THE LUKEWARM CHURCH

[SW430] 05/09/2020 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

“The Lukewarm Church”

Texts: Revelation 3:14-22, etc.

Today’s so-called church is filled with infants in Christ (1Corinthians 3:1) who are lukewarm. It is a perilous condition! Unless they repent, He will vomit them out of His mouth! You must understand that if He vomits them out, they will no longer be in Him!

Why are they lukewarm? What must they do, in order to burn with Jesus Christ’s love and zeal? He will tell you, in His letter to the lukewarm church at Laodicea.

Verse 14 —

“To the angel (pastor) of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning (Chief, Commencer) of the creation of God, says this:”

Jesus Christ is the “Amen,” the One who proved the Father’s promises and warnings to be true. He was and is faithful to speak only the truth. He is the Truth (John 14:6), and when He walked upon the earth He was the exact and true representation of the Father. And He is the Creator through whom all creation began, at His Father’s command —

Hebrews 1:2-3 (God) in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power . . .

Why does He identify Himself in this way to the church at Laodicea? It is because they have chosen to believe false teaching that says Jesus Christ is not who He says He is. As a result, the infants at Laodicea have gone so far astray that Jesus Christ is no longer among them!

It is the same, among the infants in Christ in today’s so-called church. They are taught another Jesus (2Corinthians 11:4), one who is just like them, having all of their human flaws, and one who will therefore turn a blind eye to their continued sin! False teachers even go so far as to teach that He is not the only Truth, not the only Way, not the only Life (John 14:6), and approve of the theory called evolution, rejecting Him as Creator!

Verses 15-16 — 

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”

Both Laodicea’s leaders and members are lacking! He knows their deeds — nothing is  hidden from the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13).

What are their deeds? 

They are not cold. They are not unbelievers.

They are not hot. They are not baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire, so they are not zealous for Him. Therefore, they do not earnestly, vigorously, enthusiastically  and passionately follow Him.

He wishes they were hot or cold. If they were cold, they would be part of the world system that defies God, and not believe in Him at all. Therefore, He would not be dishonored by their words and deeds. 

If they were hot, they would honor Him in every way, obeying His commandments to stay (Luke 24:49) and wait (Acts 1:4-5) to be filled with the Holy Spirit. They would be ones through whom the world will believe that the Father sent the Son (John 17:21).

But they are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. Laodicea was known for its lukewarm drinking water. The infants in the Laodicean church were as lukewarm as their water! Lukewarmness is always the result of following false teachers who teach another Jesus.

The infants at Laodicea are just like the infants in today’s church. They went through the motions of prayer and worship, but they were of no use at all to Him, for they had chosen to disobey His commandments to stay and wait. In defiance of His commandments, they chose to become captives of false teachers who taught another Jesus, and thus became captives of Satan himself.

Like today’s infants, the infants at Laodicea continually dishonored the One they called Lord. Their hearts were full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness (Matthew 23:27), because they chose to disobey His commandments to stay and wait. Had they obeyed, their sin nature would have been crucified (Galatians 5:24), their hearts would have been purified (Acts 15:9), and they would have been His witnesses, even to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

They were lukewarm, as are today’s infants. And Jesus said this to them, and also says this to today’s infants — unless they repent, He will vomit them out of His mouth. They will no longer be in Him. There is no other way to interpret His vomiting them out of His mouth than this: they will lose their salvation.

Verse 17 —

“Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable (pitiful) and poor and blind and naked . . .”

He says the Laodicean infants are the opposite of how they see themselves! It is the same today, O infants! Laodicea was a prosperous city, from a natural perspective. So, the Laodicean infants considered themselves to be rich, wealthy, and not at all spiritually needy. They believed the false teaching that they had received everything they needed, when they believed in Jesus Christ.

So, He corrects them, and corrects the infants in today’s so-called church. They are poor, they are completely lacking, and are in an extreme state of need. Their disobedience of His commands to stay and wait reveals that they do not love Him (John 14:24).

Because they have not obeyed His commandments to stay and wait, they are spiritually wretched, like the man in Romans 7. They know what is right, but continually sin because they have not crucified their sin nature, with its lusts and desires (Galatians 5:24). They are slaves to sin (John 8:34).

Because they have not obeyed His commandments to stay and wait, their spiritual condition is pitiful, in His eyes. They completely lack what they spiritually need. They have no wisdom from God, and have chosen to leave themselves defenseless against Satan’s wiles. Satan has his way with them, dangling his bait and watching all the infants — from denominational leaders to those in the pews — snap it up!

Because they have not obeyed His commandments to stay and wait, they are spiritually poverty-stricken, destitute beggars in His eyes! They have not been filled with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, they cannot be ones through whom the world will know that the Father sent the Son.

Because they have not obeyed His commandments to stay and wait, they are “blind” — inflated with self-conceit. They ignore those who exhort and warn them about their spiritual condition. Instead, they boast in themselves and all of their natural accomplishments. I testify that I hear it as I encounter infant pastors and the infants they lead.

Because they have not obeyed His commandments to stay and wait, they are spiritually naked. They are not clothed with power from on high! They should be embarrassed by their powerlessness, but their pride blinds them to their nakedness.

Many tell me there is no need to be clothed with power on high after you believe, claiming that you receive everything when you are baptized in water! Because of this false belief that is completely contrary to the Word of God, they remain naked and powerless!

Verse 18 —

“(because of your spiritual condition) I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve (plaster) to anoint (smear upon) your eyes so that you may see.” 

Many peoples flocked to Laodicea to buy its beautiful linens and eye salve. But the Laodicean infants, and the infants in today’s so-called church, are naked and blind. I will speak directly to today’s infants. All that you boast in and rely upon is nothing, in the kingdom of God. 

Jesus Christ says He is the only Source for what He says you desperately need 

Gold refined in the fire — Baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire. He will purify your heart in a moment of time (Acts 15:9), crucifying your sin nature (Galatians 5:24), when you obey His commandments to stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

White garments — Clothed with His power and purity. He will do it when you obey His commandments to stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Eye salve (plaster) — In John 9:6, He made clay and smeared it over the eyes of the man born blind. He will apply spiritual plaster to your blind eyes, so your spiritual blindness is healed and you see His truth. He will do it when you stay and wait to be filled with His Spirit. 

What is the cost, for what He says you must buy from Him? You must offer yourself as a living sacrifice, per Romans 12:1, and you must utterly detest and reject your life, so you gain His life (Matthew 16:25ff).

Verse 19 —

“Those whom I love (have affection for), I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” 

Jesus Christ has great affection for infants in Christ, but note that He does not say that He loves them with His divine love (agape). Why? They are disobeying Him! For that reason, He reproves and disciplines them, and sends Spirit-filled ones to exhort them to repent, and warn them of the consequences of their sin. 

He disciplines His children! But if you are not disciplined by Him — if you say you have never been disciplined by Him at all, because God is love and that is all He is, so you continue to disobey Him  — you are bastards, and not His children (Hebrews 12:6-8).

Therefore, He commands the infants at Laodicea — and today’s infants in the so-called church — to be zealous (that is, fervently, eagerly repent from their hearts) and repent! If they do not, He will vomit them out of His mouth. They will lose their salvation.

Verse 20 —

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”

What appalling words He must speak to those who are supposed to be His church! He is not within the infants at Laodicea, nor is He present in the church at Laodicea. Instead, He is outside, standing at the door, knocking and speaking! 

It is the same in today’s so-church that is filled with infants! He is not in them, nor is He in their buildings! How far the Laodicean infants and today’s infant-filled church have fallen from their saved position! 

But He offers mercy to them! If any infant hears His voice and opens the door to Him — obeying His commandments to stay and wait to be filled with Himself, the Father and the Spirit, He will come into them! And He will dine with them, and they will dine with Him! He will seat them at His table, and He will converse with them, feeding them the truth of His Word!

