Tag Archives: end

Go and Make Disciples

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

Matthew 28:16-20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark 9:17-27

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matthew 14:31

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

Matthew 17:20

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

Our faith is very important when it comes to evangelism.

II.  Christ’s authority

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

Ephesians 1:20-23

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

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

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

III. His confirmation of baptism reflects His authority.

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

Romans 6:4

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

IV. Perseverance in the Lord

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

Matthew 28:19-20

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

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

Acts 1:7-11

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

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

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

Luke 24:46-49

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

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

Go. Make. Disciples.

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The Seven Trumpets (Part 1)

Today’s message summary of January 3, 2016 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Most people today will continue to fail to acknowledge God. Even though Scripture notes this, we are reminded by Scripture to continue to proclaim the good news about Jesus Christ. It is for this reason: God is not in a hurry to do away with those who don’t acknowledge Him. He desires for all men to be saved. But make no mistake about this…there is a day that is coming when there will be the end.

God is merciful. God is putting off the death sentence for those who don’t know Him until the time that they repent and accept Christ as Savior.

God holds back His judgment until that time when there will no longer a restraint on His grace and mercy. And there will be no mistake about the presence of God and His wrath in that day.

Revelation 6:16-17

And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of Their wrath has come! And who is able to stand?”

Some people will decide that they do not want to have anything to do with God; however, there will be a time when God will have something to do with them.

When you examine, in Revelation, the seals, trumpets and bowls, the judgments become worse and worse over time. God’s wrath, soon after this, will be poured out. Satan uses man, at that time, to create destruction and devastation. Satan deceives the people to carry out these acts, and God, of course, allows it. It is part of His plan.

Man will use reasoning to refuse to acknowledge God. They will avoid any situation or circumstance that moves one to conclude that Satan was present; for example, we try to explain why Hitler did what he did without mentioning that Satan was involved. We do this because of fear in that we do not want to acknowledge that God and Satan are present. The reasoning of man is to give an explanation of why something happened in order to remove fear and maintain control of the situation. People are not afraid because reasoning something into natural causes or occurrences removes fear.

Note that as we move into Revelation, Chapter 8, God will move in such a way that no one will be able to explain Him away.

In Chapter 8, the angels of heaven see the real terror that is to come. People on earth have not yet seen it or know what to expect.

Hebrews 10:26-27, 30-31

For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries.

For we know the One who has said, Vengeance belongs to Me, I will repay, and again, The Lord will judge His people. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!

 

Psalm 76:7

And You–You are to be feared. When You are angry, who can stand before You?

 

Psalm 7:11

God is a righteous judge and a God who shows His wrath every day.

Note that society today has tried to remove God from everything in order to make Him invisible, because of the logic that if we cannot see Him, there is no reason to be fearful of Him. If He is unseen or invisible, it gives justification for living any way one chooses.

Back to Revelation 8, there is silence in heaven once the angels see what is going to happen. There is no choir singing or praises taking place. It is the quiet before the storm.

Revelation 8:1

When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

Note that God is angry with the wicked every day. What holds back God from expressing His wrath? It is His mercy.

 

Lamentations 3:22-23

Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!

 

Psalm 103:8-9

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and rich in faithful love. He will not always accuse us or be angry forever.

 

The angels, in Revelation 8, see the actions of God pouring out His anger. Note that, out of the Seventh Seal come the seven trumpets.

John says that he saw seven angels:

Revelation 8:2-4

Then I saw the seven angels who stand in the presence of God; seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel, with a gold incense burner, came and stood at the altar. He was given a large amount of incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the gold altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up in the presence of God from the angel’s hand.

The angels are carrying out the message as direct servants of God. The message is that God will now being carrying out the judgment Himself. He will be carrying out what was already noted in Revelation 6:

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 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.

Revelation 8:5-6

The angel took the incense burner, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it to the earth; there were rumblings of thunder, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.

