Tag Archives: believe

The Fifth Seal

Today’s message summary of November 1, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Revelation 6:9-11

When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the people slaughtered because of God’s word and the testimony they had. They cried out with a loud voice: “Lord, the One who is holy and true, how long until You judge and avenge our blood from those who live on the earth?” So a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer until the number would be completed of their fellow slaves and their brothers, who were going to be killed just as they had been.

 

John was taken from his earthly plain to a heavenly plain in order to gain greater understanding.

 

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand.

My hope is built on nothing less, Edward Mote (1797-1874)

 

If you are trusting in anything else other than Jesus Christ, all you are standing on is sinking sand. If you believe in Him, you will indeed live it out.

The Fifth Seal demonstrates how each of us is to live. It is how we are to stand for Jesus and learn more about this as we go along. As long as there is a lack of knowledge of who He is, it is difficult, if not impossible, to truly stand for Him.

With the Fifth Seal, John is taken to see heavenly visions. There is neither horse nor ruler mentioned. He is taken up in order to see what is taking place in heaven with Jesus and His faithful followers.

John sees the souls of the slain under the altar. There is a good chance that many of our young people may grow to see the times when people are being killed because of the gospel. Today, we have seen how a football coach was suspended for praying with his team after a game. A woman was jailed for her conviction about not granting licenses for gay marriages. This is just the beginning today.

The Fifth Seal is about how we are to live here on earth now.

2 Timothy 1:12

…and this is why I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know the One I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.

 

The people that John saw under the altar knew what they had lived for and knew who they had died for. They did not waver in their belief and stood firm before losing their lives.

Romans 4:20-21

He did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, because he was fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

 

Are you fully persuaded as to God’s promises for you? Are you persuaded that God is able to protect your soul?

Are you confident in the One you believe in? Is your faith anchored to Him?

Romans 14:5

One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind.

 

Colossians 4:12

Epaphras, who is one of you, a slave of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always contending for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills.

 

Are you fully assured in the Lord Jesus Christ? Is He your only God?

I’m praying that this church is fully assured in who Jesus Christ is and believes only in Him. You are called to reverence Him and not a pastor or group of people.

Are you taking a stand against those things that are against God’s Word?

At what point are you willing to take such a stand?

The slain chose to take a stand against the religion of the false prophet.

Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or a group based upon their religious beliefs or affiliation, or lack thereof.

Persecution is certainly not new, but there will be a greater presence of it because of the opposition of Satan and of the Antichrist.

Persecution tests a person’s belief system–how one views himself and others, one’s morality, attitude and worldview. The Antichrist will be out to change how people see life in order to get them to worship him. If a person does not comply, he will have the person killed.

Those who are firm in Christ will stand firm in Him.

Persecution is to bring about reform. It creates an environment for change of belief. Some will say “no” because of their belief in Jesus Christ.

In 2014, over 165,000 Christians lost their lives because of their faith, and the number will be growing each year.

Matthew 5:10-12

Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. “You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

Philippians 1:20-26

My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death.

For me, living is Christ and dying is gain. Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I dont know which one I should choose. I am pressured by both. I have the desire to depart and be with Christwhich is far betterbut to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am persuaded of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that, because of me, your confidence may grow in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.

 

Be prayerful that God gives you the courage to stand before those who oppose you and to believe in His Word as you read it. Be prayerful that Christ is glorified.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8

So, we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight, and we are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and be at home with the Lord.

 

John saw the souls of the slain. What this meant to him…

  1. There was no more hunger
  2. There were no more challenges of one’s faith
  3. There was no more mental torment or fear.
  4. There was no more witnessing.

They died because of…

  1. The Word of God
  2. The testimony that they maintained. They would not renounce Him.

In those days, there will be no such thing as a “secret believer.” The testimony will be evident before everyone.

Mark 4:17

But they have no root in themselves; they are short-lived. When pressure or persecution comes because of the word, they immediately stumble.

 

Many will quickly fall away because there is no firm commitment and belief in Jesus Christ.

Paul talked and debated with his opposition, and they tried to kill him.

