Tag Archives: authority

Today’s Society Seeks Protection from Jesus

Today’s message summary of April 30, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:

We live in a society that values the right to vote for its pleasures.  Pleasures will win every time.  Society holds that the only place we are to find Jesus Christ is within the church.

In contrast with the message of Jesus Christ to “go into all the world and preach the gospel,” (Matthew 28:19) our societal focus is to prevent this from occurring.

What does our society value today?

  • Freedom of sexual expression and immorality
  • Freedom to use profanity
  • Freedom to use alcohol and drugs
  • Freedom to destroy that which is good for all

Karl Marx’s view on religion:

  • It’s irrational
  • Religion is a delusion and avoids reality
  • Religion negates all that is dignified in a human being by rendering them servile (like that of a slave or servant) and more amenable to accept the status quo

The church, and Christians, have moved to a place of acceptance of the status quo in America.  It is not really challenged even within some of our own behaviors and actions.

God’s standards and principles have never changed.  He still challenges believers with His standards of obedience and living according to His will.

Have we reached a point in which there is no room for the teaching of Jesus?

John 8:37

I know you are descendants of Abraham, but you are trying to kill Me because My word is not welcome among you.

Why is it that society today deems the use of the words of Jesus as being an attack?  Simply, the truth of the message of Jesus Christ has the power to set people free from bondage.  (There is virtually no opposition to any other religious practice.)

Proverbs notes that “out of the heart comes the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).  Satan does not care whether or not you go to church, but he is concerned over whether or not you are focused on the Word of God.  The constant focus on God’s Word is what refines you in your practice of following Jesus Christ.  God’s Word challenges your way of thinking, and often provides guidance with correction.  You need to have the desire to seek Him for yourself.

Acts 17:11

The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

Because of society desiring to exclude Jesus Christ, have we lost our blessing?

Psalm 33:10-12

The Lord frustrates the counsel of the nations; He thwarts the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation. Happy is the nation whose God is Yahweh–the people He has chosen to be His own possession!

Jesus was warning Jesus to “leave this place” of Jerusalem (Luke 13:31).  He was warned by the people about Herod (who represents the government), but Jesus told them that He would continue His work.

Luke 13:32-33

He said to them, “Go tell that fox, ‘Look! I’m driving out demons and performing healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will complete My work. Yet I must travel today, tomorrow, and the next day, because it is not possible for a prophet to perish outside of Jerusalem!

As the kingdom of God tries to go forth, there are those who are trying to keep it at bay.  Society has tried to put limits on the things of Christianity.  What you are to see here is the determination that is needed to keep moving the church of God forward.  We are not to give up easily, and we are not to accept what society tells us.  At some point, someone has to stand up and tells others about Jesus Christ, no matter what others may say.

It is either following human authority, or God’s authority.

Acts 5:29

But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men.”

Everyday there are people who want to push back against the teachings of Christ (Mark 3:6; Luke 19:47).  It is little wonder that the church is dying in America.

What are we facing today?  A downward trend in society, because we refuse to accept the truth, which comes from the words of Jesus Christ.

John 14:6

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

People are in need of ministry and healing, no matter what society tries to dictate.  There will always be a need for people to experience your love and compassion, and as a result, the love of Jesus Christ.

It is the kindness of the people that draws them to the love of Jesus Christ.  We are to keep going today, tomorrow and the next day, and then watch God open the doors of the hearts of many.  It is what we must do for the glory of God.


Who You Are in a Marriage (Marriage Series)

Today’s message summary of September 25, 2016 from Pastor Gus Brown:

For some people who jump into marriage, they assume that it will create happiness.  There is nothing in Scripture that supports that view.  There is a lot that is to be experienced within the relationship, and it is to be focused with the presence of Jesus Christ.

If a person fails to recognize or act with purpose and function within the marriage relationship, there is a loss of identity within your own relationship with God.

Male and female, husband and wife, father and mother…

What is my purpose and function within the marriage relationship?

We are to learn how to function in our respective roles.  For example, the husband is to be the security for the family.

Both the man and the woman are seeking to know their identity–their function in the relationship; however, your true value comes from God Himself.

God provides the direction as to how one functions within the marriage relationship and enables the person to fulfill it.  God provides the groundwork for the relationship in His Word.