I tell you the truth, until infants in the so-called church listen, hear and heed these words and act upon them, they will remain in their wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked spiritual condition! And they will continue to dishonor Him in every way! They will not be ready when He comes to judge, but will be found wanting by Him!

Verse 21 —

“He who overcomes (becomes victorious), I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

Those who become victorious by obeying His commandments to stay and wait will reign with Him in His kingdom that is yet to come! And Paul writes that even now, those who are filled with the Spirit are seated with Him in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6)! 

We who are Spirit-filled see Him, hear Him, and eat with Him, nourished by His words, for He and the Father and the Spirit fully indwell us! And we will yet be seated before His throne, worshiping Him forever (Revelation 4:4)! 

Verse 22 —

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Do you have an ear to hear, beloved? Or have you chosen to plug your ears so you do not hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to you?

It is your choice. Will you remain in your pitiful spiritual condition, and be vomited out of His mouth? Or will you open your ears to hear, repent, and obey His commandments to stay and wait? I pray you repent and obey.

Lord Jesus, may there be ears to hear, among those who watch and listen to the message You have directed me to speak. Let it be so, I pray. Amen!

ISAIAH 58 — BE JUST AND RIGHTEOUS

Text: Isaiah 56

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be this — “Be Just and Righteous.” How blessed are the thirsty repentant ones who do this! In what way? You can only be just and righteous if you are filled with the Lord’s justice and the Lord’s righteousness. That means the thirsty repentant ones are filled with the Holy Spirit! Therefore, they bless the Lord, and He blesses them!

Who is offered this blessing? Both Jew and Gentile, the legally clean (pure) and the unclean (impure). What? It appears that He goes against the Law that He gave Moses regarding the clean and the unclean, the pure and the impure!

But His blessing is not for those who practice outward righteousness yet have unchanged, unrepentant hearts. His blessing is for those who are repentant and thirst for His righteousness, from every walk of life, and every tribe and tongue and people and nation! 

The Jewish priests and leaders rebuked Jesus Christ for keeping company with outwardly unclean ones, saying He violated the Law of Moses. But the “unclean” with whom Jesus ate and walked had repented at the words of John the Baptist, revealing that they knew they needed clean hearts. And the Jews who rebuked Him had not repented, revealing that their hearts were unclean. So He rebuked His rebukers —

Matthew 21:31 . . . “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. 32 “For John came to you in the way of righteousness (preaching repentance) and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him (and repent).”

Remember that Isaiah 54-56 are the result of our forgiveness by Jesus Christ, who bore the punishment we deserved for our sin and poured out His Holy Spirit when He was glorified, returning to the right hand of the Father, in heaven. 

Like Isaiah 54 and 55, Isaiah 56 surely pertains to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. So, these promises pertain to those who have obeyed (Acts 1:4-5) and have been filled completely and permanently with the Holy Spirit, and the Father, and the Son (John 14:23)!

Verses 1-2 —

Thus says the LORD, “Preserve (do) justice and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come and My righteousness to be revealed. 2 How blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who takes hold of it; who keeps from profaning the sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

No believer is able to continually do what is just and right in the eyes of the Lord, in their own strength. Heart change is required, for justice and righteousness are issues of the heart! 

And it is the heart that is made clean and pure when believers are filled with the Holy Spirit and the Father and the Son (John 14:23, Acts 15:9). Then you are a partaker of (literally, sharer in) His divine nature (2Peter 1:4)! Now that is heart change!

Indeed, how blessed are the ones who have been inwardly changed in this way! How blessed are the ones who seize upon this truth and will not let go until He has done it in them! 

They keep the true sabbath. They enter into the sabbatismos of Hebrews 4:10, for they have rested from their outward works that could never make them just or righteous, and now the Lord works in and through them! How blessed are they!

And they are no longer inwardly profane (unclean), for the Lord has cleansed their hearts (Acts 15:9). So they no longer do evil, for the sin nature in them is crucified (Galatians 5:24). Sin is no longer in them, so they do not sin.

Verses 3-5 — 

The Lord says, “Let not the foreigner who has joined himself (literally, entwined himself with) the LORD say, ‘The LORD will surely separate me from His people.” nor let the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.’ 4  For thus says the LORD, “To the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant, 5 to them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.”

What? The Jews who heard Isaiah say this were surely shocked! Foreigners are unclean and are required to be kept separate, according to the Law of Moses! Eunuchs are unclean and to be barred from the temple, according to the Law of Moses! But they have been looking at the Law externally, instead of at the intent of it.

What is the intent of the Law? Through the Law of Moses the LORD exposes the heart. Even now, the Law is a tutor to lead you to Christ (Galatians 3:24). When you try to be just and righteous in your own strength, you respond one two ways —

— You repent and confess that you cannot possibly be righteous and just unless He changes your heart, or 

— You foolishly continue sinning but do outwardly just and righteous things, assuming that what you are doing pleases God 

He has shown you by the Law that you cannot be just and righteous, so you will understand the condition of your heart! The Spirit-inspired Isaiah says this to the outwardly just and righteous, who continue to sin —

Isaiah 64:6a For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment . . .  

The foreigner who has joined himself to (entwined himself with) the LORD receives the promises in these verses. No longer will such ones say, “I must be kept separate.” They are filled with His holiness, and are therefore holy on the inside!

Therefore, they do not have to be concerned about the Law regarding the temple, for the Lord has made their bodies His holy temple (1Corinthians 3:16)!

And it is the same for the eunuchs who were banned from the temple. Their bodies have been made His temple, because they have entwined themselves with Him! They are filled with Him! They cannot bear children, so they think they have nothing to offer the LORD, for Him to consecrate to His service. But He will give them spiritual children!

And that is not all He will do for those whose bodies He has made His temple! He gives His house to the eunuchs who keep His true sabbath and hold fast (take hold of) His covenant (promise), believing it. Again, the Jews are shocked! But He has made the Spirit-filled eunuchs His house! Their hearts have been cleansed!

And within His walls, He will write down their names. In His eyes, their character and reputation will far exceed that of the self-righteous Jewish religious leaders and experts in the Law of Moses. Why? The eunuchs will have His nature, His character! 

And He has a house in heaven of which the earthly temple was just a copy. I believe the writing of their names within His walls refers to Jesus Christ’s words to the church at Philadelphia —

Revelation 3:12 “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.”

Many of His first sons and daughters, the Jewish people, treated the Law as outward works that must be done so they would be righteous. Because they did these works, they boasted in them. Yet many of His first sons and daughters rejected His Christ, God the Son, whom He sent first to them and then to all of us (Romans 1:16)!

These filled ones who were banned and rejected but who have entwined themselves with Him have received the Spirit of adoption, by which they cry, “Abba! Father!” (See Romans 8:15.) The Lord adopted them in order to make His first children so jealous that they repent (Romans 11:11).

He honors any who are banned and rejected, and any who see that their outward cleanliness is like filthy garments, in His eyes! He honors any today who no longer try to be outwardly just and righteous, and see that only He can do it, in their hearts! How blessed are those!

Verses 6-8 —

The LORD says, “Also the sons of the foreigner (foreigners) who join them-

selves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants— everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant—7 even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” 8 The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says,“Yet I will gather to him Others besides those who are gathered to him.” (NKJV)

He gathers the outcasts of Israel, those rejected by His people as being unclean, and He will yet gather repentant Israel (Romans 11:23) and other outcasts of Israel, even until the moment when we all rise to meet the Lord in the sky, as Paul teaches the believers at Corinth —

1Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Again, He declares that all who obey Him because they are filled with Him will be brought by Him to His holy mountain — the heavenly Zion — and He will make them joyful in His house of prayer! When their temple is filled with Him, they will be filled with joy indescribable and full of glory (1Peter 1:8)! And it will be much more so when they enter the heavenly Zion! 