Now come the trumpets being blown by the angels, with God carrying out His wrath:

Revelation 8:7 (The First Trumpet)

The first angel blew his trumpet, and hail and fire, mixed with blood, were hurled to the earth. So a third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

Revelation 8:8-9 (The Second Trumpet)

The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain ablaze with fire was hurled into the sea. So a third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures of the sea dies, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

Revelation 8:10 (The Third Trumpet)

The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from heaven. It fell on a third of the rivers and springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood, and a third of the waters became wormwood. So, many of the people died from the waters, because they had been made bitter.

God is saying to those who do not trust in Him that there will be an account. There is nothing to fear as long as you trust Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. He will keep you in fellowship with Him, but while he is merciful and compassionate, He will judge the wicked of this world.

Romans 3:23-24

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.


What John Sees in Heaven (Revelation Chapter 12) – Part 1

Today’s message summary of July 12, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Last week, we spent time in Revelation Chapter 11, where we looked at the two witnesses of God and how God’s Word tormented the people present who were in the temple worshiping the Antichrist, and the people, when the two witnesses were killed, celebrated over their death. We need to see clearly the character of the people who will be living at that time, and that there was not even the decency to remove the witnesses’ bodies from the streets.  When the witnesses came back to life after 3 1/2 days, we see not long after this in Revelation 11:19:

God’s sanctuary in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant appeared in His sanctuary. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings of thunder, an earthquake, and severe hail.

We will now look at Chapter 12 where John will describe what he sees in heaven. Revelation Chapter 12 is called by some as the key to understanding this book and all of the entire Bible.  Why? Because it reveals the conflict of the ages between Israel, Jesus Christ and Satan.  This chapter tells us of the conflct of the past and the conflict of the future.  Note that a lot of this conflict is taking place right now, but it is intensifying and it will continue to intensify.  Satan knows that his time is short.

The story has its main characters: Israel, Jesus, Satan, and we often that this is only about Israel. Please note the word, “nations.” Nations will include all other groups outside of Israel.

Matthew 24:7, 14

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

All nations will be involved in the presentation of the gospel, and then the end will come.

Revelation 18:3
For all nations have drunk
    the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,
and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her,
    and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.

Revelation 20:7-8

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.
Israel is used as a witness to every nation.

Revelation 11:9-10

For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth.

All eyes, from every nation, are drawn to Jerusalem and the two witnesses.

In Revelation Chapter 12, a wondrous sign is seen in heaven:

Revelation 12:1-2
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in labor and agony as she was about to give birth.

That woman giving birth is Israel, the nation. She is in the process of giving birth to the Messiah.  This and the following passages will account for the past, present and the future.

Romans 9:4-5
They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

Israel has been looking for the birth of the Messiah for some time.

Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:23

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us).

The promise of the Messiah was given in Genesis 3:15:

Genesis 3:15

“I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel.”

Hebrews 7:14-16
Now it is evident that our Lord came from Judah and Moses said nothing about that tribe concerning priests. And this becomes clearer if another priest like Melchizedek appears, who did not become a priest based on a legal command concerning physical descent but based on the power of an indestructible life.

Note the prophecy of the sun and the moon with Joseph:

Genesis 37:9-11

Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.

This is what is revealed in Revelation 12:1.

The woman cries out in pain.

Matthew 2:16-18

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

“A voice was heard in Ramah,
    weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
    she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

Another sign is revealed in verses 3 and 4 of Chapter 12:

The red dragon is a portrayal of Satan.  The color red is the color of blood, representing all of the bloodshed that he has caused.  Satan came to kill.

John 10:10a
A thief comes only to steal and to kill and destroy.

Satan is out to steal your spiritual wealth.

John 8:44
You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars.

Revelation 17:6
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.

Revelation 7:9, 14
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.

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.

We, as a society, have been slowly, but surely, desensitized over time about murder. The people are hearing more and more about it and are less and less likely to be outraged over it.

To not respond to situations when we know sin is being committed is, in itself, sinful. We are to live as a community and be responsive, but Satan continues to push us back out of the picture.  As “the light of the world,” there comes a point where we, as the body of Christ, must engage with members of society and be the light that opposes darkness.  As long as God gives us breath, we are called to be the peacemakers.


