Tag Archives: Christianity

The End Times: Babylon the Great

Today’s message summary of May 3, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Revelation Chapter 17 refers to Babylon as “Babylon, the Great.”

Revelation 17:1-18

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the notorious prostitute who sits on many waters. The kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and those who live on the earth became drunk on the wine of her sexual immorality.”  So he carried me away in the Spirit to a desert. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and 10 horns.  The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls. She had a gold cup in her hand filled with everything vile and with the impurities of her prostitution. On her forehead a cryptic name was written:

BABYLON THE GREAT

THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES

AND OF THE VILE THINGS OF THE EARTH.

Then I saw that the woman was drunk on the blood of the saints and on the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. 

Then the angel said to me, Why are you astonished? I will tell you the secret meaning of the woman and of the beast, with the seven heads and the 10 horns, that carries her. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up from the abyss and go to destruction. Those who live on the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast that was, and is not, and will be present again. 

Here is the mind with wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated. They are also seven kings: Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he comes, he must remain for a little while. The beast that was and is not, is himself an eighth king, yet he belongs to the seven and is going to destruction. The 10 horns you saw are 10 kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they will receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.

He also said to me, The waters you saw, where the prostitute was seated, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. The 10 horns you saw, and the beast, will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, devour her flesh, and burn her up with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to carry out His plan by having one purpose and to give their kingdom to the beast until Gods words are accomplished. And the woman you saw is the great city that has an empire over the kings of the earth.

 

Satan knows that he can move nations, countries and people to a place where they adapt to more and more immoral behavior.  People are being conditioned mentally to accept things that you normally would not accept.  The worst is coming.  God warns His people to stay clear of this deception and see it for what it really is.

If you are not careful, Satan will rob you of many things.  He seeks to destroy.

Jeremiah 51:6

“Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It us time for the Lord’s vengeance; he will repay her what she deserves.”

 

Romans 13:11-14

Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.  The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.

 

1 Peter 5:8

Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.

 

Ephesians 5:8-14

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light–for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth–discerning what is pleasing to the Lord.  Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. Everything exposed by the light is made clear, for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said: Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you.

 

God will not force you to seek Him and His holiness.  He will let you continue into your ways, but God desires for you to come out of the “playpen” of the world, and to seek Him with a relationship.  He will respond to your prayers that seek Him and a humble way of living.

Nimrod was the founder of Babylon and builder of Assyria. He was a grandson of Noah.

From Babylon, and its founder, Nimrod, comes every heresy that has even been spoken or taught.

Abraham and Nimrod were two important men after the Great Flood.  Right after the tower of Babel is when Abram is called and is renamed Abraham by God.

Micah 5:6

They will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with a drawn blade. So He will rescue us from Assyria when it invades our land, when it marches against our territory.

 

Genesis 10:8-12

Cush fathered Nimrod, who was the first powerful man on earth. He was a powerful hunter in the sight of the Lord. That is why it is said, Like Nimrod, a powerful hunter in the sight of the Lord.” His kingdom started with Babylon, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, Calah, and Resen, between Nineveh and the great city Calah.

 

Nimrod means, “We shall rebel.”

Abram’s name means, “Father is exalted.”

Abraham’s name means, “Father of a multitude.”

Genesis 17:1-8

When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him, saying, I am God Almighty. Live in My presence and be blameless.  I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you greatly.

Then Abram fell facedown and God spoke with him: “As for Me, My covenant is with you: you will become the father of many nations. Your name will no longer be Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I will make you the father of many nations.  I will make you extremely fruitful and will make nations and kings come from you.  I will keep My covenant between Me and you, and your future offspring throughout their generations, as an everlasting covenant to be your God and the God of your offspring after you. And to you and your future offspring I will give the land where you are residingall the land of Canaanas an eternal possession, and I will be their God.

 

Abram was raised by Terah (Genesis 11:26) and came up under Nimrod’s system.  His family moved to Ur of the Chaldeans.  The Lord scattered everyone throughout the earth.  God called Abram in Genesis 12:1:

Genesis 12:1

Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.

