Monday, September 11, 2023

And That Rock Was Christ - Part Three (Sermon)

Michael C. Garrett    About


We have had, so far, two parts of a series of sermons that talk about a song called Everyone. And that kind of blended into some ideas of a passage in 1st Corinthians 10:4. Near the end of the passage we read, “and that Rock was Christ.” And I’d like to finish up our notes – hopefully in this part three.

The idea being – just how important that Jesus Christ is to our spiritual existence, and indeed, our spiritual health.

In the last part, we ended in the Book of Hebrews chapter 13, verse 1. But, there is another verse we’d like to talk about in chapter 13. It’s a verse that is really good to think about – for all of us.

Verse 20 – “Now may the God of peace …” And, think about this – the God of peace. “ … who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, …”

Our Lord Jesus Christ, for THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS – keep in mind, our Lord Jesus for all intents and purposes is the God of the Old Testament. When we turn back to the Book of Genesis and we read about God re-creating the Earth and creating human beings. We’re actually talking about the personality which eventually became known as Jesus Christ. And, that is just truly proven throughout God’s living word. We even read a few verses within the previous parts that prove that beyond any doubt.

And, this great Creator being, who is also our great High Priest, who is also our Judge in the future – and I guess you could say that He is judging us to some extent now. He is certainly observing us. And, someday will actually be the being that holds up a Thumbs Up, or a Thumbs Down. In terms of do we have a chance at eternal life! Well, this being allowed Himself to be changed into a human sperm cell – according to the plan that He and God the Father had composed. He was born as a human baby. He grew up, and at age thirty, He began to preach the gospel of the soon-coming kingdom of God. And, at the age of about thirty-three and a half, He allowed Himself to be sacrificed – to be tortured to death – that we might have a Savior. And, for THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS, He was dead.

That is what it says here. This time reading from the Authorized King James Version – “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, …”

Now, keep your marker here a moment – and very quickly let’s turn back to the Book of Revelation chapter 1.

Verse 18 – speaking in the first person; red letter edition – “’ I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades [the grave] and of Death.’”

He has the keys to unlock the bondage of death.

Now, if you are reading this right now in this article, you have not reached that state yet. But, if the earth spins around long enough, someday that day will happen. And it will happen to all of us. It’s not something we like to think about – but it is reality.

And, He was dead.

Once upon a time, many years ago. I was down in Tyler, Texas speaking before a congregation. And the two leaders there in Texas, who are trying to convince this world that they know everything and that they are in charge and the ultimate authority in everything, after speaking they came up to me and said, “You said that Jesus Christ was dead!” And I thought – what is controversial about that? Yes, He was dead. Our Lord Jesus Christ was dead for THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS. And, they appeared unable to grasp that. It truly puzzled me. How could they be that biblically ignorant!? As our Lord Jesus Christ says, “’ For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS in the heart of the earth.’” He was dead in the tomb – the ‘heart of the earth.’ And then He was brought back to eternal life by God the Father.

Well, I’ve come to understand that a whole lot of the things I taught there in Texas, they simply did not have the spiritual horsepower to be able to understand.

Again, in the Book of Hebrews chapter 13 –

“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, …” - Another one of His titles.

Not All Minds Are Created Equal

The great Shepherd of the sheep. Who are the sheep!? Hopefully, it’s people like you and me. And many other people down through the ages. And, yet into the future. Human beings that have been called of God the Father to know and to learn and to understand the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God.

Now, this certainly is a baffling concept. People in this world’s religions just presume that all minds are created equal. And, friends, that is not the way it is. Now, certainly, there are some human beings that are smarter and sharper intellectually than others. But understanding BIBLICAL TRUTH – you’re never going to get there unless God the Father and Jesus Christ grant you some insight. They have to share with you the gift of the knowledge of God. Otherwise, you cannot understand what the Bible is saying.

There is a passage in 1st Corinthians chapter 2 that confirms this –

Verse 7 – “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, …”

Now, why did he say this!?

Because, quite frankly, if an individual has not had their mind opened up – or in the process of being opened – by God the Father and by Jesus Christ, they cannot understand the mysteries of God. Now, if you were to say this to these Sunday-go-to-meeting church people they would be insulted. I suggest you don’t say it – because all you will do is make them angry. But, this is what God’s living word says.

“ … the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.”

If all of the world understood God’s living word – now, get this – if all of the people of the world understood the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God, there would be no regular Sunday-go-to-meeting church services! By any congregation, denomination, anywhere!

