ANOTHER JESUS

[SW376] 4/27/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“Another Jesus”

Text: 2Corinthians 11:1-4, 19-20

I must introduce you to the real Jesus! Many in the church have never heard all of His words that I am about to teach you. They have heard His beautiful and powerful promises, but have purposely not been told of His requirement that they must obey His commands in order to receive His promises. 

Thus, they have been taught another Jesus. They do not believe in the real Jesus, for they do not know Him, but only know a Jesus fashioned by false teachers. 

The Rarely Heard Words of Jesus

Jesus speaks these words to believers and unbelievers, Jews and non-Jews. He spoke them to the crowds that followed Him, and to His disciples. He spoke them to everyone, and they apply to everyone.

Matthew 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

To repent is to completely turn away from the sin you are doing. And you must turn from your sin, in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Yes, perfect! When He fills you with His Holy Spirit and His perfect love, you will be perfect in the same way your heavenly Father is perfect. You will have His nature (2Peter 1:4), you will no longer willfully disobey Him (Romans 6:22), your heart will be purified completely (Acts 15:9) and filled with His perfect love (Romans 5:5), and the sin nature with which you wrestled will be crucified (Galatians 5:24). 

Matthew 16:24   Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny (Greek-to-English = disown/utterly reject) himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose (Greek-to-English = utterly destroy) it; but whoever loses (utterly destroys) his life for My sake will find it. 26 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits (casts away) his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Utterly destroy? It is essential. You must utterly reject your self, your sin nature, and follow Jesus to your spiritual Calvary. Once there, He will crucify your sin nature. If you want to save your sin nature because you love your sin and the mere existence you currently experience, you will perish, even if you have gone to church for a lifetime. 

Would you rather have the world’s approval, and continue sinning? Then you will forfeit your soul. 

Matthew 5:20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

The Pharisees were outwardly righteous. But inwardly, their hearts were full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness (impurity), per Jesus’ words in Matthew 23:27. Thereby, they were hypocrites. 

They dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” of the Law. They did good things. But they were not inwardly righteous. It is not until He makes you righteous on the inside that you will meet the standard He sets for entry into the kingdom of heaven.   

Then what happened when you were saved? You were saved from being under God’s wrath and you were reconciled to God. But Jesus commands you to go on to receive the cure for your wayward heart, for just like me, you will go on sinning after you are saved.

John 5:14 Afterward Jesus found him (the man sick for 38 years whom He healed at the pool at Bethesda) in the temple, and said to him, “Behold, you have become well (permanent tense); do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse (hell) may befall you.” 

If Jesus says it is possible to stop sinning, then it is possible to stop sinning. 

John 8:11 “Then neither do I condemn you (the adulterous woman),” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (NIV)

If Jesus says it is possible to leave your life of sin, then it is possible to leave your life of sin. 

Matthew 10:22 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” 

You are saved when you believe, but in order to remain in that state, you must endure to the end. What are you to endure? Hatred. Jesus says all who are part of the world system that defies Him will hate you because His name — His divine nature — is in you, and you speak His words that He gives you. 

If the world does not hate you, then you are still part of it, and not His —

John 15:19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”

John 14:24  “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.”

To disobey Him is to sin. Therefore, He warns —

Mark 9:43 “If your hand causes you to stumble (sin), cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, 44 [where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.] 45 “If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, 46 [where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.] 47 “If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, 48 where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.”

Sin leads to hell. And hell is “for real.” It is a place where you will surely go if you keep on sinning. It is a place where you will be continually punished and you will burn forever, unless you repent. That is true for disobedient believers, and for those who do not believe into Jesus.

What? God wouldn’t do that, would He? That would be mean! No, all who go to hell have chosen hell, by refusing Jesus Christ, or by being saved and yet continuing to willfully disobey the Lord. Their sin nature is alive and well, instead of crucified and dead.

Revelation 3:1  “To the angel (leader) of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead . . . 5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”

The believers at Sardis were in danger of having their names erased from the book of life. Jesus will do it, if you do not repent of your sin, O believer.

Matthew 7:21  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE (do) LAWLESSNESS (sin).’”

If you are sinning against the Lord, it makes no difference what you do, even if you are using Jesus’ name when you do it. He never, ever knew you, if you continue to disobey Him after being saved, and He will tell you to depart from Him (to hell), when you stand before Him in the day of judgment.

Matthew 19:4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’  5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?” (NIV)

His references are from Genesis 1:27 and 5:2. Many claim Jesus does not speak of homosexuality, transgenderism and the rest. But Jesus Christ says God made you either male or female, and that a man leaves his family and marries a woman. 

Another Jesus

So, the church has created for herself another Jesus, one made in her own image, according to her own desires and lusts, and according to the culture of the day. It is a culture-driven gospel, not a truth-driven gospel. 

It was the same in Corinth, so Paul warned them —

2Corinthians 11:4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

2Corinthians 11:19 For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly. 20 For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face.

To listen to another Jesus is to think you are wiser than God. To believe in another Jesus is to believe false teachers who think they are wiser than God. Paul says both of you are fools. 

Those who preach another Jesus keep you enslaved to your sin nature. They devour you like ravenous wolves. Paul gave this warning to the leaders of the church at Ephesus —

Acts 20:29 “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

They take advantage of you, manipulating your sin nature with its greed and lusts. Thus, they strike you in the face. Yet you bear it beautifully, O church!

Paul described such wolves who had come in among the flock, and rose up from within the flock, at Corinth —

2Corinthians 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

And Paul warned the believers at Corinth regarding many sins that were blessed and encouraged and exalted false teachers who had come among them and risen from among them — 

1Corinthians 6:9   Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 

But the good news, which few speak, is that if you turn completely away from these sins and ask the Lord to forgive you, then Jesus Christ will make you a “such were” —

1Corinthians 6:11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

So it is possible to be delivered from all of the sins in 1Corinthians 6:9-10, and sanctified — made holy on the inside — when you are filled with His Spirit.

Why are these things not spoken by the foolish who are in the pulpits? For fear some may call their words hateful. 

But if I see a man or woman burning, and I put out the fire and wrap their wounds so they are healed, is that hateful? So, if I see someone headed for the place where the worm never dies and the fire never goes out, I will certainly seek to put out the fire by way of the gospel — the whole truth — of Jesus Christ! Otherwise, I help them on their way to hell, and that truly would be hateful!

And I will not stop at salvation, but will continue to tell them all the truth! I will proclaim God the Father and God the Son’s promise of entire sanctification — that is, to be filled with the Holy Spirit — for that is my calling as a pastor and teacher. 

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . .  (KJV)

Perfect! Full of Christ! That is Jesus Christ’s answer to the life of sin from which you have no power to break away! But if you love your life of sin, you will flock to foolish pulpits to hear foolish words. 