They have not offered Him the blood of bulls and goats which cannot cleanse away the sin nature that was in them (Hebrews 10:4). Instead, they have offered themselves as living sacrifices — whole burnt offerings who have been cleansed by the fire of the Holy Spirit —  so they are holy and pleasing to the Lord, for that is their spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1).  I tell you the truth, such sacrifices are accepted on His altar, and pleasing to Him! 

He commands all believers to do the same (Acts 1:4-5)! When they repent and obey His command to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, He will purify their hearts, filling them with the Holy Spirit. And then He will bring them to His holy mountain the heavenly Zion! 

They will be able to ascend to the hill of the LORD, here and now, and when He takes them to Himself —

Psalm 24:3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive a blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Verse 9-11—

But as for those who rebel against Him and refuse to repent, the LORD has a different judgment. The Spirit-inspired Isaiah says —

Isaiah 56:9  All you beasts of the field, all you beasts in the forest, come to eat.

10 His watchmen are blind, all of them know nothing. All of them are mute dogs unable to bark, dreamers lying down, who love to slumber. 11 And the dogs are greedy, they are not satisfied. And they are shepherds who have no understanding; 

they have all turned to their own way, each one to his unjust gain, to the last one.

Their watchmen were supposed to watch for danger, and warn the people when they saw danger approaching. But their watchmen had made themselves blind and knew nothing. They did not know the Lord, though they were supposed to be His servants. 

It is the same today. Many of today’s church leaders and false prophets have made themselves blind by refusing the truth of the Word of God, teaching and prophesying things that are contrary to His Word. They do not know the Lord intimately, though they are supposed to be His servants. So, He will judge them —

Matthew 7:23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never (absolute negative, never ever) knew you; depart from Me, you who practice (do) lawlessness (sin)!’”

When a dog barks because it hears or sees something that threatens it, the dog’s owner is warned. But these watchmen could not bark and warn, for they had made themselves mute. They could not utter a sound. 

They were like those who dream and those who love to sleep, though danger was at the door! They were asleep at their posts! It is the same today, beloved!

They were like greedy dogs who were never satisfied. They were shepherds who had no understanding, no intimate knowledge of Him. They had all turned away from the LORD and to their own way. They loved unjust gain. All of them were like that, to the last one. Today, there are a few true watchmen, a few true shepherds, but most are just as the LORD describes.

What is the danger for which they should have been warning His people? His judgment, if they did not repent. 

Therefore, because they did not warn His people, the LORD judges them. The beasts of the field and forest will feast on their dead bodies. They will be considered as refuse in the Lord’s eyes, unworthy even of a proper burial.

Just as Paul exhorted the believers at Ephesus, I exhort today’s church leaders and you, beloved —

Ephesians 5:14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead,

and Christ will give you light.” 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit . . . (NKJV)

Verse 12 —

So, what was the response of these blind and mute ones who love to sleep? Did they repent? No! They ignored the warnings the LORD directed at them! 

The Spirit-inspired Isaiah describes their words and their hearts — “Come,” they say, “Let us get wine and let us drink heavily of strong drink, and tomorrow will be like today, only more so.”

The watchmen did not see the danger because they were blind. They knew nothing. They could not warn, even if they could see, for they were mute. They slept, they loved to slumber. They were shepherds with no understanding. They had turned to their own way instead of following the Lord. 

So, they pleased themselves. They drank until they were drunk. They blindly believed that there was no danger that would come tomorrow. They believed that everything would be the same tomorrow as it was today. “No worries,” they told His people!

But the bodies of these watchmen who were blind and shepherds who did not know Him would surely will be devoured by the beasts of the field and the beasts in the forest! And God’s people would go into captivity. There are many captives in the church today who are slaves to sin, captives to it, and are told by their leaders, “No worries!”

The LORD speaks through Jeremiah —

Jeremiah 23:1  “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the LORD. 

Woe, indeed! But you are hearing the true words of the LORD, from His Word. I speak what He shows me, and do not leave out a word. It is so you will be warned of the danger that lies ahead for you, if you do not repent and return to the LORD, and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit, as He commands (Acts 1:4-5)! 

So, repent! When you obey His command to be filled with His Spirit, your heart will be entirely changed, and you will walk in all of the Lord’s promises, for they are “Yes” and you are the “Amen,” when Christ is in you, large and in charge (2Corinthians 1:20)! Then you will cry, “Amen! Truth! He did it in me!” 

Lord Jesus, may today’s believers and church leaders wake up, and rise from the dead, for surely, You will fill them with Your light, and they will become the Amen to all of Your promises. Make it so, I pray. Amen.

THE REST-LESS CHURCH

[SW429] 05/02/2020 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

“The Rest-Less Church”

Texts: Ezekiel 34:11-15, Hebrews 4:9-11, etc.

How wonderful it is to enter the rest into which the Lord commands every believer to enter! But many infants in Christ (1Corinthians 3:1) who attend today’s so-called church are rest-less. Why? They have not entered into His rest!

The Lord directed me to show you why many infants have not entered His rest and are therefore rest-less, and to show you how to enter into His rest. I will use Ezekiel 34:11-15 and Hebrews 4:9-11, along with a few other scriptures.

Why are they rest-less?

The Lord declares that He will feed His sheep and lead them into His rest. But most infants are fed lies by false shepherds — lies that lead such infants away from His rest, rather than into His rest. 

Therefore, such infants starve, and are rest-less. Today’s so-called church is filled with rest-less infants!

But they have chosen to starve and be rest-less, because they have chosen to believe the ear-pleasing lies of the false shepherds. If a true shepherd comes along and tells them the truth — that they must obey Jesus Christ’s commandments to stay (Luke 24:49) and wait (Acts 1:4-5), so they enter into His rest — they are offended, and reject the truth, for the true shepherd has told them they need something they do not have!

So, they choose to reject the truth, and choose to starve, and choose to be rest-less. They do not enter into His rest. And unless they repent, they will perish. I will show it to you.

What lies do their false shepherds teach? 

That believers cannot help but sin, so they must live their lives as wretches who wrestle with it, like the man in Romans 7. But Paul says that those who are in Christ have crucified the sin nature, with its lusts and desires (Galatians 5:24). So this lie of the false shepherds leads infants away from entering into His rest. 

That the Lord understands their helplessness. But Jesus Christ says that those who are slaves to sin will not enter the kingdom of God (John 8:35), but that if His disciples continue in His word, they will know the truth, and the truth will set them free from slavery to sin  (John 8:31-32). He says He will set them completely free (John 8:36)! So this lie of the false shepherds leads infants away from entering into His rest. 

  That in order to qualify for heaven, they must exhaust themselves by doing good works that any kind-hearted unbeliever would do. But Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees who did good works but continued to sin, saying that they did not enter into His kingdom, and kept others from entering in (Matthew 23:13). So this lie of the false shepherds leads infants away from entering into His rest. 

That once they are saved, they are always saved — they cannot lose their salvation. But Jesus Christ warns the church at Sardis that unless they repent, He will erase their names from the book of life (Revelation 3:5, Psalm 69:28). And Paul writes that those who continue to sin will not enter the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:21). So this lie of the false shepherds leads infants away from entering into His rest. 

That they are rich and wealthy and in need of nothing. But Jesus Christ says they are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked (Revelation 3:17), and that if they do not repent, He will vomit them out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16). If He vomits them out, they are no longer in Him! So this lie of the false shepherds leads infants away from entering into His rest. 

Do you see it? These false shepherds twist the gospel of Jesus Christ, and teach things that are completely contrary to the Word of God, leading infants away from entering into His rest.  Beloved, He calls to you today, to run from the lying false shepherds who lead you to destruction, and to turn back to Him!

In Ezekiel’s day, God’s people were in exile in Babylon. But the LORD promised His rest to the repentant, in Ezekiel 34:11-15 —

Verses 11-12 —

For thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. 12 “As a shepherd cares for (seeks) his herd (flock) in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for (seek) My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day.”

His entire so-called church has been scattered away from Him because of their sin. But among them are those who will repent and obey His commandments to stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit. 

He Himself will deliver His entire flock from the false shepherds. He will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered because of their sin.