Acts 9:29

He conversed and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they attempted to kill him.

 

We are to endure the persecution and stand for Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 4:11-12

Up to the present hour we are both hungry and thirsty; we are poorly clothed, roughly treated, homeless; we labor, working with our own hands. When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we respond graciously. Even now, we are like the world’s garbage, like the dirt everyone scrapes off their sandals.

 

The Word of God is never chained or silent.

2 Timothy 2:8-9

Keep your attention on Jesus Christ as risen from the dead and descended from David. This is according to my gospel. I suffer for it to the point of being bound like a criminal, but God’s message is not bound.

 

Matthew 10:17-21, 35-36

Because people will hand you over to sanhedrins and flog you in their synagogues, beware of them. You will even be brought before governors and kings because of Me, to bear witness to them and to the nations. But when they hand you over, don’t worry about how or what you should speak. For you will be given what to say at that hour, because you are not speaking, but the Spirit of your Father is speaking through you. “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will even rise up against their parents and have them put to death.

For I came to turn

a man against his father,

a daughter against her mother,

a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;

and a man’s enemies will be

the members of his household.

 

Matthew 24:9-14

Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name. Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come.

 

John 16:1-2

“I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling. They will ban you from the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering service to God.”

 

Knowing that there is a purpose in persecution of those who believe, it is necessary to know what and who you believe in, and to stand firm in Jesus Christ.


Satan’s Downfall (Part 1)

Today’s message summary of August 2, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

If you ask a person, “Do you believe in God,” you are likely to hear the answer, “yes.” If, however, you were to ask if a person believes in the adversary, you may or may not get an answer. The reality is that there is an adversary of God, and he is also your adversary.

Satan exists, and he is a strong adversary whose goal is to destroy you. He does this by causing you to be disobedient to God. He is a fallen adversary, but that does not make him any less powerful.

It is not what we see and know that keeps us from falling away from God. It is our thought of independence from God. It’s not that we don’t know the right thing to do, it’s that we simply refuse to do it. We make a choice. Satan also knew, but he also made a choice to be independent from God.

This independence of God is rooted in pride.

Independence is defined as the freedom from the influence, control, or determinative of another or others. (Merriam-Webster)

Fighting with God is saying that one prefers to be self-reliant, in control of my life. It is pridefulness.

Only God is self-reliant, self-governing and relies only on Himself.

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

 

Acts 17:24-25

The God who made the world and everything in it–He is Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in shrines made by hands. Neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives everyone life and breath and all things.

 

God knows who He is.

Philippians 4:13

I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.

 

Satan’s downfall is revealed in Isaiah 14:14:

Isaiah 14:14

“I will ascend above the highest clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”

 

Satan knew that he could not be God; therefore, he chose to be like God.

A lot of us may not realize it, but we essentially say the same thing when we declare our self-reliance from God.

When we choose to fight with God, we lose.

Revelation 12:7-8

The war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought, but he could not prevail, and there was no place for them in heaven any longer.

 

God was not about to have disobedience to Him remain in heaven with Him.

You are not strong enough to fight with God. Satan lost his place and position in heaven. He lost his standing and position there and was cast out. Before his fall, Satan was in charge of angels in heaven.

When you fight with God, you will lose your place, as well. You may also lose the respect of those who watch you and your behavior. There is a cost in disobedience and fighting against God.

Luke 10:18

He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a lightning flash.”

 

Whether you like it or not, you are a dependent person…dependent on others, and most certainly dependent upon God. He does not change, and He still rules heaven and earth, no matter what you decide to do.

Satan’s goal is to lead the entire world astray.

Revelation 12:9

So the great dragon was thrown out–the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him.

 

God, however, has final say over your life.

Heaven is off limits to Satan as far as being his home or the place where he functions.

Revelation 12:10

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Messiah have now come, because the accuser of our brothers has been thrown out: the one who accuses them before our God day and night.

 

Satan’s operations take place on earth. He regular makes accusations against the saints of God for breaking the rules of God.

1 John 2:1-2

My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.

