Tuesday, April 30, 2019

What Must I Do?

by Michael C. Garrett

the first great and second commandments

We read in the “gospel” accounts on multiple occasions that Jesus Christ had the ability to perceive the thoughts of people that were around Him. It’s possible that His keen sense of observation and powerful understanding of human nature contributed to His discernment abilities. Maybe a persons body language, the way they stand, or how they hold their head, or the look in the eyes, or the muscles around the eyes. Maybe the sound of their voice, or their choice of words. And He obviously possessed the ability to perceive their thoughts and attitudes, because God’s Holy Spirit flowed through every fiber and vein of His heart, mind, and soul. And He was literally the human embodiment, manifestation of the great Almighty Creator God! So if anyone can understand what makes a human tick, it would be Jesus Christ – He’s the One that created us. One gets the sense that the group of individuals which Jesus Christ most often used His powers of perception, were the members of what I like to call – the temple elite. The Pharisees, the Sadducees and the student’s of the law, and they are often called, “the lawyers.” It seems to me that Jesus Christ took a certain bit of pleasure in counter-acting their attempts to test Him and to entangle Him in His Words. At the conclusion of these various events the temple elite would always slink away with their intellectual tails dragging and tucked between their legs. They were simply no match for the Master.

If you would, turn to Matthew 22 – and there are three different accounts here. I’ll try and go through them really quickly. Starting with verse 15 – “Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk.” And they went to Him and they had some false compliments, saying, ‘We know that You’re a man from God, You regard the person of men,’ in verse 16. And then in verse 17 they start setting up their little attempted trap.

“’Tell us, therefore, what do You think? It is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?’” – again, the question is if Jesus says ‘no,’ then they will go running to the Roman authorities and says, ‘Look what this scoundrel is doing! Arrest Him, kill Him!’ Verse 18 – “But Jesus perceived their wickedness,” and He very adeptly came up with this statement, verse 19 – “’Show Me the tax money.’ So they brought Him a denarius. 20) And He said to them, ‘Whose image and inscription is this?’ 21) They said to Him, ‘Caesar’s.’ [either Augustus or Tiberius]. …” And then He just very calmly said, “…’Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’” And then we read, verse 22 – “When they heard these words, they marveled, …” – they were probably confused, and “…left Him and went their way.” They knew, “O’ no, we better not go here.”

Well, there’s another account, very next verse, verse 23 – “The same day the Sadducees, …” – so I guess it was their turn. And they like to say that there is no resurrection. And that was the main difference between the Pharisees and Sadducees. So they came up with their little attempted trick, saying, verse 24 – “’[Master], Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.” – and that was from the writings of Moses, back in the Book of Deuteronomy. Verse 25 – “Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26) Likewise the second also, the third, even to the seventh. 27) Last of all the woman died also.’” So, here’s the question they say, verse 28 – “’Therefore in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had [been married to her].’” And so, they’re trying to trick Him up, and Jesus, very adeptly, verse 29 – “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.’” – which must have been a bit of a smack in the face to those self-righteous guys! Verse 30 – “’For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in Heaven. 31) But concerning the resurrection of the dead, …’” – again, which they did not believe in, “…’have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32) ‘I AM the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.’ 33) And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.” – they were overwhelmed by His doctrine. And I’m sure they disappeared into the shadows. Verse 34 – “But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, …” – they went, ‘Alright! We’re gonna have another go at Him!’ “…they gathered together. 35) Then one of them, a lawyer [a student of the law], asked Him a question, testing Him, …” – trying to catch Him in a mistake. Verse 36 – “’[Master], which is the great commandment in the law?’” And I’m sure they were prepared to - if He said one thing, to argue the other. But once again He out-foxed them. Verse 37 – “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38) This is the first and great commandment. 39) And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40) On these two commandments [on these two principles] hang all the Law and the Prophets.’” – so once again, a few more verses go by and verse 46 – “And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.” They knew that every time they got into these little debates that He always managed to get on top and to make them look rather foolish.

Now Jesus did not engage in these discussion’s just for the purpose of ‘shutting the mouths,’ as Paul said, of those self-righteous hypocrites. He also used these moments to teach powerful religious truths. Back in Matthew 19 we read about a young man – and I don’t think that this man was trying to be deceivious. He came up to Jesus and he said, verse 16 – “…’Good [Master], what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’” And Jesus responded very simply, verse 17 – “…’if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.’” Well in Matthew 22, Jesus identified those two divine principles or commandments in response to the question, ‘Master, what’s the great commandment?’ And He talked about loving God with all your heart, mind, and soul. And loving your fellow human being, just as you would yourself. And He dramatically stated, ‘On these two commandments hang all of the Law and the Prophets.’ And just for the official record, please be aware that He didn’t say anything about keeping customs, or traditions, or getting off into little side issues. He was focused on the big issue. I remember Mr. Herbert Armstrong, I think the wisest thing I ever heard him say is, ‘Stick to the trunk of the tree.’ That’s what Mr. HWA would tell you! That’s what he told us.

Well, this discussion about loving God and loving your neighbor begs the question – how do you love God!? And, how do you love your neighbor!? What do you do, how do you do it!?

the first four commandments

Well biblically speaking a good place to start – good old fashion religion here – the ten commandments. And you can read about those in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. We have often discussed within the Church for decades that the first four commandments help define how we love and show honor and respect unto God.

1) You shall have no other gods before the true God.

2) You shall not make any graven image, or you shall not bow down yourself or serve these false gods.

Now, those are sort of rather related, it’s simply put – You will not follow and serve false teachers, false ministers, which promote the false gods and false religions. The first two commandments clearly state that there should be NOTHING in our lives which is more important to us than loving, obeying, and serving Almighty God, and that includes parents, mates, children, brother’s, sister’s, family, friends, nation, home, job, career, political party or affiliation – NOTHING – GOD IS TO BE NUMBER ONE!

3) You shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

Now, at its most basic level it’s pretty easy to understand. You will not disrespectfully use the name of God in your speech. In a profane and demeaning way. And unfortunately in our society today you can’t go anywhere. You can’t watch television, movies, you can’t go out and walk, can’t go to a ballgame, without hearing people over and over defaming and profaning the name of God. And, for some reason, God says don’t do it, so they get pumped up and wanna do it! And it adds absolutely nothing to their conversation. It doesn’t give you any insight into what they’re trying to tell you. They just blurt it out! Well, at a deeper level, this commandment I think also means – when it says, ‘you shall not take …’ The word “take” there, if you go back and study some of the Hebrew, you’ll find out that it means to wear something as an identifying sign. Like a badge. So, what God is also saying – ‘You will not go around declaring yourself to be of God and to be of Christ, when in truth you’re not.’ And we have a whole lot of people in this world that love to go around claiming that they’re Christian. That their religion is Christian. When in fact what they teach does not agree with the Word of God. They’re falsely claiming to be followers of God. And God finds that very upsetting! Because it causes a whole lot of problems with people, that get confused.

4) Well, number four is why we’re here today. ‘Remember the Sabbath day [and that means the seventh day; not the first day].’ And by extension it means obeying and keeping the annual Sabbath’s or annual Holy Days.

And, we are well versed in that. And early on in our church experience we found out about this, and we had to decide. Now, some of you might have had the fortune to grow up in a family where those decision’s had already been made by parent’s or grandparent’s, and that’s wonderful. I wish more of us could have gone down that route. But as we grow up we have to decide, “Am I going to follow the traditions of my fellow human beings. Am I going to be in the same church that mom and dad were, grandma and grandpa? Or am I going to honestly look at the Word of God, and decide that I am going to do what God says I should do!?” I’m not going to listen to my religious mentor – whatever title he goes by. I’m going to go straight to the Word of God and have Him teach me His truth. And there’s simply no denying it! You know, the word Sunday never appears in the Bible. And yet, the word Sabbath or the seventh day occurs I think about 180 times! Don’t quote me on that, but it’s a huge number. There’s no doubt what the Bible says. And the Bible says nothing has changed. And yet, human beings have come up with the idea, “Well, yeah, we know better than God!” Well, respectfully, no you don’t!

the last six commandments

Well, the next six commandments begin to delineate and outline our duties and responsibilities to our fellow human beings.

