5-19-19 Present-day Kingdom of God

Present-day Kingdom of God

Mankind has always lived in the Kingdom of God; mostly without realizing it, however. For, we have viewed the environment with but not through our eyes. What distortions do you see today?

“This life’s dim windows of the soul

Distorts the heaven from pole to pole

And leads you to believe a lie

When you see with, not through, the eye.” (William Blake).

Adam and Eve saw God through their eyes; that is, they were aware of His presence in the Garden of Eden and conversed with Him (Genesis 3.1-24, NKJV). We might say that Moses looked through his eyes to see God’s plans for the Tabernacle and its furnishings (Exodus 26.30). And, we might say the same about King David receiving the plans for the first Temple (1 Chronicles 28.11-19). These were special occasions; not the general rule in the Old Testament. Should we see through our eyes everyday?

Nicodemus sought to understand Jesus’ miracles (John 2.23) and learned about the need to be born again so he could see through his eyes (John 3.1-8). With his eyes, Nicodemus only saw the result; but through his eyes, he would see the Spirit of God performing through Jesus the “good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2.10; Matthew 10.7-8). Miracles are God’s ‘normal’ activities to become our reality by faith (Hebrews 4.2).

The world is condemned, like Nicodemus, to only see with the eyes the miracles of God and, then, to wonder what happened. Apostle Peter’s second sermon (Acts 3.11-4.12) illustrates this;Acts 3.16and 4.12 describe the view through the eye. Regrettably, most Christians are as blind as the crowd and Sanhedrin because we have not been taught to live in the Kingdom of God. This was Philip’s message in Samaria and, probably, with the Ethiopian eunuch on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza (Acts 8.12). We fail to see that God brought the recent rains to Kenya to overcome the prolonged drought. We fail to credit Him with providing the healing in response to our prayerful requests. We thank the employer for our compensation but not the Epistemological Logos Who enlightens our competence to excel at the work assigned (John 1.9); The Will of God and The Mind of Man, Nash, 1982, p. 67).

From the beginning, God has proclaimed a mindset of righteousness and critiqued His followers’ behaviors in the Kingdom of God through the writing of the prophets (Hebrews 1.1-2). Righteousness was taught by priests of Aaron’s line until the time of the last and greatest of the Old Testament priests, John the Baptist. God told him to transfer the priesthood to Jesus by washing in the Jordan River, just as Moses had washed Aaron at the entrance to the Tabernacle (Luke 3.2b-3; John 1.29-34; Leviticus 8.6-9).

Persons looking with their eyes only saw Jesus as one of many who were baptized. But, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn sees through his eyes that Jesus’ baptism by John was a “cosmic changing of the guard”, a passing of the torch, “the old priesthood bearing witness of the new and declaring it the greater” (The Book of Mysteries, 2016, Day 153). Have you ‘eyed’ Jesus’ baptism this way before now? Probably not.

Likewise, you probably have never considered another meaning of your baptism in addition to the obvious symbol of the new life from Christ Jesus (John 1.4). When we are baptized into the name of Jesus, we are ceremonially ‘washed’ with the Holy Spirit into the priesthood (Matthew 28.19;Mark 1.8;1 Peter 2.9). The ancient Hebrews disdained becoming priest preparing the world for the arrival of Highest Priest Jesus (Exodus 19.6). But now, we attest to His coming by following His ways (Matthew 10.7-8 & 27; Acts 11.26;1 John 4.1-4).

Later, as He was leaving earth, Jesus instructs the disciples that they would be baptized by the Holy Spirit shortly (Acts 1.5, 2.1-4). This fulfilled John the Baptist’s declaration about Jesus ‘washing’ believers with the Holy Spirit (Mark 1.8). Apostle Paul states that believers are “sealed with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 1.13-14; “sealed” is an interesting picture of Him wrapping around your spirit/soul/body which have been immersed and baptizoed (Gk.) or changed by His saturation).

Thus, Apostle Peter charges us a “royal priesthood” with the same charge as Jesus (1 Peter 2.9 {fulfilling Exodus 19.6}; John 17.18; Matthew 28.19-20; Acts 26.16-18). Was Jesus putting God’s Name upon the people, like Aaron (Numbers 6.22-27: “’ So they shall put My name on the children…and I will bless them’”; Psalm 5.12)?  Are we to repeat this placing of “Jesus” upon people? (Hebrews 13.8; Philippians 2.9-11)? Consequently we become part of the “cosmic changing of the guard” (Cahn, ibid) has occurred by followers of Christ being washed by the Holy Spirit (Mark 1.8)!

Today, we “live, move, and have our being” in the Kingdom of God (Acts 17.28). This was Jesus’ message to Nicodemus; John 3.8, NKJV: “‘The wind [Greek; same word for spirit] blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Paul echoes this in Romans 8.14.

Jesus describes the work of the Holy Spirit in John 16.8-11. This is what He is doing by leading us from context to context. [Later, we will study the Gifts of the Spirit for use in these various contexts.] This—John 16.8-11—is what He was leading Jesus to do on earth. This is what God was leading Moses, David, and others to do in the Old Testament.

Consider these examples from the Old and New Testaments.

  • Elijah stops and starts the rain; James 5.17-18& 1 Kings 17-18(Elijah, also, feeds the widow and her son and raises him from the dead; then, Elijah defeats the prophets of Baal).
  • Elisha floats an iron axe head in water (2 Kings 6.17) and blinds the Syrian army that surrounds his and open his servant’s eyes to see through them a Heavenly army protecting them; 2 Kings 6.15-18; this was after he heals Naaman of leprosy; 2 Kings 5.1-19.
  • Jesus heals the leper, the Centurion’s servant, and Peter’s mother-in-law by the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 8.1-15; John 1.29-34).
  • Peter and John heal a paralytic by acknowledging his faith in Jesus’ name; (Acts 14.8-10), raises a young man from the dead (Acts 20.7-12), and is, himself raised from the dead (Acts 14.19-20).

