JESUS, THE LIFE-GIVER!

[SW280] 04/28/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Jesus, the Life-Giver”

Text: John 4:43-54

Jesus Christ gives natural life to those who are about to die, but His true purpose in all that He said and did is to be a Life-Giver, life as God has it, eternal life, when people believe!

Contrasts! I see contrasts in this passage, and I know that what He has showed me will help you to understand who He is!

v. 44 — A prophet has no honor in his own country. He was rejected in Nazareth, in Mark 6:4-6. Was He not the son of Mary, and do we not know His brothers and sisters? So He could do little there — only a few came to be healed.

v. 45 — He is welcomed in Galilee NOT because they believe His words, but they have seen the signs and wonders He performed in Jerusalem at the Passover feast (though John did not mention them in his gospel).

v. 46-47 — The royal official is likely a high-level Jewish servant of Herod of Antipas, who was tetrarch over Galilee.

— He hears that Jesus was near. He hears that Jesus healed people in Jerusalem.

— He travels 15 miles from Capernaum to Cana

— He implores (continuously begs) Jesus to come and heal his son, who is about to die

v. 48 — “Unless YOU see signs and wonders, you simply won’t believe. Why does Jesus say this?

The Samaritans believed because of His word (v. 41-42) and they said, “We have heard for ourselves and now we KNOW (know fully, perfectly understand) that this is One the Savior of the world, the Christ.” No signs and wonders were necessary.

But the Jews demanded signs (Matthew 12:38-39, Matthew 16:1, John 2:23, 12:37, and so on). They sought, they craved signs. It was simply a fact, proven again by this desperate royal official who had heard that Jesus had done signs and wonders in Jerusalem.

That is the contrast I see — I saw that the Samaritans CAME and heard and received Jesus’ teaching, but though this Jewish official CAME to Him, it was because he needed a healing for his son, not because of what Jesus had taught while He was at the Passover feast in Jerusalem.

v. 49 — Jesus’ response does not discourage the official. He continues to beg.

v. 50 — “Go. Your son lives.” That’s all Jesus says. He does not accompany the man. He just says those few words. And He give natural life to this man’s son. He is a long-distance Healer.  That’s worthy of a praise break! Hallelujah!

The man believes what Jesus has just said. How do I know? He ACTS! He starts off toward Capernaum.

I tell you, when He speaks to you, you will know it is Him, and you will believe what He tells you and DO it. The Syrophoenecian woman did — of course, she was not a Jew (Matthew 15:21 and forward). The centurion did — and Jesus said He had not seen such faith in all Israel (Matthew 8:5-13). And of course he was not a Jew.

You don’t have to go here and there to find a healer. Jesus is your Healer, and your Life-Giver, and if you sit with Him as the Samaritans did, and listen to His words, you will believe that He is the Christ, and He will give you eternal life. And He will heal you! He will deliver you! Another praise break! Hallelujah again!

I tell you the truth, when I began the first leg of my journey toward healing, it was because I was hungry for HIM. I did not believe healing was “for today.” When I “heard” His words in the Word of God, I believed He is the Christ because of His words, and I received eternal life. On the night that He healed me, He told me I was sinking in a sea of doubt, I believed that He had spoken those words. And when I felt His healing anointing upon my body, I knew it was Him, and that He was healing me at that moment! And ever since, I have continued to act on both the gift of His eternal life and the healing of my body from the incurable disease, MS!

Verses 51-53 — On the man’s way back home, his slaves meet him and say his son is living. He asks the hour, they tell him what time the fever left him, and he remembers and realizes that was the very hour Jesus said, “Your son lives.” It was just as Jesus said.

The result? He and his whole household believe, not just that Jesus heals, but that He is who He says He is — the Christ! And they all receive eternal life! That is ALWAYS His purpose!

Verse 54 — We know Jesus had already done many signs, but this is the second sign the Spirit-inspired John uses so that we may believe (John 20:30-31).

Do you believe He is the Christ because of the words He speaks, or do you need signs and wonders in order for you to believe? Listen to Him. Sit with Him in His Word. He will speak with you.

Have you been chasing after healing, or after Him?

Are  you seeking His hand (for Him to do what you need), or are you seeking His face (to know Him intimately)?

Do you believe you have been sick too long, or your disease is too severe, or there is no way you can get free from what has you in chains, or that you are too close to death for Jesus to help? Do not limit Him! He is limitless, just as Hebrews 13:8 says!

