Wednesday, May 24, 2023

To Jesus Be The Glory - Chapter Two (Sermon)

Michael C. Garrett

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Let us continue the theme of which we have been talking for the last month or more. It all started with a tragic situation at my home, where my right big toe got into an argument with a concrete block. Well, my big toe lost the argument! It got beat up badly. A huge chunk of flesh was removed and the tip of the distal phalanx was shattered. You could see it on the X-ray little pieces of bone. I also lost the nail, but it is beginning to grow back. But, the main problem was with infections. It was such a large ugly wound. The best way that I can describe what happened – take a cheese grater, imagine that your thumb is your big toe, and just scrape the cheese grater down your thumb! That is what the concrete block did to my right big toe! Horrible damage.
     Now, I had been dealing with my primary doctor, and on several occasions, she trimmed away these ragged pieces of flesh that would never be reconstituted. And, she kept saying – well, it’s looking a little better. It was very slow to recover. She finally sent me off to another doctor, a specialist. When I saw him, he took another X-ray. As he was viewing the X-ray, he cocked his head and said, “Boy, what’s going on here!? You just shattered the end of your bone!” Yeah! I did a bang-up job! Then, about a month later, another X-ray was taken by Dr. H. Upon looking at this X-ray he turned to me and said, “Well, Mike, your toe needs to be removed ─ now!”
     I believed that he was going to remove my right big toe right then and there in his office! And that I would be going home not ever again being able to count to twenty. Well, I just didn’t think that was a great idea! In fact, it placed me in a state of shock. Because, up to this point no doctor was using the word amputation.
     So, I went home that afternoon rather confused and troubled. I spent a lot of time in prayer to Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ. And others that I know contributed prayers to the throne of mercy and grace on my behalf.
     The following day I decided to get a second opinion. I wasn’t going to go by one person’s opinion of wanting to amputate my right big toe! And, quite frankly I didn’t care for his bedside manner. When Dr. H. first said, “Your toe needs to be removed ─ now!” I put my hands up and stated – “Whoa, settle down!” And, he became indignant, as if I was questioning his professional judgment. Well, yes. I was questioning his professional judgment! He said, “Well, it’s only a toe!” “Yes,” I said, “but it’s my toe!” What I thought about saying was – give me a scalpel, and let me find something on you that you don’t want to lose. And see how quickly your attitude changes. But, I didn’t say that. I never went back to him.
     I made an appointment with Dr. M. I’ve known this doctor for at least 6 years. A very likable person. An enjoyable person to be around. When I was able to see him, he said, “Well, Mike, I think what you were told is correct.” So, this statement was super disappointing. Two doctors, and two professional judgments to amputate. A very concerning period in my life.
     I told Dr. M., “You doctors are mighty quick to want to amputate my toe. I would like somebody who would like to fight for my toe! I need a John Wayne coming in with the Calvary riding in on their horses and saving me at the very last moment!” He got out his phone and called another specialist. And, I was scheduled to see this specialist one day later.

‘This Is A Miracle’

Now, at Dr. M.I.’s office, a day later, a nurse took off my shoe and my sock, along with the little blue “turban” bandage covering my right big toe, and I look down and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! Not that the wound looked worse. The day before the ankle was swollen about twice the size, and the whole foot looked like a large ball – it didn’t even look like a foot it was so swollen. The right big toe the color red. Now, I couldn’t see the actual wound because it was on the opposite end of my toe. Yet, twenty-four hours later the foot looked perfectly normal. The right big toe looked perfectly normal.
     At that point, I knew that the prayers which had been offered up to God Almighty and Jesus Christ had indeed been heard! And, Dr. M.I. came into the examining room, looked down at my right big toe, and said, “Mike, I gotta tell ya, as I look down upon your foot, I see no evidence that anything is wrong with your foot or your toe.”
     A little later, they wanted to do a bone biopsy, because there was talk of giving me intravenous antibiotic treatments. I’ve been told by all of these doctors that it’s very difficult to get an infection in the bone to heal. It’s like – their standard procedure is – once you get an infection in the bone that bone has to be removed. And, as they said, if we don’t do this the infection will spread to more parts of your foot, and in the end, you’ll lose half or all of your foot. And some even said that you could lose your life. So, this truly was a serious situation. It was isolated to my toe, but destined to grow.
     I received a few days later a bone biopsy, which wasn’t the most pleasant experience I’ve ever had. They wanted to know what type of bacteria was attacking my right big toe. So that when they gave me the I.V. treatments they would know exactly which antibiotic to use that most affect that particular bacteria.
     I had told many of my friends – the greatest fantasy of which I could ask for is when I hear them tell me: Mr. Garrett, you do not have osteomyelitis. And sure enough, that Monday I received a telephone call, and the lady on the other side of the phone says, “Mr. Garrett, you do not have osteomyelitis.” And I said, “Would you please repeat that? I want to make sure that I didn’t misunderstand you!” She said, “You do not have an osteomyelitis.” Even though the second X-ray demonstrated that I did at one time have osteomyelitis. It was eating away the bone. Once they had established that I did not have osteomyelitis, there was no longer a need for antibiotics. The wound on the outside of my right big toe began to heal rapidly.
     After the day I received my pathology report, I was scheduled to see my primary doctor again, Dr. Mack. And when she walked into the examining room she asked me, “Mike, are you going to have your toe amputated!?” That was her hello. And, I could have been polite and just said – no. But, I wanted to get something across to her – I wanted her to know that it wasn’t just – no. But it’s, “Hell no!” She flinched a bit, surely thinking – well, that’s mighty bold. Every doctor he has seen suggested amputating his toe. She glances at the pathology report and exclaimed, “Mike! You don’t have an osteomyelitis!” She began examining my right big toe, taking off my shoe and my sock, along with the little blue “turban” bandage, and upon looking at my right big toe – she was befuddled. She says, “Nothing that I am seeing makes any sense!” Then she turned, looked me straight in the eyes, and said, “Michael, this is a miracle!” The size of the wound was the size of the end of a ballpoint pen. Well, I left there sky-high! I thought – here in just a short time my right big toe will be completely healed.
     Two days later I saw Dr. M. again. He said, “Would you like me to take a look at your right big toe?” I think he was curious. So, I took off my shoe and my sock, along with the little blue “turban” bandage, and he looks at it and goes, “Mike, the wound is completely healed!” We began shouting, yelling, crying, and high-fiving, with the people in the waiting area surely thinking we were crazy! The doctor looks at that guy's toe and all of a sudden they're celebrating!?

A Great Image

I was very thankful! I cannot begin to tell you how thankful – how thankful. And, during this process – the time that I found out that the wound was the size of the head of a ballpoint pen – an image flashed through my mind. Whether this image was from my own imagination, or whether this image was placed within my mind, God knows. And to help you understand where this message is coming from today I wanted you to hear what I was going through. In this image in my mind, I saw Jesus Christ. In this image, I approached Him and asked, “Could I have a hug!?”
     We don’t always think of the LORD God in this way – do we? When the majority of us, historically – and it doesn’t matter what background you grew up in, whether it was Catholic, Protestant, or some other – God is often thought of as being angry. Most people think of Him as “sending you to an ever-burning hell.” That’s the image most people have of God. And, there are people who make a show of worshiping God, and in fact, they do this because they fear God. Not respect God. The word fear in God’s living word in Greek is phobeō, meaning reverent fear, or respect. A proper fear for God. Yes, we need to stand in awe of the awesome power of the LORD God! And we need to understand that in the end God Almighty and Jesus Christ will determine whether we live or die. Yes, we need to respect the family of God. But we also need to love and appreciate Them. Not to look upon Them as some far-off angry creature waiting to strike you down like the Germanic pagan god Thor with his lightning bolts. But rather, God Almighty is indeed our loving Father, and Jesus Christ is indeed our loving concerned, and gentle Big Brother! And this is what I saw in that image. I saw “John Wayne” – who came to my rescue riding on His white horse. And I knew that He had healed my right big toe.
     In this image in my mind's eye, I received this beautiful hug. And as my head was on His left shoulder near His ear, I kept saying, “Thank You, thank You, thank You, thank You!” I began naming all of the things I could think of to give Him thanks, honor, and glory. It was a wonderful moment that happened in my mind's eye. Now, someday, I’m waiting for it to occur right before me! Right before my actual eyes!
     I don’t think that I’ve been the same since all of this has occurred. And especially with the healing of my right big toe! My toe – which was destined for death. It’s now perfectly healthy!
     Today I want to talk about these things which are just jumping off the pages of the living word of God – the Holy Bible – and flooding my mind with thoughts. And I say this – because I know of people from my past – who would not even want to say the name, Jesus. Now, stop and think about this for a moment: there are people who say they are Christian, but they will almost never say the name, Jesus. It’s as though He really doesn’t exist to them. Yes, they will talk about “God.” They will talk about “God Almighty.” They will talk about “our heavenly Father.” Some will even just say, “Father.” But they almost never include Jesus. Now, this one group of people – and others who have come from this group – around the Passover, they’ll talk about Jesus. But, the Passover is completely and totally about Jesus! He was tortured to death and died a horrible death. Allowed to die on a cross. A horrific and terrible thing to go through! And our Lord Jesus Christ is the star of the Passover – and nobody can deny it! The Passover, which happens in the spring, is the very first event in the LORD God’s holy day plan.
     You do indeed have the Passover in God’s living word – Old Testament and New Testament. The Days of Unleavened Bread. And then in the early summer God’s living word talks about the Day of Pentecost. And then as you get into the fall of the year God’s living word talks about the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and then the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. But keep in mind, the very first event of God’s holy day calendar is the Passover. And it is all about what Jesus Christ did for us. He became the Lamb of God, the Sacrifice from God, and of God, and by God! For all of the sins of all mankind for all past, present, and future.