Here are questions that may come up throughout the course of a marriage:

Are we equal or do we have the same value?

Do men and women have the same rights, privileges and abilities?

Answer:  We are equal in personhood but not in function.

Do men and women have the same strength and power?  No, but each has special strength within their function.

Adam recognized that there was a difference when he saw Eve.

Genesis 3:16

He said to the woman: I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children in anguish. Your desire will be for your husband, yet he will rule over you.

Genesis 3:17

And He said to Adam, “Because you listened to your wife’s voice and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘Do not eat from it’: The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life.

Your identity was established from the beginning:

Genesis 1:27-28

So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.”

Both man and woman have the same authority given by God.  They have the same responsibility.  After God created everything else, He placed the man in the garden of Eden “to work it and watch over it” (Genesis 2:15).

God was specific as to how Adam was created (Genesis 2:7) and what his work would be (Genesis 2:15, 19-20).

God created Eve differently (Genesis 2:22) and allowed Adam to name His creation (Genesis 2:23). The woman’s function is to be a helper in caring for the creation where there was none before (Genesis 2:20).

Within marriage, it is important for the individual to grow and develop in Christ as we grow in life.  It is the growth and the patience of the two that will nurture the relationship.

Romans 8:25

But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.

God allowed Adam to do his job without help for a while.  God and Adam were forming and building a relationship before the woman is created, and He learned that God ruled over him.

After Eve was created, there was a greater establishment of authority and responsibility.  Authority and governing is a responsibility (Genesis 3:12, 16-17). Contrast this with those who become fearful and want to run away from responsibility.  There has to be a mutual relationship.  To be desirous of other things reflects a selfishness that is contrary to what is necessary within a marriage.

Titus 2:1-7

But you must say the things that are consistent with sound teaching. Older men are to be level headed, worthy of respect, sensible, and sound in faith, love and endurance. In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine. They are to teach what is good, so they may encourage the young women to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered. In the same way, encourage the young men to be self-controlled in everything. Make yourself an example of good works with integrity and dignity in your teaching.

Colossians 3:19

Husbands, love your wives and don’t be bitter toward them.

God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and His ministering angels are for marriage (Hebrews 1:14).

Satan and the host of fallen angels (Ephesians 6:12) and his tools—the love of the world, the lust of the eyes, etc. (1 John 2:15)—are against marriage and seek to destroy it.

Adam and Eve struggled with these desires when they sinned and diverted them from what their responsibilities to each other within the relationship.


Be Filled (Part 4): A Spirit-Filled Family

Today’s message of July 24, 2016 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:

What defines a family?  Is it merely love?  Or is it something greater than that?  Our definition of love should not come from television sitcoms or of something that is more about lust?  The world view is that “love wins,” but if this love is expressed outside of the word of God, then it is not what God would condone.

Love is not love according to how the world views love.

1 John 2:15

Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.
Nonetheless, if we adopt the world’s view of God, then it is outside of how the bible instructs.  The world view of love is not a reflection of Jesus Christ.

The world’s view of family is based upon a faulty love.

In Genesis 4, there is a brotherly love turned into jealousy…and murder.  This happened because of Cain’s evil tendencies in his heart that was against Abel’s acts of righteousness.

1 John 3:11-14

For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another, unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death.
If you ever thought that your own family was dysfunctional, it probably doesn’t compare to the family of David.  It was truly dysfunctional.  David’s failure to discipline his children created a great deal of pain and suffering, and he even lost one of his sons because of it.

Interestingly, many families today are just as bad if not worse today.

The world has no clue today what it means to be a family.  God defines what it is to have a spirit-filled family.

Love is involved within a spirit-filled family, but not just any love.  A spirit-filled family is characterized by submissive unconditional love.

Ephesians 5:15-33

Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise—making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit:

speaking to one another
in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,
singing and making music
from your heart to the Lord,
giving thanks always for everything
to God the Father
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
submitting to one another
in the fear of Christ.

Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of His body.

For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh.

This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.

Ephesians 6:1-4

Children, obey your parents as you would the Lord, because this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, so that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land. Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
These are the biblical examples of a spirit-filled family.

Notice that in Ephesians 5:18, he notes that we are to be spirit-filled.  This is imperative in order to be able to submit to and to be obedient to God’s Word.  Anything outside of this means that there is a desire to follow what the world teaches.

