JESUS, THE LAMB OF GOD

[SW272] 03/03/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Jesus, the Lamb of God”

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

He has been reframed and refashioned by much of the church. Thus, the gospel is robbed of its power.

John 1:29-36

The Lamb OF God — He is God the Father’s sacrifice, on behalf of the world. God sacrificed His Son for even me!

He GAVE His only begotten Son, a part of Himself, so that I may live. There had to be a great need! What was it?

Isaiah 53:5-8

Sin!

He takes away, bears up and carries away, the sin of the world! Not plural, but singular. Sin. The sin of the whole world, He will take away. For whoever will believe. What is this sin?

It is the nature in us that we were born with, as children of Adam. But He gives us the right to become children of God! And through Him only, we are reconciled, and through Him, only, we are set free from the sin nature and given His divine nature, His character!

It has been a problem from Adam onward, one the Father was aware of from before anything was. He had a Lamb prepared (Revelation 5:5-6, 13:8)!

We needed a perfect Lamb, a perfect sacrifice, who would reconcile us to God, and because He is also the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit, He is the One who will take away our “sin singular,” our desire to sin, our sin nature, who will cleanse and purify, just as He says He will in Malachi 3:3.

The announcer, the messenger (Malachi 3:1), John the Baptist, was there to clear the way before Him, calling out that all must make their hearts ready by a baptism that is an outward indication of their repentance, and announcing this Lamb of God as the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, the Purifier of your entire heart!

Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb (1Corinthians 5:7, Exodus 12:3ff), if we will believe in His name, that He is who He says He is. With His blood on the doorposts of our hearts, death passes over and does not touch us, for His blood gives eternal life, here and now and there and then!

The Lamb, God’s sacrifice, is shadowed in Genesis 22:7, and in the entire account of the binding of Isaac, Abraham knew he was acting out prophecy (Hebrews 11:17-19).

God had promised Abraham that from him, through Isaac’s line, the world would be blessed. So even if he sacrificed his son, his one and only son, he knew God was able even to raise the dead. God keeps His promises!

On the mountain of the Lord, a ram was provided in place of Isaac. On the mountain of the Lord, He Himself provided the offering.

On the mountain of the Lord, the Lamb of God has been provided! Glory to God! This is the gospel! Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten, was offered on the same hill where Isaac, Abraham’s only begotten was offered, say many scholars.

I tell you, on the mountain of the Lord it has been provided! He Himself has provided an offering, the Lamb OF God! He is God’s sacrifice on your behalf!

He was unblemished and sinless. He was therefore the perfect sacrifice, the only sacrifice Who could carry God’s wrath upon Himself, forgive us for past sins, and deliver us from our sinful natures.

I hear teaching that He is lamblike, meek, and that is why He is the Lamb of God. Therefore, He is an example for men to follow, so they are not cruel to their wives and families and others. Be meek like Jesus. Work at it. You can do it, they say.

It sounds good, doesn’t it? But that is not why Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God. He is not our Good Example to try real hard to follow.

And by that erroneous teaching, the gospel is robbed of its power to convict the hearts of men and women of their sin and transform their hearts, cleansing them from sin, and purify our hearts by Jesus Christ’s baptism with the Holy Spirit, cleansed because God’s Sin Offering, the Lamb of God, was sent to us by God the Father! Then He has done it in you, and you are able to walk like He walked. Do you see it?

Why do they teach it? Because people want to hear how God will bless them, and how He can be used to make their everyday lives easier — they do not want to hear what they must do to receive God and to have pure hearts. How do I know that is true? Look at the number of people who follow this, “Me Gospel.”

Well, if that’s the kind of gospel you have been listening to, I pray you have had ears to hear this one, because this is directly from the Word of God, with no reframing or any such thing! I will not rob the gospel of it’s power!

Repent now — John the Baptist was the essential one, sent to call for repentance so hearts would be prepared for the Lamb of God to come and reconcile you to God and bear your sin away, cleansing and purifying your heart! If you repent, He will do the rest — He is the only One who can!

 

WHO IS JESUS?

[SW271] 02/24/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Who Is Jesus?”

Jesus has asked me to give you a fresh view of Him, because His image has been distorted through the years since the Book of John was written.

John 1;1-5, 9-18

Verse 14 — I’m starting here so you know the identity of the Word in the previous verses.

