Sunday, June 25, 2023

Commentary - Increased Knowledge

by Guy C LaMar

God’s living word – the Holy Bible – tells us that towards the end of this age, there will be an increase in knowledge.

“’But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book [the Book of Daniel] until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, AND KNOWLEDGE SHALL INCREASE.’” – Daniel 12:4.

Now, it’s been said that knowledge is power. And, this is true in certain circumstances. But, it also depends on what sort of knowledge. Knowledge can be very evil and wicked. And, there can be knowledge of good. Hence, the knowledge of good and evil.

“Now the Spirit [the very mind of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ] expressly says that IN THE LATTER TIMES some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2) speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.” – 1 Timothy 4:1-2.

“Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but loves edifies. 2) And if anyone thinks he knows anything, HE KNOWS NOTHING yet as he ought to know. 3) But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.” – 1 Corinthians 8:1-3.

“but of the TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die [meaning, the process of death].” – Genesis 2:17.

“The fear [reverent fear] of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” – Proverbs 1:7.

The LORD God says in the Book of Hosea, “’ My people are DESTROYED FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest [minister, teacher] for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God [speaking here of the very relevant TEN COMMANDMENTS!], I also will forget your children.’” – Hosea 4:6.

Brethren, God’s living eternal word tells us that we should keep the simplicity of Christ. In other words, K.I.S.S. KEEP IT SIMPLE SERVANT! Don’t complicate matters where it pertains to God’s living Word, Truth, and Plan.

“Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly─and indeed you do bear with me. 2) For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3) BUT I FEAR, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST.” – 2 Corinthians 11:1-3.

The Apostle Peter admonishes us, brethren – “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, BEWARE lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18) but GROW IN THE GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.” – 2 Peter 3:7-18.

As we are drawing towards the end of this present evil age, we are witnessing more and more people growing in their cockiness in their form of knowledge.

It’s like – when some of us first came into the glorious knowledge of God’s living Word, Truth, and Plan, there were some that became naïve and cocky about this glorious knowledge that we have been blessed to receive. And, there were some that were trying to cram God’s religion down others’ throats.

Well, this is how this world is in its form of knowledge.

When the LORD God’s begotten children display the fruits of God’s Spirit – and only one with the Holy Spirit dwelling within him will display the fruits of the Spirit properly – they are representing our Lord Jesus Christ in the Way of God!

One must be humble, gentle, kind, caring, merciful, compassionate, concerned, friendly, loving, joyful, peaceful, long-suffering, good-hearted, and faithful in Christ. As well as a calming personality of self-control.

The LORD God’s people are not cocky in any way. They present humility. They are gracious and kind to all people – cf. Romans 12:18.

The LORD God’s people shine the light of Christ before them so that others may see their good works and glorify the LORD God in heaven. They do not try and win an argument by pridefully, and with cockiness, displaying the blessed knowledge God has blessed them with.

Throughout societies, in general, notice how each generation was, and how they are now.

Now, in past generations, moral goodness may have come off as lacking in knowledge to this generation. But, the “Now Generation” is consumed with COCKINESS! Whereas past generations had a character of more humility.

This “Now Generation” is consumed by a PRIDEFUL LUST! Which is of Satan the devil! The very first sin came from the PRIDE OF SATAN – cf. Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:11-17.

One major difference between past knowledge and this “Now” knowledge is that of a lack of humility. The knowledge of this “Now” movement is presented with a bold cocky PRIDEFUL LUST!

We can see a good example of this form of rebellious cockiness in how King David was and how his son Absalom was – their character.

King David was a humble servant of the LORD God – a man after God’s own heart. Whereas Absalom was cocky and believed that he was superior to his father. This type of attitude is AGAINST THE MANNER OF GOD’S DESIGN.

Sadly, this “Now Generation’s” increasing knowledge of this present evil age is by no means all good. Much of it is for the benefit of Satan the devil and his evil minions. Being knowledgeable in God’s living word should be a very humbling experience.

It’s vitally important – again, the Apostle Peter, “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore BE SERIOUS AND WATCHFUL in your prayers. 8) And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’ 9) Be hospitable to one another WITHOUT GRUMBLING. 10) As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” – 1 Peter 4:7-10.

The LORD God’s servants should be observant of their surroundings and those who are displaying the fruits of the Spirit and those who are not!

As our Lord Jesus says, “’ BEWARE of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, …’” – in other words, they look and sound righteous and religious. “ … ‘ but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16) You will know them by their fruits [by their character]. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17) Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18) A good tree CAN NOT bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.’

Verse 19 – “’ Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20) THEREFORE by their fruits you will know them.’” – Matthew 7:15-20. □

Additional Commentaries by Minister Guy C. LaMar:

Commentary: Happy New Year? - Here are various sources on this so-called New Year.
Commentary: Long Life - Now obviously mankind cannot live 1,000 years in the flesh.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Look to Jesus - Chapter Three

by Michael C Garrett

You can also listen to this article. Click the orange play button.

Let Our Focus Be On God the Father and Jesus Christ

We’ve been speaking about a subject that is based on Hebrews 12:2. The King James Version says, “Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; …” And we sort of changed that from the infinitive to just a verb – LOOK TO JESUS. And, we’ve been trying to point out that – and this is difficult for many people to understand; and we’re sure that there are people who have watched, read, or listened to the last two chapters, and are scratching their heads, saying to themselves, What are they talking about!? It doesn’t make any sense. Because, for the larger majority of people, if you were to say, “Well, you want to become religious.” Whatever the interpretation of religion is, for most it means to get involved in their church. To go to church services, maybe go to a Bible study, or have dinner with other church people – the focus being on church. An organization. And people, we think, delude themselves (as in a delusion, not an allusion) into thinking, if I dedicate myself to my church then I therefore have dedicated myself to God and Jesus. And this is simply not true.

You can dedicate yourself to your church, and completely miss having a direct connection to God the Father and Jesus Christ! Again we cite the Ten Commandments – 1) “’ You shall have no other gods before Me.’”

And it is very possible – and I’ve met people – that actually worship their vehicle. There was a family that lived just across the culdesac, and the man of the family washed his vehicle three or four times a week! And then after washing, he would apply wax. And it truly looked as if he was bowing down to his vehicle! And, surely, there are people in this world that are completely in love with their Maserati, Lamborghini, or whatever brand of car! And this is not what life is supposed to be all about.

The purpose of life is that we become a literal son or daughter of God the Father and a brother or sister to our Lord Jesus Christ. And that They become the center of our focus. Not in an organization, not in a minister, not singing in a choir – participating in this organization believing that they are doing a spiritual job. When in fact, they aren’t. It’s only truly spiritual if you are seeking ‘first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,’ the Spirit of God, and following the Spirit of God, and are focused on God the Father and Jesus Christ!


It’s not glory to a leader of an organization or a denomination, or a minister – it’s GLORY TO JESUS! And, so many people just don’t understand this. They’ve never made this connection.

Truly, all of what we’re saying is what God’s living word – the Holy Bible – says over and over again. And, within these past two chapters, we’ve been reading and going over the preeminence of Jesus Christ. The fact that Jesus Christ is EVERYTHING! He’s the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End! He is as the Book of Hebrews says, “the author and finisher of our faith.”

We had just finished Revelation chapter one in the last chapter, where the majesty and greatness of Jesus are described and presented to us.

In this chapter let’s look into the Book of Hebrews. And we hope that you have your Bible in front of you and are following along – so that you can assure yourself that we’re not just making things up. That we are simply reporting on what the LORD God has given to us through Their holy word.