 

So, Satan will help you to stumble and then go and tell on you to God! God is our advocate–our defense.

1 Corinthians 6:20

…for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.

 

1 Peter 1:18-19

For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.

 

So the angels cry out that salvation has come! (Revelation 12:10)

Satan is allowed to enter heaven to bring his accusations against us (Job 1:6-7, 2:1-4).

Luke 22:31-32

“Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

 

James 4:7

Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.

 

1 Peter 2:12

Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do what is evil, they will, by observing your good works, glorify God on the day of visitation.

 

1 Peter 3:16

However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame.

 

Satan has no power over you. All he can do is make the accusation. God will allow things into your life for the purpose of testing your faith in Him. It is God’s work of salvation by the blood of the Lamb and your testimony before Him that reveals the power of God in your life.

Do you understand that there is no need to be ashamed in Jesus Christ? He is already victorious over Satan.

Revelation 12:11

They conquered him

by the blood of the Lamb

and by the word of their testimony,

for they did not love their lives

in the face of death.

 

We are victorious by the blood of the lamb. Salvation comes through confession of sin, repentance, and believing that Jesus is the Lord and Savior of your life

Those who love God cannot love their own life without Him.

Hebrews 9:12

He entered the most holy place once for all, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

 

Hebrews 7:25

Therefore, He is always able to save those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them.

 

John 5:24

“I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.”

 

Galatians 2:20

…and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

 

Philippians 1:21

For me, living is Christ and dying is gain.

 

Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore,

with truth like a belt around your waist,

righteousness like armor on your chest,

and your feet sandaled with readiness

for the gospel of peace.

In every situation take the shield of faith,

and with it you will be able to extinguish

all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Take the helmet of salvation,

and the sword of the Spirit,

which is Gods word.

Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.


The Power of God in the Midst of Tribulation

Today’s message summary of June 28, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Often today, we are being challenged in many different ways. We are to stand on God’s Word and His Word alone, and trust in the results. You have to know what you stand for–what your principles are. Don’t allow others to dissuade you from your view of Jesus Christ.

God has a plan, and it will be fulfilled. Satan cannot prevent it from happening. God changes not.

Babylon represents rebellion against God. Every type of teaching that is false or heinous in nature had its origin in Babylon. It was constantly in opposition to God.

Revelation 18:1-10

After this I saw another angel with great authority coming down from heaven, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. He cried in a mighty voice:

It has fallen,

Babylon the Great has fallen!

She has become a dwelling for demons,

a haunt for every unclean spirit,

a haunt for every unclean bird,

and a haunt for every unclean and despicable beast.

For all the nations have drunk

the wine of her sexual immorality,

which brings wrath.

The kings of the earth

have committed sexual immorality with her,

and the merchants of the earth

have grown wealthy from her excessive luxury.

Then I heard another voice from heaven:

 

Come out of her, My people,

so that you will not share in her sins

or receive any of her plagues.

For her sins are piled up to heaven,

and God has remembered her crimes.

Pay her back the way she also paid,

and double it according to her works.

In the cup in which she mixed,

mix a double portion for her.

As much as she glorified herself and lived luxuriously,

give her that much torment and grief,

for she says in her heart,

I sit as a queen;

I am not a widow,

and I will never see grief.

For this reason her plagues will come in one day

death and grief and famine.

She will be burned up with fire,

because the Lord God who judges her is mighty.

The kings of the earth who have committed sexual immorality and lived luxuriously with her will weep and mourn over her when they see the smoke of her burning. They will stand far off in fear of her torment, saying:

Woe, woe, the great city,

Babylon, the mighty city!

For in a single hour

your judgment has come.

 

God calls His people out of darkness (v. 4) in order to prevent them from being swept away in His judgment.

Revelation 18:20

Rejoice over her, heaven,

and you saints, apostles, and prophets,

because God has executed your judgment on her!

 

God will declare His final judgment on Babylon a final time.

Revelation 18:21

Then a mighty angel picked up a stone like a large millstone and threw it into the sea, saying:

In this way, Babylon the great city

will be thrown down violently

and never be found again.