By What Power or By What Name?

My friends, we’ve got to change the way we think. We’ve got to change the way we speak. We’ve got to change the way we pray. That image I saw in my mind – of asking for and receiving a hug from this fantastic being – is firmly planted within my mind and I see it every day! Maybe the reason that my right big toe got into an argument with a concrete block is so that I could see the hand of God!? The hand and the power of Jesus in the salvation of my right big toe. Do you recall the Prophet Moses with the parting of the Red Sea!? And he tells the children of Israel – behold the power of God! Well, I received a close-up view of the power of God and the love and kindness of Jesus. And I don’t ever want to lose that image! And I don’t ever want to go back to this remedial form of religion to which I have referred.
     But, for those people who are ashamed, and embarrassed, of the name Jesus – turning to the Book of Acts we notice that the Apostles Peter and John were taken before the Jewish leaders after this miraculous healing, chapter 4 verse 7 – “And when they had set them in the midst, …” – this highly determinant counsel of the Jewish elite. “ … they asked, ‘By what power or by what name have you done this?’”
     Verse 8 – “Then Peter, filled with [God’s mind], …” – and this is what the Holy Spirit is, the mind of God being placed within our minds. It’s nothing like the ghostly character they call “the Holy Ghost.” An absolutely horrible translation. It is the mind of God which He shares with all of us. For those of us who will submit to His power. “ … said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: … 10) let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.’”
     Notice verse 12 – “’ Nor is there salvation in any other, …”
   And we have tried to explain the meaning of that word – salvation. Normally when we think of salvation we think of having the opportunity to have eternal life in the kingdom of God. Or, spiritual salvation. But, we want you to have a greater understanding. There is also that thought which is physical salvation. Physical protection from harm. And, physical healing from our diseases and our accidents, and medical conditions.
     “ … ‘ for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’”
    Don’t disregard the physical salvation – the healing aspect. Because, we read on two occasions in God’s living word, “by His stripes [the torture that Jesus went through] we are healed.” By His battered, cut, and bruised body, and by His shed blood! By His stripes you have the opportunity to be healed. Jesus is the only name by which being saved – in any form – can ever come about!
     Turn, if you will, to the Book of Mark chapter 8. The very words of Jesus Christ!
     Verse 38 – “’ For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father [or, with His Father] with the holy angels.’
     Friends, this one verse says a mouthful. It’s another verse that demonstrates that God the Father is going to return with Jesus Christ and with all of the holy angels. But the first part: if you are ashamed of Jesus, according to what He says, of you will He also be ashamed. You simply do not want that to happen. Now, these groups of which I speak – which all come from a common heritage – believe that they, and only they, are correct. And that they, and only they, will be blessed. And that they, and only they, will be resurrected into the family of God. So, there is tremendous arrogance on their part. And yet, they only sparingly use the name Jesus. This group and groups like them say they follow the Bible. But in actuality, they don’t. This group and groups like them say they are a Christian. But in actuality, they are not. If you are ashamed of the name Jesus ─ pardon my English here ─ you ain’t a Christian.
     Without the name Jesus, you will fail. □

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Look to Jesus - Chapter One

by Michael C. Garrett

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Run With Endurance

We can’t begin to express to you our sense of appreciation for the wonderful Plan of God, which almost nobody on this earth understands. Isn’t that sad that more people don’t properly understand it!? Well here at the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ and our affiliated churches, we do properly understand it! And we talk about it. And we appreciate it. And we take great hope and a sense of destiny from it. But it’s all because of JESUS CHRIST.

I’ve been thinking about a concept this summer. And I’ve shared some of this with our fellow servant, Minister Guy LaMar, down in Alabama. It revolves around something we read in the Book of Hebrews. Chapter 12.

Verse 1 – “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight [every problem, every issue], and the sin which so easily ensnares us, …”

And friends, as long as we’re flesh and blood, we at times will make mistakes. Now, if you can’t admit that, in my opinion, you have a problem. It’s very important that we have enough humility that we can go to God Almighty and Jesus Christ and say, “I screwed up!” I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have thought what I thought. I shouldn’t have said what I said. We need to be able to confess our sins before the throne of mercy and grace. And we’re told that if we do that, we will be forgiven. But, if you can’t do that you’ll never be forgiven. So, it behooves us to have enough humility to come before the LORD God and say, “Well, I screwed up, again!” Help me to overcome that issue, or help me to not go down that path again.

“ … and let us run with endurance [with perseverance ─ with dogged determination] the race that is set before us.”

The process of obtaining or attaining eternal life is not one emotional moment in time. You hear about a person who goes to a church meeting, the music is just right, the voice of the preacher is just right, and you hear about people who become “overwhelmed” with a sense of guilt, or a sense of need. And they walk down the aisle towards the “altar” to “give their heart to the Lord.” And in that one brief moment, they think they’ve solved all of their problems. They believe and announce – from this one brief moment – “I am saved!” Friends, it doesn’t work that way. The process of salvation is an enduring race. Just like what the Apostle Paul says here, “let us run with endurance [with perseverance ─ with dogged determination] the race that is set before us.” The process of being a child of God is a long process.

Now, maybe you come to a moment just before you die where you express your problems before the LORD God, your sins – you confess them. You ask for forgiveness. And I’m sure that has happened to some people. But for the majority of us, we go forth month after month, year after year, decade after decade, and we continue striving to get it right. But, just to be honest - as long as we’re flesh and blood, we at times will make mistakes. Now, we can get better. We can become more consistently honoring God and obeying Jesus. But we will not become perfect. And if you, the one listening or reading this message, think you’ve become perfect you are deceiving yourself – badly. And I’ve met people – I once knew a lady, and we were having a discussion after church services at a restaurant, and the general topic of the conversation – what is the most consistent problem which keeps plaguing you that you feel comfortable talking about!? And this lady couldn’t think of a single thing! And I thought, Oh my! She has deceived herself into thinking she has lived a perfect life. We’re told in the Book of Romans, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” ALL PEOPLE! And this is why the Apostle Paul wrote, “examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.” Ever so often take a time out, in a quiet place – maybe a walk all by yourself – thinking about God, praying to God, saying, “God, I have trouble with this issue. Help me to overcome it. Grant me Your forgiveness.” And, if you do this sincerely, I believe the LORD God will hear your prayer and grant you that forgiveness. But for the people who think – I’ve never done anything wrong. They are in a really tough spot. Well, there’s an old saying in Spanish, “Tu mierda no apesta.” Well, friends, it does. And many times the actions, the attitude, the thoughts of your mind and your spirit, are very offensive to the LORD God. I ask that God Almighty and Jesus Christ forgive all of you! But I hope you understand what sin, or series of sins, that the LORD God is forgiving. If you don’t even know that you have a sin, forgiveness won’t last long. Because you will just turn around and sin again. I ask forgiveness for everyone – if you’re flesh and blood you make mistakes. Now, the LORD God already knows. You’re not keeping a secret from Them. We need to ask for forgiveness humbly and sincerely, and at the same time ask for the spiritual strength to overcome that situation when it presents itself to us in the future. We are like small children, we need to learn. And God Almighty and Jesus Christ are literally our spiritual Parents ─ family members. And we need to let Them help us.