Now, in our understanding, this book was written by the Apostle Paul. He never placed his name in it, but the style of the writing and the various clues, there is little doubt that this was written by the Apostle Paul. Written at the top page of my Bible is that this was probably written before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in about 70 A.D.

What do we have in Jerusalem before 70 A.D.!? We have a lot of Jewish followers whose life revolves around the temple, with all the physical ceremonies and the dignitaries. And the Apostle Paul is directly addressing those people who have a tremendous Jewish background. And he’s trying to get them to understand IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS CHRIST!

It's not about the temple or the ancient Jewish religion.

And, sadly, we know people who are just fascinated – obsessed almost – with ancient Jewish religious ideas.

I remember that I had gone to a church meeting once, and this young woman (about thirty years old), a very nice lady, she came up to me speaking Hebrew. And I thought, why is she doing this!? Because in her mind, along with a great many other people who were at that church meeting, religion was all about trying to become Jewish.

Again, it’s not about Jewish traditions – IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS CHRIST! So, here this book written to the Hebrews is one of the truly fantastic books of the Bible that lifts up Jesus Christ as our MAIN GOAL. And He is identified as our main helper.

Hebrews 1:1 – “God [the Greek word being Theos, meaning God the Father], who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, …”

So, there was a time when our Lord Jesus Christ spoke directly to Adam and Eve. And there was a time when He had conversations with Moses, Abraham, and Noah. But for the most part, God the Father and our Lord Jesus decided They were going to use prophets to speak to the people.

Verse 2 – “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, …”

So, there was a time when it wasn’t prophets, it was all about Jesus.

Jesus had spent 33½ years upon this earth – with the last 3½ intensely a part of His public ministry. And that after His human life and death, and His spiritual resurrection – became much more active in speaking to His servants, like His apostles, with the Day of Pentecost onward. Along with the Apostle Paul.

And continuing in verse 2 - “ … whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.”

Another verse that declares that JESUS IS THE CREATOR GOD of whom we read about in the early part of the Book of Genesis.

So, this Jesus – Verse 3 – “who being the brightness of His [God the Father’s] glory …” – truly meaning that They are both on the same level. They are both bonafide members of the family of God. “ … and the express image of His person, …”

Remember, our Lord Jesus one time said, “’ He who has seen Me has seen the Father.’” “’ I and My Father are one.’” And that is what this verse here is saying.

“ … and upholding all things by the word of His power, …”

When Jesus speaks, that command is automatically fulfilled. That’s the awesome power that Jesus has!

“ … when He had by Himself purged our sins, …”

He made possible a pathway that our sins can be removed – be purged – because of His sacrifice.

And now has “ … sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

We’re told that Jesus Christ now sits at the right hand of God the Father at the very center of the throne of God. The kingdom of God.

So, the Apostle Paul is trying to educate the people who are reading this about the high elevation of JESUS CHRIST! We know of people from our past – who will not even 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. Because, in their earlier years, they were part of an organization that was obsessed with the Old Covenant. And they think, in their ignorance, that the Old Covenant was all about God the Father. And even that’s rather comical because everything that occurred in the Old Covenant had the One we now call Jesus Christ as the center of the focus. It’s sad that they don’t live their life with this understanding.

Verse 4 – speaking of Jesus Christ – “having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”

So, the angels are very important spiritual beings. But, Jesus Christ has a better name – a much greater presence – than any angel.

Verse 5 – “For to which of the angels did He ever say: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You’? … ”
The angels have never received that kind of recognition or adoration. But, Jesus Christ has!

“ … And again: ‘I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son’?”

Now, I spoke of this in the previous chapter – that because of what our Lord Jesus did, all of us – except for just a small few – will have the opportunity to receive the Spirit of God, and someday graduate into the family of God. I like to use the word graduate. And for all of us, our diploma will be an invitation to eternal life in the kingdom of God. Now, it won’t happen to everybody at the same time. It will happen to one group of people, and then later on down the road, it will happen to another group of people. – cf. 1 Corinthians 15:23. Most people don’t understand that. This is the relationship God the Father desires. And has always desired.

But, human beings over and over have made that impossible. Because the natural human heart, we’re told in Jeremiah 17:9, is deceitful and desperately wicked above all things. In complete opposition to the LORD God.

Now, certainly, the majority of these so-called Christians will say – we’re not in opposition to the LORD God! That’s what you think. But, as an example, do you go to church on the LORD God’s Day!? Or, do you go to church on a day made “holy” by human beings!? Another example – the LORD God says not to eat pig meat. Don’t eat shellfish or crustaceans. Now, surely the reason that the LORD God doesn’t want humans to consume shellfish and crustaceans is that not only do they play an important role in the food chain for larger ocean creatures like fish and whales, but they also play an important role in the filtering of the oceans of dangerous bacteria. And pork – because given the pig’s lifestyle and omnivorous diet (eating anything and everything), the swine is the animal whose meat contains the most parasites. 1 The LORD God created these creatures for a specific purpose. And, it wasn’t for human consumption. But, in truth, our job is not to know – our job is to hear, to salute, and obey!

So, if the LORD God says, “’ the swine is unclean for you’” – cf. Deuteronomy 14:8 – then just forget about pork chops, ham, bacon, and so forth. Just leave all that behind. We can certainly go to our local grocery store and find the animals which we may eat: certain animals with cloven hooves, and that chew their cud – such as cows and sheep. Along with some sea creatures, we may eat: all that have fins and scales. We are certainly not wanting for meat – if you choose to eat meat. But, even though the LORD God commands us not to eat pork, the majority of so-called Christians (especially in the South) have to have pork in almost everything! We’ve never understood why so many people are obsessed with eating pork!

Continuing, verse 6 – “But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, …”

Now, what is this speaking about!?

It’s actually speaking about the first resurrection – as some people call it. There have been throughout history certain people who had been chosen by God the Father to be His special servants. And, they have been given the Spirit of God, and they have had their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. And those names – most of whom have died – someday Jesus Christ will bring them out of the grave, resurrect them, and grant them eternal life.

Now, most people aren’t going to be “saved” – if you want to use that term – when our Lord Jesus returns. Because most people have lived their life on the Earth contrary to the Way of the LORD God.

“ … He says: ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him.’

Verse 7 – “And of the angels He says: ‘Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.’

So, the LORD God’s holy angels are very important, but Jesus Christ has preeminence over all of them.

Verse 8 – again, God the Father speaking to His Son – “But to the Son He says: ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.’

So, even God the Father acknowledges that Jesus is a co-equal member of the family of God. And, righteousness and the kingdom of God go together. You will never see unrighteousness inherit the kingdom of God. You will never see evil inherit the kingdom of God.

Verse 9 – “’ You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.’” – speaking of the angels, and even future members of the family of God.

Verse 10 – “And: ‘You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, …’

Once again, Jesus Christ IS THE CREATOR GOD of whom we read about in the early part of the Book of Genesis.

“ … ‘And the heavens are the work of Your hands.’

So, when you look up at the night sky – and now there is a new telescope, called the James Webb Space Telescope. It operates in a halo orbit, circling around a point in space known as the Sun-Earth Lagrange point – approximately 930,000 miles beyond Earth’s orbit around the Sun. 2 And the images which are returning to Earth are truly even more stunning! The Hubble Space Telescope revealed things to us that we never understood – the scientists. But, this new telescope – within two weeks it was showing very luminous galaxies believed to date from 235 million to 280 million years after the presupposed Big Bang. Far earlier than the scientists previously had thought. 3 It’s just stunning – the beauty of the universe! And who CREATED the universe!? The One we now call Jesus!

