ALONE WITH GOD

[SW205] 10/23/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Alone With God”

Text: Genesis 15, etc.

God does great things through us, when we get alone with Him. But how do you get alone with Him? And how do you hear what He is saying?

We will look at those who got alone with God, and I pray He will show you how they got there and how they heard His voice.

Genesis 15:1ff —

Abraham’s condition:  Childless
Abraham’s action:  He obeyed God in what he knew of God, from Genesis 12 onward. Abraham didn’t have a Bible like you and I do. He had to pray and believe and obey, with an audible word from God Himself.

It is still possible to get an audible word from God, but you don’t have to wait until you hear audibly. You can start reading the Word, just a chapter at a time. Read it out loud, when you are in your room or wherever you find a place. You will hear Him there. Then obey what He says.
The result: God promised Abraham descendants as numerous as the stars in the heavens, and the land that would eventually be Israel.You will be amazed at what happens. You will have many spiritual descendants, like the stars in the heavens. And who knows what else will happen?

Genesis 32:24ff —

Jacob’s condition: Afraid his brother, Esau, will kill him
Jacob’s action: He deceived his father, Isaac, stole Esau’s blessing, and fled to another land Esau couldn’t kill him. When he went back home, he sent all of his possessions and family ahead of himself across the stream called Jabbok, and was alone on the other side of the stream. In verses 11-12, he prayed for God to protect him, and reminded God of His promise. Now he was waiting for God’s response.

A “man” came and wrestled with him. This “man” was really God in the form of a man, but Jacob didn’t know that. Jacob wouldn’t let go until the man blessed him.

The result: God gave Jacob (deceiver, supplanter, schemer) a new name — Israel (strives with God). His character was changed. He followed God faithfully and no longer schemed to get what he wanted.

After you begin to obey God in what you already know of Him, go away to a place where you can be alone. Then He’ll show Himself to you in some way.

And when you wrestle with Him and find He’s far more powerful than you, He’ll change you so much that you’ll need a new name.

Exodus 3:13ff

Moses’ condition: A man with a broken dream to save his people from cruel slavery in Egypt.
Moses’ action: He was alone on Mt. Horeb. He had walked in obedience to what he knew of God. He wasn’t looking for God, but suddenly, he saw the burning bush. It was there, on that holy ground, that God revealed His name and character to Moses, and His plan for Moses to be the one who saved his people from slavery.
The result: All of Israel left Egypt and ultimately entered the Promised Land.
Do you have a noble but broken dream? Go and get by yourself. God will speak to you, and you will learn His character and your role in His plan.

But you must begin by obeying God in what you already know. Stop playing church and start seeking God. He says if you seek Him diligently, you will find Him. It won’t be in a crowd, with your friends, at a party,  or a ball game. It will be when you are alone. Walk in obedience in what you know of God. Go somewhere by yourself.  You will hear from God.

The list goes on! In John 4, the women at the well was shunned because of her sin. She was alone. Jesus came, spoke the truth to her, she was convicted of her sin and Jesus revealed He is the Christ!

In Mark 1:40, the leper was alone. He was an outcast because of his disease. Yet he came to Jesus, and said, “If you are willing, you can make me clean!” And Jesus said, “I am willing!” Immediately he was healed of leprosy, an incurable disease.
Finally, Acts 9

Paul’s condition:  Ignorant regarding God, though he knew the Scriptures. Murderer of Christians (Acts 26:10).
Paul’s action: He obeyed Jesus after God knocked him down and blinded him. The brightness of Jesus Christ blinded him. He audibly heard Him. There were other people in that house on Straight Street in Damascus, but Paul was fully concentrating on God, alone with Him in fasting and prayer.
The result: He received his sight, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and became an evangelist to the world.

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Obey God in what you know. Get alone. Get into God’s Word. Cry out to God.
He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrew 11:6).

Seek Him. You will find Him. Ask, seek, knock. (Matthew 7:7).  He will change you —

— from childless and barren to fruitful,

— from fearful deceiver to striver after God,

— from one with broken dreams to one who stands in the presence of God, knows His name, and leads many out of slavery to sin

—from shunned to forgiven and saved

— from diseased outcast to one healed by Christ

— from ignorant murderer to open-eyed, Spirit-filled evangelist.

I testify that when I got alone, Jesus Christ came, and He did all of these things in me! God will do it!