Verse 2 – There is no verse more important than this verse. Now, there are verses that are just as important. But this verse is as important of a concept as your mind could ever dwell upon. It is the title of this message. “looking unto Jesus, …” LOOK TO JESUS! “ … the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, …” – most horrible torture and death. “ … despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Look to JESUS. The author and finisher of your faith.

A few years ago, when I knew that I could no longer walk down the path of a group with which I had been associated for quite a few years because the group was and is going down the wrong path – in my estimation, my understanding, my perception, my analysis. And I know a great many people in that group and I fear for their future. I mourn for their future. Because they are not looking unto Jesus. But rather they’re looking to the opinions and the thoughts of one man. Who believes that he has all the answers. Yet, he does not. If I could wish one thing for this one man, I wish that he could have poured out upon him a truckload of humility. Because he has no humility. And, every week he gets behind the lectern, and he shouts and yells and sarcastically pontificates on the political climate in this country. And his loath to even mention the name, Jesus. And, it appears as if he is even ashamed of the name Jesus. The only name “under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” You either have Jesus Christ a part of your life, and if so you will live for all eternity. Or you don’t have Jesus Christ as the forefront of your life. I can still picture the faces of the people that I got to know over the years and the decades – and I’m very sad. In fact, I weep for the sins of the people. And their greatest sin is that they have removed Jesus from their life. They’re ashamed of the name JESUS. How can you get so far off track!? That you say, “I am of God,” and you label yourself with the name God, and yet you are ashamed of Jesus the Messiah! The Son of God – the Savior!

Who Do You Worship?

And the concept that has been on my mind of late: I realize that multiple millions of people who walk this earth are confused about who they are supposed to worship. They worship the church they attend more than they worship God Almighty and Jesus Christ. They worship and follow the leaders of their church and of their organization more than they worship and follow Jesus Christ.

Whitney Houston sang a song entitled “I Have Nothing” with the lyrics, “I have nothing, nothing, nothing if I don’t have you.” It’s certainly a love song about a woman missing a man, but when you listen to it next time, allow yourself to hear that it can also be a song to Jesus Christ. I’ve listened to many songs over this summer, and I don’t hear them as love songs anymore – meaning a man or a woman professing their love – I now hear them as songs to God Almighty and Jesus Christ.

Now, there are a great many religions. But, they end up instead of worshiping God Almighty and Jesus Christ, they get caught up in this psychology. A “group think,” as Tucker Carlson uses that phrase, of worshiping their church organization. Or the leaders of that church organization.

And, this main concept I do want you to remember: It is entirely possible that you can take your concept of God and make it into a false idol. A false god. You can go to church every week, and you can tell yourself that you are really doing what God wants you to do. You can say to yourself – I’ve got myself totally fixed to this church organization. My family goes every week, and we never miss a service. Yet, you can be doing it all in vain. Our Lord Jesus, quoting Himself from the Book of Isaiah says, “’ In vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” In complete worthlessness. And, in the eyes of the LORD God, They don’t respect it one iota!

A great many of these people go to church on the wrong day of the week. They keep the wrong religious holidays or holy days. The concepts of this religion or this church are completely contrary to the principles put forth in the Holy Bible. Yet, they convince themselves – wrapping themselves up in self-proclaimed righteousness – that they are serving the LORD God. And God will say, “’ I never knew you.’” He would say, You weren’t worshiping Me – I don’t know – you were worshiping the vanity of your mind.

This concept of which I speak, the majority of people just simply don’t have the spiritual power to understand the validity of what I say. Because their whole life, from the time they were born, they’ve been saturated with their parent’s church. They went to their Sunday school classes. Maybe, as they got older they became Sunday school teachers. And, they think they have their spiritual mierda all well-formed and shaped. And, they basically are no closer to the LORD God than a heathen. In some heathen country filled with pagan religions.

Friends, if you want to serve the LORD our God, you need to find out just what you should be believing. And from what you need to distance yourself. And if you believe that your church is the epitome of what the LORD God wants you to be a part of, you are probably badly deceiving yourself.

Back in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, the Ten Commandments are listed. Our Lord Jesus says, “’ If you love Me, keep My commandments.’” And this great being was and is the One we now call Jesus Christ. The One who delivered that message to the Prophet Moses. Isn’t this an awesome concept!? The member of the family of God who is offering us eternal life, who allowed Himself to be tortured to death on our behalf, is the same God that thundered to the children of Israel from Mount Sinai all those centuries and centuries ago!

What is the very FIRST commandment!?

“’ You shall have no other gods before Me.’”

Is it possible to make your job or career more important to you than God!? Yes.

Is it possible to make your vehicle more important to you than God!? Yes.

Is it possible to make your husband or wife, your children, or even your country more important to you than God!? Yes.

Sadly, a large majority of people don’t think about this. But, our Lord Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:37 – “’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.’” Now, this whole chapter is chocked full of really delicious and beneficial nuggets. Here’s another important verse that caught my eye – Jesus says in verse 28 – “’ And do not fear those who kill the body but can not kill the soul.’” – or rather the psychē, life. “’ But rather fear Him [referring to God Almighty and Jesus Christ], who is able to destroy both [life] and body in [gehenna fire].’”

Now, do we go through our lives on a day-to-day basis with this concept!? And, we’re not just talking to you, but we’re also talking to ourselves. Because we are also flesh and blood. We are very prone to “falling down.”

Verse 32 – “’ Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.’” And, presently God the Father does reside in a place – His living word refers to as the third heaven. He will not always reside there. There will come a time, and we believe not that far in the future, where God Almighty and Jesus Christ will reside upon the Earth. And, if it’s God’s will, we – people like you and me – will be there with Them as eternal members of the family of God.

Verse 33 – “’ But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. 34) Do not think …’” – and sadly so many people do think. They say the little Lord Jesus came to bring peace upon the earth. Around Christmas time a lot of people say things like that and sing songs that have that theme. But here our Lord Jesus is saying, “’ Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.’” Now, certainly, this is a Jesus that most people have never heard of! Again, you hear many a worldly preacher say, “Give your heart to the Lard!” They pronounce Lord in such a way that it sounds like pig fat! I’m not sure why they say it like that – maybe they think they’re going to be a little more spiritual!?

Verse 35 – “’ For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36) and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’

And, if you have never experienced this, there’s a good chance your name isn’t written in the Book of Life.

So, if you were to go into a group of so-called Christians and ask – what is your number one duty, as a human being. They will likely announce most proudly – to love and to protect my family, to honor and protect my country, and to serve God. But, it should be number one duty – serve God. Look to Jesus. Follow Jesus. It’s not to take care of your family first. And if you have that attitude you’re falling far short. Let us recall the verse back in the Book of Hebrews – “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” In the context that God Almighty and especially Jesus is the number one priority of your life, there’s nothing wrong with having a wonderful family. But the priority is that the LORD God is number one. Let us recall the FIRST commandment: “’ You shall have no other gods before Me.’”

Is it truly possible to worship other things more than the LORD God!? Yes. Not only is it possible, but it is also happening all the time. And again, a great many people worship their church, their religion, or their church leaders.

A terribly sad part of history – November 18th, 1978 – a thing happened that is just about impossible for a normal human mind to conceive or fathom. A bunch of people followed a demonically possessed man down into the jungles of Guyana in South America, creating this “divine economic socialism” along with Jim Jones's personal communist worldview. What he referred to as “Apostolic Socialism.” A commune that would become known as Jonestown. The guy was nuts! In his very early years, Myrtle Kennedy, the wife of the Nazarene Church's pastor, gave Jones a Bible and encouraged him to study it, teaching him to follow the holiness code of the Nazarene Church. Jones developed a desire to become a preacher as a child and he began to practice preaching in private. Jones regularly visited a casket manufacturer in Lynn and held mock funerals for roadkill that he collected. 1 So, even in his early years he was exhibiting warning signs and common traits of a psychopath. He would come to convince about 600 of his followers, that if he gave the order to drink a mixture of Flavor Aid and cyanide they should do so. And they did! With Jones in the background saying, “Don’t be afraid to die,” adding that death is “just stepping over into another plane. Death is a friend.”