 

Isaiah 13:19

And Babylon, the jewel of the kingdoms, the glory of the pride of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them.

 

Jeremiah 51:9

We tried to heal Babylon, but she could not be healed. Abandon her! Let each of us go to his own land, for her judgment extends to the sky and reaches as far as the clouds.

 

Jeremiah 51:61-64

Jeremiah told Seraiah, When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud. You must say, Lord, You have threatened to cut off this place so that no one will live in itman or beast. Indeed, it will remain desolate forever. When you have finished reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates River. Then say, In the same way, Babylon will sink and never rise again because of the disaster I am bringing on her. They will grow weary.’”

The words of Jeremiah end here.

 

In Romans 5:20-21, note whether or not is this true…

The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

If this is true, then Christ will use the tribulation as a place to bring many more to seek Jesus.

John 16:8

When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in Me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

 

Man does not want to acknowledge his sinfulness. Only the Spirit can prompt a person to recognize that he is lost and needs a Savior.

Even Adam did not acknowledge his own sin and tried to blame Eve. He tried to hide from the Lord. He did not want to deal directly with the sin.

Genesis 3:7-11

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, Where are you?

And he said, I heard You in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.

Then He asked, Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?

 

Do you see God’s grace in dealing with Adam and Eve?

Rather than trying to hide from the Lord, we are to bring our transgressions to Him.

Jesus will come and judge Babylon. The process is to begin in Revelation, Chapter 6 with the opening of the seals. In Chapter 7, God wants us to hold onto the message that is given to those who are faithful to the Lord.

Revelation 7:1-17

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, restraining the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel, who had the seal of the living God rise up from the east. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were empowered to harm the earth and the sea: Dont harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we seal the slaves of our God on their foreheads. And I heard the number of those who were sealed: 

144,000 sealed from every tribe of the Israelites:

12,000 sealed from the tribe of Judah,

12,000 from the tribe of Reuben,

12,000 from the tribe of Gad,

12,000 from the tribe of Asher,

12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,

12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,

12,000 from the tribe of Simeon,

12,000 from the tribe of Levi,

12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,

12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,

12,000 from the tribe of Joseph,

12,000 sealed from the tribe of Benjamin.

After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

Salvation belongs to our God,

who is seated on the throne,

and to the Lamb!

All the angels stood around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures, and they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God, saying:

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom

and thanksgiving and honor

and power and strength

be to our God forever and ever. Amen.

Then one of the elders asked me, Who are these people robed in white, and where did they come from?

I said to him, Sir, you know.

Then he told me:

These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation.

They washed their robes and made them white

in the blood of the Lamb.

For this reason they are before the throne of God,

and they serve Him day and night in His sanctuary.

The One seated on the throne will shelter them:

They will no longer hunger;

they will no longer thirst;

the sun will no longer strike them,

nor will any heat.

For the Lamb who is at the center of the throne

will shepherd them;

He will guide them to springs of living waters,

and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

 

Jeremiah 50:4-5

In those days and at that time

this is the Lords declaration

the Israelites and Judeans will come together,

weeping as they come,

and will seek the Lord their God.

They will ask about Zion,

turning their faces to this road.

They will come and join themselves to the Lord

in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.

 

Revelation 14:1-5

Then I looked, and there on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with Him were 144,000 who had His name and His Fathers name written on their foreheads. I heard a sound from heaven like the sound of cascading waters and like the rumbling of loud thunder. The sound I heard was also like harpists playing on their harps. They sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders, but no one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are the ones not defiled with women, for they have kept their virginity. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They were redeemed from the human race as the firstfruits for God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.

 

This group was distinguishable from the other multitude because of their purity. They desired to stay pure before God.

During the tribulation period, God was able to keep the people with Him through the worst of circumstances. In your time of need, He will keep you, as well.

You can be in the midst of all sorts of false teaching, but you can choose what to believe. You can separate yourself from this teaching and discern what is right and good to hold onto.

Don’t buy into the lies that are being proclaimed today as truth.