The End Times and Christ’s Return

Today’s message summary of April 12, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Scripture provides us with guidance as to how to prepare for the End Times. The day is coming, and it is up to us to open our eyes and believe that it will occur.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6

About the times and the seasons: Brothers, you do not need anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. When they say, “Peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains come on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in the dark, for this day to overtake you like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or the darkness. So then, we must not sleep, like the rest, but we must stay awake and be serious.

 

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

 

In this world, we are searching for peace; yet, there is no real peace. Many people stir up trouble and difficulty. This lack of peace first began with John the Baptist giving an indication of the need for the coming of the Lord, who would be our true peace.

Today, people are looking for peace, but the stage has been set for what we are experiencing today with a breakdown of the moral fiber of our society. Where there is no morality, the emergence of the Antichrist will be a mere formality. He will proclaim to bring peace to the world, but He will merely promote himself and oppose everything that Christ stands for. There have been subtle changes over time that Satan has orchestrated.

God knows the time and the date as to when the End Times will occur. What is important to know is that Jesus IS coming again for His church. As believers, we should living for that day and that time. It is to be a way of life for every believer in Jesus Christ each day.

God does not want us to be sitting and waiting for His return–He wants us to be busy in the world doing what He has called us to do. He wants us to be a witness for Him before others.

With this knowledge, are you as busy for the Lord as you possibly can be?

We are to remain alert to the times that we live in, and we are to maintain self-control. The Holy Spirit will provide to us what we need.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake our asleep, we will live together with Him.

 

This does not mean that there will not be suffering during the End Times, but it does mean that God will remain present before those who experience the end times and protect believers in Him for all of eternity.

Scripture tells is that the Antichrist is active; in fact, many antichrists have come.

1 John 2:18-19

Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard, “Antichrist is coming,” even now many antichrists have come. We know from this that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us.

 

1 John 2:21-22

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? This one is the antichrist: the one who denies the Father and the Son.

 

1 John 4:3

But every spirit who does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist; you have heard that he is coming, and he is already in the world now.

 

The main work of all of the antichrist is to deny Jesus. His main weapon is to deceive people and to make people believe lies (see Genesis 3; John 8:44).

2 John 1:7

Many deceivers have gone out into the world; they do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.

 

1 John 5:19

We know that we are of God, and the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.

 

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.

 

Satan has set up many to be deceived–your sin and your transgressions will follow you, even though he will tell you that you can get away with them. If he is successful, he will keep you from a healthy, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ.


Signs of the Last Days: First Major Battle of Israel

Today’s message summary of February 22, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Lord, we want to be a people who studies Your Word as we want to be faithful to You. We want to be true unto You and committed to You. Burn this unto our hearts as we commit to loving this life for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The first two World Wars set the stage for Israel to take center stage in the scope of the entire world. World War I allowed for the return of many Jews to their homeland. World War II presented the opportunity for Israel to become a nation (in 1948). God’s Word has declared that Israel would be a nation, and this has taken place.

These are the beginnings of the end times. We are to pay attention to how things are taking place in today’s world that are unprecedented in our time. What is accepted as normal today is far from what we can imagine. We have accepted teen pregnancy as the norm. While we can say that these things have been going on since the time of Adam, there is a greater intensity of these things that are taken place.

These things are leading us towards the tribulation or within the first years of the tribulation.

Ezekiel 38 and 39 are not part of Revelation 20, pertaining to the battle of Armageddon. My thought is that if Israel is going to sign a peace treaty, and the treaty is going to be broken, you won’t be able to have peace and conflict at the same time. What would be the circumstances where Israel would make a treaty with someone for peace? Something has to take place to lead up to the three and one half years that sets the stage for the Abomination of Desolation. There had to be a conflict that would set up Israel to enter a covenant that would grant them peace, and would allow them to rebuild the temple to resume their sacrifice. (Sometime during this period, Israel will get very comfortable with its practices and making sacrifices.) One who will promise peace, and then, at some point, step into the temple and call himself God will represent the treaty. It will take the entire world by surprise.

Daniel 9:27

He will make a firm covenant with many for one week he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And the abomination of desolation will be on a wing of the temple until the decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator.

 

Daniel 11:31

His forces will rise up and desecrate the temple fortress. They will abolish the daily sacrifice and set up the abomination of desolation.

