Monday, September 2, 2019

antichrists - in the last hour

by Michael C. Garrett

The so-called leader of the ICG in his December 16th, 2016 “Weekly Update” had stated, “The overwhelming message of the prophets, the Savior and the Apostles is a constant and urgent refrain for the descendants of Israel to repent and turn to God’s Laws …” Now, first he had a golden opportunity here to use Jesus’ very name, and he chose not to – for one reason or another. Also, he used the word “refrain.” Wouldn’t it had been better to use the word “admonishment”? However I ask, and more importantly, is the “overwhelming” Message of the Bible to “repent and turn to God’s Laws”? Is that the Message of the Bible!? No. The overall, or “overwhelming” emphasis is not “repent and turn to God’s Laws,” it’s “repent and TURN TO JESUS CHRIST”! “Repent and turn to the principles of the New Covenant”! “Repent and set your eyes upon the kingdom of God”!

And, the so-called leader continued, “…for personal protection and ultimate salvation.” Now, just a moment – this is the problem, this “Update” reflects that by this leader himself there is this heavy emphasis – this thought process, this mentality – of the Old Covenant.

Now listen carefully – you can attempt to keep God’s Laws – the Ten Commandments – you can strive your entire life to live by God’s Laws and you will be no closer to the kingdom of God than a serial murderer. Because, “personal protection and ultimate salvation” is based upon LOOKING TO JESUS CHRIST, LOOKING TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD, LOOKING TO THE NEW COVENANT!

Now, if you don’t believe me, let’s turn to the Book of Luke. The very Words of Jesus Christ!

Luke 21:27 – “’ Then they will see the Son of Man [another phrase for Jesus Christ] coming in a cloud with power and great glory.’” – in fact, He will be with God the Father and all the angels of God. Verse 28 – “’ Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.’” – and I ask, “In what form!?” In the form of the returning Jesus Christ! Verse 29 – “Then He spoke to them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30) When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near.’” – like here in Owensboro. In March or April, we’ll start seeing the buds coming forth on all of my fruit trees! And when we see those buds swelling and those blooms we know that summer is near. Verse 31 – “’ So you also, when you see these things happening [all the things He spent talking about in the “Olivet Prophecy” Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark 13], know that the kingdom of God is near. 32) Assuredly, I say to you, this generation [there would be one generation to whom this would specifically apply – I’m thinking and I’m hoping that and it’s a good chance, this generation is the one. Now do I know for sure!? No.] will by no means pass away till all things take place. 33) Heaven and earth [might] pass away, but My Words [whose words!? The Words of Jesus Christ] will by no means pass away. 34) But take heed to yourselves [in other words, be on guard – be aware], lest your hearts [your minds, your spirits] be weighed down with carousing [eating, drinking, partying], drunkenness [or drug usage in this modern-age], and cares of this life [and a lot of people worry about the cares of this life, but they don’t worry about their spiritual health. They worry about their job, their house, their career, their car, or even their family members – but they do not worry about their personal standing with Jesus Christ!], and that Day [what day!? The Day of the LORD. All of the end-time events. Those days actually preceding the actual return of Jesus Christ] come upon you unexpectedly. 35) For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36) Watch, therefore [the events which lead up to these prophecies], and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, …’” – that’s TURNING TO JESUS CHRIST AND ASKING FOR HIS MERCY! That’s TURNING TO JESUS CHRIST AND ASKING FOR HIS PROTECTION AND HIS LOVE!

It’s not wrapping yourself up in your sense of holiness because you keep a set of principles – and therefore those principles will yield to you eternal life. Because they won’t! Your relationship with Jesus Christ and your involvement with the principles of the New Covenant – that’s what will give you “protection and ultimate salvation.” “…’ and to stand before the Son of Man.’” – that’s being resurrected and entering into the kingdom of God!

Let us also notice what the Apostle Paul says back in the Book of Hebrews.