 

Note that the Tower of Babel was a move to become independent from God.  God had to scatter the people in order to prevent this from happening.  Nimrod had set up a system of self-worth and independence from God.  Through God, Abraham set up a system of faith.  Of this, two groups emerged: Christianity and Islam.

From Nimrod comes Babylon and Assyria (Ninevah).  These are the two cities that destroyed the nation of Israel.

Assyria destroyed the Northern Kingdom in 721 B.C.  Babylon destroyed the Southern Kingdom of Israel in 586 B.C.

Jonah 1:1-2

The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because their wickedness has confronted Me.


The Significance of Jesus’ Resurrection

Today’s message summary of April 5, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is something that is not discussed often, but it is important to look at its significance to each of us.

We need to look at the resurrection of Jesus Christ as being everything about our salvation. It is the most important thing to a believer in Jesus Christ. It is everything in how a believer has a relationship with Him. Without His death, burial and resurrection, the entire scope of Christianity is meaningless.

People have asked these questions over and over:

“Is Jesus Christ truly the Son of God?”

“Is Jesus Christ alive today?”

As a believer, at some point, these questions should be definitively answered.

People who practice Christianity on a nominal basis are always on the fence when it comes to who Christ is and what it matters to them. There needs to be a true commitment in faith and trust of Jesus Christ to change this approach. Until people really understand the power of Jesus’ life, death, burial and resurrection, they are not really compelled to live in the way God had intended them to live.

Matthew 27:38-43

Then two criminals were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. Those who passed by were yelling insults at Him, shaking their heads and saying, “The One who would demolish the sanctuary and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross!” In the same way the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked Him and said, “He saved others, but He cannot save Himself! He is the King of Israel! Let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him. He has put His trust in God; let God rescue Him now–If He wants Him! For He said, ‘I am God’s Son.'”

 

Mark 16:9-13

Early on the first day of the week, after He had risen, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had driven seven demons. She went and reported to those who had been with Him, as they were mourning and weeping. Yet, when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe it. Then after this, He appeared in a different form to two of them walking on their way into the country. And they went and reported it to the rest, who did not believe them either.

 

Even those who were closest to Jesus doubted His Word in spite of His powerful testimonies of healing and restoration. They did not know what they had gained in the relationship. They had only considered what they had lost.

Jesus Christ is really living right now. What you need to be convinced or persuaded of, if you are still unsure of, is His presence today.

Luke 24:5

So the women were terrified and bowed down to the ground. “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” asked the men.

 

God wants to touch you, heal you and provide you with the steps to live your life. He is a living God.

Luke 24:6-8

“He is not here, but He has been resurrected! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?” And they remembered His words.

 

How does God value His resurrection? He values it because it must be part of your confession when you become a believer in Jesus Christ. In order to acknowledge Jesus as your living Lord and Savior, the acknowledgment of the resurrection of Jesus must be a part of your confession.

Romans 10:9-11

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. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. Now the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame.

 

If you believe that God is alive, it will have a profound effect as to how you live your life and, consequently, live for Him.

What we speak out loud is what we really believe. Your heart will reflect your belief, and your mouth will confess it before God and before others. When you know that you have a living God who is going before you, you will want to talk about it!

You can say that “He kept me.”

You and I should be confident that you are secure in your relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He made you righteous in order to be righteous before God, and you are compelled to tell others about it!

Mark 1:1

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

 

Jesus was truly a human being. He was man and yet He was also God. The gospel of Jesus Christ is all about His life, death, burial and resurrection, and also that He is coming again–for He is not dead but indeed alive! The only way that you can believe He is coming again is to believe that He was brought forth from the tomb and that He is alive.

Romans 1:3-4

…concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh and who has been declared to be the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness.

 

1 Corinthians 15:3-8

For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:

that Christ died for our sins

according to the Scriptures,

that He was buried,

that He was raised on the third day

according to the Scriptures,

and that He appeared to Cephas,

then to the Twelve.

Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time;

most of them are still alive,

but some have fallen asleep.