I had a vision a few weeks ago, when Jeff and I were praying together. There was a fool preaching foolish words from his pulpit, and all around him, dead bodies were stacked high. His words led his flock down the wide path that leads to hell —

Matthew 7:13   “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction (damnation), and there are many who enter through it. 14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Repent and believe into the real Jesus! The Lord and I want you to be among the few who find the narrow way that leads to eternal life!

Lord Jesus, may believers hear the whole truth in Your words that You have given me to speak, and may they heed Your words. Amen.

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ISAIAH SESSION 4 — THE CONSEQUENCES OF EXALTATION OF HUMANS

Text: Isaiah 3:1-26

When God’s people go astray, He sends His prophets to frankly and bluntly warn them of their sin and admonish them to repent and return to Him. Again, when I speak of God’s people, I am speaking of the church, Jewish believers, and Jews that do not yet believe that Jesus is their Messiah.

In the days of Isaiah, God’s people are headed for disaster —  exile (separation from His presence), and even death and condemnation. Oh, but if they will repent as I did, the Lord and will rejoice and sing, and if today’s believers repent, I will rejoice and sing with Him (Zephaniah 3:17)!

Today’s teaching is most definitely frank and blunt. If I were going to give this a title, I would call it, “The Consequences of Exaltation of Humans.” It is a message for today’s believers, just as much as it was for God’s people in the days of Isaiah.

NOTE: My thanks to John Oswalt, author of the commentary on Isaiah in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament. He provides an excellent commentary on Isaiah that I will use from time to time, to help me teach as clearly as possible. 
Verse 1 —

For behold! This phrase introduces the LORD’s judgments upon Jerusalem and Judah because men regard each other and exalt themselves, instead of Him. He will remove natural provision and leadership — supply and support. In the same way, even today, He removes supply and support from His people — even the church — who exalt themselves and their ministries, and believers and leaders who consult with man instead of God.

First, the LORD GOD of Hosts (this title emphasizing His sovereignty and power) will remove the whole supply of bread and the whole supply of water. His people will hunger and thirst. 

Indeed, Judah and Jerusalem did hunger and thirst, for they refused to return to the LORD and were besieged by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon until they had no food or water left within the walls of Jerusalem. Some even resorted to cannibalism (Ezekiel 5:9-10, Jeremiah 19:9, Lamentations 4:10, etc.).

Verses 2-4 — 

Next, He will take away the military leaders upon whom Jerusalem and Judah have exalted and upon whom they have relied — the mighty men, the warriors, and the captains of fifty.

He will take away the political leaders — judges (leaders), elders, honorable men (men of rank) and counselors.

He will take away the religious leaders — false prophets, diviners, and ones who know charms (enchanters). 

The LORD says, And I will make mere lads (teens) their princes, And capricious children will rule over them. Jerusalem and Judah will be ruled by children instead of mighty leaders. Oswalt observes, that may have literally happened; teenagers may have had to take over leadership simply because everyone else was dead or in captivity.

In the original Hebrew-to-English, “capricious children” means “Arbitrary (unrestrained and autocratic) power will rule.” It will be His people’s own fault, for Judah and Jerusalem have exalted themselves, rather than the LORD of hosts!

Verse 5 —

Exaltation of humans culminates with oppression and then anarchy. Do we see it today, worldwide? We would be blind if we didn’t!

The people of Judah and Jerusalem will oppress each other, harassing and treating each other cruelly. Jesus Christ prophesied the same thing, for the end times, before He returns — many will fall away (turn away from the LORD) and will betray one another and hate one another (see Matthew 24:10).

Finally, the government will collapse. Elders will no longer be respected by youths, and youths will have contempt for all types of authority. They will mock everyone, regardless of leadership ranking. 

Verses 6-7 —

God’s people will be desperate for a leader! Possession of a coat will be a sufficient qualification for leadership. How far they have fallen, from being under the covering of the LORD, to possessing only a stray coat or two!

And what will such a one rule over? Ruins. But the one with the coat will refuse, saying, I will not be your healer (literally, binder of wounds). I will not heal your ruins! Why? He will say, there is neither bread nor cloak in my house, among my family. He could not provide for them, so how will he be able to save Judah and Jerusalem? So he will say, I am not qualified. Do not appoint me ruler of the people!

Verses 8-9 —

Why will all of this happen? 

— Because Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen. Pairing the words “stumbled” and “fallen” is significant. They have not yet physically been attacked. But they have already stumbled and fallen spiritually. So, they will surely be invaded, and thus stumble and fall in the natural, just as Isaiah prophesies.

— Because their speech and actions are against (contrary to) the LORD. They rebel against His glorious presence (the eyes of His glory). Everything they say and do is in utter rebellion against the LORD, and they defy Him to His face! It is so today, for in many churches and among many believers, sin is not only winked at, but celebrated!

— Even beyond their speech and actions, their facial expressions are witnesses against them. They set their faces against the LORD, brazenly and stubbornly. They display their sin like Sodom, whose people were destroyed because they openly committed lewd acts that were completely contrary to the LORD’s character, design and will. Again, many believers and their leaders have come directly against the LORD, defying Him to His face.

Therefore, woe to them! Why? Because they have brought evil on themselves! Isaiah laments, and so do I, and so does the Lord!

Verses 10-11 —

The Lord directs Isaiah to speak to both the righteous and the wicked. His words comfort the righteous, but should send chills up and down the spines of the wicked. 

Say to the righteous, it will go well, for you will eat the fruit of your actions. Indeed, Daniel and his friends went into captivity, but found favor and were highly regarded by their captors. Ezekiel. among the first from Judah to go into exile, was raised up as a prophet to God’s people in their captivity. 

But woe to the wicked, the one who refuses and rebels! It will go badly with him. Why? For he will get what he deserves. He has scorned the LORD, so he will be scorned. He has destroyed his relationship with the LORD, so he will be destroyed.

Verse 12 —

The LORD cries out, O My people! He takes no pleasure in punishing them —

Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’

Again, their oppressors are incompetent and arbitrary rulers. Women (used as a symbol of weakness here) rule over them. 

Again the LORD cries out, Oh, My people! Those who guide you lead you astray, and confuse the direction of your paths. False prophets abounded in Judah and Jerusalem, and led His people astray. The LORD laments through Jeremiah —

Jeremiah 23:22 “But if they had stood in My council, then they would have announced My words to My people, and would have turned them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds.”

Verses 13-15 —

The LORD arises to contend with His people, and stands up, to judge them. Who does He judge? 

He judges the elders and princes of His people, all the leaders and the prophets who do not believe the LORD will judge them, and who lead His people astray by lying to them. It is the same today!

