UNDERSTANDING SIN

[SW197] 08/07/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Understanding Sin”

If we understand the reality and extent of our sin and the availability and extent of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, we will love Him much! This is the very Good News of the gospel!

I am compelled by the love of God to speak of sin (Jeremiah 23:22) because all have sinned and lack the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

I have come to announce that God has the solution — Jesus Christ!

Text: Luke 7:36-50

What did the woman do?

She HEARD Jesus was in her city.

She CAME TO HIM.  Why?

I believe she CAME TO HIM because she knew she was sinning and had heard that He heals and also forgives sin (see Matthew 9:2, the paralytic). She did not need physical healing, but healing of her relationship with God.

She CAME TO HIM intending to worship Him, because she brought an alabaster vial of perfume.

Thus, she HAD FAITH that He was God in the flesh, for only God is to be worshiped, and only God can forgive sin.

She WEPT. As He reclined, she stood at His feet, weeping tears of repentance and gratefulness.

She BROKE ALL THE RULES, letting her hair down in public, to wipe the tears that fell on His feet. With her brokenness, she honored Him.

She WORSHIPED EXTRAVAGANTLY, kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. Oh how beautiful are the feet of Him who brings Good News (Isaiah 52:7)!

Thus, she LOVED MUCH, largely, abundantly, greatly.

What did the Pharisee do?

He INVITED Jesus to come to dinner.

He did not welcome Jesus according to custom — there was no kiss on the cheek, no washing of feet, no anointing with oil.

He went out of his way NOT to worship Him.

He did not seek forgiveness.

He did not have faith.

He judged the woman, and he judged Jesus.

He did not weep.

He did not break all the rules.

He did not worship Him extravagantly.

He did not honor Christ.

Thus, he LOVED LITTLE (literally, his love was puny).

You see:

1. If we understand the reality and extent of our sin
2. And we understand the availability and extent of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ
3. Then we love Christ much

I tell you the truth, a gospel preached with no sin and no repentance CANNOT cause you to respond to Jesus Christ by doing #3.

With that gospel, you will love little.

You might say, like the Pharisee, “I am a good person. I do good things. I obey the rules.”

You might even judge sinners by avoiding them. You might say, “Thank God, I am not like them” (see Luke 18:9ff).

You might even judge Jesus when He ministers to sinners. Why is He with THEM?

You might even judge Jesus when He sends someone to speak His truth to you. After all, if you have heard a gospel with no sin and no repentance, then no one has told you that He came to forgive you of your sins, if you repent.

You might even say, “You can’t be speaking for Jesus. He would never speak to me that way. He loves me just the way I am. We are buddies and the Father is my sugar daddy, giving me whatever I want.”

And so, you will love little, like the Pharisee, because you do not understand the reality and extent of your sin.

Who had faith?

Who was forgiven?

Who was saved?

Who went in peace?

The woman who loved much, because she understood the reality and extent of her sin and the availability and extent of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Again, a gospel preached with no sin and no repentance CANNOT cause you to respond to Jesus Christ by loving Him much.

And what is more, a gospel preached without sin and repentance cannot bring you to the truth that Jesus will set you free from slavery to sin, by baptizing you in the Holy Spirit (John 8:31-36). Sin is not mentioned, repentance is not mentioned, and so you do not understand that you are a slave to sin.

But if you repent and ask His forgiveness for your sin, He will not only forgive you, but He will show you that He commands you to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4).

These also are commands, given by the Spirit-inspired Apostle Paul:

Romans 6:19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

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

And the result will be inward holiness because the Holy Spirit dwells in you, large and in charge!

And you will be filled with the actual love of God,  you will love Him with His love, and you will not struggle to obey Him, for your heart will be entirely His!

And He will shine forth from you, drawing people to Himself through His presence in you, so they, too may understand the extent of their sin, and the availability and extent of Gods forgiveness through Jesus Christ, and they will love Jesus Christ much!

Romans 10:14   How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?  15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”

Advertisements

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!

STAIN REMOVAL

[SW191] 06/19/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Stain Removal”

Today I want to talk with you about laundry, because we must appear before our King without stain or wrinkle.