5) ‘Honor thy father and thy mother.’ And it goes on to add that your days may be long upon the earth. There’s a promise added with the idea of honoring your father and mother. God says that you will also help ensure that you will have a long and productive life. We’re told that that’s the first commandment which carries a specific promise. And by extension, is a reminder that we are to honor our Heavenly Father, and our spiritual Mother – which Paul described as the Church. And I must say that when you go about stirring up problems and issues, and rumors, and stories about people, you are not honoring the Church. And there by you are not honoring what God wants you to do. And that’s just something I wish people would take a little more seriously. Individuals are not appointed to be problem makers in their congregations. We’re supposed to come together, not split each other apart. And unfortunately, the Church of God has had a long history of people wanting to split people apart, and pit people against people, and ideas against ideas. It’s not healthy, it’s not of God. And it always ends up in a lot of issues which is not good.

6) ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Or, as you get the whole proper translation, ‘Thou shall do no murder.’ And I cannot read or think of this verse without grieving. I’ve mentioned this before, but I just think this is a major issue when God looks down upon this country, and its society. I, and many of us, grieve for the 60,069,971,000 children aborted since Roe Vs. Wade in 1973! They were MURDERED! Now, that was 46 years ago! Consider the number of children that never had the opportunity to exist because their potential parents never had a chance to be born, grow up, and have children, and families of their own! We are possibly looking at the number 100 MILLION Americans who are missing from our ranks, because they were never allowed to be born and their children were never allowed to be born. A hundred million people! The pro-choice movement – as they like to call themselves – is badly mislabeled in my opinion. If people who are for life are called pro-life, then I think people who are for abortion should be labeled pro-death. Let’s just be honest here. That’s what their for – they want to see babies murdered. And I know that’s not a nice way to put it, and it’s not really politically correct, not flowery. But it’s the truth! They’re wanting to kill people who are simply and totally and completely innocent.

Our nation is facing a major financial crisis with a national debt of well over 22 TRILLION! And being able to fund services like Social Security and Medicare - and a lot of people rely upon those – the problem is rather simple to understand. We have too many people of the baby boom generation who are retiring, and we simply do not have enough younger people who are working and contributing to the system. 1 So a whole lot of money is going out, not enough money is coming in. Just consider the vast number of younger workers who were simply never allowed the opportunity to exist and to contribute to our system because they were murdered at the altar of convenience and selfishness. And consider how much robust our tax revenues and our economy would be if those millions upon millions of a lost generation had been given the opportunity to live. 2 The face of this nation would be totally different. And many of the problems we’re facing might not even exist. But man chose his way, and soon we will reap what they wanted. And, here’s another question. How many of those potential lives might have been individuals whom God would have called and chosen to be members of His Church at this present time!? That’s another issue that probably weighs on the mind of God. And I think it’s something we ought to think about. Matthew 18 tells a story about Jesus saying, ‘suffer the little children to come unto Me.’ And we could read the whole thing, but I’ll just get to the crux. We are not to harm a little one. Jesus Christ said, ‘It is better that a millstone be hung about your neck, that you harm one of these little ones.’ Now, He may have been speaking about new Church members, but I think by extension, you’d have to say that Jesus Christ simply detest the idea that little children are murdered. We have major political leaders in this country who have supported legislation that would allow doctors the right to murder a baby which had unexpectedly survived an attempted abortion. And I just think – anyone who would vote for that, or even consider that, how wicked, calloused, and vicious that human heart must really be. Still in the wake of the horrible tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, back in 2012, this very same political leader began a campaign to reduce gun violence through measures to reduce and or restrict gun ownership. And in one highly publicized event, this leader impassionedly pleaded that if his proposed restrictions would save just one child, it would all be worth it. This is the same man that stated that if a baby survives an abortion, go ahead and kill it! What a hypocrite! 3 What a slimy contemptable, damnable, hypocrite! Now, no matter how I attempt to stretch, contort, or flex my mind, I just simply cannot envision God Almighty, and Jesus Christ being pleased with our nations acceptance, and making it right for the cruel sacrifice of God’s potential children. 4 Their pent-up anger (Jesus Christ and God Almighty) and Their disgust will soon be poured out upon our nation and upon our world! And no matter how much I engage in mental gymnastics in attempting to understand, I simply cannot comprehend how anyone who claims to be a member of the Body of Christ can be an advocate, proponent, and or supporter of this so-called right to murder these totally and completely innocent and helpless babies! I cannot fathom it! And if there are any individuals out there reading this who support abortions, may I please beg you – please step back for a moment – and calmly and soberly contemplate the divinely inspired words of the Apostle Paul. And this is something everyone of us needs to think about on a regular basis. This is real what I’m about to read. Romans 14:10 – “…For we shall all [all of us one day] stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” Verse 12 – So then each of us shall give account of himself [or herself] to God.” Someday we’re going to have to stand before Jesus Christ and somehow try and justify what we said, what we did, and what we believed. Now, that’s an awesome moment! And I don’t think you want to be there with somehow being in favor of murdering innocent children. 2 Corinthians 5:10 – “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body [or throughout his/her life], according to what he [or she] has done, whether good or bad [evil].” And, in Galatians 6 – one of my favorite verses. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8) For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap [DEATH], but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap EVERLASTING LIFE.” Those are powerful words! And remember and consider the Words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 12, “…‘every idle word [act or thought] …’ verse 36 and 37, “…’men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37) For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.’” Please stop and consider some of the issues I’ve brought up! Not for my sake, for your sake.

7) ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.’ And, in its basic form the explanation of this commandment is rather straightforward and easy to understand. It speaks for itself. But why did God include this in His big ten!? Why this issue!? Well if a man or a woman pledge their devotion and their fidelity to their mate and then they break that pledge, that promise, that commitment, can God Almighty and Jesus Christ have any confidence that the same person who has pledged their devotion and fidelity to Them has any validity!? If you cannot be loyal to your mate whom you have seen, how can you be loyal to God whom you have not seen!? To paraphrase an idea. Another reason adultery is so troubling, and is a serious and destructive issue that it is, because it has the potential of creating in many people – men, women, children, family, friends, co-workers; the problem isn’t just two people, it emanates out like a rock being thrown into a pond, it overcomes many different people. The mental, emotional, spiritual damage it can cause. Especially to the offended mate. The trouble that it can cause, the guilt, the anxiety, for children. You’ve got to feel badly for the children. Family members, friends, relationships of all types. Often it can lead to divorce, serious financial issues and problems. And there’s the very real possibility of the innocent party ending up with sexually transmitted diseases. You hear about it all the time. In the end it’s all of the pain, the suffering, the anguish – is it worth the fleeting moments of the forbidden pleasure!? In the overall scheme it just isn’t!

And by extension, this seventh commandment, also includes the issue of fornication – Paul talks about that quite a bit – and other divinely prohibited sexual practices. And I’m not even going to go into that here. In addition, this prohibition against physical adultery also includes a prohibition against spiritual adultery. And that is simply the act and the practice of following and pursuing other false gods, false teachers, false religions. And so it actually gets back to the first commandment – ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.’

8) ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ That’s rather simple, straightforward. You can’t take what isn’t yours! You don’t steal from your fellow human being and you don’t steal from God. Back in Owensboro there was a basketball referee who recently stole some checks from one of his friends. O’ my has that caused a führer! And its got all the official’s talking and carrying on. And this young man who is the official, he’s basically burned his officiating career. Because as the other officials say, “If you can’t trust your partner not to steal from you, how can you trust him in anything!?” Pretty good question.

9) ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.’ A passage which goes a real long way of explaining this commandment – and again, just the Word’s of God, ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.’ Back in Deuteronomy 19:15 – “’One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established. 16) IF a false witnesses rises against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing [obviously falsely accusing somebody, lying against somebody], 17) then both men in the controversy shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges … 18) And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother, 19) then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; …’” – and this way you shall put this evil out from among you. So, if I was to stand up and say I saw Stan Roberts murder someone. Which is obviously ridiculous. 5 But if I did, and the judge was to believe me, when they all sort it out – according to the Word of God – I’m the one to receive the death sentence not Stan. And the same thing with any issue. It’s supposed to come back on the person who was the false witness. ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against that neighbor.’ And that’s the essence of what this commandment is saying. We can go back to many places in the Old Testament – Deuteronomy 13; Jeremiah 23 – and we also find out that bearing false witness about the truth of God was in the Old Testament an offense by which you were worthy of death. So therefore a false prophet is one who is bearing false witness against your neighbor. Because if you come up with a line of garbage that confuses your fellow human being and they end up worshiping a false god and a false religion, you are putting that person in extreme jeopardy! And by right the false prophet, the false teacher, should face the same penalty. Which is death. Now again, this is Old Testament institution of justice. So, this is a pretty serious issue.

10) ‘Thou shalt not covet.’ The eventual offspring of covetousness or lust is sin. And death is the offspring of sin. James 1 says, ‘each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires, and enticed. 15) Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; …” – sin doesn’t start out as sin. Sin starts as a thought, as an emotion, as a desire. And at that point we have the opportunity to say, “Get out of here!” Or, we have the opportunity to entertain it. And once we entertain it, we go down into the area of sin, and as James said, “and sin, when it is full-grown [finished], brings forth death.”

The Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:5 called covetousness a form of idolatry. He said the same thing in Ephesians 5. He called covetous man, who is also an idolater. And so when you covet, you’re getting right back to the first commandment. Because you’re an idol worshiper. You have false gods before God. So we keep coming back to that first commandment. ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.’ Well, in clearly identifying covetousness as idolatry, Paul merges the essence of the tenth commandment into the essence of the meaning of the first commandment. And as it were we have almost a complete circle. And this complete circle is what Jesus Christ identified – the first and great commandment, ‘as you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul.’ And we alluded to this principle earlier. But in James 2:17, 20, 26 gives the main punch line. ‘Faith without works is dead.,’ so said James. And if faith without works is dead, then love without works, I think, by extension, by logic, is also dead. To just to say, “Oh God I love You, I love You!” Or, to say to your fellow human being, “Oh I love you! I love you!” and yet there’s nothing backing it up, it’s worthless. It’s just hot air.

We can demonstrate our love for Jesus Christ by manifesting concern, caring, love, respect, kindness, for our fellow human beings – especially members of the Body of Christ. Notice what Jesus had to say in Matthew 25 – I could read the whole passage, but I’ll just get to the punch line. This is the major teaching point. Verse 40 – “…’Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it [a good thing] to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” I’ll say it again, ‘Inasmuch as you have done one of these kind acts, unto one of the least important people in the Church, you’ve done it unto Me.’ So, we’re right back to the second of those two great commandments. ‘You will love your neighbor as yourself.’ How do you show love for God!? Love your fellow human being - your neighbors as yourself. In short, do unto others as you would have them to do unto you. The golden rule. I had a ruler back in first grade, had it inscribed on back, did any of you have that little ruler!? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I’m sure that’s not even allowed to be in a public school anymore. Because that is really a radical idea. Kindness. Concern. But the golden rule is the KEY to being allowed to enter into the Kingdom of God and walking down the golden street’s of New Jerusalem for all eternity! Treat your fellow man with respect, honor, love, caring, kindness. And when you do that, you’re also showing respect, honor, and love, to your Heavenly Father and to your Savior Jesus Christ. Mr. Ted Armstrong often said, “Christianity is not a difficult thing.” Although other churches and religions try to make it very difficult. I mean for some churches and religions you’ve got to speak a foreign language. I don’t know a foreign language. I struggle with English. Some people have all these elaborate stuff that goes on. I’ve had a chance to go to a funeral one time when Mike’s dad died. And I’ll tell ya, I didn’t have a clue what was going on. I do remember thinking – I was at a cheerleading session. Because every time they would turn around they were standing up, and then they’d sit down. And then on que they’d all stand back up. And I leaned over to Mike’s daughter and said, “I feel like the old little jiggle I use to hear, ‘lean to the left, lean to the right, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight!’” And that’s what this little religious ceremony was. Just all ceremony. Well, it’s complicated – in their world. Mr. Ted said, “Religion in the eyes of God is so simple.” It’s the same thing Jesus Christ said, ‘Love God and love your fellow man.” That’s what it’s all about. What a simple idea – but it’s the KEY to eternal life.

1. Millennials are on the cusp of surpassing Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living adult generation, according to population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau. Millennials projected to overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation. Fact Tank – Pew Research Center. Fry, Richard. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 23 April 2019. More than one-in-three American labor force participants (35%) are Millennials, making them the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. Fact Tank – Pew Research Center, Fry, Richard. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
2. Let’s consider the economic impact of those missing 60 million babies who were aborted, namely tens of millions more people who would have entered the workforce and contributed enough to the U.S. economy … Opinion: Abortion Is Bad for the Economy. Townhall. Mattes, Bradley. 20 August 2018. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
3. Former President Barack Obama received a human rights award Wednesday despite his long record of fighting against human rights for the unborn. Barack Obama, The Abortion President, Receives Human Rights Award. LifeNews.com. Bilger, Micaiah. 13 December 2018. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
4. Today, a 58% majority of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, … Nearly six-in-ten Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Fact Tank – Pew Research Center. Hartig, Hannah. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
5. …[A]mong people who kill legally and those who kill criminally or promiscuously, the same brain regions are surely involved, … Here’s What Happens in the Brain When People Kill. Time. Kluger, Jeffrey. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
…We like to think that we’re safe with our loved ones … Why Ordinary People Murder Their Families. Newsweek. Kelley, Raina. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
A Virginia youth pastor has been arrested in the shooting deaths of his wife, stepdaughter and the stepdaughter’s boyfriend in their home on Thanksgiving Day, … Virginia youth pastor held in Thanksgiving slaying of family members. Fox News. Betz, Bradford. 25 November 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2019.“When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me." The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking. …” … Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, "What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?" And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him. From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.” – John 13:21-26; Matthew 27:3-10.

The Foundation Of Truth (Sermon)

The Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ is very pleased to announce our latest sermon on our YouTube channel:


Friends, the faith which you are clinging to may do you absolutely no good against Satan the devil and his imp's - unless it meets several specific conditions. Your faith MUST rest on a solid foundation - The Foundation Of Truth!

Here is a link to this sermon: The Foundation Of Truth

Additional items of related interest:

Through Faith, God Healed Bud!By what means and methods does an individual examine and evaluate the condition and the status of their spiritual health and the level of their spiritual maturity!? The most significant diagnostic tool that I can find in the Bible is from the Words of Jesus Christ ....
What's In A Name!?Jesus Christ plainly states to us in the Bible – multiple times – ‘you shall know them by their fruit.’ Paul relays to us that the fruit of God’s Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faith, meekness, and self-control. From my personal observations this third in line is seemingly highly deficient in these qualities. ….
The Treasure of Your HeartAnd it is obvious and readily apparent that Jesus Christ had many profoundly wise and insightful things to say. The following Words are some of the things which I have used over the years, and they’ve been so valuable to me ….

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Letter to our Friends - April 25, 2019

Dear Friends:

Greetings during the Days of Unleavened Bread for 2019, which run until sunset April 26th of this year.

We have back-to-back holy days (the Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread and the weekly Sabbath), and we extend to you an invitation to join us, if possible, here in Owensboro, Kentucky – you can contact Michael C. Garrett at garrett158@roadrunner.com for details.

Do you believe that we are truly living in the end-time, according to the living Words of Jesus Christ? Do you believe that this ministry teaches and preaches the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God? Do you believe that this ministry is used by Almighty God and Jesus Christ to strengthen your own walk with Christ? Do you believe that this ministry is dearly needed to reach the spiritual “lost sheep” of Israel and the potential sheep of Christ? If you answered Yes, then don’t wait. Become a member of the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ today! Now,  We don’t have a lot of expenses, but we do have some. And it would be helpful – if these Messages are important to you – if you help us out some financially.

We apologize if this Letter to our Friends is getting out a bit later than usual. We hope and pray that you have been imbibing Christ in you, and avoiding leavened bread during these days.

The Days of Unleavened Bread

There have been several outside the Church of God which have emphatically stated that the Days of Unleavened Bread were done away.