Verse 11 – “’ They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment.’

The greatness of these celestial bodies is growing old. 4 Our Lord Jesus Christ never will grow old.

Verse 12 – “’ Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they [the celestial bodies of the universe] will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.’

Again, God the Father is speaking about His Son – the One we now call Jesus! ‘You will never perish, and You will never grow old.’ He is eternally youthful and all-powerful!

This is the God we are supposed to worship. Not any human being or an organization made up of human beings!


“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

Verse 13 – “But to which of the angels has He ever said: ‘Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool’?”

So, as great and powerful as the angels are – even the archangels – this was never said to them. And yet it is said about our Lord Jesus Christ! This is the greatness He has.

And, let’s keep this in mind: there was once an archangel, that was a very powerful being. And he had a very special role, his name at one time was Lucifer. And he allowed his mind to dwell on things that he should not have. And his heart became bitter, hateful, and vengeful. And the one-time light bringer Lucifer dissolved and changed into what we now call Satan the devil. And it all came about because Lucifer wanted to become a son of God. And as it says here, “But to which of the angels has He ever said.” Lucifer never received that invitation.

Now, he had a most fantastic job! But he allowed his hatred, anger, and bitterness to warp his mind – and he’s now this horrible being. And we ask all of you – pray to God Almighty and Jesus that Satan not be allowed to enter your area. Your mind or your environment. Because he will indeed do everything he can to destroy your life! We read in the Book of Ephesians – “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” – such as in the atmosphere. This is referring to Satan the devil and the angels who followed him – which are demons now. And they are “the rulers of the darkness of this age.”

Sadly, every night on the news we witness horrible things occurring all around the United States of America. There are people being assaulted on the streets for no reason. There are people being stabbed and shot for no rhyme or reason. We saw a horrible scene play out this week –a 55-year-old homeless convicted sex offender, who was convicted in 1995 for the sexual abuse of a 17-year-old girl, brutally sucker-punched a man in the Bronx! The unprovoked attack caused the victim to suffer a skull fracture, broken cheek, and brain bleed! 5 He had to be placed on a ventilator and into a medically induced coma. Thankfully, about 10 days later he was able to be taken off the ventilator and appears to be making progress. Who knows if he will ever be the same as he was! And why did this perverted psychopath do this!? Just out of sheer hatred, who is indeed a servant of Satan the devil.

Again, all these terrible and vile crimes occur all around the United States of America. A ‘flash mob’ of looters ransacked a 7-11 after a street takeover in Los Angeles! The looters of the convenience store damaged goods, and stole cigarette cartons and lottery tickets! 6 And why did they do this!? Because their hearts are evil! And where does this evil come from!? It comes from Satan the devil and his demons. And we could talk about all the terrible things happening all around the United States of America and the rest of the world for hours.

Continuing in verse 14 – speaking about the angels – “Are they not all ministering spirits …”

The purpose of angels is to help God Almighty, our Lord Jesus, and to help the future sons and daughters of God. That’s their job.

“ … sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”

That – God willing – is our future, to be heirs of salvation. And – God willing – it’s yours, all who are listening.

Let Us Not Neglect This Plan of Salvation

Chapter 2 of the Book of Hebrews –

Verse 1 – “Therefore …” says the Apostle Paul, because this second thing he speaks about should happen because of what he was just speaking about.

“ … we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.”

There’s a wonderful song entitled The Anchor Holds, and one of the stanzas of that song is “I've had visions. I've had dreams. But I never knew They would slip right through Like they were only grains of sand.” And that is what this verse is talking about.

You who are reading this, the LORD God is extending to you an invitation to know Their Word, Truth, and Plan. And to someday be recipients of eternal life. Are you going to hang on to this opportunity that the LORD God is offering to you!? Or, will you let it slip through your fingers like grains of sand!? We hope and pray that you make the right decision.

Verse 2 – “For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward.”

So, every evil thing receives the reward that it deserves. And, if you allow this message – the TRUTH OF GOD - that you are listening to right now from the very word of God to drift away, and you don’t give it honor and prestige, the Apostle Paul says in the following verse – and this is truly one of the most uncomfortable verses in God’s living word. If you realize that this verse could refer to you or a loved one or a dear friend –

“how shall we escape if we neglect so great a [plan of] salvation, …” – an opportunity to receive salvation. How will we escape!? If we let this blessed opportunity to just slip through our fingers like grains of sand!?

“ … which at first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.”

Yes, there have been people who became prophets of the LORD God, and people who have written to a great extent the Bible – and they were given this message so that we might learn, educated spiritually.

Verse 4 – “God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? 5) For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.” 7

Verse 5 – But one testified in a certain place, saying - …” – referring to King David in the Psalms – chapter 8.

Now this is worthy of contemplation. I can remember as a young child, and then later as a teenager where at times I felt lost. Because I will freely admit the “spiritual education” – as it were – which I received growing up in the Trinity United Methodist Church was worthless! Because it did more harm than good! It created a great deal of mental and spiritual obstacles. But, I can remember as a young man being completely baffled. Now, I knew I was alive. I knew I was a person. But I had not a clue as to what the purpose of my life happened to be. And it caused great anxiety and uncomfortable moments.

What is man!? Why do we exist!? Why are we even conscious!?

“ … ‘ What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7) You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands.’

We’ve been given a great destiny! Every human being has the potential – and eventually the likelihood – of someday becoming a member of the family of God! Not a mythical little cupid with wings on your back! Not just sitting on a cloud waiting for the beatific vision – in which hopefully God will look down upon you and pat you on the top of the head like a good little doggy! No. All of us have, as a birthright because we’re created in the image of God, to someday be completely created in the image of God! And from thenceforth living on the same plane as God. Not being some pet in the kingdom of God. No. But of being a full-fledged member of the family of God!

And, THIS IS AWESOME! And this is what the LORD God is placing before you! And we just pray that these chapters will help you to understand this awesome potential you are being given. And we encourage you to make positive strides forward in that direction.

Verse 9 – “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death …”

So, when our Lord Jesus Christ was a human being, He was not as powerful as the angels in that respect. Because angels cannot die, they are eternal beings. But He, as a mortal human being – endowed with the Spirit of God nonetheless – was subject to death. And He did die. And He was dead for three days and three nights. However, God the Father resurrected Him to full spiritual life!

Again, “we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for EVERYONE.”

Jesus, the great Creator God, died so that we don’t have to die spiritually. He allowed Himself to be tortured to death so that we might have a Savior. That we have a means of having our sins wiped clean. And, we have the opportunity to have the nature of the LORD God becoming instilled within us through the Spirit of God. And this possibility is all because of our Lord Jesus Christ! And because of this, we should hold Him always in great reverence, respect, and love. So, learn to love the LORD God. Learn to be God’s sons or daughters. Or, a brother or sister to Jesus Christ. Because the LORD God treats us with glory and honor, and we need to give that love back to the LORD God. In the way we live our lives, the things we think about, the things we say, the things we do. BRING HONOR AND GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST!

Verse 10 – “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, …”

Again, Jesus Christ is the great Creator God, which we read about back in the Book of Genesis.

“ … in bringing many [children] to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

So, Jesus had to suffer. He was tortured to death. It was mentally, physically, and spiritually agonizing. But He endured all of that so that we could have a Savior. Truly, what love!