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GIVING UP

[SW198] 08/14/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Giving Up”

Do you ever feel like giving up on trying to be an obedient child of God? Don’t give up! But give up! It’s a different kind of giving up.

I’m asking the Holy Spirit to help me to serve you up a full-course meal of God’s Word today, choice pieces of meat, marrow and aged wine (Isaiah 25:6), so you may learn the truth, so it divides soul and spirit, and causes you to say to the Lord, “I give up!”

I’m speaking a word of righteousness to you. Many of you are accustomed to a diet of milk (the basic tenets of Christianity). It’s what you generally get on a Sunday in many churches. But you ought to be teachers by now, teaching and feasting on the meat — the word of righteousness! (See Hebrews 5:13).

Willful disobedience to God — sin — is an age-old problem, begun by the first man, Adam. We expect those who do not know Christ to sin. But it also has flooded the church.

It would never be, if we truly understood the depths of our depravity, our illness. We’d be seeking a cure!

How serious is sin? So serious that God the Father sacrificed His Son to heal us of our past sins and set us free from slavery to sin!

Even before the earth was formed, the Father had a lamb prepared (Revelation 13:8). We can’t even calculate or estimate or imagine the cost of our salvation!

But try to comprehend it. God sent His Son to die in order that you may live. On that cross, God the Son bore God’s wrath toward you. He took what you deserved. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!

Text: Romans 7:14ff

If you struggle with sin, join the wretched man Paul speaks of in Romans 7:14ff. You were born with a sin nature, just like he was. In verse 17, it is sin which dwells in him that causes him to disobey God. The sins he commits are the evidence of the sin nature that dwells inside of him.

But learn the truth — you don’t have to stay that way! Who shall save the man Paul writes about? Christ Jesus our Lord! He made the way for you to be freed from your sin nature and given His divine nature (see 1Peter 1:4)!

Paul did not only write Romans 7, but he also wrote Galatians 2:20 and 5:24. The divine nature doesn’t dwell in you when you’re a baby Christian, as evidenced by the problems Paul had to address with the Corinthians. But it surely does happen when you give up, and you will know it when it does!

The Lord wants YOU to give up. We get it wrong, thinking he wants us to give up habits, the people we associate with, dreams, situations, circumstances. He wants YOU. Once YOU have given up to Him, your heart will entirely change, and you will love to obey Him — there will be no more resistance, because His love accompanies His nature in you, so you love Him with the same love He has for you (Romans 5:5).

Some believe they won’t have fun anymore if they tell the Lord, “I give up!” Some Christians have told me that they like what they’re doing, they like their habits, they like their associates. They don’t want to give up any of that. They’re not ready, they say.

But if that’s your thinking, the struggle will continue, and your life will continue to be a mess until you give up that rebellious sinful nature and ask the Lord to kill it and put His nature inside of you.

Maybe you don’t like the idea of giving up, especially if it involves a spiritual crucifixion or getting on an altar and letting God’s fire consume everything in you that is not of Him. It certainly doesn’t sound comfortable.

Text: Romans 12:1

Many worship with great passion and emotion, but their disobedient living belies their passionate worship.

What is worship, according to God?

In light of all He has done for you, with that in mind, it is willingly placing yourself on an altar so He can purify you and make you holy on the inside. It is asking the Lord Jesus to baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire.

Some will say, “I spoke in tongues when I was baptized in water,” or “I spoke in tongues when I was baptized in the Holy Ghost.” Tongues are the initial evidence, as the scriptures show in the Book of Acts.

But where is the fruit of the Spirit in your life? Are you continuing to willfully disobey God?

Then I say you have not yet been to God’s altar; you may have received something from God, but you are not filled with and controlled by the Holy Ghost, or you would be holy from the inside out!

If you are a Christian, your desire should be to do God’s will. And His will is that you be filled with His Holy Spirit, so you don’t struggle with sin anymore.

What a good word! What a freeing word! Will you believe Him? Do you really want to be His witness here, for more than Sunday morning?

But it is far more serious than being His witness here. It is life and death to you. The wages of sin is death. Keep on sinning, and you face the place where the worm never dies and the fire never goes out.

Cry out to God today! Tell Him you give up YOU! Beloved, He wants all of you.

Give YOU to Him. By faith, you asked God to forgive your past sins through Jesus Christ. By faith, ask Him to destroy sin’s power over you.