This is normal in the Kingdom of God! We find great benefits when we realize that we live within it (Matthew 6.63; John 14.26& 16.4).

Can you see it? No; then, look through, not with your eyes.

Present-day Kingdom of God 190512

Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2019. www.sozoclass.com.

May 5, 2019 “‘Receive the Holy Spirit'”

“‘Receive the Holy Spirit’”

Jesus’ bodily Resurrection is a certainty and one of three foundational beliefs of Christianity; the other two are His virgin birth and His atoning death. Each event, in order, shows the Omniscience of God (Isaiah 53.6, Jeremiah 13.10, John 3.16; ESV), His Omnipotence (Exodus 34.10, Deuteronomy 18.18, Isaiah 7.14 & 9.6-7, Luke 1.35, Hebrews 2.14-15), and His Omnipresence (2 Chronicles 16.9a, Psalm 32.8, John 17.12, John 14.15-18).

Even after He gave up His body (the better reading of John 19.30; see James 2.26a; Ecclesiastes 12.7), Jesus evidenced these qualities of God by taking the ‘good’ thief with Himself to the Paradise of Hades (Luke 23.43) and, I believe likewise, satan to the Pit of Hades (John 12.31 fulfilling Isaiah 14.12-15). Remember that Jesus had illustrated this separation in the story contrasting the deaths of a man named Lazarus (meaning man whom God helps [Easton’s Bible Dictionary; olivetree.com]) and the rich man who did not respond to Lazarus’ plight (Luke 16.19-31, especially verse 26).

Side Bar: Apostle Paul presents several other events of Jesus’ earthly life between His bodily resurrection (John 20.1-9) and ascension (Acts 1.9). Paul, apparently, learned of the events in the order of his presentation in 1 Corinthians 15.3-7. Jesus appeared to Peter (note Peter’s account in Acts 10.41), then to the Apostles, then to 500+ men and women at the same time, then to James (Acts 15.13-21, especially verse 19), and then to the Apostles (Luke 24.50-51; perhaps, as Jesus lifted off from earth; Acts 1.9 is same author). Where was Jesus between these events? Probably in the Paradise of Hades with those who met God’s previous requirements. Perhaps, even in Heaven, depending upon when He may have heard Father God repeat the words of Psalm 110.1 (AMP): “‘”Sit at My right hand
until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet [subjugating them into complete submission].’” Jesus was purposefully busy!

After Jesus repossess His, now glorified, body and reveals Himself to Mary in the Garden near the, empty, Tomb, (John 20.11-16) Jesus appears to the Apostles, minus Thomas, on that same evening. John 20.22 records that He “breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’”. Was Jesus referring to the Third Person of the Trinity, Whom the Father would send (John 14.26), or to Himself? Why does the distinction matter?

We might presume that Jesus is continuing His instruction of them (John 14-16) about the time when the Father would, in fact, send the Holy Spirit. This occurred 50 days later at the Feast of Harvest (Exodus 23.16), a celebration of the first fruits called Pentecost in the New Testament (Acts 2.1-4). But, since Jesus knew everything except the end of the Age (Matthew 24.35-37), why would He remind them at this early time to expect the Holy Spirit in fifty days? Dr. Luke reminds us, in Acts 1.4-8, that Jesus repeated this instruction as He was rising from earth.

Let me posit a theorem which, I believe, the Holy Spirit prompted in my reflections before bedtime last Monday night; that Jesus was speaking of Himself in His instruction to “receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20.22). My rationale rests upon the word “receive”. John 1.12 establishes the importance of this word to our faith. The disciples had received, that is believed in, the embodiedJesus (John 1.14). They had walked, literally and figuratively, with Him for three years and felt His hand upon their shoulders and put theirs upon His (1 John 1.1-4).

But, now the Apostles had to receive, that is believe in, Jesus as Spirit, Who suddenly appeared before them, and disappeared the as quickly (John 20.19 & 26). His body had the same visible features as that which had been entombed (John 20.20); these confirmed Jesus’ identify to them. Now, He was the same but different.

The disciples HAD TO receive Jesus as Spirit. Jesus’ discussion with Thomas explains why; John 20.26-29. Jesus’ contrast of seeing with physical eyes versus spiritual eyes is the contrast of believing only in what we can see with the eyes that came with our physical bodies. You and I have believed in the written account of Jesus’ earthly life with the disciples and in the three fundamental tenets of our Christian faith: Jesus’ virgin birth, atoning death, and bodily resurrection. Thus, we have believe in Jesus as a Spirit.

Similarly, we MUST believe that God saves today as effectively as we are convinced He will save us in eternity. Apostle Peter illustrates this in the healing of the paralytic in Acts 3.1-10. When called to explain this, he points to the man’s faith in the unseen person of Jesus by believing in Jesus’ name to produce his healing; verse 16. Then, Peter responds to the Sanhedrin’s question by proclaiming that Jesus continuously heals through faith in His name; see Acts 4.12, which is about temporal salvation and not about eternal life.

So, the answer to my query, was Jesus speaking of Himself or of the coming Third Person of the Trinity (John 20.22), is Jesus speaking about Himself. We must receive Jesus’ perfect sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10.14-24) and continual presence through His powerful Name. Mark’s record of Jesus’ Great Commission (Mark 16.15-18) concludes with the declaration, in verse 20, that Jesus did, in fact, go with the disciples to heal the sick and cast out demons. Mark may be writing about events which are not included in Scripture. These events might have prompted the residents of Antioch to call Christ-followers ‘Christians’ (Acts 11:26).

However, after Jesus ascended into Heaven (Acts 1.8, Psalm 110.1) and the Third Person of the Trinity appeared (Acts 2.1-4), we should understand that the Holy Spirit continued the work begun by Jesus, as Jesus states in John 16.13-15. Thus, He still goes with disciples who receive that Jesus saves everyday!