We cannot even fathom this! The LORD our God says, “’ It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.’” Also, “’ Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.’” If you put your trust in human beings, I guarantee – as Cajun chef Justin Wilson became known for the expression: “I gha-rawn-tee!'” you will be disappointed and in the end, you will die!

Now, we do not want you to place your trust in us. We want you to place your trust in the living word of God – the Holy Bible. The words of God Almighty and Jesus Christ – the words of the bonafide servants of God. And this is what our job is as we see it. One should place their complete trust, faith, and attention to the living words of the LORD God! And our job is to show you things in God’s living word that maybe you haven’t seen yet on your own. Or maybe you wouldn’t ever see on your own. To help you to LOOK TO JESUS.

There is an enigmatic phrase in the Book of Jeremiah chapter 7.

Here the Prophet Jeremiah was inspired to write, under the inspiration of God’s Spirit – in verse 4, “’ Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these.’”

The children of Israel, on two different installments, put their trust and their faith in a temple. Now, it was the LORD God who inspired them to build a temple – twice. But the LORD God wanted them, when they were in those temples, to worship Them. Worship God the Father and Jesus Christ. But with time, so many people stopped thinking about God Almighty and Jesus Christ, and they begin to think about this physical object – this building. Or this church, group, or religious leader. And they begin to allow their local preacher to do all of their thinking.

It is very possible to make an idol out of your church.

So, pick up a Holy Bible and read it at your own speed. And, we’re not talking about going to a church service, or to some building, and having somebody else attempt to tell you what God’s living word says. No. We are encouraging you to read God’s living word on your own and to learn from what it tells you. And if you do that it will help you tremendously.

Look to Jesus.

Don’t look to a church. Don’t look to a so-called preacher. Don’t look to a bishop, or a priest, or a pope.

Look to Jesus “the author and finisher of our faith.” □

To be continued.


1 Wikipedia contributors. (2023, May 17). Jim Jones. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 09:41, May 23, 2023, from htps://

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Sunday, May 21, 2023

To Jesus Be The Glory - Chapter One (Sermon)

Michael C. Garrett

Today I would like to talk about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
     If you would, turn in your Bible ─ I have with me today my old Bible, but I also have my new Bible. It has a larger print. If you would, turn to the Book of Genesis chapter 1, verse 1.
     “In the beginning God …”
     Now that word in the original Hebrew is Elohim. And the best way for people like you and me to understand that word is to know ─ it can best be translated, the family of God. It refers to God, El-ohim, but it’s plural. And it’s plural because it refers to the two beings that were in existence when this event happened. The One we now call God the Father, or God Almighty. And the One we also call Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the Savior. Remember, His name is Jesus. Christ, Christos, Messiah, Savior, that’s His title.
     “ … created the heavens and the earth.”
     Now, you can go back to Isaiah 45:18 and discover that when God created the earth it was perfect. However, in verse 2, it says ─
     Verse 2 – “The earth was without form, and void; …”
     Tohu and bohu are the ancient Hebrew words. And this means a chaotic state.
    So, in verse 1, the implication is ─ He created the heavens and the earth, and it was in a perfect condition. And yet, when you look at verse 2, something had happened. It is without form, and void. It’s been damaged.
     And it says, “and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God …” ─ which is the mind of God.
     This is another thing you need to keep in mind.
     God ─ the family of God ─ is not a Trinity. A lot of people believe that. Just a few hundred yards away from here is the Trinity United Methodist Church. And the main entrance into this subdivision is called Trinity Blvd. The word trinity appears a lot in Owensboro. And a lot of people believe that God is a three-person being ─ God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit; which several people call the Holy Ghost. And yet, the family of God, which is already introduced to us in verse 1 is only referring to two beings. And the Spirit of God is the mind of God as He projects it wherever He wants that Spirit, that power, that direction, to take place.
     Now, if you want to take a whole lot of time sometime and bore yourself, you can read about the Trinity. But the doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is a closed unit. God the Father, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit ─ and that’s the family of God. And that simply is a damnable creation, that idea. Because, if that were true, the true nature of God, then people like you and me ─ and people in the past and even the future ─ would never have a chance to become a member of the family of God. But that is the very thing that the family of God is offering to all of us! All human beings ─ past, present, and future. Is to become children of God. You’ve heard that phrase before. Certainly, you’ve read it in your Bible. The children of God. Where we are destined to be brothers and sisters to Jesus. Sons and daughters to God the Father.
     So, the doctrine of the Trinity is a damnable perversion of the living truth of God.
    From verse 2 it is speaking about a recreating of the earth. A reordering of the earth. This process which took place was done by the member of the family of God who we now call Jesus the Messiah. The Christos, the Christ. A lot of people don’t know that. And, a lot of people are confused by that.

Prepare the Way of the LORD
The Millennium and Beyond

Turning now in your Bible to Isaiah chapter 40.
     This is a profound chapter. And when you get into the meat of it, the One who inspired this book is telling you just how great He is. Just how powerful and magnificent He is.
     Well, the being who is speaking here from chapter 40 in Isaiah is the One we now call Jesus Christ. Now, a group of people I used to know ─ Jesus got very little credit. They mostly wanted to talk about God the Father, God Almighty. But friends, the true Worker in the family of God is the One who has saved us from eternal death by dying on the cross. The same One as the title of this sermon. To Jesus Be the Glory! And I just don’t think the world understands that enough. And I don’t think we give Him the respect He deserves. And the appreciation.
     Verse 1 – “’ Comfort, yes, comfort My people!’ Says your God. 2) ‘Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; …’”
     That her sin is forgiven.
     “ … ‘For she has received from the LORD’S hand Double for all her sins.’”
     Verse 3 – “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.’”
     The Gaither Vocal Band sings a song based on this very Scripture. This Scripture will be fulfilled at the beginning of the Millennium. When God the Father, Jesus Christ, and all of the holy angels ─ along with all of the resurrected saints of God will literally walk in and inhabit the land we now call Judea. Now, John the Baptist ─ it was referred to him as having a fulfillment of this understanding ─ of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD.’ That he was helping prepare the Way of Jesus Christ back in the first century A.D.
    And in the same way, people like you and me have the opportunity to declare ─ Jesus Christ is returning to this earth and will become the King of kings and the Lord of lords. And when this will happen, we don’t know. But friends, we surely think it’s a whole lot closer than we had imagined in earlier times. And quite possibly within this generation. When you look upon the chaos of this world ─ the complete chaos of this world.
     Verse 4 – Again speaking about the Millennium. “’ Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; …’”
     Meaning, the people who have great pride will be brought down. The people who have great humility will be raised up.
     “ … ‘The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth.’”
     All of the confusion will be gone. All of the pain will be gone. All of the sorrow will be gone.
     Verse 5 – “’ The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, …’”
     The glory of Jesus Christ! The returning conquering King!
     “ … ‘And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.’”
     Verse 6 – “’ The voice said, ‘Cry out!’ And he said, ‘What shall I cry?’
     What shall I proclaim!?
     “ … ‘All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.’”
     Meaning, it shows up and then weather conditions change and then it’s gone. And this is what the LORD God is saying – all human beings, devoid of the Spirit of God and the Plan of God, will become nothing. Will just go back into the dirt from whence they came.
     Verse 7 – “’ The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. 8) The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.