Be obedient to the Word and bring yourself under self-control.  Putting aside the deeds of the flesh is to surrender everything to God.  This includes everything.  This is spirit-filled living.

It takes more than love to have a spirit-filled family.  It cannot pay the bills.  It cannot cut the grass or wash the dishes. Loving someone means submitting yourself, in love, to someone else.

Our families should be branded by love in submission.  That is what a spirit-filled family is.

As far as the roles within a family, as noted by Paul (Ephesians 5:22-28), there is a structure that requires submissive love, and the structure is in place in order that God is glorified.  A submissive wife is the crowning jewel of her husband.  She is not submissive not just to please her husband, but to please the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:3

But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ.
Godly submission is much more pleasing than physical attractiveness.

1 Peter 3:1-7

In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the Christian message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live when they observe your pure, reverent lives.  Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes. Instead, it should consist of what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes. For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do what is good and are not frightened by anything alarming.

Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with an understanding of their weaker nature[d] yet showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
God is using the church, the bride of Christ, to reach people with the good news.  The spirit-filled family is the essence of living before the world in a godly manner.

The husband, in Ephesians 5:25-33, also has to be submissive.  He has to love his wife unconditionally in submission.

This submission, even in a marriage where there is an unbeliever, can have a profound effect on the unbeliever.  You won’t know unless you stay with it.

1 Corinthians 7:14-16

For the unbelieving husband is set apart for God by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart for God by the husband.  Otherwise your children would be corrupt, but now they are set apart for God. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you to live in peace.  For you, wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Or you, husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?

That is why Paul is telling husbands to love their wives.  The love is reflection of Jesus Christ, who saves.

Sanctification is a maturity process for both the wife and the husband in marriage and in faith (Ephesians 5:26-27).

This sanctification comes from the power of the Word of God.  The church is polluted and guilty under sin, but the Word has cleansing power.  A husband who is submissive to his wife is a Christlike example as to how to live for Jesus Christ.

Children are to live in obedience to the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-4).  The husband and wife, to the children, represent God’s authority.  Disobedience is a reflection of disobedience to God.  The Lord will bless those children who submit to their parents.

The husband and the wife are mindful to not abuse this authority and to make their children miserable.  God will judge all parents as to how their children were raised and disciplined.

Proverbs 4:10

Listen, my son. Accept my words,
and you will live many years.
Proverbs 23:13

Don’t withhold discipline from a youth;
if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
Families are hardly perfect.  There will be arguments and difficulties, but allow the love of Jesus Christ, in submission, to prevail.  This love is a love in humility and in submission to Jesus Christ.


Go and Make Disciples

A message summary of February 28, 2016 from Asst. Pastor Travis Jackson:

Matthew 28:16-20

The 11 disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw Him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The point of this passage is to go out and make disciples.

I have been thinking to myself as to why we, as a church, are not growing, as we should. I want all of us to go out and make disciples. If we are not making disciples, then why are we here?

The disciples were called to follow Jesus, and this passage represents one the last times they would see Him. They thought that they would return to their normal, daily lives, as fishermen and tradesmen. He informed them that He would go before them in Galilee repeatedly (earlier in the chapter). It was on this mountain that he would guide them into their own phase of the ministry. It was the beginning of their efforts to carry on the gospel of Jesus Christ. It leads into what we would read in Acts, chapter 1.

The summary of Jesus’ command is this: Go. Make. Disciples.

I.  In order to be a disciple here, it was Christ’s ascension that effectively turned over the gospel message to the disciples. They were empowered to believe in Him and follow Him to the point of persecution and death.

They worshiped Him. Their worship meant that they were surrendering their heart, mind and soul before Him.

Worship is indeed important in evangelism? Why is that? It gives one the fervor and energy to go out and worship before Him and reflect the same passion before others. You are now focused and can do this effectively. It should invigorate you to be able to say that you are recharged to go and make disciples.

In the passage, we see that “some doubted.” There were some disciples there that were beyond the eleven that traveled closely with Him. Those that doubted had lost focus on Him. They knew that Jesus was in authority, but perhaps they needed more evidence.

If there is any doubt in your faith that does not allow you to wholeheartedly serve Jesus Christ, then perhaps you need to see more evidence of Him working in your life.

