Monday, February 13, 2023

END-TIME PROPHETS (Online Book) - Chapter 2

Greetings Everyone! The Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries and our affiliated churches are pleased to bring you our latest free no-obligation online PDF booklet "END-TIME PROPHETS" by Minister Michael C. Garrett.

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0.04 - '‘in mighty signs, wonders, and deeds’

Minister Michael C. Garrett    About

Chapter 2: 'In Mighty Signs, Wonders, and Deeds'

Note: This book was created from a series of sermons starting in November 2016 by Mr. Garrett. This book consists of 6 chapters reflecting the eight sermons published of the same title. This book is for the convenience of having all eight sermons in one easy-to-read format and download. These sermons are on our YouTube channel - Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ - YouTube

If you would turn to Acts 2 – we covered this briefly in the last chapter. This is very important. Peter said in his powerful sermon on the Day of Pentecost – verse 22 – “’ Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and sign which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know – ” How do we prove that Jesus Christ was indeed the Christos – the Messiah – the Anointed Son of God!? How do we know that!? Is it because the Bible tells us!? Well, we know about it because of this Book – but the proof (and it really comes down to two areas):

●     Jesus Christ said to the people of His era who were questioning Him, ‘How do we know who You say You are!?’ And He said to them, “’ As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth’” Now, never, ever, had any other human being said that! Or even had the audacity to even think it! But He boldly said, ‘This is the one true sign!’ And He did it! And the people who were around Him and near Him, they recorded this historic document - and this spiritual document we call the Holy Bible the New Testament – to demonstrate.
     Now these men who had recorded it, many of them were themselves martyred. Do you really think that if they knew that story about Jesus was a fraud – that He had died and they stole His body and they hid it – they would have gone to the point of torture and death if they knew the story was a lie!? No, they knew the story was true because they saw it and they wrote about it! So, that’s one powerful proof that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Messiah and the Messiah yet to come!
●   Now, anybody can claim anything. There are church people right now that say, “Well, we represent God!” Anybody can say that. And there’s really no way to disprove it other than to follow the fruit of their life. “’ You will know them by their fruits.’” And so when a group says, “Well, we represent God!” and yet they trash people and they tell lies and they make up stories – the fruit of their existence is very negative and false. And not to be believed.
      But the other fruit of their life is if the people involved in that religion were to have the power to give sight back to the blind, to give hearing to the deaf, to eradicate demonic possession and mental disease, to restore withered limbs, even to restore people who had previously been dead back to life, either now or in the future.
      I’m not talking about some fake people. There once was a man on television always dressed in white – an Israeli televangelist, known for his “Miracle Crusades” – and he would put on “a really big shew” as Ed Sullivan would say. He was a religious charlatan. And a part of his show – he would ask people to come up on stage and he would throw his hand out near their forehead and they would just fall away backward. And had attendants catching these people. And then he would claim they were healed. I saw a lot of showmanship, and games being played up on stage. Well, in 2017, federal investigators raided his Grapevine office with a search warrant for financial crimes. Also, in 2017, an article reported that he, sweating, had wondered how an actual handicapped person made it past security. Well, that was all show business folks! Not much more than a glorified magician's act.
     One way to see proof that a man truly represents the will of God is if God and Jesus Christ would grant that man the gift of healing. And that’s what God the Father did with Jesus – notice again, “Jesus of Nazareth, a Man [approved] by God ...” God the Father put His stamp of approval on Jesus Christ “to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know [to be true].”
     And that’s what is going to happen to the end-time prophets. They’re going to be granted the gift of miracles, and the gift of healing.
     To understand what the end-time prophets are going to do – to fully understand it and to fully appreciate it – you must understand what Jesus Christ did! And He said, ‘greater works than these he will do.’ You’ve got to go back and study every single miracle performed by and through Jesus Christ.
     And so the following chapter of this book is dedicated to going through five miracles that were a part of the life of Jesus Christ. And in doing so we will begin to understand the power that will be with these end-time prophets. And then we’re going to talk about what the Bible says specifically about the end-time prophets and the Two Witnesses – and what their job is going to be.

