Tuesday, February 5, 2019

God's Children are of the Light!

by Michael C. Garrett

Well it’s good to be with all of you again … everything which we are doing, everything which we are producing, is based upon the concept that it will follow the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God. We are attempting, to the very best of our ability, to follow the admonition of Jesus Christ when He repeatedly said, “’Feed My sheep!’” This is the motivation and the reason we are doing what we are doing. We, the members, friends, and supporters of the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ are a relatively small group of good-hearted individuals, however, our numbers are slowly and steadily growing. …
Well, there are others out there that are very much against us and what we’re attempting to do and to accomplish. Which again is to ‘feed the sheep.’ ‘Feed the flock.’ You need to ask yourself a question – a very serious question: why are those other people, why are they lying!? Why are they misleading!? Why are they misrepresenting everything about us here in Owensboro, Kentucky!? What is their motivation!? What do they fear - to the degree that they have resorted to such scandalous, libelous, unethical, monstrous, and simply unholy means and methods!? From my perspective I have not seen, nor witnessed a single wisp or essence of the fruits of God’s Spirit. Not a one.
If you knew everything which I have seen and which I have experienced, I believe that you would be thoroughly disgusted and revolted by the so-called leaders of this so-called church organization. Maybe, sometime in the near future, I should document and site the many incidences which I have seen and heard and experienced. All I can say is - “Stay tuned!” However, despite all of the animus, the enmity, and the antipathy which we here at the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ have had to endure, Jesus Christ has continued to bless us and lead us, and we are extremely thankful! …

Now, there are so many great songs that I would like to comment on, and maybe someday in the future I will in a sermon just dedicated to music. Keep in mind, music was created by God! Keep in mind, music takes place around the throne of God! The holy angels of God sit around the throne with Jesus Christ and God the Father and focus their attention – we’re told they sing praises to God and to Jesus Christ! Now, if it’s good enough for the holy angels, I think it’s good enough for all of us to have that type of spirit. And the Gaither’s do it just about as well as anybody does it or ever has done it. …
As you walk in the door of their concert you get a little light, a little keychain. And sometimes it has little writing on it that says, “the Gaither Tour” or something. … They really make handy lights to have in your pocket to help you find your key in the door knob late at night. And they pass them out so that the people in the crowd can ever-so-often wave them, and it makes almost a star-studded background, it’s really quite beautiful and quite appealing. And, once upon a time, a man that I thought I once knew, who lives down in Tyler, I gave him one of these, because the one that he had been using – a light that he had been using – had simply worn out. And I said, “Well, here, have this one.” Well, he loved it, he loved the light, he loved using it, but one of the first things he did was to take some type of file or knife and scrape off the word “Gaither.” Now, he would say that proudly. And I would always think, how immature are you – really!? Well, I found out as weeks and months went by that he would prove to me more and more how thoroughly immature he really was. … Remember during the presidency of George W. Bush, the people on the Far-left – true blue Democrats. They developed a phenomenon known as Bush Derangement Syndrome. It’s like the very hearing of the name Bush would just drive them to distraction! Well, I do believe, this individual has Gaither Derangement Syndrome! And he has made a fool of himself so many times. I actually bought this man and his mother a ticket about 3 years ago to go to a concert. And I will say that his mother thoroughly and completely enjoyed the concert – and she told me so. … I have learned over time that anybody that Bill Gaither places up on stage you can just kick back and relax and know that you’re going to hear some great music. And great singing and great enthusiasm.

And, on this particular night, down in the Tyler, Texas area the opening acts – did another fine job – and this person of whom I refer, the one who was ashamed to even have “Gaither” on a little key chain light, the Gaither’s got out and sang their first song. One entitled “Alpha and Omega.” Now, just out of curiosity, if you have your Bibles, turn back to the Book of Revelation.
This song was written by Bill and Glory Gaither and it’s based upon the words of Revelation chapter 21. This is a Biblical song, except for one little mistake they make. And they make it because they don’t know better, because they haven’t been taught yet. Someday, in a future era of time, they will be taught, they will fully understand it. But they will still possess the great talent they have, and they will still possess the very warm and caring hearts in which they have. It’s unfortunate that you go to people who are not even a part of the Body of Christ and they apparently are much more mature, much more closely resembling living their life the way Jesus Christ would have you, than people who say they are a part of the Church of God. There’s a problem there!