Hebrews 12:1 – “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [Here he’s writing to some of the people who were alive when Jesus was alive and know what Paul’s talking about], let us lay aside every weight [every distraction, every ‘care of this life’ as Jesus would say], and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, …” – and what is the KEY to enduring this race!? What is the KEY to finishing this race successfully as a winner!? Notice verse 2“LOOKING UNTO JESUS, the Author and Finisher of our faith, …” – Notice he doesn’t say there, ‘make sure that you practice self-discipline and keep every minute aspect of some law.’ Because as a human being you can’t do it. And, if you attempt to do it, you’re relying upon your own righteousness – and your own righteousness no matter how righteous you think you are will ALWAYS fall short. But if you LOOK TO JESUS – if you SUBMIT TO THE NAME JESUS CHRIST – if you LOOK TO HIM AS BEING YOUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST – YOUR SAVIOR – the very One who forgives you, the One who helps you, the One who will literally suckle you – like a mother taking care of a child. “…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has [now] sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – LOOK TO JESUS! - not some idea that you’re going to keep some canon of regulations and that somehow that will get you “protection and ultimate salvation.”

Now some of you who may read this are actively engaging in the church services and the church work of the ICG. And, you’re like the proverbial frog. I heard a teacher one time say – you can take a frog, and you can have a pot of boiling water. You can throw that frog into that pot of boiling water and he will immediately react and jump out of that death-trap. And the teacher went on to say – you can take that very same frog, and you can put him a pot of room temperature water placed upon a burner of a stove, and then put the oven burner knob on its lowest setting. Now, it will take a long time to get something on a burners lowest setting to boil – but if you wait long enough that pot of water will boil. But the temperature rises so slowly that the frog he doesn’t know – doesn’t realize – and he will just stay there content in his nice warm bath. And before it’s over, he will die and be cooked. And that’s like some of you.

You’ve been told – and you want to believe this – that when you left the WCG or whatever it was, “You are now with the true Church. And we’re holding up the true principles of Herbert Armstrong.” And that was comforting to you because many of you had invested a huge part of your life into the WCG. You had invested your time and your energy – and some of you walked away from families, or marriages. Some of you put into that church gigantic sums of money. And you all the time hear stories – and this is true – back during the days of the WCG Herbert Armstrong would encourage – almost demand – that people (even though they had given and given where they didn’t have much spare cash) gave money. He would say, “Well, go out and get a second mortgage on your home.” And many people did. And, because they were sending so much money to Pasadena, they ended up losing their homes – and becoming somewhat homeless. Horrible story.

And why!?

So that people like Herbert Armstrong could erect an auditorium – he called “The Temple for God.” Well, God can make His own temple! And when Jesus Christ returns He will bring the city of New Jerusalem with Him! He doesn’t need humans to spend money that people don’t have or can’t afford! But, Herbert Armstrong – in his vanity, his arrogance, and self-promotion – did just that. And, many of you had invested so much of your life into that organization that when it broke up – like an airplane at 35,000 feet with a bomb going off and Old MacArmstrong had a church. E-I-E-I-O – you were literally shell-shocked! Well, eventually, God allowed Herbert Armstrong to die – even though you were “promised” that he was one of the Two Witnesses. You had been “promised” that he and his son Garner Ted would be alive when Jesus Christ returns. In fact – a few years before – you had been told that the end-time trauma would begin in 1973! And that Jesus Christ would return in the fall of 1975! It was doctrine! It couldn’t be wrong because Herbert Armstrong and Garner Ted Armstrong and all that little gang said it was true. Well, that came and went. That should have been a clue to some of you that something ain’t right – forgive my English. And you looked to that organization as your lifeline to your spiritual hope. You were looking to the name Armstrong! And you failed to look to THE NAME JESUS CHRIST!

Well, many of you got staggered and bowled over and sort of wobbly, and somebody stood up – maybe his name was Rod Meredith, maybe Gerald Flurry, maybe other people – and they said, “Well, come and join us and we will revitalize the Worldwide Church of God!”

Well, friends, I’ve been saying:

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses
And all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty
Together again.

