MARK 10 COMMENTARY

This is a commentary for you and me. It isn’t complicated, because Jesus wants you to understand it, so you can be healed physically and even more importantly, in your relationship with God, which was broken by sin.

So what does the Holy Spirit want us to see in this chapter? The effects of blindness.

Verses 1-12 — Jesus is teaching. He does not only heal and deliver, but He teaches. Take heed of His words, and you will be blessed, indeed!

Of course, the blind Pharisees do not receive the truth that Jesus is teaching. The effects of blindness! They are only present because they very much want to make Him stumble in His words. So they ask about divorce. I am sure they were being convicted of their sin, as He spoke.

At that time, Jewish men with roving eyes divorced their wives for the slightest thing — maybe the food was not hot when she served it. That way, they could marry the one that caught their eye. So they used the law Moses wrote (not God) regarding divorce, for their own selfish interests. Moses wrote that law because Israel’s hearts were hardened, even then.

Jesus says that law was written because their hearts were hardened. What does it mean to have a hardened heart? It means you follow the letter of the law, but you use it for self-interest.

A person (I’ll use the pronoun “he,” just to make it easier) goes to church and does good works like feeding and clothing the poor, singing in the choir and going to the church every time the door is open. Others admire him and say, “What a great guy!”  Yet he is secretly disobedient to God, sinning against Him in private.

And if a friend comes and speaks to him about the state of his soul, the friend is rejected and rebuffed. The great guy doesn’t want anyone to make him feel bad about what he is doing. He just wants to keep doing what he’s doing. It was the same with the Jews and divorce for selfish purposes, and Jesus was the Friend they rejected and rebuffed.

After Jesus reminds the Pharisees of why Moses made a divorce law, He uses the Word of God to remind them of the heart of God. Male and female, a man leaving his father and mother, the two (male and female) becoming one flesh. Then Jesus says, “What God has joined together, let no man separate.” That is God’s heart and that is a command.

The disciples privately question Jesus about what He means. If you are a man and divorce your wife so you can marry another woman, you commit adultery, He says. If a woman divorces her husband so she can marry another man, she commits adultery, He says.

Notice the reason Jesus calls divorce adultery, in this case. Lust. You have your eye on someone else. You lust after that one. So you divorce your husband or wife. That is adultery. That is exactly what the Jews (including some of the Pharisees) were doing at the time Jesus walked the earth.

Jesus says,”Let no man separate.” Let no man or woman separate. Husband, do not lust after another woman who will separate you from your wife, and wife, do not lust after another man who will separate you from your husband.

Instead, ask God, by His Holy Spirit, to fill and thereby purify your heart so you have no desire for anyone but your own spouse. Amen!

I do not believe that a man or woman whose husband is incurably unfaithful (after counseling is attempted), or abusive, is held to this commandment of Jesus Christ. Such situations have nothing to do with roving, lustful, adulterous eyes.

I support that belief with scripture, and Jeff’s and my case —

1Corinthians 7:15 and 7:24 speak of what happens when you are married and you become a believer. Your husband or wife does not believe, and they leave you. It is not a sin to let them go and to divorce them to avoid legal issues later. You are not bound to them, in the eyes of God. And when you come to the Lord, you remain in whatever condition you were in when you believed. If you are a divorced unbeliever who married another divorced unbeliever, you don’t leave them when you come to faith in Jesus Christ. He forgives those sins.

Jeff and I were both divorcees. We did not know the Lord. We got married. Then we became believers. All of our past sins were forgiven, praise God!

Jeff did not divorce his first wife because he liked me better. He didn’t even know me. Jeff’s first wife abandoned him. I did not divorce my first husband because I liked Jeff better. I didn’t even know Jeff. I divorced my first husband because he beat me until I bled internally. I didn’t have a roving eye, but I had a black and blue body! If we were adulterers in God’s eyes, Jesus never would have healed me, and He never would have filled Jeff and me with His Spirit.

Verses 13-16 — The Pharisees were so blind they couldn’t receive the truth Jesus was teaching.  Now the blindness continues, this time with the disciples. They do not see the kingdom of God that Jesus had told them about previously. They do not understand that little children are as welcome as any others. Everyone is welcome! They see the children as a bother, and rebuke those who bring their children so Jesus can touch them. Do you know what “touch” means? To put a light in them, to set them on fire (with His presence)! The disciples rebuke people for bringing their children so Jesus can put a light in them! Now that’s blindness, a blindness Jesus heals when He fills us with His Spirit. Then we understand, then we see.