Will you believe He can do it? If you truly believe, He will show you that He can, and then He will do it, just as He did in healing me of an incurable disease and then making me so hungry for all of Him that for two months, I cried out to be baptized in the Holy Spirit!

That is how you become Jesus Christ’s witnesses here. You will have His Spirit in you, large and in charge. You will walk as He did on the earth (1John 2:6).

You will be tempted, as He was, but you will have power over sin, and be a super-conqueror (Romans 8:37).

You will walk, live, love, and speak as He did. And His very presence in you will cause many to repent and turn to Him.

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A CROOKED HOUSE

[SW194] 07/10/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“A Crooked House”

You can’t build a house with a crooked wall — it throws off every other measurement. The more you build around a crooked wall, the more crooked the whole house becomes!

Texts: Amos 7:1-9, 1Peter 4:17

Last week’s message was for those in this country who have rejected Jesus Christ. It was Daniel’s interpretation of the handwriting on the wall, for Belshazzar, King of Babylon, who did not believe in God.

This message is for those who profess faith in Jesus Christ.

I will speak all that the Lord gives me, and will not leave out a word (1Samuel 3:7).

When God the Father disciplines those who believe in His Son, it is so we can share in His holiness — so that we might cry out and asked to be filled with His Spirit, so we are no longer slaves to sin and so we are empowered to do the works He has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). He disciplines those He loves. (See Hebrews 12:6, 10.)

When churches have gone far from Jesus Christ, as with five of the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, He calls them to repent.

Jesus calls the church to repent today, for indeed, she has gone far from Him, though there is a remnant that is faithful.

Judgment is coming first to the household of God, beloved (1Peter 4:17).

I repeat — You can’t build a house with a crooked wall — it throws off every other measurement. The more you build around a crooked wall, the more crooked the whole house becomes!

He holds up a plumb line of judgment, and finds most of His church to be crooked rather than straight. What is the plumb line? His Word.

Throughout the church, He hears and sees many things like this from those who profess that they are His:

1. God wants you to be rich. God wants you to be financially successful. Share this post and you’ll get a Mercedes Benz with no payments. Jesus Christ was rich.

—What does His Word say? Do not seek treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, but sore up for yourselves treasures in heaven. You cannot be a servant of God and a servant of your lust for money. (Matthew 6:19-20, 24).

2. God doesn’t care if you sin, after you make Jesus your Savior. He understands.

— What does His Word say? I use the New Testament, to remove the usual objection that we are now under grace.

— “If your eye causes you to sin, throw it out; it is better for you to enter life (eternal life) with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.”

— “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” (John 8:34)

— And His servant Paul says, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2)

— And Paul says, “Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” (Romans 6:6-7)

— To Ananias, a member of the church, Peter says, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land . . . you have not lied to men, but to God.” And Ananias was stricken dead (Acts 5:3). Beloved, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

—“Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.” (1Timothy 5:20)

Beloved, many false teachers and prophets are the church who tickle the ears of its members, gently stroking their sinful natures that have not yet been crucified. Greed, pride, selfishness are coddled.

There are many crooked apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, both men and women, who have built one crooked wall after another to make the whole house crooked1

And in the church’s desire not to offend, and to make herself more palatable to the world, she has removed the requirement for confession of and repentance from sin from the salvation message.

But what does Jesus say about becoming palatable to the world?

John 15:18   “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 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.”

Do we not know that the time is short, and that the Lord is coming soon? How then should we found by Jesus Christ? Spotless and blameless (2Peter 3:14).

What? We are to be holy as He is holy, perfect as our Father is perfect? We cannot make ourselves that way, and in much of the church, we are taught that it is impossible to be sanctified through and through.

Then why does Paul pray that for the church at Thessalonica (1Thessalonians 5:23). That is how we are preserved without blame, found spotless and blameless.

I have prayed for a long time that the church would ask for the Lord to do in them all that He promises —

Ephesians 3:19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. (This requires removal of sin from your very nature, because God and sin cannot dwell together.)

2Peter 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

This is a clarion call. I am sounding the trumpet, as a watchman on the wall. God has placed a plumb line beside you and found you to be crooked, O church, for you do not line up with His Word!

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

O church! Do you not know that this is a word to you, too? God does not change!

Repent, for judgment is coming soon. If not in my lifetime, certainly we will all stand before the judgment seat when our bodies die. Will he find you to be plumb, or will He find you to be crooked, O Christian?