Revelation chapter 21, verse 1 – “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2) Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3) And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God …’” - now that word “God” – in the original Greek – is Theos, which means God the Father. “…’Behold, the tabernacle of [God the Father] is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.’” – now, I must tell you, the Worldwide Church of God had a theology which simply taught different than what this verse plainly says! This verse here in Revelation 21:3 – and dozens of other verses – plainly, clearly, without a doubt, illustrate, convey, and demonstrate that at sometime at the beginning of the Millennium, that the temple of God will come to this Earth and the residence of that temple – that tabernacle, that city – will be both Jesus Christ and God the Father! Yes, God the Father is returning with His Son at the beginning of the Millennium. Now, the Worldwide Church of God taught that God the Father wouldn’t return until long after the “White Throne Judgment.” Almost one thousand one-hundred and three-one-half  years after the Return of Jesus Christ.

Now, someday, I’ll give you a whole sermon or two, and show you beyond any shadow of a doubt that that is simply erroneous. God the Father is returning with Jesus Christ! And I think it’s wonderful!
Verse 4 – I find it to be one of the most dramatic verses of the Bible! This is one of the most hopeful verses of the Bible! There have been times in my life when I have been in front of a fairly large group reading this prophecy, and I haven’t been able to get through this verse without tearing up. Because I understand just how beautiful that it is – “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes [from human beings!]; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” – isn’t that a wonderful verse!? A prophecy of the future! A prophecy of the Millennium! When hopefully we will be members of the resurrected Family of God! Verse 5 – “Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’” – you can just flat bet your bottom dollar that this is true! Verse 6 -  “And He said to me, ‘It is done!’” – and then the next line, Bill and Glory Gaither took the second sentence from verse 6 and they formed and created a chorus to this song. And this is the actual title of the song. “’I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. …’” – and in the chorus of the song the Gaither’s picked what they thought were alternate name’s for Jesus Christ, and added into the chorus. Notice that He says at the end of that, “’I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7) He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son [or daughter].’” – I add that editorially. But going back to that phrase, “’I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.’” And in this chorus, the Gaither’s, based upon what they know – now mind you, they had enough sense to write a song lifted directly from the pages of the Bible! Now, they did make one mistake in the chorus. Referring to Jesus Christ they said, “the Second Person of the Trinity.” Now, as you and I know that’s – there’s a problem theologically. There are no three member’s of the Godhead. There’s God the Father, there’s Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit of God is the power by which God the Father and Jesus Christ make thing’s happen. It's an extension of Their brain power, as They project into other people or other things.

Now, the first time I heard the song I thought, well, that’s a problem. And I immediately came upon a solution – I love this song; it’s big, it’s dramatic, it’s Biblically accurate (except for that one little phrase). And I inserted into my brain the phrase, instead of “the Second Person of the Trinity,” I injected “Second Person of the Family.” And if you do that, the song is totally, completely, 100 % correct!
Well, going back about three years ago, this man, for which I purchased the ticket, and his mother, and at the time the piano player down in Tyler, Rebecca Baker. This man shot up out of his seat, in a big huff, and a big disgust, sighing and heaving, went up the aisle, and we did not see him for about another hour. He heard the word “trinity.” O’ his fragile little ears were so sensitive he had to run away from it! I’ve often thought, if he lived where I live, he would really have a difficult time. You see, because our backyard butts up to the property of the Trinity United Methodist Church. And the subdivision in which we live is called “Trinity Hills.” And the street that you turn off to get to our house is called “Trinity Blvd.” It’s trinity everywhere! And you know that word affects me about the same way as Christmas decorations do. I don’t keep Christmas. … It’s not my holiday. It’s not my celebration. I don’t care what they do. But I know back in the days of Worldwide, you were taught you had to H A T E Christmas and everything about it! Now in the end it’s an absolute waste of time. Bottom line I’ve always said this: I’m not angry about the people who go to church on Sunday. I don’t do it. But I am glad, I am thankful that they are guaranteed by our Constitution and Bill of Rights and the U.S. government and the Supreme Court and everywhere up and down, that they have the right to attend church on a Sunday morning. The reason I’m glad they have that right, is because we have the right, guaranteed by that very same Constitution, to have church on what the world calls Saturday. We know Biblically it’s called the Sabbath – the seventh-day. You see, I don’t care if they keep a celebration called the Mass of Christ. I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me. Because as long as they have the right to keep their holy-days, or holidays, we – as the members of the Body of Christ – have the right to continue to keep the Biblically ordained holy days of the Bible. Things like Passover, Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, Last Great Day. So, as long as they have the right to keep their days, we have the right to keep our days.

