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. □

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