Then He appeared to James,

then to all the apostles.

Last of all, as to one abnormally born,

He also appeared to me.

 

It is the power of God that raised up Jesus. It is the power of God that gives you the ability to resist evil and to seek and do what is good. That is the distinction between those who are nominal believers and those who are seeking Him and acknowledging Him as Lord and Savior.

Ephesians 2:1-10

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient.  We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is Gods giftnot from works, so that no one can boast. 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.

 

God does not want people just to partially believe in Him–He wants people who are totally committed to Him.

1 Corinthians 15:13-15

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is without foundation, and so is your faith. In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ–whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised.

 

We surrender to Jesus Christ because we know that He can be trusted and that He is faithful–and that He is alive.

If Jesus Christ is not raised from the dead, then why are you at church? The church’s sole purpose is to proclaim Jesus Christ and to help people to see and acknowledge who He is. It is up to the individual to believe who Christ is. His resurrection is the evidence that we will have eternal life. His life is much more than just for our present way of living.  His life means that you can have an eternity with Him.

1 Corinthians 15:19-21

If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man.


Isaac and Ishmael: Where the Conflict Began

Today’s message summary of January 25, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

As we continue this study on the End Times, we need to be able to see that God is exactly who He says He is…the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 22:13).

God has a plan, for sure, but note that Satan is allowed to act within God’s plan. He is more of a reactionary, and it is his desire to wreck God’s plan for your life. He cannot thwart God’s plan or avert it. God will accomplish what He says He will do.

In the End Times, the Word reveals that all nations will be against Israel.

Note that Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. It really began to take off after September 11, 2001. Have you ever considered that, at some time, Islam may be such a prominent teaching in America; yet look and see at the number of different teachings that we have here today. Even for those who call themselves Christians, there are those where the evidence of their Christianity cannot be seen in how they live their lives. Those that are saved are truly His, and God has affirmed that there will always be a remnant of His people.

Look at the signs of the times today, for they are very serious.

Mohammed, around 622, declared that the Jews were the enemies of Allah, when he had demanded that the temples were to be closed to worship Allah. Today, we see how the Jews and Islam are enemies today. There is either a submission to the Lord, or to Allah. As Christians, we submit to Jesus Christ.

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?

 

Romans 10:17

So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.

 

Everywhere you look today, the name of Jesus Christ is trying to stifle the name of Jesus and His message. If you remove the name of Jesus, what happens to faith?

If you are really seeking God, He will reveal Himself.

Hosea 4:6

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from serving as My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your sons.

 

2 Corinthians 2:11

I have done this so that we may not be taken advantage of by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his schemes.

 

Matthew 16:3

And in the morning, ‘Today will be stormy because the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to read the appearance of the sky, but you can’t read the signs of the times.

 

Sometimes we get so busy living that we miss what is taking place around us, and Satan is very subtle.

Has anyone seen the significance of Russia’s recently signed pact with Iran? Do you see the significance of this alliance in preparation for the number of nations who are aligning against Israel? Refer to Ezekiel 38 to see this prophesy.

The son of Hagar and the son of Sarah are the two covenants that God is using to set the stage for the final resolution of the struggles between the children of Ishmael and Isaac.

We need to remember, however, that Isaac is the recipient of God’s promise through Abraham, while Ishmael was in the flesh; yet God promised that he would have numerous descendants.

Both Jews and Arabs are descendants of Abraham. God noted in Genesis that Ishmael and Isaac and their descendants would live in conflict.

There are many people all over the world, including those who are followers within Islam, but we need to remember that just being good is not enough to have fellowship with God. This applies to people who profess to be Christians, as well.

The name Ishmael means “God hears.”

Genesis 21:17

God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy from the place where he is.

 

The lesson in Genesis 21 about God’s love for Abraham and His respect for Abraham’s love for Isaac and Ishmael is the same as how God loves each and every one of us; yet, there is a difference–a distinction–between those people that He loves who have His promise and those who are in the flesh.

The name Isaac means “laughter.”