The LORD tells them, It is you who have devoured the vineyard (see Isaiah 5:2). You have caused its ruin. Now Babylon will ruin you. It is you who plunders (robs) the poor, and have done so for a long time. It is on you, it was done under your leadership and by you and your fathers (their houses). You robbed my people of the truth. Now Babylon will plunder (rob) you.’’

And in righteous anger, the LORD GOD of Hosts declares, What are  you doing, crushing My people, and grinding the face of the poor (as if against the ground)? He stands in His righteous power and awesomeness, and judges them for devouring, robbing, crushing, and grinding His people! 

Verses 16-23 —

Now the LORD speaks to the daughters of Zion, who are proud, haughty, and have seductive eyes, glancing around for any sensual opportunities. Oswalt and I see that this does not mean only the women of Zion, but all the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem — and believers today — who refuse and rebel, all who are prideful and self-reliant. 

They walk with mincing steps, parading their self-sufficiency. They call attention to themselves by making noise as they walk. They flaunt themselves before the living God. 

The LORD’s response will be to confront those who refuse and rebel. He will afflict them, and take that which they so highly value — their self-perceived greatness and magnificence. 

Their scalps will be afflicted with scabs, their foreheads will be bare. All that they used for adornment, all that they used to display their superiority, will be removed. 

The list of their adornments is vast because their pride is so extreme — anklets, headbands, crescent ornaments, dangling earrings, bracelets, veils, headdresses, ankle chains, sashes, perfume boxes, amulets, finger rings, nose rings, festal robes, outer tunics, cloaks, money purses, hand mirrors, undergarments, turbans and veils. 

Verse 24 —

And how will His people look, after He judges them and they are carried into captivity in Babylon? 

— Instead of sweet perfume, putrefaction (the smell of rotting flesh)

— Instead of a beautiful belt, a rope by which they will be bound to their captors

— Instead of well-set hair, a plucked out scalp, the work of their captors, to humiliate them

— Instead of fine clothes, a donning of sackcloth (which is like burlap, harsh and scratchy and is worn by those who mourn), for they will mourn their condition.

— And instead of beauty, branding by their captors, to indicate that they are slaves

They will be disgraced, for they have disgraced their LORD with their rebellion and wickedness. Woe to them!

Verses 25-26 —

They will not be able to rely on men to protect them, for they will fall by the sword, and their mighty ones will fall in battle. Everything they have depended on, even the natural strength upon which they have relied, will be taken away. The gates, where just decisions used to be made before their rebellion, will mourn and lament. Deserted, Judah and Jerusalem will sit on the ground, in mourning. 

Stay tuned next time for a word of hope  — a prophecy regarding the One who will save them in their captivity, if they turn back to Him and ask Him to forgive their sin! 

Lord, may Your people, even today’s church, stop exalting themselves, their wisdom, and their works, for just according to You, I have shown them the consequences of exaltation of humans. May they turn back to You, O LORD GOD of Hosts. Amen.

GOD’S EXCLAMATION POINT!

[SW375] 4/20/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“God’s Exclamation Point!”

NOTE: The Lord prompted me to begin with a brand new song He gave me this past week. It is called “You Are Christ, Our Savior,” and if you click on the YouTube link on the right of my blog page, you can watch it, as well as the message!

Text:  1Corinthians 15:1-6, 2Corinthians 1:20, etc. 

God exclaims, “YES! Jesus Christ, My Son has risen, just according to My Word! Therefore, be assured that ALL of My promises are, ‘YES!’ The promise of My Spirit is ‘YES!’  Now, you must become the AMEN to My ‘YES!’”

The believers at Corinth had begun to believe false teachers who told them there is no resurrection from the dead. So Paul wrote the truth to them, so they would not believe those false teachers  

1Corinthians 15:1  Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain (emptily, not from the heart).

1Corinthians 15:3   For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep (that is, their bodies have died) . . .

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the final proof that all of God’s promises are YES! If Jesus Christ had not risen on the third day after He was crucified and entombed, then God’s promise of His Christ would be a lie. But Jesus Christ rose!

Jesus Christ’s resurrection means that when you believe into Him, He heals your relationship to God! It is the pearl of great price which allows you to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 13:45-46)! When you believe into Him, you pass out of death, through the Door which is Christ (John 10:7), and into life, eternal life — His eternal life in you, here and now and eternal life with the Father and the Son when your body dies and you are in heaven 

John 5:24   “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”

Glory to God! Rejoice with me, because all of God’s promises are YES!

But there is more to God’s YES than passing out of death and into life! All of the New Testament’s apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers spoke of both the resurrection (88 times) and the Holy Spirit (142 times) in the Book of Acts and in the Epistles. 

Why? It was to confess, as Jesus Christ’s witnesses, that His resurrection is the undeniable proof that He is the Christ, the exclamation point, the YES of God’s promise spoken through His prophets, including Moses, who prophesied of Jesus Christ from thousands of years before He walked the earth! 

And it was also to confess, as Jesus Christ’s witnesses, that His resurrection led to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that they and you and I become the AMEN to God’s YES of the infilling of the Holy Spirit! 

Luke, who wrote the Book of Acts, and all the writers of the Epistles confirm with their words that Jesus Christ’s resurrection set into motion the rest of God’s promises. Paul writes to the believers at Corinth —

2Corinthians 1:20 For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. (KJV)

What does Paul mean? All of God’s promises are indeed YES for those who are in Christ Jesus, the one proven to be the Christ because He was, indeed, raised from the dead! 

But your purpose and mine, after we are saved, is to become the AMEN to the remainder of God’s promises — those that follow and are established upon God’s fulfilled promise of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. God speaks through Ezekiel of the promise that makes you the  AMEN —

Ezekiel 36:26  “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh (one that responds to Him). 27 And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.” (KJV)

Paul began his letter to the believers at Rome with God’s YES, the resurrection of the Christ —

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 

But he also continued to the YES of God’s promise of His Holy Spirit —

Romans 8:3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned (to death) sin (the sinful nature) in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

The sin nature stands condemned to death! All you need to do is ask your Father in heaven for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), and the sin nature’s death sentence will be fulfilled with a glorious YES from your Father and a joyous AMEN from you!

Paul met Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, and on Straight Street in Damascus, he became the AMEN by way of the Spirit-filled disciple named Ananias —

Acts 9:11 And the Lord said to him (Ananias), “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying . . .”

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.”

Then, Paul was able to boldly say —

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh (body), I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

His sin nature’s death sentence was fulfilled when he was filled with the Holy Spirit! Then Paul became the AMEN to God’s YES!