And so I’m not desirous to take away their rights, because if I do, I’m setting myself up – all of us would be setting ourselves up – to having our rights taken away. Again, that’s a mature way to look at this. Instead of just ranting and raving because the world keeps Christmas. I don’t care. When I drive down the street, I don’t even see the decorations. And if I do, I just make a joke about it. I just don’t get my blood pressure up about it.
Well, this fella, this so-called leader of a church organization, he heard the word “trinity,” and his ears were so fragile, his ears were so sensitive – almost like virgin ears (I say sarcastically). He had to get up in a big show of disgust and walk up the aisle, didn’t come back until the intermission. He thought it was the end of the concert. Well, he stomped back down that aisle and grabbed his mother and out they went! The next day, he was shocked to find out that the concert had another hour-and-a-half to go. … And then this man had the audacity, the hubris to - for many years – to complain that he had to go outside and stand in the rain! He had to stand smelling the smoke of some teenager smoking a cigarette! And, he even said one time, “I thought about bumming a cigarette off of him myself.” You know, it’s no different than a little child who doesn’t get his way. He plops down in the middle of the room, holds his breath, starts kicking with his feet and hands and just has a major big-time hissy fit! And if you are parents or grandparents you’ve probably seen your children pull that little immature stunt. Well that’s what that was that night in Tyler, Texas. That’s what I witnessed. A grown man, supposedly, making an absolute fool of himself, where thousands of people could see him.
One of the songs that he missed in that concert was entitled “I Then Shall Live.” I heard the song about three years ago on television on a Gaither program, and when I heard it I thought that quite possibly it was one of the most beautiful songs that I’ve ever heard. The song is set to the tune of “Finlandia.” … This song is a prayer. Beautiful melody. Beautiful background music. Beautiful harmonies. But here are the words, and the words are even more beautiful than the music.
I then shall live as one who’s been forgiven.” Wow, ‘I then shall live…’ that’s what all of us should do, we should live our lives as though we have had the shed blood of Jesus Christ applied to our sins and had them washed away. And we walk in newness of life. We walk in the hope and the power of the New Covenant with the promise of eternal life! “I then shall live as one who’s been forgiven.”
I’ll walk with joy to know my debts are paid.” Have you ever thought about your past, and you realize some of the things you did in the past, and even after baptism you sort-of hung your head in shame, going, “What was I thinking!?” Why did I do that, why did I say that, why did I think that!? Well, this song reminds us that we need to walk in joy. Because we realize that the sacrifice of Christ truly has been applied to our past. And they are washed away! When we came up out of the baptismal water we were as clean as a new snow storm … Just white, everywhere white. … And that’s how we came up out of the baptismal pool. And every time since then that we’ve made a mistake, we’ve had the opportunity to go before Jesus Christ and say, “Please forgive me!” “I need Your grace to make it through. All I have is You. I’m at Your mercy.”
I know my name is clear before my Father.” How wonderful is that! That when you go before God in prayer to know that all of the garbage, the slime, the muck, the mire of your past as been just washed away!! And that my name, and now after baptism, probably in the mind of God, all of us has been given a new name! And we’re told that in the Kingdom of God we’ll be given a new name! I hope that I get to keep the name Michael. Because I really think it’s a great name.
I am His child and I am not afraid.” Wow, ‘I am not afraid.’ No fear. Paul wrote, ‘perfect love casts out all fear.’ And yet, you know, there are people right now, who are a part of that organization and other organizations which flowed out of the Worldwide Church of God – and it’s sad to me – that they live in fear. That they must at all times do everything to keep their relationship with their church leaders perfect. And they fear that if they make just one mistake, if they do something the church leader disapproves of, they know they run the risk of being kicked out, or publicly humiliated. And I have seen that done. Well, we witnessed that at the beginning of June – from a message from this very same man. That had to walk out in that big temper-tantrum at Tyler, Texas. When this very song was sung there that night. ‘I am His child and I am not afraid.’ I hope that all of you can stand before Jesus Christ and kneel before Him, and know that He loves you to the point where He was willing to die for you and, if He had to, He would do it again!! And that there’s no reason to fear Him, that He is your Brother, and God the Father is indeed your Heavenly Father.