God desires to use each one of us who takes a stand for Jesus Christ. If you value yourself as a child of God, then you will do what is necessary to remain pure before Him. Each one of us has a choice to practice holiness and remain pure before Him.

The group that is a vast multitude from all nations (Revelation 7:9) is people who are being saved because they proclaim the power of Jesus Christ. On earth, it was the Antichrist who declared his own power. The people noted “Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:10b)

God’s will, in the worst of times, remains firm. He desires for those who choose to believe in Him to be saved.

Are you determined to follow the Lord?


Your Future…Is Jesus a Part of It?

Today’s message summary of January 4, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

How many of you truly believe that Jesus Christ is going to return? Are you prepared for it? Are you praying to see His return?

If you indeed are anticipating His return, you should be aware of the different views that have been taken from Scripture and be able to meditate over these views. We will not know which one is correct until the day of His return. We should always be thinking about His return, in contrast to being concerned about life as we live it, as it relates to how we can continue to develop our relationship with Jesus Christ. We can fall into a trap where we will look to the future may hold while leaving God out of it. God challenges us to think wisely over this and to include Him in your view of what is to come.

If we are thinking about Jesus Christ in comparison to this world, we know that the world is getting worse before it is getting better. Are we praying for a revival of the people?

Psalm 100:5

For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations.

 

Psalm 117:2

For His faithful love to us is great; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Hallelujah!

 

God promises His people that He will be faithful to them, no matter what is happening around them. His Word is true.

Psalm 119:160

The entirety of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous judgments endure forever.

 

Revelation 3:10

Because you have kept My command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come over the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

 

Matthew 24:36

Now concerning that day and hour no one knows–neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son–except the Father only.

 

Matthew 24:31

He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

 

A lot of people may see the words written here as little more than mythology. Those persons may want to think differently.

Matthew 24:37-40

As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. So this is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be: Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one left.

 

Luke 17:26-33

Just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man. People went on eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day Noah boarded the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It will be the same as it was in the days of Lot: People went on eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building. But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be like that on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, a man on the housetop, whose belongings are in the house, must not come down to get them. Likewise the man who is in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to make his life secure will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.

 

Noah entered the ark because he believed God. No one else outside of Noah’s family heeded his message. Are you the type of person who hears from God and believes Him? It was Noah’s faith that allowed him to believe in God. He believed that there was going to be a flood without at first seeing it.

The Scriptures prepare us to be ready. Are you ready? Or do you believe that there is nothing to be concerned about and can go about life as it occurs?

Luke 18:8

I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?

 

Will He find any faith on earth? Consider the world’s condition and the absence of faith in countries in Europe, or even among people today. Will you remain faithful to Him before His return? The faith we are referring to is a saving faith from a belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you believe and trust in Him?

People today are looking for some sort of spirituality, but their looking in the places that do not involve Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:3-4

First, be aware of this: Scoffers will come in the last days to scoff, living according to their own desires, saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? Ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.”

 

People will try to make light of the event of Christ’s return. Keep in mind that this will occur because there is a refusal to believe in His deity. To believe that Christ is coming back, along with the occurrence of the rapture and the coming of the tribulation is to believe that Jesus is true and that He keeps His word. It sanctifies the believer.

John 17:17

Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.

 

Keep watch on Israel. The Lord has made promises about the nation of Israel, and it bears watching how they fare in today’s world.

2 Timothy 3:1-7

But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people! For among them are those who worm their way into households and capture idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions, always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

 

Here’s an important fact: God through the Holy Spirit cannot sanctify you unless you have the knowledge and wisdom that comes from God’s Word. Satan will give a person the impression that they are succeeding in something and make it appear to be a blessing, when in reality it is a person who fails to accept the truth, wisdom and knowledge that comes from a sincere relationship with Jesus Christ.

Is there a faith out there today? Is there a genuine belief in Jesus Christ?

Is there true instruction of God’s Word today, and do you know where to find it?

2 Timothy 4:3-4

For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths.

 

Jude 1:17-18

But you, dear friends, remember what was predicted by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; they told you, “In the end time there will be scoffers walking according to their own ungodly desires.”