Therefore, Paul prays that the troubled believers in Ephesus be filled with the Spirit —

Ephesians 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

It is my prayer, also, for the apostate church of today! Beloved, I testify that Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures (fulfilling the prophecies), and that He was buried, and that He was raised from the dead on the third day, according to the scriptures. 

And I testify, by my own experience, that you must be filled with God’s Holy Spirit in order to fulfill the purpose for which you were created, for Jesus Christ commands you to become the AMEN to God’s YES!

Therefore, respond to God’s YES with a YES of your own, asking your Father in heaven to fill you with the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), so that you become the AMEN to God’s YES that Christ commands you to become (Acts 1:4-5, 8).

God has been perfectly faithful to do what only He can do, first for us (salvation), and then in us (sanctification, the infilling of the Holy Spirit)! 

Jesus Christ has been faithful to prove God’s promises are true, and that God has been faithful to do them. But have you been faithful? Have you become the proof of all of God’s promises by not only believing into Jesus Christ but also obeying His command to wait for to the promise of the Father? Have you become the AMEN?

Jesus Christ gives both promise and a warning to His disciples, and to you — 

John 14:23 “. . . If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode (permanent dwelling) with him. 24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.”

Many in today’s church were eager to be saved from God’s wrath and reconciled to Him, and to have their past sins forgiven. They gladly celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Resurrection Sunday! And that is good and right! I rejoice with you!

But I tell you the truth, many reject Jesus’ command to become the AMEN to God’s YES. They do not realize that they are saying to their Father in heaven, “I am thankful for Your ‘Yes’ that gave me salvation through Christ, but I do not need to become the ‘Amen’ to Your promise.”  But to receive God’s salvation and refuse His Holy Spirit is to disobey your Father in heaven, and to disobey Jesus Christ.

Therefore, now is the time to repent and believe and obey! Ask Him to make you the AMEN to His YES, as Jesus Christ commands, through the infilling of the Holy Spirit! 

Lord Jesus, I celebrate Your resurrection, your salvation, and the great work of Your Spirit in making me the AMEN to all the promises of God the Father! I pray that many would obey You today. Let it be so. Amen.

ISAIAH SESSION 3 — THE LORD ALONE WILL BE EXALTED

Text: Isaiah 2

When God’s people go astray, He sends His prophets to frankly and bluntly warn them of their sin and admonish them to repent and return to Him. Again, when I speak of God’s people, I am speaking of the church, Jewish believers, and Jews that do not yet believe that Jesus is their Messiah.

In the days of Isaiah, God’s people are headed for disaster —  exile (separation from His presence), and even death and condemnation. Oh, but if they will repent as I did, the Lord and I will rejoice and sing (Zephaniah 3:17)!

The LORD does not desire for any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). So, He sends Isaiah to speak to Jerusalem and Judah. He gives Isaiah visions, and words with which to paint a picture of what the Lord has shown him.

And He sends me to the church today, though I am only a pastor and teacher. But by His grace, I am what I am. As I read Isaiah, I see what the Lord showed him, as if the Lord was showing it to me. If I were going to give this a title, I would call it, “The Lord Alone Will Be Exalted.”

NOTE: My thanks to John Oswalt, author of the commentary on Isaiah in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament. He provides an excellent commentary on Isaiah that I will use from time to time, to help me teach as clearly as possible. 
Verses 1-2 —

First, we see the phrase from Isaiah 1:1 repeated. One vision is complete, and this phrase introduces another.

Isaiah is given a vision of the last days. When are the last days? When the LORD has revealed all false gods for what they are, when He has executed His wrath on those who refused Him. I believe Isaiah will describe Jesus Christ’s millennial reign here, per Revelation 20:6. 

At that time, it will be fully known that there is just one true God. The mountain of the house of the Lord (as opposed to the high places where Israel and the world have worshipped idols) will be established as the only true place where the only true God can be worshiped. 

Do you see His mountain, the house of the Lord, majestically standing above all the others, dwarfing them so that they are like low hills? The contrast of the hills of the false gods versus the mountain of His house emphasizes that they are nothing in comparison. And again, remember that hills were the locations of cult worship of false gods.

“And all the nations will stream to the house of the LORD.” The word “stream” gives us a picture of a great flow of humanity, and the word means sparkle, flow, as with the sheen of a running stream. 

Does this mean that all will stream into His temple in Jerusalem, where the LORD has established His house? Or is there also a spiritual meaning, that they will stream into the LORD’s spiritual kingdom? 

I think both. The LORD is not limited to geographical locations, but He established His house in Jerusalem, when He first brought His people there. So, in that day, peoples will come to the place that has been despised by the world, Jerusalem, and to the LORD’s temple, to bow down to and worship the one true God and His reigning Son. Thus, all who come and bow down will enter His spiritual kingdom!

Verse 3 —

And many peoples will come and say, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. The LORD specifies once again that peoples will know that His is the only mountain, the only house, and He is the only true God, even the God of Jacob (Israel). 

Why will all peoples come to His mountain, His house? So that He will teach them His ways, and so that they walk in His paths. They will no longer want to walk any other way. They will seek Him then, for at that time, the unmasking and destruction of all false gods will have been accomplished by Him. They will no longer rely on those gods, for they will see them for what they are!

They will know that from Jerusalem, the instruction of the LORD will go forth. From there, the word of the LORD will be heard and known by the peoples of the earth. 

Oswalt writes that unless the Lord teaches, we cannot learn His ways, but He cannot teach us unless we come to Him. So, we must first come, and then He will teach us. Good stuff!

In this day, we do not yet see rivers of humanity streaming to Jerusalem, but we have seen billions come to faith in Jesus Christ, through those who are filled with His Spirit and are thus His full-time, permanent dwelling places, His temples —

2Corinthians 6:16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God . . .

So, until the last day, they will come to the Lord who is in us, and learn from Him!

Verse 4 —

And He will judge between (vindicate or punish) the nations (peoples), and will render judgments for (correct and convict) many peoples. He is the only Righteous Judge (2Timothy 4:8). What will be the result of His judgment? Repentance!

They will break into pieces their weapons of war against Him and melt them down. They will make their swords into plowshares (hoes) and their spears into pruning hooks (pruning knives). They will cease to fight against Him.

Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war. 

What is the cause of war? Why do nations fight amongst each other? I could speak of world politics and false religions, but ultimately, the cause is the sin nature with which everyone is born. And He is the only One who can put that nature to death and make you a partaker of His divine nature! Then there will be His peace, not peace as humans define it!

Some come now, through those who announce His gospel. Some believers seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and then His peace is in them. But ALL will come, in that day.

Verse 5 —

In contrast to Isaiah’s vision of that day, the LORD must call His own people, for they are rebelling against Him! Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. If the Lord must beckon them to walk in His light, then they are not presently walking in His light, but in darkness. It is the same today. Come, O believer!