So, greatly pardoned, I’ll forgive my brother.” It’s realizing that if God took a wretch like me and cleaned me off, and made me anew and fresh, that it is also incumbent upon me to have that same sense of mercy and forgiveness to extend to my brother! And it’s so sad to realize that in this very organization of which I am speaking – turn your lights on – there is no forgiveness. But only hatred.
The law of love I gladly will obey.” ‘The law of love …’ You know it’s easy to say the word love. “Love, love, love”- well, the Beatles did it didn’t they!? All you need is love.” And they made a lot of money from that song. O’ it’s easy to throw out the word love, it’s actually a lot more difficult to live by the Biblical definition. And the Biblical definition isn’t very complicated. ‘You’ll love your neighbor as yourself.’ You’ll treat your fellow man as you would yourself.
I then shall live as one who’s learned compassion.” ‘Judge not that you be not judged.’ God will not extend mercy to those who have not extended mercy to others. If you cannot have compassion upon your fellow man, God will not have compassion upon you. This is a consistent theme of the Bible. Over and over, the Words of Jesus Christ! The words of the apostle Paul. And yet, there are people I know who simply have no sense of compassion.
I’ve been so loved, that I’ll risk loving too.” Now have you ever loved people or someone and have them to turn their back on you!? Raise your hands. I’ve got so many stories. I could keep you busy for a long time. … You know you found out as a young person, maybe it was junior high, maybe high school, that maybe you’ve extended your heart out to someone, a girlfriend, a boyfriend for a girl, and you sort-of felt romantic, that little puppy love. And, you are probably not married to that person. So, somewhere, sometime that person said to you, “No.” Or, you said to them, “Get away.” And I know some marriages where that SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED! But unfortunately it didn’t. Well, if you get burned, if you get betrayed, if you give love and all you get in return is hatred, after awhile it becomes more and more difficult to even want to open up your heart for love. To be loved. And, I’m not talking about romantic love, I’m just talking about any type of affection and kindness to someone. But this song says, ‘I’ve been so loved, that I’ll risk loving too.’ I’ll risk loving again.
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges.” Fear, prejudice, prejudices. I know people who are so filled with hatred for other groups of people. If you’re wondering whom I’m talking about, just think about the light. I know people, I know a person who is so filled with contempt, and vile hatred, for other racial groups, for other members of society, which he doesn’t agree. That he can’t even control himself when these things come up. And I’ll tell ya what, Don and I have been around this person where we have been so embarrassed, we wished we could have just slid under the table into a crack in the floor and disappeared. Or, we wish we could have just magically disappeared. It was that embarrassing. It was that unsettling, it was that ugly.
I think these two songs eventually tore at that man’s conscious, because it says, “I’ll dare to see another’s point of view.” Is there anything wrong with just trying to put yourself in another person’s shoes!? And just try to figure out why are they the way they are. Why do they do that!? Why do they say that!? Why do they act the way their acting!? It’s only harmful if you are insecure in what you believe - that you’re so afraid to begin to ask the question: why are they thinking the way they’re thinking!? So, it’s actually a form of insecurity.
And when relationships demand commitment, Then I’ll be there to care and follow through.” Isn’t that a beautiful line!? ‘When relationships demand commitment, then I’ll be there to care and follow through.’
“Your [Spirit] …” And this is a very rousing part of the song, the volume increases, the sound, the power. “Your [Spirit] come around and through and in me.” Well, what’s wrong with that!? I think that’s what all of us should pray, ‘Dear Father, dear Brother, send me Your Spirit!!” “Fill me with Your Spirit!!”
Your power and glory, let them shine through me.” Aren’t we all to be lights to the world!? That’s what Jesus said, ‘Let your light so shine! That all men may see who you are, what you are!’ That they may come closer to God because of the example you show them. ‘Let Your power and glory, and let them shine through me.’
Your Hallowed Name, O may I bear with honor.” How’s the best way to honor God, to praise God - to live your life in a way that brings honor and glory to Him.
And may Your living [Spirit] come in me.”  - and through me, and with me!
And, near the end, “The Bread of Life, …” it’s actually referring to Jesus Christ. Capital B and capital L – “the Bread of Life.” “The Bread of Life, O’ may I share with honor.”
And may You feed a hungry world through me.” The final line in that song.
And, that’s the very thing that we, here in Owensboro, are trying to do! We’re trying to follow that admonition, “’Feed My sheep!’” ‘Feed the flock!’ With good nutritious spiritual food.