And in my analogy here – Humpty Dumpty is the Worldwide Church of God! And when it came crashing down it splintered into dozens and dozens and dozens of different names and manifestations. And yet some human beings have attempted in their mind to put a little of that together again and then they claim, “I am the new descendant – rightful heir – to the Armstrong initiative.” And so some of you have gone off to other church groups. And I know why you did it - because you wanted to continue what you thought was a correct path. I understand your motivation. But you’re making a horrible mistake in that you’re looking to these human beings – just like you looked to Herbert Armstrong or Garner Ted Armstrong – thinking that they would lead you to the Promised Land. And to this day, some of the people of the ICG look to the leader of the ICG as though he’s going to lead you – just like Moses or Joshua to the Promised Land. And again – pardon my French - Il ne va pas le faire ! He is not your pathway, your protection in the end-time and to eternal life! The ONE pathway you have - and it’s the ONLY ONE you’ve got – is LOOKING TO JESUS CHRIST! Looking to Jesus Christ as your great High Priest and Savior – that’s all you’ve got!

And some might say, “Well, it’s almost as if the people who follow Mike Garrett are worshipping him.” All I can say is - NO! Don’t ever do that! LOOK TO JESUS! Because all I’m going to do is point you to Jesus Christ. All I’m ever going to do is to explain to you the Word of God, and try to point out to you – the only pathway to “personal protection and ultimate salvation” in the end-time trauma or the only pathway to the kingdom of God and eternal life is through Jesus Christ and your dedication to HIM!

Well, these other church groups want to reassemble the glory of the WCG! And one of these human leaders is down in Edmond, Oklahoma. And if you were to follow him – it’s almost like he thinks that he’s Herbert’s son! And it’s all about Herbert! I’ve had people hand me publications and it’s just festooned with photographs of Herbert Armstrong. I am told that on his central campus he’s tried to recreate many of the signature architectural statements of the WCG in Pasadena, California! And friends, this is almost a form of mental illness. Truly, it’s bizarre. And I’m sure there are people out there who think before the end-time is over God’s going to resurrect Herbert Armstrong out of the grave and he’ll yet become one of the Two Witnesses. Friends, it’s insane! You’re making a man into your god. And you’re trying to justify it – “Well, this is what I’ve always known.” What you’ve always known and what you’ve always been taught is this reliance on this mentality of the Old Covenant. Friends, shed that from your life and your mind, your thinking and LOOK TO JESUS “the Author and Finisher of our faith, …” because I am worried about you! I say this because I am scared to death that you are facing potentially permanent death.

“’ For why should you die, O House of Israel?’” – Ezekiel 33:11b. LOOK TO JESUS! And forget the crap that was sold to you back then! It’s not right – it’s not correct!

Also, the leader of the ICG – some of you look upon him as if he’s going to be your spiritual big brother and he’s going to lead you to the Promised Land. Well, he’s incapable of leading you to the Promised Land because he will not even admit or say the name Jesus Christ. He is ashamed of it. And I don’t know why – it just blows my mind why he would be that way.

But, look to Luke 9:25 – “’ For what profit is it to a man [or a woman] if he [or she] gains the whole world, and is himself [herself] destroyed or lost?’” – ‘to be subject to eternal death.’ Burned up – destroyed in the lake of fire. Verse 26 – “’ For whoever is ashamed of Me and My Words, …’” – even if you’re Herbert Armstrong’s grandson. “…’ of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.’

Mark 8:36 – “’ For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, …’” – or maybe he becomes the leader of “the Church.”!? The boss man. The guy in charge of the organization. And, I’ve heard people who hold important positions proudly state in public, “Well, I’m an organizational man!” Well, you ought to be a Jesus Christ man, because wherever Jesus Christ is – if you’re with Him you’re in the clover! You’re set up! But if you go hanging onto the organization and the leader of the organization is himself ashamed of the name Jesus Christ – you are in the wrong boat. That headquarters there in Tyler, Texas is going to go down! Because it is not serving Jesus Christ – the leader won’t even say His name!