But after He delivers them, He will judge between one sheep and another (see Verse 17), separating the unrepentant ones from the repentant ones. Then, His repentant ones will enter into His rest, and will never again be rest-less. But His unrepentant ones will perish.

Verses 13-14 —

I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. 14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down (rest) on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.”

He will bring repentant ones into His good pasture. Then He will feed them the rich food of His truth, through His shepherds. And they will lie down — they will enter into His rest!

Verse 15 —

“I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord GOD.

Again, He declares that He will feed His repentant ones the truth, and He will lead them into His rest. Then they will no longer be rest-less, wretched, afraid and distraught, like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36). He will be their shepherd, and they will enter into His rest!

The Lord declares that He will do it, so He will surely do it. He did it in me, when I repented and stayed and waited to be filled, 18 years ago!

What is His rest that believers must enter into?

The writer of Hebrews describes it   

Hebrews 4:9 So there remains a Sabbath rest (sabbatismos) for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 

The Jews outwardly observed each Saturday as a sabbath, a day of physical rest, to honor the Lord. But that was only a shadow of the Sabbath rest that Jesus Christ commands all believers to enter. No Greek word could adequately describe this rest, so the writer of Hebrews coined a new word, sabbatismos, to describe it. 

It is a rest for the people of God if they will enter into it. But as I have said, many infants have chosen to believe the lies of the false shepherds. 

But beloved, if you will cast aside those lies today, and stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you will enter into His rest! 

When God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit permanently and fully enter you (John 14:23), you will stop working. Why? God will work in you and through you!

Oh, beloved! You will be amazed at what He will do through you! You will become one through whom the world will believe that the Father sent the Son (John 17:21)! That is the purpose of obeying His commandments to stay and wait!

You will have a front-row seat to watch Him work through you to save people from God’s wrath and reconcile them to God, and then to see Him fill those who come to believe in Him! He has prepared God-works in advance, for you to walk in, and you will walk in them (Ephesians 5:10)! You will walk in His works!

And you will have a front-row seat to watch Him work in you, as He takes you from one degree of Christlikeness to the next and the next (2Corinthians 3:18), as you continue to know Him more deeply! You will no longer sin, but you will reflect Him more and more, as you walk with Him!

But the writer of Hebrews then gives this exhortation and warning to the Hebrew believers, and to you —

Verse 11 — 

Therefore let us be diligent (quick) to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience (that is, will not do the same as Israel, who sinned against the Lord and refused to repent).

The people of God disobeyed Him in the wilderness, and believed the words of false shepherds. They fell away from the Lord, and  perished in the wilderness. The writer of Hebrews used them as an example for the Hebrew believers to whom he wrote.

He warned them to be quick to enter that rest, so that they would not fall and perish! They were in danger of falling  — that is, losing their salvation — because of their disobedience! 

It is the same among today’s infants! Therefore, I exhort all infants to quickly enter into the Lord’s sabbatismos, so they do not fall, and lose their salvation! Do not believe the lie of the false shepherds that once you are saved, you are always saved! 

In Jesus Christ’s letter to the church at Sardis (Revelation 3:1-5), He warned the sinning infants at Sardis that if they did not repent, He would erase their names from the book of life (Revelation 3:1-5)! They would lose their salvation!

Paul used two chapters in particular — 1Corinthians 10 and 11 — to warn the sinning infants at Corinth that they were in danger of losing their salvation because they had chosen to turn away from the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and had begun to believe the ear-pleasing lies of false shepherds.

The Lord does not desire any to perish, but that all should come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). So repent quickly, so you do not perish!

But you must choose! Will you rebel and refuse to enter into His rest? Will you continue to listen to the lies of the false shepherds? Then you will remain rest-less, and be in grave danger of losing your salvation! 

Or will you believe and obey? Then you will enter into His rest! Hallelujah! And He will work in and through you, so you become one through whom the world believes that the Father sent the Son!

Lord Jesus, You command all believers to enter into Your glorious rest! May many see that they are rest-less, and repent and obey Your commandments. Let it be so, I pray. Amen!

ISAIAH SESSION 57 — FREE, FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY

Text: Isaiah 55

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “Free, For a Limited Time Only.” Seek the Lord — literally, diligently search for Him, the way a thirsty person searches for water — while He may be found! Call on Him while He is near! And He promises that if you do, He will give you something that costs you nothing, but cost Him greatly! Right now, before you begin to watch or read the notes for this session, ask yourself what you are seeking, beloved. 

Now is the favorable day of the LORD (Isaiah 61:2). Jesus Christ proclaimed it, in Luke 4:19! But in that same verse from Isaiah 61, the Lord also says that a day of the vengeance of our God will come, for those who reject Him and rebel against Him. Seek Him now! Call on Him now! Why?

God’s people, then and now, need something that only He can give them. And He will give it to them without cost. But it is not natural provision. Their lack is spiritual! So He will freely give them the Holy Spirit, if they will diligently search for Him, turning away from their sin and turning back to Him!

The Lord showed me something that I must share, regarding Isaiah 53-56. They are closely linked, because all of the promises in Chapters 54-56 are the result of Jesus Christ’s death, resurrection and glorification, prophesied in Chapter 53.

Verse 1 —

The LORD cries out loudly to His deaf people, saying, “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters, and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk, without money and without cost.”

Wine and milk are symbols of abundance. But the LORD is not offering natural abundance. He offers spiritual abundance to the thirsty and poor in spirit, those who see their spiritual need. Jesus Christ tells us what He is freely offering —

Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

Spiritual abundance cannot be bought, in any sense of the word. Simon the magician learned that (see Acts 8:18-19), when he tried to pay Peter and John to lay hands on him so he would be filled with the Spirit! Peter saw that Simon was poisoned in his spirit and in the chains of sin, and warned him to repent (Acts 8:20-23)! It is the same today, for those who offer the Holy Spirit for money!

Jesus Christ says He is the source of the spiritual waters that those who are thirsty and hungry for righteousness will cry out to receive —

John 7:37   Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

I am speaking to today’s believers. Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness? Who will satisfy your thirst? The Lord, by filling you with His Holy Spirit!

He died, rose, ascended and was glorified. He paid for your salvation, taking the punishment you deserved. He is the Source of the living water with which He will fill you. He answered the woman at the well, saying 

John 4:13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water (from the well) will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well (fountain) of water springing up to eternal life.”

Come to His waters, beloved! Come and freely receive His spiritual abundance!

Verse 2 —

The Lord asks,  “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?  Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good (beautiful), and delight yourself in abundance.”

The people of God, then and now, spend money for natural things that they think will satisfy them. But natural things cannot possibly spiritually satisfy their spiritual need. 

He addresses you individually, beloved. Listen carefully to Him (literally, obey Him). Ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit, as He commands (Acts 1:4-5). Then you will eat what is good — His true spiritual food! The Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, and the Father and the Holy Spirit will fully indwell you (John 14:23), and you will delight in His spiritual abundance within you! He will fill you up until you overflow (Romans 5:5)!

Verse 3 —

The Lord commands, “Incline (turn, bend, yield) your ear, and come to Me (pursue Me). Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you—the sure mercies of David.” (NKJV)

His people, both then and now, have put their fingers in their ears, and screwed their eyes shut (see Isaiah 6:10)! So He commands them to yield their ears, opening them up. And He commands them to pursue Him! If they do, He will make with them a new and everlasting covenant —

Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

Jeremiah 32:39 and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. 40I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.”

The LORD never failed to return His repentant people to the land, in order to keep the promise (the covenant) He made with David, that there would always be a man on David’s throne. It was a sure promise! Yet, you may say that there is not a king on the throne in Israel today, nor was there a king on the throne in Israel when Jesus walked the earth.