Jesus “breathed” on the Apostles before He told them to “‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20.22). There are several understandings from this. First, God told Ezekiel to bring the dry bones of discouraged Israel to life by calling breath into them; Ezekiel 37.1-14. In verses 4-5, God says that breath He sends will give them life. Ezekiel’s role was to call the breath by speaking. Likewise, Jesus had told Nicodemus the Spirit would deploy him with understanding of his mission and with enlightened eyes once he accepted Jesus as Messiah; John 3.1-8. His acceptance would be the ‘new life’ we speak about. The Hebrew ‘breath’ and Greek ‘wind’ mean spirit! Both Ezekiel and Nicodemus would “call into being that which does not
exist” (Romans 4.17 AMP).

Second, Adam’s earth-suit only came alive after God breathed into him (Genesis 1.26-27, 2.7). So, is the ‘death rattle’ (“terminal respiratory secretions”; google.com) when someone dies the reverse; that is, the spirit giving up the body and returning to God (James 2.26; John 19.30)? Dr. Luke includes Paul’s discussion of this in his speech at Mar’s Hill; see especially Acts 17.24-25, 28. Perhaps, we live within God’s Breath.

Third, God gave the Aaronic Benediction or Blessing in Numbers 6.22-26as a means for putting His name upon the Israelites (verse 27). Jesus conveys the same meaning in John 6.63by speaking words of “‘spirit and life’’ to the people. This context is that which He implies in His continued statement of John 20.23: the sins of people who believe your witness to Jesus are forgiven, but the sins of those who reject are not forgiven (and will be judged at the Great White Throne by God; Revelation 20.11-15).

So, let me tie these together to comment on Jesus “breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20.22). In addition to emphasizing that the Apostles must
“receive” (John 1.12) Him in Spirit as they had “received” Him in the flesh (John 1.1, 14, 33-34), the Apostles should understand that they would be affirming or offering “life” to any who received their witness about Him (Matthew 28.19, “into”) and would be blessing believers with the Name of God (John 17.12 [AMP, ESV, NASB]; Philippians 2.9-11; Hebrews 13.8).

When you received Jesus as Savior, you received the right to use His Name everyday. This is His encouragement in John 16.24: “‘Until now you have not asked [the Father] for anything in My name; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy may be full and complete.’” You are entitled!

Receive the Holy Spirit

Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2019. www.sozoclass.com.

April 14, 2019 What do you expect?

What do you expect?

Some ‘experts’ tell us that our disappointments may be caused by false expectations that we set for ourselves. As the saying goes, God is never late but rarely early in bringing salvation. Ephesians 3.20 (Amplified Bible, 2015) states that God may even do more than we expect! But, persecution from the world is one thing that Jesus said we should expect (John 15.18).

It’s not about being fair, as some may object. It is about answering correctly when each person will be asked by God: why should I let you into My Heaven? A ‘relative’ world would like for any answer to satisfy, but our ‘absolute’ God will listen for only one Word, “Jesus” (John 3.16 & 14.6)! This contrast is one way to express the sin of our fallen nature. We want to be god (Genesis 3.4-5; Romans 1.20-23; Colossians 2.8)!

Jesus discusses the world’s hatred for Himself and for us in John 15.18-27. Verses 26 & 27are His point: we are to testify to the world about what we have seen and heard (resulting from Matthew 28.19-20; 2 Timothy 2.2). You and I are the spiritual progeny of those who taught us about forgiveness of sin through Jesus’ blood (Hebrews 9.22-28 & 10.11-14), eternal life through His name (John 14.6), and temporal salvation through our faith in His power (Luke 10.17 & 19, Acts 3.16 & 4.12; Psalm 138.2c [NASB]; Romans 15.19; 1 Corinthians 4.20).

The apostles with whom Jesus is speaking in John 15.18-27—at the end of their training and pending deployment—had been warned about what they should expect—at the beginning of their basic training after selection, in Matthew 10.16-42. He was not stating what might possibly happen; Jesus was stating the reality that the deployed apostles would face. Perhaps, Luke 10.1-12 was such an experience as part of their training.

You ARE a problem to the world! Jesus points this out in John 15.18-19 and Matthew 10.34-36 (quoting Micah 7.6). Apostle Paul reminds us of this reality in 2 Corinthians 2.15-16: we remind antagonists that they are dead in their trespasses and sins! We may not have to say a word, but simply live out righteousness before them.

However, this is the purpose for which you and I were chosen! We have been “chosen out of the world” (John 15.19) “so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2.9). Paul describes this as Jesus’ choice for him in Acts 26.16-18.

This very purpose was what Jesus said to the first apostles, in Matthew 10.7-8, and the reality which they acknowledge in Luke 10.17: “’Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.’” This is our testimony to the world: the name “Jesus” (Psalm 138.2c; Acts 16.31)! Jesus assures us that the Holy Spirit will “testify and bear witness” through us (John 15.26; Matthew 10.19-20).

Rest assured that God will only send you into skirmishes with demons over which you have sufficient power by faith in the name
“Jesus” (Hebrews 5.14). With each victory, you will “grow [spiritually mature] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3.18). Thus, you will look more like Jesus to the world (Ephesians 4.13-16). You will breakdown satan’s strongholds (2 Corinthians 10.4-6; Jeremiah 1.9-10)!

There are several stories in the Bible of people who expected and experienced victory over their enemies. What do you learn from each of the following?

1 Samuel 14.1-15: King Saul’s son, Jonathan, against the Philistines.
This knit his heart to David’s; 1 Samuel 18.1.

1 Samuel 17:45-46: David defeats Goliath at Elah.

Judges 15.14-16: Samson assaults the Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey.

Judges 7.1-25: especiallyverses 2-7, 19-22: Gideon’s 300 routs the Midianite and Amalekite invaders.

Luke 10.1-19: especiallyverses 17: Jesus’ disciples subjugate demons who are harming people.

Hebrews 11.32-34: additional illustrations of victory.

Revelation 12.1-12: you are saved eternally by Jesus’ blood sacrifice for sin; you are saved temporally by the powerful word of your testimony; that is, ‘Jesus’ (Psalm 103.20)! 2 Corinthians 10:4-6Philippians 2:9-11!

