Friday, July 21, 2023

And That Rock Was Christ - Part Two (Sermon)

Speaking about the bodies within the cosmos. All the stars, planets, asteroids and meteors, the moons, the galaxies, the solar systems. All were made by the One we call Jesus Christ!

Michael C Garrett     About

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In the first part of “And That Rock Was Christ,” we had turned to 1st Corinthians chapter 10. And we read in verse 4, “ … and that Rock was Christ.” Speaking about the being who was working with the children of Israel, was indeed the One we now call Jesus Christ. There are a lot of people who don’t understand that.

Our Lord Jesus Christ – nine times out of ten – is the God of the Old Testament. And He chose to give up His divinity, that He be changed into a human baby, to live and grow up, and then at the age of thirty, to begin preaching the gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God, and the New Covenant, and the hope that all of us can someday be a part of the kingdom of God! That was His mission. He allowed Himself to be sacrificed – tortured to death – that all of us might have a Savior. And, every day we should be thankful for that! Every day we should go to Him and say, “Dear Brother, I just can’t believe how much courage You had! And how much dedication!” We need to respect that.

And, we are pointing out that there are apparently people that are ashamed of Jesus Christ. We don’t know why there are. It fathoms our minds, we can’t begin to understand that. Now, if you are an atheist, we can understand you have no respect for the name of Jesus Christ. If you are a hard-core Communist, we can understand you having no respect for Jesus Christ. If you are part of the far left-leaning political people of today, they seemingly hate God the Father and the living word – the Holy Bible – and Jesus Christ.

And, while we’re on the subject of those of the far left, we here at the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ and our affiliated churches have been hassled and troubled by the outfit that is called YouTube, owned by Google. A far left-leaning group. And we carry in our name – the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ along with the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries – the name that they hate more than any others. And we have suffered because of it. Well, we’re told that someday we will be rewarded for that. We just wish they wouldn’t bother us, and they wouldn’t bother people wanting to watch, read or listen to this. And, we always wonder – will there come a day when they will simply block us all together!? And they have done some really nasty tricks on us! And we suspect that somewhere down the road it will get worse. Keep in mind – if you’re a regular reader or listener we have several social media platforms. We have our website – – which has our YouTube sermons available. We also have a couple of YouTube channels – the Deacon Trevor Koonce channel, which posts a great many of our older sermons. Along with our regular YouTube channel – the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ. There is also a video platform we utilize called the Godtube channel.

Then, we also have our affiliated channels – The Independent Christian Church of God YouTube channel and UGETube channel. Along with the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries YouTube channel and UGETube channel. And, another channel that’s doing really well for one of our affiliated churches is the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries BitChute channel.

Now those additional video platform services are more conservative. Additionally, we have several social media sites, such as the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ Facebook page, The Independent Christian Church of God Facebook page, and the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries Facebook page. We also have The Independent Christian Church of God MeWe page and the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries MeWe page.

And our affiliated ministry, the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries has a Soundcloud Radio channel with FREE audio sermons, articles, books, and booklets available!

So, we are utilizing all these different video platforms because, in truth, we never know if YouTube is going to pull the plug on us. Well, God’s will be done.

Jesus ─ Our Great High Priest

We spent a fair amount of time in the first part talking about the name of Jesus Christ, and the greatness of Jesus Christ. And there are some Scriptures which we didn’t have a chance to get to – if you would, turn to Hebrews chapter 4 –

Verse 14 – “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest [and be thankful for that every single day of your life!!] who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our [profession, our covenant, our advocation, our commitment].”

And, we must confess, verse 15 may be as poorly of a constructed sentence in the King James English as any sentence in the whole Bible. Let’s read it from the King James Version, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

Well, what the first part of that sentence is trying to say is we do have a High Priest which can be touched knowing our weaknesses. Compared to the LORD God human beings are pretty fragile. We have a lot of weaknesses to us. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually speaking. We are not a complete creature yet.

Someday, if the LORD God grants us the gift of eternal life, we will become complete spiritual creatures.

So, we have a High Priest who can empathize with us, and who understands our weaknesses. That should be reassuring.

There are times when we have met a person who is all broken up because they committed some sin. And he acts like – well I’m the first person on the planet to commit a sin. No. We have all sinned. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That is why having this great High Priest is such an important thing in our lives. We have a place where we can go and ask for forgiveness. And, we’re told in the Book of 1st John – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That is the greatness about having Jesus Christ as our great High Priest.