Verse 1 — Before anything was (timeless eternity in view), Jesus Christ existed. He was with God, not separated from God by time or distance. He was in the same location as God. And Jesus Christ was God.

Verse 2 — John emphasizes, He was in beginning, before anything was, and He was with God. He existed before anything, and was not created, just as God was not created.

Verse 3 — All things came into being through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:2). Apart from Him, nothing has been created. All that you see was created by Him.

Verse 4 — In Him was life — zoe — not existence as you have known it from the time you were in your mother’s womb, up until the point where you know Him. This zoe is “life as God has it.” It is very different from existence. It is eternal, and because it is in Him, He is a Light, and His light emanates from Him.

Verse 5 — The Light who is Christ shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. His Light is too great for the darkness of this world. It is seen! We have the choice of running from it, or coming into it. But it is seen! A never-before seen Light (see Isaiah 9:2).

Verse 10 — Jesus Christ was in the world, and the world was made through Him, but just as it is today, the world did not know Him. They chose not to experience Him, the knower knowing the One known — the Greek ginosko.

Verse 11 — He came to His own things, His own possessions and His own domain of which He was Creator. And not only did the world not receive Him (that is, acknowledge Him as God and take Him into themselves), but even many of the Jews did not receive Him, but rather, rejected Him.

Verse 12 — BUT, those who received (grabbed hold of, as Paul in Philippians 3:12) Jesus Christ were given a gift — the right to become children of God, if they believe in His name — that is, if they believe He is who He says He is. Thus, we are not children of God until we believe in His name.

Verse 13 — These were not born naturally, of flesh and blood, not born of flesh, not born of the will of a human, but born of God.

Verse 14 — And Jesus Christ became flesh (took on human flesh, born of a virgin, fulfilling prophecy per Isaiah 7: 14) and dwelt (tabernacled) among us. That words means it was for a limited time. And John and the rest of His disciples saw His glory. Peter, James and John saw it on the Mount of Transfiguration. But they also saw it in all that He did, because the things He did were things no one but God could do. And they saw Him ascend into heaven (Acts 1:9-11), to be glorified there, and seated once again at the right hand of God.

Jesus Christ is the only begotten (Greek monogenes) from the Father. That word means a relationship without origin, one that has eternally been a relationship. He did not BECOME the only begotten, but IS and always WAS the only begotten.

NOTE: Here we see that there is God the Father and God the Son, the Only Begotten.

And Jesus Christ is filled with grace (charis, the divine influence on the heart, reflected in the life). He was the only One on earth filled with it, when He came. And He is filled with truth, that is the reality upon which everything else came to be, and God’s truth, which He spoke throughout His ministry.

Verse 15 — And John the Baptist testified about Him — This is Him. He is the One who replaces me, because He has a higher rank than me, because existed before me (though John the Baptist was conceived in Elizabeth before Jesus was conceived in Mary). He was speaking of Christ’s eternal existence. In comparison, John said he is only a prophet sent to announce His coming.

Verse 16 — For of His fullness we who write this to you, of this fullness we have received (the word “all” is not in the original Greek). We received His fullness (filled with His Spirit at Pentecost), and charis piled upon charis — the divine influence on the heart, reflected in the life.

Verse 17 — Moses gave the Law as a tutor to lead us to Christ (Galatians 3:24).

But Jesus Christ made it possible for us to have charis and His Spirit of truth in us, teaching us all truth (John 16:13).

Verse 18 — Jesus Christ, the “monogenes God” is in an intimate relationship with the Father — in His very bosom. And He has explained the Father (as we will see as we look at the Book of John).

Do you see Him? Are you now seeing Him? Oh, look! Look! Look up into His face and be saved and healed and set free!

Why do I teach these things? To answer, I must repeat what He has asked me to say.

It is because His image has been distorted. By whom? By much of the church —

# 1 — They have taken the fuse out of the bombshell of the gospel message that sends people running to Him for mercy. What is the fuse? Sin, and the consequences of it. There is no need for a Savior in the so-called gospel that is often preached today.

# 2 — They have hidden His Godhood and re-created Him so He looks just like us (idolatry), with our fears and frailties. There is no mention of the need for our hearts to be changed, and no mention of His power to change them.

#3 — They have eliminated His “hard words” in order to make Him more user-friendly.

#4 — They have added flavor enhancers because they believe He doesn’t taste good enough without some tweaking (see 1Peter 2:3)!