Mark 9:17-27

Out of the crowd, one man answered Him, Teacher, I brought my son to You. He has a spirit that makes him unable to speak. Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I asked Your disciples to drive it out, but they couldnt.

He replied to them, You unbelieving generation! How long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him to Me. So they brought him to Him. When the spirit saw Him, it immediately convulsed the boy. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. How long has this been happening to him? Jesus asked his father.

From childhood, he said. And many times it has thrown him into fire or water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.

Then Jesus said to him, “‘If You can? Everything is possible to the one who believes.

Immediately the father of the boy cried out, I do believe! Help my unbelief.

When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly coming together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, You mute and deaf spirit, I command you: come out of him and never enter him again!

Then it came out, shrieking and convulsing him violently. The boy became like a corpse, so that many said, Hes dead. But Jesus, taking him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up.

Matthew 14:31

Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, You of little faith, why did you doubt?

Matthew 17:20

Because of your little faith, He told them. For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, Move from here to there, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

Our faith is very important when it comes to evangelism.

II.  Christ’s authority

Who Christ is to the person who is evangelizing means everything.

Ephesians 1:20-23

He (God) demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens–far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put everything under His feet and appointed Him as head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way.

No one, on his own, has any power to keep himself from death and raise himself up. Only Christ has such power.

We are to understand that Christ’s ascension gives us cause to worship Him, and that His authority reinforces His deity.

III. His confirmation of baptism reflects His authority.

Baptism is a sacrament that reflects obedience to Christ and His authority in our lives. It is an appeal to God for a good conscious in the power of Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:4

Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life.

IV. Perseverance in the Lord

After baptism now comes the teaching and instruction of God’s Word in order to help a person to endure what is to come. A person who is prepared in the Word is conforming to the truths of Jesus Christ, and it leads to a strengthening of the person in Christ.

Matthew 28:19-20

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

The disciples were to head out to the ends of the earth, as commanded by Jesus Christ.

Acts 1:7-11

He said to them, It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. They said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.

Our Jerusalem is our city of Akron. Judea is beyond the city, and our Samaria is even further away from that. As we hold the fort here in Akron, we move on to the next destination, and so forth.

Luke 24:46-49

He also said to them, This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And look, I am sending you what My Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.

The disciples were witnesses, and they were also martyrs. Only John was a survivor, but he lived in exile on the island of Patmos. They were all willing to sacrifice themselves, endure and persevere for the cause of Christ. We have an idea as to where they began, and where there lives ended. While we may not experience the same fate, we understand the importance of serving a life for Christ, and that means enduring and facing opposition, yet it is a worthy cause to serve the living Christ.

Go. Make. Disciples.


Who is Worthy to Judge and Open the Scroll?

Today’s message summary of August 23, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

We will be looking at Revelation, Chapters 5 and 6, this week and next week. They involve the opening of the scrolls and the sounding of the trumpets. This will reveal what mankind will do to one another–some of the worst things imaginable–when the Holy Spirit is not present to restrain evil.

The Holy Spirit has to be at work to allow a person to withstand the enemy.

When we look at the seals being opened, note that it is not so much as Christ doing it Himself, but rather Christ allowing it to take place. Christ is allowing people to see mankind at its worst. He is allowing Satan to outpour his rage against mankind.

Jesus is the only One who can open the seven seals (Revelation 5-6). He is the only One who has the authority to judge, and no one else.

The beginning of the tribulation starts with the seals being opened. This is God allowing Satan to do whatever he desires with the people without the restraint of the Holy Spirit.

Job 1:9-12

Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Haven’t You placed a hedge around him, his household, and everything he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out Your hand and strike everything he owns, and he will surely curse You to Your face.” “Very well,” the Lord told Satan, “everything he owns is in your power. However, you must not lay a hand on Job himself.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.

 

2 Thessalonians 2:7

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one now restraining will do so until he is out of the way.

 

In Revelation 5, the question is asked, “Who can open the scroll? Who is worthy?”

Jesus is not a secret, of course. Heaven had to recognize who He was! It is not so much a question for those in heaven as it was for those who are on earth.

Revelation 5:1-4

Then I saw in the right hand of the One seated on the throne a scroll with writing on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. I also saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals? But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or even to look in it. And I cried and cried because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or even to look in it.