Verse 6 —

Because His people are walking in darkness, the LORD has abandoned them. He has thrust them off. 

Why has the LORD abandoned the house of Jacob? Because they are filled with influences from the east. They have not only followed the false religions of the east, but they are completely filled with the falseness and evil of false gods.

You become what you worship (Psalm 115:8). Thus, they have become soothsayers, sorcerers, things that are an abomination to the LORD because they involve consultation with Satan. 

And they trade with the children of foreign gods. Paul warns the Corinthians —

2Corinthians 6:14   Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?

Verses 7-8 —

Not only are His people filled with the falseness of the false religions of the east, but their land has been filled with the things the world relies upon and worships — silver and gold, treasures, horses, chariots. 

It is a picture of self-exaltation by humans. It is a picture of human pride and self-sufficiency. They play God, defiantly saying, I will fight with my own strength, I will make a god in my own image! Paul writes —

Romans 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

And because of their self-exaltation, their land is also filled with idols, and His people worship the work of their hands. Humans make their idols out of wood, stone, and metal. They make them with their own fingers. They make them out of their own imaginations. 

Verse 9 —

So, regardless of position or wealth, all those who exalt themselves will be humbled and abased. Both “humbled” and “abased” mean “humbled” in the original Hebrew. So, I see that they will be humbled and humbled. When the Lord speaks the same word twice, it means that the humbling will be sudden. I believe that this time of humbling will be in the days when His wrath is poured out (Revelation 15:7 and forward).

When they are suddenly humbled by the Lord, they will see their pride. Their apostasy (willful turning away from the Lord) will become obvious to them. 

But they will not respond as they should, even though they now see their folly. There is no evidence that they will repent. So, Isaiah says, “But do not forgive them,” LORD.  The day of His grace will be gone — it will be the day of His wrath. So, their sin will not be forgotten by Him. They will be punished by Him. 

Beloved, there will come a time when the LORD no longer grants forgiveness. That is why Isaiah says, in Chapter 55, “Seek the LORD while He may be found, call on Him while He is near.” The Book of Revelation reflects that, after the LORD has done everything to bring all men near, and they yet refuse Him, He will execute His wrath upon them (Revelation 16:1 and forward).

At the end of things, every knee will bow, and every tongue — even that of the rebellious — will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10). The unrepentant rebellious have no choice but to bow and confess His Lordship, and confess that He would have been their salvation, if they had not rejected Him. But it will be too late for them.

Verse 10 —

In the days when His wrath is poured out, it will be too late to repent. The rebellious have not worshiped, feared and obeyed Him. They have not submitted to Him in recognition of His greatness and His right to rule in their hearts. 

So, when He appears, they will attempt to hide in caves and hide in the dust (in holes, per Verse 19). They will try to hide from the terror of the LORD. That phrase means His appearing will startle and cause them to physically shake. And they will try to hide from the splendor (gloriousness) of His majesty, which they will now see. 

He will come as their enemy, and they will have no defense against Him.

Isaiah repeats this phrase “The terror of the LORD and the splendor of His majesty” three times (Verses 10, 19, and 21). It is God’s mercy that Isaiah repeats it, for if His people will tremble at His words and repent while it is still today, He will forgive them. 

Hebrews 4:7  He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS.”

Verse 11 —

In His great mercy, the LORD continues to give His people a wider view of what will happen if they do not turn back while it is still today. In that day when it is too late, the proud will be brought low, and the lofty will be humbled.

Verse 12 —

That day when it is too late will be His day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and lofty, and everyone who is lifted up. The reckoning is this — all such ones will be suddenly humbled by Him, and will be judged.

Verses 13-16 —

The LORD now gives Isaiah another picture to paint. Who are the proud and lofty and lifted up by their own estimation?

— The cedars of Lebanon and the oaks of Bashan (those who think they are like valuable, towering trees, thus counting themselves as far greater than the LORD whom they disobey)

— The lofty mountains and the hills that are lifted up (again, those who think they are far greater than the LORD)

— Every high tower, and every fortified wall (those who rely on their own protection as being greater than the LORD’s protection). I believe this passage also refers to those who exalt their own intellect, per Paul’s words to the wayward Corinthian believers who were listening to false teachers —

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

— Against all the ships of Tarshish, and against all the beautiful craft (against everything that the prideful rely upon for provision; again, these ships are the work of their own hands)

Verses 17-18 —

Isaiah repeats the phrase from Verse 11, at the LORD’s prompting, The pride of man will be humbled, and the loftiness of man will be abased, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. 

But what will happen to the idols to which the proud have looked, the idols they made with their own hands? They will completely vanish, for they are nothing and always have been nothing — 

Psalms 115:4-8 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. 5 They have mouths, but they cannot speak; they have eyes, but they cannot see; 6 They have ears, but they cannot hear; they have noses, but they cannot smell; 7 They have hands, but they cannot feel; they have feet, but they cannot walk; they cannot make a sound with their throat. 8 Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trusts in them.

Verse 19 —

Again, Isaiah repeats, Men will try to hide in caves and in holes of the ground. Why? Because He will appear, in all of His majesty, and they will feel His terror, for they have become His enemy, and have no defense against Him.

He will arise, and make the earth tremble, in that day. The world will shake violently, the world will be filled with dread and terror. 

All that can be shaken will be shaken, including the spiritual realm between us and the kingdom of heaven. It is where Satan dwells, his temporary lair —

Hebrews 12:26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Verse 20-21 —

What will be the response of the rebellious, now filled with terror, now shaking violently? They will cast away their idols of silver and their idols of gold to the moles and the bats. Those false gods, which they have made for themselves to worship, will be shown to have no power at all. But it will be too late!

They will cast them away, as they attempt to hide in their caves, and in clefts of rocks, where bats dwell, and as they attempt to hide in their holes in the ground, where moles dwell. But it is impossible to hide from the terror of the LORD and the splendor of His majesty, and there is no escape from His judgment.

Verse 22 —

So, what is the cure for the pride of man, for his self-exaltation? What is the cure for man’s idolatry of self, which leads him to fashion gods of his own liking and in his own image? 

Isaiah says, Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils. Why should man be esteemed? 

Cease and desist from your idolatry of self. You are nothing apart from the LORD. It is He who breathed life into you! You did not make yourself live. 

Why should man be esteemed? Why do so many highly regard themselves, their wisdom, their knowledge, the ways of man, business practices to grow churches, psychology, psychiatry, and sociology? 

The reliance upon such things by today’s leaders of the church reflects that they think they are wiser than the LORD. They believe they can build a successful and prosperous ministry by the work of their own hands! How foolish that the creature thinks he is greater than his Creator!

