July 27, 2014 Christ-likeness


In Acts 11.26, followers of Jesus were first called Christian.  Denotation of the term means one exhibiting the anointing of Jesus; its connotation simply means little Christs.  ‘Christian’, then, must be understood from His mission, vision, strategy, and tactics that you studied last week (see www.sozoclass.com/140720missionvisionstrategytactics).  The Apostle Paul summarized ‘Christian’ in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5.  How does his understanding reflect Jesus’ words in John 5.19-21 and 12.49-50?  How about your understanding from these passages?

Demons are subject to you.

  • Matthew 10 and Luke 10 describe similar, maybe the same, events.  Jesus formed the 12 apostles from among the disciples, conformed them to His strategy of binding on earth what is bound in Heaven (Matthew 16.19), and transformed their mental and spiritual perspectives by sending disciples out to act on His behalf (Matthew 6.10).  [Like Jesus, you were formed in the image of mankind and, when you accepted John 14.6, began to be conformed to His image (2 Corinthians 3.18) and transformed in your thinking about yourself vis-a-vis satan’s kingdom (Romans 12.2; Revelation 12.11).]
  • Note how this happened to the 72 disciples that Jesus sent out ahead of Him, in Luke 10.1-20.
  • In verses 1-12, Jesus tells them to heal the sick that may be in homes that receive them from the town square; sickness was an evidence of satan’s abuses, confirmed by Jesus in Luke 13.10-17, especially verse 16. This demonstration (1 Corinthians 2.4-5) confirmed their proclamation, ‘the Kingdom of God is near’ (Matthew 10.7-8).  Even if the disciples were not welcomed into any home in the city, they were to proclaim, ‘Nevertheless, know this, that the kingdom of God has come near’ (Luke 10.11).  They did just that.
  • Jesus comment in verse 13 is important.  The ‘mighty works’ demonstrating the Kingdom of God were meant to bring people to repentance!  How does this enhance your understanding of Ephesians 2.10 and Matthew 5.16?  Is this what Jesus meant in His prayer in John 17.18?  Back to verse 13, how is Jesus condemnation like to that in John 5.44 and 15.24?
  • Luke 10.17 expresses the transformation of the disciples’ minds.  ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!’  Transcendent!  Metaphysical!  Seen and unseen worlds!
  • What was the source of their power?  The Name Jesus!  Acts 3.16 and 4.12 describe what the disciples had witnessed in the various homes that welcomed them and illustrate the truth of Philippians 2.9-11.  For, Jesus is God’s name that He gave to His Son (John 17.12)…to give to you.
  • So, the disciples used Jesus’ name as a tactic (Mark 9.25) to produce Jesus’ strategy (binding and loosing; Matthew 16.19) to carry out Jesus’ mission (reconciling mankind to God; 2 Corinthians 5.18-21) to produce Jesus’ vision for the Earth that God wanted (His kingdom ruling and His will being done; Matthew 6.10).  This is what Jesus said in Luke 10.19 and is part of what you are to teach new disciples; see Matthew 28.19-20.
  • (In verse 18, Jesus reflected on satan’s original expulsion from Heaven, seen in Revelation 12.7-12.  In Luke 10.20, Jesus emphasized the greater value.)
  • Victory over satan and his demons on Earth, now, and eternity with God in Heaven!  This is Revelation 12.11!

Are you like Christ?

  • Satan and his demons ARE subject to you when you use Jesus’ name!  He gave it to you for that purpose (Psalm 110.1-2).  Expect pushback but stand firm (Ephesians 6.13).
  • Remember Jesus’ words in John 16.33.  You, too!
  • You bear His name’ anointing; so, act like it…especially against satan!  (John 17.20-23).

Praise God!!!  Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2014.  www.sozoclass.com

July 20, 2014 Mission, Vision, Strategy, Tactics

140720 Mission, Vision, Strategy, Tactics

For the past 18 months, you have been learning from these studies how Jesus knew the Apostle Paul and how he knew Him.  Today, you will learn about Paul’s understanding that Jesus was a Servant, as Paul presented in Philippians 2.7.  Especially important to this study is Paul’s inclusion of the phrase, ‘being born in the likeness of men’.  Thus, are all mankind ‘servants’ of God?  If so, what do servants do?  By looking at Jesus’ ‘Servanthood’, you can understand your ‘servanthood’ and reasons why the Holy Spirit gave certain of Jesus’ gifts to you (Ephesians 4.8-13; John 16.14-15).

