God’s promises say that He will change your heart! Ask Him, and He will do it!

SEEKING HIS HAND

[SW175] 02/27/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Seeking His Hand”

When someone is in chains, they are totally bound — legs, arms, neck.

But there’s one chain that has a lock on it, and when it’s unlocked, the prisoner is set free from those chains.

I tell you, Jesus wants to set some prisoners free today, and there’s a particular chain the Lord wants to break so all the rest fall to the ground!

Text: Psalm 78:12-33, 40-43

Israel longed for the things of Egypt (Numbers 11:1-6).

They forgot the oppression and the hard master they served there.

They forgot what the Lord had done for them:
— The plagues He set upon Egypt that resulted in their freedom, and
especially, the night the firstborn of Egypt were killed, but Israel’s
firstborn did not die. Death passed over them.
— Deliverance at the Red Sea
— The manna, bread from heaven
— Water from a rock, enough for a million of them
— The pillar cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, to lead and protect them
— The promise of the Promised Land

How could they forget? Or more importantly, why did they forget?

Numbers 11:33-34

Greediness!

They sought His hand and not His face (His presence).

Hey, Lord, I’m hungry. Feed me. But it has to be the kind I desire.

What is this? Manna? You expect me to eat this stuff?

I want meat, like I had in Egypt. I never should have left.

As Richard “Stonefingers” Johnson wrote in a song, “I Want To Go Back:”

I want to go back to Egypt.

That pillar of fire’s light keeps me awake all night.

I want to go back the slavery I once knew, something I can hold on to.

This desert is hot, a picnic it is not, I miss the cool Nile breezes and the shade.

This promised land’s a dream, that I have never seen.

Who does God think He is, to make me live like this, out here with all these scorpions and snakes?

If I was in charge, I’d stop this forward march, and hustle my way straight back to Egypt.

Israel didn’t trust God. They demanded from Him, saying “Fulfill our own desires (Psalm 78:18, Numbers 11:8-20).

Even today, there are pastors who encourage people to complain to God, demand what they want from Him, to seek His hand, to ask for material blessings continually.

But these pastors do not tell them that their hearts are selfish and that, by demanding that God fulfill their desires, they are rejecting what He has already supplied, and rejecting God Himself!

These false teachers feed on greed — the greed of the people who want their ear-tickling message. It even works in underdeveloped countries, which amazed me.

But fallen human hearts are the same everywhere — greedy, selfish, and desperately in need of transformation by God’s Holy Spirit!

May the Lord bring upon them something that will make the ears of all who hear tingle (vibrate, quiver with fear) not tickle (see 1Samuel 3:11, 2Kings 21:12, Jeremiah 19:3).

What is the cure for greed?

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.

Hallelujah! By what has He granted that we become partakers of His nature and escape the corruption and lust of this world?

2Peter 1:2  Grace and peace be multiplied to you in  the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

Knowledge — full knowledge, the knower having an experiential relationship with the One whom he knows. He knows God because he has experienced God, by being filled with the Holy Spirit!

Matthew 6:19   “ Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 “But store up for yourselves  treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal . . .”

Matthew 6:33 “But  seek first  His kingdom and His righteousness, and  all these things will be  added to you.”

Nowhere in the gospels does Jesus say, “Demand what you want from God. He’s here to meet your lusts and desires.”

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.

The Holy Spirit! Father God gives you a new heart when you are filled with the Holy Spirit! He is the One who makes you a partaker of the divine nature. It must be done in you in the same way it was done in Peter in the upper room in Acts 2!

— Father God’s love, the very same love with which He loves His Son! In you, filling your heart!

— Knowing Father God deeply and experientially and intimately because He is in you!

There is no other way to know Him but through Jesus Christ, His Son (John 14:6).

And there is no way to receive unless you are willing to offer yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing, for that is your spiritual act of worship (see Romans 12:1). The sacrifice in view here is a whole burnt offering. But you get to live after sin has been burned out of you, after the Refiner has come and purified!

Then you will no longer have greed in your heart, even greed toward God, wanting Him to give, give, give you what you lust for. You will always approach God with your needs, humbly and contritely, but with confidence.

No greed — once that chain is broken, the rest fall to the ground!

As Charles Wesley wrote:

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray-
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Is that chains that I hear falling, in the name of Jesus?

There is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain!

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!

