August 31, 2014 Does your faith rest in the wisdom of men or the power of God?

Does your faith rest in the wisdom of men or the power of God?

That is the most important question for you in this late hour (before our Lord’s calling His Spirit and believers out of this world).  Two men left hospitals in different cities this week to return home to die, as doctors told them that the cancers that had invaded their bodies were beyond the knowledge and help of medicine.  Judah’s King Asa experienced the same; 2 Chronicles 16.12-13.  This report prompted my return to 1 Corinthians 2.4-5 and contemplation of this teaching.  Understand that I am not criticizing doctors, as they are taught care of the human body by God and minister to people until their faith can grow to receive God’s powerful healing.  However, some never do, but become dependent upon physicians, alone.  So, is your faith in human wisdom or in the power of God?

The Wisdom of Humans!

  • 1 Corinthians 2.4-5, NKJV, Paul: ‘And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.’
  • Note that Paul’ speech was to demonstrate the Holy Spirit and God’s power.  Jesus had said the same thing in Matthew 10.7-8 (Acts 14.8-10)  Notice Jesus’ sequence of preaching that ‘the Kingdom of God is at hand’ before proving it: ‘heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.’  Show the power of God!
  • This is not about human wisdom.  Note the source and content of human wisdom from Jeremiah 13.10 and Colossians 2.8.  Hear God’s conclusion in Jeremiah 8.8-9.
  • So, how should you receive the news from man?  With the words, what does God say about this?  2 Kings 20.1-11 tells the story of Judah’s King Hezekiah’s healing.  God’s glory was experienced through figs and confirmed by moving the Sun back 20 minutes!

The Power of God!

  • King Asa could have experienced the healing that Hezekiah experienced.
  • The power of God was even received by looking at the image of a snake on a pole; see Numbers 21.8-9.
  • Paul wanted the power of God to be experienced.  Note this in Romans 1.16, 1 Corinthians 1.17 & 4.20: the Kingdom of God IS power!  Jesus demonstrated this power to prove Who He was to the disciples of John the Baptist; Matthew 11.1-6.

So, is your faith in the power of God or the, so-called, wisdom of mankind?

  • Who do you know who is as wise as God?  Please introduce us!
  • It should be evident to you that Jesus will come for us soon.  The signs of Matthew 3.12 include the increasing persecution of Christians around the world and in the United States. The signs include the decline in the impact of churches reflected in overall declining attendance and declining financial support of foreign missionaries.  The signs include Paul’s description of society in 2 Timothy 3.1-7 and Galatians 5.19-21.
  • Dr. Jim Denison, President of Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, quoted Purdue University sociology professor Fenggang Yang as writing ‘”China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon.”’  He calculates that believers will rise to 160 million by 2025 and 247 by 2030; thus, China would be ‘home to more Christians than any nation on earth.’  Denison explained this with two reasons.  ‘First, Christians in China have learned to depend fully and unconditionally on the power of God’s Spirit.’  ‘Second, they have weathered waves of persecution and opposition with steadfast resolve.’
  • You will need stronger faith in the days to come because satan is increasing his schemes!
  • Remember that satan can only kill you after he strips away your faith by keeping you from the promises of God and the power of the name ‘Jesus’!  See Romans 10.17 and Philippians 2.9-11.

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

August 24, 2014 ‘We must work the works of Him Who sent Me….’

‘We must work the works of Him Who sent Me….’

This quote from Jesus in John 9.4 will remind you of His stated mission (Mark 10.45; 2 Corinthians 5.19).  He said this would become the mission of all who followed Him (John 17.18), including you as Paul reminds in 2 Corinthians 5.20.  Jesus described what the resulting vision would look like in Matthew 6.10, and He gave us the strategy we are to use in Matthew 16.19.  How do Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5 restate what Jesus said in John 9.4-5?  Why is this the present imperative?

Darkness is the absence of light visible by human eyes.

  • Albert Einstein once stated there is no darkness, only the absence of light visible by human eyes. Think of horses and other animals which can see at night.
  • Jesus’ statement to His disciples makes clear there will be an end of ‘light’, however.  Apostle John, in 1.1-5, 14, 18 explained the light as Jesus coming into a darkened room.  Light enlightens things, like when you arrive home after dark and switch on the lights in the house.  You see if anything is out of place in the room.  How does this illustrate Colossians 2.8-10?
  • The light John writes about was explained by Solomon in Proverbs 4.18-19 and by David in Psalm 119.105…and by Jesus in John 9.5: ‘As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’  His light brings life, as John 1.4-5 and 14.6 state!
  • Darkness will not overcome this ‘life-light’ until the name ‘Jesus’ is taken from earth, as Jesus stated in John 9.5Verse 4 could not mean the physical man Jesus because the healing-works He illustrates in this story continued after His ascension from earth.  See Acts 1.8-11; 3.1-10, 16; 9.34-35; and 14.8-10.  The Holy Spirit demonstrated the power of the name ‘Jesus’ through the disciples thirty years after Jesus’ crucifixion!  He still does!
  • Darkness will overcome ‘life-light’ only when the name ‘Jesus’ is taken from earth, when the Holy Spirit of Jesus in believers is Raptured with us, as in Revelation 4.1-2a.  Paul wrote about this in 2 Thessalonians 2.7.  Darkness is lawlessness, as Paul illustrated in 2 Timothy 3.1-7.
  • Boldly proclaim the name ‘Jesus’, for in it is ‘life-light’ of the world (Matthew 5.14-16)!