Verse 11 – “For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them [brothers and sisters].”

Verse 12 – “saying: ‘I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the [church] I will sing praise to You.’

Verse 13 – “And again: ‘I will put My trust in Him.’ And again: ‘Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.’

So, here the Apostle Paul is referring to Old Testament Scripture in which the very term children is used. Referring to us, brethren.

Verse 14 – “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, …”

He became flesh and blood to qualify to be our Savior.

“ … that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.”

Satan the devil is the champion of pain, misery, and eternal death. Our Lord Jesus being the champion of happiness, contentment, and eternal life!

Verse 15 – “and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

People fear the idea of dying. They do everything they can to avoid dying. And, some people obsess with dying so much, that they become a little insane. The fear of death is a type of bondage. And yet, if you know in your heart, that if your heart was to stop and play its final beat, the next thing you’re going to experience is hearing the voice of Jesus Christ calling you out of the grave, there is no reason to fear death.

Verse 16 – “For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.”

He became flesh and blood.

Verse 17 – “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make [reconciliation] for the sins of the people.

Notice this awesome title – our Lord Jesus Christ, “that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest.” I have this verse highlighted and underlined in my Bible!

Verse 18 – “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, …”

We are told that He was tempted in all points like unto us. But, without sin.

“ … He is able to aid [to help and comfort] those that are tempted.”

So, if you in your life are having troubles, there is a being to whom you can go. His name is JESUS! Again, we pray that these chapters will help you understand this awesome potential you are being given. A greater understanding of God the Father and Jesus Christ, which is so much greater than the Catholic or Protestant church ideas. And, we want you to get to know the real Jesus! □


1) Pork Parasites and Their Harmful Effects,, Retrieved 22 June 2023.
2) Wikipedia contributors, "James Webb Space Telescope," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Retrieved 22 June 2023.
3) Ibid.
4) Note from Leonard J: As I have mentioned before, the law of decay is a real physical law described in mathematical manners that describes the properties of a nuclear atom in a state of decay. The radioactive decay law states that this decay is constant. For if nothing was done about this law of decay, this corruption will ultimately lead to the complete annihilation of the universe.
5) Wallace D., Dhanis, M., NYC sucker-punch suspect re-arrested after downgraded attempted murder charge faces parole violation hearing, Fox News, 24 Aug. 2022. Retrieved 23 June 2023.
6) Chrisholm, J., Flash mob turns scary as more than a dozen people are seen ransacking a 7-11 in wild attack caught on camera, Independent, 19 Aug. 2022. Retrieved 23 June 2023.
7) Note from Leonard J: meaning the soon-coming Kingdom of God “in subjection to angels.” Now I personally do not believe that God ever had any intention of putting the Kingdom of God under the subjection of angels. God truly had – and has – a Master Plan from the very beginning!

Monday, June 19, 2023

Christmas - Chapter Two

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by Michael C Garrett

As we asked in chapter one – are we thankful and appreciative that Jesus Christ, who was the great Creator God of the Old Testament, allowed Himself to be changed into a human sperm cell that impregnated His teenage Mother!? To live a perfect life and become the Savior for all mankind!? We very much are! Because without Him, you and I would have no hope of eternal life. Are we thankful that upon three days and three nights of His human death, He was resurrected by God the Father to become an eternal spirit being once again – a member of the family of God!? We are very thankful!

If you would, turn to the Book of Philippians. A most fantastic book in God’s living word – the Holy Bible.

Let us begin in verse 5 of chapter 2 – “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

We’ve talked a lot about this, friends. We’ve talked about Acts 2:38 where the Apostle Peter says, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

So, for those who have gone through the process of repentance, and baptism, the ceremony of the laying on of hands by a minister of God, and then we’re told that you will receive a “down payment” – a small portion of the Spirit of God. And once that happens you are a begotten child of God! And your name is added to the Lamb’s Book of Life!

This means that if you were to die the very next moment you would be assured of being resurrected and becoming a part of the family of God at the return of Jesus Christ.

Jesus, Our Coming Warrior

This Christmas season concentrates on what!? The first time that our Lord Jesus came to this earth in the form of a human being. But, that’s not the first time the One we call Jesus Christ had come to the earth. Remember – He is the One that created Adam and Eve. He is the One who spoke directly with Prophet Moses. He is the One who spoke directly with Patriarch Abraham. And there are other instances in God’s living word where we realize that Jesus Christ did indeed engage with human beings for a very specific purpose.

But, even though our Lord Jesus came to the earth as a very innocent child – He grew up to be a strong and powerful young man. And eventually sacrificed His life so that we might have a Savior. God’s living word plainly says that Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth again. In a dramatic and powerful manner!

Now, the first time that He came to this earth it was to qualify to be our Savior and to qualify in taking over rulership of the earth from Satan the Devil. It was, as He states, “’ I will build My church.’” He establishes a small group of people that know His Word, Truth, and Plan, and who have His Spirit. And all of these are remarkable things!

And we’re going to talk about all of these things and more throughout these chapters.

Now, when our Lord Jesus returns this second time, He returns as a conquering warrior King! No more “little baby Jesus, away in a manger. No crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.” No. A being full of a war-like nature! He is going to destroy everything that is associated with Satan the Devil, his demons, their ideas, and their world. He is going to completely destroy it! And He will establish the kingdom of God upon this earth! And this is a large part of God’s Master Plan that we certainly need to explore later.

The whole key to qualifying as a human being to be a part of this soon-coming kingdom – THE WORLD TOMORROW – you must have God’s Spirit residing within you.

And this is what verse 5 is referring to – “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Verse 6 – “who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery [or, illegal] to be equal with God.”

Jesus Christ is just as much God, as God the Father is God!

Verse 7 – and in the King James Version it’s a very poor translation. There is a better word for this word “reputation.” The New English Translation renders verse 7 – “But emptied Himself, and was made in the likeness of men, and took the form of a servant.” The Koine Greek word is kenoō, meaning “to empty, deprive, emptied.” 1

So, what does that mean when it says, “He emptied Himself”!? And, we alluded to this earlier. When Jesus Christ was yet a member of the family of God – before His human arrival – He was the all-powerful Creator God, who we often think of as the God of the Old Testament. But, He emptied Himself of His divinity. He allowed Himself to be changed into a human sperm cell. And this is quite a concept! And this is why our Lord Jesus was part human and part God. And that part of Him which was of God – of His own divine nature – that’s what He returned to after His death and His physical resurrection. And this is what we’re reading about here in the Book of Philippians.

We’re going to continue discussing the real meaning of Christmas.

The Christmas Story

Are we impressed with the celebration which takes place on December 25th!? No. We do understand what our peoples around the world are doing. But, we also know that what they’re doing they are doing with a certain degree of ignorance. And the word ignorance isn’t a bad word – it just simply means to not know.

As we pointed out in the first chapter, pointing out several different biblical concepts and clues that Jesus Christ WAS NOT born on or anywhere near December 25th! The fact that this celebration every year is an ancient pagan celebration on the “rebirth of the sun.” Because on the 17th of December of the Julian calendar, and later expanded with festivities through to the 23rd of December, there was a week-long sex orgy celebration. In which their streets were infected with a Mardi Gras-type madness.

So, we hear a lot concerning The Story of Jesus, The Story of Christmas – you know “little baby Jesus, away in a manger” – The Wise Men, and The Star of Bethlehem.