But how can you stop regarding man? It is human nature, the sin nature in you. But the LORD is the Heart Changer! If you ask Him to do it, He will crucify your sin nature, and give you His, instead. 

Then you will not exalt yourself any more. He will fill you with His Holy Spirit, and you will rely on His strength, His wisdom, His knowledge, and His ways! Amen! Let it be so, Lord!

Next time, we will see that the LORD will break His people, and tell them why He is doing it. Stay tuned!

PERFECT FAITHFULNESS

[SW374] 4/13/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“Perfect Faithfulness”

Text: Isaiah 25:1, 52:10, 53:1, 4-6

There is no other god worshiped on the earth, no other religion that makes this claim — God came down to save us from His wrath and reconcile us to Himself. All other religions require man to attempt to obtain “god status,” or to appease an angry god, or to somehow reach a “god.” But the God of heaven sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to reach down to us and die on a cross for us! 

What kind of God would do such a thing? One who is perfectly faithful —

Isaiah 25:1  O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; for You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.

What has He been faithful to do?

Isaiah 52:10  The LORD will lay bare his holy arm (His power), in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.

He bares His holy arm for all who will believe the message I and others bring (Isaiah 53:1). You will see His salvation, if you will believe. He does not desire any to perish, but that all would come to repentance, turning to Him (2Peter 3:9).

He bares His holy arm not to strike, but to heal, if you will come to Him! If you refuse, you have chosen to face His judgment, for you have rejected the salvation He has provided in perfect faithfulness, at immeasurable cost to Himself. 

In the sight of all the nations (all the peoples of the earth), He reveals His Son as the source of salvation. But some are offended, believing that they are good, when none of us is good — not even one (Romans 3:10)! He sent His Son so that, after you are saved and reconciled, you obey His command to be filled with Him and His goodness. Only then are you truly good!

At what cost does all the world see that salvation comes through God? There could not have been a higher cost. He offered His son, to carry our sin —

Isaiah 53:4-6  Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace (with God) was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity (sin) of us all.

And it pleased God to do it . . . 

Isaiah 53:10  But the LORD was pleased to crush Him (striking Him with a firm blow), putting Him to grief (wounding Him); if He would render Himself as a guilt offering . . . 

That is God’s perfect faithfulness! If you are not awestruck, you are not listening. 

In God’s great love, mercy and perfect faithfulness toward those He created, He sent a part of Himself to the earth — His Son, Jesus Christ, who spoke wondrous words and did wondrous miracles that proved He is God the Son. Then He bore the iniquity of us all, upon His body! No other “god” does such a thing— only the God of heaven, who is perfectly faithful to do what He has promised! 

On this Palm Sunday, I pray you will grasp the enormity of what God has done, the perfect faithfulness with which He did it, and the outcome for all who will believe into His Son!

You and I do not receive what we deserve. It is a selfless act, a self-giving act from a selfless and self-giving, perfectly faithful God. He does not demand that you sacrifice your children in the fire, nor blow yourself up in order to kill infidels, nor sexually violate innocent children so that you prosper, nor vainly attempt to strive to reach godhood. He requires that you believe His message. Then you will see the arm of His salvation!

He was the only acceptable, perfect, sinless offering with no spot or blemish, whom John the Baptist announced —

John 1:29, 36 . . . “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

36. . . and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and  said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”

That is God’s faithfulness. But what does He require of you, considering what He has done? When you have seen His arm and believed, and have been saved and reconciled, Peter tells you what you must do —

1Peter 1:17   If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

Conduct yourself in fear — literally, be afraid because you have experienced the saving power of the One who offered His Son in perfect faithfulness! 

If you truly understand the magnitude and cost of God’s offering on your behalf, you will quickly obey Jesus Christ’s commands — Believe (John 3:16)! Stay (Luke 24:49)! Wait (Acts 1:4-5)! 

Why must you not only believe, but stay and wait? Because He requires you to follow in His footsteps, and die to sin so you live to righteousness —

1Peter 2:21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 24 . . .  and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

When you stay and wait, you will surely die to sin — your sin nature will be crucified — and live to righteousness because He will fill you with His Holy Spirit and His divine nature, which is righteous! That is the healing for which He commands you to stay and wait!

Again, Peter exhorts the church —

1Peter 4:1  Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 

Beloved, it is not a time for Easter bunnies and Easter egg hunts! These things represent the worship of pagan fertility goddesses, Ashtoreth, and in Europe,  Eostre (EES-tra). That is why “Easter” involves eggs and rabbits — symbols of fertility! 

I tell you the truth, when I privately exhorted one pastor about Easter egg hunts at his church, he told me, “We are taking back the egg!” What a strange statement to the ears of Jesus Christ! How I pray for that one, and for all churches and believers!

O believer, next Sunday is Resurrection Sunday, a celebration of the Christ who endured unspeakable suffering, died on a cross to save you and reconcile you, rose on the third day, ascended to His Father and sat down at His right hand, and poured out His Holy Spirit. 

Celebrate God’s perfect faithfulness by responding in faithfulness to the One who was faithful to you! Respond by obeying Jesus Christ’s commands to stay and wait! Obey the One who will heal you of your sin nature and fill you with His divine nature (2Peter 1:4)!

Now the Lord has commanded me to exhort you as Paul exhorted Timothy, regarding God’s perfect faithfulness —

Timothy 2:11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us; 13 if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

If you have crucified your sin nature (Galatians 2:24), you will live with Him. If you endure (suffer death to your sin nature), you will also reign with Him. 

But if you deny Him by refusing to obey His commands, He will deny you. When you stand before Him in the day of judgment, He will say to you, “I never knew you!” (See Matthew 7:23, 25:12.) 

If you are faithless and do not believe He is able to crucify the sin nature in you and fill you with His divine nature, know that He remains faithful to His own righteous, just and holy nature. Therefore, you will face His judgment, for He cannot deny His own nature.

If you find this message offensive, you are one for whom I pray. I was the same as you, for the first 42 years of my life. 

I tell you the truth, I have seen God’s perfect faithfulness, I have seen His salvation and His sanctification! In faith, I stayed and waited, and now I am entirely His, my sin nature is crucified and His nature is in me. He fully indwells me (John 14:23)! He has done it so others will see Him in me, and will honor and revere Him, and believe His message!

Lord Jesus, You are the salvation which Your Father has shown to the whole earth. May many open their eyes to see the wonder that You have done, and may the hearts of many believers be pricked by Your words. Amen!

ISAIAH SESSION 2 — CHOOSE THIS DAY

Text: Isaiah 1:18-31

When God’s people go astray, He sends His prophets to frankly and bluntly warn them of their sin and admonish them to repent and return to Him. Again, when I speak of God’s people, I am speaking of the church, Jewish believers, and Jews that do not yet believe that Jesus is their Messiah.