Let us consider something that Michael C. Garrett has stated:

Holy Days Done Away?

Now, most so-called Christian groups – the Catholic world, the Protestant world – they say that the Jewish holy days were “done away by Jesus Christ” or some form of verbiage like that. Well, if Jesus Christ had no respect for the holy days – including the Days of Unleavened Bread – then why can we turn to Matthew 26 and read what we read!? Now this is when Jesus Christ was still a human being – but remember we have back in the Book of Hebrews, chapter 13, ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.’ Jesus Christ has one Way of doing things. The Godly Way! And He doesn’t go flip-flopping around. He does it one Way! And here, when He was a human being – Matthew 26:17 – “Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, ‘Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?’” … Now, some of those so-called Christian people will say, “Well, yeah, well Jesus, He was just living at the time of the Jewish people, and their sway. But after He died, He gave a different order.” “He told them to stop keeping those feast day’s – those Jewish things were done away, the Sabbath was done away.” I mean, that’s what they say. Well, if that is true, then why can we turn to the Book of Acts and read what we read!? If Jesus Christ did away with all of this after His death and resurrection then why in Acts 12 (and I think the Book of Acts was written 30, 40 years after the life and death of Jesus Christ) we have the apostle Paul – the apostle Paul who got his teaching directly from Jesus Christ! Paul said, ‘I didn’t learn it from a man, I learned it directly from Jesus Christ!’ So, Paul is relaying to us, and to those people back then, exactly what he had been taught by Jesus Christ! – Acts 12:1 – “Now about that time Herod [Herod Agrippa] the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the Church. 2) Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.” – had him beheaded. Verse 3 – “And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. …” – in parenthesis, “Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.” Now, if Jesus had totally done away with all those “old Jewish days” and the Sabbath, why is Luke writing in the 12th chapter of Acts, why did he make a notation, “Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread”?

He said it because they were still keeping those days! Unleavened Bread was still alive and well and being practiced.

Early Christians knew that the Days of Unleavened Bread was not done away. The Apostle Paul endorsed the keeping of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (1 Corinthians 5:7). He and the other apostles observed it inside and outside Judea:

6) But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days. (Acts 20:6; NKJV).

Indeed, if Christians were not keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread, then the Spirit of God would not have inspired this to be recorded for us in this manner. Philippi was a Gentile city in Macedonia, ruled by the Roman Empire. So, the keeping of the Days of Unleavened Bread was not limited to Jerusalem. In at least two different places in the New Testament, we can see that the Days of Unleavened Bread were to be kept in Gentile locations (1 Corinthians 5:7; Acts 20:6).

Let us consider the statement, “it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread” in Acts 12:3. Since the author was the Apostle Luke, a Gentile, addressing the Book of Acts to another Gentile (Acts 1:1), why would he feel the need to even mention these days if they were unknown to the Gentiles of the first century?

Also, let me add that the highly questionable 3rd century Epistula Apostolorum claims that Jesus taught His followers to keep the Days of Unleavened Bread until He returns. While this is not true (cf. Exodus 12:14), it does indicate that some were keeping those days on into the 3rd century A.D.

Information outside the Bible reports that the Apostle Paul, John, and Philip, along with Polycarp of Smyrna, kept the Days of Unleavened Bread (Pionius. Life of Polycarp, Ch. II).

As I had stated in the previous letter: We in the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ do not accept that the Council of Laodicea or the Council of Nicaea, or any other council spoke for the true Christian Church - the Body of Christ - the Church of God, and we continue to keep the Days of Unleavened Bread. We eat some unleavened bread for each of the seven days as God has commanded (Exodus 12:15; 13:6; 23:15; 34:18). Now, this bread can be made from different grains and nuts - the use of wheat is not biblically required.

The SEVENTH Day of Unleavened Bread

The seventh day is the 21st of Nisan/Abib.

It was on this day that Almighty God had the Red Sea parted (Exodus 14:20-21). God called the children of Israel to cross dry-shod under a cloud of darkness (Exodus 14:20-22, 29), in which they were symbolically baptized (1 Corinthians 10:1-2). And, they had to endure fleeing their enemy which was behind them and the waters divided on both sides of them. During the daylight hours of the 21st, the Egyptian army pursued them relentlessly and was ultimately annihilated (Exodus 14:23-28).

A Christian’s sequence of events begins from the acceptance of Jesus Christ, the New Covenant, of the gift of repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38-39). Christians must endure unto the end (Matthew 10:22), and attain to the resurrection of life (John 5:29; Revelation 20:6) and called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).

The crossing of the Red Sea has a great lesson for Christians. At the sounding of the SEVENTH TRUMP – understand, when the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES BEGIN, THE RESURRECTION OF THE SAINTS HAS ALREADY OCCURRED! The Saints are protected! Because they’re not flesh and blood anymore. Their eternal spirit beings – members of the Family of GOD (cf. Revelation 15:2) – “…the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent [which is now cast down to the earth]” – (Revelation 12:14; see also Ezekiel 20:10). Keep in mind, the resurrection occurs on the SEVENTH TRUMP. The seven last plagues follow that. So, we will already be in “low earth orbit” in the clouds, being with Jesus Christ, in preparation for the time He, Jesus Christ, directly engages human kind. Thessalonians 2:1 – “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, …” - by our gathering, remember, we’ll be caught-up in the clouds and meet Jesus in the clouds!? Verse 2 – “…the day of Christ had come.” – that’s the Day of the Lord! Remember, all the major prophets talked about it! 75% of the “minor” prophets talked about it!

And, in duality, ONCE AGAIN God will send out His prophets, transport them by His heavenly “taxi-service,” and the two witnesses, I do believe, will have opportunities to speak to the children which are held in captivity. Now, the question is: Who are these people!? A lot of them are the people of Israel – most of which are physical members of the house of Israel. America, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa. The people where the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh settled. However, I do believe, that among some of those people will be groups of people who thought they were members of the Church of God (cf. Revelation 12:17), who thought they were doing what they were supposed to do. But did not understand that over the years their religion had been transformed into not a worship of God, but rather a worship of human beings. Verse 17 – “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring [Now, if you’re in a group of people or an organization whose leader is ashamed of the name Jesus Christ, where does it leave you!? You’re out in the cold!], who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Terrible things continue to grow worse all around them! They will need to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

And also, in duality, the New Testament announces a fulfillment of the utter annihilation of “pharaoh’s” army in the complete destruction of this world’s armies who will fight against the returning Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:19-21).

Indeed, the Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread helps picture the end of this world’s governmental systems and the establishment of the glorious Kingdom of God!

StatCounter Report

I recently sent Deacon Trevor the last 2 months of a report for our blog page https://owensborocojc.blogspot.com. Here are some additional information.

Most Popular Articles:

“Prophecy Series – End-Time Babylon” With no advertising this article has been viewed with regular posting 26 times in two months.

“Deliver Us From Evil – Part Two (Sermon)” With no advertising this article has been viewed with just regular posting 21 times in two months.

On our Internet Archive site the “Prophecy Series – End Time Babylon” has also been viewed 26 times since January 23rd.

So, with God’s divine help, we reach a lot of people beyond what Facebook or YouTube record.

World News Items

There has been a series of terrorist attacks, including by ‘suicide bombers’ striking the poor country with rich people nation of Sri Lanka Sunday morning. The terrorists appeared to target and murder as many as possible, striking several churches holding Easter Sunday services. Also, some high-end hotels were bombed. While Sri Lanka is predominately Buddhist, it has a significant amount of Hindus and Muslims. At first, the Sri Lankan government officials blamed “religious extremists” for the attacks without identifying them (See: Sri Lanka Blasts: Local Jihadists Blamed). However, later specified an Islamic group’s involvement (See: Sri Lanka bombings: Local Islamists to blame, government says). Friends, Sri Lanka, and the rest of this world, NEEDS the glorious Kingdom of God!