O Zion, You who bring good tidings, Get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, You who bring good tidings, Lift up your voice with strength, Lift it up, be not afraid; Say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’”
     The One we now call JESUS!
     Verse 10 – “Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him.”
     Recall, just like back in Genesis chapter 1. When the One we now call JESUS CHRIST recreated the earth after it had been destroyed by a rebellion of Satan the devil and his demons. So, once again, the living Jesus Christ, upon His return, will begin to reorder society and the earth a second time. There are so many items in God’s living word which speak about an early fulfillment of prophecy and a latter fulfillment of prophecy. Normally the latter fulfillment of prophecy is much more dramatic.
     Verse 11 – “ He will feed His flock …”
     Now, who is His flock!? Is it just anybody that says, “I believe in Jesus!”? No. We know from other Scripture, like in the Book of John where our Lord Jesus says, “’ You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, …’” At the present time, at the present moment, not all human beings are being called. In fact, only a very small percentage of human beings are presently being called to understand the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God. If more people were being called, we would have millions of views every week on our YouTube channels. But most people aren’t being called.
     “ He will feed His flock.” And who is His flock!? It’s human beings that have been called and chosen and granted the Spirit of God. And, there will come a time when His flock will be those individuals which He has resurrected from death and granted eternal life. So, some of His flock are eternal spirit beings, and some of His flock are presently physical human beings, yet someday to become eternal spirit beings.
     “ … like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, …”
     There will be a time when we will receive a hug from the Lord Jesus Christ, and we will be able to reciprocate that hug!
     “ … And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.”
     If you truly understand the meaning of this verse – it’s not just poetry. It’s talking about what Jesus the Messiah is going to do when He returns to this earth a second time. This fantastic being!
     Verse 12 – “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, …”
     Think of all of the oceans. All the rivers. All the lakes. And all of those together compared to Jesus is nothing more than a scoop of water cupped in your hand.
     “ … Measured heaven with a span …”
     It’s almost like He took a massive cloud of dust and threw it, scattering it throughout His universe creating stars, planets, and moons. And multiple trillions of galaxies. And, of course, this is poetic language.
     “ … And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales And the hills in a balance?”
     Think about all the mountains on the earth. All the hills. And for Him, it’s like us weighing but a few rocks on a scale.
     Verse 13 – “Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has taught Him?”
     Who has taught the One we now call Jesus!? He has been in association with the One we now call God the Father. But it’s not our job to tell God what to do! Or, how to work things out! Sadly, there are many people who presume that they can speak for God. I dare say – not a good idea! Let the LORD God do the speaking. Learn your knowledge from the LORD God from His living word and don’t just pass on fairy tales.
     Verse 14 – “With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, And taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, And showed Him the way of understanding?”
     Verse 15 – “Behold, …” – according to His might, His power, His mind – “ … the nations are as a drop in a bucket, …” 
      Think of it! Over 8 billion people on earth now – just a drop in a bucket. Compared to the glorious might and power of God! Yet, this God allowed Himself to be changed into a human being as a small child and allowed Himself eventually to be tortured to death so that we might have a Savior. WHAT A GOD! WHAT A SAVIOR! WHAT A JESUS!
     “ … And are counted as the small dust on the scales; Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.”
     You think about all the islands. Coastlines. Compared to Jesus they’re a very little thing. 
     Verse 16 – “And Lebanon [the forests of Lebanon] is not sufficient to burn, Nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering.”
     There’s no burnt offering that could ever be worthy of being a tribute to God.
    Verse 17 – “All nations before Him are as nothing, And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless. 18) To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare Him?”


Isaiah 41:9 – “You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its farthest regions, And said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away.’”
    Brethren, when we see firsthand a miracle from the LORD our God it makes these living words evermore poignant and significant.
     Verse 10 – “’ Fear not, for I AM with you; Be not dismayed, for I AM your God. …’”
    These living words should be going through our minds as of late. ‘I will not leave you, I will not forsake you.’ And in the hour of our need, He doesn’t!
     “ … ‘I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”
     Now, friends, there is a mouthful right there! There are a whole lot of people who think that they can make themselves righteous. And friends, you can’t do it. I once had a young man enter my woodworking shop ─ he and his father had been attending with us for quite a while, and then their minds went off to leftfield. They literally lost their minds as far as we’re concerned! And they weren’t going to come back to church services. His father was the first to get his mind in a twist. Because one Sabbath service I had told a story ─ and I have mentioned this story before of this account. Well, in services I had brought up the story that there was a woman, a complete figment of my imagination – a hypothetical woman. And I spoke about this woman who had been a regular church attendee and every Sabbath she came to services dressed perfectly – her outfit just so wonderful. Her hair was always done just so perfectly. Her makeup was just so perfect. She had such a good spirit about her. But then, tragedy struck her. A whole series of major body blows. Her husband died unexpectedly. Her income was down to almost nothing. Her young unwed daughter became pregnant. Her young son announced that he was homosexual. The family dog died. The car broke down. The house burned down. Just every tragedy or upsetting thing a person could go through! She just got pounded and pounded and pounded – over and over! And she didn’t show up at church services for a long time. But then, one day she did come back, but she didn’t have the wonderful clothing she once had. She was just wearing a very simple dress. Her hair hadn’t been fixed by a beautician at a beauty salon. Her face was drab with no makeup. She looked plain, sad, and broken. She was a broken woman. And I had said – if that occurred, I would walk over to her, place one arm around her, and say to her, whatever her name was, you look so wonderful and we are so happy to have you back with us.
     Now, friends, that’s what I would do. I know me. Now, remember, that was just a hypothetical story. Well, the father of these two, became highly offended by that! He shouted out, “You lied to her!” And he kept shouting this over and over! And I think he actually lost track of the fact that I had told a hypothetical story. A make-believe story. And that in his mind, I shouldn’t have said to her, “You look so wonderful.” Well, I guarantee you that in the eyes of God the Father and Jesus Christ, she looked wonderful. Because she was one of God Almighty’s begotten children. She was one of our Lord Jesus’ begotten sisters. As she was coming back to where she should be. I’m sure she looked beautiful to the LORD God. But to this man – how dare you say she looked wonderful. Now, there was a time – I think it was at an Arby’s fast food restaurant – the last time that I saw him, and I asked him, “What would you have said to that lady?” And he retorted, “Well, she better not ask me, because I would tell her!” So, with all the tribulations she has had, he would just lay upon her another stone. Well, pardon my French here, but, “C’est un âne!” To be that cruel and cold-hearted.
     This young man – this father’s son – once told me, he said, “I don’t need to go to church. I will spend time with God. And I will do everything perfectly. I will be so righteous that God has to let me into His kingdom!” And I just shook my head with tears in my eyes. I asked him, “Where in the world have you heard such a thing!? You have never heard us say anything like that!” Because you, or I, or anyone else do not have it within ourselves to be righteous. The human heart, we’re told, is enmity against God. At war against God.
     Notice verse 10 again, “’ I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”
    The righteousness that we might partake in doesn’t come from us. It comes from God Almighty and Jesus Christ placing Their mind and Their nature into us. And the righteousness which we might have is Their righteousness. And friends, if you don’t hear another thing we say in this audio or any other future recording, would you please remember this! You have no righteousness other than what Jesus Christ gives to you. Through the gift of His Spirit.
     It goes on to say, verse 11 – “’ Behold, all those who were incensed against you Shall be ashamed and disgraced; They shall be as nothing, And those who strive with you shall perish.’”
    You know, the people who hate us in the here and the now – and we have quite a few people who literally hate us – and we’ve dealt with a lot of so-called Christians. And I myself can remember a leader of a church organization on the phone screaming at me, “I’m going to do everything within my power to destroy you and the church in Owensboro!” Now, that sounded like hate to me. What does the LORD God say!? “’ Behold, all those who were incensed against you Shall be ashamed and disgraced; They shall be as nothing, And those who strive with you shall perish.’” Not our words, friends. These are the words we see written in our Bible.
    Verse 12 – “’ You shall seek them and not find them ─ Those who contended with you. Those who war against you Shall be as nothing, As a nonexistent thing.’”
     These are powerful words, friends!
    Verse 13 – “’ For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’”
     Those beautiful words come to us in our tribulations – “’ Fear not, I will help you.’” And friends, as God as our witness, so He does! And, as we’ve said, if the LORD God can take time out of Their busy schedule to help us, They will take time out of Their busy schedule to help you. Along with your family.
     Verse 14 – “’ Fear not, you worm Jacob, …’” – meaning the children of Israel.
     When the LORD God looks down upon mankind, God – the family of God, which at this moment in time consists of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ – They know we are but tiny. We’re very fragile. And it doesn’t take much to kill us. Or, making us crippled or ill. God knows that we are but flesh and blood. We come from but dirt. And, God knows that without His help, we will someday return to the dirt.
    “ … ‘You men of Israel! I will help you,’ says the LORD And your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.’”
    Do you recall the traditional Christmas song “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” with the line, And ransom captive Israel? This is the God we’re talking about! The God that brought Israel out of slavery and bondage. The same God that brought Israel into the Promised Land. The same God that brought forth David – a king of Israel at that time, and a king of the future. Again, this being is the One we now call JESUS.
     Verse 15 – “’ Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth; You shall thresh the mountains and beat them small, And make the hills like chaff. 16) You shall winnow them, the wind shall carry them away, And the whirlwind shall scatter them; You shall rejoice in the LORD, And glory in the Holy One of Israel.’”
     He is speaking about the future. When He returns and gathers together all the remnants of Israel and brings them once again into the Holy Land. That their enemies will be beaten, destroyed, and blown away as chaff from a mighty wind.
    Now, there will be military armies who will fight the returning Jesus Christ! And, there are people at this very moment who passionately hate Jesus! And, there are people at this very moment who passionately hate someone who refers to themselves as a Christian. And, there are people this very moment in places like Afghanistan who want to be Christian, and when the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (known as ISIS) rifles through their belongings and finds a Holy Bible – they’re taken out into the street and their heads are chopped off! This has been happening – in the 21st century! There are people who hate the One which we love. And, they will be some of the people who will fight Jesus upon His glorious and powerful return. And, they will be some of the people who will be utterly destroyed!
    Verse 17 – “’ The poor and needy seek water, but there is none, Their tongues fail for thirst. I, the LORD, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.’”
     This is a promise made to the people who want to have the God of Israel as their King. Sadly, not all people do.
     Verse 18 – Again this is talking about the Millennium and beyond. “’ I will open rivers in desolate heights, And fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, And the dry land springs of water.’”
     The Millennium with our Lord Jesus Christ ruling over the earth will become an absolute paradise!
     Verse 19 – “’ I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree, The myrtle and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine And the box tree together, 20) That they may see and know, And consider and understand together, That the hand of the LORD [the living JESUS CHRIST] has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it.’”
     Verse 21 – “’ Present your case,’ says the LORD. ‘Bring forth your strong reasons,’ says the King of Jacob. 22) ‘Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; Let them show the former things, what they were, That we may consider them, And know the latter end of them; Or declare to us things to come.’”
     Again ─ There are so many items in God’s living word which speak about an early fulfillment of prophecy and a latter fulfillment of prophecy. Normally the latter fulfillment of prophecy is much more dramatic.
     Jesus Christ came to the earth once upon a time as a small child and grew up living a perfect life, and then for 3½ years preached the good news of the coming kingdom of God. And that He was Savior. This was an early fulfillment.
     But friends, not too far away – is it just years away!? As in four or five!? Or, ten, twenty!? And if you think twenty-two years is a long time! Think about where you were on September 11, 2001. Commonly known as 9/11, when coordinated suicide terrorists – carried out by the militant Islamist network al-Qaeda against the United States – took commercial planes and slammed them into the Twin Towers in New York City! Along with a plane slamming into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense in Arlington County, Virginia. Also, the plane which was wrestled down near Shanksville, Pennsylvania – before it got to Washington, D.C. How many of you, who are old enough, remember where you were when you heard the news!? How many of you can see in your mind's eye the television set showing the terrible scene!? The replay of those commercial jet planes flying at high speed into the Twin Towers!? Or, who could forget the South Tower collapsing like a pancake straight down creating this massive blanket of dust and ash and people running for their lives!? Covered in concrete dust to the point where you couldn’t tell if the person was black, white, or somewhere in between – because on that day, in Lower Manhattan, everyone was grey. Can you remember those terrible scenes!? That was nearly twenty-two years ago. It's gone by quickly – hasn’t it!?
     So, what if the return of our Lord Jesus Christ is ten years away!? Or, less. We don’t know the date. But we know that when it does happen – it will be like the blink of an eye.
     Verse 23 – “’ Show the things that are to come hereafter, That we may know that you are gods; Yes, do good or do evil, That we may be dismayed and see it together.’”