But David knew that the LORD’s covenant with Him was a spiritual covenant. The LORD commanded Nathan, David’s seer, to speak His promise to David —

1Samuel 7:12 “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
And David responded —

2Samuel 7:18   Then David the king went in and sat before the LORD, and he said, “Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far? 19 “And yet this was insignificant in Your eyes, O Lord GOD, for You have spoken also of the house of Your servant concerning the distant future . . .” 

Verse 4 —

The LORD says, “Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.” 

Surely, that was true of King David, who was a leader and commander of Israel, and who was faithful to the LORD, shepherding His people in the integrity of his heart, and guiding them with his skillful hands (see Psalm 78:72).

But God the Father has made God the Son, Jesus Christ, His true Witness. He was and is the exact representation of Him (Hebrews 1:3). And upon His holy mountain, in the heavenly Zion, God the Father has installed God the Son as His King (see Psalm 2:6)! 

Verse 5 —

The LORD speaks further, saying, “Behold, you will call a nation you do not know, and a nation which knows you not will run to you, because of the LORD your God, even the Holy One of Israel, for He has glorified you.”

King David prayed to the LORD, rejoicing over how He faithfully kept His promise to him —

Psalm 18:43 You have delivered me from the contentions of the people; You have placed me as head of the nations; a people whom I have not known serve me. 44  As soon as they hear, they obey me; foreigners submit to me.

But how much more has the Father fulfilled this promise, through God the Son! The nations — non-Jews — believed into Him while He walked the earth, and both Jew and non-Jew have come to faith in Jesus Christ over the 2,000 years since He was crucified, rose, ascended and was glorified at the right hand of the Father!None of them had known Him, but they ran to Him when they saw who He is!

Non-Jews who have made Him King by being filled with His Spirit serve Him and when they hear His voice, they immediately obey Him. They are fully submitted to Him, for He rules and reigns in their hearts! 

As I have spoken from John 7:37, it all happened when He was glorified and poured out His Spirit in this new way, so He fully and permanently indwells the hearts of believers who obey Jesus Christ’s command to stay and wait (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5)!

Verses 6-7 —

Therefore, in view of what the LORD has spoken, the Spirit-inspired Isaiah cries, “Seek (daresh, diligently search for) the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake His way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. And let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

NOTE: In Verse 7, there is no “let” and “let him” in the original Hebrew. O wicked one, forsake your way, and unrighteous one, forsake your thoughts, and return to the LORD!

Beloved! Hear Him! In view all the promises that God has promised — spiritual food and drink, the abundance of Him in you —  repent and search for Him and call out to Him to change your heart! 

Diligently search for Him, for He is a rewarder of such ones (Hebrews 11:6)! Repent! Forsake your wicked way and your unrighteousness! If He has to say it, that means many have not done it, both in the days of Isaiah, and today!

Do it now, for this free offer is for a limited time only! Do it while He may be found, and while He is near! If you do not repent, there will come a day of His vengeance — at the end of things, or at your death — when you will no longer be able to seek Him, and when you will no longer be able to call on Him!

Beloved, if you will repent, He will have compassion on you! He will abundantly pardon you, heaping His mercy upon you! But do it now, for this offer is free, but for a limited time only!

Verses 8-9 —

The LORD says He will do it. Why?“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Those who are not filled with the Holy Spirit do not think as He thinks and do as He does. They would never pardon someone who had continuously rejected and mistreated them! But the Lord abundantly pardons such ones, if they will forsake their wicked ways and their unrighteous thoughts! What? Oh, His mercy is great to any who will return to Him. I testify to it personally, because I was wicked and unrighteous, but when I turned to Him, He freely and abundantly pardoned me!

I tell you the truth, unforgiveness toward others — even others in the church — is a terrible plague among today’s infants in Christ (1Corinthians 3:1) who still display the poisoned fruit of the sin nature (Galatians 5:19-21)! 

Oh, infant believer, repent before the Lord and ask Your Father in heaven  to fill you with the Holy Spirit! Then you will bear His glorious fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) and will freely forgive because you have become a partaker (literally, sharer) of His divine nature (2Peter 1:4)!

Verses 10-11 —

How sure is His word? Can you count on Him to fulfill His promise to crucify your sin nature and make you a sharer of His divine nature when He fills you with His Spirit? 

The LORD says, “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so  shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me void (without effect), but it shall accomplish what I please (literally, takes pleasure in), and it shall prosper (push forward) in the thing for which I sent it.” (NKJV)

If you will repent, He will surely do all He has said He will do, just as He ensures that the rain and snow come and provide natural abundance! He withholds natural rain and provision only when His people rebel against Him, in order to bring His people to repentance.

His Word goes forth from His mouth. Therefore, it shall not return to Him without effect, but it will do all that He takes pleasure in. You will find Him when you search for Him with all of your heart (Jeremiah 29:13)! 

Verse 12-13 —

When you repent, O believer, these promises from the LORD are yours, and you will experience them personally and fully! Listen and heed His command to diligently seek Him now, and call on Him now, and He will do it! 

He says, “For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,  and all the trees of the field will clap their hands (leaves). Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up, and instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up, and it will be a memorial to the LORD, for an everlasting sign which will not be cut off (destroyed).”

You will go out with joy indescribable and full of glory (1Peter 1:8), and be led forth with peace! You will be at peace with Him and will gladly follow as He leads! And you will be filled with His peace — not peace as the world gives, but His divine peace (John 14:27)!

No more will your heart be filled with thorns and nettles! Cypress and myrtle require consistently moist soil with frequent watering. But when you are filled with His Holy Spirit, you will be filled with His living, life-giving water. It will be a never-ending fountain, just as Jesus Christ declared to the woman at the well in John 4:14! 

You will be completely and permanently filled with His Spirit, so full that it will flow from your belly like rushing, flood-stage rivers, to give life to those around you, wherever you go (John 7:38)! 

This will be a memorial to the Lord, an honor to Him, for it will be evident that He has done it — not you. You will become a testimony that He does what He says HE will do! When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you are filled forever (John 14:16). He will never leave or forsake you, for you will no longer sin against the Lord. You will walk as He walks, and be as He is in the world —

1John 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

1John 4:16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 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.

Beloved, if you compare yourself with this word and find that you have not diligently sought Him and you have not upon Him, do it now! This is a free offer, but it is for limited time only. Repent and obey His command to be filled with His Spirit!

Lord Jesus, may these words awaken many believers from their sleep, so they rise up to obey Your commands. Let it be so, I pray. Amen!

A CHURCH FILLED WITH STRANGERS

[SW428] 04/25/2020 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

“A Church Filled With Strangers”

Texts: Matthew 13:24-30 

As I was meditating on the Word, the Lord said, “A church filled with strangers.” It really struck me, because when I look at today’s church, I see that much of the church is filled with strangers. What do I mean, and how did it happen?

First, what do I mean? Jesus Christ warned the church of tares sown among His wheat. Paul spoke of infants in Christ who are easily led to believe another Jesus. 

Jesus warned of ravenous wolves, and Paul warned of savage wolves who would come into His church from outside, and even rise up from among them. Such ones are the strangers who have filled the church.

How did it happen? The Lord showed me three things which resulted in His church being filled with strangers —  1) Satan’s direct sowing of strangers in the church, 2) infants in Christ who refuse to obey His commandments to stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), and 3) savage wolves who are false teachers.

1) Satan’s direct sowing of strangers in the church

Matthew 13:24  Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 “But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 And He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves  said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ 

Matthew 13: 29  But he  said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

Jesus Christ went back to the Father after He sowed good seed in the field which He owns — His church. He left called-out ones to watch over His church. When the church began, leaders were required to be called-out ones — filled with the Holy Spirit, their sin nature crucified and their hearts purified (Galatians 5:24, Acts 15:9). 

The Holy Spirit gave the called-out ones God’s wisdom and discernment, so that in every way, they were equipped to lead and minister. When the church began, if a believer was not filled with the Spirit and God’s wisdom, that one was not permitted to do even the most basic of ministries (Acts 6:3).