And then the song ends with three Amen’s – now is the word “Amen” Baptist!? Is it Lutheran!? Is it Catholic, Methodist!? No, it’s a Bible word. And it simply means, “So be it!” “So be this!” Now, this song, absolutely one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard! …
Well, about 2 and-a-half years ago, or so, not exactly sure of the timing, after I received a copy of the accompaniment tape that goes to this “I Then Shall Live” by the Gaither’s. I practiced this song, and then I took this song down to Tyler one weekend, and I sang it before the congregation there. Apparently everybody in the room loved it, except one person. The person back behind the camera. The person to whom I have given several of these little lights. I sang the song. A lot of people came up to me after church and said, “O’ that was beautiful!” “O’ I loved that song.” “I loved that!” And I responded, “And, I agree with you, it’s a great song! I’m glad you got to hear it!”
And then, about three months later – again don’t write the dates down in stone, because I don’t have any material to go back and double check – and I had made more than one trip back to Tyler, from the time I sang that song until this event I’m about to talk about.
I went down to Tyler, I sang another song, it could have been “How Great Thou Art”?  And, after church that day I was invited out to dinner – Don and I – to be joined by “the light man,” his mother - whom I respect and love very much – and his son and his daughter-in-law.
We went to a little Italian food restaurant in downtown Tyler. We sat down at a table with six people, I on one end and “the light man” on the other. We were chit-chatting, having a good time, getting ready to make our order. And out of nowhere, seemingly out of nowhere, the guy at the opposite end of the table from me, blurted out at the top of his lungs, where anybody in that restaurant could have heard him – and probably did – “THAT SONG WAS TERRIBLE!” And I’m at the far end of that table and, I was absolutely confused, confounded, bewildered – just befuddled. I thought, is he talking about “How Great Thou Art”!? And I think I said, “Are you talking about ‘How Great Thou Art’?” “NO! I’M TALKING ABOUT THAT ONE YOU SANG ABOUT THREE MONTHS AGO – ‘I THEN SHALL LIVE’.” And I thought to myself, what is wrong with this man!? What is wrong with him that he has been brewing and stewing over this for three or four months!? And now, in this public setting, just burst out like an uncontrollable hyena! Yelling these vindictive’s at me because I sang a song, which everybody in the world thinks is a wonderful song!? Now, I gotta tell ya folks, when that happened, I came within an eyelash – I was having a tough debate in my mind – one part of me said, ‘Mike, just push away from this table, stand up, don’t say a word, and look to Don and say, ‘Don, if you’re travelling with me, now’s the time to leave.’ And turn on my heels and go out the front door and get into my car and just drive away.’ O’ a part of me wanted to do that, to do that so badly. The other part of me is saying, ‘Mike, stay calm, stay under control, stay composed, don’t do or say anything rash. Don’t do anything you have to apologize for down the road.’ Now folks I kept my mouth shut. I kept my composure. Even though the son sitting over to my left had to throw in a smart aleck comment or two. So, if you wanna know what the future holds for that organization – I know – sarcasm, hatred, just a smart alecky attitude.
Now, since the death of Mr. Ted Armstrong - and I’ll remind you again, I respect what Herbert Armstrong tried to do. He wasn’t perfect, his theology wasn’t perfect, but he was trying! And he was doing something! And he put his heart, and soul, and guts into it! And he lived his whole life doing it! You have to respect that – I’m sure that God the Father and Jesus Christ respect it and he will be rewarded accordingly. Mr. Ted Armstrong, I respected the work that he did! Dedicated to trying to do the Work of God!  Did he have his own issues in his life!? Probably, because we all do. Was his theology perfect? No, but he was doing the best he could, and doing it at a very high level of expertise. And I respect what Mr. Ted Armstrong did.
But to this next two generations, all they do is regurgitate over and over old material, and wait for money to come into them. They and every one of their immediate family members is getting their livelihood from the tithes and offerings of people – who think their great people! They don’t have a clue who they are. Unfortunately I have had to witness a whole lot of things that – well, someday I’m going to document them. Sometime I’m just gonna put them down and just tell the whole story to all of you. So that at least you can’t say, “I never knew that!” “Why didn’t somebody tell me, if I had known that I would have made different decisions.” Well, as I said earlier, that’s coming.