Germany is looking to acquire bombers that will be able to carry nuclear bombs (See: Germany wants nuclear bombers). Now, Minister Michael C. Garrett had this to say concerning Germany as well as a United States of Europe: “We have Iran’s refusal to cooperate with England, France, and Germany in this program to take care of these nuclear weapons! But now, I have heard commentator’s on television say that Europe now possesses Islamophobia! There is a deep fear within Europe, because they are much closer to them than they are to us. Literally, some places – on the border! I think it’s the threat of Islamic militarism, and a revitalized Roman Catholic Church and a pope of magnificent stature - These two factors will be the tipping point that causes Europe to say, “We must have strong leaders again! We must have a strong military again! We must protect our borders! We must protect ourselves! We must unite! Even though we have differences!” Remember the image in Daniel, ‘partly clay, partly iron’!? - doesn’t always get along. But in the threat of a common enemy, I believe, that Europe will coalesce together. It will be Islamic terrorism and it will be led by a revitalized Roman Catholic leader. And it’s going to set up that seventh revival.” Various ones in Europe are continuing to take steps that will lead to the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies.

In Asia: A major international conference related to China’s “Silk Road” project is scheduled to take place April 25 to 27, 2019 (See: Nearly 40 foreign heads of state to attend China's Belt and Road forum). The Chinese Belt Road and Road Initiative does not get very much attention in the United States, it, however, looks to have major prophetic implications by making “roads” (and some being maritime ports) that may indeed help gather together the world’s armies unto Armageddon (cf. Revelation 16:16). It could also very well provide Europeans better access to Asian and African markets.

We realize and understand that based upon biblical prophecies such as Daniel 11:39 as well as Habakkuk 2:6-8, the time is soon coming when the United States of America will no longer dominate the world. Other major players in the world, like the EU, Russia, and China are intent on eliminating the U.S. dollar’s dominance (See: Dollar Dominance Under Multiple, Converging Threats). Only a relative few in America see the writing on the wall, yet biblical prophecies show us that it will indeed occur, and this world continues moving in that direction.

Suggested Holy Day Service

Here is a suggested Holy Day service for this week for our scattered brethren and friends:

* 2-3 hymns.
* Opening prayer.
* Sermonette (if you choose). The one suggested for this week is: End-Time Babylon.
* Announcements (if any) and one hymn.
* Sermon: The one suggested for this week is: Christ In You (Unleavened Bread - Day 7) –
   2017. Additional sermons available at Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ.
* Final hymn.
* Closing prayer.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week for our scattered brethren and friends.

* 2-3 hymns.
* Opening prayer.
* Sermonette (if you choose). The one suggested for this week is: Mark of the Beast.
* Announcements (if any) and one hymn.
* Sermon: The one suggested for this week is: In Hope of Eternal Life – Part 1. Additional
   sermons are available at Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ.
* Final hymn.
* Closing prayer.


Concluding Comments

The prophet Micah wrote:

2) Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD [the Kingdom of God], To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion [New Jerusalem] the Law shall go forth, And the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem” – Micah 4:2; NKJV.

Minister Michael C. Garrett stated:

“I do not know what my Protestant and Catholic friends do with these verses! I can only imagine that they never read them, or if they do read them they take out a black magic marker and just mark them out. Because it’s the exact opposite of what their religious leaders are teaching them. And I don’t know why they just can’t look into the Word of God and say, “You know, they’ve been lying to me! My religious leaders have not told me the truth! And I’m just gonna reevaluate everything I ever thought I knew about God and the Bible, and the Plan of God.” Well, the reason they don’t do it, is because at this present time, they’re not being called. But, someday they will be. And then they will finally understand. Zephaniah chapter 3, verse 14 – “Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15) The LORD has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; You shall see disaster no more.” Verse 17 – “The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, …” God, living on the Earth! Isaiah chapter 2 – which is almost identical to what Micah wrote in Micah 4.”

Dear friends, as we complete the Days of Unleavened Bread and keep this coming Sabbath, let us go forth as our Lord Jesus Christ wants us to, as shining examples of those who strive to live according to the Law of God – the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God.


Christ In You (Unleavened Bread - Day 7) - 2017 "VIDEO"

by Michael C. Garrett

Hello friends, wherever you might be. You might be here in America, you might be in some other country or continent. Wherever you are we are so glad that you are joining us here. My name is Michael C. Garrett, and this is the weekly church service of the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ. And today’s sermon is going to be a continuation of trying to understand the meaning’s of the Days of Unleavened Bread. And we’re just going to call it – Christ In You part 7. Now, to be honest, most of the material which dealt with that concept of Jesus Christ dwelling in you through His Spirit we have covered in the first six parts of this series. But now today we’re gonna take just a little different path. But I just said for the sake of continuance, or continuity, we will just call it Christ In You part 7.

Mother's Day

An issue that I wanted to talk about, is Mother’s Day. Now, when we come upon these special occasions, I often like to go to the computer and try to find out the history of them. I urge all of you to find a good source albeit a hard back book, an older encyclopedia, or to go to your computer and your search engine and look up the history of thing’s like Christmas, or celebration’s like Easter, of celebration’s like Valentine’s Day, or Halloween. And you probably would be shocked - if you stick with the research, what you’re gonna find out! And all of these so-called holidays or “holy days” are extremely pagan in their origin. Well I thought – Mother’s Day, what’s the history of Mother’s Day!? And, first of all I want to make a comment. The commandment says – and we read through all the commandments through this week – and turn if you would back to Exodus 20. Now, Deuteronomy 5 contains the same basic information. Exodus 20:12 – “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” And the Apostle Paul was inspired to write that the commandment to honor thy father and thy mother was the one commandment that had a specific promise to it. And so in the commandment is a promise from God that if you honor your father and your mother as you should, that God will bless you for this good attitude that you have. And as I mentioned in the last sermon, the spiritual component – honor your Father, as in your Heavenly Father and your Heavenly Big Brother, and honor as it were the Church – our spiritual Mother – the Body of Christ. And so there again, a two-fold meaning.

And I think everyday should be Mother’s Day. Because I think everyday people should honor their mother’s and their grandmother’s. And I think everyday should be Father’s Day – not just once a year. But I think it should be for the entire year everyday – 365/24/7. Because literally if it weren’t for these two people in combination - you and I would never have existed. So we literally owe them our lives! In a secondary nature to God the Father and Jesus Christ, but we owe them an awful lot. Now, some parent’s are easier to honor. Some grandparent’s are easier to honor. And, sad to say, some parent’s are harder to honor. But to the best of your ability that should be your attitude.

Now, this is a Wikipedia article –

“Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of family as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mother’s in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world. Most commonly in the month’s of March or May. It compliments similar celebration’s honoring family members, such as Father’s Day, Siblings Day, and Grandparent’s Day.

In the United States celebration of Mother’s Day began in the early 20th century. It is not related to the many celebration’s of mother’s and motherhood that have occurred throughout the world over thousands of years.”

And, then it mentions some of these different festivals. And, in one of them is “the festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration (originally a commemoration of Mother Church, not motherhood).” I knew there had to be somewhere back there a connection with religion. And sure enough, in some respect, there was once upon a time a celebration which honored Mother Church. Not female ladies who are mother’s.

“However, in some countries, Mother's Day is still synonymous with these older traditions.”

So, in some parts of the world, Mother’s Day is directly related or linked – according to this article – to religious reasoning’s or thought’s or philosophy. And the article goes on to say –

“The modern holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, …”

So, Mother’s Day doesn’t go back to the 1800s or the 1700s. The first celebration was in 1908.

“when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia.”

And it goes on to say –

“St Andrew's Methodist Church now holds the International Mother's Day Shrine. Her campaign to make Mother's Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother's Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers because she believed a mother is ‘the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.’ In 1908, the U.S. Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother's Day an official holiday, joking that they would also have to proclaim a ‘Mother-in-law's Day.’ However, owing to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911 all U.S. states observed the holiday, with some of them officially recognizing Mother's Day as a local holiday (the first being West Virginia, Jarvis' home state, in 1910). In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother's Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.”