His purpose is to be your Life-Giver. But He will use healing and deliverance to show you, if you will not believe because of His words. He will do whatever it takes to give you eternal life, if you will COME!

Will you believe He is the Christ of God? He wants to give you eternal life today, and indeed, I testify that He will heal you. Nothing is too difficult for Him (Jeremiah 32:27)!

JESUS, THE FOUNTAIN!

[SW279] 04/21/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Jesus, the Fountain”

Text: John 4:7-15, John 7:37-39, Isaiah 12:2-3

Jesus Christ is the Fountain of living water that never ceases to flow! And wait until you see the effect of His living water!

A summary of the first six verses — Jesus returns from Jerusalem to Galilee, a 70-mile trip. On the way, has to pass through Samaria, which is 30 miles from Jerusalem. He comes to a city called Sychar, near the place where Jacob gave Joseph some land (Genesis 33:9). Jacob’s well was there . . . Jesus sat by it, wearied from His journey.

The Fountain —

In Verse 7, as he sits, a woman comes. She is a Samaritan, worshiping other gods as well as the God of Israel, believing only in the first five books of the Old Testament.

He says, “Give me a drink.” He does what He sees the Father doing, and says what He hears the Father saying (John 5:19, 12:49). His disciples would normally get water from the well for Him, but they have gone into the city for food (see Verse 8). Notice that He does not condemn her, though He knows she is an adulteress and a fornicator. He does not accuse her. He wants to heal her of her sin.

The Lord has asked me to focus on Verses 10 and 14. If you knew the gift of God! O woman about whom I know everything, says the Lord, if you knew Me as the Gift, the One who was given by My Father as an act of love, so whoever believes in Me will not perish but have everlasting life! He knows everything about you, too, and He offers you living water today!

But she does not know Him yet. She does not know that Jesus Christ is the Fountain, the Source from whom living water flows. She does not know that this water is not like the water from Jacob’s well. The water Jesus offers this woman (and us) is spiritual water that yields eternal life. And it is water that will flow from our bellies, when we are filled with His Spirit. He speaks to her in spiritual words, even though He knows she cannot understand. He is planting seed. It will soon spring up and bear fruit!

How do I know He is the Source? In John 7:37-39, Jesus cries out, announcing that He is the Source. It is during the Feast of Booths, on the last day, when the priests go to the pool to get water (for there is none in the Temple), and pour it out at the altar, repeating Isaiah 12. And in Isaiah 12:3, we find that we will joyously draw water from the springs (Fountain, in Hebrew) of salvation (Yeshua, which is the Hebrew name of Jesus). He is the Source! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, call on His name, make known His deeds among the people — when you are filled with His living water, you will be His witnesses locally and even to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8)!

Back to John 7:37-39 . . . If anyone is thirsty, let Him come to Me and drink . . . from his innermost being (his belly, in the Hebrew) will flow rivers (rushing, flood-stage) of living water! And He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him would receive, but the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified. When would He be glorified? After He died on a cross, rose on the third day, ascended into heaven after 40 days, and took the place He left to come to the earth to do the Father’s will, to save us from the Father’s wrath and reconcile us to Him.

Verse 13-14 — Everyone who draws of Jacob’s well will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will GIVE him shall never thirst — Oh, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled (Matthew 5:6), and never thirst again!

And this water will become a well — the Greek-to-English is “fountain.” Do you see that the Spirit is the living water that comes in? Do you see that when we are filled, He flows from our bellies and gets everything wet? Do you see that the force of the living water sprays up into the air like a fountain in a town square? But it doesn’t simply recirculate like a regular fountain — its Source is endless and eternal — its Source is Christ!

Verse 15 — So, she doesn’t yet understand. She is thinking in the natural, though Jesus has spoken spiritual words. He has not condemned her, though He knows she is an adulteress. She says she wants this water so she is 1) no longer thirsty, and 2) doesn’t have to come all the way to draw.

Verses 16-18 — Jesus knows she has no husband. But He asks her to call him. She confesses. She has no husband. He tells her exactly how she is sinning. She has been married five times —  by The Law of Moses, she is an adulteress. And the man she is living with is not her husband. She is now a fornicator. He does not condemn her. He tells her that He knows.

Verse 19-20 — She believes He is a prophet, someone from God. So she asks Him where she should worship — on their mountain, or in Jerusalem like the Jews say.