 

No man or angel has the authority. No one can control the antichrist except the One.

John is a “visitor” in this vision of heaven. He learns that only One can open the scroll and start the process of judgment on humanity.

Revelation 5:5-7

Then one of the elders said to me, Stop crying. Look! The Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has been victorious so that He may open the scroll and its seven seals. Then I saw One like a slaughtered lamb standing between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent into all the earth. He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of the One seated on the throne.

 

Jesus has the ability to judge. He who is the Creator has the right to be able to judge.

Colossians 1:16

For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.

 

Acts 17:30-31

“Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has set a day when He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man He has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”

 

There is a day when there will be a day of reckoning. (Whether one chooses to believe it or not.) No man or woman will miss it.

1 Corinthians 4:3-4

It is of little importance to me that I should be evaluated by you or by any human court. In fact, I don’t even evaluate myself. For I am not conscious of anything against myself, but I am not justified by this. The One who evaluates me is the Lord.

 

Romans 14:4

Who are you to criticize another’s household slave? Before his own Lord he stands or falls. And he will stand. For the Lord is able to make him stand.

 

God has the authority to judge.

John 5:26-27

For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted to the Son to have life in Himself. And he has granted Him the right to pass judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

 

God is still the Judge of those who reject Him.

John 12:48

The one who rejects Me and doesn’t accept My sayings has this as his judge: The word I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

 

Everyone will give an account of his life.

Romans 14:7-12

For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and came to life for this: that He might rule over both the dead and the living. But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the tribunal of God. For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God. So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

 

There is only One Lawgiver–One Judge.

James 4:12

There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

 

The Lamb is worthy to open the scroll (Revelation 5:6).

He looked weak when He was slain, but He is indeed strong.

Seven horns refer to complete authority (one who rules).

Seven eyes refer to complete knowledge of all life. Nothing is hidden from Him.

John 4:24-25

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”

 

Revelation 6:1-2

Then I saw the Lamb open one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there was a white horse. The horseman on it had a bow; a crown was given to him, and he went out as a victor to conquer.

 

The word “come” can also be interpreted as the word, “go.” In other words, the antichrist was given permission to go forth over the world.

There are three different horses mentioned. Of the riders, Christ is not one of them. One of the riders is the antichrist.

The rider had a bow–a weapon of war.

He was given a crown to rule as a person with authority.

He rode out as a conqueror who was determined to conquer what was not his to subdue.

There is no timeframe mentioned here as to how long this would take place, but it involves the time when the restraint of the Holy Spirit was removed.


When Man is at His Worst, God is at His Best

Today’s message summary of March 29, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

God is at His best in man’s worst condition. You may wonder where He is at times, but He is definitely at work.

God does not refer to people in sin just to call names. He is making us aware of the fact that we are sinners. We often will not see God at His best unless we are at our worst.

In looking at this passage, someone might think that Jesus is reflecting weakness. In actuality, He is demonstrating His strength.

 

John 10:17-18

“This is why the Father loves Me, because I am laying down My life so I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the right to take it up again, I have received this command from My Father.”

 

In spite of those who turned Jesus over to the authorities and with Pontius Pilate and Caiaphas proclaiming that they were in control as to whether or not Jesus would be crucified, Jesus was the one in control of His destiny to die on the cross. Jesus had the authority, and the ability to act and repel His enemies, yet He chose, in His strength and authority, to be obedient to His Father unto the cross.

Ephesians 1:4-5

For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will.

 

Revelation 13:8

All those who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered.

 

Man at his worst and God and His best:

Matthew 26:47-50

While He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. A large mob, with swords and clubs, was with him from the chief priests and elders of the people. His betrayer had given them a sign: “The One I kiss, He’s the One; arrest Him!” So he went right up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. “Friend,” Jesus asked him, “why have you come?” They they came up, took hold of Jesus, and arrested Him.

 

Romans 8:7

For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so.

 

Matthew 26:62-68

The high priest then stood up and said to Him, “Don’t You have an answer to what these men are testifying against You?” But Jesus kept silent. Then the high priest said to Him, “By the living God I place You under oath: tell us if You are the Messiah, the Son of God!”