If you ask Him right now, He will make the crooked straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be upon you (Isaiah 61:2)!

Wake up, sleeping one, and rise up from among the dead ones, and Christ will shine on you (Ephesians 5:14)!

Then He will welcome you, saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant! Come join in the joy of your Master!” Those are His promises for you who turn back to Him today!

GOD OF THE VALLEYS

[SW190] 06/13/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“God of the Valleys”

Text: 1 Kings 20, Romans 8:37

Whether you are battling Satan’s vast armies on a mountain or in a valley, know that the Lord is God of the mountains and God of the valleys. If you listen to Him, He will give you the victory!

Sometimes, you are on a mountain, spiritually speaking. You are in a place where it’s difficult for Satan to come near, where you can see far ahead and see his strategy as he approaches. So you have an advantage over him. And it is easy to believe the Lord will give you victory.

But sometimes, you are in a valley, not of your own making (that is, sinning is not the cause), but a place where Satan comes against you again. It is a place where it’s easy for him to come near, where you cannot see far ahead and you cannot see his strategy as he approaches. The Lord challenges you and me to believe Him for victory, even in the valley.

In the text, northern Israel (Samaria) is in trouble. They have sinned against the Lord, to the point where the Lord caused a great famine of 3-1/2 years. The famine has ended, but they are still weak and vulnerable. Sin makes you that way. So —

Verse 1: Israel is besieged by Ben-hadad, king of Aram and 32 kings who join him. It is a huge army!

Verse 10-14:  Ben-hadad boasts that he will destroy Samaria, so that each of his men will not be able to gather up even a handful of Samaria’s dust. His goal is total obliteration, just as Satan plans to destroy you (John 10:10)!

Ahab warns Ben-hadad that he boasts of victory before the battle has been won, even while Ben-adad puts on his armor. But none can boast of victory until after the battle is won and it is safe to remove the armor.

Satan is a great boaster. But God is greater than your enemy, Satan.

A prophet of God comes. Despite the great multitude that has formed against Israel, the Lord says He will deliver Israel.

Why would the Lord deliver His own people who sin against Him? So they will know He is the Lord. By doing the impossible, they will know by personal experience that He is God and there is no other. He will do it so that they might turn back to Him and cast their false gods to the moles and the bats.

If you are in sin, He may give you a word that you will be victorious. He will tell you that He will free you from your addiction to drugs or alcohol or whatever keeps you in chains.  He will tell you that He will cause His justice to prevail when injustice is done to you, even though you are sinning against Him.

He will tell you that He will give you victory over these things so that you know by personal experience that He is God and there is no other, and will turn back to Him.

For those who follow and obey and love God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ makes us victorious in every battle against our Enemy. Satan may boast but we know he is a liar and the father of lies. And we have God’s armor as our protection during the battle (Ephesians 6:10ff). And He who is in you is greater than Satan (see 1John 4:4)!

Verse 15: There were only 7,000 — the only ones left of ALL the sons of Israel — against Ben-hadad’s army AND the armies of the 32 kings that were with him. Victory looked impossible!

There is only you, against Satan and his vast army. Victory looks impossible. But when God says you will be victorious, He will do it!

Verse 19-21: This battle took place in the mountains of northern Israel. And the victor was Israel, just as the Lord had said through the prophet. Little Israel pursued Ben-hadad’s multitudes, and Ben-adad fled on horseback. There was a great slaughter of his army.

Verse 22:  But the prophet said the king of Aram would come again, at the turn of the year. The Lord instructed Ahab to strengthen Israel.

For those who follow and obey and love Jesus Christ, God does not promise that you will not have other battles against Satan. But strengthen yourself! Exchange your strength for His (Isaiah 40:31).

Verse 23, 26: Ben-hadad’s servants told him that Israel’s gods were gods of the mountains. His army would win if they fought Israel in the valley.

They were pagan, and pagans think gods are assigned to lands and areas. So the army of Aram, which Ben-adad restored to its original numbers, went to the valley of Aphek to fight against Israel.

Verse 27-28: Israel was like two little flocks of goats against Ben-hadad’s multitude. How could they be victorious?

But God heard the words of Ben-hadad’s servants. And because they said He is not God everywhere all the time, but only a god of the mountains, the Lord said He would give Israel victory.

He had a great purpose than defending His own name, His own reputation. He would give Israel victory so that Israel, His own sinning people, would know He is God and there is no other.