Jesus’ Mission

  • To reconcile mankind to God, as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5.18-21 (Mark 10.45).  In this, Paul expressed God’s love for you and desire for you to live with Him eternally.
  • Paul knew of Jesus’ Great Commission for His followers (Matthew 28.18-20) and Jesus’ specific instruction to him, related in Acts 26.18.
  • What mission has God given you, His servant in the contexts of your life?  John the Baptist knew; John 3.27.  Jeremiah knew; Jeremiah 1.7-11.  Amos knew; Amos 7.14.  Micah knew; Micah 3.8.  If you do not know, follow the protocol of Jeremiah 29.11-13 to learn this from God.
  • What are the similarities of this mission to that which God gave to Moses to gain release of and to guide Hebrews to The Promised Land?  How did Moses behave like Jesus on earth?

Jesus’ Vision

  • That the earth would look like Heaven, where God’s will is carried out by His servants (Matthew 24.36; Hebrews 1.14, similarly; Luke 17.7-10).
  • This vision was what Jesus said you should pray for, too; Matthew 6.10.  Is this your vision of what your world will be like when you are completing your God-given mission?
  • How is Jesus’ contrast in Matthew 6.19-21 an instruction to strive for His vision?  Note the similarity of Paul’s words in Colossians 3.1-2.

Jesus’ Strategy

  • To bind on earth what is already bound in Heaven; to loose on earth what is already loosed in Heaven; Matthew 16.19, 18.18 (NASB gives clearer understanding).
  1. What has already been bound in Heaven?  Romans 3.23; Revelation 21.8; Jude 1.7; John 3.18-20; Matthew 7.21-23, 25.41-46; Galatians 5.19-21; John 8.44; Luke 9.62; Hebrews 6.4-6; 2 Timothy 3.1-7; generally Jeremiah 13.10.

Jesus’ Tactics

Jesus’ Offer to You: His example in mission, vision, strategy, and tactics in your contexts.  You are a servant of God, too!  What changes will you make in how you serve?

Praise God!!!  Copyright © Maurice L. Painter, 2014.   www.sozoclass.com

July 13, 2014 What did you expect?

What did you expect?

Remember your first disagreement with a close friend or spouse?  Or, remember your first serious negotiation – for a new car or house, or your first assigned negotiation with another party on behalf of your organization?  Why did you compromise?  The other person/party pushed back against what you wanted.  Pushback is normal.  What are God’s guidelines about pushback?  Ephesians 4.1-6 encourages unity among the body of Christ, even two of you, which implies compromising personal preferences.  However, never compromise when it will diminish His absolute instruction in the matter, which should only happen when against an un-Godly person (Hosea 14.9).  But, expect pushback, and when you experience it, remember Ephesians 6.10-18!

Pushback from satan

  • Moses before Pharaoh; Exodus 5.1-23.  Moses proclaimed God’s deliverance of the Hebrews and asked nicely, ‘please release the people’ (verse 3).  Pharaoh rejected the request (satan’s pushback) and put pressure on God’s negotiators through the Hebrews, who would benefit from a positive result.  Moses complains to God that Pharaoh did not immediately give in (verse 22-23).
  • Jesus’ disciples before the epileptic boy; Mark 9.14-27.  Jesus descended the Mount of Transfiguration to find the scribes of the Pharisees criticizing His disciples for their inability to cast the demon out and heal a man’s son.  Satan was pushing back agains the disciples.
  • Apostle Paul before the religious Jews; Acts 13.13-14.20.  The Holy Spirit of God had called them to a specific task (13.2).  He sent them to Antioch in Pisidia (Asia Minor).  Religious Jews and unbelieving Gentiles (agents of satan; John 8.44) ran Paul out of Antioch (13.45-50), out of Iconium (14.1-7), and Lystra (14.19).  Jesus had warned Paul about this when He called him on the road to Damascus, Syria; Acts 9.15-16, 26.17-18.
  • Pushback should be expected from the ‘god of this world’ (2 Corinthians 4.4)!  he uses those who are available to him, whether followers of Christ or not; anyone he can deceive.

Overcoming pushback by Jesus

  • Exodus 12.12 tells how God overcame satan in Egypt.  (And why should He not repeat His earlier defeat of satan in Heaven; Revelation 12.7-9?
  • Mark 9.25 tells how Jesus overcame satan’s abuse of the boy.  (And why should He not repeat the victories of His Father; John 5.19?  After all, the Son was given the name of the Father, ‘Jesus’; John 17.12!  Remember to connect Matthew 1.23 to verse 21.) 1 John 3.8b!
  • Acts 14.20 tells how Paul overcame satan’s attempts to silence him; the dead (verse 19) was resurrected by God to finish His assigned task of Acts 26.18!

