December 18, 2016 Move Out

Move Out

             For what Spiritual-warfare purpose was Jesus born? Apostle John answers in 1 John 3.8b: “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” How did He do this? Again, John states: “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (John 1.18 NASB; ESV: “ he has made him known”; NKJV: “He has declared Him”). So, God sent His only begotten Son to destroy satan’s harmful scheming deeds in the societies of Jesus’ earthly days.

Now that Jesus is seated with God the Father, Acts 1.9 leading to Psalm 110.1, who did He intend to continue this destruction of satan’s harmful scheming deeds in the societies of our world? Jesus, Himself, gives the answer, in John 17.18: “As You [God the Father] sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” And, Jesus gave us the two means we need for accomplishing this. John, again, reveals these to us, in Revelation 12.11: “they overcame him [satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony….” Jesus’ Cross and His name, the only and best “word” we can speak, as Apostle Paul describes Jesus’ name in Philippians 2.9-11! Receive Jesus’ encouragement to “move out” in Luke 10.19!

So, what are we waiting for? The embers of evil erupt into flame without frequent dousing with “Jesus”! History gives us some encouragement.

A. “Moses, go forward!”

  1. These were God’s words to Moses as the children of Israel seemed pinned in by the Red Sea and the Egyptian army; Exodus 14.15.
  2. satan seemed to have the upper hand. A natural barrier blocking their exit. An angry army awaiting the light of day; Exodus 14.20.
  3. It is interesting that their few days of wanderings had brought them to the Baal of Zephon at Pi Hahiroth (modern Jebel Deraj or Kulalah on the western shore of the Gulf of Suez); Exodus 14.9. Easton’s Bible Dictionary says that “Baal-zapuna of the Egyptians was a place of worship.”
  4. Exodus 12.12 explains this one, final victory over Pharaoh and his army; and in front of their temple of worship! satan could not, even, protect his warriors from God’s judgment!
  5. Paul’s words from his experience, in 1 Corinthians 10.13, encourage us to ask for God’s plan of escape when in satan’s schemes. God’s ultimate plan is understood from Galatians 1.4.
  6. God’s plan for the children of Israel was Exodus 14.13-31. How are Moses’ proclamation in verses 13-14 like Matthew 10.7 and his actions that followed like verse eight? Similarly, what do you learn from Luke 10.9?
  7. Moses’ was God’s chosen leader (Exodus 3.10) to say the word and do the work. He needed the encouragement of Exodus 14.15. “Move out!

B. Do you hear His instructions?

  1. King David did, in 2 Samuel 5.22-25.   David was a good listener! He followed God’s strategies.
  2. This was the second time the Philistines had challenged David’s emerging kingship; 2 Samuel 5.17-25. The Philistines were satan’s agents of harm; idol worshippers! God describes such deceived people, with amazement, in Isaiah 44.9-20. People are really that deceived!
  3. During the first challenge, David had asked God how to fight against this enemy, and God had instructed him to attack from the front; 2 Samuel 5.19-20.
  4. But, this second time, God knew the Philistines would be anticipating a frontal attack. So, He instructed David to “circle around behind them and come at them in front of the balsam trees” (2 Samuel 2.23). Jehovah-Strategist! He knows the best ways to attack.

And, there was more. God, further, instructed David to wait for what signal, in verse 24? How was this God saying, “Move out!”?

C. Move Out!

  1. Jesus heard God the Father loud and clear (John 12.49) when He commanded the epileptic demon to leave the boy alone; Mark 9.25-27. Move out!
  2. Peter heard God’s instruction when he commanded the paralytic to “walk” in Acts 3.6. Move out!
  3. Paul heard God’s instruction when he arose from the dead and walked back into Lystra to demonstrate God’s power to his murderers; see Acts 14.19-20. Move out!
  4. Luke correctly described Jesus in Acts 10.38. This is true about you, too!

So, for what Spiritual-warfare purpose was Jesus born? 1 John 3.8b. For what Spiritual-warfare purpose were you born? Consider that Romans 8.14 leads to 2 Corinthians 4.3-4 leads to 2 Corinthians 10.5 leads to Acts 26.18 leads to 2 Corinthians 5.20 leads to John 17.18 leads to Matthew 6.10!

            Your purpose! Move out!

Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2016. www.sozoclass.com

December 11, 2017 The End of Hope

The End of Hope

          Jesus’ story of the rich man (Matthew 19.23) and beggar (James 2.5) illustrates the double meaning of this title; see Luke 16.19-31. [Side bar, moral of the story: Matthew 6.19-21.] Hades is the abode of the departed until the Rapture (Revelation 4.1) or the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20.11-15), for the residents of Paradise (Luke 23.43) or the Pit (Isaiah 14.12-15), respectively. Notice that there a “chasm” of impossibility for travel between the two, but Abraham, at least, is able to converse in both. Jesus had discussed this, generally, with Nicodemus in John 3.16-21, as a warning. We pass by such people daily, as Apostle Paul reminds in 2 Corinthians 2.15-16. Our “scent” expresses the end of hope to each!