Texts spoken to God’s children, Judah, while they were in captivity in Babylon:

Ezekiel 36:25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

Ezekiel 36:26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

Ephesians 5:25   Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,  26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
Ephesians 5:27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

Well, we’re talking here about cleansing and stains and wrinkles. Now the Lord showed me some things about stains.

A stain can have an external source — spaghetti sauce, barbecue sauce from ribs, grease grape juice, and such.

When you see it, you can treat it with stain remover, or scrub it, or bleach it, or soak it. And sooner or later, it will come out. Sometimes we have to be persistent, if it’s a really bad stain.

The Lord says through Ezekiel in 36:25 that he will sprinkle clean water on us, and we will be clean.

He’ll cleanse you from all your sins you have committed in the past, the actions you did that were against Him, when you see them and see Him as our Savior and turn from them and ask Him to remove these external things, the actions you have done against Him.

You have soiled ourselves with them, and we are stained with them, but the Launderer is here to clean you up! He is our Launderer, and the word for that in the Bible is “fuller.” The Lord says,

Malachi 3:2 “But who can endure the day of His [Jesus’] coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.”
He’s going to scrub you clean! He specializes in stain removal!

Now we must go on.

Some stains have an internal source, something that comes from inside you. Underarm stains and stains around the collar are from perspiration. Even if you remove those stains from your clothing, they will come back again, because they come from something inside you. The only way to stop them would be to stop perspiring!

Beloved, you have something that comes from inside you that stains the outside of you, and no matter how many times you ask the Lord to forgive you, they keep reappearing, and they will continue, unless the source is treated. And that inward condition separates you from your God (Isaiah 59:2), because you continue to sin against Him after you have become His child, just as Israel did.

Jeremiah 2:22 “Although you wash yourself with lye
And use much soap,
The stain of your iniquity is before Me,” declares the Lord GOD.

We sing, “My CHAINS are gone, I’ve been set free.” But maybe we ought to sing “My STAINS are gone, I’ve been set free,” because removing the STAINS removes the CHAINS!

The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), so you must not continue to sin against God after coming to Him through His Son. But there’s something INSIDE you that keeps causing the stain of sin.

What can you do? Are you stuck in sin forever, like the man in Romans 7? Knowing what’s right and yet doing what’s wrong?

No! What does the Lord say, in Ezekiel 36:26-27? He will not only sprinkle clean water on us externally, but He ALSO promises that if we ask Him (Luke 11:13), He will put a new heart and a new spirit within us — His!

He will remove the source of the stain of sin, the sin nature that’s in you, the one you inherited from your father, Adam! He will remove that iniquity, the source, that inward perverseness and twistedness, that results in continued outward stains!

He will remove the heart of stone, the one that is hardened over and rebellious, and put a heart of flesh in us, one that will respond to His every whisper. When He does laundry, He really does LAUNDRY!

When He baptizes you with HIS Spirit, you will walk in His ways and be obedient to Him. And you will love Him with His love (Romans 5:5)! And you will be a witness of Jesus Christ who saved you and cleaned you up inside and out (Acts 1:8)! And you will have a holy, intimate relationship called fellowship, with the Father and the Son:

1John 1:3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.  4 These things we write, so that our [also yours!]  joy may be made complete.

This cleansing gives great joy to God the Father, and God the Son gives you His joy, and we all rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory (1Peter 1:8)!

Now the Lord wants me to say something else, too:

Ephesians 5:27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory [a glorious church, in the King James version of the Bible] , having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

I have spoken of spots and stains. But I must talk about wrinkles, too.

The Lord showed me that even when I have carefully pressed a skirt, when I sit down for a while and then get up, I will find it has wrinkled. I have to apply some heat with an iron to get the wrinkles out again. But as soon as I sit down again, they’ll come back.

Beloved, the church is wrinkled because she has been sitting in one place for too long! She has all kinds of creases in her because she has become complacent and comfortable! Who can get these wrinkles out? Only Jesus Christ can do it!

You must let Him apply some heat to you, beloved. You must let Him baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire, and you won’t want anything to do with sitting down! You’ll run, dance, jump, and walk about with His name continually on your lips! He will make you holy by filling you with His holiness, blameless and faultless in His eyes because your motives and heart are pure and totally His!

He is ready now to rid you of your frustration, your rebellion, and your complacency. He is ready to rid you of your stains. He is ready to rid you of your wrinkles.