And I’ve often thought, why did he react so violently to that song!? And it’s sort-of like the phenomenon often mentioned in the Bible – that light and darkness are at odds with each other. And people who are living in darkness don’t want to see the light. And people who are living in the light don’t want to be in the darkness. There’s a natural conflict. It’s also sort-of like oil and water. Oil and water simply do not mix. No matter how hard you try, they just don’t mix. It’s also like the concept that goodness simply cannot exist in the presence of evil. And evil cannot stand to be in the presence of goodness. There’s a verse which I have referred to recently – Amos chapter 3, verse 3 – “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” – that’s a good question! Profound question! I’ll tell ya what, in that little Italian restaurant, when I saw this man make an absolute blithering idiot of himself, I knew the days of me being associated with this man are limited. And like I say, when Mr. Ted Armstrong was in charge, alive, and doing what he was doing, I was proud to say that I was a part of that group. But after his death and things slowly degenerated, into nothingness - you ever eat cotton candy!? As a child!? Raise your hands. When you go to a fair, a carnival, somebody would try and sell you cotton candy!? As Alice said, “It just melts away!” You just take a bite, and it’s just gone! It’s all air! It’s all fluff, it’s all show. No substance, other than just a little residual sweetness. There’s no nutrition. And that’s what that organization has become.

So many people have communicated to me, “The messages which come out of Tyler, are like baby food!” There is no substance to them! It does not feed, there’s no nutrition. And this one person exclaimed to me over the phone, “Mike, we are starving out here! Please send us some food!” And this is why we have stuck so closely to that phrase, “’Feed My sheep!’” We’re not wanting to feed cotton candy, but we’re wanting to feed good nutritious wholesome – stick to your spiritual ribs - type of food! …
But even before then, before the death of Mr. Ted Armstrong, I have always known, I have always sensed – and I believe God placed it within my thought processes – that I would not forever be with that organization. And as I saw the way things were trending, and as I saw this man – “the light man” – and now his son, being groomed to be the new leader, as I saw the way they lived their lives and attitudes, and their hostile opinions of so many people. You think I’m kidding folks!? I’m talking about some of the most racist phrases and words I have ever heard come out of those mouths! And there are probably people who say of those racist’s – “O’ no, they’re my friends!” No, they’re just using you! If you knew what they really thought, you’d have a whole different outlook on this. … But after that day in that restaurant, when “the light man” blurted out viciously against that song, “I Then Shall Live” I knew, well, we’re getting closer. And it probably should have happened that day.
Now, with the idea, “two cannot walk together, unless they be agreed,” turn to 2nd Corinthians chapter 6, verse 14 – and here’s what the apostle Paul had to say – “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15) And what accord has Christ with [Satan]? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16) And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. …” – if God’s Spirit resides with you! “As God said: ‘I will dwell in them …’” – that’s what His Spirit does. “’And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.’ 17) Therefore ‘Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.’ 18) ‘I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.’” – those are very powerful words! Those are words which everyone should think about. Now just because someone puts on a show of being religious doesn’t mean that they are.
Just because a person has a last name, doesn’t mean they’re carrying on the traditions of their forefathers. And just because the next in line, there is no assurance that he will get back to the ‘faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.’ These are thing’s that all of you need to think about. … I do believe that the upper echelon’s of that group there is the heart of hatred – hatred, I don’t know how one rationalizes hatred with godly love!? I don’t know how the two fit together!
This morning Trevor brought a piece of information to us, or he heard it from his wife, which once again demonstrated just how rotten the leaders of that organization can be, how hateful – hateful! If you would turn back to Galatians. Remember two weeks ago we were talking about, ‘grieve not the Holy Spirit of God’? And we talked about, ‘we shall know them by their fruits.’ Galatians chapter 5 – we’ve talked about these concepts before. Well, I don’t know how I can communicate to you the importance of realizing that you are responsible for your salvation! Paul says, ‘Work out your salvation with fear and trembling!’ If you rely on another human being, you put yourself in jeopardy of being misled by that other human being or that other group of human beings. And you might say, “Well, I’ve always been a part of that group. Why I was born into that group!” Which, no you weren’t. You were just a baby, you may have heard the name, quite a bit growing up. But if indeed, you had been baptized into the name of Jesus Christ you belong to Jesus Christ and only Jesus Christ! And the people meeting here in this room, I don’t own you, and I think every one of you knows that.  And, I very seldom even begin to tell you what I think you should or should not do. Raise your hands if you recall me ever saying, “Okay, you’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do that!” I don’t do it. Because I have enough worrying about me, to start giving out orders. And for someone to actually put himself on a pedestal believing that he has the right and the duty to start ordering – “You do this, you do that!” – I’ve got to think that around the throne of Jesus Christ the question is asked, ‘Who does he think he is!?’ The word minister means servant. It does not mean lord, master, potentate! However, when your cats show more of the Spirit of God – and I know that they don’t have the Spirit of God; but they live their life more closely aligned with the Word of God than so-called ministers – you’ve got a problem! And, you belong to Jesus Christ and HE is your High Priest!