In the days of Isaiah, God’s people are headed for disaster —  exile (separation from His presence), and even death and condemnation. Oh, but if they will repent as I did, the Lord and I will rejoice and sing (Zephaniah 3:17)!

The LORD does not desire for any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). So, He sends Isaiah to speak to Jerusalem and Judah. He gives Isaiah visions, and words with which to paint a picture of what the Lord has shown him.

And He sends me to the church today, though I am only a pastor and teacher. But by His grace, I am what I am. As I read Isaiah, I see what the Lord showed him, as if the Lord was showing it to me. If I were going to give this a title, I would call it, “Choose This Day.”
Verse 18 —

First, the Lord extends a merciful offer. Come, let us reason together (let us be right), says the LORD. Let Me correct what is wrong in you. Your sins are like a scarlet stain, very visible! But you will be white as snow (pure)! Your sins are a red stain, like crimson, very visible. But I will make you like (pure white) wool. He will remove all the sin stains from His people when He purifies them.

Verses 19-20 —

But His people must choose —

— If they consent and obey (if they become willing and obedient), they will eat. What will they eat? The best of the land, provided by Him.

— If they refuse and rebel, they will be eaten. What will eat them? They will be devoured (consumed) by the sword of their enemies.

Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Eat or be eaten. It is a choice each believer must make. If you consent and obey, He will provide you with the best food of the land. If you consent and obey, you will partake of the Bread of Life. Glory to His name, for His great mercy!

But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured (eaten) by your enemy, Satan. Do you see the contrast? Peter warns believers —

1Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

If Judah and Jerusalem continue to refuse and rebel, they will be consumed by their natural enemy, Babylon. Indeed, they did choose to refuse and rebel, and Babylon invaded them and ate them with their swords. The invasion began 76 years after Isaiah was murdered by Jews who refused and rejected the Lord’s warnings that Isaiah faithfully spoke.

Verses 21-23 —

The LORD describes those who refuse and rebel continues. Look at the contrasts and the imagery, in His words to Isaiah 

— Faithful, but now a harlot (prostitute)

— Full of justice and righteousness, but now, full of murderers

— Silver that has become dross (impure)

— Drink (choice wine) no longer full strength, but diluted with water

The LORD continues—

— Your rulers are rebels and companions of thieves (as Jesus said when He cleansed the temple in Matthew 21:13, the temple was no longer a house of prayer, but a den of robbers)

— Everyone loves a bribe and chases after rewards of a bribe (money, possessions)

— The Lord says, They do not judge the fatherless righteously, nor does the widow’s plea come before them. They provide for no one but themselves. And spiritually speaking, the fatherless are not told about the Father who will gladly receive them, and the widow is not told about the Husband who would gladly receive her!

Verse 24 —

Therefore, because His people have chosen to refuse and rebel, the LORD GOD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel declares something. He is LORD, He is GOD, Israel belongs to Him, the Mighty One. 

How foolish to come against the Mighty One, their LORD, the one true God! But they have chased after false gods that are the works of men’s hands and imaginations. They love the sensuality of the cult worship of false gods (Jeremiah 5:31).

His people have become His adversaries! So He will relieve Himself of them, He will avenge Himself against His people who have become His foes. Indeed, they will go into exile in Babylon.

Verse 25 —

He will turn (stretch out) His hand upon them. He will inflict extreme punishment upon them through King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. 

But His exile is an expression of His mercy to His people. By their exile, by their separation from Him, by their punishment, He says, I will smelt away your dross as with lye (which attaches to impurities so they can be skimmed off during smelting), and will remove all your alloy (admixtures). They will no longer worship other gods. He will purify them!

Verse 26 —

After I have exiled you, He says, in that day, I will restore your judges (leaders) as at the first. I will restore your counselors (advisors) as at the beginning. They will be made righteous before Me! 

And all of you who have undergone My purification will be called the city of righteousness, a faithful city. You will be right like me, and faithful like Me! And He and I will sing, when He does this in His people!

The LORD gives a prophecy of the coming Purifier, His Son —

Malachi 3:2  “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. 3 “He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi (and all believers) and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness.”

Verses 27-28 — 

The LORD says, all who consent and obey will be redeemed (bought back), for I am a LORD of justice. I redeem the repentant! What is more, I redeem them with righteousness, for I am the LORD of righteousness, the Righteous Judge (Psalm 7:11, 2Timothy 4:8)! I will buy you back from Babylon.

But it is a different story for those who refuse and rebel! He says, Transgressors (those who commit apostasy, turning away from the LORD) and sinners (those guilty of disobeying Him and refusing to repent) will be destroyed (ruined) together. Those who forsake Him will be consumed (perish).

Verse 29 —

The LORD says, When I judge you who refuse and rebel, you will be ashamed of the oaks which you have desired. The oaks were “sacred” trees that were part of a fertility cult, where false fertility gods were worshiped via sexual acts.

It is the same in many false religions today. Satan knows the most powerful drive in humans is sexual. So he puts it in the minds of the foolish to create such gods out of their own imaginations.

And the LORD says to those who refuse and rebel, you will be embarrassed (you will blush) at the gardens which you have chosen. Again, these are places of “sacred” springs or wells where fertility cult worship was performed.

Verse 30 —

The LORD says, when I judge you who refuse and rebel, you will be like an oak whose leaves fade away (wilt). I will disgrace you. Because you love those oaks, I will make you wilt. Because you love those “sacred” springs, I will make you a waterless garden, incapable of producing anything.

Verse 31 —

The LORD says, when I judge you who refuse and rebel, your strong men will become like tinder, like the refuse of flax, which is useless and is shaken out. The writer of Hebrews warns the Jewish believers who had been scattered because of persecution —

Hebrews 12:26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

The LORD says, When I judge you who refuse and rebel, your strong men will become as a spark, and your work and your strength will burn together. And there will be none to quench them (see Jesus’ words in Mark 9:43-46). 

Eat or be eaten. Consent and obey or refuse and rebel. Turn, beloved! The LORD and I want to rejoice over you with singing!

Lord, may Your people hear the truth of Your words. May they see that You will forgive and restore them, if they consent and obey. But may they also see that You will ensure their destruction and they will perish, if they refuse and rebel. Amen.

THE CUP OF SEPARATION

[SW373] 4/6/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“The Cup of Separation”

Text: Matthew 26:36-39, 42, 44

Last time, Jesus Christ asked you if you are able to drink the cup of persecution that He drank and be baptized with His baptism. In this passage, you will see that He had to drink a cup that only He could drink. And I will show you how that cup relates to you.

But first, you must know what He knew, before He drank that cup. Then you will understand His prayer in the place called Gethsemane. 