So Jesus tells them they have it all wrong. Do not hinder them, let them come! The kingdom of God belongs to those who are like little children before Me! As a matter of fact, if you don’t receive My kingdom like a child, you won’t enter it at all.

What does it mean to receive the kingdom of God as a child? Complete trust in God. If a family functions as God designed it, a child trusts his father and mother completely. That requires a humble heart. The child knows he can’t fix what’s wrong, but if he brings it to his father or mother, it will be fixed. And the child seeks an innocent intimacy with his parents — appropriate hugs and kisses.

Jesus is saying you cannot be a child of God unless you trust God the Father, even to the point where you tell Him your greatest perplexities and problems, trusting that He will take care of them, and you, knowing that He is a perfect Father. That requires a humble heart. You know you can’t fix what’s wrong, but you know He can. A child of God seeks holy intimacy with God, a holy embrace between Him and His child.

The disciples can’t see that yet, because they are not filled with the Holy Spirit. The kingdom of God hasn’t come to them with power, yet. But it will.

Verse 17-27 — Now we see another kind of blindness. A rich young man comes up to Jesus, calling Him “Good Teacher.” Jesus immediately says only God is good. His implicit question is this — do you call me good because you know I am God the Son?

Jesus speaks the last six commandments. So do you do good things, rich young man? And the young man proudly says, I keep all six of them. I do good things. But notice that Jesus doesn’t ask him if he does the first four commandments, which relate to love for God.

Jesus feels love for ones who are physically blind, and He feels love for ones who are spiritually blind and don’t know it. This young man doesn’t see that God must be in you, working through you, in order for you to do the kind of good that God does.

Jesus knows what issue God has with the young man. He is rich. That is his idol. That is his god. So sell everything and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then you can come and follow Me! Jesus knows what the response will be — sadness and retreat, because the young man knows he can’t let go of all of his property. The young man’s riches are his god, but he is blind and can’t see it. The effect of his blindness is that he cannot enter the kingdom.

So he does not follow Jesus, and Jesus does not go after him, either. Instead, Jesus exclaims that it is hard to enter the kingdom of God. Even harder than a camel going through the eye of a needle. He means this literally. It looks impossible.

The entrance to the kingdom of God is not large and grandiose, with a wide path. It has just a small gate, and the way is narrow, and few find it (Matthew 7:14). Few! It is hard to enter. You must be humble.

The disciples are not humble, so they do not understand. Then no one can be saved, they imply, when they say, “Then who can be saved?”

Then Jesus tells us that what looks impossible to man is possible for God. All things are possible with God!

IMPORTANT POINT:  Jesus means this in every way — All things are possible with God. With God, it is possible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, for the proud to be made humble, for the spiritually blind to see, for the incurably sick to be healed and for the demon-possessed to be delivered. With God, it is even possible for a human heart to be filled with God’s actual love!

Verses 28-31 — As usual, Peter (and the rest of the disciples) try to figure out what Jesus means, and Peter takes a stab at it. We’ve left everything! That’s not what Jesus is talking about. The requirement for a humble heart, in order to enter the kingdom of God, is the point He’s making. It isn’t about giving up things. It’s about giving up YOURSELF!

But He tells them (and you) that if, for His sake and the gospel’s sake, you leave your house and your family (He doesn’t mean permanent separation from family) and your work, you will receive 100 times as much now — houses, family, houses, and jobs. All of the coming church will share what they have, every church member will be your brother or sister or mother, every child of a child of God will be like your own, everyone’s home will be your home! That was true of the early church, but as you may have noticed, that is not true in today’s church, because there are proud and spiritually blind ones among us.

And you will also endure persecution, but ultimately, eternal life! It’s a narrow way. Unless you love the world system, it will not love you and it will come against you, even violently (John 15:18-20). They can kill your body, dear one, but you’ll simply go on to be in heaven forever.

But many who are first will be last. The first to have the offer was the Jews. The Pharisees are blind. The young man is blind. The effect of their blindness is that they will not be the first to enter. But the humble ones are able to see, so they will be the first to enter.  And the last to see will be the last to enter.

Verses 32-45 — Now Jesus walks ahead of His disciples, not with them. He is on a mission to get to Jerusalem. They follow, astonished at His behavior and His words. And they are both alarmed and in awe. And with greater detail than ever, Jesus once again tells them that He will be killed and rise three days later.