Are you willing to agree with Him that you have stains you can’t get rid of, no matter how hard you scrub and soak? Are you ready to agree with Him that you have wrinkles because you have sat in one place for too long?

Agree, and He will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire! Not just your chains, but your stains will be gone, and you will be set free, indeed!

What’s this got to do with daily living? What’s this got to do with all the problems you have?

Everything! If He changes you inside, then your circumstances will also change BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN CHANGED. That stain, your inward rebellion against Him will be gone, you will be at peace with Him, and these things will be reflected in your life.

You will become a change agent in your own life and the lives of others. You will become a minister of reconciliation, and an ambassador for your King (2 Corinthians 5:18, 20).

And church, you will get off your duffs and on your heavenly assignment!

And that stain that kept coming back? It’ll be gone for good, because the inward source is gone!

2Corinthians 7:1   Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

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

Let us say to the Lord, “We agree!” That’s our part in the cleansing. Let us say, “Let our sin nature be put to death so we no longer sin against you!” Amen!

WHAT GOD MAKES YOU

[SW182] 04/17/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“What God Makes You”

What does God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit make you when you are saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost? Oh, my! I’m about to tell you about it!

Text: Isaiah 61

NOTE: This text is a promise for Israel, God’s people, if they see their Messiah, Jesus Christ. But you have also been made one of God’s, even His adopted child, so these promises are for you, too!

When the Spirit of the Lord has filled you up, and Jesus Christ rules reigns in you (John 14:17), beloved, by way of His Holy Spirit —

61:1    He makes you anointed and appointed, consecrated and assigned! To do what?

— Use those beautiful feet (Isaiah 52:7) to bring good news of God’s great salvation to the afflicted, that is, the contrite and humble, those who know they need what God has (and we all need it), just like God did for you. Those are the ones who will gladly receive what you bring!

— Bind up (wrap firmly and heal) those whose hearts are shattered in pieces, just like God did for you!

— Proclaim liberty (freedom, rapid movement, and spontaneous outflow!) to the captives of sin, just like God did to you!

— Proclaim freedom to prisoners, but the literal is much more powerful! Complete opening to the bound ones, just like God did to you!

— Proclaim the favorable year of the Lord, a very long year that began about 2000 years ago and is still continuing, just like God did for you!

61:2     — Proclaim the day of vengeance of our God, when He will take revenge upon Satan and those who reject His Christ. Amen! We must speak of God’s judgment, for He sent His Son to keep us from it, if we will believe!

— Comfort those who mourn over the wickedness that is done in high places  in this world, just like He did you.

When the Spirit of the Lord has filled you up, and Jesus Christ rules reigns in you, beloved —

61:3    —Those who mourn over their spiritual condition will, like you, receive a change in character and condition!

— A garland (victorious crown) instead of ashes on their heads, just like He did you!

— The oil of gladness instead of mourning — oh, they will receive through you the glorious oil of the Holy Ghost, righteousness, peace and joy in Him (Romans 14:17), so they, too, can be anointed and appointed, consecrated and assigned, just as God made you!

— The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting, which means praise will be like a robe upon them, just like God put that mantle of praise on you!

And just like you, they will be called oaks, strong and long-lived, even oaks of righteousness, standing firm and right with God because God is in them to empower them to live holy lives! Why? So He is glorified! So people see Him in you, and say, “The Lord, He is God!” They see that, like you, these have been with Jesus!

It won’t be their work, but God’s. He’s the Planter, and when He looks over His great and vast plantations of oaks of righteousness, He is glad, indeed!

61:4 — Then they will join you in:

— Rebuilding the ancient ruins of the lives of those around them!

— Raising up those who have been devastated by Satan’s work in their hearts!

— Repairing that which seemed impossible to restore because it had been in ruins for so long!

61:5 — Strangers, those they and you do not now know, will supply your natural needs for food and drink, just as the widows did for Elijah and then Elisha.

— But why won’t they and you and they be tending to those things?

61:6 — Just as God has made you, they will be called priests of the Lord (1Peter 1:4-5), a royal priesthood! It’s a full-time job, so others will supply their natural needs for food and drink, in a similar way to the Levitical priesthood in the Old Testament. Oh, my!