 

Have you observed the world’s behaviors and if they have intensified? Are people becoming more and more ungodly? Is our nation more and more ungodly?

Luke 21:28

“But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near!”

 

Look to Jesus Christ, who keeps all of His promises, and He will give you what you need. He will show you truth and wisdom if you merely trust in Him. God will keep you no matter what the storm brings. Make sure that you are anchored in Jesus Christ.


Walking By Faith (The Lord is Not Finished Yet)

Today’s message summary of December 28, 2014 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Walking by faith is not something that is done out of one’s own ability. It is to be done through the power of the Holy Spirit. In order to walk by faith, the Spirit leads, but we are to trust in Him.

We are not to believe that God brought us through all of the troubles of this world to say that we are finished. Lord, You’re not finished with us yet. Lord, you still have a work for this church to perform. You have a vital work that will have eternal value in the lives of people. It is Your work. It is Your church. The church was started by men who were being obedient to You, and Lord, You have sustained us and kept us. You have brought us a mighty long way, and we thank You. Amen.

God has not done what He has done in your life and said that it’s done. He is just beginning to work.

Satan wants to make things appear to be worse than they really are. Just believe in God and trust Him, He will show you some great and mighty things. The Lord asks if He will find any who are faithful when He comes. I pray that those that He finds here remain faithful to Him.

Satan wants to rob us of hope and keep you from looking forward. God, in contrast, wants you to dare to dream. He still wants to speak to you and dare people to dream beyond your present circumstances.

If this church will have it in its mind to pray and storm the doors of heaven, God will respond. He has not finished His work.

We may not have a lot, but we are rich in Jesus Christ, and we have each other. God is the One who started this church, and He is the One who has given the provision to pay the bills and sustain this church.

As long as we honor God, God will honor you, and He will bless you and keep you.

Genesis 15:1

After these events, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield; your reward will be very great.

 

God wants us to remain faithful and not fearful of what is to come. Don’t be afraid! We are to trust that God is the One who achieves great things–mighty things in spite of the number of people involved. Remain faithful to Him and to the task that God assigns to you.

Acts 10:19-20

While Peter was thinking about the vision, the Spirit told him, “Three men are here looking for you. Get up, go downstairs, and accompany them with no doubts at all, because I have sent them.”

 

If you spend too much time reflecting on God’s vision, you will wind up not acting upon it. God will give the direction and you need to take it and follow it towards the accomplishment of your goal. His will is in the midst of all of His promises. When you believe what is being accomplished is of God, don’t hesitate. Be ready to step out and move forward.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.

 

Proverbs 29:18

Without revelation people run wild, but one who listens to instruction will be happy.

 

Of course, we need to remember hope:

Proverbs 23:17-18

Don’t let your heart envy sinners; instead, always fear the Lord. For then you will have a future, and your hope will never fade.

 

We are to be co-laborers with God. He wants you to be involved in the midst of your hope that God remains firmly in control. He is a sovereign God, and yet He will work His will through you, as you remain willing.

Believe, as a church, that God has a future for you. Your hope will not be cut off.

This church has always been about teaching and providing instruction. The most important thing of the church today is that we are to be teachers of the Word of God. When the psalmist declares that He will hide the Word in his heart that he may not sin, it is a constant reminder of obedience to God and to be pleasing to Him. The only way to really hide the word in your heart is to be a teacher and to allow yourself to be taught. The learning comes in being challenged by God’s Word and allowing it to build within you. There are things that God has planned for your life that have not yet been revealed to you, and yet God, through the Holy Spirit, wants to show these things to you. All that we need to do is seek Him, ask Him and be willing to hear Him speak.

This church is holy only because of the presence of God in our midst. Be mindful of this as you act in obedience to Him and live in such a way that you are striving for holiness.

It is important to separate what is man’s vision and what is God’s vision. (Don’t assume that they are the same.) In that vision, we want to show people who look upon the church as a people who are different.

Psalm 71:18

Even when I am old and gray, God, do not abandon me. Then I will proclaim Your power to another generation, Your strength to all who are to come.