Turn to Romans 15. I would like to continue establishing some background. Verse 13 – “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 14) Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish [instruct] one another. 15) Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, 16) that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17) Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. 18) For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient – ...” – he’s basically saying, ‘I’m just going to speak the things I know and of things which I have witnessed. Verse 19 – “in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”
     How was this great statement made!? Sometimes you have to have some miraculous power in order to get people’s attention. This is what happened to Jesus Christ, and this is what happened to the Apostle Paul.
     Notice if you would 2nd Corinthians 12, verse 1 – again, this is the Apostle Paul speaking. “It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.” – now, that within itself is a miracle – to be given a vision from God. To know things miraculously from God that nobody else knows through God’s Spirit – well that’s a miracle.
     Now Paul is speaking in the third person. Verse 2 – “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago ...” – Paul is indeed speaking of himself. “ ... – whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body [in other words, in the mind] I do not know, God knows – such a one was caught up to the third heaven.” The third heaven is the throne of God. Again, the Bible talks about three different types of heaven. The heaven which is most often mentioned in the Bible is – what we would call the atmosphere. That’s what the word heaven normally means. There are also, in the Bible, times when the word heaven is referring to what we would call outer space. And it’s not used too often. And the third location and description of the word heaven is the present throne of God the Father and Jesus Christ. And here Paul labels it ‘the third heaven.’ Verse 3 – “And I know such a man – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows –” – whether it was happening in the body or happening in a vision – in his mind. Verse 4 – “how he [speaking of himself] was caught up into Paradise ...”
     Paradise is the throne of God – the third heaven. What we have here – Apostle Paul is describing a situation in which either he was actually there by his body being transported by the power of God, or it all occurred to him in the theatre of his mind. That he saw it like we would see a television show. Even though I’ve never been to Hawaii, many times I have seen Hawaii because of the means of television or movies. “ ... and heard inexpressible words, which is not lawful for a man to utter.” – he was hearing things that no human being normally gets to be a part of. A fantastic miracle! Verse 5 – “Of such a one I
will boast; ...” – he’s saying – ‘This was a powerful moment in my life! One which I’ll never forget! One which once again proves to me that I was serving the living God and the Messiah – the living Son of God Jesus Christ!’ “ ... yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities [my weaknesses]. 6) For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.”
     Paul is saying, ‘I’m being really careful how I tell you this story because I don’t want you to think that I’m special.’ What he’s saying is, ‘I’m the recipient of a miracle and it proves that God is very special.’
     Verse 7 – “And lest I should be exalted above measure ...” – recall in the previous chapter we talked about Acts 3 & 4? When the lame man was healed the people outside the gate called Beautiful began to look upon Peter and John as though they were “great holy men.” And Peter said, ‘Don’t look upon us as though we did this – we didn’t do this! We spoke the words, but the actual healing was done by Jesus Christ!’ And he wanted to disavow that he was somehow special. He was special in that God used him – but the power came from Jesus Christ! Paul is saying the same thing here. ‘Don’t look upon me as something special because I had this vision or this event. What is special is that I got to see it!’ “ ... by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.”
     What are the traits that can destroy the Spirit of God inside a human being? Well, bitterness will do it. Paul talked about, ‘lest a root of bitterness spring up from within you defile you.’ And bitterness can sour people. It can take them from having their name written in the Book of Life and having that name scratched out! And, jealousy. The petty jealousy which takes place within church groups is just astounding! Also, self-righteousness. As Jesus defined in the Book of Luke, chapter 18 – “some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others.” They think of themselves more highly than they ought to think. Righteousness does not come from a human being, righteousness is poured into a human being from the Spirit of God – the very presence of Jesus Christ! His words, His Spirit, His mind! Remember what Jesus says about the two great commandments? ’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul [your life], and with all your mind.’ And He says the other is like unto it, ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Now, do you see the problem there!? If you don’t love your neighbor as yourself, you’re not really following the will of God. And if you despise others – which self-righteous people do, they look down smugly upon others, they’ll trash them, tell stories about them, they’ll try to destroy their reputation, mock them, demean them – all the time thinking how wonderful they are. I meet people all the time and talk to people all the time who – because of their training and background they think that being uber-righteous is somehow pleasing to God. “I won’t keep the Day of Atonement for one day, I’ll keep the Day of Atonement for two or three days! I’ll be uber-righteous and God will love me even more!” Folks, there’s nothing you can do to impress God except the following:
     Submit wholeheartedly, completely, to Him and His will – with a humble and contrite spirit.
     Getting back to 2nd Corinthians 12. Paul has been describing this great event where he saw the throne of God! And I dare say that doesn’t happen too often to mortal human beings. But he says because this gift that he had been given was so great that God allowed him to struggle as he says, “a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8) Concerning this thing ...” – and it was probably his eyesight. “ ... I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.” And every time Jesus said directly to him – verse 9 – “ ... ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities [my weaknesses], that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10) Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong [in God’s Spirit].”
     That’s not the way most people think. Most people think – well I’m riding high and everything is going well, a good job, a family, a house, a career, good health, I’m being blessed by God. But in truth – for the true servants of Jesus Christ – often their life is filled with issues. Problems. And, the problems keep them humble. The problems keep them sort of tampered down so that they never forget that they need Jesus Christ every moment! “I need thee, oh, I need thee; Ev'ry hour I need thee!” A beautiful song! Every hour, every minute, every second, we need Jesus Christ! And sometimes we just need to be reminded of that. I know in my life there are things that keep me sort of – at bay. And the lesson to learn from all of this – is that while I’m still in this flesh I’m going to look to Jesus Christ and God the Father and the Word of God and the soon-coming Kingdom of God! That will be my focus.
     Verse 11 – “I have become a fool in boasting; you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; ...” Paul is saying. ‘You guys don’t respect me the way you should.’ “ ... for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though [in your eyes] I am nothing. 12) Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.” – Paul was saying, ‘I may have my sight problem, but you know from the miracles that God the Father and Jesus Christ is truly backing me.’
     That’s what these end-time prophets are going to say.
     John 14. This is one of the final sermons that Jesus Christ gives as a human being. It’s not going to be long after this until He is arrested and tried mockingly and He ends up dying on a cross. This is one of the last chances He has to speak to His disciples. In John 14 there is something that is utterly and completely remarkable! And it’s easy to read by it and not really ponder the significants of it. But I want you to see this – because it directly ties into the topic of the end-time prophets.
     He says in John 14:12 – “’ Most assuredly, ...’” – which means, in absolute truth! “ ... ‘I say to you, he who believes [on] Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13) And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14) If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.’”
     Then in verse 16, He talks about the Comforter – God’s Spirit. Verse 17 – “’ the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees [it] nor knows [it]; but you know [it], for [it] dwells with you and will be in you.’” And, verse 21 near the end, “ ... ‘and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.’” Verse 23 – “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word [he will believe My word]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’”
     John 15. Verse 26 – “’ But when the Helper ...’” – another name for God’s Spirit, the very mind of Jesus Christ is within you. “ ... ‘comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, [it] will testify of Me. 27) And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.’”

Be sure to read our booklet "Proving the Truth!" It explains that the Greek language didn't have a neutral pronoun and that the Holy Spirit is not a "He" - not a person, but rather the power which emanates from God the Father and Jesus Christ.

What these two passages point out – there in John 14:12 – ‘the things which I have done, you’re going to do the same – and greater!’ I believe that He’s speaking about the end-time prophets. And, He says in chapter 15, near the end, ‘I’m going to send you My Spirit – the Spirit of God is power and a part of that power is able to produce miracles – and you shall be My witnesses.’
     The end-time prophets are the end-time witnesses for Jesus Christ, for God the Father, for the Word of God, and for the Plan of God. And the final two will be called the Two Witnesses. Because their job will be the most spectacular of all!

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Publication Date: 2023

11-12-2016 - End-Time Prophets - Part B

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