The blindness of the disciples is once again obvious. James and John want preferential treatment, when Jesus reigns on the earthly throne they are expecting. He will come into Jerusalem on a white horse, and the Romans will be defeated. Their behavior is not humble. They think they deserve to have their request honored by Jesus. Their self interest is clearly in view. It will be to their advantage to have the King’s ear.

He tells them they don’t know what they’re asking. Can they take His cup — a baptism of death? Blindly they say, “We are able.” They don’t know what He’s talking about.

But He tells them they will experience a baptism of death. It will happen at Pentecost, when they die to all of their pride and self-interest. That’s the baptism they will undergo. That’s the cup they will drink. For James, his physical body will die when he is martyred for his faith, with a sword. John will live on, to receive the Revelation before his physical body dies a natural death.

Again, He admonishes them that none is better than any other of them. They must be humble, serving one another, not trying to “best” one another, not trying to jockey for position.

Do you want to be first, He says? Then be a slave to everyone, just as I am!

I did not come for you to serve Me, but to serve you by dying for you, in your place, taking your punishment upon Me; rising again, that you may have eternal life; and pouring out the Holy Spirit, so your spiritual blindness may be healed!

Verses 46-52 — Bartimaeus (whose name means “son of one who is highly prized”) is blind, but he can see before he sees! He knows that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ. How do I know that? The crowd says, “It’s Jesus the Nazarene,” but he calls Him by a Messianic title: Jesus, Son of David. Have mercy on me!

Everyone wanted him to be quiet, to leave the Master alone. They spoke sternly and harshly to Bartimaeus. But he kept shouting!

Keep shouting! Pay no attention to persecution from those who are yet blind.

He will have mercy on you, when you see Him for who He really is, and cry out for mercy and refuse to stop crying out!

Jesus heard him calling, and said to the crowd, “Call him here.” And the crowd said, “Take courage (comfort, be of good cheer), stand up! He is calling for you!”

When you refuse to stop calling out to Him, He will call for you and you will be of good cheer. Bartimaeus’ continuous calling out was an indication of his faith. He knew he was coming to his Healer!

He threw aside his cloak, which was probably everything he owned. He was a blind beggar. The alms he received were likely stored there. But he didn’t care! He jumped up! He didn’t just slowly rise. He jumped! And he came to Jesus, feeling his way through the crowd. Can you see it! He was desperate!

Jesus asks a seemingly foolish question. The man is obviously blind, yet Jesus asks him what he wants Jesus to do for him!

What do you want Jesus to do for you? He wants you to tell Him, just like when I had MS and I had to tell Him what was wrong in my brain and spinal cord, what needed to be healed and recreated. It was an act of faith to tell Him. And so it was for Bartimaeus, the blind man who could see, even before he was healed!

And the man said, “Rabboni (Teacher, a title of respect), I want to regain my sight!”

And Jesus says, “Go! Your faith has made you well.” Does that mean the faith Bartimaeus exhibited had some kind of healing power? No! It means that his faith brought him to the One who heals. So, in that sense, his faith made him well. When?

Immediately! Immediately! No waiting! When you have faith, when you know Who you are coming to, the Christ, the Son of God, when you know He is able to heal you and you are so desperate that you’ll throw away everything when He calls your name —

immediately! At that moment, not when he had faith, but when he stood before Jesus and healing power went forth from Jesus. Immediately!
I challenge you, because I love you with God’s own love — if you say, “I can’t wait until Jesus heals me,” you are not yet desperate, and I will tell you that He is waiting for you to come to Him.

Immediately he regains his sight. His response? Does he just walk away? Does he just say, “Thanks, Jesus, now I have my life back.” No! He immediately began following Jesus on the road. Will you?

 

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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!

COUNT ON THE LORD

[SW186] 05/15/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Count On the Lord”

Text: 1Chronicles 17:25-27, 1Chronicles 21

In every trial, count on the Lord, on His promises, on His faithfulness. But watch out! Satan will tempt you to do otherwise.

King David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).

In 1Chronicles 17:25-27, David recounted the promise the Lord had just made to him. He would build a house for David, one that would continue forever!

David continued to win many battles. In 1Chronicles 20, his army defeated the sons of Ammon, then the Philistines, and then the descendants of the giants of Gath.