Now, there are some religions that have human beings they call “priests.” And then some call them “reverends” And, I’m just amazed at how much deference some people give to these individuals who have been given the title priest. Well, friends, they’re just human beings – like all of us. They are no source of “divine power.” Or, majesty. And, quite frankly, we’ve heard a lot of bad reports on some of the things these people have done. Well, we don’t find ourselves in that religion. We do not worship any human being. And, we don’t want you to worship any human being either. But we do hope, wish, and pray that you will make Jesus Christ a center focus of your life. And, if you do that, then you have access to the very life-giving being that He is.

Verse 16 – “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Now, we’ve often said – if you’ve had a great week, flying high – don’t get too excited, because the following week could go downhill. There are a lot of people who have had high points in their life, and then it just seemed like the bottom falls out of their life.

There was a couple that was attending Sabbath services with us, quite a few years ago. And then they drifted away. They had allowed themselves to be influenced by a truly despicable personality. A so-called church lady that they had gotten to know. And she was a Svengali. She was trying to manipulate them – and she did! And she got them all confused in their mind. And before it was over, they quit coming to Sabbath services.

Well, sometime later, one of our church members accidentally ran into them in a department store. And this man who was such an enthusiastic member of our congregation, told the church member – “I don’t know what’s happening! It just seems like God doesn’t hear my prayers anymore!” Well, Robert, there might be a reason why it seems as if God doesn’t hear your prayers anymore. Because you, Robert, were more worried about what this manipulating woman was saying and doing, than what our Lord Jesus was saying and doing! That is where you made your mistake.

This is what happens when you once had access to Jesus Christ, and then you allowed your own internal issues to divert you away from Jesus Christ. It’s sad.

Jesus ─ Our Judge

Let’s take a look at Chapter 5 –

Notice this in verse 7 –as our Lord Jesus walked the earth as a human being, who was subject to a lot of the inherent weaknesses that we have as human beings. “who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear.”

In other words, respected God the Father.

Now, imagine this – our Lord Jesus Christ, who had done all these glorious miracles! On two occasions He walked on water. He quieted a tempest on the sea that had arisen, rebuking the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. He healed so many people of so many different types of diseases. He even resurrected people from the dead! And yet, there were times in His life, because He was flesh and blood, that He had to cry out to Father God in prayer and supplication with vehement cries and tears.

Verse 8 – “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience …”

And, you could possibly say, ‘He learned wisdom.’ He learned what it was like to be flesh and blood.

Truly, in the future, our Lord Jesus Christ will be our Judge. And only Jesus Christ. God the Father, apparently from much of what Jesus said, will not be our Judge. Our ultimate Judge – on eternal life or on eternal death – will be Jesus Christ. Because He is the One member of the family of God who knows what it is like to be a human being. He has an appreciation that even God the Father, even though He is magnificently wise and all-knowing, doesn’t really know. And, our Lord Jesus Christ does – and that is: what it’s like to be a human being. And because of that He has a sense of empathy for us.

Continuing, “ … by the things which He suffered.”

So, He also learned wisdom on what it’s like to be a human being. That’s a very good thing because we have a great High Priest in whom we can go to and say – Well, Dear Brother, I got confused and I did this and I did that! And He will be able to say to you, ‘I understand.’

Verse 9 – “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.”

So, Jesus Christ is the author of eternal life!

Now, we have known church groups that revere the three-letter word, God. We have known church groups that spend very little time talking about Jesus Christ. But, they are all the time talking about God. But, this is a biblical fact, God the Father, the Almighty God, will not be your ultimate Judge. It’s Jesus Christ.

And again, IF YOU’RE ASHAMED OF HIS NAME, you’re in deep trouble!

We continue to stand by that!

Friends, when this sermon came together – when I was home putting the notes together – I knew, and I knew that I knew, that I was being directed to give a sermon that Jesus Christ wanted me to give. And to the best of my ability, I delivered that sermon. But, that message offended the two leaders of that organization! It got them all twisted up inside. They just couldn’t stand that message. And, this continues to puzzle us, after all this decade. Well, this message was never published by that organization. But a few months later I redid that sermon. And this sermon is still up on our websites –, as well as

Run This Race With Endurance

Let’s turn to Hebrews chapter 12 –

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

This is the Apostle Paul writing, and he is saying to them – ‘understand, there are a lot of people who knew Jesus Christ, that were around Him and watched Him when He walked the earth.’