And so I will continue for a while in the Book of John — I am not sure how long, but He will show me when it is time to move on to other scriptures — so you might see Jesus Christ and find out who He really is. It is of life-and-death importance that you do, and my only desire is to bring many into His kingdom so that God is exalted and praised and glorified.

UNSHAKEABLE!

[SW270] 02/17/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Unshakeable!”

A great shaking is coming! When? Who will it shake?

God’s past shakings —

#1 — Amos 9:8-10

Northern Israel (Samaria), because of King Jeroboam, but also Judah (see 2:4). He speaks through Amos of the altar and the capitals of the Temple in Jerusalem, in Amos 9:1.

Why? They rebelled by chasing after false gods, sacrificing their children to fires in order to please these false gods, and worshiping idols of their own making. They did not repent from their rebellion and turn back to the Lord.

POINT: If  you rebel, you will be shaken. These were prophecies about God’s own people, and still apply to believers and unbelieving Jews today. These things are written for our instruction (1Corinthians 10:11).

#2 — Haggai 2:1-6

Yet once more, the Lord says through Haggai, I will shake.

Why? Haggai prophesied in the era when the Lord returned a repentant remnant of Judah to the Promised Land, after a 70-year exile in Babylon. They were restored by the Lord, and had begun to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

So there was repentance, restoration and rebuilding.

And because Babylon and Assyria had gone far beyond the degree of punishment the Lord desired for His people (Isaiah 10:5ff), THEY were the ones to be shaken in this shaking. Their wealth was given to Judah (Ezra 6:8ff). per an edict from the Persian King Darius, who had defeated Babylon. This wealth from the nations was indeed shaken from the heavens, earth, sea, and dry land. But this is a double prophecy — it was fulfilled and was to be fulfilled again in the future. Watch!

POINT: If you repent, the Lord will restore you, rebuild you, and the Enemy, Satan, will be shaken! He loses you! That is a cost far greater than silver or gold. His greatest fear is a restored, rebuilt, Spirit-filled Christian!

#3 — Hebrews 12:28

Yet once more! It is the second fulfillment of the Lord’s word through Haggai.

When will the shaking happen? Only God the Father knows!

What will be shaken? Everything that can be shaken. All created things will be thoroughly shaken, as before — heavens, earth, sea, dry land. This is a prophecy of God’s final judgment, before the earth and heavens are destroyed and replaced.

What will remain? That which cannot be shaken.

What cannot be shaken? The kingdom of God that is within you (Luke 17:20)!

It is not of the earth, but from God’s dwelling place, which is inside of you (John 14:23), if you have been filed with the Holy Spirit in your own personal Pentecost!

POINT: The world and all that is in it will be shaken. If you have the kingdom of God in you, then you will not be shaken.

See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking, even speaking through me to you today (Hebrews 12:25)!

QUESTIONS: Is the kingdom of God in you? How do you know?

You have been in the refining fire of the great Refiner, Jesus Christ. You have offered your whole self, a whole burnt offering (Romans 12:1). That means He has baptized you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

I must add that in my NASB, Verse 28, “show gratitude” is a POOR translation of the original Greek — it is “have grace,” which is charis, the divine influence on the heart and the reflection in the life.

So, if you have been baptized with the Holy Spirt and fire, refined by the Refiner, Jesus Christ, your heart purified (Acts 15:9), then the kingdom of God is in you. You have charis.

(Is this true of you? Do you have the Lord’s divine influence on your heart? Is it reflected in your life? Have you offered your whole self to Him?)

You are thus able to offer an acceptable service (Malachi 3:3, Romans 12:1).

(Is this true of you? Have you offered what Jesus Christ deserves from you, for all that He has done on your behalf? Have you offered your entire self to Him, so He may refine you?)

You are thus full of reverence and awe toward the Lord, because you have offered your entire self to Him.

(Is this true of you? Have you offered your entire self to Him, being crucified with Jesus Christ so you no longer live, but He lives in you, per Galatians 2:20?)

If your answer to these is “no,” then you do not have the kingdom of God in you, you will be shaken, and you should fear our God, who is a consuming fire.

Right now is the time to repent! He will restore and rebuild the repentant. That is His promise to you, if you will turn to Him right now.

FAITH AND DENIAL

[SW269] 02/10/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Faith and Denial”

What is it to be faithful? What is it to deny the Lord? Why should you care? Paul shows us!

Text: 2Timothy 2:1-13

I was prayerfully looking for the common thread in these verses, and the Lord showed me that they are all about faithfulness.