This is CHAPTER ONE in which we just take some Scriptures and let His living word describe to us just how great Jesus really is. The same being that takes time out to heal us. Let us never forget. And let us never forget to tell others so that they too can have the same type of experience for themselves or their loved ones. We serve an awesome God! Our Elder Brother is wonderful! And He wants us to love Him so that He can pour out love upon us. We are the main object of His eye. I once gave a sermon entitled, “The Apple of God’s Eye” referring to people like you and me.
     We are so fortunate, we are so blessed. And may all of you hearing or reading this message – may this truth sink in. I just pray that some of you who come from that old tradition, of which I have alluded to often – instead of always talking about God the Father, realize that most of the time you were talking about JESUS. And do not be ashamed of that name! And of that being! Because He is the Author of eternal life. And it is within His power to offer it to people like you and me.
     So, wipe the sleep from your eyes, and clean out the wax from your ears, so that your eyes can truly see and so that your ears could truly hear and know that we serve the being known as JESUS.
     Which is why we go by the name the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ.
     May all of you be blessed in all that you do. Until next time, with all my love, goodbye my friends. □

Friday, May 19, 2023

Commentary: Religiosity

by Guy LaMar

The LORD God established the languages that we speak.

The LORD God understands our speaking languages.

Along with our mental thoughts. The LORD God – the family of God, which at this moment consists of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ – knows what one means and is saying when they speak.

A person with any speech impediments is just as clear to the Eternal our God as a proficient speaker.

So do not think for one second that grabbing hold of Hebrew names in this modern 21st century or even a 3000-year-old ancient language will somehow be more righteous and holy.

In truth, acknowledgment of how one says the name of God in the Hebrew language has no record going back some 5,000 years ago. And, even 3,000 years ago only has a guesstimate. 

In truth, the LORD God knows all languages – even in this 21st century. The LORD God established all languages. Our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ know who is calling upon Them – in any language!

Deaf people are heard by the LORD God as loud and boisterous as anyone else.

So, these “sacred name” groups are nothing more than people who are trying to limit the Eternal our God’s divine capabilities and awesome power.

This new movement of these “sacred name” groups is nothing more than a bunch of religiosity on steroids – so to speak. It’s simply a case of people trying to be too religious. And calling themselves “righteous” because of the sounds made from their mouth.

It is foolish trying to limit the Eternal Creator God in Their awesome power in understanding all languages.

It’s like some men get a sense of religiosity over growing their beards long. In the ’40s and ’50s among men, which was perhaps the era of the most disciplined of people in modern history, in American society, scruffy beards were looked upon as a person lacking proper grooming discipline due to laziness.

But now, in this modern era of religiosity and showy appearance, anything goes – including unkept and scruffy beards on men. It’s all a bunch of nonsense. Where men have long scruffy beards and women cut their hair short – such as a pixie cut.

I grow a beard from time to time, but it is not a religious statement by any means.

It’s when a person makes long scruffy beards a religious statement that it becomes just silly.

It’s like the Orthodox Jewish men growing their beards long. They grow these silly beards, and they grow their payots (sideburns) extra long. Or the Hasidic Jewish men wearing their black Russian-looking shtreimel and a tallit. And, like the Catholics, they pray their repetitive prayers.

God’s living word teaches us that we are not supposed to wear a covering – a hat – when we are speaking with the LORD God. Notice –

“Every man who has a covering on his head when he is praying or prophesying puts his Head [the Lord Jesus Christ] to shame” – 1 Corinthians 11:4, NET.

Now, that is not to say that the LORD God can’t hear our prayer because we might have a hat upon our heads. But, it is a sign of DISRESPECT to the Lord our God – the living Jesus Christ!

Sadly, these modern-day so-called Christians that practice Judeo-Christianity are nothing more than modern-day Pharisees or Sadducees.

They are bastardizing the LORD God’s true religion.


The name of His Son and our Elder Brother is JESUS. This is the holy name that the Anglo-Saxon-speaking peoples use to identify the living Son of God, our Savior, the Christ.

Let us always STAY WITH THE TRUNK OF THE TREE! Don’t go out on limbs or twigs. Keep the simplicity of Christ our main focus in life. Keep JESUS CHRIST the center point of all things in your life! He is the Director. He is the Producer. He is the Author. He is the Beginning and Finisher of our faith. He is the All of Everything to true Christians.