“You have said it,” Jesus told him. “But I tell you, in the future, you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? Look, now you’ve heard the blasphemy! What is your decision?” They answered, “He deserves death!” Then they spit in His face and beat Him; others slapped Him and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah! Who hit You?”

 

You are at your best when people say whatever they want to you, and that you are able use restraint and control your anger. Even when others are at your worst, you can be at your best by being obedient to Jesus Christ and following His example.

Christ was truly at His best when He gave Himself for each of us in dying on the cross.

Jesus Christ does not ask you to do anything that He has not already experienced. My denying yourself and living for Jesus Christ, you will be faithfully carrying out His will and plan for your life. You will be at your very best.

It is always a good idea for you to ask God to reveal your heart, for in reality we really don’t know unless it is shown to us. You may have good intentions, but Peter had to also learn this lesson.

Luke 22:54-62

They seized Him, led Him away, and brought Him into the high priest’s house. Meanwhile Peter was following at a distance. They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, and Peter sat among them. When a servant saw him sitting in the firelight, and looked closely at him, she said, “This man was with Him too.” But he denied it: “Woman, I don’t know Him!” After a little while, someone else saw him and said, “You’re one of them too!” “Man, I am not!” Peter said. About an hour later, another kept insisting, “This man was certainly with Him, since he’s also a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. Then the Lord turned and looked at Peter. So Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

 

Are you walking with the Lord at a distance? You may want to have a relationship with Him, but you keep Him far enough away to give others the impression that you don’t want to be seen as a “Jesus freak.”

Pontius Pilate tried to please everyone. The reality is that no one can please everyone.

Matthew 27:11-12

Now Jesus stood before the governor. “Are You the King of the Jews?” the governor asked Him. Jesus answered, “You have said it.” And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He didn’t answer.

 

Luke 23:1-2

Then their whole assembly rose up and brought Him before Pilate. They began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this man subverting our nation, opposing payment of taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is the Messiah, a King.”

 

John 18:33-40

Then Pilate went back into the headquarters, summoned Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Are you asking this on your own, or have others told you about Me?” “I’m not a Jew, am I?” Pilate replied. “Your own nation and the chief priests handed You over to me. What have You done?” “My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If my kingdom were of this words, My servants would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. As it is, My kingdom does not have its origin here.” “You are a king then?” Pilate asked. “You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” “What is truth?” said Pilate.

After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no grounds for charging Him. You have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at the Passover. So, do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

 

John 19:4-16

4 Pilate went outside again and said to them, “Look, I’m bringing Him outside to you to let you know I find no grounds for charging Him.”

5 Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

6 When the chief priests and the temple police saw Him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

Pilate responded, “Take Him and crucify Him yourselves, for I find no grounds for charging Him.”

7 “We have a law,” the Jews replied to him, “and according to that law He must die, because He made Himself the Son of God.”

8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was more afraid than ever. 9 He went back into the headquarters and asked Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus did not give him an answer. 10 So Pilate said to Him, “You’re not talking to me? Don’t You know that I have the authority to release You and the authority to crucify You?”

11 “You would have no authority over Me at all,” Jesus answered him, “if it hadn’t been given you from above. This is why the one who handed Me over to you has the greater sin.”

12 From that moment Pilate made every effort to release Him. But the Jews shouted, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Anyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar!”

13 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside. He sat down on the judge’s bench in a place called the Stone Pavement (but in Hebrew Gabbatha). 14 It was the preparation day for the Passover, and it was about six in the morning. Then he told the Jews, “Here is your king!”

15 But they shouted, “Take Him away! Take Him away! Crucify Him!”

Pilate said to them, “Should I crucify your king?”

“We have no king but Caesar!” the chief priests answered.

16 So then, because of them, he handed Him over to be crucified.

Therefore they took Jesus away.

 

Even when man is at his worst, God will continue to do His best, and He implores His chosen people to do the same as a testimony before others.

Luke 9:23

Then He said to them all, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.


Signs of the Last Days: Apostasy

Today’s message summary of March 8, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Lord, Your Word is able to reach into the deepest sin and transform those who are in sin. May we be a people of The Book that trusts the Word in The Book. We want to be doers of the Word. Thank you for strengthening us and ministering to us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

We’re discussing today the word ‘apostasy,’ which means “to fall away.”

Revelation 3:20

Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.