Genesis 3.14-15: satan and his demons are forever condemned and are under your feet (Ephesians 6.13).

2 Corinthians 12.10: Paul’s summary understanding.

John 16.33: Jesus’ assurance of victory in His name!

2 Corinthians 2.14 is what you should expect! After all, Philippians 2.9-11 is true: “at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow [in submission], of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess and openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord (sovereign God), to the glory of God the Father” (my emphasis)!

Armor up (Ephesians 6.10-18) and expect to win the fight assigned! Jesus did; John 10.10!

What do you expect? 190407
(* = update 190414)

Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2019. www.sozoclass.com.


March 31, 2019 The Spirit of Truth

The Spirit of Truth

The Helper we have been given by God is the Spirit of Truth (Amplified Bible, 2015, John 14.16-17). Consequently, He is our truth-filled Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor-Counselor, Strengthener, Standby (AND, 190303/10, www.sozoclass.com). Apostle Paul states His veracity boldly in Romans 3.4: “Let God be true, though every person be found a liar.” Seems applicable today, doesn’t it?

Truth is God’s nature (John 8.26), and the Spirit of Truth knows Him fully. Paul discusses this in 1 Corinthians 2.10-16, writing in verses 13&16that the truths of God are made known to believers (John 1.12) because our minds are anointed.

Jesus states this reality in John 15.15. This includes us because we have been baptized ‘into’ the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28.19); that is, ‘Jesus’. The Greek word for baptism is baptizo, meaning to be saturated (like a cucumber becoming a pickle after being saturated in a solution), contrasting bapto, meaning to rinse. The Holy Spirit is our truth Teacher (Ephesians 1.13-14; 2 Corinthians 1.21; 1 John 2.27), Who baptizos us.

Truth is the exclusive benefit of Christians. Jesus makes this clear in John 14.17, saying that the world cannot receive the truth because non-believers do not have the Spirit of Truth. Jesus explains this in John 15.24, saying that non-believers, Pharisees in His example, do not know and, even, hate God the Father, Who gives the Spirit of Truth (John 15.26). God explains this by contrast in Jeremiah 13.10, and Paul in Romans 1.18-32.

In John 16.13, Jesus declares that the Spirit of Truth will “guide you into all truth”. This amplifies what Jesus said in John 14.26 about the Holy Spirit explaining “all things” about your daily work “and” explaining what Jesus has repeated and revealed from and about God (John 12.49, 5.19-20). As Ronald Nash writes about John 1.9, the Word (John 1.1), Whom we know as Jesus, is the “Source of all human knowledge” (Nash, The Will of God and the Mind of Man, p. 67).

The Spirit’s guidance (John 16.13) will be the words that the Father and Son have taught through the spoken and written words of God (John 16.14-15). This is the truth we need for “Life” and
“Light” (John 1.4&9).

Paul emphasizes the importance of our faith in the Spirit’s guidance by contrasting the Hebrews exiting Egypt not believing in God’s promises (Hebrews 4.1-2). Paul’s crescendo is inverse 12, which I paraphrase by inserting the Spirit of Truth:

For the [Spirit of Truth] is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (ESV Strong’s Bible)

Truth reveals lies and deceit. The story of the Holy Spirit healing the paralytic through faith in Peter’s voicing the name ‘Jesus’ and Peter’s subsequent statement to the crowd and, then, to the Sanhedrin is an example of Hebrews 4.12-13; see Acts 3.1-10 & 16 & 4.12.

Further, Jesus accused the Pharisees of lying like their father, the devil (John 8.44). Whose spirit operates through you? (1 John 4.1-4)

Jesus also says that the Spirit of Truth will “declare to you the things that are to come” (John 16.13). Paul acknowledges this in 1 Thessalonians 4.15, 1 Corinthians 11.23 & 15.3, and Galatians 1.12.

The Spirit of Truth does the same for you and me (Isaiah 30.21, 42.9). Just ask Him (Jeremiah 33.3)! Could this be true of your epistemology, as well eternal things? For example, scientific advances have come because the Spirit of Truth revealed new knowledge as God wanted mankind to have it to understand Himself better and to use it constructively for one another (Matthew 6.33; Jeremiah 9.23-24).

Deuteronomy 28.1-15 lists the blessings from Truth that are exclusive to Jesus-followers. Read these as results from John 14.15, as Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 28.1, 13b, & 14. These are the guidance of the Spirit of Truth; John 16.13.

However, the curses that are observed in the world upon non-Jesus- followers are listed in Deuteronomy 28.15-66. (Why can they also be seen upon Jesus-followers?) Note that they result from not following God’s commandments! That is, not following Exodus 20.1-17 and John 1.12. Africa and America suffer from disobedience today! But, 2 Chronicles 7.14 is true. Are you and I willing to follow its instructions?

Jesus repeats the message of Deuteronomy 28 in John 15.1-11. He has given us His Name (“Word”, John 1.1 & 14), which is the fulfillment of the Law and Prophets (Matthew 5.17-20). His name is the fulfillment of every Commandment. As He says in John 15.5, we cannot accomplish anything apart from Him; i.e., His Name ‘Jesus’! That is because only He IS the Word of Truth Who goes with us (Mark 16.20) into every opportunity of the Great Commission (Mark 16.15-18 illustrating ‘teaching’ of Matthew 28.18-20; recognized in Acts 11.20-26) and into every iteration of our epistemologies (John 1.4 & 9).

You are ‘complete’ in the Spirit of Truth (Colossians 2.10& 2 Timothy 3.16-17)! You have the “Light” you need for success (John 1.9; John 3.27; Jeremiah 1.5-12)!

The Spirit of Truth 190317/31

Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2019. www.sozoclass.com.

March 10, 2019 “AND”


Have you noticed how power small words can be? “But” negates what was written or spoken before. “One” and “only” eliminate all others, but “all” enlarges those inclusion. And, “and” can add to “a” series of connected items or, alternatively, imply “but” to connected conditional provisions. So, where do you find both uses of “and” in John 14.15-17 & 26?