But even today, many who watch over His church are not appointed by Him, but by men. They are not His called-out ones, for they are infants in Christ who are not filled with the Holy Spirit. So they do not have crucified sin natures and pure hearts. They do not have God’s wisdom and discernment. So they are completely unequipped to lead and minister.

Therefore, it required no effort at all for Satan to come into the field of today’s church and sow his seed — tares which are weeds that look like wheat until they begin to form their fruit. The tares are those in the pews who are Satan’s offspring and therefore have never belonged to Jesus Christ. 

It was because Satan tempted Adam to sin that all humans born since Adam, including you and me, are born with a sin nature. It is no coincidence that the fruit of the sin nature is sin 

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

The Lord’s harvest is drawing near. His called-out ones have gone out into the church to check on His harvest. They immediately see the tares, and report back to the Lord, asking Him if He wants to pull them up.

But He commands them to leave Satan’s offspring until the harvest. At that time, His reapers will pull up Satan’s offspring, bind them in bundles, and burn them in the fire of hell. But His called-out ones will be harvested and gathered to Him.

So, the tares are Satan’s offspring which He sowed in Jesus Christ’s field — the church. They cannot produce His fruit because they are Satan’s seed and not His seed. Thus, they bear Satan’s fruit — sin. These tares, Satan’s offspring, are among the strangers who have filled the church. Jesus Christ will send His angels to gather them and throw them into the lake of fire, at the end of things (Revelation 20:15).

2) Infants in Christ who refuse to obey Him

Paul exhorted the infants in Christ at the church in Corinth —

1Corinthians 3:1, 3  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (KJV)

They are carnal, which means their sin nature is alive and well. It has not been crucified, though all Christians are required to have a crucified sin nature (again, Galatians 5:24). Therefore, they walk as men. They do not walk as Christ walked, in this world (1John 2:6).

Paul easily discerns that the infants in Christ are carnal because of the fruit of the sin nature that they bear — in this passage, envying, strife, and divisions. But they bear all the fruit of it, and He addresses the rest in other passages. 

His extreme concern and strong exhortations are well-founded! Why? Those who bear the fruit of the sin nature will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:21).

Infants in Christ are carnal, not spiritual. So, they do not heed called-out ones who exhort them to be filled with the Spirit. Instead, they not only prefer to hear, but have chosen to heed the ear-pleasing words of false teachers who teach another Jesus (2Corinthians 11:4) —  one who will please their sin nature, with its lusts and desires, and one who turns a blind eye to their sin.

They actively reject Jesus Christ’s commandments to stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit, revealing that they do not love Him (John 14:24). Many infants have said to me, “I do not need ‘it.’”

Because they have chosen to disobey His commandments, they have chosen to become ones who continually dishonor Him through their words and actions. They have chosen to be among the strangers who fill His church.

Savage wolves

Jesus warns of the coming savage wolves —

Matthew 7:15   “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous (seizing) wolves. 16 “You will know them by their fruits . . .”

Infants in Christ have no discernment because they are not filled with the Holy Spirit. The false prophets outwardly appear to be His sheep, so they accept them as His sheep, and are easily deceived by them. 

These savage wolves do not bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). But the infants in Christ do not notice, for they do not bear the fruit of the Spirit either.

The infants have chosen to remain blind, so they do not see that the mission of the false teachers is to seize them and destroy their faith in Christ. They seize them by teaching them another Jesus who pleases the infants’ sin nature, with its lusts and desires.

Thus, the infants in Christ choose to turn away from Christ and turn to the false Jesus that they teach. So they choose to be among the strangers who fill His church, just as the false teachers are among the strangers who fill His church.

Paul sternly warns the leaders of the church at Ephesus about savage wolves —

Acts 20:28  Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 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. 31 Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.

As I have said, many who are leaders of today’s church are not filled with the Holy Spirit. They are infants in Christ. They are unequipped to be on guard, because they have no spiritual discernment. Thus, savage wolves have come in and have even arisen from among those in the pews. They have been ruthless, not sparing infants in the pews and infant leaders. 

Many infants in Christ are drawn by their ear-pleasing words. But though they speak perverse things that are entirely contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ, the infants do not see it. Again, they teach that Jesus came to make their lives better. They teach that He turns a blind eye to the sin they continue to commit. They teach that what God calls evil is good, and what God calls good is evil.

But again, the infants in Christ have chosen to be misled. They have chosen to refuse to obey Jesus Christ’s commandments to stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit. So they have chosen to be wide open to believe the lies of false teachers.

Had they obeyed Jesus Christ’s commandments to stay and wait until they are filled with the Holy Spirit, their sin nature would be crucified. Because sin would no longer be in them, false teachers would no longer be able to successfully tempt them to sin. Their hearts would be purified and they would be filled with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. No false teacher is able to deceive such ones.

But they chose to disobey Him, so they have chosen to be among the strangers who fill His church. And they have chosen their end. 

Satan’s offspring will be gathered and burned, as Jesus has said. And as Paul has said, infants in Christ whose sin nature has not been crucified will bear the fruit of the sin nature, and thus will not enter the kingdom of God. 

The prescription for restoration

I would never leave you hopeless, beloved. There is hope for some of you!

The children of Satan who have filled Jesus Christ’s church will not repent, for they are not and have never been Jesus Christ’s. So there is no hope for them, for they will refuse to repent. 

But for infants in Christ who have chosen to become strangers in His church, there is still time to repent. Therefore, I exhort all infants in Christ to repent, for I have warned you of the consequences of your sin. The offer to repent is a limited-time offer, so do it today. As the Lord urged His rebellious people through Isaiah —

Isaiah 55:6-7  Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Lord Jesus, may many infants return to You, so they are no longer among the strangers that fill Your church. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.

ISAIAH SESSION 56 — SHOUT FOR JOY!

Text: Isaiah 54

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “Shout For Joy!” Surely, for all the repentant ones among God’s people (including today’s believers), there is very good news from the Lord, who welcomes back those who repent! What good news I have for you, if you will repent, O believer!

Verse 1 —

The LORD says, through Isaiah, “Shout for joy, O barren (unfruitful) one, you who have borne no child (did not bear); break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed (that is, labored with child); for the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous than the sons of the married woman,” says the LORD.

This cannot mean natural children, because the women of Judah and Jerusalem bore several generations while in Babylonian captivity (see Jeremiah 29:6). The meaning is therefore spiritual. They have been spiritually barren, exiled, unable to bear spiritual children, because they sinned against the LORD and were sent into exile.

But those who repent will break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud. Why? The unfruitful ones who repent will have more offspring than the married woman. I believe the married woman refers to Judah and Jerusalem before they sinned against the LORD by worshiping false gods. But her children were natural children. 

As I taught from Isaiah 49 (in Session 51 of this Bible study) there will be natural children who return to the land, after the 70 years of captivity are completed. But the Jews will bear spiritual children by way of Jesus Christ. 

When Jewish believers in Christ are filled with the Holy Spirit, they will bear two kinds of fruit — the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), but also, spiritual offspring! They will have far more spiritual children than any married woman can naturally produce. 

Who are all these children? All who believe into Jesus Christ, first by way of the Jews who waited for the infilling of the Holy Spirit, and then by non-Jews who heard the message of salvation and sanctification that they brought on beautiful feet!

Indeed, all of us who bear spiritual children rejoice greatly, with joy indescribable and full of glory! 

Verses 2-3 —

The LORD continues, “Enlarge the place of your tent (tabernacle); stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not, lengthen your cords, and strengthen your pegs. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your descendants will possess nations and will resettle the desolate cities.”

When Judah first returned to the land to resettle their ruined cities, including Jerusalem, they had to live in tents because most of the cities had been destroyed. The number of their natural children required them to enlarge their tents, stretch them out, and lengthen and strengthen their anchors — that is, their tents’ cords and pegs — in order to provide room for them.

But spiritually, it is much more than this! In Spirit-filled believers, both Jew and non-Jew, the Lord has enlarged and stretched out their tents. How? Their bodies have become a tabernacle in which the Father, the Son and the Spirit fully and permanently indwell (John 14:23). 