— They, like you, will be ministers of our God (Ezekiel 44:15), those who directly minister to God, face-to-face, coming extremely near to Him to minister to Him, having holy intimacy with Him, pouring out of the love He poured into their hearts to overflowing, just as He poured it into yours (Romans 5:5)!

— They, like you,  will enjoy the spoils of victory over this world system!

61:7  Just as God has made you, they will exchange their shame for an inheritance!

— They, like you, will receive the inheritance of the first born, a double portion!

—They, like you become co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)!

— And they, like you, will shout for joy because of it! Not for just a moment, but everlastingly, joy unspeakable and full of glory (1Peter 1:8)!

61:8    Just as God made you, they will offer themselves as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing (Romans 12:1), when they, like you, are filled with the Holy Ghost!

— This is just and right to God. He loves when His brand of justice is done!
He hates a partial offering, a lukewarm offering, an offering accompanied by complaint. Glad and full surrender is what pleases Him!

— And they, like you, will receive their reward, and an everlasting promise will be made to them by Him!

61:9 —They will be made bearers of blessed children, just like you! Everyone will recognize the Holy Ghost in them and their children!

61:10    — And like just like you, He will make them into rejoicers, those who rejoice greatly in the Lord and exult God! Why?

— Like you, they will know that they are clothed with salvation and wrapped in a robe of righteousness!

— Like you, they will know that there is a victorious Bridegroom coming for them, and they will be adorned with great spiritual riches in preparation for the day He comes!

Well . . .

62:2-3 — Like you, they will have a new name given to them by God. That designates that change in their condition and character!

— He will make them into a crown of beauty and a royal diadem (turban) in His hand, that is, under the control and care of God.

I could go on and on! I am one who stands on the wall, who cries to the church and those who do not know Christ to repent, to turn, until they shine brightly with the righteousness, like the brightness of the dawn’s radiance (62:1)!

I am a watchman who will never keep silent, I will not take rest, and I will cry out to God until He establishes and makes the church, and His people Israel who receive their Messiah, a praise to the earth!

Now, my brothers and sisters, has God made you these things? You must ask Him to do it, so you can lead others to the same thing! You can’t lead them to it if He has not made you that which you are proclaiming! You can’t fake this. You can’t be all nice in church on Sunday and live like hell the rest of the week! Amen!

Examine yourself right now, before Him. Bow, kneel, contritely and humbly. If you are not doing these things, ask Him right now to save, sanctify, and then fill you with the Holy Ghost. And He will make you these things. It is His promise, and He never goes back on His promises.

JESUS’ LETTER TO PHILADELPHIA

Those of the church at Philadelphia are keepers — keepers of the Word of Jesus Christ, keepers of the Word of God. Are you a keeper, too?

[SW132] 03/14/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Jesus’ Letter to Philadelphia”

Text: Revelation 3:7-13

Background:

While the Apostle John is exiled on the island of Patmos (to the east of Greece), Jesus Christ gives him a revelation — an unveiling — of Himself, and what is to come.

The unveiling of Himself:

When John sees Jesus Christ as He is now — Judge, Lord of lords, and King of kings — here’s what happens:

Revelation 1:17   When I saw Him, I  fell at His feet like a dead man. And He  placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid;  I am the first and the last, 18 and the  living One; and I   was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have  the keys of death and of Hades. 19 “Therefore  write  the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place  after these things.”

What is to come:

Before He unveils what is to come, the Lord Jesus speaks to seven churches through their messengers (pastors). He is the one that walks among (5281, in the middle of) the seven golden lamp stands that are like candelabra (the churches).

Why does He speak to them? To encourage them, to exhort them, to correct them, to convict them regarding sin and righteousness and judgment. He commands five of the seven churches to repent.

Background on Philadelphia:

The city of Philadelphia was surrounded by vineyards. Worship of Dionysus/Bacchus, a fertility god and the god of the grape harvest, took place there. Worship involved drunkenness and a sexual free-for-all

Philadelphia had a difficult time recovering from the A.D. 17 earthquake. Dangerous tremors occurred there even 20 years later. It was to be renamed Neocaesarea (nee-oh-kahee-sar’-i-a) because Tiberius provided aid in rebuilding.