 

Even when you get older, you are still called to teach the younger people coming along in order that they can grow in Jesus Christ. Have a heart to always be ready to teach the next generation. In order to do this, you need to be teachable. Keep learning. It is not about being in agreement with everything, but it does mean that you can be challenged to learn and grow in Christ.

I pray that you will always be ready to let people know the truth of what God has done for you. Whatever we have received from Him is a gift.


Jesus was Sent to Us at a Specific Time

Today’s message summary of December 21, 2014 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Why was Jesus sent to us when He was? What was the purpose for the specific place and time for His appearance.

Genesis 3:15 is the promise of Jesus’ coming–thousands of years before He was born. Why so long?

Genesis 3:15

I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.

  1. Why not have Him sent a few years after Adam and Eve were put out of the garden?
  2. Why not have Him come after Noah’s survival of the flood?
  3. Why not right after the deliverance of the Israelites’ delivery from Egypt?
  4. Why not after God had provided the law and shared it with the people?

Matthew 1:20-21

But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”

God is saving us from what?

Luke 2:8-11

In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.

Why at this time?

Between the last book of the Old Testament (Malachi) and the New Testament book (Matthew), there are 400 years of silence from God. Why?

Many things take place during that time:

  1. Alexander the Great
  2. His five generals fought until there were only three (over a thirty-year period).
  3. Last empire from Alexander was Seleucid, which was founded by the last general, Seleucus. His dynasty lasted from 312 to 64 B.C. The Roman general named Pompey defeated him.
  4. The Greek culture that took root beyond Greece is called Hellenism (Greek civilization). From this formed the Roman army, the Egyptian army and Mark Antony. Israel was fighting with the Roman army to defeat Egypt. From here emerged Antipates and Herod the Great. Herod built temples to worship Augustus as a god. Daniel’s Abomination of Desolation was when the god of Zeus was set up in the temple (168 B.C.). Mattathias, a priest, and his five sons started the war of the Maccabees.

In Acts 6:1, we see the results of all of these changes in the Grecian Jews (Hellenists). During this time Herod through Roma appointed the high priest. Some of these appointees were not Jewish but they were most likely in positions of wealth.

God sent His Son because of the culture of this time. Why did God go silent for 400 years? What actions were taking place. These matters were being revealed in Malachi:

  1. There was a failure to truly worship God (Malachi 1:4-8). This matter of worship was regarded as a burden (v. 12).
  1. The heart of man was set on not honoring God (Malachi 2:2).

Malachi 2:1-2

“Therefore, this decree is for you priests: If you don’t listen, and if you don’t take it to heart to honor My name,” says Yahweh of Hosts, “I will send a curse among you, and I will curse your blessings. In fact, I have already begun to curse them because you are not taking it to heart.”

  1. The people turned away from Him, and the priests were not following Him (Malachi 2:7-9).

Malachi 2:7-9

For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and the people should seek instruction from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts. “You, on the other hand, have turned from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have violated the covenant of Levi,” says the Lord of Hosts. “So I in turn have made you despised and humiliated before all the people because you are not keeping My ways but are showing partiality in your instruction.”

  1. Those who were doing evil were regarded as good (Malachi 2:17).

Malachi 2:17

You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you ask, “How have we wearied Him?” When you say, “Everyone who does what is evil is good in the Lord’s sight, and He is pleased with them,” or “Where is the God of justice?”

  1. Those who are doing what is wrong have no fear of Him (Malachi 3:5).
  1. God is not worthy of our giving (Malachi 3:7-9).
  1. It is futile to serve God (Malachi 3:14-15, 18).
  1. Every evildoer will be nothing more than stubble (Malachi 4:1).

Can you see these matters today in America? Can you see how this applies to the lost generations of people who live according to what they deem is right?

2 Timothy 1:15-17

This you know: All those in Asia have turned away from me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he diligently searched for me and found me.

John 14:8-9

“Lord,” said Philip, “show us the Father, and that’s enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been among you all this time without your knowing Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on My own. The Father who lives in Me does His works.

Hebrews 2:14

Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through death He might destroy the one holding the power of death–that is, the Devil.