Verses 21 — He disregards her legalistic question and tells her that now is the time for true worshipers to worship in spirit and truth — filled with God’s Spirit and God’s truth, and not simply going through the motions. Those are the ones the Father seeks. These are the ones filled with His living water!

Verse 25 — She says she knows the Messiah knows everything. He says I AM (haya/Yaweh, the name of God). He says, I AM the Messiah, God the Son, I AM that I AM. I AM God.

The effect of His living water —

The woman leaves her waterpot . . . goes into the city and tells them what happened and asks, “Is this the Christ?”

v. 39 From that city many Samaritans believe in Jesus because of the word of the woman . . .

Then in v. 42 they believe because of His words, not just her testimony.

Now, the disciples were unable to understand. They could not see the harvest of the people of the city coming to meet Jesus, nor of the woman who sparked their desire to come, with her testimony of Him. Their perspective was in “the natural,” food, water, customs, rules. They thought He should eat, but He told them they knew nothing of His food, which was to do the Father’s will and work.

So they followed Jesus, but did not see what He sees until Pentecost.

How about you? Do you see? Have you had a personal Pentecost?

Are you still seeing in the natural, or do you have His eyes?

Is your food to do the Father’s will and to do what He has called ALL believers to do?

Do you have His living water in you? Have you asked Him for it?

JESUS, THE RISEN ONE!

[SW277] 04/14/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Jesus, the Risen Christ”

He is risen! He is risen, indeed! O, Christian, He is risen in you! He is risen in me!

All who believe, even thought they have not seen Him, REJOICE, for you are BLESSED!

Text: John 20:19-29

— John 20:2 On the third day, Mary finds the tomb is empty . . . where have they laid Him? Though Jesus Christ has told them clearly that He would be resurrected in three days, they are still unable to understand His words. Peter and John run to the tomb, and find it just as she has reported. They believe His body has been taken.

Mark 8:31   And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Mark 9:31 For He was teaching His disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and when He has been killed, He will rise three days later.”

Mark 10:34 “They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.”

— John 29:18 But Mary stays behind, Jesus Christ comes to her, and she reports to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord (the first eyewitness)!

— Verse 19 Jesus came and stood among the disciples while they were hiding behind locked doors for fear of the Jews!

— His resurrection is the final proof that He is the Christ (Romans 1:4). He fulfilled all Old Testament prophecies about Himself. This was the final prophecy: that He would rise again (Isaiah 53:10, among others)! His resurrection is God the Father’s exclamation point! This is God the Son, the Christ!

— Verse 20 He shows them His hands, His side — the marks of His crucifixion, the wounds He took for us all!  They rejoiced when they saw the Lord! More eyewitnesses of His resurrection!

— Verse 24 and 25 Thomas wasn’t there. “We have seen the Lord,” his fellow disciples exclaim to him!

— But Thomas says, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails and put my finger into the place of the nails and my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

— Verse 26 and 27 Eight days later, He comes again to them. They are still hiding behind locked doors, still afraid, even though He has given them a measure of His Spirit in 20:22.

— Jesus knows what Thomas has said — he knows what you say, too. Jesus invites him to put his fingers in the holes and thrust his hand into Jesus’ pierced side. But then rebukes him, “Do not be unbelieving but believing!”

— And Thomas says, “My Lord and my God!” He believes!

NOW, THE KEY VERSE THE LORD WANTS YOU TO SEE TODAY —

Verse 29 — “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO DID NOT SEE AND YET BELIEVE.”

Eyewitnesses — The disciples and Mary and the others to whom He revealed Himself after He rose (1Corinthians 15:6-8).

But we are HEART WITNESSES!

— The Holy Spirit has convicted us concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). Oh, blessed are you if you have seen your sin! We do not see Jesus, yet the Spirit shows us our sin.

— We have repented and turned to the Lord, like Peter: “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8) We do not see Jesus, yet the Holy Spirit shows us our heart condition.

— So the way has been prepared in us for Him! We do not see Jesus, but we prepare the way for Him.

— Then, the Father has revealed to us that Jesus is His Son, the Christ (Matthew 16:16-17). We do not see Jesus, but the Father reveals His Son to us spiritually, and WE BELIEVE!

Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”

— Jesus Christ, the Risen One, has risen in us! We do not see Jesus in His earthly body, but He is unmistakably real to us because a measure of His Spirit is in us. We cry, “Abba! Father!” (See Romans 8:15.) We have believed, and we have eternal life. HE HAS RISEN IN US! It is the exclamation point on our belief!