Jesus’ words to Philadelphia:

Those of the church at Philadelphia are keepers — keepers of the Word of Jesus Christ, keepers of the Word of God. Of the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, this is the only one who has “kept My Word” in the text.
Ephesus toils and perseveres, and is on the lookout for false teachers. But Jesus shows us they do not keep His Word because they have left their first love — Him!

I believe Smyrna keeps His Word, though He doesn’t write that in his letter to them. They are so Christlike that they endure fierce and fatal persecution. That’s the mark of a keeper of His Word.

Pergamum holds fast His name and does not deny His faith, but some do not keep His Word because they heed false teachers, and thus eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality.

Thyatira has love and faith and service and perseverance, and deeds greater than at first. But these are no substitute for keeping His Word. They tolerate and some heed a false prophetess who teaches false doctrine similar to Pergamum, but  within the church.

Sardis is dead, except for a very few. They do keep not His Word. If they did, they would have Christ’s abundant life dwelling within them (John 10:10)!
To the church at Philadelphia Jesus identifies Himself as the Holy One, the True One.

— Holy (40 hagios) consecrated, set apart, blameless, pure.

He is the Holy One, deity, consecrated by the Father to be His Messiah, His Christ. He is set apart, blameless.

— True (228 alethinos), concealing nothing, truthful, true. Like His Father, He is faithful to His Word, true to His character, full of grace and truth (John 1:14, 17), and not capricious like false gods.

I believe there are two reasons He identifies Himself this way:

1.  To respond to those in the synagogue of Satan, the ones who refuse to believe He is the Holy One of Israel, God who came in the flesh.

2. To encourage Philadelphia that they have been given His attributes, because they keep His Word!

He has the key of David:

Isaiah 22:22 “Then I will set  the key of the  house of David on his shoulder,
    When he opens no one will shut,
    When he shuts no one will  open.”  

It is one of the Old Testament (OT) titles of the Messiah, the Savior, the One to whom God the Father entrusts to rule, the One who is descended, in the natural, from the house of David. He proclaims to those who say they are Jews but are not, “I am the Messiah!”

Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ sent from God to redeem His people, and what He opens, no one will shut, and what He shuts, no one will open! What a promise!
He opens the door for His faithful ones — those who keep and obey and guard and protect His Word — so they may proclaim Him. He shuts the door on those who oppose the church at Philadelphia; that is, Satan and those whom Satan uses.

Jesus fully knows their deeds! They have a little (3398 micros, small, little, least) power (1411 dunamis, used of the miracle-working power of God). They have a mustard seed:

Matthew 17:20b “ . . . for truly I say to you,  if you have faith  the size of  a mustard seed, you will say to  this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and  nothing will be impossible to you.”

It is the only church of which Jesus says “you have a little power.” A small portion of the power of God is manifested through those in the church at Philadelphia, and it is enough to move mountains!

But miracles by themselves must be accompanied by keeping His Word, and not denying His name. The church at Philadelphia does all three. Because they keep His Word and do not deny His name, they have a little dunamis,

They live according to His character and do not profane His reputation by claiming to be Christian and yet willfully disobeying Him. Doing that would be to deny Him.

Some will work wonders like they do, but if they do not keep His Word — if they disobey Him by sinning against Him — He says:

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

22 “ Many will say to Me on  that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;  DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”

Philadelphia keeps His Word! They obey, they protect and guard His Word! And so they are faithful and true to Him, and they have a little of His power.

Therefore, He says: “Behold, I have put before you  an open door which no one can shut  . . .”  He says this of no other church. He provides an open door to proclaiming the gospel, one that cannot be shut, and an open door to heaven. I believe both are in view here.

Who opposes to the church at Philadelphia? The same as at Smyrna, the only other church that receives no rebuke: those who say they are Jews but are a synagogue of Satan, ones whom Satan uses.

There are in Philadelphia those who call themselves Jews, but because they do not believe in their Messiah, Jesus Christ, they are sons of their father, the devil (John 8:44). So they are a synagogue of Satan, as Jesus said when He walked the earth:

John 8:44 “You are of  your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks  a lie, he  speaksfrom his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Just as they did to Jesus Christ when He walked the earth, and as they do to the church at Smyrna, they also do to the church at Philadelphia. The “Jews” accuse them of blasphemy because they believe and confess that Jesus Christ is deity, God the Son, and they call God their Father, just as Jesus did (see John 20:17).