True Christians do not limit the Eternal God to words, languages, or phrases.

Yet sadly, a large majority of our peoples in this world continue to dress or speak in a certain way in order to make themselves appear more righteous and showy.

The LORD God is the Alpha and Omega of our religion. The LORD God is at the heart of our mindset, our thinking, and our activities as to whether we are on the correct path or not.

Too often a good and faithful servant of the LORD our God can get off-track by becoming overly religious. And, when they become overly religious they begin to lose sight of the MOST IMPORTANT thing – true love for others. They become cynical, and judgmental and begin attacking at every opportunity others who might lack and understand things that they think one should.


Do not ever try and cram our religion down other people’s throats.

Do not try to win people over with “good arguments,” we should win others over with our good examples. Be nurturing, loving, uplifting, kind, and understanding – instead of bashing them over the head for something they cannot know.

This is the main reason why I refuse to “get in line” with these worldly churches in this present evil age.

They busy themselves bashing people over the head with their judgmental Louisville Slugger instead of having true compassion, mercy, and concern for them.

Now, this doesn’t mean that we should be a pushover.

True Christians should have a great amount of discipline and self-control. It’s vitally important that discipline is on self, and not trying to be pushy upon others.

Be always THANKFUL and ACKNOWLEDGE the glorious blessings that the LORD God has called you!

We must have pity, mercy, and concern for all others.

Yet, it is only God THE FATHER, who calls people unto His living Word, Truth, and Plan.

Our Christian duty in part with this calling is that we are to be a light unto the world. Which means to let our light shine brightly through good examples, good words, and by how we represent ourselves to others.

God’s living word clearly teaches us that we are to be kind in our response to being asked – “What do you believe!?”

We should not be prideful, bombastic, or authoritative towards others who do not understand what we have been blessed to understand. There is no value in insulting others and attacking others for their lack of understanding. In fact, it only makes us a religious snob if we attack others as though we know something they don’t by holding it over their heads. Religious snobs will NEVER win people over to the living Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God.

Let us always LOOK TO JESUS!

Let us always look to how He handled others and He presented TRUTH to others.

The “religious snobs” tend to be scared to be around others due to their fear. Their fear that other people will influence their group away from them.

But, if you are a good steward and on guard, then you will prevent such a thing in a kind and respectful manner. And will certainly help the one you believe is trying to influence others away to find the true Light of Christ.

Remember, our Lord Jesus Christ kept company with prostitutes, criminals, and demon-possessed individuals, and certainly came across homosexuals. In truth, every person that was ever around Him was a sinner!

But, pay close attention to how He handled people. It all boils down to… L O V E!!!!! Deep compassion and concern for others! Kindness.

And, all the fruits of the Spirit were on full display within JESUS! And His Way is the way we are seeking to be!

Showing to all mankind ─ love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

This is where our mindset IS TO BE! □

Additional Commentaries

Becoming a GodThe reason that I bring this up is that I too in my youth thought this was a mighty bold statement. “Oh,” I would think, “the audacity! The unmitigated gall!” Since that time, I have grown substantially in the loving grace and knowledge of the Eternal God. [...]
Evil Mock's God's TruthWe must be careful with whom we share God's living truth. Evil will mock and insult YOU along with God's truth!
Let NOTHING Get In the Way of Jesus! - THE point is: that it is a struggle to NOT allow the snares of this world - things that are material - to get in the way of JESUS!

Friday, May 12, 2023

Christmas - Chapter One

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by Michael C. Garrett

The Logos

In Chapter 1 of the Book of John it says, verse 1 ─ “In the beginning was the Word, …” Now, that word – the word “Word” – in Greek is Logos. And it means, “the Spokesman.” This is describing a member of the family of God who has always been the member of the family of God, which directly communicated with human beings. This is the member of the family of God that reached into the moist clay of ancient Palestine and molded and shaped a human form and brought it to life, and called him Adam.

This is the same being that later on took a part of Adam’s ribs – and using that as a basic substrate – created another human being, which He called Eve.

This is the being who appeared to Abraham, as the two angels and He showed up at Abraham’s camp, as they eventually ended up going into Sodom and Gomorrah.

This is the being who showed Himself to Moses.

This is the being, who after His human life and death and resurrection, appeared to the Apostle Paul, and taught him the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God.

This is the Spokesman.

This is the One we read about in the New Testament. This is the One we read about in biblical prophecies of the Old Testament. The Logos.

And it says, “ … and the Word was with God, …” And this word God here is Theos, meaning God the Father, or God Almighty. “ … and the Word was God.” The Spokesman was a member of the family of God.

And it says, verse 2 ─ “He was in the beginning with God.” Meaning, God the Father – Theos. Long before there was any human beings, any type of any kind of life upon the earth, long before an earth even existed, or a sun and a solar system even existed, or the massive planetary stars, meteors, comets, asteroids – and everything else out there that is part of the universe! Long before any of this existed, the One we now call Jesus Christ, and the One we now refer to as God the Father or God Almighty – They existed long before any of this.

Now, sometimes people ask the question. And sometimes it is a legitimate question. And sometimes I think it is somebody trying to be a smart aleck. They’ll ask, “Well, you talk about God. God created this and God creating that. Well, who created God!?” Or, “Where did God come from!?”

And friends, we can’t explain that part of the story. It’s beyond our ability to know. I’ll tell you, I don’t know how a television works. I mean, think about it. I remember as a small child, we got a television set at the home where I lived. And it really was a magical piece of equipment! I don’t know how radio signals are created and modified and sent over the airwaves, and a little receiver changes those invisible wavelengths of energy changing it into a voice that I can hear, or music that I can hear! I don’t know how that happens! I do know that it does. But I cannot begin to explain to you how that happens. And, I have no idea how they transmit from one location to your television set, and it shows up on your screen – how do they do that!? I know it works. I know I can turn on my clicker, I know the TV set turns on. And, I get to change the channel. But I don’t even know how the remote control controls my TV set! But I know that it exists. And that is what we’re getting to. We cannot tell you all the technicalities on where God came from before He created the universe, and life, and the earth. Our minds are limited. We are human beings. We are not at the present time a godly being.

At some time, we hope that God graciously imparts to us the gift of eternal life. And that, when that time comes, we will then have the mind power of a member of the family of God, and now – at that point – we will be able to understand these great, awesome, and unfathomable ideas. At the present time, we’re walking around on a pogo stick, and God is traveling along in a supersonic jet! That’s how far we are apart. When it talks about the quality of our mental acuity. We, as human beings, are not on His level – yet. Every day we are trying to get a little closer. But we are still stuck in this human flesh, with this human life, this human heart, and lungs. And so, we are rather limited.

I’ve often thought, what do my kitty cats think when I pick up this little box – this little remote control – and the TV set turns on! I imagine in their kitty brains they go, “My daddy is the smartest daddy on the face of the earth!” He can hit a button and things change. He hits a button on the wall and the lights turn on! Now, think about all the things that would be totally impossible for a cat to understand. Now, I love my kitty cats, they are dear and precious, sweet, charming, and loving – and we’re a family. But I don’t think my kitty cats can figure out how to turn my computer on and read to me my email. It’s beyond their capability. They’re a feline, and I’m a human. God is so much farther advanced than we are.

So, who made God!? It’s a logical question that even a four-year-old can come up with. Yet, even a seventy-year-old mind can’t come up with the mechanics of it all. Yet, we know that God exists.

One of the ways that we know that God exists is because we have seen Him perform miracles in front of our eyes! We have seen Him do things that could not be understood by any other means. Other than the hand of an Almighty power graciously bestowing love upon us and the people around us. So, we do not have any doubts about God’s existence. Yet, we have never actually seen Him. We have never actually touched Him. We have not smelled Him. We have never heard His voice. Yet, we know He exists.

From the living promises of the word of God, someday we will see Him, we will hear Him, and we will embrace Him. We look forward to being given a hug by Jesus Christ and to returning that embrace. Imagine receiving an embrace and returning an embrace from Jesus Christ – Lord, Master, and Savior! Lord of lords and King of kings! That is what we are hoping for someday.