— AND we believe, asking God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit to come in to fill us and permanently dwell in us (John 14:23)!

THEN HE HAS RISEN IN US, INDEED! WE ARE STEADFAST, IMMOVABLE, ALWAYS ABOUNDING IN THE WORK OF THE LORD (1Corinthians 15:58) !

THEN WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS (Romans 8:37)!

THE SON OF RIGHTEOUSNESS RISES IN YOU, WITH HEALING IN HIS WINGS, AND YOU GO FORTH AND SKIP ABOUT LIKE CALVES FROM THE STALL (Malachi 4:2)! IT IS A PROMISE TO ALL WHO FEAR THE LORD AND ESTEEM HIS NAME (Malachi 3:16)!

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

Indeed, blessed are WE, for He has risen, He rose on that day, and He is risen, and then He has risen indeed, in us!

Has He risen in you?

Listen to the Spirit as He convicts you of your sin.

Heed the Spirit as He shows you your heart.

Respond by repenting and turning to the Lord.

The Father will reveal His Son to you.

Then you will believe, and the Holy Spirit will come in, and you will be blessed!

Then you will ask to be filled, and you will be blessed, indeed!

JESUS, THE SAVIOR

[SW276] 04/07/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Jesus, the Savior”

Jesus is the Savior! Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift (2Corinthians 9:15)! But the church-at-large has forgotten to mention why we must be saved!

The Word of God  says we must be saved from the wrath of God. That is why God the Father sent God the Son! That is His expression of love to the people He created!

Text: John 3:14-21

Truly, God’s timing is perfect, this being the perfect text for Palm Sunday, when we remember Christ’s Triumphal Entry and for this Holy Week when we remember His death and resurrection.

In Verse 14, Jesus says He is like the serpent on the pole (Numbers 21:9). The events of that time were a foreshadowing.

So we must go back and look, and see that the people had spoken against the Lord and against Moses — they rebelled (sinned) against God.

So God sent fiery serpents to bite and kill people. Did He want to send such a plague? No! He does not desire that any should perish but that all come to repentance (2Peter 3:9)! But He is righteous and just, and their continued rebellion and refusal to repent — their own actions — forced Him to judge them.

But some of the people cried, “We have sinned! Moses, please intercede for us!” He did. Oh, I tell you, Christ is our Intercession, once for all (Hebrews 17:25). In what way did He intercede on our behalf?

The Lord told Moses to make a bronze fiery serpent and set it on a standard (a pole). When someone was bitten, if he looked at the serpent on the pole, he lived! The Son of God went to the pole — the cross — carrying our sin. That’s why He compares Himself to the serpent on the pole.

And if you fix your eyes on Him as the people did, He will save you from God’s wrath and give you eternal life!

Whoever believes in Him shall not perish (in everlasting burnings, per Mark 9:43-48) but will have eternal life, zoe, life as God has it, here and now inside of them, and then in heaven when their bodies fall away!

Eternal life is this, Jesus says — knowing the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent (John 17:3). This word “knowing” means a holy intimacy, experiencing Him continually. That cannot be done if you choose to remain rebellious. The Bible says sin separates you from God (Isaiah 59:2).

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD —  All of us! Because we are the children of Adam, we rebel against God, and are thus under His wrath (John 3:36). But He wants to save us — it is His act of love toward those He created.

THAT HE GAVE — God’s Gift to us is Jesus Christ. We will never be able to calculate the cost, the price paid. I tell you that you are not your own but have been bought with a price (1Corinthians 6:20), even the very sacrifice of God’s Lamb!

HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON — Jesus Christ’s eternal position from before anything was (John 1:1-2).

THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM — Whoever believes Jesus Christ is who He says He is, and knows that they need a Savior to rescue them from God’s wrath and forgive their past sins — I tell you, it is not mere mental/intellectual assent, “Yes, I agree that this is the truth.” It is repentance and belief that you MUST be saved!

SHALL NOT PERISH — Shall not! Perish in everlasting burnings (again, Mark 9:43-48). God does not desire that any should perish, but all should come to repentance (again, 2Peter 3:9)!

BUT WILL HAVE ZOE! — Life as God has it, eternally, starting here and now and continuing forever and ever. Amen! It is His abundant life in you, to the full, ’til it overflows (John 10:10)!