Well, let’s go into God’s living word and just study the actual stories as the LORD God proclaims them.

Now we have known people who knew that Jesus Christ was not born on December 25th. But, in some strange way, they have developed this tremendous – almost a hate – of this so-called Christmas Story. And, I think their pendulum swung too far to the negative. The key is to get some balance.

What is the real meaning of this so-called Christmas!?

The word Christmas came from the Roman Catholic Church. It’s a combination of the words “Christ” and “Mass.” And they combined them into the word Christmas in the English language.

Let’s turn now to the Book of Matthew. This book contains a chapter that talks about this story. And, the Book of Luke contains some additional information about the human birth of Jesus Christ. Of which we are very proud and thankful!

Notice verse 16 – and, up to this point there is a long list of ancestry – the genealogy of Jesus Christ given by the Apostle Matthew. “And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, …”

So, Joseph’s father was named Jacob. The same Jacob whose name was changed by the LORD God to Israel – cf. Genesis 32:28. Remember, Abraham, Isaac, and then Jacob – who was the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph, and Benjamin. So, this is a most interesting and significant point.

Continuing in verse 16 – “ … of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.”

Now, was it Joseph’s sperm cell that impregnated his fiancé Mary!? No. As we just spoke about earlier from the Book of Philippians, our Lord Jesus allowed Himself to be “emptied” of His divinity into a single human sperm cell. But, Joseph became the legal father of Jesus. And this is why his genealogy is given here. In another area, we read about Mary’s genealogy.

Verse 17 – “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.”

So, forty-two generations. The word generations here comes from the Koine Greek word genea, which means “fathered, birthed, nativity,” referring to a genetic line. Usually, a generation in God’s living word is roughly thirty years long or the people living during that time. So, roughly 1, 260 years.

Verse 18 – “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, …”

Before they came together – meaning, before they had sexual relations.

The word “espoused,” as the King James Version uses, is defined as “engaged.”

And, before they had sexual relations, “she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.” She’s a teenager of about seventeen or eighteen – certainly a fantastic young woman. And I might add: that was the age that young women often got married at that time. Now – have you ever heard the expression “You Can’t Choose Your Parents”!? Well, in one time in history, a future human being got to pick His parents! And Jesus Christ chose Mary to be the woman who would give birth to Him as a baby. This is also a most interesting and significant point of the story. Do most people stop and think about this!?

Verse 19 – “Then Joseph her husband, …”

And, more than likely, Joseph was an older man. By the time of Jesus’ public ministry, Joseph seems to have passed from the scene. None of that is important. But, what is important is the fact that Joseph, her husband was “a just man.” So, Joseph was a good man. And, certainly, our Lord Jesus also chose His human father. No one else has ever been able to do that.

So, “being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, …”

Today, in this 21st-century world, unmarried pregnant women have no negative stigma attached to them. But I remember when I was growing up back in the 1960s, if a young unmarried woman became pregnant that was scandalous.

Joseph was not going to allow Mary to become a public spectacle, so he “was minded to put her away secretly [in privacy].”

Verse 20 – “But while he thought about these things, …”

Now, think about this – he’s engaged to this young woman, and then he discovers that she’s pregnant! What is he to think!? It’s logical to think that Mary had been “slipping out” on him. That Mary had sexual relations with another man and became pregnant. And yet, Joseph was still willing to stand by Mary! This gives us an insight into what a good, decent, caring man Joseph actually was.

“ … while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, [you descendant of David], do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her …’” – the human embryo that is being formed in her womb – “ … ‘is of the Holy Spirit.’”

Now surely Joseph was completely bewildered by this! What does it mean to be begotten of God’s Spirit!? But, he was told this by an angel in a dream.

So, you think that your young fiancé has “stepped out” on you – and surely Mary vehemently denied being with another man. And, Joseph was told in a dream, ‘this is because of God.’

Verse 21 – “’ And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, …’”

The name Jesus is the English form of the Greek word “Iésous.” Yeshua in Hebrew, and in English Joshua. Thus, the names “Joshua” and “Jesus” are essentially the same; both are English pronunciations of the Hebrew and Greek names for our Lord. This too is a most interesting and significant point.

Who was Joshua!?

In the Old Testament, Joshua was the man that the LORD God chose to lead the children of Israel out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land! So, Joshua and our Lord Jesus both have the same title, which means Savior. Again, a lot of intricacies in this amazing story! And, if you don’t think about it – it’s easy to miss it. Or, appreciate it.

“ … ‘ for He will save His people from their sins.’”

You know, we hear the word hero a lot. It appears that everybody wants to slap the title hero on somebody. In fact, back in 2020, with the horrible bombing in Nashville, Tennessee. In which the homegrown terrorist detonated a recreational vehicle (RV) bomb in downtown Nashville. Murdering himself and injuring eight! Just before the bombing, six police officers showed up to try and evacuate the area in the small amount of time they had. And they were brought on television, and they were referred to over and over as “heroes.” Certainly, the term is overused. But, if you really want to apply the word hero to someone. Apply it to JESUS CHRIST! For He is the Hero of all heroes! Because one of His main missions was to deliver people from their sins, and from the death penalty which goes along with their sinful behavior.

Verse 22 – “So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:” – this being from the Book of Isaiah –

Verse 23 – “’ Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’”

One of the names of Jesus was Immanuel. 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. Talking about Israel being released from bondage. This happened before, and the Prophet Moses was directly involved as the human agent – as the LORD God’s representative – to help bring about the release of the captivity of Israel from Egypt. But, in the very near future, Israel will once again be in captivity (in subjugation).

And when we say this friends – we’re talking about the majority of the English-speaking world, the remnants of the British Commonwealth, along with the United States of America.

So, even in this here there is a WARNING!

At this moment in time, the USA is thought of as the supreme nation in the world. The greatest military, the greatest economy. But, we have seen how easily that status can be rocked and turned upon its head.

This past year we’ve battled with COVID-19, economic shutdowns, riots, sections of our cities being burned and looted, and large groups of people being killed. The stability of our nation is not like a rock with a solid foundation, it’s more like a teeter-totter. And friends, one of these days, our nations will no longer have the blessings and protection from God Almighty. We will indeed fall off this teeter-totter and be severely injured!

We certainly hate speaking about such things – but this is the living truth of God’s word! And this will occur just a short time before the Lord Jesus returns to this earth. THE SECOND TIME!

Now, certainly, when Joseph had time to think about all of this – time to gather his thoughts – he remembered this prophecy from the Book of Isaiah. And, this whole story became clearer to Joseph. He gained a greater understanding that this indeed was that prophecy.

Verse 24 – Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife.”

So, they became a married couple – but they were not to have sexual relations yet. Because, as verse 25 states, “and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. …”

So, he comes to understand that Mary had not been unfaithful to him. She had not had sexual relations with another man. Again, a very interesting part of this story.

Let’s now turn in our Bibles to the Book of Luke.

We pick up the story here from another vantage point. The Apostle Matthew gave us facts from his vantage point. Luke has, even more, to add to this story. Here we actually learn greater details that are a part of this so-called Christmas Story.

Luke 1, beginning in verse 1 – “Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative [or rather, a declaration; a written record] of those things which have been fulfilled among us.”

So, the Apostle Luke is saying, ‘We, who are close followers of Jesus Christ – we who had spent 3½ years with Him and in whom we know to be the Son of God, the Savior of all mankind – we write this message to help establish some of these facts and to have a written record.’