The Conditional “And”

Jesus emphasizes the importance of obeying God’s Commandments by connecting John 14.15 & 16 with “and” (except in NASB).

  1. What is the first benefit?
  2. What second benefit does Jesus discuss in John 14.21, and how can He accomplish this from Heaven (Psalm 110.1-2)?
  3. What third benefit does Jesus discuss in John 14.23? How is this accomplished? Is this the ‘scepter’ of Psalm 110.2?
  4. How does John 14.24 negate all three benefits?

The Provisional “And”

Jesus emphasizes the importance of the Kingdom of God by connecting the sacred and secular in John 14.26 with “and” (even in the NASB).

  1. How does John 1.4 & 9explain the secular part?
  2. How do John 5.19-20and John 12.49explain the sacred part?
  3. What is the message of Matthew 6.33and Jeremiah 9.23-24that amplifies the connection of the sacred and secular parts?

Is “Another” like the Others?

Jesus introduces the Holy Spirit with some interesting words in John 14.15-17 & 26.

For instance, Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as “another” Helper; verse 16.

  1. “Another” can infer equality or variation.
  2. What continuity is inferred in the word “another”?
  3. How does this relate to John 14.8-11?

How does “Helper” add understanding?

  1. What Old Testament evidence identifies God as a “Helper”?
  2. What New Testament evidence identifies Jesus as a “Helper”?
  3. What evidence is different between Father and Son?

Remember John 5.19-20 and 12.49.

  1. The Greek word for “another” means of the same kind; “someone” like Jesus to take His place and do His “work” (MacArthur Bible Study Notes). Consequently, how are John 17.18 and Mark 16.20 possible
  2. How does this consideration help you to understand what Jesus means by “Helper”? In light of this, what does Jesus mean in John 14.12? Since Jesus does not mean “greater” in magnitude (after all, what is greater than Matthew 10.7-8?), what does He mean? How does Psalm 110.2 and Luke 10.17-19 clarify Jesus’ use of “greater”?

The Amplified Bible (2015 Update) includes the following descriptors of “Helper” (John 14.16, 26). We should expect these in our lives, just as the Abraham, Moses and others in the Old Testament experienced these during their journeys with Jesus the Father and the disciples experienced during their journeys with Jesus the Son. When have you experienced Jesus the Holy Spirit as each of these? (The following definitions are from the dictionary on my MacBook Air computer.)

  1. Comforter: “provides consolation”. John 14.18-20; has mankind ever been abandoned by

God? See Hebrews 13.5-6.

  1. Advocate: “One Who recommends or supports a particular cause or policy; Who pleads on

someone else’s behalf (like an attorney)”. See Romans 8.16-17 and John 15.26.

  1. Intercessor- (“intervenes on behalf of another, especially in prayer”; John 14.16 is Jesus’ first intercession for His.

“AND” 190303/10

Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2019. www.sozoclass.com.


February 24, 2019 “From now on”, a Context for the Holy Spirit

“From now on”, a Context for the Holy Spirit

Has the Earth ever been without the presence of God? Genesis 1.2 (Amplified Bible, 2015) tells us that the Spirit of God was, even, “brooding” over the darkness and unformed earth. Genesis 12.1-4 tells us that God spoke to and instructed Abram to move to the Promised Land. Exodus 3.1-10 tells us that God spoke to and instructed Moses to retrieve the enslaved Israelites from Egypt. Exodus 13.21-22tells us that God traveled with and led the Israelites by a visible cloud by day that became lighted during the night. Proverbs 21.1tells us that God turns the kings/leaders into the ways He wishes. Galatians 4.4-7 tells us that Jesus came at the appointed time. So, is it not reasonable to believe that God continues to watch over the earth today (2 Chronicles 16.9; Psalm 32.8; Deuteronomy 31.6; Hebrews 13.5-6). Each of these passages reveals the loving God we serve, although unseen by human eyes, except for a period of three years (Isaiah 64.4).

Can you believe in what (Who) you cannot see? How? What is the comparison with things you have come to believe, like gravity, flight, or the taste of chocolate ice cream? What pictures came to mind with these words? What word identifies the Holy Spirit?

John 14.1-31 provides answers to these questions. In these verses, Jesus speaks volumes of theology, which you have heard and might through me in another study. Presently, I want us to learn about the amazing Holy Spirit. Jesus spoke at length about Him in chapters 14-16 because He wants us to be able to converse with Him as the disciples did with Jesus the Son.

So, what does the context of Jesus’ teaching tell us about the Holy Spirit and why is this important?

What do Jesus’ words in verses 1-15 tell us about the Apostles, who were recruited by Him as disciples and chosen by God for Him as Apostles (Luke 6.12-16)?

Verse 1: their minds were “troubled” (John 1.21-38). Why? What was Jesus’ remedy?

Verses 2-5: they did not know Who Jesus was. What should they understand from His discussion of His Father’s house?

Verses 7-11: they had not made the connection of Jesus with Exodus 34.10 and Deuteronomy 18.18. What connection did Jesus make? Why was He surprised? See John 15.24.

Verses 13-14: they had forgotten Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 10.7-8 and their experience, in Luke 10.1-11& 17-19.

Verse 12: what visualization was Jesus planting in their minds that would be fulfilled by verses 13-14? See Mark 16.15-20.

John 14.6-7 are a comprehensive summation of the Name, “Jesus”.

  • the Name is “the way” for coming to Father God (Matthew 13-14; John 14.15);
  • the Name is “the truth” to be learned from and about our Father 
(John 1.17; 37-38a);
  • the Name is “the life” that resides eternally with our Father 
(John 1.4; 57 & 63);
  • the Name is the ONLY portal into our Father’s presence (John 31); and
  • the Son manifested all of the characteristics of our Father 
(Colossians 2.9-10).