Think on these things!

There is no other way by which we MUST be saved (Acts 4:12). We MUST be saved!

Jesus Christ’s purpose in being sent into the world was to go to a cross and bear the punishment YOU and I deserve for OUR rebellion. He is the wrath-bearer (Isaiah 53:5). If you will fix our eyes on Him, if you believe He is who He says He is, He will give you eternal life!

But when He returns, He will be the Judge, as I have already spoken (see John 5:22). What, how and who will He judge?

Here is the judgment —

#1 — The Light (Jesus Christ) has come

#2 — Men and women loved darkness because their deeds were evil

#3 — Everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come into it, or his deeds will be exposed. I hated the Light for many years, but there came a time when I fixed my eyes on Him! And I did the truth —

#4 — He who practices (does) the truth (anyone who does what Jesus has just told them they MUST do — repent and believe), comes to the Light. By this action on the part of those who obey these words of Jesus, it then becomes perfectly clear and visible that God has done something, even giving them eternal life! It shines out of them! They radiate His glory, and nations and kings come to the brightness of their shining (Isaiah 60:3)! They have become the lights of the world (Matthew 5:14)!

It is your choice, then — either eternal burnings or eternal life.

If you refuse, because you do not want the evil in you revealed, you will remain under the wrath of God (again, John 3:36).

If you repent and then come into the Light, He will take the evil from you! If you gaze upon Him as the Israelites gazed upon the serpent on the pole, if you believe He is who He says He is, you will have eternal life, here and now, and then with Him forever!

And this promise will be yours, from 1Corinthians 2:9 and Isaiah 64:4 — “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man — all that God has prepared for those who love Him!”

JESUS, TEACHER OF TEACHERS

[SW275] 03/31/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

[NOTE: These sermon notes are exegetical, not my usual prose, but it is so you may see and learn how to exegete — how to examine the scriptures and uncover truths.]

“Jesus, the Teacher of Teachers”

Jesus Christ did not need anyone to teach Him — He was and is the Teacher of us all, regardless of our education, and if we heed His words, we will see His kingdom! Do you hear the wind?

Verses 1-2 —

Nicodemus — A Pharisee (the most religious sect of Judaism)

— A ruler of the Jews (a member of the Sanhedrin, the same Council of 71 that questioned Peter and John (Acts 4:5)

— Came by night (secretly, not in fear)

— WE know (he and some others in the Sanhedrin), WE have seen signs performed by You

— Rabbi (a term of respect, but He was never taught, per John. 7:15)

— You have come from God as a teacher

— signs = from God, but be careful of false signs!

NOTE: Nicodemus sees the signs, but sees neither the King nor the Kingdom!

Verse 3 — Jesus abruptly says, Truly, truly I say to you (a great revelatory truth)

— UNLESS you are born FROM ABOVE (lit.), per John 1:12-13) (“again” is a poor translation!) . . .  you CANNOT SEE (spiritually) the kingdom of God (for God is Spirit, per John 4:24)

Natural birth —

— Prior to birth, no comprehension of what is outside the womb— senses present but limited — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching) but only that which is in the womb

— Then, at birth, you see a world you have never seen before

— That which was muffled now clear, senses unlimited

When born from above —

— Prior to birth, no comprehension of the kingdom of God

— Senses open only to natural world

— Suddenly, you are able to see the kingdom of God!

— Spiritual senses activated

— Seeing Him

— Hearing Him

— Tasting that the Lord is good

— Smelling the fragrance of His presence (2Cor 2:15)

— Touching Him as you pray, and feeling Him touch you!

Verse 4 —

— Nicodemus does not understand spiritual things, so tries to relate Jesus’ words to natural birth

1Corinthians 2:14   But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. (And this from Paul, a former Pharisee!)

Verse 5 —

— Truly, truly I say . . . IF you are NOT born of

— water (repentance, John 1:23, make straight the way) AND

— the Spirit (regeneration, John 20:20)

— You CANNOT ENTER INTO the kingdom of God

Verse 6 —

— Born of flesh (John 1:13), you are flesh, born of Spirit, you are spirit (the measure received when you believe — regeneration)

Verse 7 —

— Do not be amazed (do not wonder what it means)

— You MUST be born from above (regeneration simultaneously happens when you believe)

The “before and after” of being born from above —

Verse 8 —

— The wind blows, you hear it but you don’t know (perceive by seeing) where it comes from or where it is going (unless you check your weather app!)