Now, this next part is interesting –

“Although Jarvis was successful in founding Mother's Day, she became resentful of the commercialization of the holiday. By the early 1920s, Hallmark Cards and other companies had started selling Mother's Day cards. Jarvis believed that the companies had misinterpreted and exploited the idea of Mother's Day, and that the emphasis of the holiday was on sentiment, not profit. As a result, she organized boycotts of Mother's Day, and threatened to issue lawsuits against the companies involved. Jarvis argued that people should appreciate and honor their mothers through handwritten letters expressing their love and gratitude, instead of buying gifts and pre-made cards. Jarvis protested at a candy makers' convention in Philadelphia in 1923, and at a meeting of American War Mothers in 1925. By this time, carnations had become associated with Mother's Day, and the selling of carnations by the American War Mothers to raise money angered Jarvis, who was arrested for disturbing the peace.”

So, isn’t that interesting!? And, there’s some other information – again, you can look this up online. Well, really quick –

“A Mother’s Day is celebrated in one form or another in forty-six countries throughout the world. On this day many people pray in churches in honor of mother’s while some gift them presents on this day to express their love. Some may have dinner at home with the family. One of the most popular ways to celebrate Mother’s Day is by giving their mother’s card and bouquet of flowers. As it is a holiday, some people prefer to go out for a picnic to celebrate the festival. In school’s kid’s dedicate poems to their mother’s and also perform various roles on this day. In most countries Mother’s Day is an observance derived from the holiday as it has evolved in the United States.”

So the United States was the trend setter – as it were – in the modern incarnation of Mother’s Day.

“As adopted by other countries and cultures, the holiday has different meaning’s, is associated with different events, (religious, historical, or legendary), and is celebrated on different dates. In some cases countries already had existing celebration’s honoring motherhood, and their celebration’s simply adopted several external characteristics from the U.S. holiday, such as giving carnation’s and other present’s to one another. The extent of the celebration’s varies greatly. In some countries it is potentially offensive to one’s mother not to mark Mother’s Day. In other’s it is a little known festival celebrated mainly by immigrants or covered by the media as a taste of foreign culture.”

And then it says –

Religion. “In the Roman Catholic Church, the holiday is strongly associated with revering the Virgin Mary. In some Catholic homes, families have a special shrine devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In many Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, a special prayer service is held in honor of the Theotokos Virgin Mary.”

And then it mentions Islam, Hindu, and Buddhism, and all these other different cultures. But, I just found that interesting. Again, when we come upon a holiday I like to go to my computer and just find some information to find out – why are we celebrating this day!?

Now, in my opinion, is Mother’s Day bad!? No. Is it a nice thing? Sure it is. But like I said earlier, shouldn’t everyday be Mother’s Day!? Shouldn’t everyday be Father’s Day – in one sense or another!? Just something to think about.

Fátima Portugal Children

And, speaking of the Catholic Church. And I’m not trying to make anybody upset here, I noted how earlier today on the news, I heard that in Portugal – I think the town is called Fátima – way back when in the early 1900s, three shepherd children claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary. Now, do I believe that!? No. Do I think they believed it!? Yeah, I guess they probably did. Well, today, the pope was in Fátima, and he officially recognized these three children from 1917 as being “saints.” Now, I have a problem with that also. Again, for those of you who are Roman Catholic, if you’re comfortable in those ideas, I guess you don’t need to listen to me. But if you’re curious – We’re told in the Book of Acts 13 that King David “a man after God’s own heart” at the time of the writing of the Book of Acts was in his grave, in his tomb. In fact he had well changed over into dust. Now if King David “a man after God’s own heart” is not in Heaven, then how is it the “Virgin Mary” is in Heaven!? Now, Mary was only a virgin when Jesus was conceived. The Catholic Church teaches – to the best of my knowledge – that Mary didn’t have any other children. And yet, the “gospel” accounts plainly declare that Jesus Christ had brother’s and sister’s. Jude is one of those brother’s. He wrote the Book of Jude. James, who wrote the Book of James is also one of Jesus’ brother’s. So there we have a problem between what the Catholic Church teaches and what the Bible plainly says. You know, Jesus Christ said, ‘No man has ascended unto Heaven.’ I believe if you were to be a little more inclusive, He could have said, ‘No man and no woman is in Heaven.’ He said that the only One that’s ever been there is the One who came from there, and that was Himself. And so if nobody’s in Heaven, how can the “Virgin Mary” be in Heaven!? It’s just something to think about. And this idea that these three children, many decades after their death are “saints” – that’s not the definition of sainthood. A saint – by many places in the Bible, particularly in the Book of Revelation – from the Bible definition is an individual (a man or a woman) in whom the Spirit of God resides, people’s whose names are written in the Book of Life, people who have truly experienced that phenomenon we’ve been talking about – Christ In You! Through His Spirit! Which is what the whole powerful meaning of the Days of Unleavened Bread happen to be! So again, I have a lot of problems – now if I thought the Catholic Church was correct in all of these thing’s, I guess I would become a Catholic. Well, I’m not a Catholic.

Catholic means globe-girdling

And, just as a side – Once upon a time an organization which had gone by the name the Radio Church of God, founded by Mr. HWA back on the West Coast, eventually changed its name to the Worldwide Church of God (WCG). And then, through the years, we have a Global Church of God. And then Mr. GTA started, after he was relieved of his duties, the Church of God International. And then after he and the leadership of that group got tangled up in a mess, he founded a group called the Intercontinental Church of God (ICG). So here we have Worldwide, Global, International, Intercontinental. And guess what all of those words mean!? It’s pretty obvious they mean globe-girdling. That’s what the word catholic means. When people say the word catholic, whether they realize it or not, they are saying – a global organization. Just like the word worldwide, global, international, and intercontinental. So, I’m waiting for some group – some descendent from the WCG – to stand up and proudly proclaim that they are the Catholic Church of God. I think that would be so unique. It’s so shocking that they’ll never do it. But, when you understand what the words mean, it’s perfectly logical.

And, we can talk more about these things in the future.


Now, we’ve been talking about the subject of Christ In You – the meaning of the Days of Unleavened Bread. And, in fact over the past six sermon’s we have been discussing the major meaning’s of the Passover and of the Days of Unleavened Bread. And to quickly review -

1) The major meaning of the Passover is that Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world, by His sacrifice – so the torture and death of Jesus Christ was the ultimate sacrifice. The One who created mankind, and in the end was the only One qualified to become a sacrifice for all mankind. And we can find that phrase in John 1:29.

2) The major meaning of the Days of Unleavened Bread is that for seven days we are to eat unleavened bread. And this unleavened bread represents the unleavened Bread of sincerity and truth. And you can find that in 1st Corinthians 5:8. And in John 6 – and a long passage – we see that Jesus Christ said that He was ‘the Bread of life.’ And that He was ‘the living Bread.’

3) Our pathway to eternal life is contingent upon Jesus Christ being in us. And that’s what Romans 8:6-13 talks about. Christ being in us through His Spirit. And having the mind of Christ residing within us. That is the KEY to having access to the gift of eternal life.

Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread festival season are also associated, in my mind, with other spiritual lesson’s and other spiritual teaching point’s. If you would – and again, you’re probably not going to hear these thing’s from other churches of God. Quite frankly, the only place you’re going to hear everything we’ve been talking about – most likely – is right here at the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ. And I know that that’s astounding, and a lot of people, they struggle with that concept. But it is what it is. We here – we are dedicated to teaching the T R U T H of God, and the W O R D of God, and understanding the P L A N of God! And, understanding the meanings of Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread is integral to understanding your future, your pathway to eternal life through the great gift from God the Father and Jesus Christ.

So, in 1st Corinthians 11 – we read this very passage the night of the Passover. Again, be sure to read that here, or if you want to watch the sermon, be sure to go to our YouTube Channel and watch it. Also, on our website, this sermon is under Holy Day Sermons – 2017. And for the past eight sermons we’ve been talking about the Spring Holy Days, and what they mean and what lesson’s we can learn from it. And in 1st Corinthians 11:20-34, this is the very passage we used this last Passover to keep and to understand the meaning of the Passover. Now, notice that’s in chapter 11. And the very next chapter – and I’d never quite seen this before, and it sort of jumped off the page to me this week when I was putting these notes down – the very next passage, or the very next thought that the Apostle Paul had was talking about spiritual gifts. So, a part of the meaning of the Days of Unleavened Bread and Passover is the concept that under certain conditions, certain people, can receive certain powerful spiritual gifts.