Verses 29-30: And it happened just as the man of God had told Ahab. Israel was victorious. But King Ahab continued to disobey God, and he was ultimately killed in battle (1Kings 22: 37).

The wages of sin is death, beloved. If you are sinning against God, like King Ahab, and you do not turn back to God, it will kill you.

Because of His great mercy,  the Lord gives you victory. He does this to show you that He is God, so you will turn from your sin and the gods of this world, and come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.

If you do not turn from your sin, you will face His judgment seat one day, and be condemned to hell. He takes no pleasure in that, but He has no choice, if you reject Him.

For those of you who follow and obey and love Jesus Christ, victory is assured in every battle. These promises are yours:

Isaiah 54:17      “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper;
And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.

Psalms 34:22      The LORD redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.

Romans 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

Amen! Let Your sinning people return to You, Father, and let your saints be assured that You are with them on the mountaintop AND in the valley!

RAIN!

[SW187] 05/22/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Rain”

Pentecost — what is it? The fulfillment of God’s promise to pour out His Spirit, and Jesus Christ’s promise that even today, if we wait, He will fill us and make us His witnesses!

Texts: Joel 2:23-25, 28-29 and others

Rain!

Life-giving

— Even from that which looks dead

Life-sustaining

Comes from above

Pours out

Saturates

Dryness departs

Makes workable the hard and cracked soil

Produces beauty

Produces food

Refreshes

Cleanses

Restores

Fills

Overflows

Prophesied — in the midst of drought, famine, and locusts (Joel 2:23ff)

Prayed for — in the midst of rebuilding, but under the rule of those who did not serve God (Zechariah 10:1ff)

Poured out — Acts 2

The result? As above!!!!!

AND . . .

Unified in nature, now partakers of the divine nature (John 17:23, 2Peter 1:4)

Sanctified through and through (John 17:19, Thessalonians 5:23)

Liberty (2Corinthians 3:17)! From what?

Super-conquerors (Romans 8:37)! Of what?
Sin itself and slavery to it (John 8:31-36)!

THEN we are His witnesses!

THE WORD OF THE LORD

[SW161] 11/14/2014 message notes by Sister Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“The Word of the Lord”

As I wrote in a recent blog, the Word of the Lord (the Bible) is like a diamond — turned in His light, rays of revelation shoot out! Today, I celebrate the Word of the Lord!

But you are bent down today, struggling, downtrodden, depressed, oppressed, or distressed, stuck in sin, which destroys you and those around you — or all of the above.

You are unsure, you hesitate, you doubt, and thus are like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind (James 1:6).

Meanwhile, your Bible — the Word of the Lord — sits on the shelf in your home, collecting dust (just as mine did for the first 45 years of my life)!

Let me tell you about this Word of the Lord!!!

Psalm 33:4            Right!

Psalm 33:6            The heavens made, by it

Psalm 107:20        Sent to heal you (also, Mt. 8:8)

Psalm 119:83        Settled (established and stands) in heaven, FOREVER

Psalm 119:105        A lamp for your feet, a light for your path

Psalm 119:40        Very pure

Psalm 130:5          A source of hope

Psalm 138:2            Magnified above His name

Psalm 147:15        Runs swiftly

Psalm 147:18    Melts cold things

Isaiah 30:21        You will hear it, “This is the way, walk in it.”

Isaiah 40:8        Stands forever

Isaiah 55:11        Will not return to Him void

Jeremiah 23:39    Shatters hard things like a hammer

Ezekiel 37:4        Even dry bones hear it!!!

Matthew 13:8    When sown on good soil, fruitfulness results

John 1:14        Became flesh, and dwelled among us .  .  . and you will see His                 glory!

John 5:24        When believed and heeded, makes you pass from death to life!

John 8:31-36     The way to the truth that sets you free from the power of sin.

John 8:51        If obeyed (kept), you will never die!

John 12:48        If rejected/disobeyed, it will judge you, in the last day.

John 15:7        If it abides in you, then you will ask whatever you wish and it                 will be  one for you

2Corinthians 4:4, 6        A mirror through which you see Christ  . . .
the more you look AT the Lord,
the more you look LIKE the Lord!

Acts 6:2        Must not be neglected in order to serve tables!

Acts 6:7, 12:24    Keeps on spreading, when it is boldly spoken (Acts 4:29)

Acts 8:17, 11:1    Must be received, taken in, accepted, and submitted to

Romans 10:17     When heard and heeded, faith springs up!