“From now on” (John 14.7) speaks of the Holy Spirit continuing the work of Jesus through the Apostles (and believers in future generations; Matthew 28.19-20), as Jesus prays in John 17.18 and The Acts of the Holy Spirit detail as early evidences of John 14.12. He continues in believers to fulfill Matthew 10.7-8 (see John 3.8).

(The following discusses “from now on” (John 14.7) from different perspective. The Apostles and disciples received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), but when do we gain His benefits, and what do these mean?)

Paul states in Ephesians 1.13-14 that believers in Jesus receive the Holy Spirit when we hear the Gospel message. Jesus warns us to be careful what we ‘hear’ each day; see Mark 4.24-25. And, John warns us to discern the source of what we hear, in 1 John 4.1-4. Remember that John’s test question is still appropriate because Christianity depends upon the virgin birth of Jesus (Isaiah 7.14) and upon His atoning death and upon His bodily resurrection (1 Corinthians 15.3-4). satan still wants to disprove these realities.

Each Christian is the result of someone fulfilling the Great Commission of Matthew 28.18-20. We heard the Gospel truth and believed in Jesus’ name (John 1.12). At that very moment, we were “baptized into the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy

Spirit” (Matthew 28.19). As I have already taught, “into” is an accepted alternative to “in” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, g1519). But, “into” is more in line with Jesus’ teaching in John 17.20-21, as He begins to explain in John 14.10-11.

This seems to be Paul’s understanding in Romans 5.1-5 where his word “access” infers “into”. Faith in the name “Jesus” (John 1.12) becomes our “access” “into” union with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (John 17.21). Thus, the paralytic was healed by faith in Jesus’ name (Acts 3.1-10, 16; 4.12). This is because health is included as part of the name Jesus. (Acts 4.12; Proverbs 3.8, 4.22)

Faith “into” Jesus’ name was His explanation to Nicodemus of the Kingdom of God, in John 3.1-8, about 2.23. We are led by the Spirit (“wind” in verse 8; Strong’s, g4151) to do His work, which Jesus summarized in Matthew 10.7-8. These are our “good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2.10). So, “from now on” (John 14.7) we follow the Holy Spirit “into” the fullness of the name of Jesus (John 16.14-15).

God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2.10). So, “from now on” (John 14.7) we follow the Holy Spirit “into” the fullness of the name Jesus (John 16.14-15).

Could this be the meaning of Jesus’ use of “through” in John 14.6? It is only through His name, Jesus, that we enter the presence of God. Remember that the Word was God and took on flesh (John 1.1, 14) and was given the name “Jesus” (Matthew 1.21; Luke 1.31), which Jesus the Son said is the name of His Father (John 17.12).

Is this Name how Jesus is One with His Father (John 14.10-11; 17.22-24)? If so, then the name “Jesus” is the only way Christians can come to the Father’s house, which is a library of truth (John 14.6; 1.17; 18.37). Jesus has given us His Name (John 17.22)!

The Holy Spirit will help us to understand what that means (John 14.26).

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Praise God!!!

Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2019. www.sozoclass.com.


February 3, 2019 Washed by Love

Washed by Love

Some Christian denominations include sects that take Jesus’ instruction in John 13.14-15 (Amp) literally; they wash one another’s feet as a practice of worship. Is that what Jesus meant? And, how is washing someone’s feet an illustration of Jesus’ “new commandment” to love one another, as He had loved the disciples; John 13.34-35?

What “love” is Jesus presenting? The Greek words philein, and agapan are two of four that parse our word “love” to give greater understanding. Phileinlove is about personal affection and regard someone has for another person. Agapan love enhances this affection and regard to a higher degree of commitment.

Jesus’ conversation with Peter in John 21.16-17 illustrates the contrast.

The distinction between these two Greek words is thus fitly described by Trench:, “_Agapan_ has more of judgment and deliberate choice; _philein_ has more of attachment and peculiar personal affection. Thus the ‘Lovest thou’ (Gr. agapas) on the lips of the Lord seems to Peter at this moment too cold a word, as though his Lord were keeping him at a distance, or at least not inviting him to draw near, as in the passionate yearning of his heart he desired now to do. Therefore he puts by the word and substitutes his own stronger ‘I love’ (Gr. philo) in its room. (Easton’s; “love”)

Peter seems to be expressing his desire for the warm, personal relationship with Jesus that he enjoyed before denying Him. However, Jesus seems already past that stage and is desiring Peter’s commitment to the evangelistic task ahead. On the third try, Shepherd Jesus gently agrees with Peter as a place for beginning to grow the desired commitment that would fulfill Jeremiah 23.4.

Only in one other exchange does Jesus use phileowith His disciples. In John 15.15, He elevates them from servants to friends, distinguishing between the two as revealing what He has heard from Father God. Servants don’t need to know what their masters are thinking. But, friends deserve to understand out thinking and rationale.

Understanding the connection of washing feet and love comes from connecting John 13.8 (“’Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.’”) to John 13.34 (“‘Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another.’”). The act of washing someone’s feet is like restoring an errant follower of Christ to righteous living (James 5.19-20). Paul expresses the same encouragement in Hebrews 3.12-19.

This is the great need of your day. satan’s devices for stealing, killing, and destroying (John 10.10a) are subtle and clever, like a serpent trapping its prey. Jesus’ disciples faced similar deceptions from the Pharisees and traditions of their day (Mark 7.13).

But, Jesus “kept” His disciples from such harmful philosophies by teaching them what God was telling Him (John 15.15; John 12.49; John 5.19-20; John 1.18). Thus, in His Lord’s Prayer in John 17.6& 11-12, Jesus states that He “‘was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me’”. This is John’s “love” in 2 John 6.

This is the degree of commitment (agapan love) that Jesus requires from us. We are to warn fellow believers by washing satan’s filth which becomes attached through our living in a fallen world; Hebrews 2.1.


Amp. Amplified Bible (2015 Edition). www.olivetree.com.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary. www.olivetree.com.

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Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2019 . www.sozoclass.com.