The people who believe in God and His Word will be blessed. God held this as a promise to the people referred to in the book of Malachi and it also applies to those who have faith and trust in Him today.

Malachi 3:16-17

At that time those who feared the Lord spoke to one another. The Lord took notice and listened. So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared Yahweh and had high regard for His name. “They will be Mine,” says the Lord of Hosts, “a special possession on the day I am preparing. I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him. So you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.”


Change: It Takes Work

A message summary of November 16, 2014 from Pastor Gus Brown:

It takes work to modify your lifestyle. Are you willing to work in order to make your life different from where it is?

Ephesians 2:10

For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.

His creation – poiema (Greek) – a product; something that is made…to be used of God the Creator.

God is reworking your life.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.

 

Titus 2:3-5

3 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, 4 so they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered.

 

You have to set the example and be willing to teach, and not allow people to get in the way of the teaching process. Avoid bad influences and teach against them.

Revelation 2:20

But I have this against you: You tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and teaches and deceives My slaves to commit sexual immorality and to eat meat sacrificed to idols.

 

Philippians 1:6

I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

 

God has applied Himself to work in your life. You will not be able to accomplish anything without Him. He works, molds and shapes us. It is God’s business to correct your business.

 

God works with you, but He wants you to work with Him–He will guide you in your efforts.

Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men.

 

Your work will earn your changes that you set out to accomplish. The end result is God being glorified.

If you don’t want to change, you won’t do it. You won’t grow because you don’t want to work.

Change will occur when you believe it is possible.

People will choose to blame their struggles and problems for the reasons they do not perform. In reality, your problems and struggles are opportunities to adjust your life–to rework your life.

For every problem, God has a solution. For every struggle, God has an end, and you will see His purpose in it.

Romans 12:11

Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord.

 

Proverbs 18:9

The one who is truly lazy in his work

is brother to a vandal.

 

Proverbs 24:30-34

30 I went by the field of a slacker

and by the vineyard of a man lacking sense.

31 Thistles had come up everywhere,

weeds covered the ground,

and the stone wall was ruined.

32 I saw, and took it to heart;

I looked, and received instruction:

33 a little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the arms to rest,

34 and your poverty will come like a robber,

your need, like a bandit.

 

Ecclesiastes 10:18

Because of laziness the roof caves in,

and because of negligent hands the house leaks.

 

To modify your life, where do you begin?

  1. Repent – ask God for a spirit to accept correction.
  2. Believe that God wants to add to your life.
  3. It’s about starting from the beginning–not about stopping what you were doing.
  4. Start loving yourself with a godly love. Let God love you.
  5. Start talking with God throughout the day.
  6. Start wanting to please God over yourself and others.
  7. Start asking God for knowledge, wisdom and understanding.

 

James 1:2

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials.

 

Principle: God will give you much more than what you believe He is taking from you. Let go of the bad and start by doing what is good, and you will find out for yourself.

Look at Caleb–

Joshua 14:7-11

7 I was 40 years old when Moses the Lord’s servant sent me from Kadesh-barnea to scout the land, and I brought back an honest report. 8 My brothers who went with me caused the people’s hearts to melt with fear, but I remained loyal to the Lord my God. 9 On that day Moses promised me: ‘The land where you have set foot will be an inheritance for you and your descendants forever, because you have remained loyal to the Lord my God.’

10 “As you see, the Lord has kept me alive these 45 years as He promised, since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel was journeying in the wilderness. Here I am today, 85 years old. 11 I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out. My strength for battle and for daily tasks is now as it was then.

 

See it, say it and go after it. This is all about having a conviction to take action according to God’s purpose. God will be the help that you need to accomplish it, and you will achieve it.

Look at Abram–

Genesis 13:14-15

14 After Lot had separated from him, the Lord said to Abram, “Look from the place where you are. Look north and south, east and west, 15 for I will give you and your offspring forever all the land that you see.

 

God wants you to see where you are in the present and trust in Him for what He can give to you. Wait on the Lord, and you will see what He will do. It begins with your willingness to change as you seek Him.