Powerful Spiritual Gifts

Now, let’s look at chapter 12, verse 1 – “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2) You know that you were Gentiles, …” – now again, he is speaking to a group of people in Corinth, which is in Greece. They were not Jewish people, although there may have been a few Jewish people among them. But the native stock here is Gentile. “You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.” ‘You were up to your eyeballs in all of that Greek mythology.’ The Greek pantheon of gods – this god and that god, temples and religious ceremonies. They were just filled with it. Verse 3 – “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, …” – that’s interesting. I guess you could mouth those words. I guess you could mouth those words, ‘Jesus is accursed.’ But what if you’re so ashamed of the name Jesus Christ, that you are virtually unable to say it!? Isn’t that almost in the same league as saying that the name Jesus is accursed!? If your so ashamed that you can’t even say it!? Aren’t you real close to be in that territory!? And some of you know what I’m talking about! But, continuing, “…and no one can say that Jesus is the Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” – from the words of the Apostle Paul – IF YOU CAN’T SAY THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE Χριστός (the CHRISTOS; the Anointed One, Messiah, the Christ) then maybe you don’t have God’s Spirit. Now, you can believe that, or you can dismiss it. But for those of you who knows of whom I speak, and yet you want to defend him, take the scales off of your eyes, unplug the wax that has filled your ears, melt the hardened surface of your heart and allow the Spirit of God to teach you! That if you’re ashamed of Jesus Christ you are NONE OF HIS! And the Spirit of God does not reside in you! That’s what the Word of God says. Verse 4 – “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” – they all come from the same Spirit. They all come from the mind of God and the mind of Jesus Christ! Again, we talked about this last week, that there is no such thing as a Trinity. (Be sure to watch – The Truth Concerning the Trinity Explained). Yes, the Bible talks about God the Father. Yes, the Bible talks about Jesus Christ. And yes, the Bible talks about the Spirit of God. But the Spirit of God is not a personality, the Spirit of God is nothing more than a tool used by God the Father and Jesus Christ to transmit Their strength, Their energy, Their ideas, Their way’s to wherever in the universe They so direct it – including by speaking to human hearts, human minds. Verse 6 – “And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God.” – now, we call ourselves the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ, because I don’t want anyone confused about what our main Message is. Our main Message is understanding the will and the way’s, the ideas and the mind of Jesus Christ. But I do recognize that we have – as it were – a spiritual DNA link to other churches of God. Now I hope and pray that we are doing the will of God! And if we were not doing the will of God I would be highly disappointed. But I do not presume that we’re the only group of people who are doing the will of God. I will accept that other groups in other places in this country and in other countries can indeed be doing the will of God as much as they understand to do that will. And so yes, there are ‘different operation’s.’ But it is all being inspired by the same God and by the same mind of God and Jesus Christ! Verse 7 – “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.” – God grants His Spirit, and the gifts of His Spirit, and the fruits of His Spirit, so that human beings can be helped. So that the Message can help people. Verse 8 – “for to one is given the word of wisdom through [or by] the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through [or by the very same mind of God] …, 9) to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10) to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits [God allows one to perceive the source of a person or spiritual manifestation and determine if it’s of God or of Satan], to another different kinds of tongues, …”- meaning they can speak different languages. You don’t have to be “babbling” in some incoherent unknown, just sensaphonic sound, to be “speaking” under God’s direction. If you’re one of those people – I have a young niece, and throughout her life she has shown an unusual ability to learn languages. Now, she presently is a Spanish teacher, but as some point in her life she also was a French teacher. Now folks, I’m just working on English. And yet, she’s juggling three languages, and I have a feeling that if two or three decades ago she wanted to learn the Greek language, she could have done it! Or Italian, or Russian. She just has the gift for learning languages. It had nothing to do with some spooky Pentecostal type mentality. It’s just she has the ability to speak different languages. But, in this world today – you know children around the world who are being taught in school, almost everywhere I’m told (I’ve not been to these other places, I’m going by what other people say) do indeed learn English. It may not be their main language – and you know, you turn on the news and some horrible thing happens in Paris, and they find people in the crowd there – young people – who start speaking English. Now, it might not be perfect English, but they’re doing a whole lot better job speaking English than I can French. Because the only word in French I know is “Oui” which means yes. And, the horrible situation’s which happened in Brussels. And, those people interviewed knew how to speak English. Something happens in Russia, they find people who can speak English. English is the most dominant universal language on the earth today. At once upon a time, I guess it might have been Greek. Because Greece owned so much of the known world. And then maybe at one time it was Latin. Because the Roman Empire controlled so much of the known world. So, anyway, when it’s talking about speaking in different kinds of tongues, it doesn’t mean that you show up at a church service, and you sit in the back of the room, and when the preacher says something you like you start babbling some incoherent noise. And notice also “…the interpretation of [languages]. 11) But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” – now I know people who maybe have many of these gifts. And I think I’ve known people who only possess one or two of the gifts. God decides how far He’s going to give His Spirit and to whom and in what quantity and what gifts being associated with it. Verse 12 – “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also [and I might add editorially, so SHOULD BE THE BODY OF CHRIST].” Now what should be and what actually is, sometimes isn’t the same thing. Verse 13 – “For by one Spirit [the Spirit of God] we were all baptized into one Body [the Body of Christ, the Church] – whether we be [Jewish in our background or Gentiles], whether we be [bond] or free …” – whether we be once a Catholic or a Methodist. “…and we have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14) For in fact the Body is not one member but many.” – and that’s something we need to keep in mind.

A lot of people thinks the world revolves around them. And yet, in actuality, the world revolves around each and every one of us. And we need to understand that God works with other people. And not become so provincial. It just astounds me! It upsets me! I hear reports that people of different church groups – and one that comes to mind is the group out of Edmund, Oklahoma. The so-called Philadelphia Church of God. Their leader’s preach hard that they are the ONLY legitimate Church of God! And then, there’s another outfit called the Restored Church of God led by a David Pack. A former schoolmate of mine. And I am told that he teaches that ONLY he and his group have the truth of God and are truly of God! And then there’s the Living Church of God, which was under Roderick Meredith. They teach the same message about themselves. And, I was so tickled, a couple of years ago, we held our feast site up in Montgomery, Indiana, and we were sharing the grounds with another ICG group. And one day I overheard one ICG person say to another, “Well we know that we are the only legitimate Church of God!” And I thought – how arrogant! How unbelievably arrogant on your part that you presume that! What did we just read here!? “For in fact the Body is not one member BUT MANY.” The Body of Christ is not just one little group! There are little groups all around the world who keep the Sabbath and try to keep some of the holy days, or keep all of the holy days, and understand God’s grace and mercy. And I don’t know where they stand in the eyes of God, but I know it’s not my job to dismiss them! Now, if they come out publicly and state something which is just wrong according to the Word of God, I have the right to say, “Well, according to the Word of God, that’s not correct.” And, I said that a little earlier about some of the Roman Catholic Church belief’s. Such as – saints can only be ordained by the pope. But in truth, saints are alive today, they have God’s Spirit, their name’s are written in the Book of Life. The idea that the “Virgin Mary” shows up to people!? No, the mother of Jesus, Mary, died almost two-thousand years ago. And she has become ashes. And she’s not in Heaven, and she’s not in Hell. She’s just sleeping, and upon the Return of Jesus Christ I’m sure that Jesus will be united with His birth mother as a human being. But this idea that – churches can pronounce on their own that “they are the one.”!? The WCG use to do that all the time! They use to tell each other and buck up their members by saying, “We are the only Church.” No. As he says, “For in fact the Body is not one member but many.”