January 6, 2019 Last Things

Last Things

Our previous studies of the first eleven chapters of John’s Gospel have covered three years. Jesus has revealed God (John 1.18) as the Source of Grace and Truth (John 1.17). He has shown “grace upon grace” (John 1.16) through His “I AM” statements: John 6.35 (Bread of Life), 8.12 (Light of the World), 10.9 (the Gate into Eternal Life), 10.11 (the Good Shepherd), and 11.25-26 (the Resurrection and the Life). Jesus will add two more: John 14.6 (the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and the only way to Father God) and 15.5 (the Vine, from which the branches receive nourishment). Jesus has explained the Kingdom of God to us through His explanation to Nicodemus (John 3.8, entered by verses 3 & 5, and explaining the activities of John 2.23).

Chapters 12 through 21 begin six days before the Passover of Jesus’ Crucifixion and continue into the 50 days after His Resurrection (John 12.1; Acts 1.9). Our focus for this study is four points from Chapter 12 that, I believe, are important for believers’ understanding today.

John 12.23: “And Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.’” How did Jesus know?

  • Remember that Jesus had protested on other occasions that His hour had not come (John 2.4, 6, 8) and John had expressed the same (7.30, 8.20).
  • Did the Greek inquirers trigger Jesus’ deduction (John 12.20)? I believe that God sent them for His reason, just as He sent Jesus for a reason to be baptized by John the Baptist (Luke 3.2-3, John 1.29-34). Jesus’ baptism revealed Messiah to the Jews! The Greek inquirers were God’s signal to Jesus that His ministry on earth was completed to that point and were a way of affirming to Jesus that the disciples were ready to take the message of salvation by faith into the world (Matthew 28.18-20 & Mark 16.15-20 & Acts 1.8).
  • It is God Who determines when His servants are prepared for their ‘mission’ (Judges 13.12, Jeremiah 1.5, John 3.27). He may, even, ‘fire, then hire’ to get His servants before the next teachers of additional competence in His protocol of development.
  • Additionally, how do John 12.24 & 28 and Hebrews 2.14-15 explain ‘glorified’?
  • John 12.31: “‘Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.’”
  • How is the ‘judgment of this world’ explained in John 3.16-21? What is the ‘judgement’? What insight do Jeremiah 13.10 and Ecclesiastes 7.29 give about the cause of ‘judgment’? Genesis 6.12 is an example of this.
  • Now, my understanding of “‘now will the ruler of this world be cast out’” is settled that Jesus is telling that He will subjugate and consign satan to the Pit of Hades between the time of placing His body in the tomb and His resurrection three days later (remember that God counts days from sundown to sundown; Ephesians 4.9-10 (Jude 1.6), fulfilling Isaiah 14.12-15). Consequently, satan would be in the Pit until he is released after the Thousand Years Reign of Jesus, in Revelation 20.7.
  • However, my understanding is correct only if the ‘angel’ in Revelation 20.1-3 is Jesus, fulfilling Isaiah 14.12-14, since the Revelation is allegorical and not chronological (for instance, Revelation 12.1-6 about Jesus’ birth).
  • Further, some New Testament translations of Matthew 6.13 use either ‘evil’ (meaning the system of evil) or ‘the evil
one’ (meaning satan, himself). Thus, James 4.7 might be read as resisting evil, like in Jesus’ Model Prayer. Either understanding concludes that Jesus is the One who subjugates satan…even now…and for all time! This is good news for believers as is explained in Luke 10.17 & 19!

John 12.42-43: “Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”

  • Jesus confronted the Pharisees about this in John 5.44. Notice Jesus emphasis on their choice, a deliberate decision, and with eternal consequences (Luke 9.62; Hebrews 6.4-6). Seeking affirmation from mankind blocks affirmation from God!
  • Jesus’ Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13.18-22 illustrates satan’s intimidation of Christians by Islam, progressive philosophers, social media ‘friends’, and college professors. This is happening today, perhaps for cleansing of the church (2 Timothy 3.1-7; Matthew 7.13-14). Are you ready for this challenge? Suited in the ‘armor of God’ (Ephesians 6.10-18)? Are your children and grandchildren?

John 12.48: “‘The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.’”

  • In verse 47, Jesus is the Savior of the world, not the judge. This seems to contradict Paul’s word from Jesus in Acts 17.31 and, even, His separation of ‘sheep and goats’ in Matthew 25.31-46. But, knowing that Jesus never contradicted Himself, His statement in John 12.47 is understood by distinguishing between the ‘person’ of Jesus and the ‘name’ Jesus. The name ‘Jesus’ is the Judge! Paul is saying that the power of the name Jesus raised the person of Jesus from the dead (Acts 17.31). [Consider Paul’s statements in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5, then 24.]
  • In the same way, notice how Jesus distinguished between His “words” and His “word” in John 12.48. His “words” are truth given to Him by God (John 12.49). But, His “word” (“Jesus”) will distinguish His followers. Why? Because…
  • John 12.44 connects Jesus’ name to that of God (John 17.12, 14, 26)! Thus, as God listed in the Decalogue—“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain” (Exodus 20.7), the name “Jesus” is not to be used as cultural slang! Paul describes the importance of the name of God in Philippians 2.9-11. “Jesus” is to be used as a statement of power against evil and an affirmation of wisdom from God (John 1.9, the Source of all human knowledge)!
  • A correct understanding of the Name “Jesus” is a matter of life or death (John 3.16-21; 31; 14.6).

These teachings were among those of Jesus’ last few days of earthly life before His crucifixion and resurrection. His teachings until His trial will be like the proverbial ‘drinking water from a fire hydrant’. Be alert and don’t miss one drop of this fine ‘wine’ (John 2.1-10).

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Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2019. www.sozoclass.com.


December 16, 2018 For Such A Time As This

For Such A Time As This

Have you ever considered that your present residence, age, employment, and such other factors were by intention of God? This question could be asked of your historical residences, ages, employments, and similar factors. By intention opposes Solomon’s “time and change” arguments in Ecclesiastes 9.11 (Bible, also Psalm 33.16-22 & Romans 9.16-18). There is no happenstance with God!