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

Now, I’ve never been much of a runner. When I was a freshman in 1965, I had a Science teacher named P.M. Sanders, who was also our track coach. Sadly, he lost his life about two years ago to a quickly developing cancer. I’m sorry that he’s not with us anymore. But, most track coaches try to recruit. They try to get students at their school interested in their sport. And, if they get more students interested then they’ll probably have a better sports team.

Now, I never thought of myself as a track and field athlete. However, with his cajoling and encouraging I joined the track team.

Well, the very first track meet we had that year was up in Tell City, Indiana. And, Mr. Sanders placed me in the half-mile run. Now, I didn’t know anything about running a half mile – that’s two full laps around the track. So, the official fires off his starting pistol, and I start running! And I was the lead runner for about half of this race – and I begin thinking, this is pretty easy! And I got about three-quarters of the first lap, and all of a sudden lactic acid began to build up in my legs causing them to feel like concrete. And it became harder to catch my breath. And friends, on that second lap, they passed me like I was a tortoise on the highway! ZOOM!

And it came down to two people. There was another athlete from my school named Mark Olds, and I was determined that I wasn’t going to be the last one. So I put everything into it that I had – and I beat Mark to the finish line. Now, there were probably about sixty or seventy people in that race, and we were vying for last and next to the last. But, I wasn’t the last one! Well –

“ … let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

Now, certainly, you have heard the story about The Tortoise and the Hare, one of Aesop’s Fables. The story concerns a Hare who ridicules a slow-moving Tortoise. Tired of the Hare's arrogant behavior, the Tortoise challenges him to a race. The hare soon leaves the tortoise behind and, confident of winning, takes a nap midway through the race. When the Hare awakes, however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has arrived before him.

There is a good analogy here – the people who earn the prize are not the ones that start off the fastest. Like me and that particular track meet in Tell City, Indiana. Well, I began to think I was a Speed Racer – for the first 400 yards! And then reality set in. It’s not the one that starts off the fastest, but it’s the one that just keeps plodding along – day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. One who sticks with Jesus Christ! One who sticks with the Plan! One who sticks on the pursuing the kingdom of God with all their heart, mind, and soul! And those are the people who will win the race – in this case, they’ll win access to the kingdom of God!

Also, there was a story on the radio today. There is a football player by the name of Antonio Brown, who was with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is considered by many to be a fantastic wide receiver. But, he is considered also by many people who know him to be a gigantic pain in the derriére. It appears as if the teammates, the coaches, the owners, the general managers – don’t like him. And, in 2019, even though he was theoretically valuable, Brown's relationship with the Steelers soured, and he eventually requested a trade. He was traded to the Oakland Raiders.

Well, this fall you continue to hear stories about Antonio Brown causing trouble. Following several off-the-field incidents, including a confrontation with general manager Mike Mayock, the team released Brown without him ever playing a regular-season game with the team. He threatened to beat up his general manager – his boss! Now, friends, I don’t know what type of business you might be in – but everything I’ve ever done you can’t go around threatening to beat up the boss. It just doesn’t work out well. His time in Oakland was short-lived, and they too said, ‘Sayonara, young man!’ He was kind of like a flash in the pan! But, he doesn’t know how to sustain that, because he gets everyone upset with him. He’s just not worth having around.

There are people that we have known in the church world who after a while you have to just say, “You Know, that person is just not worth having around.” They cause too many problems. And why do they do this? We don’t know.

So, this is a man who gets to make millions of dollars playing a game that children should be playing as flag football.

Brown later signed with the New England Patriots shortly thereafter, was investigated for sexual assault allegations, and later signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and was released near the end of the 2021 season after stripping off his uniform and running off of the field during a game against the New York Jets. 1 He’s getting the reputation that he’s not wanted. Because he’s socially unacceptable. He’s emotionally unacceptable. And, he’s spiritually unacceptable.