GIVER OF ONE HEART

[SW164] 12/12/2014 message notes by Sister Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Giver of One Heart”

The Lord God will give us one heart and one way so that we will not turn away from Him any more. He is the Giver of one heart!

Text: Jeremiah 32:37-41

I love to subtitle this section “I will,” because only God can do what He prophesies through Jeremiah in this passage! [In no way can we do it on our own or “work it up.”]

What will He do?

Verse 37 — Gather us from the place He put us in His anger, wrath, and great indignation, and bring us back to an intimate relationship with Him! And we will dwell in safety (a place of refuge and trust)! Selah!

Verse 38 — We will be His people and He will be our God (Him alone!).

How will He keep us from straying again? He tells us in Verse 39 and forward.

NOTE: This prophecy was fulfilled at the time of Nehemiah, in the natural. But the people still strayed afterwards, even in Nehemiah’s day (see Nehemiah 13). So this prophecy must go beyond Israel at the time of Nehemiah. Indeed, it is a Messianic prophecy as well — a prophecy of what God will do through His Son’s sacrifice and the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

It is then that . . .

Verse 39 — He will give us one heart (echad leb), “one” meaning united, alike. He will give us one heart — HIS.

He will give us one united, alike way (derek), “way” meaning path or road — HIS way. This way is the highway of holiness (Isaiah 35:8), the narrow way (Matthew 7:13-14). Beloved, all of us have gone astray, everyone to His own way, but GOD will give us HIS way, if we ask Him! But to ask Him means we have understood that our own way is wrong and leads to disaster and death.

Why will He do this?

Verse 39 — So we fear Him (revere and are awed by Him and hold Him above all other things). Fear also pertains to worship. We will worship Him and Him alone — not ourselves, and not the world. We will do this ALWAYS! Our fear of Him will not diminish. It is for our own good and the good of our offspring.

Verse 40 — He will make an EVERLASTING covenant (the first one was broken by Israel, per Isaiah 24:5), promising that He will  not turn away from us and promising to put the fear of Him in our hearts (second mention, so this is extremely important), so we will not turn away from Him. We must enter into this promise through Jesus Christ! It was established in His blood, on the cross! You were bought with a price so high we will never be able to fully comprehend it. You are not your own.

This covenant is not like the old one (Jeremiah 31:32, 2 Corinthians 3:6, Hebrews 8:8, Hebrews 12:4).

It is established through Christ’s death (Luke 22:20, 1Corinthians 11:25).

It is for Israel by faith and not works or genetics, and also for all of us who are not Jewish but become Abraham’s offspring through faith in Christ (Romans 9:6-8).

Christ took our sin on Himself on the cross, and when He was glorified, He made  the Holy Spirit available in a whole new way — the Holy Spirit does not simply “come upon” us so we can be used by God, but fully dwells “in” us when we are filled with the Holy Spirit!

If we ask our Father, He will give us the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13) and we will become united in heart and in way with our God.

This unity of heart and way is exactly what Christ prayed for in John 17:20-21! Jesus was saying, “Now, Father, I pray You fulfill what You prophesied through Jeremiah!”

It is so much more than miracles (Acts 1:5, 8), because the disciples already had been given authority by Jesus to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons.

It is the power to obey, power over sin, the power to walk as Jesus walked (Acts 4:13) — the greatest of miracles!

Will you believe it? Jesus Christ says you will either come into the light of His truth, or you will hate the light (John 3:19-21). It is time for you to come into the light, time to become united in heart and way with God.

Do not delay, for the hour is late! Agree with God that your heart and your way are not right, and He will bring you into His presence, into holy intimacy with the God the Father and God the Son, by the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

THE FRUIT OF UNDERSTANDING

[SW163] 11/28/2014 message notes by Sister Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“The Fruit of Understanding”

Why does Jesus Christ command us to bear fruit? So that through us, many repent and are saved from the wrath of God, and become His children!

Text: Matthew 13:12-23

Why does Jesus Christ command us to bear fruit?

So that through us, many:

Repent
Come to faith in Jesus Christ
Are saved from the wrath of God
Are healed in their relationship with God
Receive eternal life
Become citizens of the kingdom of God, and
Become children of God who act like Jesus in this world

And as a result, through them, many repent, come, are saved, receive life . . . it is a perpetual cycle of salvation!