Genesis 17:17

Abraham fell facedown. Then he laughed and said to himself, “Can a child be born to a hundred-year-old man? Can Sarah, a ninety-year-old woman, give birth?

 

Genesis 18:12

So she laughed to herself: “After I have become shriveled up and my lord is old, will I have delight?”

 

When God promises something, is it too hard for God to accomplish it? God can, and will, provide.

Note that Abraham and Sarah, in their own plan to have a child, did not originally believe God’s promise and contrived their own plan to have a child through Hagar, Sarah’s slave. Their plan was not of the Spirit–in was in the flesh. God allowed it to happen, and because Abraham was deemed righteous before God, He responded to Abraham’s love for Ishmael and noted that he would have many descendants.

Genesis 16:9-12

Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, “You must go back to your mistress and submit to her mistreatment.” The Angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will greatly multiply your offspring, and they will be too many to count.”

 

Then the Angel of the Lord said to her: You have conceived and will have a son. You will name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard your cry of affliction. This man will be like a wild donkey. His hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against him; he will live at odds with all his brothers.

2 Peter 2:5

…and if He didn’t spare the ancient world, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others, when He brought a flood on the world of the ungodly.

 

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.”

 

Matthew 24:38-39

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.

 

Genesis 18:14

Is anything impossible for the Lord? At the appointed time I will come back to you, and in about a year she will have a son.”

 

God is the Orchestrator of the End Times. It is the work of God that we are spiritual beings–born again. It is through a belief in Jesus Christ that this work is being accomplished.

John 3:18

Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.

 

Romans 9:7-8

Neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants. On the contrary, your offspring will be traced through Isaac. That is, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but the children of the promise are considered to be the offspring.

 

Galatians 4:22-30

For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and the other by a free woman. But the one by the slave was born according to the impulse of the flesh, while the one by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. These things are illustrations, for the women represent the two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai and bears children into slavery–this is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written: Rejoice, childless woman, who does not give birth. Burst into song and shout, you who are not in labor, for the children of the desolate are many, more numerous times than those of the woman who has a husband. Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. But just as then the child born according to the flesh persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, so also now. But what does the Scripture say? Drive out the slave and her son, for the son of the slave will never be a coheir with the son of the free woman.

 

Note the descendants of Ishmael:

Genesis 25:17-18

This is the length of Ishmael’s life: 137 years. He took his last breath and died, and was gathered to his people. And they settled from Havilah to Shur, which is opposite Egypt as you go toward Asshur. He lived in opposition to all his brothers.

 

What are the times showing us today? Are we aware of the signs and what is happening?

There are two covenants in place with Isaac and Ishmael. God, in His sovereignty, promises to His people that they are truly saved and are not appointed to wrath.

Israel is comprised of approximately 8,000 square miles and has a population of about 6 million people. The nations that make up Islam make up approximately 8.8 million square miles with a population of 804,500,000 people. Can you see how God will need to intervene? Perhaps that is why the Scripture notes that God would have to intervene to prevent all from perishing.

Psalm 83:3-8

They devise clever schemes against Your people; they conspire against Your treasured ones. They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation so that Israel’s name will no longer be remembered.” For they have conspired with one mind; they form an alliance against You–the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre. Even Assyria has joined them; they lend support to the sons of Lot.

 

As we step into this further, should we not conclude that Satan is gathering people together to fight against Christ and those who will ultimately stand for Christ?


The Crown of Righteousness

Today’s message from Pastor Gus Brown:
Doing what is right often requires sacrifice, and even though it is not evident right away, there is always a blessing in it. Our nature often looks at the results that come from doing what is right; yet, it is beneficial to us.The Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8) is in addition to salvation. It is this righteousness of Christ that it is attributed to a person because of the heart of the individual and a conscious effort to consistently focus on doing the right things. It is a reward for behavior, speech and thoughts that reflect godly character.

At the close of the Grecian games the successful athletes were rewarded victory crowns. The crowns were a public recognition of success in their event. In the same way, the crowns received by a Christian are in recognition of how we live our Christian life. They are rewarded for the goodness and quality of the believer’s work, thoughts and actions. These things are measured by God in righteousness.