1Corinthians 1:18    Foolishness to those that are perishing, but to those who are                 being saved, it is the power of God.

Ephesians 6:17    Is the sword of the Spirit

Philippians 2:16    Is the word of life that you are to hold out in the darkness, so                 you are like a star in the universe.

Hebrews 4:12    Living and active . . . judging the thoughts and attitudes of your             heart.

Let the Word of the Lord have its way in you. Submit to it, let it convict you regarding sin and righteousness and judgment, and the Lord will change your heart, and you will see Him!

This is not a suggestion, but a command from the Lord today!!!

Lift up your heads, and the King of glory will come in, and dwell within you (Psalm 24:7, John 14:23)!

Seek (search out, strive after, beseech, beg) the face, the presence, of the Lord!

Then you will be prepared to ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place. (Psalm 24:3) Once you have truly seen Him, you will never look away again!

FIRE

The Holy Spirit and fire are inseparable. You can’t have one without the other. And it is God’s command that you be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire.

[SW154] 09/20/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Fire”

Matthew 3:11 [John the Baptist said]  “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

A few things about the baptism of the Holy Spirit:

— Repentance must precede the baptism. Not only repentance, but the fruit thereof.

— The Holy Spirit and fire are inseparable. You can’t have one without the other.

— John the Baptist was not baptizing those who did not yet believe. He was baptizing believers in God.

— That means that those believers in God needed to repent, needed to turn to God. They were going through the motions but sinning on the side, and John’s words convicted them of their sin.

— The most religious were the ones he most strongly rebuked. Dotting i’s and crossing t’s does not make you right with God.

So why repent and be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire? I could tell you all the things that will change in you and all the things that you will become, but here’s the bottom line: God commands it. Isn’t that enough reason?

John the Baptist, and Jesus Christ, and the disciples, preached for God’s people to repent. It is the repentance that leads to life:

Acts 11:18 When they [Jews upset that Peter had gone into the home of the Gentile Cornelius] heard this, they quieted down and  glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads tolife.”

So repentance must come first. Then you live. Then you seek the baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire, because God commands it (see Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8, Ephesians 5:17-18).

What will the Holy Spirit’s fire do?

— Refine you and purge you of all admixtures, burning off every other inferior metal so you are made pure, so your heart is completely God’s (Malachi 3:3). Again, Malachi prophesied to the people of God, even the Levites who were designated as His ministers and worshipers, not unbelievers.

His eyes move to and fro across the earth to strongly support those whose hearts are entirely His, beloved (2Chronicles 16:9)! Halleujah!

— Cleanse you (Acts 15:9). The house of Cornelius did speak in other tongues, which is evidence of baptism with the Holy Spirit throughout the New Testament, but what really impressed Peter was that their hearts were cleansed. Again, purity of heart is in view.

—  Provide you with light to lead the way. He is the pillar of fire by which Israel was able to journey by night (Exodus 13:22). You will hear a voice saying, “This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right or the left.” (See Isaiah 30:21.)

— This fire will burn but not consume, so that you may be as the burning bush (Exodus 3:2), and the Lord may speak through you.

For today’s church:

We blame much of our problems on the devil. We say he’s at work, and that’s why our lives are so messed up. But that’s not what the Bible says:
James 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when  sin  is accomplished, it brings forth death.  16  Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

God will deliver you from your lust when you are baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire. Listen to Peter:

2Peter 1:4  For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent  promises, so that by them you may become  partakers of the divine nature, having  escaped the  corruption that is in the world by lust.

Beloved, Christianity is not a religion — it is a relationship with God that is intimate and continual. I hear “relationship” a lot in the church-at-large. What I rarely hear is that you cannot have a relationship with God if  you continue to willfully disobey God (that is, SIN).

1John 1:6  “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness [that is, sin], we lie and  do not practice the truth;”

Do not deceive yourselves, beloved. Give God full reign in you.

Turn from your willful disobedience! Turn from your sin! Jesus Christ is the only Way to God the Father. No one comes to Him except through Jesus.

Don’t just mouth the words — truly turn away from the sin you’ve been doing. Then ask Him for the Holy Spirit and fire. He’ll refine, purge, cleanse, light your path, and remove your chains so you’re no longer a slave to sin.

Believe and receive!