From before anything was made, Jesus Christ knew that He would be slain —

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (KJV)

Thus, John the Baptist announced Him as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29, 36).

Jesus Christ knew that He had authority to lay down His life, and also to take it up again —

John 10:17 “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

Jesus Christ knew that His Father sent Him to die —

John 12:27   “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.”

Jesus Christ knew that He would be tortured mercilessly, and then die on a cross —

Mark 10:33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles. 34 “They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.” (Also, see Matthew 20:17-19, Mark 8:31 & 9:12, Luke 18:31-33, John 13:33 & 13:36).
Jesus Christ knew what He would endure as He hung on the cross — 

From a prophecy given by the Lord to King David, 700 years before Roman-style crucifixion was invented—

Psalm 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within me. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws . . . 16 For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones . . .

Isaiah 52:14 Just as many were astonished at you, so His appearance was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men.

Jesus Christ knew that He would take upon Himself the punishment we deserved, for our sin —

Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being (peace with God) fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity (sin) of us all 

to fall on Him.

Jesus knew He would gladly do it all —

Hebrews 12:2b . . . Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame . . . 

The joy set before Him was that He could see all who would be saved from God’s wrath and reconciled to God by believing into Him, and then, all who would obey His command to stay and wait so they would be His witnesses here, walking as He walked in this world, and being as He is (1John 2:6, 4:17).

So, why was His soul deeply grieved to the point of death in the garden at Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives? 

Matthew 26

Verses 36-38 — 

Jesus was about to pray, and took James, John and Peter with Him, to a place that was a distance from the other disciples. He began to be grieved and distressed of mind. 

And He told them that His soul was deeply grieved (overwhelmed with sorrow), to the point of death. He asked them to remain with Him and keep watch with Him. He knew His death was imminent, but He also knew all I have told you, and more. 

Verses 39, 42 and 44 — 

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, and said, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” It was a cup far worse than the physical torture He knew He was about to endure! 

What overwhelmed Him with sorrow to the point of death? Separation from His Father, for the first time in eternity. 

Why would He have to be separated from His Father, for the first time in eternity? It was because He carried the sin of all mankind upon Himself. And sin causes separation from God. The LORD says through Isaiah —

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities (sins) have made a separation between you and your God . . . 

When He took the sin of the world upon Himself, the separation happened. At that moment, as recorded in Matthew 27:46, He cried out from the cross, just as David had prophesied —

Psalms 22:1  “My God, my God, why have You forsaken (left) Me? “

Yet He said three times, “Yet not as I will, but as You will!” He had come to do His Father’s will, even though it would cause a temporary separation of Him from His Father. It was just as David prophesied —

Psalm 40:7 Then I said, “Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of Me. 8  I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within My heart.”

And the writer of Hebrews confirms that David was prophesying about Jesus Christ —

Hebrews 10:7 “Behold, I have come (in the scroll of the book it is written of Me) to do Your will, O God.”

Beloved, when He prayed three times, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will,” it was so you would know that it was not possible; He had to endure separation from His Father.  

Think of it! Jesus was never separated from His Father until He was on the cross. And after He died, He was no longer separated from His Father, and after He rose and spent forty days ministering to His disciples, He rejoined His Father in heaven, sitting at His right hand (Mark 16:19, Acts 2:33, etc.). 

Why did He do it? Oh, it was not His will, but His Father’s will! He had to drink a cup that briefly separated Him from His Father, in order to save you, reconcile you, AND make you the righteousness of God in Him! That is God’s will! Paul exhorted the believers at Corinth —

2Corinthians 5:21  He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we (“might” is not in the original Greek) become the righteousness of God in Him (Christ).

You will say, “What? How can I be righteous like God?” You were born with a sin nature, as a child of Adam. But when you do your part and drink the cup that separates you from the sin nature, and separates you to God, He will fill you with His righteousness, and you will be the righteousness of God, in Christ!  But you must say, “Not my will, but Your will, Father!”

Paul exhorted the believers at Galatia —

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

Paul exhorted the believers at Rome —

Romans 12:1   Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

He paid a great, immeasurable price so you would be saved from God’s wrath, forgiven of your past sins, and reconciled to God. Those are the mercies of God! Your first response to His great mercies is to turn to Him and believe into Him. 

But in view of His great mercies, Jesus commands you and Paul beseeches you that you must also say, “Not my will, but your will, Father,” and ask Him to crucify your sin nature, separating you from sin, and to Him! Then, you are no longer separated from God the Father, but the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit dwell within you fully and permanently (John 14:23). 

He bore the wrath of God that you deserved (Romans 3:25). He was sinless, but He took your sin upon Himself! He willingly and gladly did it, because He saw all those who would be saved. Even though it meant separation from His Father while He hung on the cross, He did it so His Father would be glorified, honored, praised, and revered.

But He also paid that great, immeasurable price so that when He rose and ascended and was glorified and poured out His Holy Spirit at Pentecost, you would respond by obeying Him, staying and waiting to drink the cup of separation from your sin nature, so you are entirely separated to Him, and holy as He is holy.

He was merciful beyond merciful to you and me! He did for us what we did not deserve! So, like me, you are obligated to obey His command to stay and wait, so the sin nature you were born with is crucified. 

Then He will make you pure and spotless —

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

What is your response to what He has done for you? Do you say, “Thanks, Jesus,” and continue to sin? May it never be! Paul writes to the believers in Rome —

Romans 6:1   What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

Have you died to sin? O believer, if you are still sinning, you must know that your sin separates you from God! Drink the cup of separation from sin and separation to Him! Ask Him to crucify the sin nature in you. Then it will be dead, never to rise again. 

Instead of the sin nature, you will be a partaker of His divine nature — pure, filled with His glory, spotless, entirely separated to Him, holy as He is holy (2Peter 1:4, Leviticus 19:2, Matthew 5:48, 1Peter 1:15-16)!

Do you see it? He continues His mercy to you beyond the cross. O believer, you cannot continue willfully disobeying Him and expect to enter the kingdom of heaven. Do not be deceived (1Corinthians 6:9-10)!

His hand of mercy extends to you today, in this command to you —

Acts 1:4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

When you say, “Yet not my will, but Your will,” Jesus Christ says this will be true of you —

Acts 1:8 . . . “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Obedience to His command is the only sufficient response from you, beloved, now that you truly understand all that He did on your behalf!

Repent, turn completely way from your sin and to Christ, and believe into Him! He will surely forgive your past sins, save you from God’s wrath and reconcile you to God. 

Then, drink this cup of separation from your sin nature, and you will be separated to Him! When you have done it, He promises that He will be with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20)!

Lord Jesus, may this glorify the Father and You, and prick the hearts of many. May they respond by doing the words you have spoken through me, I pray. Amen!