Matthew 13:43
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Anyone who has ears should listen!

Matthew 12:36
I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak.

Psalm 37:30
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom;
his tongue speaks what is just.

Matthew 25:35-40
35 For I was hungry
and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty
and you gave Me something to drink;
I was a stranger and you took Me in;
36 I was naked and you clothed Me;
I was sick and you took care of Me;
I was in prison and you visited Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’

40 “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’

1 Corinthians 4:5
Therefore don’t judge anything prematurely, before the Lord comes, who will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts. And then praise will come to each one from God.

The crowns are to given out at the bema seat of Christ. At that time, we will stand to be rewarded for deeds done in the body.

1. Acceptable works in the sight of God (1 Corinthians 3:9-15)

1 Corinthians 3:9-15
9 For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to God’s grace that was given to me, I have laid a foundation as a skilled master builder, and another builds on it. But each one must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on that foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, 13 each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. 14 If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire.

2. Work is done rightly…no shame or wrongdoing (Mark 12:1-4; 1 Corinthians 6:5; 1 Samuel 15:1-3, 9). Doing what is right is based solely upon our obedience to God…not just in what appears to be good.

Mark 12:1-4
1 Then He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug out a pit for a winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went away. 2 At harvest time he sent a slave to the farmers to collect some of the fruit of the vineyard from the farmers. 3 But they took him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent another slave to them, and they hit him on the head and treated him shamefully.

1 Corinthians 6:5
I say this to your shame! Can it be that there is not one wise person among you who is able to arbitrate between his brothers?

1 Samuel 15:1-3, 9
15 Samuel told Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over His people Israel. Now, listen to the words of the Lord. 2 This is what the Lord of Hosts says: ‘I witnessed what the Amalekites did to the Israelites when they opposed them along the way as they were coming out of Egypt. 3 Now go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Do not spare them. Kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

9 Saul and the troops spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, cattle, and choice animals,[a] as well as the young rams and the best of everything else. They were not willing to destroy them, but they did destroy all the worthless and unwanted things.

3. There is no compromise with sin (Proverbs 13:15; 25:26).

Proverbs 13:5
The righteous hate lying,
but the wicked act disgustingly and disgracefully.

Proverbs 25:26
A righteous person who yields to the wicked
is like a muddied spring or a polluted well.

4. Our right actions result in our needs being met (Isaiah 33:15-16).

Isaiah 33:15-16
15 The one who lives righteously
and speaks rightly,
who refuses gain from extortion,
whose hand never takes a bribe,
who stops his ears from listening to murderous plots
and shuts his eyes to avoid endorsing evil—
16 he will dwell on the heights;
his refuge will be the rocky fortresses,
his food provided, his water assured.

Example: Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln – Presidential Race (The Lincoln-Douglas debates). There were seven debates, and each of them focused on the topic of slavery.

“If slavery is not wrong, then nothing is wrong” –Abraham Lincoln

It is not good to say that sinful behavior is acceptable in our mind…with Jesus Christ, there is a clear difference between right and wrong. It is an eternal difference and distinction.

2 Timothy 4:8
There is reserved for me in the future the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved His appearing.

1 John 3:2-3
2 Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.

Isaiah 25:9
On that day it will be said,
“Look, this is our God;
we have waited for Him, and He has saved us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for Him.
Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”

God will judge us on right and wrong, for His kingdom is about righteousness, and we have to deal with a world filled with perversion by practicing a life of righteous living. Doing the right thing means making a decision to trust God.

Psalm 58:11
Then people will say,
“Yes, there is a reward for the righteous!
There is a God who judges on earth!”

Romans 14:17
…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The Lord God is a righteous judge. Your works will be examined. All that we do in obedience and righteousness is empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 14:10
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.

2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless.

1 Corinthians 3:13
…each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work.

John 6:63
The Spirit is the One who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

Acts 13:2
As they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work I have called them to.”

Acts 1:8
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.”

Romans 8:14
All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons.