But then Satan stood up against Israel (1 Chronicles 21:1). He got a foothold by putting a thought into David’s mind, that he should count his men, that he should do a census.

All Satan needs is a toe in the door. His goal is to steal, kill and destroy. He tries to steal our faith, just as he tried to steal that of Jesus Christ in Matthew 4, in the desert temptation!

A census! Good idea! Wise! Lots of battles, some losses, let’s find out who’s left so we can see if we’re strong enough to continue.

But God didn’t call this census. Satan tempted David, giving him this “wise” idea.

Joab objected (v. 3). If it wasn’t the Lord’s command, they shouldn’t number Israel.

But King David’s word prevailed. It seemed so right to him, so he enforced it. Joab counted all but Levi and Benjamin. There were 1.6 million men.

But God was displeased — in the original Hebrew, “it was evil in the sight of God.” Why?

First, He didn’t call it. He calls for a census for His purposes, for the accomplishment of His plan. So, it was wrong for David to count just because it seemed wise to David.

Now look at 1 Chronicles 27:23. It was another counting, done in David’s old age (23:1). This counting was according to God’s purposes — to establish a written record for the divisions of Levites for service to the Temple that Solomon would build, for Israel’s army, and for other overseers.

1Chronicles 27:23 But David did not count those twenty years of age and under, because the LORD had said He would multiply Israel as the stars of heaven.

That’s the other reason it was evil in the sight of God for David to call for a census in Chapter 21. God promised that Israel would be as numerous as the stars in the universe. By counting his men, David unwittingly questioned God’s promise.

That’s the same as saying, “Lord, I know you are faithful, but I’m just going to be sure.” That’s unbelief.

For David’s doubting, the consequences were dire. When he realized that he had sinned greatly by doubting God’s promise (v. 8), he immediately repented, from the heart. That’s why God said he was a man after God’s own heart. He didn’t intentionally disobey, but when he saw what he had done, he immediately sought the Lord’s forgiveness and mercy, not only for him, but for Israel.

But there was a price: (1) three  years of famine, (2) three months to be swept away by the enemy, or  (3) three days of pestilence. David didn’t want to fall into the hands of his enemies. Three years of famine would have killed many more in Israel than three days of pestilence. So he chose three days of pestilence.

That sounds harsh, but David knew God’s mercy. And God is faithful to His own character.

As the destroying angel set out to destroy Jerusalem, David cried out again for mercy, and  the Lord stopped him before he destroyed every man in Israel, so that the death toll was 70,000 rather than nearly two million (see v. 5).

So what is the Lord saying to you and me and the church at large?

Be careful what you count on. Ask the Lord to purify your heart by baptizing you in the Holy Ghost, and you will rely on Him and Him alone. You’ll also be able to detect Satan’s attempts to gain a foothold!

Church, Satan has tempted you to look at your circumstances, instead of God’s faithfulness to His promises.

And it seems so logical and wise to you, to count your congregation numbers, and if they’re down, it seems good to use man’s methods, even business methods, to increase them. Satan, Ole Slewfoot, has gained a great foothold in the church.

What the Lord say? Stop regarding man (Isaiah 2:22)! Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation (Psalm 146:3).

But you’re under a lot of pressure to do it. Besides, a bigger church will make you famous!

Wrong motive! Pride goes before destruction (Proverbs 16:18). Ask the Lord to give you a new heart, one with no pride in it and a single motive — glorifying God the Father and God the Son through God the Holy Spirit!

Repent! Turn from man’s methods for church growth, and seek to be filled with the Holy Ghost, so that the world around you cries out, “The Lord, He is God!”

Get real with the Lord. You need something from Him, O church. Seek to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, each one of  you, and ask Him to show attesting signs to accompany the words that you speak, words delivered in His power. People will repent.

And what lesson is there for a believer who loves and obeys God and does not willfully disobey Him, but is in the battle of a lifetime, a night season.

You are like David. The Lord has given you a heart after His own heart. But you have fought many battles, and you just want to check to see if you have enough natural strength to weather another one.

Beware! Satan is tempting you to seek strength from a natural source, rather than from the Lord. It seems wise. Everyone else is doing it. But do not doubt God!

If you are in right standing with God, if you love God, does He not say that He will cause all things to work together for good (Romans 8:28)?