Verse 2 – “just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word [the living word of truth] and delivered them to us.”

So, he’s saying, ‘We are a direct part of this story.’ The Apostle Luke was a follower of Jesus, a disciple of Jesus, and eventually became an apostle for Jesus.

Verse 3 – “it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus.”

Now, who was Theophilus spoken of here in Luke, as well as in the Book of Acts!? The name “Theophilus” literally means “loved by God,” but carries the idea of “friend of God.” It’s clear that Luke is writing to a specific individual, even though his message is also intended for all Christians in all centuries. And, Luke is writing him this letter to help establish the things which Luke knows about the story.

Verse 4 – “that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.”

Verse 5 – “There was in the days of Herod [Herod the first, or Herod the Great circa. 72 B.C. – 4 B.C.], the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was [from the lineage] of the daughters of Aaron, …”

So, Aaron – the brother of Prophet Moses – became and was named by the LORD God as the high priest of the Old Testament priesthood. And, even in this time period here, there was a form of the ironic priesthood. But everything had become badly altered when the people of this region were taken captive to Babylon. But here they had reestablished a type of the ancient Jewish religion. And Elizabeth, who was married to the priest Zacharias, was of that lineage.

Verse 6 – “And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.”

So, they were leading good, honorable, and godly lives. And, God Almighty was proud of them.

Verse 7 – “But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, …” – she was unable to produce children, for whatever reason. “ … and they were both well advanced in years.”

It’s like Patriarch Abraham and his wife, they were both well advanced in years. Yet, the LORD God promised them that they were going to have a child. And, they did. Isaac was indeed born!

So, this certainly means that if the LORD God wants something to occur – it will! And He can do this – because He’s God. And He’s all-powerful. He can manipulate the universe in whatsoever He desires in order to fit His plan.

Verse 8 – So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9) according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot [or rather, his duty] fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.”

Verse 10 – “And the whole multitude of the people was praying at the hour of incense.”

So, this was some type of religious ceremony they had – that Old Covenant religion in which they placed great stock in animal sacrifices, ceremonial washings of hands and pots, and incense. All a physical part of their very physical religion. As opposed to the New Covenant – where it’s a spiritual religion.

Verse 11 – “Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12) And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, …”

And, we would certainly say – shocked and scared. And greatly shaken up! Now, this angel, in all likelihood, was the archangel Gabriel. His appearance is even more fantastic than just a regular angel. And, if you were actually allowed to see an archangel, it would be quite disconcerting! As it says here, “ … Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.”

Verse 13 – “But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer …” – what prayer!? Well, Zacharias would often ask the LORD God that his wife Elizabeth could have a child. Even though he knew that “they were both well advanced in years.” He still kept praying. This shows that Zacharias had great faith in the LORD God – in Their abilities and power.

“ … your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.”

So, the angel is saying, ‘when this child is born, you will call him John.’ This becomes a part of this story later.

Verse 14 – “And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15) For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.”

Now, John the Baptist was known as a Nazirite. A man or woman who voluntarily took a vow which is described in Numbers 6:1–21. This vow required the Nazirite to abstain from wine or strong drinks. Also to refrain from cutting the hair from his head.

So, what would you do – if an angel from the LORD God says to you, ‘you’re going to have a son, even though both you and your wife are late in your years, and he will be great in the sight of the Lord’!? Now, at this particular point in time, the One we now call Jesus Christ was still a bonafide and deified member of the family of God. So, He had a direct impact on this part of the story! Because Jesus had not yet been conceived.

So, he will “also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.”

And, there are people in this world that say, ‘you can’t receive the gift of the Holy Spirit unless you repent, baptized, and the laying on of hands!’ Well, for the majority of people that is true. But, the LORD God is the great power, They can do whatever They want! And if They wish to impart a part of Their mind into a human fetus inside a mother’s womb, then it will be done.

And for all those people who believe that a human fetus inside the womb is not a human being yet – which begins at about nine weeks after fertilization – we suggest that you never try and tell that to the LORD God! Because a human life begins at conception when a sperm and egg join in the fallopian tube and the sperm fertilizes the egg and creates a zygote! It is a human being! And this case, an unborn human being who has been given the Spirit of God – the mind of God!

Sadly, according to the Pew Research Center, Guttmacher’s national total says there were 930,160 abortions nationally in 2020 in the District of Columbia and 47 states, a 1.5% increase from 916,460 in 2019. 2 Nearly A MILLION A YEAR! And this has been occurring since 1973! Forty-eight years ago! This truly means that millions of people don’t exist that should have! This is a true tragedy!

Now, maybe when this nation is punished by the LORD God – and it will occur – we have a feeling that that fact will not escape the LORD God’s attention! – cf. Isaiah 1:15.

Verse 16 – “And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17) He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’”

Now, these are some of the last words of the Old Testament. At the end of the Book of Malachi. This book – as does nine of the so-called minor prophets – mention in some form or another the Day of the Lord.

What is the Day of the Lord!?

It’s not referring to Sunday. No, the Day of the Lord is that period of time, in the very near future, just before the return of Jesus Christ and the setting up of the kingdom of God, when God Almighty and Jesus Christ exact a horrible punishment upon a sinful world. And They are going to go about setting things straight! □

To be continued.


1 Strong, James. Zondervan. The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. 2001. #2758. pg. 1621.
2 Diamant, J. & Mohamed, B., What the data says about abortion in the U.S., Pew Research Center, 11 Jan. 2023.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

To Jesus Be the Glory - Chapter Three (Sermon)

Michael C. Garrett

You can now listen to this article. Click the orange play button below.

Again, just to set the stage – this summer I had a potential tragedy with a horrible wound on my right big toe. Which actually became life-threatening to my toe and myself! As I’ve mentioned several times throughout these chapters, three different specialists were suggesting, urging, wanting, to amputate my toe from my body! And then at the very last moment – when I was praying to Jesus, “I need Your help very badly here!” What I needed was someone like John Wayne showing up in the nick of time with the U.S. Calvary and rescuing me! And I even mentioned this to one of the specialists.
     Now, not long ago I was walking along, and it occurred to me that in essence John Wayne did indeed come to my aid! Of course, it wasn’t John Wayne – he’s in his grave and he’s been there since 1979. But, JESUS CHRIST, just like a John Wayne character showed up at the very last moment! I mean, these specialists were sharpening their scalpels ready to amputate my right big toe! And Jesus Christ showed up and said, ‘I have heard your prayers, and I will agree to save your toe.’ And literally overnight my foot and right big toe looked – from being horrible; the ankle being twice its size and the toe bright red and sore and badly infected – and nearly in the blink of an eye Jesus Christ showed up and saved my toe! And immediately it was healed!