Indeed, if you understand this Word, Matthew 13:16-17 are yours! (Prophets and the righteous have welcomed them from a distance, per Hebrews 11:13).

Where does fruit come from?

Seed.

What is the seed for the fruit Christ commands you to have?

The Word of God (v. 19) — the Bible, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the message from God which is woven throughout the Word, from Genesis through Revelation.

Who is the Sower of this seed?

God.

Into what soil is this seed sown?

Your heart (v. 19).

What is the purpose of sowing the seed?

Fruit-bearing.

What fruit will the Word of God bear?

The fruit that comes from understanding (4862) the message. “Understanding” means:

Becoming united with the Word of God,
Possessing the Word of God
Putting it together like connecting the dots until you see a picture
Acting on it.

What fruit does understanding produce?  

Verse 15 — The action called repentance, which means turning away from sin and to God, through Jesus Christ. A change of mind, in the dictionaries, but really, confession of innate sinfulness and a change of heart.

The result is healing. You will be healed in your relationship with God, no longer alienated and hostile to Him because of your sinfulness (Colossians 1:21).

This action then produces His fruit, which is Christlikeness (Galatians 5:22-23).

So, what is the condition for fruit-bearing?

Understanding the message of the Word of God.

What are the consequences and rewards of fruitlessness or fruitfulness?

Verse 12a — Rewards of fruitfulness

If you bear the fruit of understanding which is repentance, you have understood and united with the message of the Word of God and possessed it, and you have connected the dots so you see a picture and act on what you see by repenting.

Then you will have eternal life, and be given more abundant understanding, resulting in being filled with the Spirit and thereby having victory over slavery to sin and unhindered growth in greater and greater Christlikeness (2Corinthians 3:18) — that is, Christ’s attributes will be more and more visible in you.

Verse 12b —Consequences of fruitlessness

If you do not bear the fruit of understanding which is repentance. you have not understood or become united with the message of the Word of God or possessed it, or connected the dots so you see a picture and act on what you see.

What do you have? Nothing but your own ways and your own understanding. That will be taken away from you.You will not have eternal life.

So, how do you know if you have understood?

By the action you take after you have heard the Word of God.

More examples of consequences and rewards

Verse 19 — Consequences of fruitlessness

If you hear the Word and do not understand the message, becoming united with and possessing it, connecting the dots and acting on it by repenting, Satan will take away what has been sown in your heart. And you will not have eternal life but will be cast into the fire and burned (John 15:6).

Verses 20-21 — Consequences of fruitlessness

If you hear it and rejoice but do not understand the message, becoming united with and possessing it, connecting the dots and acting on it by repenting, the Word cannot be firmly rooted in your heart.

As a result, the seed of the Word sown in your heart will shrivel and die when persecution comes because of your association with Jesus Christ, and you will fall away.

That means you will turn away from what you have heard. And you will not have eternal life, but will be cast into the fire and burned.

Verse 22 — Consequences of fruitlessness

If you hear it but do not understand the message, becoming united with and possessing it, connecting the dots and acting on it by repenting, the worry (3308 distractions, cares) of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth will choke the Word that has been sown in your heart, it will die, and you will fall away.

You will turn away from what you have heard because you have allowed these things to overwhelm and crowd it out. You will not have eternal life, but will be cast into the fire and burned.

Verse 23 — Rewards of fruitfulness

If you hear and DO understand, you will have eternal life and you will bear fruit and bring forth greater Christlikeness, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. The amount borne depends on how quickly you seek to grow in Christlikeness.

[NOTE: In Verse 23 and the verses preceding it, has Jesus mentioned anything about money?]

So what will you do with what you have heard?

Here is my prayer for you:

That you will hear and become united with the message of the Word of God, possessing it, putting it together, connecting the dots until you see the big picture and act on it by repenting.

Then you will be given eternal life, and you will be healed, and you will be given even more understanding so you may become even more like Christ, drawing many to Him.

Repentance is the fruit of understanding the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

If you now understand, I do not need to ask you to repent. You are already doing it.

You are already kneeling in submission and humility, and asking God to forgive you and save you from your sin.

And if you are sincere, you will receive from Him all the rewards that come with understanding the message, becoming united with the message of the Word of God possessing it, connecting the dots so you see the big picture and acting on what you  have seen. You will repent, and will bear fruit, and the cycle of salvation will be continued through you!

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!