And if you still don’t believe me, let’s read it again. Verse 37 – “’ Or what will a man give in exchange for his [eternal life]? 38) For whoever is ashamed of Me and My Words …’” – the Words that pronounce and describe and explain the New Covenant – along with the Apostle Paul. “…’ in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in [or with] the glory of His Father with the holy angels.’” - once again, a verse which teaches that God the Father is returning with Jesus Christ! This doctrine is not taught by anyone else except right here. It plainly says it in dozens of places! The WCG and its descendants have a totally different system! I guess they know better than God! – I was being facetious there.

Also, if you would turn to Romans 9.

Friends, this is so IMPORTANT for you to hear! Because I’m fighting with all I’ve got to salvage some of you before it’s too late! God doesn’t want you to die, and neither do I. And some of these people at one time I considered to be close friends – brothers and sisters. And yet now they’re so distant. Because you see, I have been – in the words of Scientology – disconnected. Which to me means, I now have the freedom to speak the truth of the Bible without anybody controlling me. Without anybody harnessing me. Without anybody else shutting it down. I have the freedom to speak the mind of Jesus Christ!

Romans 9:33 – “As it is written: ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, …” – he’s referring to Jesus Christ! “…’ And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’

If you believe on the Rock of God, you will not be ashamed. But let’s reverse this. Let’s turn the coin over and realize that this sentence also says, ‘that if you do not believe on Him, and you are ashamed of His name and His Message, that you’re lost.’ You have no hope – you have no attachment to Him. The ONLY source of eternal life you have will come from Jesus Christ! Not even God the Father! Jesus Christ will be the sole Judge as to whether you live eternally or whether you die eternally. And I know that the old WCG didn’t like to talk a whole lot about Jesus Christ very much -it talked about God -God the Father. As if every time you read the word “God” back in the Old Testament you were talking about God the Father. Not even fully acknowledging that most of the time when you read the words “Eternal” or the “LORD” in the Old Testament it’s actually talking about the personality who eventually got named Jesus Christ! It’s just so cockeyed. And you come forth a few years and now you have the ICG. And so many of those leaders are cockeyed – when it comes to the will of Jesus Christ and the name of Jesus Christ and the true Message of Jesus! The New Covenant.

Romans 10:11 – he says it again! The very same thing! “For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’” – well, if you do not believe Him – or believe on Him – or believe in His name, someday, you will be ashamed. That’s the other side of that coin. It’s so sad.

antichrists in the ‘last hour’

If you would, turn back to 1st John. We hear him say about four times – he uses the phrase antichrist. One time he combines it with the spirit of antichrist. And, if you are ashamed of the name Jesus Christ, are you not antichrist!? Would you not be a living proponent of being antichrist!? Now, a lot of people get the phrase antichrist here confused with the beast and the false prophet. Apostle John here is talking about people who are infected with a notion, an idea, a mentality, of being against Jesus – being unwilling to accept Him – or to acknowledge Him. And he talked about people who are antichrist. AGAINST CHRIST. And who has the spirit of antichrist.

1st John 2:18 – “Little children, it is the last hour; …” – now think of this – John was writing this between A.D. 85-95 when he was in his early 90s or mid-90s. And he’s talking about it being ‘the last hour.’ What would he be saying if he was living today!? “…and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, …” – many people who are against Christ! “…by which we know that it is the last hour.”

One of the ways that you would know that you were in the end-times – when there were people claiming to be religious leaders that actually indeed were against Jesus Christ! And I boldly state – if you are ashamed of the name Jesus Christ, you are indeed an antichrist!