We are right when we love and not hate.
We are right when we help others.
We are right to show mercy to others.
We are right to reveal grace.
We are right to deal with truth.

Every moment of each day, we are choosing to do what is right or what is wrong. Each of us will give an account to God for what we do or say. The future crowns of righteousness are recognition for being a “good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).


Jesus Christ: Head of The Church

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
The church is not brick and mortar, or just a building. It is made up of people. Men builds buildings, but God builds the church.

There are many church buildings that we see as we move about, but very few people who are attending. It goes back to what is really important for the person. Some will go to church to find a spouse or to be entertained, but the main reason to attend church is to fulfill the heart’s desire for a believer to learn how to live for Christ and grow in Christ.

The church exists today because it is God’s will for it to exist.

Who is the founder and builder of the church?

Matthew 16:18
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it.

Jesus is referring to Himself as the rock that will build the church, which is His church. This is why we are to exalt Christ first as the head of the church. When it comes to recognizing persons for their accomplishments, it is not to be done to glorify the person; instead, it is to acknowledge how Jesus Christ was the primary focus of the contributor in the church.

Success is not in the numbers of the people within the church or in titles. God looks at the hearts of its people. The people of the church is always to recognize Christ as the head of the church.

Ephesians 1:22
And He put everything under His feet and appointed Him as head over everything for the church.

Ephesians 5:23
…for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body.

Colossians 1:18
He is also the head of the body, the church;
He is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead,
so that He might come to have
first place in everything.

1 Peter 5:4
And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Jesus Christ provides for His church:

Ephesians 4:11-13
11 And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.

Romans 12:3-8
3 For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. 4 Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, 5 in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. 6 According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts:

If prophecy,
use it according to the standard of one’s faith;
7 if service, in service;
if teaching, in teaching;
8 if exhorting, in exhortation;
giving, with generosity;
leading, with diligence;
showing mercy, with cheerfulness.

God has given the people of His church a measure of faith. As one grows in learning about Jesus Christ, their faith also grows. In order for a church to experience growth, their must be a concerted faith and trust in God and His Word. Everyone who trusts Jesus Christ as Savior has a gift to share within the body of Christ. The gifts are provided to serve to the body and to others.

The church has no distinctions. There is no class of people. Everyone is the same under Jesus Christ. He is the One who exalts the people who serve Him.
1. We are all brothers and sisters.
2. We are all servants.
3. We are all priests.

Matthew 23:8-11
8 “But as for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi,’ because you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father, because you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called masters either, because you have one Master, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant.

Matthew 20:21-27
21 “What do you want?” He asked her.

“Promise,” she said to Him, “that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right and the other on Your left, in Your kingdom.”

22 But Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you’re asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”

“We are able,” they said to Him.

23 He told them, “You will indeed drink My cup. But to sit at My right and left is not Mine to give; instead, it belongs to those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.” 24 When the 10 disciples heard this, they became indignant with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. 26 It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave.

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people for His possession,
so that you may proclaim the praises
of the One who called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light.

A priest recognizes God and serves Him while ministering to God’s people.

1 Corinthians 12:7
A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial.

1 Peter 4:10
Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God.

The work of the church is set forth by Jesus.

Jesus came to earth to serve and set the example.

Mark 10:45
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life —a ransom for many.

1 Corinthians 11:1
Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ.

1 Timothy 1:16
But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate His extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

1 Peter 2:21
For you were called to this,
because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example,
so that you should follow in His steps.

No one in the church is too great to perform the least of work.

John 13:12-15
12 When Jesus had washed their feet and put on His robe, He reclined[a] again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you.

The purpose of the church is to go and make disciples of all people.

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.


God’s Presence in His Kingdom: Today’s Church

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
God intends for the Kingdom of God to be present through all believers. Each day there is a demonstration of how man, in failure to submit to authority, will destroy himself. Man has always rebelled against God. God gave man free will to do this. We can choose to be saved and love God or choose not to follow Him. When man fails to recognize His Kingdom, it does not change or have an effect on it. God has already numbered our days, and His Kingdom is still at work today. He rules over all that has happened on earth.