Takeaway: overcome satan’s pushback using ‘Jesus’

  • For, this is your destiny!  You, believers in John 14.6, are being transformed into the image of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3.18; Romans 12.2) and given the ‘name above all names’ (Philippians 2.9-11; Revelation 12.11) with the command to use it (Philippians 2.12-13)!  The desired result was stated by Jesus in Matthew 6.10!  The authority of the Father’s name is the only way that can happen!  You have been given that authority; see Luke 10.19.
  • What will be the result?  The very gates of satan’s kingdom cannot keep you from victory (Matthew 16.18)!
  • So, suit up in God’s armor; Ephesians 6.10-18!  Stand with the sword of the Spirit (knowledge of the word of God) in one hand and the shield of faith in the other (to quench every fiery dart from satan) and the scepter of Jesus’ name (Psalm 110.1-2) on your tongue in speech against satan…just like the shepherd David (1 Samuel 17.45-47)!

Overcome!!!  Praise God!!!  Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2014.   www.sozoclass.com

July 6, 2014 How to Use Your Spiritual Gift

How to Use Your Spiritual Gift

Spiritual gifts are your tickets into contexts of people that need what you bring.  This allows you an opportunity to prophesy, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!’ (Matthew 10.7).  This is intended to destroy the nest of demons that are attacking the defenseless sheep; Jesus’ picture in Matthew 9.35-38.  You are a laborer He is sending in to deliver the sheep.  You have what you need for the task; just do it!  Here’s why and how.

A Brief Review of His-story of Overcoming satan

  • Revelation 12.1-12 begins with an allegory of the nation Israel and the birth of Jesus. The passage ends with a statement of history: satan rebelled in Heaven and was cast from there to earth, which is a type of prison for him until he will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20.10).
  • The truth of the allegory was Israel’s bondage in Egypt, from which God saved His people and judged satan’s deceptions of the Egyptians, which had led to bondage.  Exodus 12.12b quotes God’s declaration of intention to Moses.
  • The Child of the allegory was Jesus, God’s Son, Who continued His Father’s work of overcoming satan’s bondage of people on earth.  Two examples: Mark 9.25-27 and Luke 13.16.
  • Jesus, even, deputized his apostles and disciples with His authority to overcome satan’s abuse of the sheep He saw everywhere, as is heard in Matthew 10.8 and seen in their actions of Luke 10.1-19.  [Verse 18 is His remembrance of the events of Revelation 12.7-9.]  Verse 19 continues today, explained in the following.
  • After the ‘blood of the Lamb’ (Revelation 12.11) was shed for the remission of your sin (Hebrews 11.6; Mark 2.1-12; John 3.16, 14.6), Jesus ascended to be with God, and He sent the Holy Spirit (third person of the Trinity of God) to ‘abide with you forever’ (John 14.16-17).  He, the Holy Spirit of God, continues to overcome satan’s abuses of mankind.  The Apostle Paul was an example of this, as is seen in Acts 14.8-10.  You can become such an example!