 

Amos 8:11

Hear this! The days are coming–this is the declaration of the Lord God–when I will send a famine through the land: not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.

 

Our world is in the midst of this famine today. Christians have readily put down their bibles and will make it much easier for the opposition–the Adversary–to present himself as one who brings peace and deceives the nations.

Matthew 24:15-16

15 “So when you see the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place” (let the reader understand[), 16 “then those in Judea must flee to the mountains!

 

2 Thessalonians 2:4

He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in God’s sanctuary, publicizing that he himself is God.

 

Ezekiel 38:5-6

Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shields and helmets; Gomer with all its troops; and Beth-togarmah from the remotest parts of the north along with all its troops–many peoples are with you.

 

Ezekiel 38:5-6 – Five other nations will join with Russia.

  1. Persia – Iran
  2. Cush – Ethiopia
  3. Put – Libya
  4. Gomer – Germany
  5. Beth-Togarmah – Turkey

Many nations with you (Not all nations are against Israel; however, in the battle of Armageddon, all nations will be involved.)

Russia and her friends are coming for the spoils of Israel.

Ezekiel 38:11-13

You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of open villages; I will come against a tranquil people who are living securely, all of them living without walls and without bars or gates–in order to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against ruins now inhabited and against a people gathered from the nations, who have been acquiring cattle and possessions and who live at the center of the world.’ Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its rulers will ask you, ‘Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hordes to carry off plunder, to make off with silver and gold, to take cattle and possessions, to seize great spoil?’

 

Why the invasion of Israel? Why would Russia want to attack Israel?

Israel is considered to be in the center of the world. It links to three continents–Europe, Asia and Africa.

Israel may have the richest oil fields in the world.

To address hunger, Israel’s land is producing food (a land flowing with milk and honey)

The Dead Sea – salt, which has been taken from the earliest time of history

A land rich in minerals–sodium, chlorine, potassium, calcium, magnesium

Israel exports one million tons of potash (plant food) per year. Israel can supply potash for the next two hundred years.

 

In spite of all of this, God will restore Israel to Himself.

Ezekiel 39:21

I will display My glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the judgment I have executed and the land I have laid on them.

 

Scientists report general information about all nations. In this information:

“It now appears that no land in all of the world is near so rich in minerals as the little land of Israel. It is really the jewel of the world.” The salt alone has been valued at one trillion two hundred seventy billion dollars ($1,270,000,000,000.00).

In 1970, President Nixon said: “It isn’t a case of Israel versus the Arab states, but the Soviet Union is not moving into the Eastern Mediterranean (Afghanistan).

Ezekiel 38:12 – Israel is said to be in this midst of the land.

Ezekiel 5:5

“This is what the Lord God says: I have set this Jerusalem in the center of the nations, with countries all around her.”

 

A comparison of the two wars:

  • In Ezekiel, the main purpose was for God to be made known (8:23; 9:21).
  • In the battle of Armageddon, all nations of the world are involved (Joel 3:2, Zechariah 14:2, Revelation 16:14, 16; 20:7-8). Its purpose for its perpetrators was to come against Christ and the Jews.
  • Ezekiel 38:13 – the nations protest against Russia
  • Armageddon – Satan leads the opposition
  • God defeated the northern invaders in Ezekiel 38:22
  • In the battle of Armageddon, the slain will be from one end of the earth to the other (Jeremiah 25:33).
  • Russia (Gog) – the dead will be buried (Ezekiel 39:12-15). God will destroy them (Ezekiel 38:21-23).
  • In Armageddon, there will not be a burial.

1 Timothy 4:1-3

1Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth.

 

2 Timothy 3:1-5

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!


Christ’s Return: Something to Dread or to Rejoice?

Today’s message summary of January 18, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

We all have a responsibility to study Scripture to be able to learn, grow and try to understand God’s message for us. This is especially true when we examine the end times. This requires a lot of study, for sure, and it is not to be avoided.

People will declare, for example, that Christ is coming soon. While He hasn’t returned yet, He assures us that He is coming. God’s Word is true. The purpose of this study is to affirm God’s truth.