Does He not say that He will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus? (Philippians 4:6)

Does He not say that He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you can think or imagine, according to His power that works in you? (Ephesians 3:20)

Does He not say that the battle belongs to Him? (2Chronicles 20:15)

Does He not say that you will be kept by His power, His fort and troops around you to protect you? (1Peter 1:5)

I tell you, it is not enough to be able to recite these scriptures word-for-word. You must believe them in your heart. But praise God! He is a Faith-Giver! Seek Him! He will give you faith to believe Him.

Seek to be baptized in and filled with the Holy Spirit — He is the source of that keeping power!

NOTE: The Lord delivered me from the situation I mentioned in last week’s message, all praise to His name! Five polyps were found and removed. Two were precancerous, but there was NO CANCER. Thank You, my Healer and Deliverer, my Strength and my Shield!

After the procedure, the doctor said I was at very high risk for colon cancer. Satan was about to try to get a foothold.

But all praise to God, Psalm 103 immediately came into my spirit, and I said, Lord, I believe it! I asked my praying friends and relatives to pray in agreement with Jeff and me.

Nevertheless, when I spoke with one friend, she detected worry in my voice. Ah! Satan’s foothold! We rebuked it together. Thank You, Lord!

Then Satan said I was all washed up. “You gonna die,” he cried. But God kept me by His power. I said, “Hallelujah! That means I’m going to live, and God still has work for me to do!”

Whatever Satan says, the opposite is true, because he’s a liar and the father of lies. There is no truth in him (John 8:44)!

Even if the diagnosis had cancer, I already had written statements in my will and medical records that I would rely on God alone to heal me. Praise God!

Even if God did not heal me, it surely would be better to be with Him, but I will be here as long as He wants me here (Philippians 1:23-24).

It is the work of the Lord, nothing I could do on my own, just as with my friend and mentor, Donald Demaray, who had joy in the midst of a great trial and sorrow. It was  Father God. It was Jesus Christ. It was the Holy Spirit. It was all God.

God will do the same for you. Ask the Lord to make you as sure of Him as the Apostle Paul, who wrote —

2 Timothy 1:12 For this reason (his appointment as a preacher and apostle and teacher of the gospel of Christ), I also suffer these things (cruel and unjust imprisonment, for he had not disobeyed the law) . . .  but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

I know whom I have believed! You do likewise!

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.

STEADFAST AND IMMOVABLE

[SW181] 04/11/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Steadfast and Immovable”

Steadfast and immovable! Standing firm! Nothing and no one able to sway you or move you from your faith in Jesus Christ and God’s promises!

1Corinthians 15:58   Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

Superabounding, excelling in the work of the Lord, proclaiming Jesus Christ! His glorious, powerful, life-giving work!

Going and making disciples of all men, teaching them to obey Christ (Matthew 28:19-20)!

Healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers, casting out demons (Matthew 10:8)!

When you yourself have been filled with the Holy Spirit, laying hands on your fellow believers, so they are filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:6).

If you are steadfast and immovable, you know without a doubt that this great labor in the Lord is not in vain. You won’t come to Him empty-handed, but bearing the fruit of His works in you and through you!

What rewards there are to those who remain steadfast and immovable?

Revelation 3:8-10 — You have a little power, you have kept His word, you have not denied His name. You are a faithful representative of Him, walking in this world like Him. You have kept the word of His steadfastness. You are steadfast, immovable, always superabounding in this work!

So Jesus Christ puts before you a door for you which no one can shut. It is a door that opens into great and effective work for Him. And false teachers will come and bow down at your feet. Jesus will make them know that He has loved you.

You say, “Jesus loves me, this I know! And you also say, “Jesus knows me, this I love!”

And you will not have to endure what those who reject Him and deny Him will endure. He will keep you, guard you, be a fortress around you! You will be protected from that hour!

And because you remain steadfast and immovable, even if your body dies before Jesus Christ returns, it will be resurrected when that trumpet sounds (1Corinthians 15:50-57)! Death has no victory! Death has no sting!

Therefore, be steadfast, Paul exhorts! Immovable! Against what? Is there something that could move you? What is the “therefore” there for?

Many winds of false teaching swirled around the Corinthians, and swirl around us today.

Great waves are stirred up by these winds, and if we are children and not mature in our faith, we will be tossed here and there, just as some of the Corinthians and Ephesians were (see Ephesians 4:14). But Jesus Christ will change us from children to adults, when we ask Him to make a 24/7 connection between us and the Father and the Son, by the Holy Spirit!