‘Whosoever Shall Be Ashamed of Me’

So, the most pertinent, important, hopeful, inspiring message for this third chapter I can give is to speak on the overriding issue which keeps coming to the forefront: that a great many people – even many people I have known in the past from many church groups – they seemingly are ashamed of Jesus. They don’t want to mention His name, and they don’t want others to mention His name.
     I recently had a conversation with a person who lives down in Tennessee. And he reported to me, “Well yeah Mike, I remember when people thought you were talking about Jesus too much!” Now, these people would never say it to my face – most people don’t have the courage to say what they’re thinking to your face – it’s much easier to get behind your back and gossip about you. They show a lot of terrible character about themselves when they do that. Well, those that thought I was talking about Jesus too much – wouldn’t those people be even more grumbly now!
    And the honor, the praise, and the thanksgiving! And the hope. Every hope that we have or can conjure ultimately will be fulfilled because of Jesus Christ, and what He did – becoming our Savior. And, what He will do when at the blowing of the SEVENTH TRUMP we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye from mortal (or dead) into immortal spirit beings – living for all eternity as a member of the family of God as brothers and sisters to our Elder Brother Jesus Christ! And this is the Jesus we want to talk about! And this is the God that we want to talk about! We want to learn even more about who this fantastic being is!
     We left off in the last chapter with Mark 8:38. Let’s turn now to Luke chapter 9.
    Verse 26 – again, these are the living words of Jesus Christ, if you have a red-letter edition. “’ For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, …’”
     And I know people who are seemingly ashamed of Jesus, and they are seemingly ashamed of His words, thoughts, ideas, and doctrines.
     “…’ of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.’”
     As I pointed out in the last chapter, here is another verse – and there is at least three dozen – which clearly demonstrates that Jesus Christ is returning to this earth with God the Father. And this is exciting to understand and know!
     Now, we know some people who, if we were to say this revealed knowledge to them, could have very possibly ripped off all their clothes, and threw dust all over themselves, like a few had done in the Old Testament! But the very idea that God the Father would return with Jesus!? No. In their misguided scenario they portrayed a God the Father – and we can still hear their words – ‘God the Father is so pure, and perfect, that He can never be stained (and they use this word) by the presence of human beings.’ They also were known to say, ‘Well, God the Father will never come to this earth until everybody is a spirit being!’ Because, as they continue in their misguided scenario – all humans would have been dead, destroyed, or burned up! They portrayed a God who was so contemptuous towards human beings. Sadly, as it is in the lives of a great many people – do you know the being they most love on a daily basis!? You might think – their spouse. But we have seen many spouses that appear to not love each other. No. But you see a person who has a pet – like a domesticated dog or cat. That bond is nearly unbreakable! Surely, you know of some people – that if thieves were to break into their home, and were to threaten their dog or cat, they’re pulling out a 38 Special! Because they are willing to give up their life for their fuzzy-faced friend!
     This is the type of affection we all should have for JESUS! Because this is the type of affection, He has for all of us! If we allow Him to have this relationship.
     In the Book of Proverbs it says, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, …” Now, this works on a personal level – on a human level. For a man to have friends, he must be friendly. So, if you think of Jesus as this being who is just waiting to “get you,” to condemn you – as saying such things as ‘how dare you go into that bar and have a beer! You’re going to die!’ Well, friends, we have no doubt in our minds that back in the first-century A.D., if Roman Palestine made and served beer, Jesus would have ever so often had a glass of beer. And enjoy it. Now, we’re not saying a whole case of beer – we’re just saying, He would have had a beer with His pizza, and He wouldn’t have been upset at all. And He wouldn’t be upset with you. Remember – the very first miracle recorded for us in His living word was changing about 120- 180 gallons of water into fermented wine! And, as you read the story, it was the finest wine those people had ever consumed. Our Lord Jesus was a friendly person. He was a warm and caring person. Remember – the apostles were the majority of the time trying to keep people away from Him. But this wasn’t what our Lord Jesus wanted. He wanted people to talk to Him. Ask what He could do for them, and many times heal them.

The Bleeding Woman

If you would – let’s turn to chapter 8 of the Book of Luke.
     Verse 43 – “Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, …”
     She had some type of female problem – in which she was hemorrhaging.
     “… who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any.”
     So, she tried to get help. She tried to do the best she could for herself. But nothing was working.
    Verse 44 – “came from behind [Him] and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.”
     Verse 45 – “And Jesus said, ‘Who touched Me?’
     When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, ‘Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”
    Think about walking down a street in Beijing, China! – with an estimated 21.89 million people! This world’s most populous national capital city! Somebody is touching your left arm! Somebody is touching your right arm! You have to go through a mob of people everywhere you turn! So, the Apostle Peter says, ‘Well, Master, You’re being touched by so many people, yet You ask, ‘Who touched Me’!?’
     Verse 46 – “But Jesus said, ‘Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power [or virtue, or holiness, or godliness] going out from Me.’” The Spirit of God.
     An example would be: surely there have been times when you have thought, I’m not hungry. But then immediately you feel hunger pangs and think, I need to eat something. You’re now aware that the hormone ghrelin is interacting with insulin affecting your blood sugar. Here, our Lord Jesus was so in-tune with His spiritual condition that He felt holiness leaving Him.
     Now, if you’ve gone for several days and haven’t prayed, haven’t studied, or thought about God the Father and our Lord Jesus, or the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God, you will begin to feel a little run down – spiritually speaking. You become low with God’s Spirit.
     Verse 47 – “Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, …”
    So, our Lord Jesus was walking along, with a throng of people around Him, and all of a sudden, He stops, ‘Who touched Me?’ She realizes that she had been perceived.
     “… she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.”
     Verse 48 – “And He said to her, ‘Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.’”
     Jesus showed a lot of kindness and empathy.
    Now, did Jesus know that the woman was going to touch the border of His robe!? He probably did. Because He certainly knew a lot of things. And recall her first reaction, she was trembling. 1 But how did Jesus react!? With kindness and empathy. Notice what He says towards the end, “…’ your faith has made you well. Go in peace.’”
    She also could have easily thought that Jesus would follow the Law of the temple elite of the time. Maybe strike her with a whip!? In today’s comparison think of the terrorist group the Taliban – those friendly people! We’ve seen video images where – as an example – a woman had went outside and she didn’t have her face covered, so one of these horrible human beings (that thinks he’s religious) beats, whips, and eventually kills her! So, isn’t that amazing how people who think they’re religious, who think they’re serving God, can be so unbelievably cruel to a fellow human being!? And what was her great sin!? They could see her face! How perverted they must be! Truly, if you want to find living disciples of Satan the Devil – where would you go!? They are based in Afghanistan. But I don’t suggest you go there! Because you too would surely be treated the same way. Terrible people! All we can think of – with the people like the Taliban, and ISIS K, and Al-Qaeda, and all the other extremists who are desiring to live in the 5th century A.D. – “’ Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.’” And, as it says next to the last verse of God’s living word, “’Even so, come, Lord Jesus!’” Quickly come Lord Jesus and end these horrible things that human beings do to other human beings often in the name of religion! In the name of God! Isn’t that amazing!? Well, they are serving a god – with a lower-case g – the god of this age as God’s living word calls him! – cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4.

Jesus Is the Lord, God, and Creator!