Then they have a sure and strong Anchor, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 6:18-19), and they go forth with beautiful feet, carrying the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and shouting for joy!

Such ones bear many spiritual children. Who are they? Those who have been in ruins and left desolate because of their sin, just like Judah, but now believe into Jesus and are saved and reconciled to God! But that is not the end of the work of the Spirit-filled! They then build up believers until they reach the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ (Ephesians 4:13), so they also have the anchor of Christ!

Beloved, I testify that the Lord has enlarged me and stretched me out, so I am able to build up believers until they are filled with the Holy Spirit. I go out, and people are saved and reconciled, and I build them up until they are filled. 

What a church growth strategy! But remember, the church is not a building, but all who believe into Jesus Christ! When each one is filled, they are rapidly enlarged, stretched, lengthened and strengthened so they are steadfast and immovable (1Corinthians 15:58), because Christ is their Anchor! Now that is true church growth! Oh, shout for joy!

I must exhort the church, which does many things in the natural because many of her members and even her leaders are infants in Christ, and not yet spiritual (1Corinthians 3:1). Enlarging and stretching is not symbolic of building more and bigger church buildings. There is far too much of that in today’s church! The church is not made of brick and mortar, or stone, or wood and nails! It is made of believers! Yet in many churches, there is no sound of spiritual construction work (Ephesians 4:11-13), and therefore, there are no shouts of joy indescribable and full of glory (1Peter 1:8)!

Verse 4-5 —

The LORD continues, “Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; and do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; but you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.

For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the LORD of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, who is called the God of all the earth.”

What good news! There is no fear or shame or humiliation for the repentant ones who will return to Judah, as well as those who are filled with the Spirit even today! They are no longer shamed by the LORD, or shameful in His eyes. 

Who speaks such great news? Their husband, their Maker and Redeemer, the LORD of hosts. It is Jesus Christ who is their Bridegroom. He comes for a repentant bride, beloved, one who is filled with His glory, pure and spotless and unable to be accused (see Ephesians 5:27)! And He will do these things in you, if you repent and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit! Oh, shout for joy!

In the natural, Judah was surely shamed and mocked and threatened by their enemies when they returned to rebuild Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3:11, 4:1-3, etc.). But because of the LORD’s great mercy and His influence on the hearts of Medo-Persian kings, they were able to rebuild the city.

For believers who have been in spiritual ruins but have now repented, there is no longer any need to be afraid of the punishment of the Lord. You are no longer shamed by Him, nor are you seen as shameful in His eyes. Others may mock and threaten you, but you will be rebuilt by Spirit-filled apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers until God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit permanently indwell you (Ephesians 4:11-13)!

Verses 6-8 —

The LORD says, “For the LORD has called you, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,” says your God. “For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion (mercy) I will gather you. In an outburst of anger, I hid My face from you for a moment, but with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer.

He extends His mercy and lovingkindness to any who will repent for their sin! He gathers repentant believers back to Himself. He gathers those who were formerly unbelievers! He was angry with them, and their sin separated them from Him until they repented (Isaiah 59:1-2). But now, Jesus Christ frees them from captivity to slavery to sin (John 8:31-36), and makes them His dwelling place by filling them with His Spirit (John 14:23)!

Verses 9-10 —

The LORD continues, “For this is like the days of Noah to Me, when I swore that the waters of Noah would not flood the earth again; so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you nor will I rebuke you. For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, 

and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says the LORD who has compassion on you.

The LORD says His promise to His repentant ones is as sure as His promise to Noah, after the flood waters receded. He promised Noah that He would never flood the earth again (Genesis 9:11). In the same way, He swears that He will never again be angry again with His people, nor will He rebuke them.

That cannot possibly refer to the Jews and their leaders in Judah and Jerusalem, for Jesus Christ continually rebuked them, when He walked the earth. So, not all Jews are included in this promise — but the repentant ones who have believed into their Messiah are included! It is the repentant whom He will welcome back. It is the repentant who will seek to be filled with His Spirit. And then He will never be angry with them again, nor will He rebuke them.

Again, what do the repentant ones do? They go on to obey Jesus Christ’s command to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5). His promise is for them! They no longer sin against Him, for Jesus Christ, their Husband, has set them free from slavery to sin by crucifying the sin nature in them. So, there is nothing in them to make Him angry, and nothing in them for Him to rebuke!

The mountains will surely be removed and the hills will shake, at the end of things (2Peter 3:10, Revelation 16:20, etc.). But His love — the same love He has for His Son — will not be removed, and His promise of peace will not be shaken!

Verses 11-12 —

The LORD says, “O afflicted (humbled) one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires. Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies, and your gates of crystal, and your entire wall of precious stones.”

When God’s people repent, He removes the afflictions and storms that He has placed on them, through their enemies. And He comforts them! O beloved! If you will ask to be filled with the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, you surely will shout for joy!

He rebuilds them from their foundation to the battlements at the top of their walls. But He does not use just ordinary materials! He uses those of the highest quality and value. The antimony, sapphires, rubies, crystal, and precious stones represent much more than mere restoration of what had existed before the Babylonian exile. It is a picture of Jesus Christ making His bride (individual believers in His church) ready for Himself —

Psalms 45:13 The King’s daughter (bride-to-be)  is all glorious within; her clothing is interwoven with gold. 14 She will be led to the King in embroidered work . . . 

Revelation 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 

Verses 13-14 —

The LORD continues, “All your sons will be taught of the LORD; and the well-being (peace) of your sons will be great. In righteousness you will be established; you will be far from oppression, for you will not fear; and from terror, for it will not come near you.”

All of Israel’s natural offspring will be taught of the LORD? That surely did not happen when Judah returned and rebuilt the city of Jerusalem and the temple. Their faith became ritualistic. They worshiped, but their hearts were not in it (see Jesus Christ’ rebuke of the Jewish leaders, in Matthew 23). 

But there would come a day — the day when the Holy Spirit, our Teacher, filled believers. And they would experience this passage of scripture —

Isaiah 30:20 Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. 21 Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.

Jesus Christ promises that the Holy Spirit will teach all things to those who are filled with Him — 

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

And —

John 16:13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into (literally, teach you) all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 “All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.”

And the result of beholding your Teacher and hearing His voice will be peace, righteousness, confidence instead of fear, and freedom from oppression. Jesus Christ will give you His peace, not peace as the world gives (John 14:27). When He fully indwells you, then you will be filled with His divine peace, and the rest of the fruit of His Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)! Satan, your oppressor, will no longer have any hold on you. Oh, shout for joy!

Verses 15-17 —

The LORD concludes with these promises, saying, “If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me. Whoever assails you will fall because of you. Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and brings out a weapon for its work; and I have created the destroyer to ruin. No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn (declare wrong).” 

The LORD had sent Assyria against northern Israel, and would send Babylon against Judah, judging them for their rebellion against Him. But for the repentant ones, there will be no more assailants! 

Certainly, this did not pertain to Judah and Jerusalem, for they were attacked many times, and were under the rule of the Roman Empire when Jesus walked the earth. 

But this is a promise to those who are filled with the Holy Spirit, and whose sin nature is therefore crucified so they no longer sin against the Lord. If anyone fiercely assails them (which happens today, worldwide), it will not be from the LORD. 

Therefore, He will defeat them! Your assailants will fall because you are entirely His when you are filled with His Holy Spirit! It is true that many are still killed for their faith in Christ — more in the last century than in all the centuries since Jesus walked the earth. But death itself has no victory, death has no sting. They immediately go to be with the Lord (2Corinthians 5:7-9). 

As for all who accuse and judge you, you will call them wrong, and the Lord will judge them!

The LORD says that He Himself created the smith that blows the fire of coals and brings out a weapon for its work. He has created the destroyer to ruin! 

Who is this blacksmith with His bellows? Who is this destroyer? Israel’s enemies were human beings created by God. And Satan was also created by God. 