— So it is of everyone born of the Spirit

—  Others don’t know where you come from (for unless they are born from above, they CANNOT see the kingdom of God)

— Others HEAR the change in you (out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks, per Matthew 12:34)

— It is unexplainable by ordinary reasoning

— You no longer love the world and the things of the world (1Jn 2:15)

— Those who HEAR the change in you say, “What has changed?”

— You are a new creature, the old has gone, the new has come(2Corinthians  5:17)

Verse 9-10 —

— Nicodemus does not understand

— Bluntly, Jesus asks, THE teacher of Israel does not know these things?

— You may be well educated

— You may know all the scriptures

— You may have memorized whole chapters or books of the Bible

— You may be a professor at a seminary

— You may be an excellent teacher

— But Jesus says you CANNOT see the kingdom UNLESS you are born from above

— And Jesus says you MUST be born from above, through repentance and regeneration, to ENTER INTO the kingdom of God

Verse 11 —

— Truly, truly I say those born of the Spirit speak of what they know (spiritual things) and testify of what we have seen (the kingdom of God)

— And you do not accept (receive, take in, get hold of) the testimony of those who are born from above (again, they cannot see or comprehend spiritual things)

Verse 12 —

— Jesus told Nicodemus earthly things (using the wind as a metaphor, a symbol)

— And Nicodemus did not understand the metaphor

— So how can Nicodemus understand heavenly things

NOTE: Those born from above speak of the spiritual things of the kingdom of God, which is in heaven. It is where they come from, spiritually, because they have been born from above, and it is where they are going.

NOTE: Nicodemus hears the wind of the Spirit, but cannot understand where it comes from or where it is going, because he has not been born from above and therefore CANNOT SEE the kingdom of God.

NOTE: Being born from above requires repentance (water) and regeneration (a measure of the Spirit given when you believe)

Verse 13 —

— Jesus says that no one has ascended into heaven (yet)

— But the Son of Man, who descended from heaven WILL ASCEND, after His death and resurrection, opening the way for all who are born from above.

— The Son of Man is the title He uses when describing

— His authority to forgive sins

— His return after His death, resurrection, ascension and glorification — His Lordship

— His role as the sinless, sacrificial Lamb of God who bore the wrath

we deserved

Have you seen His signs?

Have you repented and been baptized with water as an outward evidence of repentance?

Do you believe He is who He says He is?

Are you born from above?

If so, you can

— See His kingdom

— Understand spiritual things

— Have no love for this world

— Are a new creature evidenced by what comes out of your mouth (your heart’s contents)

If not, do it now! Today is the day of salvation from the wrath of God.

But He says, there is more I command you to do! Stay, wait! I will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire, and then you will be My witnesses!

JESUS, THE JUDGE

[SW273] 03/24/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Jesus, the Judge”

So many of Jesus Christ’s “hard sayings” are left out, in the church today! But His judgment and His cleansing are mercy!

John 2:13-25

I love how the Holy Spirit gave this gospel to John. He begins with Jesus as God, the Son of the Father. Then he shows us that the Father gave His Son — the Lamb of God, His sacrifice — on our behalf. Then he shows us the new wine with which Jesus commands us to be filled!

Now, we must see this part of Jesus — the One who calls us to repent. It is the kind of judgment that He makes NOW. A judgment is coming in which there is no more opportunity to repent.

His judgment of what is going on in the Temple court at Passover is mercy. His judgment is mercy! He shows us our sin, and then gives us the Way out of sin — Him!

In Verse 14, Jesus found cheaters in the Temple. Many traveled from such distances for this required feast that they were unable to bring their own animals. Their money had to be exchanged for Temple money, and then the worshiper of God bought an animal for sacrifice. But the money changers rigged the scales in their favor, so they could keep back some of the money for themselves. And the money changers cheated them, not just of money, but of the entire experience of the holiness of God. It was no longer a house of prayer, but a place of merchandise.

Jesus was angry, with a righteous anger! Zeal for His Father’s house consumed Him (Psalm 69:9, John 2:17)! Matthew 21:13 says He called the place a robbers’ den — not only were the people of God being robbed, but the robbers made the Temple of God their den, the place where they planned their next robbery!

I could say much about today’s church at this point, but the Lord wants me to speak to you personally. What is in your temple that should not be there? What kind of sin is in you? Are you cheating Jesus Christ by not giving Him all of you, but keeping a part for yourself? He wants all of you, and commands you to give all of yourself to Him.