Back in 1Corinthians 15, deceitful teachers tried to convince the Corinthians that there is no resurrection of the dead (15:12).

So, they said, you don’t have to walk as Jesus walked when he was on the earth. Live the way you want to live. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die (15:32).

I tell you, the devil is at work. His goal is to kill you, to steal what God has given you, to destroy you, so you perish with him eternally (see John 10:10). Don’t let him get you!

BECOME steadfast, immovable! How? Ask Him to do it in you!

Christ has come that you may have superabundant life — His life, His eternal life (John 10:10)! Superabundant life that overflows, that becomes a rushing, flood-stage river of living water!

Paul said it was the risen Christ and not human reasoning that motivated him to fight with the demons that were in Ephesus.

He knew without a doubt that when men are delivered and saved, THEY will know without a doubt that Jesus Christ is Lord and that their own resurrection is sure! His labor was not in vain!

But some of the Corinthians were yet children, just as with some Christians today. They continued to live wildly, for which Corinth was world-renowned. Eat, drink and be merry!

Paul warns them and you today, to stop listening to false teachers who say you can do what you want — God’s grace covers you! Hyper-grace! Cheap grace! 

Shall we continue to sin so grace may increase? May it never be (Romans 6:1-2)!

Get drunk, do just as you did before you said “I do” to the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul tells the Ephesians, “Don’t get drunk with wine! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!”

Ah! That’s the key! When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you won’t be a child any more, and the process of becoming more like Jesus will go into hyperdrive!

In Verse 34, Paul tells the Corinthians (and you), to become sober-minded (rouse yourself out of your stupor! Wake up! If some need to become, they are not yet!
They and you need to “become!” Stop sinning!

Those false teachers have no knowledge of God, no intimacy with Him, or they would never teach that you can sin and still be fine with God! Paul spoke it to the shame of those who listened to such ones. And the same goes for you, beloved!

Ask God the Father to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and He will give you discernment so you will run from the strangers, the hirelings the false teachers who are in it for personal gain. You will hear and heed the voice of the Good Shepherd (see John 10)!

And even when you are filled, continue to grow —

2Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness,  18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

You will ever increase in Christlikeness!

You will remain steadfast and immovable, knowing without a doubt that when you proclaim Jesus (which is your work in the Lord), your work will bear the fruit of deliverance for many!

And you will know without a doubt that you will be with the Lord forever! And ever! And ever! And ever! Amen!

GOD’S GREAT PROVISION

[SW179] 04/03/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“God’s Great Provision”

Text: Genesis 22

A foreshadowing of God’s great, amazing provision — His one and only Son, Jesus Christ!

What better time to contemplate such a thing! It is GOOD Friday, the church’s observance of His crucifixion. Why is it GOOD? Because of what happened three days later! He rose! Hallelujah!

Exegesis of Genesis 22 —

vv. 1-2  The Lord calls Abraham responds immediately. He hears God’s voice and says, “Here I am.” So should it be for all of us!

The Lord gave the command for Abraham to do what seems out of character with God, for it was never in His mind to have children burned as a sacrificial offering to Him (Jeremiah 7:31, 32:35). Only those who worshiped other Gods did such things!

So why did He ask?

He gave this command so Abraham would act out prophecy. Hebrews 11:17-19 reveals the mind of God and of Abraham, as he offered his one and only son, the one who was to continue the promise that Abraham’s descendants would bless the earth (see v. 18). Abraham believed that, even if Isaac was sacrificed, God would raise him from the dead. The Lord’s request and Abraham’s response was a type, a symbol of something.

Go to the land of Moriah, which means, “seen of God.”

And there, offer your son, your one and only Son, whom you love1 God recognizes Isaac as the only seed of Abraham, the one through whose descendants the world will be blessed.

Where have we heard that? John 1:14! John 3:16! For God to make this extreme sacrifice, our need must be great, beloved!

Do you already see the parallel to God the Father offering God the Son — His one and only eternally existent, sinless Son?

vv. 3-4 Abraham made preparations, and began the journey to the place the Lord had shown him when the Lord spoke to him. He saw it in the distance, on the third day.

v. 5-6 Now Abraham and the lad (adolescent, teen) went to worship, leaving his two servants behind. Abraham told his servants that both of them would return. See Abraham’s confidence in God! Note: Isaac carried the wood on his back — he was not a little child, but an adolescent, old enough to carry a large load of wood.