Why did the LORD create them? They were used by the Lord to discipline His people. And He does the same today, to those in His church who are far from Him! 

But if you repent, O sinning believer, and ask the LORD to fill you with His Spirit, you will shout for joy! Why? Because no weapon formed against you will prosper, and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn (declare wrong). 

Lord Jesus, may Your church and Your people Israel not only see these truths, but act upon them. Let it be so, I pray. Amen!

CALLING OUT THE CHURCH

[SW427] 04/18/2020 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

“Calling Out the Church”

Texts: Ephesians 5:27, 4:11-13, etc.
The biblical definition of the church is “called-out ones” (Greek: ekklesia). On Tuesday of this week, the Lord said to me, “Call out My church.”  O church, because you are not yet “called-out ones,” the Lord calls you out on it, so you repent and ask Him to make you called-out ones!

Why have many in the church not become “called-out-ones?”  Because most of them are infants in Christ who are not spiritual (1Corinthians 3:1), that is, not yet filled with the Holy Spirit. Because they are not filled, they are not equipped to be what they are called to be. 

Because they are not filled, they do not know who or what they are commanded by Jesus Christ to be, and worse still, they know nothing about the means by which He is able to make them called-out ones! 

Infants in Christ say the church is a building that people go to for Sunday services, Bible studies, church suppers and recreational activities. When I ask them, that is what they say. And when I was an infant in Christ who grew up in the church, that was all I ever saw and experienced. I went to church, just like my fellow churchgoers. 

When I ask infants in Christ to tell me what church is, they say, “Oh! You want to know which church I attend! I go to such-and-such a church.” Then they give me the address and church service times. 

I used to be like them! I neither knew that I was supposed to be a called-out one, nor how to become one! I thought church was a building!

According to Jesus Christ, called-out-ones bear His fruit. They walk as He walked and are as He is in this world (1John 2:6, 4:17). Infants cannot walk that way! All they can do is natural good works that any good-hearted unbeliever might do. 

Again I say, infants cannot walk like Jesus. They remain wretched because they continue to sin (Romans 7:24)! And sinning infants are certainly not the means by which the world will believe that the Father sent the Son (John 17:21). They are just like the world!

There is no reason for them to remain that way, because He has commanded them to stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit so their sin nature is crucified and their hearts are purified (Galatians 5:24, Acts 15:9)! 

What is the ultimate reason for which Jesus commands believers to stay (Luke 24:49) and wait (Acts 1:4-5) to be filled with the Spirit? It is only then that you become a called-out one who is the evidence by which the world will believe that the Father sent the Son! 

Jesus says His church is not a building ! His church is the called-out ones who are no longer of this world. Though they are in the world, they do not love the world nor the things of the world. Jesus says —

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 says —

1John 2:15  Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Yet I have been commanded by my leaders of one denomination to go to my community’s leaders and ask, “Would you miss our church if we were gone?”  My leaders said, “If they say they would not miss you, then you need to do more good natural things for your community!” 

But the infant leaders’ instructions are contrary to Jesus’ words. The purpose of His called out ones is not to be loved by the world! Because called out ones are not of the world, the world hates and persecutes them!

Jesus Christ calls you out, O infants! How opposite you are, from what He has commanded you to be! 

Paul defined what it is to be a called-out one, part of His church, not today’s church. I will use the original Greek-to-English —

Ephesians 5:27 That He would present to Himself the church filled with His glory, having no stain of sin or wrinkle (i.e. marring) or any such thing, but that she be blameless and unable to be accused.

Filled with His glory (that is, the Holy Spirit)! No stain of sin in you! God’s image not marred in you! Blameless! Unable to be accused!

I know from my own days as an infant in Christ that I was none of those things! And I know from experience as a pastor that there are many infants — from denominational headquarters to pulpits to pews — who are none of those things! 

Jesus Christ calls you out, O infants! You have not obeyed His commandments to stay and wait to be filled with the Spirit. 

Jesus Christ calls you out, O infants! The media frequently trumpets stories of  sin-stained infant leaders or sin-stained infant congregation members who are rightly blamed and rightly accused and prosecuted for crimes — sexual sin against innocent children, greed, theft, and much more!

Jesus Christ calls you out! You are not His called-out ones! But if you will repent and obey His commandments to stay and wait, He will make you a called-out one! You will not be like the infant church. You will be His church!
Yet many will take offense because He calls them out! Paul describes such ones 

2Timothy 3:5 . . . having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

Infant leaders and those in the pews go through the motions, but they refuse to believe — and even attempt to negate and deny — the truth that the Lord has the power to make you holy on the inside, when you are filled with the Holy Spirit. They will indignantly say, “That is not ‘for today!’”

Jesus calls you out, O infant leaders! Every leader of the called-out ones is charged by Jesus Christ to bring infants to the point where they are filled up with Christ (original Greek-to-English) —

Ephesians 4:11-13 And He (Christ) made some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers, for the perfection of the set-apart ones, so they are able to do the work of ministry, and so the body of Christ is built up, until we all are one with the Son of God, and know the Son of God by intimately experiencing Him, until we are perfect, having reached the point where we have the greatness of being filled up with Christ.

But infant leaders in today’s church cannot do what He has charged them to do, because they have not intimately experienced the infilling of the Spirit. They cannot teach what they have not experienced.

Paul powerfully exhorted the impure infants in Christ at Corinth —

2Corinthians 11:2  For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

If that was spoken in many of today’s churches, the infants in Christ would form a mob and hang the preacher! How dare he or she tell them they are not pure, and that they need something they do not have! 

I was at a women’s conference where I knew many of the attendees. A bold, Spirit-filled female missionary whose harvest field was in Africa used the Book of Isaiah to exhort a room full of sinning infants to become the Lord’s royal bride. A mutiny quickly rose up! Many indignant infants interrupted her and literally shouted at her! They cried, “We are princesses! We are already royalty!” But the missionary did not back down. 

Many infants talk with one another, and say, “When is church, at your church?” They want to know what time they should be at the church building. But if you are a called-out one who is filled with the Holy Spirit, church has nothing to do with a building, and you minister 24/7 — all the time!

For all who are called-out ones, church is wherever they are, for they are the church! Paul and Silas were called-out ones who led many to Christ, even from a dungeon in Philippi —

Acts 16:25   But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 

Worship, praise, sinners who heard it, prison doors opened, chains broken, a call for lights — even the Light of the world — and salvation! None of the prisoners fled, because by the witness of Paul and Silas, they believed that the Father sent the Son! That is 24/7 church! 

Jesus Christ calls you out, O infant! Do unbelievers hear authentic worship and praise from you, even in dire circumstances? Are those imprisoned by their sin set free? Are their chains of sin broken? Do they see Christ’s light in you? Are they saved from God’s wrath and reconciled to God because by being with you, they have believed that the Father sent the Son? 

None of those things were true of me, when I was an infant. All of them are true of me now, because He has filled me with the Holy Spirit!

Jesus Christ knows your heart, O infant. You are not yet set free. You cannot tell others about that which you have not experienced! You must be filled with the Spirit, in order to do as Paul and Silas did, and as Spirit-filled believers do today! 

Because Paul refused to stop preaching Jesus Christ in Rome, he was chained and imprisoned. Even then, He preached Christ, with this result 

Philippians 1:12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me (imprisonment) has really served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. (NIV 1984)

Ah! He was a prisoner of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:1)! That is a glorious imprisonment! His called-out ones never complain if they are imprisoned for being Christ’s prisoner! They know that through the persecution they endure, many will believe that the Father sent the Son!

Jesus Christ calls you out, O infant who should be a called-out one! Are you His prisoner, for the sake of all those to whom He will send you? You cannot be, until you are filled with the Spirit.

Jesus calls you out, O infants! He has commanded you to stay and wait, but you have refused! Be ashamed, repent, and obey His commandments!

Lord Jesus, may many infants hear You as You call them out for being infants! Let it be so, I pray. Amen!