Verses 1-7 (note that I am using the original Greek to English to keep us from erring in interpretation) —

To be faithful means —

— To be empowered to be able to remain in a fixed position, through the grace which is in Christ Jesus.

There are two Greek words commonly used for grace. Paul specifically uses the Greek charis for “grace” in this verse, defined as “the divine influence (of Christ Jesus) on the heart, and the reflection in the life.” He does not use the Greek charisma, which means “unmerited favor.”

— To appoint faithful teachers. Paul was faithful to teach Timothy. Then Timothy was faithful to teach others. Now, appoint those who heard and heeded to go and faithfully teach others!

— To suffer for Christ, who is your Commanding Officer in the army of God.

— To please God the Father, who enlisted you in His army, by NOT becoming involved in the affairs of everyday life. Faithfully be in the world, but not of it (John 15:19).

— To compete with total obedience to Christ’s commands, so you may reach the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

— To work hard, Him working in you. That is, don’t just sit there! Go out and preach the gospel, by the power of God that is in you! Lift up your eyes! The fields are white for harvest (John 4:35)!

AND NOW,  PAUL GIVES US A PRAISE BREAK . . .

He will show you the truth of these things! Hallelujah!

Remember . . .

— God’s faithfulness, in sending Jesus Christ. Remember Christ’s faithfulness to go to the cross, having done everything the Father sent Him to do, so He could cry, “It is finished!” (See John 19:30.) Remember God’s faithfulness to raise Him from the dead, just as He promised in the Old Testament, and just as His Son promised in the New Testament.

— Paul’s faithfulness, to suffer, even to be in prison as he wrote to Timothy, and nearing his execution, though he had done no wrong.

— The faithfulness of God’s Word! It cannot be imprisoned!

— Paul’s unwavering faithfulness, enduring all things for the sake of the chosen who will hear and heed and believe and obtain the salvation in Christ, and eternal glory!

And remember that we DIED with Him. The commentators agree with me. This is death to self (Galatians 2:20). If you’re dead, you don’t care how you are persecuted for the sake of the gospel.

Here are the rewards to the faithful:

— God promises that if we endure, if we are faithful as Paul has described to us in this passage, we will reign with Christ!

But there are consequences for those who deny Him —

— From Verse 12, if you deny Him (contradict and refuse Him, in the original Greek), He will deny you (see Mt. 10:33). He will refuse you.

— From Verse 13, if you are faithless (disobedient and disbelieving), He will remain faithful.

What does that mean? He will be faithful to judge those who contradict and refuse, who disobey and disbelieve. Acts 5:1-11’s Ananias and Saphhira, and also Joshua 23:14-15, are among the many examples of God’s faithfulness to judge.

God does not change. He cannot deny that He is just and righteous. He CANNOT, this verse says, contradict and reject Himself!

So this begs the question, “What is it to deny and be faithless?”

It is to do the opposite of the faithfulness the Lord has just shown to you! It is to disobey and disbelieve, to reject and contradict the Lord. It is to rebel against Him by the way you choose to live, to rebel against His Word that says He is able to cleanse you of all unrighteousness (1John 1:9), if you confess your sin. You rebel against His truth.

And so He cannot deny Himself. You will be judged.

I tell you, it is a false and misleading and downright devilish interpretation of, “He remains faithful,” as “You are free to rebel and He will still love you.”

But here is the good news. I believe there is still time to repent. But seek Him while He may be found. Call on Him while He is near. This is a limited time offer!

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, He will have mercy on Him, and He will freely pardon (Isaiah 55:6-7).

To the faithful, be ENCOURAGED! Be empowered, so you remain in a fixed position through the divine influence of Christ Jesus on your heart! Amen.

DID I NOT SAY?

The power of You, Lord . . . we do not know

We say, “It is too late . . . there is no hope.”

The deadness tests our faith . . . it’s all we see.

“Where were You, Lord?”  we cry . . .

“Look, Lord, Your church has died,”

And You are grieved.

“Did I not say,” You ask,

“That life would come from this?

“That I would have a church

“full of My glory?

“I raise the dead to life!

“Believe My words to you,

“I speak, and up they rise,

“So God is glorified,

“And I am glorified.

“Believe My words, My child!”

WILL YOU STAND OR FALL?

[SW267] 01/27/2017 message notes by

Reverend Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Will You Stand or Fall?”