Do you see that Jesus Christ also carried a large load of wood on His back, even His cross?

v. 7-8 “My father!” Isaac asked about the lamb for the sacrifice. There was none. What would they offer?

Abraham didn’t say, “You!” Rather, he said, “God will provide FOR HIMSELF the lamb. Provide — that is see. God will see to it! Abraham was confident of it. He believed God, he knew His faithfulness. And they walked on.

Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Go to Isaiah 53. God saw to it that this sinless Lamb of God bore not only a cross, but our sin, taking the punishment we deserved! And it pleased the Father to do it!

v. 9-10 Isaac willingly accepted being bound and laid on the altar. Abraham was ready to kill and offer his son. It was the same to Abraham as sacrificing himself, for Isaac was his true seed, the promised son.

The Lamb of God, the Son that the Father promised us, willingly accepted being bound, beaten and mocked, for our sake!

v. 11-12 The angel of the Lord (God’s voice) called from heaven. “Abraham, Abraham!” The obedient Abraham said, “Here I am.” Don’t do it! “Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” From Me! It is the Lord who is speaking.

I know you fear God —- literally, I know you are a fearer of God, one who worships, reveres, has confidence in, trusts, and loves (see Easton’s Bible Dictionary).

v. 13-14  A ram, a grown lamb, a sacrifice provided seemingly out of the blue, seen by Abraham as he raised his eyes from the altar on which his one and only son laid. A provision by God! On the mountain of the Lord, the mountain where it shall be seen, Mount Moriah!

Do you see it? Jesus Christ, the grown Lamb of God, the one and only Son of God, offered in place of us, a wrath-bearer, taking upon Himself what we deserved!

And it took place on the mountain called Moriah. Many scholars believe Moriah,  the mountain where Isaac was bound and prepared to be offered, is the very mountain where the Lamb of God was provided by the God the Father!

Do you see Him on the mountain? YHWH yireh, the root of which is of ra’ah, which means to see! If you really see it, you will bow down and worship God the Father and God the Son right now!

v. 15-18  The Lord promises that Abraham’s confidence in Him yields great reward! He repeats His promise from Genesis 12 and 15, but adds that Abraham’s descendants will be as the sand on the seashore, and that they will possess the gates of their enemies.

Beloved, if you believe in and are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are a recipient of this promise (see Romans 9:8)!

Why did the Lord promise? Because Abraham obeyed, knowing the Lord so well at this point in his life, and loving Him, that he trusted Him even with his one and only son.

Isaac is not mentioned again until Genesis 24, when Abraham’s servant is sent to bring a wife for Isaac. Well! What a picture of Christ, three days in the grave and risen, and His bride, the church, being prepared now by the Holy Spirit for Him.

So what will you do in response? While you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you!
While you were yet hostile toward God, He sent His Son! (See Romans 5:8, 10). He demonstrates His own love for us by doing so.

Do you see the Descendant of Abraham, Jesus Christ, through whom the whole world is blessed, when men and women repent, confess their sins, and receive what He has done?

My brother, my sister, fellow believers, and those who are just now believing, will you respond to this grace of God, this love of God, this sacrifice of God on your behalf, this Son who bore our sins?

Confess your condition, confess your rebellion, confess your sin. He will save you who are just now believing!

And brothers and sisters in Christ, your response is Romans 12:1. Christ’s extreme sacrifice requires your extreme commitment, completely and entirely committing yourself to Him! That’s your part of the deal. Then you are able to speak Galatians 2:22 with the Apostle Paul.

Then Christ will live in you and through you, for the glory of God and the salvation of many! Hallelujah!

REST FOR YOUR SOUL

[SW178] 03/27/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Rest for Your Soul”

Rest! For your soul! It is a gift from Jesus Christ. I will show you how to receive it.

Matthew 11:28   “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

In v. 28, “rest” means intermission from labor, a refreshment to strengthen.

But in v. 29, “rest” means cessation of labor, refreshment, and re-creation.

Jesus does both. First v. 28, when you come to Him, and v. 29 when you take His yoke upon you. We’ll get to that later.

The word “come” isn’t a suggestion or invitation. It is an imperative command, urgent and authoritative. It is, “Follow!”

Why does He command it. He knows you have no rest, you are rest-less.

If you are rest-less, you are weary (fatigued from labor) because you are heavy- laden (loaded up, overburdened).