Have you sincerely said some words at an altar, but live an unchanged life? Do you still love the things of the world, placing them above Him? Then you are fooling yourself. When you repent and believe (and sadly, repentance is not even mentioned in some churches, as part of the “salvation prayer”), you change. You begin to want to walk like Jesus. You find you battle your sin nature, like the man in Romans 7, and you ask Him to cleanse you, filling you with His new wine, His Holy Spirit, the best saved until last, as I spoke last week!

He will drive all of that out of you and make you a dwelling place for the Father and Him  (John 14:23)! Sin separates you from God. He wants you to know Him in a holy, intimate way.

Many say, “It’s not religion, it’s a relationship.” But the hearers often don’t know what that means. It is to dine with Him and Him with you (Revelation 3:20). It is to be at the dinner table with the Father and the Son, to hear their conversation, to do and say what they do and say, and for many to come to Him as a result!

Judgment is coming, but Jesus has come! It is God’s mercy to you! If you will repent and turn to Him NOW — and He does say NOW — then you will not face His judgment at the end of things. Do you not know that Jesus Christ will be your Judge? Look at John 5:22, 25-29. He is Judge, appointed by the Father, and all will come. Every knee, of both evil and good, will bow and every tongue will confess (Philippians 2:10). Then the evil will go to hell, says Jesus (Mark 9:47-58), and the good (those who believe He is who He says He is, who do God’s will, the ones in whom He dwells), to life forever with Him in heaven.

Some say, “Preach healing and prosperity!” Jesus says, “First things first!” Did He preach healing? No, He preached repentance. Did He heal? Absolutely! Does He heal now? I am a testimony of His healing of the incurable disease, MS.

But do you know when I sought Him, it was not for healing? I didn’t even know that was possible. I just wanted to know Him. I had a hunger, and I pray He would put a hunger in you — a hunger to know Him in this holy, intimate way, to sit at the table with God the Father and Him. It is glorious, and from there, He uses us to do His works that He has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10), for how will we know what to do unless we are sitting with Him and hearing and seeing?

Do you not know your body is to be a temple for the Holy Spirit, that you are not your own, but you were bought with a price. (1Corinthians 6:19-20). The Father gave His Son as a Lamb unblemished, so you could be the temple of the living God! Do not rob God! Do not cheat Him! Repent and ask Him to take His whip of cords and clean you out!

When you are cleansed, and the Father and He come in, when you are filled with the Holy Spirit and your heart is purified (Acts 15:9), then you will be able to do what you are here for — you will be a God container, and people will come to Jesus Christ because of you.

Much of the church will say, “Don’t call people to repentance. That’s judging!” No, it is mercy! If Jesus didn’t care, He’d let you go your own way. But He is in me, and He says, “You have things in your temple that do not belong there, and you have been holding them back from Me! Stop it!” As Him to cleanse you!

Do it now! We do not know the Day of Judgment, but we know it is coming. The Bible points to it and speaks of it. Jesus says He will be the Judge. His mercy is here now! Seek Him while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6) — this is a limited time offer! Amen.

JESUS, THE WINEMAKER

[SW273] 03/17/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Jesus, the Winemaker”

So why would the Holy Spirit inspire John to write about a wedding and lack of wine?

I cannot diminish or “reframe” the purpose of Jesus’ coming in any way, because if I do, I rob the gospel of its power.

He has been reframed and refashioned by much of the church. Thus, such churches rob the gospel of its power.

John 2:1-13

John recorded some very specific miracles in his gospel account. He performed many other attesting miracles that showed He was God the Son. These specific miracles were so you — yes, you — may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing, you may have zoe, His eternal life in His name (see John 20:30-31), because that is who He is and what He came to do, and He is who He says He is.

Again, why would the Holy Spirit inspire John to write about a wedding and lack of wine?

It was a family wedding — Mary the mother of Jesus was part of that family, and Jesus was invited, and His disciples.

I want you to understand these next few verses, because Jesus Christ is perfect in every way, including the way He spoke to His mother.

If a family hosting a wedding party ran out of wine, it was a dishonor to them. So Mary went to Jesus about it, in Verse 3. She already knew who He was, because Gabriel had told her, when he announced she would bear the Son of God in her womb (Luke 1:32).