Now, I’ve been saying this all year, now. We live under the Priesthood of Jesus Christ, the Old Covenant is gone, done away, no longer has any binding force over us. And that means we do not have human high priests. The only thing that exists now in the Church – the Body of Christ – are ministers whose name means servants. Not bullies. Not dictators. Servants. And yet, so many of the ministers that I know of act as though they’re bullies. And when you have access to the truth – let’s say it comes to you while reading this – maybe what is being said here is absolutely perfectly correct, and if you take this message, and literally - in a show of childish anger - in a preadolescent stunt, you wad it up and toss it into the trash, in this act of protest. You, dear Sir, are making a travesty of yourself, and of your so-called position and title. And your so-called leadership in the eyes of Jesus Christ. And what if, dear friend, the message which is contained here was the very message which you needed to hear. And that maybe Jesus Christ had sent it to you for a reason!? Because He knew that you needed to hear this message!? And you take it and you wad it up and toss it out! You will never ever be able to say to Jesus Christ on Judgment Day, “You never told me!” “I never knew!” He might well look back at you and go, “Well I tried! And you tossed it away!” Well, my friends, if that is your leader, you need to find a new leader. Because you need a leader you can follow, and if you follow that example, you may well follow yourself straight into the lake of fire. I can’t say that anymore dramatically than the way I just said it.
So these are issues worth thinking about. But here, chapter 5. Verse 18 – “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” – which means you are not under the Old Covenant, you’re not a part of the law of Moses. Remind you – the sermon, which seemingly got me in so-much hot water with this outfit, which is a sermon entitled “Look To Jesus, Not Moses.” Look to Jesus, not an area coordinator! Look to Jesus, not an executive officer, or whatever title “Mr. light” calls himself. Because he won’t even allow himself to be called “minister.” Probably that’s one of the more honest things he’s ever done!? LOOK TO JESUS! Well, here Verse 19 – “Now the works of the flesh are evident …” - their obvious, they’re plain to see! It’s not a mystery. It’s not hard to figure out who is living the life patterned after Jesus Christ and who is living a life which is inspired by Satan the devil! It’s not a difficult thing to figure out! “…which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20) idolatry, …” – and once again, I probably said this before, but can you make an idol out of a man’s name!?
Do you understand that in the days of Jesus Christ and Paul, they were dealing with a religious society – the Jewish people of that day – that had idolized Moses! Now, was Moses a bad guy!? No. He was one of God’s servants, did great things. Was he perfect!? No. Do you know that Moses was guilty of murder!? He had to run for his life. That’s why he ended up in the Outback for forty-years. He tried to do the best he could, with a few little screw-ups here or there. But he was flesh and blood. He was a servant. But the religious people in that day and age came to worship Moses! “Everything that Moses said we have done!” And yet, they needed to take their eyes off Moses and put them on JESUS CHRIST who lived among them! And He was destroyed, He was murdered! He was betrayed! Because He stood for God, and not Moses. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it this way!? But it’s needful that you think about it! Idolatry, yes you can make an idol out of a last name. And I think I know people who are doing it. I wish they weren’t. I’m not angry with them. I’m just pitifully sorry for them. Some of these people I actually at one time thought were my friends. Dear friends. And yet I realize that they know nothing of the Bible. In terms of actually applying it in the way they live and in the way they think. “…sorcery, hatred, …”  - I know some people that claim to be leaders in that organization which are simply filled with hatred. It is not a godly trait! It is not of God, it is of Satan! “…contentions, jealousies, …” – now, I’ve said this before, within that organization and other organizations which claim to be of God, all of my life, since I was nineteen-years old, I’ve seen people kicking and screaming and batting each other down trying to get ahead of one another – all because of jealousy. And I’ve lived to see it in my own life where people have tried to step up and over me, just to fulfill their lust for power. Their lust for a name. Their lust for a title. Would you throw away your eternal life because you want a title in the here-and-the-now!!? In a here-and-the-now which may not last more than five or ten years!!? Are you REALLY going to throw away your eternal life!!? Because you want some little title next to your name? The title next to your name should be – a servant of Jesus Christ.