Verse 15 – “If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body? 16) And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body? 17) If the whole body were an eye, …” – now, think of this… like the size of a beach ball or something, just this eye. And that’s all it was. I don’t know how it would move, maybe it would roll!? But, ‘if the whole body were an eye, “…where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18) But now God has set the members, each one of them in the Body just as He pleased.” – now just maybe, Jesus Christ has given me a job to do and the people who are here with us and supporting us. And maybe what we’re doing is a thoroughly legitimate purpose of God!? You need to stop and consider that! Verse 19 – “And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20) But now indeed there are many members, yet one Body. 21) And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; …” – now I think that a lot of us agree that those of us who have the gift of sight, that we would hate to lose our vision. I mean, that would be a very traumatic thing. But even though we love our vision, we’re not willing to throw our hands away! “…nor again the head [the brain] to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’” – the feet help you get from point “A” to point “B.” And if the body didn’t have the feet that transportation would become extremely difficult. Verse 22 – “No, much rather, those members of the Body which seem to be weaker are necessary.” – and there are different part’s of the body that don’t have a real good reputation. I could get crass or crude right here, but you can use your own imagination. There are part’s of our body that we’re so ashamed of in our society that we always feel the need to cover them up. But quite frankly, if we didn’t have those part’s, what would we do!? Well, we wouldn’t live very long! And that’s what he’s trying to say – we all work together! All the different part’s work together! Each person has their job. Each person has their role. Each person has their purpose. Verse 23 – “And those members of the Body which we think to be less honorable. on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable [unbeautiful] parts have [more abundant beauty], 24) but our presentable [beautiful] parts have no need. But God composed the Body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, …” – all of the Body parts work together and they are needed to be fully and completely functioning. And I’m sorry for people who don’t have all of those functions. And that’s a sad thing. I wish it wasn’t that way. And someday it won’t be that way anymore. Someday, all people on the earth will be healthy and whole in the World Tomorrow – in the Kingdom of God! Verse 25 – “that there should be no schism [or division, no split] in the Body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.” – you know, all of us at one time was in the shower or the tub and we washed each toe, or we cleaned the ear wax out of our ears, or we cut our toe nails, or our fingernails. I mean, we spent a lot of time making sure all of the parts are working properly and are properly equipped to do their job. And we don’t say, “Well, I don’t need you!” We take care of our feet, our hands, those of us with a little hair, we still try to comb it. Verse 26 – “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27) Now you are the Body of Christ, [and each of us are a member] individually. 28) And God has appointed these in the Church …” – and the Church is what!? The Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is what!? The Church. But remember we read way over in verse 6 – that there are different operation’s. We don’t all belong to the same organization. We don’t all operate under the same corporate structure. But hopefully – and I wish, but it’s never gonna be in this age, because people are hard-headed and selfish and want their power, and want their domain and their dominion. and so leader’s of one group will tell their members, “Don’t you dare listen to anything from that other group!” All that I’m ever gonna do is show you the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God! That’s what we’re all about! “And God has appointed these in the Church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that [certain people with certain miracle abilities], then gifts of healings, helps, [governments], varieties of [languages]. 29) Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30) Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with [different languages]? Do all interpret? 31) But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.”

And that gets us over to chapter 13.

So, we began this by saying that in chapter 11 we read about the Passover ceremony and we see the Words of Jesus Christ in red. And the very next thing that Apostle Paul starts talking about is spiritual gifts. Having spiritual gifts and understanding that we are separate, but we are all united through God’s Spirit is a VERY IMPORTANT understanding to the Passover and Unleavened Bread season.

Godly Love is Most Important

And now, in chapter 13 we’re going to learn, and talk about the MOST IMPORTANT quality of them all. And, this is very poetic. 1st Corinthians 13:1 – “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.” – just a little toy. I can remember way back, when I was about ten or eleven years old. I was picked by my music teacher. I think there was three of us altogether. And we were picked to learn a song – it might have been a Christmas song, I don’t remember. And we all showed up at this Order of the Eastern Star. And we were brought in to sing, and for our performance we were given these little brass bells. I still have it – somewhere it’s still at the house. That was our pay. Well every time I read this – a person can have this wonderful speaking voice, and yet if they have not love they’re nothing more than sounding brass as a tinkling cymbal. Verse 2 – “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understanding all mysteries and all knowledge and though I have all faith, so that [theoretically] I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing [in the eyes of God]. 3) And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned [some type of horrible martyrdom], but have not love, it profits me nothing.” – ‘though I’m given a title!’ A church title – maybe like ‘minister,’ ‘ordained minister.’ And yet I have NOT Godly love - in the eyes of God you are nothing! There’s that one scene where Jesus Christ talks about people coming to Him – this is after He has returned – and apparently are locked out of being a part of the Kingdom of God. And they go, “Lord, Lord, don’t you know who we are!? Why I did these wonderful thing’s in Your name! I had church services, I formed churches, I did miracles, blah, blah, blah. Let me in!” And Jesus Christ says, “I never knew you!” You see, it’s not what people say about you that counts, it’s what God the Father and Jesus Christ say about you that counts. Verse 4 – “[Charity] …” -it’s just an old fashioned word, meaning “Godly love.” “[Godly] love suffers long and is kind; [Godly] love does not envy; [Godly] love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not [easily] provoked, thinks no evil; 6) does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7) [Godly love] bears all things, …” – which means if your fellow church member has a weakness, you still – do you remember the song quite a few years ago, “He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother”? Well, we get a lot of people on the church scene now, if someone is suspected of having some little minor flaw – then, “Away with them!” Throw them away like a piece of trash! “[Godly love] bears all things, believes [the positive; I’m sure that’s what Paul meant] …” – he didn’t say believe all the rumors you hear that are false. I think he meant, ‘believe the good side of the story.’ “…[Godly love] hopes all things, endures all things. 8) [Godly] love never fails. …” – so, if the love which was once expressed among people disintegrates, that love was never Godly. It was just a human love. Human love can come, and human love can go. Godly love is unconditional. It’s like the love of a parent for a child, or a grandchild. You might have a child that has done some thing’s wrong, but for most parents, they may be disappointed in their child, but they are not rejecting their child. They still love him, or they still love her. They still want to help them. Godly love endures. Think about all the people who say, “I love you!” And then they walk down the isle at the wedding chapel, and then five-years later, “I hate you!” You get my picture. Human love, sometimes, doesn’t last very long. And any human love that does not last very long, is by its definition, not Godly love. Because, Godly love ‘never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they [could] fail; …” – they could, possibly. “…whether there are tongues, they [might] cease; …” – the Latin language, basically, isn’t used anymore. “…whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9) For we know in part and we prophesy in part.” – and keep that in mind, ‘we prophesy in part.’ When we talk about what we think is gonna happen in the future, we’re just giving our best estimate. Based upon what we can see at the present. Knowing that a year or two down the road we may have a more deeper understanding, or a more clear understanding. Verse 10 – “But when that which is perfect has come, …” – meaning Jesus Christ. When Jesus Christ comes back to the earth and establishes the Kingdom of God. “…then that which is in part will be done away. 11) When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12) For now we see in a mirror, dimly, …” – like a smoked piece of glass, you can sort of vaguely see through it, but you can’t see very well. “…but then …” – when Jesus Christ Returns and sets up the Kingdom of God, and we who have God’s Spirit are inducted into the Family of God. “…but then [we will see] face to face. Now I know in part, but then [with the establishment of the Kingdom of God] I shall know just as I also am known [by God]. 13) And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – the greatest trait you can possess is Godly love.

Now, I want to think you for being here with us today. I want to think you for your support, if you’re able to do that. We don’t have a lot of expenses, but we do have some. And it would be helpful – if these Messages are important to you – if you help us out some financially. As much as you can, if you’re able, if you want to. Otherwise we’ll rely upon the people who feel that obligation and to feel that appreciation for what their learning. So, we’re glad you’re here. And, we hope that you go back and either read or watch all of the other sermon’s in this series concerning this Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread season. So, review those. Even re-read this Message today. And please, come back next week. So, on behalf of all of us, our love goes out to you, our concern, our appreciation. And I hope that your love and your prayer’s go forth in our benefit. So, my friends, until next week, goodbye till then.

Thank you, here's the listing's of this series:

Passover - Passover Service - 2017
Christ In You (Unleavened Bread - Day 1) - 2017
Christ In You (Unleavened Bread - Day 2) - 2017
Christ In You (Unleavened Bread - Day 3) - 2017
Christ In You (Unleavened Bread - Day 4) - 2017
Christ In you (Unleavened Bread - Day 5) - 2017
Christ In You (Unleavened Bread - Day 6) - 2017