In Verse 4, it was common to call a mother “woman.” It was not derogatory. God the Son would not dishonor the woman who bore Him. And men and women, and every tribe and tongue, are welcome at His table IF they will repent of their sin and believe in Him.

He said to Mary, “My hour has not yet come.” What did that have to do with running out of wine?

I tell you the truth, if you know who He is, you know we all out of wine, we are all in need. And He has the wine we need. But He had to die and be raised and ascend and be glorified in order for us to have it. And it wasn’t time for that quite yet.

Mary knows who He is. So she says, “Do what He says.”

Do you know who He is? Will you do what He says? If you do, He will give you the wine you need.

In Verse 6, I must explain these large, 20-30 gallon stone water pots. What were they for? Purification. The guests were to wash themselves with the water from these pots. It was outward cleansing. That water couldn’t wash their hearts clean.

There was something interesting in this water. It had the ashes of a red heifer mixed in (Numbers 19:1ff). That was the purifying agent, per the Law of Moses. They would take a red heifer outside the city, slaughter it, and burn it completely, to ashes. They tossed into the fire scarlet material (the blood of Christ) and cedar wood (the cross). Don’t you know they took our Lord outside the city and killed Him on a cross? He did it so we are able to be purified.

So Jesus said, “Fill ‘em up!” And the water pots were filled, right to the brim. He wanted there to be plenty. He wanted these jars to be full. He wanted them to be full right to overflowing. Full of what?

Not water mixed with ashes! He commanded the servants to draw some off and take it to the headwaiter, the one who oversaw all activities to make sure the needs of each guest were met. When they took it to the headwaiter, he realized it was wine! The water had been turned to wine! The Winemaker did it!

The servants knew, when they drew some of it off, at Jesus’ command. They could smell it, they could see its color. It was full-strength, new wine, highly intoxicating.

And in Verses 9 and 10, the headwaiter calls the bridegroom. He says,“Now, you have done something new. Every MAN (emphasis intended) serves the best first, and then the watered-down stuff later. You saved the best for last!”

Don’t you know, the Lord has done something new? He has saved the best for last. You see, outward cleansing won’t do. Repent and be saved, and that is surely essential. But stay (Luke 24:49) and wait (Acts 1:4)! God has the best for last — inward cleansing with new wine! He will fill you with it! And you will be inwardly cleansed!

Go to Acts 2:13 . . . there it is! Some thought they were drunk (Acts 2:15). This wasn’t natural wine, nor special cleansing water that only cleansed externally. It was the new wine of the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit! They had been filled with the Holy Spirit, the best saved for last.

Do not get drunk with wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 5:18)!

So what was it about this miracle that would make you believe that Jesus Christ is who He says He is, and believe in Him and be saved and have eternal life, zoe, life as God has it?

First, this miracle reveals that God is above nature. He made nature. So it is subject to Him. He doesn’t have to override nature. He made it. So it was easy for God to simply transform something that was outward, and make it something that you take into yourself.

So, only God could do this miracle. And in performing this miracle, Jesus reveals (manifests) who He is — we see his Godhood here (see Verse 11). And His disciples (all who were following and watching and listening to Him) believed in Him.

Second, this miracle was a picture of the fulfillment of God’s promise, given in Ezekiel 36:26-27. Only God can fulfill His own promises. So, Jesus is God the Winemaker and Promise Keeper.

Third, this miracle was a type, a shadow of what would happen to any Christian who asks their Father in heaven to fill them with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49), in their own personal Pentecost. That shadow was fulfilled at Pentecost in Acts 2.

It is the same today. Because He is God the Son, it is easy for Him to transform you after you have been outwardly cleansed, after you have confessed Jesus as Lord and turned from your wicked ways. He made you.

It is easy for Him, if you will ask Him, to transform you inwardly, to purify your heart through and through (Acts 15:9). That’s what happened in that Upper Room, that’s what happened to Cornelius and his household, and that’s what will happen in your heart, if you ask the Lord to do it right now. He commands you to stay and wait until it has been done in you.

Then, you will no longer lose your battle against sin. You will be more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). You will no longer be a slave to sin. You will be free, indeed (see John 8:31-36).

Your heart will be filled with God’s perfect love, and you will no longer fear judgment, and you will walk in this world as Jesus walked —

1John 4:17-18 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

When you walk like Him because you are filled with His Spirit, you will be His vessel and His witness, full of His Spirit, proclaiming His truth wherever you go. That is His command and His will. Do it now. Amen.