Jesus’ ‘We’ includes you!

  • Not to worry, for Jesus will include you only to the limits of your present faith.  He will not ask you to be involved where you do not have faith to allow Him to work through you (Mark 16.20).
  • Apostle Paul illustrates this.  He must have come to write 1 Corinthians 2.4-5 from his understanding of Jesus’ words in Matthew 10.19-20 and John 14.26 about the Holy Spirit.
  • Your faith must rest upon the power of God, like Paul wrote!  This is the point Jesus made in John 9.3:’…that the works of God might be displayed (revealed; NKJV) in [the man healed].’  It is all about God being seen in the earth, like He said in Exodus 34.10!
  • It is important, in these last days before ‘Jesus’ is taken from the earth, that you let God ‘display’ His power through you to others.  He wants them saved, too (Mark 10.45)!  He has chosen you to tell them (Isaiah 55.5)!
  • (Note: NKJV uses ‘I’ in John 9.4, while ESV and NASB use ‘We’.  This difference in source documents is nominal when all agree on Jesus’ words in John 17.18 and Matthew 28.18-20.  Thus, ‘we’ is used.)

The imperative of this is that Jesus could return for us anytime, as He said in Luke 21.28.  Are you ready?  Are your family members?  Are you friends?  Perhaps some people cross your paths so you can tell them!  You, believers, are ‘life-light’!

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

August 17, 2014 Binding and Loosing in God’s Kingdom

Binding and Loosing in God’s Kingdom

Jesus implemented two strategies while on earth to accomplish His Father’s mission with which Jesus was tasked (2 Corinthians 5.19), to bring about the vision in God’s mind that Jesus stated in Matthew 6.10.  His first strategy was to remove two barriers that separated mankind from God: 2 Corinthians 5.21 and Hebrews 2.14-15.  His second strategy was one He initiated and instructed you to repeat; Acts 10.38 leading to John 16.33 leading to John 17.18.  This strategy is stated in the title and comes from Matthew 16.19 (New American Standard Bible version is clearer).  You need to understand the biblical protocol for binding and loosing.

‘Whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven.’  (Matthew 16.19)

û  What is included in ‘whatever’?  Your list should agree with Revelation 21.8, Romans 8.5-8 & 13, and Galatians 5.19-21.  See, also, 1 John 2.15-17 and Matthew 13.18-23.

û  Note the past tense of Jesus’ words.  These ‘whatevers’ have already been bound!

û  How do the names describing Jehovah identify what is bound in heaven? Jehovah-tsidkenu (righteousness), -jireh (abundant provisions), -rapha (healing), -rohi (guide, clarity), -nissi (protector, defender), -shalom (peace), -shammah (constant companion).

û  Luke 8.26-39 tells the story of Jesus healing a man possessed by 6,000 demons (the meaning of ‘legion’; as in Roman soldiers).  Why were the people ‘fearful’ that saw the man who had been delivered from the demons?  Did they really value a herd of pigs above one human who had been reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5.20)?  Why did they fear Jesus?

û  In Acts 19.11-20, why did the seven sons of a Jewish chief priest named Sceva fail and suffer severe consequences?  John 1.12 gives the answer.  Effectiveness in the Kingdom of God requires a personal relationship with Jesus.  The boys did not have this.  How’s your’s?

‘Whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.’  (Matthew 16.19)

ü  What is included in ‘whatever’?  Your list should agree with John 14.26, Romans 8.14, Galatians 5.22-23, and John 3.16.

ü  Note, again, that Jesus’ words are past tense; these ‘whatevers’ are already loosed!

ü  How do the names describing Jehovah (above) identify what is loosed in heaven, and how do they fulfill the prophesy of Isaiah 61.1-3, which Jesus said He fulfilled, in Luke 4.16-21.

ü  Jeremiah 9.23-24 is similar to the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13.18-23.  The imperative is to loose your increasing knowledge of and about God and your understanding of His intents so that your faith does not get bound by wealth accumulation, worldly wisdom, and bodily strength or beauty and you, thus, become vulnerable to satan’s agents’ ‘trouble’ (John 16.33).  Remember, if satan can steal the word of God from you, he can destroy your faith and, thereby, kill your body and/or plans.

ü  Shepherd boy David gives a good illustration of how to loose ‘whatever…[is]…loosed in heaven’.  1 Samuel 17.45-47 is the key passage of the story.  What one thing did David loose that bound all the weapons arrayed against him?  How does this show the truth of Revelation 12.11 and Philippians 2.9-11?