But Jesus will make (a prolonged form of that word) Philadelphia’s persecutors do something: He will make them bow down in a prolonged way before the church at Philadelphia. And when He does it, they will know unequivocally that Jesus has loved and continues to love the church at Philadelphia with His actual love. They are His beloved. They share in the promise from Isaiah:

Isaiah 49:23 “ Kings will be your guardians,
    And their princesses your nurses.
    They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth
    And lick the dust of your feet;
    And you will know that I am the LORD;
    Those who hopefully wait for Me will  not be put to shame.

Isaiah 60:14 “The sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you,
    And all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet;
    And they will call you the  city of the LORD,
    The  Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

So, too, those at Philadelphia, because they have kept (5083 preserved, guarded, obeyed, watched over, continued in) His Word steadfastly.

And thus, not only do they have an open door for proclaiming the gospel AND to heaven itself, but He will keep them in the same way they have kept His Word — He will keep them, guard them and watch over them and preserve them from the hour of testing (3986, discipline, adversity) which is about to come on the whole world, to put to the test the earth-dwellers.

As the Book of Revelation unveils in Chapters 6 to 20, a great tribulation of famine, plagues, and death will come upon those who reject Jesus Christ:  first, by Christ’s breaking of the seven seals of the scroll the Father hands to Him, then the seven trumpets, and finally, the seven bowls of God’s wrath.

2Peter 2:9  . . . the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment . . .

2Thessalonians 1:7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted  and to us as well   when the Lord Jesus will be revealed  from heaven  with  His mighty angels  in flaming fire,  8 dealing out retribution to those who  do not know God and to those who  do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  9 These will pay the penalty of  eternal destruction,  away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

Note this, beloved — retribution will be dealt out by Jesus Christ to two groups: 1) those who do not know God; and 2) those who do not obey His gospel.

He is coming quickly, suddenly, unexpectedly. He encourages the church at Philadelphia to hold fast, to cling to what they have, so they do not lose their crown, which I believe is the same crown of life that He promises Smyrna.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches!

For today’s church:

The church of Philadelphia is scattered throughout all the churches — it is a remnant. These are keepers, they are keepers of the Word of God.

Beloved, are you a keeper? If you have been unfaithful to Him, repent! He must remain true to His nature.

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

He is love, and He has all the grace you need, but He is also just and righteous. If you deny Him, He will deny you:

Matthew 10:32   “Therefore  everyone who  confesses Me before men, I will also confess  him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 “But  whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.”

In what way do some in the church of today deny Him? If you do not keep His Word, you deny Him, beloved. If you do not keep His Word, and continue in it, you will surely profane His name by sinning against Him.

Die with Him (v. 11)! Ask the Lord to crucify the old nature in you, the one that wants to go astray! That crucifixion happens when you ask Jesus to baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

He will give you His nature — you will become holy and true, because the Holy One, the True One lives and reigns in you!

When He reigns in you, He will say of you what He says of Philadelphia:

Revelation 3:8   “‘ I know your  deeds. Behold, I have put before you  an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and  have not denied My name.'”

And the Enemy, Satan, will be forced to bow before you! And you will be protected from the test that is about to come.

He is coming quickly, suddenly, and unexpectedly.

Be baptized in the Holy Spirit, be clothed with His readiness, have oil in your lamps, so they are lit when He comes (Luke 12:35), cling to what He has given you!

Be ready, O church!

BLESSED

Let Jesus’ words go deep today — you will be blessed, not just blessed but supremely blessed, experiencing God’s protection and favor. It all starts with the realization of your spiritual condition.

[SW110] 10/06/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“Blessed”

Jesus loved His disciples, as He loves you, O church.
You follow after Him, you admire Him,
you are friends with Him.

But because He loves you, He will reveal truth to you,
just as He did to His disciples and the crowd that drew near
and listened to the Sermon on the Mount.

As Oswald Chambers taught, “Never apologize for your Lord. The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to hurt or offend . . . if the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you may be sure that there is something He wants to hurt to death.”

AND “The summing up of our Lord’s teaching is that the relationship He demands is an impossible one unless He has done a supernatural work in us.”

Matthew 5:1-16

All this (verses 3-9) leads to this (verses 10-12), but also this (verses 13-16)!