1st John 4:1 – “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, …” – what is he saying here!? John is saying – use your mind, and use your spiritual discretion (which is one of the gifts of God’s Spirit), and don’t believe everything you hear. And don’t get caught up in every bandwagon. Don’t just join the parade because there’s a parade. Don’t just follow the leader of the ICG because his last name is Armstrong. He continues, “…but test the spirits, …” – prove them! “…whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” – and the implication is from what he just wrote in chapter 2 that in the end-time, that there will be many false prophets that are gone out into the world. Verse 2 – “By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit [every person, every mind] that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.” – now, think about this – this is John speaking, “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ HAS COME in the flesh is of God.” Well, if you won’t even say (or write) the name Jesus Christ you’re not even acknowledging that Jesus Christ did indeed come upon the earth and was the sacrifice of mankind. This is what John is talking about here! Verse 3 – “and every spirit [every person, every mind] that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. …” - 1 And friends, even here December 16th, 2016, he had the perfect opportunity to shut up people like me! And, you see, I’m not the only one! I’ve had conversations with many people, and this subject comes up with every person. And more and more people are talking among themselves and with me, that their so-called leader is ashamed of the name Jesus Christ! Again, verse 3 - “and every spirit [every person, every mind] that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. …” – and one of the best ways to establish that you don’t believe is to refuse to say (or write) His name! “… And this is the spirit of the antichrist, 2 which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” – and it is alive in some of the remnants of the churches of God! And it is alive in the remnant of the churches of God that resides in Tyler, Texas!

Also, if you would turn to 2nd John 7 – “For many deceivers have gone out into the world …” – DECEIVERS! Recall, just earlier he used the phrase – false prophets. “…who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. …” – now, I’m sure back in the days of John – in the first century – there were probably some mockers going around saying, “Ah, that whole story about Jesus Christ is a bunch of hokum – it never happened!” I’m sure there were those people! But today – if you can’t admit and cannot say, and you demonstrate by your words and actions and deeds that you are indeed ashamed of Jesus Christ, you’re not willing to even admit that He actually came and was! He said, “This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8) Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.”

And John is saying here – ‘Look to yourselves that you don’t lose all of those things which you worked for so hard!’ John is saying, ‘I want you to receive a full reward!’ And, part of having a full reward is to be alive! Verse 9 – “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. …” – isn’t it logical to say – “if you are ashamed of the name Jesus Christ, you are an antichrist” and you “do not abide in the doctrine of Christ”!? “…He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.” – and if you have not the Son, you don’t have ANYTHING! LOOK TO JESUS – “the Author and Finisher of our faith, …” Verse 10 – “If anyone comes to you …” –Including some guy who took over something that his father built up – and does have respect for his father (and keeps his father alive) but no respect for Jesus Christ! “… and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11) for he who greets him …” – he that welcomes him with open arms – “Oh, it’s so good to have you at our church! Oh, I so much love what you guys are doing – and I want to be a part of what your father was doing!” “… SHARES IN HIS EVIL DEEDS.”

Friends, there are some of you out there – and I’ve spoken with many of you – who say, “I have grave doubts about the leader of the ICG. But, I’m just going to hang around, because well, that’s the way I’ve been trained.” But here, the Apostle John says, ‘If you bid him – if you hang out with him and you make believe you’re one of his people – you are partaking in evil! And you are none of Jesus’!’

That’s what the Bible plainly says! And I’m begging you – please open up the window, the curtains, and let the Light of God’s Word and the Light of God’s Truth show you the truth! Rescue yourselves before it’s too late! □


1 Even the Jamieson Fausset and Brown Commentary on the Whole Bible states concerning this verse, “Man is required to confess it. i.e., IN HIS TEACHING TO PROFESS OPENLY. … ‘Every spirit that confesseth not (i.e. refuses to confess) Jesus’ (in His person, and all His offices and divinity), OMITTING ‘is come in the flesh.’” Jamieson Fausset and Brown Commentary on the Whole Bible. Jamieson, Robert; Fausset, A.R.; Brown, David. Zondervan Publishing House. 1982. Page 1507.
2 The 4th century Codex Sinaiticus omits the word “the” – as does the Holy Bible In Its Original Order A New English Translation by Fred R. Coulter. York Publishing Co., 2007, 2009, pg. 1139.

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