So, continuing to verse 2 – and this was the inspiration for the three-part series “Look To Jesus” – “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, …” – most horrible torture and death. “ … despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

And from this phrase “looking unto Jesus” came the sermon “Look To Jesus Not Moses,” because the people of whom I was speaking, many of them have what we call an Old Covenant mentality. They want to live life by the Old Covenant ways. And, the people of whom we’re speaking have never captured or understood the richness and the blessings of the principles of the New Covenant. They just don’t understand it.

Well, moving on – notice verse 5 – “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to [children] …” – and quoting from Proverbs 3:11-12 – ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6) For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.’

Verse 7 – “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with [children]; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?”

Now, historically that was true. Fathers laid down the law and expected their children to follow it. But, in today’s society, we know a lot of children whose fathers have abdicated their child-rearing responsibilities.

There are fathers who are not even around to help their children. They walked away from them a long time ago – maybe even at their birth. And, that’s sad and tragic. Every child – barring death – should be able to grow up with both his mother and father. A child needs both a mother and a father.

Verse 8 from the King James Version – “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not [children].”

That is a biblical word – did you know that!?

I remember a few times when I was a child my mother threatened to wash my mouth out with soap. And, certainly, if I had used that word right here, my mother would have gone after the Ivory bar! But, it’s actually a biblical word – probably of Germanic origin, meaning an illegitimate child.

And, there are quite a few so-called “dirty words” in God’s living word. Some people call them cuss words. Well, we think a whole lot of people get way too uptight over the formation of sounds that come off the tongue and pass through the lips. And they tend to have a meltdown over it! There are people who are way too sensitive. But, this is a different topic.

Well, let’s move along to verse 13 – I continue to see things that just jump off the page! “and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.”

Verse 14 – “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”

Now, the Apostle Paul did say, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”

The Apostle Paul was acknowledging that there are among human beings – some people – who are so obnoxious, so off-the-wall, so contrary, so mean-spirited, that it is impossible to get along with them.

Verse 15 – “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”

We have spoken many times about the stealth-like spiritual diseases – stealth-like because they sort of sneak up on people. Sadly, people aren’t really aware that they’re falling into this mindset. And one of the largest being bitterness. They get bitter over something. And often, something very similar is jealousy. And they begin to feel sorry for themselves – Why is that person being recognized and I’m not being recognized!? And they begin to dwell upon that.

Recall what we just read in verse 14 – “Pursue peace, … and holiness, …”

Verse 15 – “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”

Notice verse 24 – And “to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant, …”

Our Lord Jesus Christ created the conditions of the New Covenant. And by His torture and sacrifice, He made the New Covenant holy. And all of us have access to it if we will simply believe His words, and have respect for Him, and His sacrifice, and His place – or rather what should be His place – in all of our lives.

Also, notice chapter 13 of the Book of Hebrews –

Verse 1 – “Let brotherly love continue. 2) Do not forget to entertain strangers, …”

Now, to “entertain strangers,” we have a feeling means to treat them with hospitality. To treat them with decency.

Every day we meet people that we know, or we have known. And then almost every day we meet people that maybe we’ve never met before. And, the Apostle Paul is saying – ‘when you meet these new people, be kind and respectful to them.’ He continues, and isn’t this a statement –

“ … for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.”

The Apostle Paul writing this – was inspired by the Spirit to write this. So, we believe it’s true! We believe that there have been moments in time in history when human beings have met angelic beings who appeared as fellow human beings. Now, we’re sorry for those people who think that all angels have wings on them – they don’t. We’re speaking about just regular angelic messengers of the LORD God. Not that any angel is regular. Now there are archangels that have wings – some having four, some six. Regular angels can appear as a human being. And, every time you read about this they appear as men. Now, ladies don’t get upset – it’s not discrimination. It’s just that’s the way God the Father and Jesus Christ have ordained it.

And there may have been moments in your life when you – and you didn’t even know it – were actually dealing with one of the LORD God’s messengers and servants.

Now I’ve met people before, church people, and I thought – You know, one time, I think I may have met an angel! And, I’ve heard of people who have broken down on the side of the road, and then all of a sudden – almost out of nowhere – here are some beings to help them. Maybe help them change the tire, maybe repair the automobile. We think and believe that angelic beings have protected us on many occasions. We do believe that there are times when angelic beings interact with flesh and blood humans – you, me, and others.

Let us always keep this in mind. □

1 Wikipedia contributors. "Antonio Brown." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 12 Jul. 2023. Web. 19 Jul. 2023.

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