You are overburdened, fatigued.

What is your burden that fatigues you from the labor of carrying it?

Surely Jesus does not talk to us today of the yoke of legalism, “Do not handle, do not taste,  do not touch” (Colossians 2:21).What else is a burden to you? For you, Today, the Lord says your burden is sin. All sin, all rebellion against God. If you come to Jesus Christ, He will lift from you:

— bitterness
— addiction
— grudge-holding/unforgiveness
— anger (murder)
— and much more!

He commands you to come to Him. He will give you rest. It’s a gift from Him.

You are carrying a heavy burden. You are carrying sin. You are in a single yoke, a human yoke, made for a single human to bear. He wants to break it TODAY!

Isaiah 9:4      For You shall break the yoke of their burden
and the staff on their shoulders,
The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.

Hallelujah! It is Christ and Him alone who can do it. He was sent by the Father for that purpose.

When does He break the yoke of your burden? When you come to Him. When you respond to His imperative, authoritative and urgent command.

Why does He break your yoke? To give you rest (373, intermission from labor, a refreshment to strengthen).

Once He has broken your yoke, He commands you to take up HIS yoke.

Matthew 11:28   “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Take HIS yoke upon you. Didn’t He just break the one that was on you? Why would you want to take another yoke?

The yoke Christ is asking you to take up is the kind used with two animals — one animal is older, the other younger. The older teaches the younger what to do, whether they are attached to a plow or to a cart.

Some say Matthew 11:28-30 refers to a yoke designed for a human. Surely, that’s the one He’ll break, as I said above, but  if He commands you to take up HIS yoke and learn from Him, then He must be in it with you. Glory to God!

Why? Because it is the only way you will learn from Him. It is submission to Him, submission to the will of God. It is a yoke of submission, it means you have been crucified with Christ so He can live in you.

Then you have that cessation of labor, that re-creation that I talked about in the beginning of my message. Hallelujah! No more single yoke, no more burden of the sin nature you were born with.
In His yoke, He is the One who will continually teach you His humility and His meekness.

You submit to His yoke, and it will be easy to learn, because He is in it with you!

You gladly obey, because you have submitted.

But all of your life, He will show you how to be more and more like Him, going from image to image and glory to glory (1Corinthians 3:18)!

Oh, beloved! You will find rest for your souls, refreshment, cessation of your rest-lessness, and re-creation.

Re-creation — the old will go, the new will come.

You will be a new creature, with a new heart, a new life in Him, no longer heavy-laden with sin, but set free, indeed!

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:  Not free TO sin, but free FROM slavery to sin!!!!

It is rest from slavery to sin.

It is an inward change, where you rest and He works through you.

It is submission to His yoke, which is easy, carrying the burden He carries, which makes it light. He gives you the power to carry it.

What burden did AND does He carry? He carried a cross, it is true. He tells us to take up our cross and follow Him. That is submission, that is obedience. Taking up our cross is like taking up His yoke.

So what is the burden? I asked the Holy Spirit to show me.

It is that we will see as He sees. We will see the lostness of the world, and the hardness of hearts. We will see the vast fields white for the harvest. We will see the sheep without shepherds. You will feel the grief He feels, but you will also feel the joy He feels, joy unspeakable and full of glory!

You will be persecuted, as He was persecuted —

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.

The world will hate you, and the world that has wormed its way into the church will hate you.

But He is in the yoke with you, which makes seeing and experiencing all these things bearable. And you will walk in His power, and through you, He will free the captives, through us! So the burden is light and pleasant!

Beloved, do you see that it’s not about getting blessed?

It’s about blessing God by obeying His Son’s command. It’s about submission to God.

Certainly, the side benefit of following Jesus’ command is certainly freedom from slavery to sin and intimacy with God the Father and God the Son through God the Holy Spirit, and that is surely a blessing!

Are you in it for what you can get from Him, or are you in it to know Him intimately, to have a relationship with Him?

Come now to Him.

He will give you rest, like your first good night’s sleep in eons.

He will break the yoke of sin that’s on you.

You will take up His yoke, submitting to Him fully, no longer seeking what’s in it for you, but living to learn Him more and more.

He will teach you more and more deeply what it is to be humble and lowly like Him.

And you will find rest for your soul, that cessation from the labor of carrying your sin. Total cessation. Freedom from slavery to it.

Come now to Him. He says it urgently and authoritatively and imperatively!