Returning again to Luke 9:26.
    For those of you who are embarrassed and ashamed of Jesus – you’re making things tough on yourselves. And we don’t know what is going to become of you – that’s not our decision. But we know what our Lord Jesus just said.
     Let’s turn to Matthew 10.
     Verse 32 – “’Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, …’”
     And, that word confesses actually means “to acknowledge.” To acknowledge that Jesus is indeed the Lord, God, and Creator. To acknowledge that Jesus is the One who made the entire universe. He was working in consultation with God Almighty – but the actual worker; the One who spoke the words and made it happen – was the One we now call Jesus.
     “… ‘him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.’”
     And, at the resurrection that Father figure will be with Jesus on this earth.
    Verse 33 – “’ But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.’”
     And someday that great being will be upon the earth!
     Do you really want God Almighty and Jesus Christ to deny you!? What if on judgment day you stand before Jesus Christ and He literally says, “’ I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”? But, you argue, ‘Lord, Lord, have I not cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And Jesus simply says to you, ‘I don’t know who you are!’? And then He says to His angels, ‘Just remove him!’ Is this something you want to gamble with!?
     When you deny the very being who is called JESUS, you run the risk of having this happen to you!
     Turning now to 2nd Timothy chapter 2.
     Verse 11 – “This is a faithful saying …”
     In other words – you can bank on this!
     “… For if we died with Him [Jesus Christ], We shall also live with Him.”
     Now, what does he mean here – being dead!? Remember, baptism is when you’re lowered into water, completely immersed, is a type of death. It’s a symbolic death. And, quite frankly, if nobody pulls you up out of the water, you soon will be dead. If we are dedicated to Him, and if we had to – we would be willing to die for Him! And that’s a powerful concept to think about!
     And there are Scriptures where there will be a few people – possible a dozen – that will actually be end-time prophets for Jesus Christ and within their job they will also be martyred just like prophets of old.
     Verse 12 – “If we endure, …”
     In other words, if we go through the tribulations that we end up getting into if you are loyal to Jesus. So, we’ve all had problems because we believe in the true Jesus – the real Jesus. And we are trying to serve Him.
     “… We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.”
     If you are ashamed of Him and you deny Him, you run the risk of never being allowed to graduate into the kingdom of God. A horrible prospect. And yet, there are some people who do it, and apparently are proud of it!? “Well, we don’t talk about Jesus!” Then you are indeed the walking dead!
     Again, what is the most pertinent, important, hopeful, inspiring message for this third chapter!? I want all of you who has had all these different ideas about Jesus – some of them might go back to when you were a member of the Baptist Church, or the Methodist Church – they spoke about the “little baby Jesus, away in a manger. No crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.” Maybe some story you heard in Vacation Bible School. Or maybe you listened to the frauds Jack Van Impe and his wife Roxella!?
    I want you to know a different Jesus! I want you to begin to perceive – as it says in the Book of Hebrews – “Now consider how great this Man was.”
     We read in the Book of John chapter 1 –
     Verse 1 – “In the beginning was the Logos, …”
    That’s what the word Word is – Logos in Koine Greek. It’s roughly translated Spokesman, or One who speaks.
     “… and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.”
     That’s the One we now call Jesus.
    Verse 2 – “He was in the beginning with God. 3) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”
    The very One we call Jesus of Nazareth – in which a great many people have the image of “little baby Jesus, away in a manger” – is THE GREAT CREATOR GOD! Who made everything that exists in the universe!
     Notice verse 10 – “He was in the world, …”
     And He did. He came to this earth, was born as a human being, lived a perfect life for 33½ years, and He was sacrificed. He was tortured and murdered.
     “… and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.”
     And, when His public ministry was over as a human being – He was dead and then resurrected – we read that ONLY 120 people remained loyal to Him. Think about the multiple thousands of people He fed by miracles that nobody could have understood! Where He just kept recreating food. Feeding vast crowds of people. People He raised from the dead. People He healed from horrible maladies, sicknesses and diseases. And, after all of that was over – only 120 people. It’s difficult to understand, isn’t it!?

Jesus, Our Hero!

With this very thing in mind – “All things were made through Him” – and we want you to fully grasp just how many times we read about this very thing, it’s truly amazing!
    Now, most church people, in their minds, they have God the Father creating everything, and Jesus comes along almost like an afterthought, and does His little thing on the cross. Yet, all they really want to talk about is God the Father. A totally incorrect approach.
    Lord, God, and Creator! One of the very Two we read about in Genesis 1:1 is the being we now call Jesus Christ!
     Turning to Colossians chapter 1.
     Verse 9 in the middle – “… and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”
     The word “His” here is Jesus the Savior. And verse 4 specifically names His name.
     Verse 10 – “that you may walk worthy of the Lord, …”
    And sadly, a great many people can’t or won’t say His name Jesus, but they’re quick to say, “the Lord.” And many say it so that it sounds like “the Lard.” And lard is pig fat. Friends, just say His name – give Him the respect that He deserves! Jesus, God and Creator!
     Continuing in verse 10 – “… fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work …”
     In the privacy of your own mind, you need to ask yourself this question: Am I being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God!? Is this your daily routine?
     Verse 11 – “strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, …”
    Strengthen with all might. Do you think of yourself as being strong in God’s Spirit!? Or are you weak in God’s Spirit!? We can gain great strength in the knowledge of the true image of Christ Jesus, not as a fearful God, but as our Hero Elder Brother.
   Have you noticed in the news – as an example, they talk about a fireman that goes into a burning building and saves a small child. Well, that’s fantastic! And they call him a hero. Several mainstream news medias have a Hero of the Day. Friends, we should have only ONE HERO – Jesus! And this should mean the world to us! Because, if you have Him on your side, you don’t need any other power – because you would have it all! 
    Continuing in verse 11 – “… for all patience and longsuffering with joy.”
     Longsuffering is patience which lasts a very long time.
     Verse 12 – “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”
     All of us – all of you – have the opportunity, right now while you’re still alive, we all have the chance to “be partakers of the inheritance” of eternal life in light! Not in darkness.
    There are multiple millions of people who claim that they worship Jesus. But, in their everyday actions, they do not. Remember, our Lord Jesus says, “’ If you love Me, keep My commandments.’”
      Verse 13 – “He has delivered us from the power of darkness …”
      Verse 13 – “He has delivered us from the power of darkness …”
     “… and conveyed us [or, changed us] into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”
     The kingdom of His dear Son. The kingdom which is soon coming to this earth. We often say – the kingdom of God, but it’s actually the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Sadly, again, a great many people say those words, but Jesus does not enter into their thinking. They do not give Him the respect that He deserves.
  Verse 14 – “In whom [speaking of Jesus Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
     He who made forgiveness possible. The One we now call Jesus.
     Friends, we want you to refocus your thinking!
     And we are not disrespecting God the Father – but we’re trying to relay to you that the being who had actually rolled up His sleeves over many millennia, creating humans, having dealt with humans, had been our sacrifice, Lord, God and director to eternal life is the very One we call Jesus!
     Verse 15 – “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”
     The image. Our Lord Jesus says, “’ He who has seen Me has seen the Father.’” In that They act the same way, They think the same way, They respond the same way. They’re motivated the same way.
     Now, no one has ever seen God the Father. But there are people in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament who actually saw the One we now call Jesus! The disciples spent 3 ½ years with Him. Also, He had some brothers who spent their entire lives with Him in one way or another! The Apostle Paul saw Jesus for 3 ½ years in the deserts of Arabia. We don’t always stop and think about this – do we!? In many people's minds God the Father and Jesus Christ are far away, and They don’t know what’s going on! No. They are actively alive in the lives of Their begotten sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters. People like you and me.
     Verse 16 – “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”
     For His purpose.
    Verse 17 – “And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18) And He is the head of the body, the church, …”
    What does the word church mean!? The word church comes from the Greek word ekklēsia, which means an assembly; a group of people gathered together. A body of people who have been called out to be different than the rest of the world. We hope and pray that our friends who are listening to this fall into this category!
     It all has to do with JESUS! □

1) Jewish Law declared her to be ceremonially unclean due to her bleeding issue. This meant that she would not have been permitted to enter the temple for Jewish religious ceremonies. Anything or anyone she touched became unclean as well. This story also shows us an important point about Jesus and the Law. She was trembling in all likelihood because of the Law – Leviticus 15:25-27.