From the fall of man through the time when Jesus Christ rules on earth, God’s Kingdom has been present.

1 Corinthians 15:24-25
24 Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He abolishes all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He puts all His enemies under His feet.

What is the relationship between the church and the kingdom? There is a distinction:

kingdom — Greek word Basileia
church — Greek word Ekklesia

The word ‘kingdom’ is used many times in the gospel while ‘church’ is only used three times. There is a change that takes place in the book of Acts where the church becomes the primary focus. The kingdom is secondary until the book of Revelation, where the kingdom becomes primary once more. Most New Testament letters are addressed to the churches–not the kingdom.

The kingdom of God in Scripture is the all embracing program of God’s divine salvation in history. All ages, people, the saving activities are related to the program of the kingdom.

Matthew 6:9-10
9 “Therefore, you should pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
Your name be honored as holy.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

The Christians carry out the will of God in the midst of Satan’s domain. God’s kingdom will come to earth and will be headed by Jesus Christ.

A kingdom is defined as the sovereign reign over a territory where a king exercises his rule.

Hebrews 1:2
…by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him.

There is, ultimately, one kingdom it signifies God’s universal eternal rule over all creation.

Psalm 103:19
The LORD has established His throne in heaven,
and His kingdom rules over all.

Psalm 24:1
The earth and everything in it,
the world and its inhabitants,
belong to the LORD.

God is in control over Satan. No one places limits on God. He places the limits…he rules.

Job 1:10-12
10 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. 11 But stretch out Your hand and strike everything he owns, and he will surely curse You to Your face.”
12 “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.

Satan has hindered us from carrying out what God would have us to do for Him.

1 Thessalonians 2:18
So we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us.

God will accomplish His will in His appointed time. Since God is reigning, believers can appeal to God to restrain Satan in order to serve God for His kingdom. The Holy Spirit’s presence is what convicts the hearts and minds of men and women. Believers are not of this world…we are of His Kingdom.

1 Thessalonians 3:11
Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you.

2 Thessalonians 2:5-8
5 Don’t you remember that when I was still with you I told you about this? 6 And you know what currently restrains him, so that he will be revealed in his time. 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, 8 and then the lawless one will be revealed. The Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath of His mouth and will bring him to nothing with the brightness of His coming.

The kingdom of God is advancing.

Matthew 11:12
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been suffering violence, and the violent have been seizing it by force.

The gospel of the kingdom is being carried out by the church. The church is the vehicle that carries out the message of the kingdom.

Luke 16:16
“The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then, the good news of the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is strongly urged to enter it.

Stages of the kingdom:
1. God’s covenant promises with Abraham
2. God’s rule over Israel (Exodus 40:33-34)
3. The appearance of Jesus

  • The kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21).
  • The kingdom of God has come to you (Luke 11:20).
  • Jesus is seen as the glory of God (John 1:14; Luke 9:29-32).

The church is not the kingdom, yet it carries out the work of the kingdom. The kingdom is presently working through the church to equip and educate for the purposes of advancing the gospel of the kingdom throughout the world according to the mysteries described by Jesus in His teaching.

Matthew 13:11
He answered them, “Because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given for you to know, but it has not been given to them.

Matthew 20:1
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.”

Matthew 22:2
“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son.”

The message of the church is the message of the kingdom.

Acts 8:12
But when they believed Philip, as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.

Acts 28:31
…proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with full boldness and without hindrance.

Matthew 24:14
This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world[a] as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come.

The relationship of the church and kingdom:

Philippians 3:20
…but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:13
He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.

2 Corinthians 5:20
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”

Matthew 28:18-20
18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”


God’s Promise To Abraham For Today

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
God has had a plan for the church throughout the ages, and He is actively working in the church today. God has always had a group of people that He has called His own. In the Old Testament, we note that God referred to Israel as His people. It is noted that Israel was not just a nation, but God’s chosen was a group of spiritual people within Israel. He desired for them to grow in Him and love Him, and in turn, God would be glorified. In the same way, the church today has a large number of people who go to church, but not all of them are really following Christ. How much adultery and double-minded behavior is taking place in the church? All sinners who accept Jesus are indeed saved by grace, but there comes a point where we are to live in holiness according to His Word. His grace is not an excuse to keep sinning (Romans 6:1).
Romans 2:28-29
28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, and true circumcision is not something visible in the flesh. 29 On the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart—by the Spirit, not the letter. That man’s praise is not from men but from God.