Will you stand or fall, when storms come? Just like with a house, it depends where you have built it. Ask the Master Builder for HIS PLANS, and you will not fall. Hallelujah!

Text: Matthew 7:24-29

In good weather, a house built on rock and a house built on sand seem equally sound and sturdy.

But storms reveal whether or not the location was wisely chosen.

In Jesus’ parable, a few things are important to note:

— Both houses experienced the same kind of storm

— Both builders heard Jesus’ words

Before I go farther, what are the words Jesus refers to, in this parable?

He just preached the Sermon on the Mount, so I’ll do a brief flyover of that sermon.

— Humbly mourn over your spiritual poverty

— Hunger and thirst for righteousness

— Be pure in heart

— Be a living example of reconciliation and peace with God through Jesus Christ.

— Expect to be persecuted, rejoice and be glad for it

— Your righteousness must exceed that of people who outwardly do good things to earn their way to heaven.

— Do not be angry.

— Reconcile with those who have something against you.

— Even looking at a woman or man with lust is enough to send you to hell, so cast off the thing that makes you lust.

— Do not divorce because you lust for another person’s husband or wife.

— Be truthful always, your yes being “yes” and your no being “no.”

— Turn the other cheek, give your prized possession, and pray for your enemies and those who persecute you.

— Do righteous acts anonymously and in secret, not to be seen by men.

— Forgive others, or your Father in heaven will not forgive you.

— Do not be a servant to money.

— Do not worry, but seek My kingdom and My righteousness, and I will provide for you.

— Do not be judgmental. Do not be a hypocrite.

— Enter My kingdom through the small gate and travel the narrow path that looks difficult to navigate. Do not follow the “many” who go through the wide gate and travel the broad path. It leads to destruction!

— False prophets will come, and they will look like you. Know them by their fruit. That requires the righteous kind of judgment.

These are the words Jesus refers to in this parable. And there are two kinds of people who hear His words —

The one who hears and does

Everyone — no exceptions, praise God — who

Hears His words AND

Does them — that is, obeys them

Is wise!

Why? They have built their house on a rock (their obedience to Jesus’ words).

So YOU WILL STAND, when the rain comes down and the rivers overflow and the winds come and beat against you. What Good News!

The one who hears and does not do

Everyone — no exceptions — who

Hears His words AND

Does NOT do them — that is, disobeys them

Is foolish!

Why? They have built their house on sand. The storm’s rain and floods erode the sandy base, and the wind easily destroys it. Totally.

You cannot stand, for you have chosen not to obey Jesus’ words. Great will be your fall! The picture is of total destruction. The picture is of hell.

What? But I go to church every Sunday, and I go to church every time the doors are open! You have heard His words, but you have not obeyed them.

The Lord is gracious and merciful to tell us what will happen when we obey His words, and what will happen when we choose to disobey His words.

You may say, “But it’s too hard to obey His words all the time!”

You’re right!  It is hard until (here comes His Good News) . . . you ask Him to make the WAY for you to OBEY His words as easy as breathing. How?

Jesus tells you, in Matthew 7:11, and Luke 11:13!
Obey THESE words, and He will make your heart obedient to all His words. And indeed, you will be able to withstand any storm.

Will you be a hearer only, or will you be a doer (James 1:23-25)?

Come to the Heart Changer and Chain Breaker. He will do it, if you confess that you are disobedient and ask Him to break the chains of slavery to sin and change your heart!

STRANGE LAWS

Many scoff at some of the laws of the Old Testament — even our former president did so, and warned Christians that they didn’t even know what the Old Testament said, or they would not be so quick to quote it regarding homosexuality and other issues. But those strange-sounding laws were for this purpose — that Israel would not follow any of the customs and sacrificial systems of the lands around them or of Egypt, from whence they were delivered.

Leviticus 18:3 ‘You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes.”

These laws are for God’s people, and God does not change. Since Jesus Christ came, that category applies to all who believe in Him, Jew or non-Jew. The world, if it continues in its ways, will face judgment for their actions. But Christ’s goal, and ours, is to proclaim that there is a way out of bondage to sin — He is the Chain Breaker! It is to proclaim that God the Father sent His Son to do just that. Such were some of you . . . but you were saved (1Corinthians 6:11)! What a great heart our God has! He made me a “such were!” He made me a “formerly,” at 45 years of age! Bless His holy name, He will do it for whosoever believes in Jesus Christ!