A. Final Assignments

  1. Revelation 20.11-15 describes the awesome event of the Great White Throne judgment.
  2. Because of our acceptance of the truth of John 14.6, Christians will not be condemned; for, our names will have been written in the Book of Life. We will be there in attendance with Jesus, as Paul assures in 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18. Notice that believers in Paradise will be gathered before any believers still alive, a brief “twinkling of an eye” (a blink = 1/32 of a second) difference, according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15.52. Powerful God!
  3. The Great White Throne judgment will be for those from the Pit of Hades. They will suffer the same “lake-of-fire” fate of the chief resident, satan (Revelation 12.7-17, John 12.31, Ephesians 4.7-10, Isaiah 14.12-15).
  4. Paul explains the differentiation further Romans 2.1-11, especially the contrasts of verses seven and eight. Those of verse eight were detailed in the study “161204 The Devolution of Society” (sozoclass.com).

B. The Judge

  1. Jesus’ description in Matthew 25.31-46 is of the Great White Throne judgment. Jesus is not describing works for salvation but works resulting from salvation, as He said to the Pharisees in Matthew 9.10-13, including Hosea 6.6. For, Jesus was responding to people described by John 6.47 which understanding is explained by John 1.12 and which understanding is explained by John 3.16 and which understanding is explained by John 14.6! Contrast this with Jesus condemnation of the Pharisees in Matthew 23.4; no mercy!
  2. Jesus, again, identifies Himself as the Judge in John 5.22-23. Paul repeats this identity to the philosophers on Mars Hill in Acts 17.30-31. Apostle Peter drives this point deep into the Jewish leaders and people in Acts 2.14-36, reminding them of what Jesus had said to them in Matthew 22.41-46, quoting Psalm 110.1.

C. Another?

  1. So, Paul, twice, expresses dismay and disbelief that followers of Jesus would consider any other ‘salvation’ than the “Judge”, in 2 Corinthians 11.3-4 and Galatians 1.6-9.
  2. Peter states the same to the Sanhedrin or ruling Jewish counsel in Acts 4.12. Although his statement concern the physical healing of a paralytic, the truth can be applied generally , as Jesus does with another paralytic in Matthew 9.1-8. [Side bar: How were healing and forgiving sins equal? Fundamentally, sin is disbelief in God (Hebrews 11.6); sins express lifestyles of such disbelief (Matthew 15.18-20).] Receiving faith for healing expressed the paralytic’s faith in Jesus as Savior. Paul summarizes the power of the name ‘Jesus’ in Philippians 2.9-11 and, then, encourages application in daily life in verses 12-13, as Peter spoke to the Sanhedrin.
  3. So, Paul is, rightly, dismayed and in disbelief that the Galatians would want to abandon the only Savior, in Galatians 1.6-9.
  4. He states the most important reason for remaining loyal in Galatians 1.4:”…that He might rescue us from this present evil age….” There is no escape from Earth apart from Jesus! And, besides, Jesus is the Judge at the Great White Throne judgment!

D. Pivot from Evil

  1. Consequently, 1 John 2.17 gives us rationale from Apostle John: “The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever” (my underscore for emphasis). Societies wounds are characterized as “the lust of the flesh” and/or “the lust of the eyes” and/or “the boastful pride of life” (verse 16). Passing away!
  2. Paul, too, in 1 Corinthians 7.31: “…the form of this world is passing away” (my underscore for emphasis). Luke 17.26-37 helps to explain the context of Paul’s words “use of the world”. Our world could change in a moment!
  3. This is what John the Revelationist saw and wrote in Revelation 20.11: “…from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them” (my underscore for emphasis).
  4. To not be left behind to suffer God’s wrath (Romans 1.18-32, Revelation 6 [especially 6.16-17]; 8-9; 9-12; 14-20; 16.1-18.24) before being sentenced to the lake of fire is the best reason to pivot from darkness to light, from satan’s kingdom to God’s, as Paul states in Acts 26.16-18!
  5. Jesus was sent to rescue us from this fate; Galatians 1.4. Praise You, Savior and Lord!

The Great White Throne judgment is real and will occur when God calls an end to time (Mark 13.32). At that moment, the hope of Heaven will be realized by Christians (1 Corinthians 15.24) but lost for those skeptical of John 14.6. This scenario is visualized by analogy in Numbers 21.4-9. Would you have looked?