Blessed — 3107 a prolonged form of the poetical version of this word.
That is, not just blessed, but supremely blest in a prolonged way;
endowed with divine favor and protection.

Blessed are you if you are:

Poor — 4434 a beggar (as cringing), i.e. pauper
in spirit — 4151 rational soul, the vital principle, mental disposition, mind.

For yours is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you if you:

Mourn – 3996. to grieve in feeling and/or in action; mourn, bewail.

For you will be comforted (3870), encouraged, entreated, exhorted, urged
(a reference to the Paraklete, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit).

Blessed are you if you are:

Gentle — 4239, mild, humble, meek, understanding your spiritual condition.

For you shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are you if you:

Hunger — 3983 to pine; to be famished (extreme hunger); to crave.

and thirst – 1372 to thirst for (lacking the liquid necessary to sustain life).

for righteousness — 1343 to be made innocent, holy.

For you will be satisfied — 5526 gorged (supplied food in abundance): filled!

Blessed are you if you are:

Merciful — Actively compassionate
(with God’s actual compassion and love in your heart).

For you shall receive mercy.

Blessed are you if you are:

Pure in heart — 2513 clean, clear, not adulterated/mixed with any other material,
pure in 2588 thoughts, feelings, the middle, the innermost being.

for you shall see God — 3708 experience; passively, behold, perceive, take heed.

Blessed are you if you are a:

Peacemaker — 1518 peaceable, bringing about peace by reconciliation.

(From the Expositor’s Bible Commentary: “Our peacemaking includes the promulgation of the gospel of reconciliation to God through Christ. It must also extend to seeking all kinds of reconciliation . . .

“Making peace is not appeasement: the true model is God’s costly peacemaking.”

For you shall be called sons of God.

IF you have realized your spiritual poverty,
IF you have mourned and have been comforted,
IF you have become humble and meek,
IF you have hungered and thirsted for righteousness
and have been filled abundantly,
with the Holy Spirit!

IF you have and receive God’s compassion, His very love filling your heart,
IF you are pure in heart and have experienced God,
IF you seek to reconcile others to Him . . .

THEN it will lead to this:

Blessed are you if you have been:

persecuted — 1377 caused to flee, pursued, caused to suffer.

for the sake of righteousness — 1343 because you have been made innocent, holy.

For yours is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people:

insult you — 3679 to defame, i.e. rail at, chide, taunt; suffer reproach, revile, upbraid.

and persecute you — 1377 cause you to flee, pursue you, cause you to suffer.

and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great.
For in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Why are you blessed
when you are persecuted and insulted and defamed,
when you are caused to flee and to suffer?

Because it is proof that Christ is in you!
And you rejoice to be counted worthy to suffer as He did!

IF you have realized your spiritual poverty,
IF you have mourned and have been comforted,
IF you have become humble and meek,
IF you have hungered and thirsted for righteousness
and have been filled abundantly,
with the Holy Spirit . . .

IF you have and receive God’s compassion, His very love filling your heart,
IF you are pure in heart and have experienced God,
IF you seek to reconcile others to Him . . .

THEN you will also be to the world:

Salt that does not lose its saltiness (no more admixture, but purity)!

Light because Christ is in you, shining from you!

Cities on the hill, unmistakable and very visible day and night!

Lamps lit with Christ, shining and giving light to all who are in the house!

Shining so all men can see GOD’s work in you and His works through you,
and glorify your Father in heaven.

But have you, O Christian, and have you, O church:

Have you realized your spiritual poverty,
have you mourned and have been comforted,
have you become humble and meek,
have you hungered and thirsted for righteousness
and have you been filled abundantly,
with the Holy Spirit?

Have you received God’s compassion,
Have you experienced God coming into you,
His very love filling your heart?

Are you pure in heart and have experienced God,

Do you seek therefore seek to reconcile others to Him . . .

The Lord says most have not, but that there is time, here and now,
to make amends to your God!

Turn now from your sin and the Lord will no longer be
a distant, foggy image to you!

Mourn over your spiritual condition, and the Comforter will come!

Through the conviction of the Holy Spirit TODAY,
be made humble and meek!

Be filled because you have hungered and thirsted for righteousness!

Be filled with God’s compassion and love!
Be filled with God’s purity in your heart!

And you will most assuredly want to reconcile others to Him!