The ‘Scepter’ in Your Mouth

  • Psalm 110.1-2 picture Jesus’ return to Father God.  God proclaims His determined will to make Jesus’ enemies (John 3.18, 8.44) a footstool for His feet.  It has not yet been done but will be done!  How?  Jesus’ ‘scepter’ will rule among His enemies until they are all defeated!  Eaton’s Bible Dictionary identifies a scepter as properly a staff or rod; a symbol of authority; originated in the idea of a ruler as a shepherd of his people (Genesis 49.10).
  • Jesus identified, in John 17.11-12, 6, 26, His scepter as God’s name that He gave to Jesus.  Jesus’ authority was and is in His name, the name of God Himself, the greatest name and word above all names and words ever spoken, as Paul emphasized in Philippians 2.9-11! Then, in verse 12, Paul said to use this name, Jesus, to work out your salvation, deliver you, from whatever oppression satan uses to abuse you!
  • The name Jesus is what is hated by His enemies (Matthew 10.22) because, through them, satan vents on mankind, made in God’s image (Genesis 1.27), his hatred of God for casting him from Heaven (Revelation 12.7-9) because of his rebellion (Isaiah 14.12-15)!
  • Revelation 19.11-16 is allegory of the final battle with Jesus’ enemies.  Verse 13: ‘…the name by which He is called is The Word of God’; understand this from John 1.1.  The name Jesus was in the beginning!  King Solomon built the Temple for the Name of God, which symbolized His presence, even though Solomon did not know that the name is Jesus; see 2 Chronicles 6.3-11.
  • The ‘word of our testimony’ in Revelation 12.11 is one, powerful, greatest word and name ‘JESUS’!  You are an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5.20) and operate with freedom in the foreign kingdom of satan (2 Corinthians 4.4) by using Jesus’ name.
  • Remember that God, Whose name is Jesus, cast satan from Heaven to earth and sent His Son Who destroyed all of satan’s abuses of God’s ‘sheep’ while He was on earth (1 John 3.8b).  Now, the Holy Spirit in you continues to do the same through you when you are willing to overcome satan and his demons by speaking the name Jesus in rebuke of them (James 4.7).
  • It is not your cancer or whatever named other demon that has gained control of your body or mind (John 10.10a); it was not put there by God.  If satan can steal God’s promise from you, he can destroy your faith to receive that promise, which will make you defenseless and him able to kill your body, mind, and/or to take your possessions.
  • But, Jesus gives you abundant life (John 10.10b) when you use His scepter that He has given you for that purpose!  As Paul wrote in Colossians 1.27: it is Christ in you that is the hope of glory (present and future)!
  • Will you ‘work out your salvation’ (Philippians 2.12-13)?

Jesus, ‘the firstborn among many brothers’ (Romans 8.29)

  • Paul explained ‘firstborn’ in Colossians 1.16-20.  Jesus was with God at creation.  But, Jesus had no ‘brothers’ originally.  There was only God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
  • No, ‘the firstborn among many brothers’ refers to all who become conformed to His image, not looking like Him but acting like Him.  Christian means ‘little Christs’ means those who say the words and do the deeds of Christ Jesus, Himself (Who only said and did what He heard and saw God the Father say and do; John 5.19-20, 12.48-50).  See 1 Corinthians 2.4-5 for an example of Matthew 10.7-8 and Mark 16.17-20.
  • Acting like Jesus was God’s original plan for you, as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3.18 and in Romans 12.2.  God predetermined this in His plan before He began creating.  Jesus said as much in John 14.12.
  • Paul wrote in Ephesians 2.10 that these are ‘good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them’, who are ‘created in Christ Jesus’.  Created means conformed to His image; new creation, as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5.17.  He gives the process of transformation in 2 Corinthians 3.18.
  • In light of this understanding, how does Jesus’ taking authority over the storm (Mark 4.39-40) instruct you about Romans 8.19-22?  Does satan cause destructive storms? Does he gnarl trees?  This happened after Creation, as Paul pointed out.  What are the limits of faith?  Remember that Paul wrote that God predetermined the roles of teachers and preachers to equip those conformed to Jesus’ image to mature them to the heights of Jesus’ knowledge and faith (Ephesians 4.11-13).  He quelled the storm…and walked on water.
  • Jesus showed you the way and gave you the authority.  Will you act like Him?

God has never lost a battle to satan…and is not about to start now.  He executed judgment on  Egypt’s gods.  He destroyed satan’s philosophies and works through His Son.  He continues to destroy satan’s works through His Holy Spirit in believers willing to use His name and symbol of all authority.  Read again what Jesus said in Luke 10.19.  Yes, He gives this to you!  If the battle is lost, it will be because His name was not spoken with faith in the victory He has promised (Hebrews 3.19; Romans 14.23).

Praise God!!!  Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2014.  www.sozoclass.com

140629 Introduction: Matthew 6.10 gives God’s directive for His children.  He has resourced this task with His name, Jesus (Philippians 2.9-11), and with His Holy Spirit (Romans 8.14).  This was God’s history on earth and is His future for earth.  You are part of His resources, ambassadors, for accomplishing this (2 Corinthians 5.20).  The ‘body of Christ’ (1 Corinthians 12.27) carries on the work of Christ (John 17.18).

140706 Introduction: The life of a deceased friend was recently celebrated as we gathered for his funeral.  The preacher discussed his accomplishments and anecdotes from family and friends.  Then, he read some of Dan’s favorite verses, including Romans 8.29.  My spirit was quickened by the word ‘firstborn’ in describing Jesus and believers who become ‘conformed to [His] image’.  You are numbered after Jesus.  How conformed are you to His image?  Conformity to using the power of His name has been the takeaway of this study.  You have been given this power to use for His and your good.  Now is the time to start!