Paul makes one final plea in Hebrews 3.12-15 for our attention before the end of hope! And, he emphasizes the point in Hebrews 9.27-28. May we be the “scent of life” (2 Corinthians 2.16; Isaiah 45.22) to our societies, which portray symptoms of death.

Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2016. www.sozoclass.com.

December 4, 2016 The Devolution of Society

The Devolution of Society

           A historical figure of the late 20th Century recently died at an advanced age. He had been raised a Catholic but became a Communist in his middle years. How is his example of drifting away from the truth instructive for us to prevent this in our lives? The Apostle Paul warns about drifting in Hebrews 2.1 NASB: “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.” The “reason” to which he refers is explained in Hebrews 1.1-4 as Jesus, the Son of God and “exact representation of His nature, and [upholder of] all things by the word of His power.” “Drifting” lacks intent; it just happens over time. Our national and world societies continue the drift begun long ago. So, how do we keep from drifting and return to the course assigned or, even, get back on course?

A. Societal Evidence of Drifting

  1. How many of the list of Galatians 5.19-21 can you identify on television, in the newspapers, in popular movies, and/or among persons known by you? We will comment on Paul’s warning later.
  2. What about Paul’s list in 2 Timothy 3.1-7? Do you see this in the present sophomoric protests?
  3. And, lest we forget why we, of all ages, are anxious and loose sleep, from 1 Timothy 6.10. Does this describe you or someone you know? How does this fit into Matthew 6.27?
  4. Paul is not alone. James (3.16) explains the origins of “chaos theory” as this mathematical theory might be applied to any group of people. Have you been around and/or subject to these causes?
  5. Of course, these aberrant behaviors have their sources in Paul’s list in Colossians 2.8 and result in his nautical description in Ephesians 4.14. How is Peter’s walk on water (Matthew 14.30) analogous to Paul’s description? How does this illustrate “drifting”?

B. Source of Drifting

  1. Only one, as described in Jeremiah 13.10.
  2. How is the end of verse 10 connected to Isaiah 14.12? What was/is satan’s motive behind all the behavioral “straw men” above? Consider Isaiah 14.13-14. Since he was unsuccessful (Revelation 12.7-9), is this why he picked on our “fairer sex” (Genesis 3.1-5)?
  3. Remember how Jesus described satan to his followers in John 8.44. Have you seen this evidence of satan in the media or in any associate recently?
  4. The reason for these behaviors, and the explanation of Jeremiah 13.10, is seen in the illustrations of King Saul (1 Samuel 13.9-14), the Prince of Tyre (Ezekiel 28.1-5), King Herod (Acts 12.22-23), and summarized in John’s third item in 1 John 2.16. What is that fundamental reason? How do all the behaviors above exemplify this reason, especially that stated by Jesus in John 8.44? The “end” of these may be seen in Isaiah 14.15!

C. Remedy for Prideful Imaginations

  1. King Solomon taught his children early this in Proverbs 3.1-7, 21-23 and 20-27. Perhaps, Solomon was remembering his father’s teaching in Psalm 119.9-16.
  2. Paul provides wise counsel in Hebrews 3.12-13.
  3. Paul, even, suggest a radical solution to a difficult problem in 1 Corinthians 5.5. In other words, let evil bring the person down so far that s/he can only look up. Perhaps, Paul was remembering Nebuchadnezzar’s story in Daniel 4.1-37. A reasonable warning to us: satan will take you all the way down! Jonah (2.7-10) is a like illustration of returning.
  4. God gave Moses His best remedy in Deuteronomy 6.4-9. What steps can you take to incorporate these practices?
  5. Consequently, the ultimate remedy is simply to reverse Jeremiah 13.10, like David acknowledges in Psalm 119.67 and 71. What does that mean to you?
  6. How is harnessing your “imagination” like “taming your tongue”, as James (3.2-5) describes? How are Moses’ behaviors the needed “bits”?

“Drifting” is a scheme of satan for taking the word of God from you. The Holy Spirit instructed me, one morning as I drove to my downtown office, to phone a man I had led to faith in Jesus Christ and to tell him “don’t stop reading the Bible”. “How did you know” was his questioning response. He, then, confided that he was seriously considering reducing his time of daily study of the Bible so he could add the reading of some well-known Christian authors. God’s instruction may be for you, too, who may be considering the same. Remember that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10.17).

Two final suggestions. First, resolve to read the Bible from beginning to end within one year. There are many interesting formats, including daily portions from the Old and New Testaments or a chronological arrangement of the various books of the Bible. Second, invest as much time in Bible reading and study as you spend on the daily news. And, remember Paul’s warning in 2 Corinthians 2.11.

Don’t “drift” into his grasp! Jeremiah 15.19-21 will lead you to joyously proclaim verse 16!

Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2016. www.sozoclass.com.