The title above is one illustration of God’s intention. Esther 4.14records Mordecai telling Queen Esther, his cousin (2.15), why God had chosen her to replace Vashti, the rebellious wife of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) of Persia. Exther was to thwart the plans of satan’s agent, Haman, to exterminate the Jews in all the provinces.

God’s intentionality can be seen in Joseph and Gideon, and in Mary, Joseph, Simeon, Anna, the particular shepherds, and Magi of the Christmas story. Apostle Paul, another example, reminds us that Jesus fulfilled prophesy by being born in “the fullness of time” (Galatians 4.4-5).

The story of Mary and Joseph being chosen is told in Matthew 1.18-25 and Luke 1.26-38. Joseph, a “just man”, was from Nazareth in Galilee (Luke 2.4) and was a carpenter (Matthew 13.55). The last mention of him is when Jesus is questioning the Temple priests at 12 years old (Luke 2.41-51). It is supposed that Joseph died before Jesus began His public ministry.

John 11.1-44 introduces Lazarus (Greek for “whom God helps”; Bible) and tells us that his death and resurrection was intended “‘for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified’”. He joins the “man blind from birth…’that the works of God might be displayed in him’” (John 9.1-3) and the healed paralytic at Bethesda pool who showed that “‘the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing’” (John 5.1-19). Each person above was born with a mission to reveal God and demonstrate His “grace upon grace” (John 1.16-18).

What about you? What is it about your past which give meaning to your present circumstance? Consider how your parents and of those listed above might have asked the questions of Judges 13.12. What is God’s ‘mission’ for you, as in Jeremiah 1.5, as He revealed it to Joseph? Can you repeat John the Baptist’s recognition of success in John 3.27? These are considerations for your contemplation before beginning the new year; contemplations about yourself and your children….

You were born for such a time as this! Jeremiah 29.12-13.


Bible. ESV with Stong’s Exhaustive Concordance of Hebrew and Greek

words. www.olivetree.com.

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Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2018. www.sozoclass.com.


December 9, 2018 Compelling Proof

Compelling Proof

“‘There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already
know’” (Heywood, 1546). [“In 1738 [this saying] was used by Jonathan Swift in his ‘Polite Conversation’ and [was] first attested in the United States in the 1713 ‘Works of Thomas Chalkley’” (ibid).] But, God first penned these words in the writings of Jeremiah (5.21, Bible, 627-586 BC).

These conclusions were true in Jesus’ day, too, as is presented in John 10.1-42, and became the separation between the debaters in verses 19-21. How could some what others could not? Simply answered, the “blind” could not overcome their personal ‘logical argument as to source’. This argument was their default, since they could not contend with the ‘logical argument as to content’, for another human “proof” stood before them — the seeing blind man (John 9.1-7).

Jesus’ most compelling proofs of His divinity are “‘the works that I do in my Father’s name’” (John 10.25). These “‘witness about
Me’” (ibid)! [So do ours!] In a similar setting, Jesus had declared that He was doing in the flesh what He saw Father “Jesus” doing in the Spirit (John 5.19-20; John 1.1, 14; Luke 1.31; Matthew 1.21; Acts 4.12). The Name “Jesus” gave the Son the authority to do in the flesh what He saw God do in the Spirit (Matthew 28.18-20; Luke 10.17, 19).

Was this what God intended in His declarations in Exodus 34.10 and Deuteronomy 18.18? Thus, Jesus offers compelling proof that God came to earth; 1 John 4.1-4! Such “proofs”, also, affirmed the Apostles, Stephen, and Paul in the Acts (2.42, 3.6, 3.16, 4.30, 5.12, 6.8, 8.7, 8.13, 9.34, 9.40, 11.23-26, 13.12, 14.3, 14.9, 14.19, 16.18, 19.11, and other miracles in Acts; also see 2 Corinthians 12.12). The Name “Jesus” is compelling proof of the authority and power of God today (1 Corinthians 1.24)!

Even though Moses’ writings pointed to Jesus, some Jews were “the most deluded,…who choose to ignore what they already [knew]’” (Heywood, 1546). They could not understand the “figure of speech which Jesus used with them” because they did not accept His Name, ‘Jesus’ (John 10.6; John 8.43).

In John 10.1-18, Jesus presents three important facts for the Jews and us to understand:

1.The ‘sheep’ (believers; John 1.12) that belong to Him listen for and only respond to His voice…God’s voice (John 3.8; remember that the Greek word for wind is the same as for spirit). Other voices are deceptive and cause the sheep to run away (John 8.44; 1 John 4.1-4). Does Jesus infer that the Jews had changed what Moses wrote into a philosophy by adding thousands of more ‘commandments’ (Romans 2.12-29; Matthew 23.1-36)? Jesus’ teachings were consistent with the Law and Prophets (Matthew 5.17-20).

  1. Jesus’ ‘sheep’ enter and exit through His “door” to “find pasture” (John 10.7 & 9). A ‘future’ view of this is John 14.6: we exit this present world to enter and find pasture with our Heavenly Father. A ‘past-present’ view of this is John 3.3 & 5: we add to our ‘fleshly’ capability a ‘spiritual’ capability; i.e., we are born a second time and become capable of seeing both ‘with’ and ‘through’ our eyes (like Nicodemus in John 2.23-3.8).
  2. Jesus ‘sheep’ can rest securely in knowing that He will never abandon them (Psalm 27.1& 118.6). He will, even, give up His life, under instruction from God, to defeat an enemy who attacks the sheep (John 10.11-18; Hebrews 2.14-15). I understand Jesus’ expansive comment in John 10.16to mean the Gentiles, as He was training the disciples to witness to them (Matthew 28.18-20).

You cannot explain Jesus’ deeds apart from accepting His Word!

Bible. English Standard Version. www.olivetree.com.

Heywood, John. 1546. Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings. www.actualfreedom.com.au.

Kelly, Jack. October 23, 2017. Jesus’ Seven ‘I AM’ Statements in John.


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Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2018. www.sozoclass.com.