 

Note that the Lord is referring to churches where He is on the outside looking in. These will be the places where churches will indeed be open, but God’s Word will not be in them. These are places where church will take place, but God is not present because His Word will be absent.

When a person falls away from truth, it is a falling away from God, who will keep you.

We’re in a day now where you can’t say anything about God’s Word in public places or areas. It is causing division and strife in those areas where people do not want to hear God’s Word anymore.

God is going to bring people to see Him in a miraculous way.

2 Thessalonians 2:3

Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.

 

We are to be alert as to what is going on around us. If you know that you are saved, there will be something that will try to draw you away from your faith.

Strong’s Dictionary on apostasy: a defection from the truth; forsaking the truth

Greek English Lexicon: a falling away from the truth

Jeremiah 2:19

Your own evil will discipline you; your own apostasies will reprimand you. Think it over and see how evil and bitter it is for you to abandon the Lord your God and to have no fear of Me. This is the declaration of the Lord God of Hosts.

 

Apostasy is a departure from the truth. It is to stand away from it. You have to make a choice to do so.

Romans 10:8-9

On the contrary, what does it say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

 

Apostasy can result from being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Mark 8:38

“For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

 

The goal of the Antichrist is to move you (society, church, individuals) away from the Word of God. He could care less if the church is full or not full. It’s about people who decide to devalue God’s Word.

Luke 11:28

He said, “Even more, those who hear the word of God and keep it are blessed!”

 

Satan wants to diminish or lessen the value of God’s Word because it becomes easier to believe in lies or what is false. If you believe in what is false, you will rebel against truth.

When people fall away from the truth, here is what happens:

  1. They function under a made-up truth of their own creation.
  1. If truth sets you free from sin (John 8:32), then the rejection of truth only promotes more sin in your life.
  1. When truth is denied and not received in your life, you no longer can present yourself as an instrument of righteousness in your home (including before your children or your family), your workplace or within society (Romans 6:13).
  1. It is the word of truth that sets us apart from the sin of this world (John 17:16). If you reject the way of truth, you accept the ways of the world. Who is the God of this world? Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4).

John 8:32

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

 

Romans 6:13

And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness.

 

John 17:16

They are not of the world, as I am not of the world.

 

2 Corinthians 4:4

In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of believers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

 

The bottom line: you are under someone’s authority–God’s or Satan’s.

When you fall away from truth, all that is left is self-reliance (self-truth).

  1. Self-truth will not stand the test of time.
  2. Self-truth will never take the place of God’s Word. In God’s Word, you have the victory over Satan.
  3. Self-truth will not remove your sadness. In God’s Word, there is joy and peace.
  4. Self-truth will not allow you to stand and hold your ground.

 

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.

 

Psalm 127:1-2

Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain. In vain you get up early and stay up late, working hard to have enough food–yes, He gives sleep to the one He loves.

 

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is Gods power to us who are being saved. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the experts. Where is the philosopher? Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasnt God made the worlds wisdom foolish? For since, in Gods wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of the message preached. For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is Gods power and Gods wisdom, because Gods foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and Gods weakness is stronger than human strength.

 

When you fall away from God, are you mocking Him?

Galatians 6:7

Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap.

 

1 John 5:10

The one who believes in the Son of God has this testimony within him. The one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony God has given about His Son.

 

To fall away is to rebel from God.

1 Samuel 15:23

For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and defiance is like wickedness and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.

 

Witchcraft is trusting in works taught by demons (spells and curses). It is to trust in the word of another person outside of Christ.

Numbers 23:11, 19-20

“What have you done to me?” Balak asked Balaam. “I brought you to curse my enemies, but look, you have only blessed them!”

God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes His mind. Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill? I have indeed received a command to bless; since He has blessed, I cannot change it.

 

Psalm 109:28

Though they curse, You will bless. When they rise up, they will be put to shame, but Your servant will rejoice.

 

When you fall away, you fight against the Spirit of Truth.

John 16:13

When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.

 

John 14:17

He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesnt see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you.

 

Romans 8:1-2

Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirits law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

 

2 Corinthians 3:6

He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit produces life.

When you fall away, you fall from grace.

 

Galatians 5:4

You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace.

 

John 1:14

The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

When you walk away from truth, you walk away from God’s favor in your life. God’s grace and His truth are tied together.