“…wrath …” – in fact, with some of these people, that’s all I’ve heard from them! “…wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21) envy, …” – envying, after envying, after envying – “O’ I wish I had that position,” or “O’ I wish I had that title,” or “O’ I wish I was up there!” or “I wish I was a festival coordinator!” “Because, somehow, that will make my name go up in lights on Broadway!”
And I remember the term, ‘Lord, don’t You remember who we are!? We did all these great things in Your Name. We baptized people, we did this, we did that!’ And He says to them, ‘I never knew you!’ ‘Depart! Take them away!’ The implication is – to the lake of fire. You need to be careful!
“…murders, …” – if you hate in your heart, Jesus Christ said, ‘You’ve already committed murder.’ And I think I know a bunch of people who are guilty of murder right now. “…drunkenness, …” – that’s one not too many people want to talk about too much. But I know some people – well, I’ll put it this way, if getting three DUIs is a symbolic measuring that you are under the influence of drunkenness – I know some people who are. “…revelries, and the like; …” – and as it says at the end of Verse 21 – “…those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
Don’t fool yourself! ‘God is not mocked,’ Paul said, just over in chapter 6, verse 7 – “Do not be deceived [DON’T FOOL YOURSELF!], God is not mocked [never has been, never will be!]; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” – ‘for whatever a woman sows, that she will also reap.’ Verse 8 – “For he who sows to his flesh [and to the vanity of his mind] will of the flesh reap corruption [death], but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9) And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” – folks, don’t fool yourself! If you play these games, the Bible says, you are candidates for the lake of fire. Is a few moments of so-called glory in the here-and-the-now worth eternal death!? I cannot see how it could be! Jesus Christ said, ‘What does it benefit a man that gains the whole world, and yet loses eternal life!?’ What does it mean if a man gains just a little bit of title, he thinks – in a relatively small group – and lose your eternal life over it!? O’ please my friends, don’t go down that road. I beg of you.
Verse 22; chapter 5 - But the fruit of [God’s] Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. …” -  I contend that when you’re in a restaurant, and you shout out at the top of your lungs your hatred and disrespect for a beautiful song, that you have no self-control. I contend if you will sit in a restaurant and say racist comments about people who are in the restaurant, to the point where if they were listening very well, they could have easily heard.
I contend when you exhibit a degree of homophobia so bizarre that everyone within 20 feet of where we were sitting is embarrassed - including Don and me – I contend you do not have self-control.
I contend that such a man is filled with emotional psychological spiritual problems. He has paranoia, has phobias, he is not mentally stable. And, I contend that when you come to church and all you hear is forty-five minutes of politics, you’re not serving the will of God. You are NOT doing the will of God, you are NOT doing the work of God! You’re simply using your little position as a platform to “huff and puff and attempt to blow the house down!” And in church it is W R O N G!
Verse 25 – “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Now, to be honest, this was not the sermon I planned to give today. But maybe it’s a sermon that was supposed to be heard today!? And, next week, God willing, weather permitting, we will get to the next part in “The Power of Thanksgiving p2”. Which is the only means by which you can avoid some of these spiritual flaws, these diseases which eat away at a person’s spirit – literally quenching God’s Spirit out of you! If you have a sense of thanksgiving – and I will say publicly for all to hear – I am so very thankful for the people who are in this room today, and people who are in other locations around the world via the Internet. I am so very thankful for the people who have sent in warm and supporting words. Encouraging words. Very, very thankful. But most of all I am thankful to Jesus Christ, that He allows us now to meet, free to say everything that He wants us to say. Without any editing, without any constriction, without any blocking out or removing words. Let the people HEAR THE WORDS FROM THE BIBLE! Let the people HEAR THE THEME WHICH IS SPOKEN OF IN THE BIBLE!
And I ask and pray that all of you remain close to God the Father and Jesus Christ through prayer, through Bible study, through meditation. And through listening to messages which talk about the Word of God. And, I beg all of you, please examine yourselves – are you worshiping a man or are you worshiping Jesus Christ!? Your eternal life – your eternal fate – hangs in the balance of that decision.

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