You’re not a Christian by outward appearances–by what you say or do before others. Even making a confession of faith is not enough…a true believer is when the Holy Spirit works from the inside of a person and moves a person to respond to Christ from the heart. It is this desire to serve Him that is manifested in everything that a believer does for Him.

1 Corinthians 10:31-33
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory. 32 Give no offense to the Jews or the Greeks or the church of God, 33 just as I also try to please all people in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, so that they may be saved.

Luke 6:20-23
20 Then looking up at His disciples, He said:
You who are poor are blessed,
because the kingdom of God is yours.
21 You who are now hungry are blessed,
because you will be filled.
You who now weep are blessed,
because you will laugh.
22 You are blessed when people hate you,
when they exclude you, insult you,
and slander your name as evil
because of the Son of Man.

23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! Take note—your reward is great in heaven, for this is the way their ancestors used to treat the prophets.

Matthew 7:21-23
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ 23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’

The outward displays or declarations made by people who profess Christ does not mean that they are serving Christ. It is more about the heart of the people that live for Christ that distinguishes them as people of God.

Both Israel and today’s church are called to be holy.

Galatians 3:29
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise.

If we belong to Jesus Christ, we reflect the faith of Abraham in believing and trusting in God in all things. It is out of this seed comes today’s church, of which Christ is the head of the church. God knows the hearts of his people.

Luke 1:67-79
67 Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
because He has visited
and provided redemption for His people.
69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of His servant David,
70 just as He spoke by the mouth
of His holy prophets in ancient times;
71 salvation from our enemies
and from the clutches of those who hate us.
72 He has dealt mercifully with our fathers
and remembered His holy covenant—
73 the oath that He swore to our father Abraham.
He has given us the privilege,
74 since we have been rescued
from our enemies’ clutches,
to serve Him without fear
75 in holiness and righteousness
in His presence all our days.
76 And child, you will be called
a prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord
to prepare His ways,
77 to give His people knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins.
78 Because of our God’s merciful compassion,
the Dawn from on high will visit us
79 to shine on those who live in darkness
and the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Acts 3:25-26
25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors, saying to Abraham, And all the families of the earth will be blessed through your offspring. 26 God raised up His Servant and sent Him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.”

The true church is the heir of the promise that God made to Abraham, who is the father of many nations that have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:14-18
14 The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promised Spirit through faith.
15 Brothers, I’m using a human illustration. No one sets aside or makes additions to even a human covenant that has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say “and to seeds,” as though referring to many, but referring to one, and to your seed, who is Christ. 17 And I say this: The law, which came 430 years later, does not revoke a covenant that was previously ratified by God and cancel the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is from the law, it is no longer from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.

While God, according to Scripture, never extended a covenant with the church, He does show that the true church are the heirs of the promise that God made to Abraham. the true followers of Christ are the people of God–the seed of Abraham.

The law was added by God for His people to give Israel instruction and teaching and because of the transgression of the people. In today’s church, the correct teaching is that we are saved by grace, but that doesn’t cancel out the importance of the law. God says “if you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15).” The law represents discipline and is necessary to distinguish those who claim to follow Christ and those who are truly serving Him from the heart.

The Law is Direction For Life

  • The law is our condemnation–the gospel is our salvation
  • The law condemns us–the gospel justifies us
  • The law produces rebellion–the gospel produces submission
  • The law brings about false pride–the gospel brings humility and thankfulness

The law provides a blueprint as to how we are to please God, and it guides us to Jesus Christ.

God is working His plan and purpose in reaching many people for His glory. The true church–the believers in Christ–are Abraham’s seed.