Two phrases that really stick out in Scripture: “Be watchful” and “be ready.” The things that He claims will take place will occur, but it’s not up to us to get caught up in dates.

Theories over Christ’s return:

Amillennialism

There will be no physical millennium. The millennium is the present, spiritual reign of Jesus Christ with His people. Jesus may return at any time. The tribulation occurs wherever Christians are persecuted or wars and disasters happen.

Postmillennialism

The belief that Christ returns after a period of time, but not necessarily a literal 1000 years. Those who hold this view do not interpret unfulfilled prophecy using a normal, literal method. They believe that Revelation 20:4-6 should not be taken literally.

Premillennialism

Premillennialism holds that Christ’s Second Coming precedes His establishment of a glorious kingdom of peace and righteousness over earth. He shall personally reign from Jerusalem with His saints for a thousand years (the Millennium).

God will rapture Christians from the earth before (or midway) into the seven year Great Tribulation. Jesus will return to earth. After the great tribulation, but before the thousand years.

Rapture theories:

Pre-rapture – before the tribulation

Mid-rapture – the middle of the tribulation

Post rapture – after the tribulation

1 Corinthians 13:12

For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.

 

Matthew 16:1-4

The Pharisees and Sadducees approached, and as a test, asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them: “When evening comes you say, ‘It will be good weather because the sky is red.’ 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. An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” The He left them and went away.

 

The One who lives is true: The Lord Jesus Christ.

Charles Taze Russell, the founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses, at one time predicted that the Lord would return on a certain date. He was ultimately wrong about the date, but he still commanded people to be vigilant and read the Scriptures. Even those persons who were in charge of these religions took into account the need to be vigilant. Our challenge is to seek the truth and to not be fearful of what is to come.

Many refer to the end times as Doomsday. William Miller was the forerunner for the Seventh-Day Adventist movement. He had calculated that the world would end around 1843. He later came back and thought he miscalculated it, but the people who followed him concluded that these things were occurring not on earth but in heaven.

These things have continued over time and will continue to be present, but all of these are merely theories. Please note, however, that in spite of all of these theories, Jesus Christ is for real. While one has every right to belief what he or she chooses to do, God will still ultimately judge based upon that view; after all, He already has the victory.

View 1:

Jesus of the bible, along with his petty god, is a tyrant. A loving being would not care how or who you worship and would offer the same reward regardless of belief. A truly and just being would judge me based upon my actions and deeds, by merit of my character, and not on whether I believed or not. (No name provided)

A belief has to be based upon something of evidence or value, and not just on what a person thinks.

View 2:

Christ’s return? He has been returning now for 2,000 years, and still a no show. He is not coming back–today, tomorrow or in the future. My knees will not bend, and I will not need ice water in hell as you say. You are babbling incoherent nonsense without one iota of proof to back up your statements. (Charles Ingrao)

God has made Himself present all throughout the events of history. A person merely needs to review the same and see His presence.

2 Peter 2:3-4

They will exploit you in their greed with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep. For if God didn’t spare the angels but threw them down into Tartarus and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness until judgment.

 

Matthew 24:4

Then Jesus replied to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you.”

 

Matthew 24:44

This is why you also must be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

 

Luke 21:28

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

 

2 Peter 2:5-9

…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; and if He rescued righteous Lot, distressed by the unrestrained behavior of the immoral (for as he lived among them, that righteous man tormented himself day by day with the lawless deeds he saw and heard)–then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.

 

2 Peter 3:13-16

But based on His promise, we wait for the new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell. Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found at peace with Him without spot or blemish. Also, regard the patience of our Lord as an opportunity for salvation, just as our dear brother Paul has written to you according to the wisdom given to him. He speaks about these things in all his letters in which there are some matters that are hard to understand. The untaught and unstable twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures.

 

Revelation 22:12

“Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done.”

 

The word “soon” in this passage refers to:

  1. soon after the present time
  2. quickly, whenever it occurs

The point of the words, “I am coming soon” was not to point to a particular time when Jesus would return, but to make readers aware that the return of Jesus will occur so quickly that there will be no time to prepare once it happens; therefore, always be ready!


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.