And it says, verse 3 ─ “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

This being – the Logos – is the Creator God. Verse 4 ─ “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

The people who were alive during this time – nearly two thousand years ago – they did not comprehend what they had. In fact, some of the religious types were so offended and challenged by Him. The people could have easily left their temple, their doctrines, and their routines, and started following Jesus. But He was a threat to their financial survival, their prestige, and their power. And they wanted to kill Him. And eventually, they got their wish.

No, the darkness did not comprehend who Jesus was.

And it’s sad to say, that in the world today which we live here at Christmas time, the world still – by in large – does not really comprehend the real Jesus Christ and His true teachings! Or His living words concerning the present, the past, and the future. They don’t understand. Darkness still does not properly comprehend Jesus Christ.

Verse 6 ─ “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” Speaking of John the Baptist, who was actually a relative of Jesus. A cousin.

Verse 7 ─ “This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8) He [John the Baptist] was not that Light, …”

Yet, there is a certain huge Protestant religious group that calls themselves Baptists, after John the Baptist. Do you see the flaw in that thinking!?

Verse 9 ─ “That was the true Light …”

Jesus Christ, the true Light. An extension of God being shared with human beings.

“ … which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10) He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, …”

There are some religious people who ─ because they do not understand the Bible; certainly not understanding the first chapter of John ─ believe Jesus never existed until the moment He was born as a human baby back nearly two thousand years ago. And what they do not understand is Jesus Christ is the One who created Adam and Eve ─ as we mentioned earlier. He was the One who created the Earth, the sun, the planets, and the solar system. He is the One who created what we call the Milky Way galaxy. He is the One who created billions and billions of other galaxies ─ strung out as far as the mind can imagine! The world and all creation were made by Him.

“ … and the world did not know Him.”

Verse 11 ─ “He came to His own [meaning the Jewish people], …”

Yes, Jesus Christ was of Jewish descent.

“ … and His own did not receive Him.”

In fact, His own people wanted to kill Him! “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” a huge mob screamed!

Verse 12 ─ “But as many as receive Him, to them He gave the right to become [the sons and the daughters] of God, …”

If you truly believe in the words and in the promises of Jesus Christ, and follow His biblical prescription ─ we have before us an opportunity to inherit eternal life when this same Jesus Christ returns to the earth a second time! Sadly, most people do not understand this. A lot of so-called Christians think that they’re going to flit off to heaven when they die. No, they are not. Many people think that their young son or daughter who died way too early ─ that they’re up in heaven waiting for them. No, they are not. Many people think that their parents or grandparents who died are in heaven ─ just waiting for them to show up. No, they are not. Anyone who has ever lived and died they are now asleep. Completely unaware of anything. They have no pain. They have no euphoria. They have no awareness of the passage of time. They are just asleep. That is what dead is ─ according to the Bible.

But God’s living word also says that if your name is written in the Book of Life ─ the Lamb’s Book of Life ─ that at the blowing of the seventh trump, the last trump, with the return of Jesus Christ, you will be resurrected. Whether you’re dead in the grave or alive you will be resurrected and gather together with Jesus Christ. And this mass of individuals will end up on the Mount of Olives. And most importantly, the feet of Jesus Christ once again will walk on the Mount of Olives!

Verse 13 ─ “who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

By God’s pronouncement! By His creating this system in which He is populating the family of God with former human beings! By the promises which God has made and given to us in His Book. We have that opportunity.

Verse 14 ─ “And the Word [the Logos – the One we now call Jesus Christ] became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” And Spirit and perfection.

That word dwelt in the original Greek is skēnoō, meaning “to live, dwell; to spread a tent.” So, for a period of time, the Creator God ─ Jesus Christ ─ tabernacled with human beings.

The Birth of Jesus Christ

Just about everybody has heard the so-called story of Christmas. About the birth of Jesus Christ. Just about everybody has heard of Jesus Christ being born in a manger. And just about everybody has heard about the shepherds. Most are aware of this great light in the sky, what they call a star. Which was not an actual star. It was not the planets Jupiter and Saturn aligned. It was an angelic being that was guiding the ancient wise men of the Orient to see the young Christ child. There are also a number of Christmas songs that talk about the shepherds.

Friends, Jerusalem stands on hills at an elevation of 2,575 feet. 1 Bethlehem, which is where Jesus was actually born ─ is about 5 miles south of Jerusalem. In comparison, Tel Aviv, in modern-day Israel ─ in the same location as ancient Jaffa ─ is only roughly 16 ft. Even in Israel today, if you have sheep in the summer, spring, and fall, you might have them up in the mountains of Jerusalem. Where it is cooler. But when late fall and early winter comes it gets so cold up in the higher elevations, you take your sheep, and herd them down into the lowlands, where it is more temperate. Much warmer and safer for the sheep.

If it had been December 25th, the shepherds would not have been out in the fields tending their sheep. If it were actually what this world calls December 25th, the shepherds would have taken the sheep ─ many weeks earlier ─ down into the lowlands. The shepherds were still in the field because it was still mild weather in late September. There are numerous biblical indications that point out that Jesus Christ was not born on or anywhere near December 25th.

Jesus Christ died in spring. What the Bible calls Passover. And we can take you back to the Book of Daniel chapter 9 and show you that Jesus Christ was to have a seven-year public ministry. But, in His first appearance on the earth, His public ministry only lasted for 3 ½ years. What is interesting is that when Jesus Christ returns He is going to have another 3 ½ year period where He begins to whip the nations into shape. They are going to begin doing things the Way He wants them done. So, going back in time ─ His public ministry began in the fall of the year. And so, Jesus Christ likely followed the tradition that a priest ─ in the Levitical priesthood ─ could not become a priest until he was thirty years old. This means that Jesus Christ began His public ministry in the fall. 3 ½ years before His death. Not in the winter. But in the fall.

So, if you place all these biblical understandings together, it becomes plain that Jesus Christ was not born on or anywhere near December 25th.

In all likelihood, Jesus Christ was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles. You want to celebrate Christmas properly!? Then celebrate the Holy Days of God as expressed and enumerated in the Bible. And then you will actually be celebrating the birthday of Jesus.

And if you keep the Passover, you actually will be keeping, commemorating, the human death of Jesus Christ.

And if you keep the Days of Unleavened Bread you actually will be keeping the anniversary of His resurrection and Life.

However, this world around us and its traditions, which have been passed on down thousands of years, obsess about the rebirth of the sun. On the 21st of December, we have what they call the winter solstice. Which is the shortest daylight period of time with the sun lower on the horizon.

Ancient people literally worshiped the sun. They came to realize that the sun was the source of all life. And they are correct ─ in a physical sense. If there is no sun there are no plants. There would be no animals, they wouldn’t have anything to eat. And all life would be gone. No heat. No light. No anything. We would just be a giant ice cube. And you and I would not exist. 

But even though the winter solstice is on what we call the 21st of December, it took them a few days to realize that the sun was coming back ─ it was being reborn, “unconquered” (dies solis invicti nati).

It was a cause for celebration in their ancient pagan societies.

And December 25th, just about the time that the rebirth of the sun can be noticed, has been celebrated for millennia! Long before the human birth of Jesus Christ. Yet, people have no idea where Christmas came from. It was simply done by the ancient Romans to take a holiday for the people ─ they loved celebrating the rebirth of the sun. They called it Saturnalia. Festival and holiday in honor of their god Saturn. It was held on the 17th of December of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through to the 23rd of December. A week-long sex orgy celebration. Their streets were infected with a Mardi Gras-type madness.

So, the people have been celebrating Saturnalia for millennia! It has been passed down from one generation to the next. By the fourth century A.D., the officials of the Roman era settled on celebrating Christmas on December 25th, which allowed them to incorporate the holiday with Saturnalia and other popular midwinter traditions. They slapped the name Jesus onto the holiday and therefore called it “Christian.”

This is where Christmas came from. But, we prefer calling it X-Mas. Many people over the years have become very offended, saying, “We need to put Christ back into Christmas.” But, we say ─ put the X back in there!

Now, it is true that December 25th is a national holiday. It’s not just a religious holiday, it’s actually a secular holiday. □

To be continued.


1) Gordon, Buzzy , Wasserstein, Bernard , Perowne, Stewart Henry , Dumper, Michael and Prawer, Joshua. "Jerusalem". Encyclopedia Britannica, 24 Apr. 2023, htps:// Accessed 12 May 2023.