Binding and loosing can be separate or combined strategies.  When you bind sickness, loose healing.  When you bind insufficiency of funds, loose God’s provision to meet needs.  Etc.  Bind and loose whatever has already been bound in heaven!  Search for ‘whatever’ in the Bible.

Then, thank God for satisfying your needs for wealth, wisdom, and health from His riches in glory by Christ Jesus!  This is the combination of Philippians 4.19 with 4.6-7.  Give glory to God!  Focus on Him, for He has promised to take care of you (Matthew 6.25-34; God’s words)!

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

August 10, 2014 Vital Signs

Vital Signs

Continuing with the theme ‘revitalization’ from our last study, what is ‘vital’ to your spiritual health like food, water, air, light, and sleep are to your physical and mental health?  That is, what needs new energy?  And, from where does that energy come?  You should memorize the heading verses.

Hebrews 11.6 is vital!  But, why?

  • You should have resolved this age-old argument long ago.  God is, as He said to Moses in Exodus 3.14-15.  Notice that God said He has existed forever past and will exist forever future!
  • There is no other God, as He proclaims in Isaiah 45.5-6, 22; 44.6-8; 43.10-11!  Now, understand the significance of Romans 1.19-20.
  • Explain the two solstices without God and how your hair stays in place on this sphere rotating at over 1,000 mph.  Explain creation.  Explain the composition of the human body and brain and fetal gestation apart from God.  Your theorems require greater faith than simply believing that God is and continues to repeat these things.  Exclaim with Jeremiah 32.17 and hear His reply in verse 27!  How does Hebrews 11.3 add wonder to this?
  • Is this ‘vital sign’ lower in you than it should be?  How can you strengthen it?

John 14.6 is vital!  But, why?

John 14.26 is vital!  But, why?

  • Both sides of ‘and’ are important for you.  ‘Before’ includes physics, homemaking, economics, education, the internet, etc., and Jeremiah 29.11 and John 3.27.  ‘After’ reminds you of and explains Jesus’ life as is presented in the four Gospels.
  • So, are you practicing Romans 8.14?  Now do you know?
  • Is this ‘vital sign’ lower in you than it should be?  How can you strengthen it?

Hosea 14.9 is vital!  But, why?

  • Jeremiah 13.10 states the summary cause of the problems of our world today.  How does Hosea 4.6 comment on this?
  • What is the solution?  Psalm 119.11, 105.
  • Is this ‘vital sign’ lower in you than it should be?  How can you strengthen it?

Romans 1.16-17 is vital!  But, why?

Acts 17.30-31 is vital!  But, why?              

Do either or both churches in Ephesus (Revelation 2.4-5) and Laodicea (Revelation 3.15-17) describe what is vital in your life?  Revitalize!  You will need to be spiritually strong in the days to come! 

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

August 3, 2014 Reinvigoration

Reinvigoration

When something becomes stale, you renew it…like the color of your car after you wash it or your body strength after a cold drink on a hot day.  The vigor is renewed!  What about your soul; that is, your mind, will, and emotions?  How can this be done?  Why is this important for the Christian?  Consider the following study.

Jesus’ example

  • In the days when Jesus walked on earth, guests were greeted by their host’s servant with water and towel to wash the dust from their feet. (Luke 7.44)
  • Jesus used this protocol to teach servant leadership to His apostles after celebrating the Lord’s Supper with them. (John 13.1-17) (BTW, whose feet do you wash?)
  • What was Jesus washing from their feet symbolically?

How does the ‘dirt’ from the world get upon you?

  • Apostle Paul discussed ‘dirt’ in Colossians 2.8-10.
  • Do you have any of this ‘dirt’ upon you?
  • How does your Christianity become soiled by ‘dirt’?  How do Elijah and Paul identify this in 1 Kings 18.21 and Ephesians 4.14-15, respectively?
  • Jesus’ experience with satan’s temptations illustrates and remedies; Matthew 4.1-11.

Even new creations must be reinvigorated regularly!

Grow to know and understand God!

  • Which verse is more important to you: Jeremiah 9.23 or 24?  Why?  How do you measure progress?
  • Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) removed the dirt from the old and gave new treasures.  When did you last study it?
  • In Romans 12.2, Paul told how he washed the dirt from his mind.  It was ‘formed’ once but needed to be ‘transformed’ every day, because he dealt with satanic philosophies every day of his missionary journeys.  How are you transforming your mind?

Your values are expressed by your behavior.

  • Elijah gave the people of his day a choice; 1 Kings 18.21.  The same is for you.  There are consequences, you know.
  • God is looking for certain persons; 2 Chronicles 16.9 and Isaiah 66.2.  Is this you?
  • To those He finds faithful, He gives renewed minds; Ezekiel 11.19-21 and 36.26-27. You don’t have to wait in line, either!  He comes to you.
  • ‘Bathe’ regularly! (Study the Bible; meditate with God; pray seriously)
  • Get serious about your relationship with and knowledge and understanding of God!
  • Reinvigorate!

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