Because, understand, Sunday is not the weekly day of church service. So, think about what a vast percentage of people who have that one wrong!

If the people of the world – of these so-called Christian churches – actually knew the living truth of God, they would not say, “I’m going to heaven!” And, they would not say, “Well, someday, those people are going down to hell!” Because, understand, neither one is correct.

If these churches of this world truly understood the living word of God, they would not talk about God being a Trinity.

Now, we could continue like this for two hours – talking about the ideas that the church people of this world hold onto, which are complete contradictions of the living word of the Eternal One. Such as an immortal soul. Christmas, Easter, Saint Valentine’s Day, Halloween, New Year’s Day, the Day of the Dead – all of that false folderol. All of that stuff is not from the LORD God, but rather from human beings. Just traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation. And we as a culture have embraced it all presuming that it’s true.

Now, this past week I saw on television a man being interviewed who had lost his daughter in that horrible Parkland high school shooting back in 2018 – in which a former student at the school murdered 17 innocent people. His daughter’s name was Meadow, after the character Meadow of The Sopranos. And, this father became a very outspoken critic of everything – the police, the high school, the government. And he has written a book - Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created The Parkland Shooter and Endanger America's Students. In this interview, he had stated that his daughter was initially shot four times, and in an awe-inspiring display of heroism and fortitude, after being shot multiple times, she crawled down the hallway to another student and laid her bullet-riddled body on top of the other student, in an attempt to protect the freshman. And, in turn, this evil and vile murderer pointed his assault rifle at her back and shot it five more times, piercing her back and into the child beneath her. He was being interviewed by Neil Cavuto of Fox News. And towards the end of the interview, Cavuto says, “Well, I know that Meadow is up there looking down on you, and she’s so very proud of you.”

Now, I know people say things like that – and they are trying to be comforting. But it is just factually wrong! Meadow is in her grave. She’s not conscious, she’s not breathing, she’s not thinking. She is completely and totally unconscious and will be until Jesus Christ brings her back to life. And, someday He will! That is part of the great Good News Plan of God.

But, this automatic reaction so many people have in our culture, saying such things as, “Well, they’re looking down from heaven.” No, they aren’t.

Our Lord Jesus Christ plainly says, “’ No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.’” He was referring to Himself. Our Lord Jesus is the only former human being that now resides at the throne of God. No one else has.

The Apostle Paul was allowed to see the throne of God in vision. And he wasn’t sure if he was actually there or just saw it in his mind – it was so overwhelming. He makes a reference to this. But, no human being has ever gone to heaven. Yet, every Sunday, at establishments throughout this nation and other nations, countries, and provinces throughout the Western world, people are going to be told – “Well, you want to get to heaven!” Or, “Someday when you get to heaven!” Or, “You’re going to heaven!” Or, “I’m going to heaven!” Or, “Some of us are going to heaven!” It’s just over, and over, and over! And, people have heard it since the time they were in diapers. And people just presume, and assume, and suppose that all of that is true.

And yet, God’s living word DOES NOT agree with that. God’s living word simply DOES NOT say that.

It says that when you die you’re dead. That you know nothing. You have no thoughts or awareness of the passage of time. But, God’s living word promises that there will come a time when some people who had lived and known the living Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God, and had received God’s Spirit, will indeed – when our Lord Jesus Christ returns – be changed from death into eternal life! God’s living word also teaches that some people will be alive who have the Spirit of God, who have their name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life – and upon the return of our Lord Jesus Christ – they will be changed instantly in a twinkling of an eye from corruptible to incorruptible. To eternal.

And, God’s living word also says that there is a future time when everyone who has ever lived, who did not willfully and purposely reject the living Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God, will be brought back to life and will live again. This is the great meaning behind the Last Great Day. And, this day is coming!

The people who are in their graves right now have no awareness of the passage of time.

Now, I’ve often thought – there were people who had gotten their automobile stuck on a railroad crossing – ever so often we hear of these tragic stories.

Their vehicle stalls and they continue trying to restart it. And a locomotive and its fully loaded cars are headed towards them. Its rumbling noise getting closer by the second, the wail of its blaring horn getting louder – as they continue trying to restart their vehicle. And sadly, they don’t get out of their vehicle in time before the 4,000 to 20,000-ton train smashes into their stalled vehicle! The person continued thinking that the vehicle was certainly going to restart. And they tried restarting it one too many times before the massive behemoth plowed their vehicle. And, the last thought that went through these people’s minds was seeing this huge locomotive barreling down on them. All that weight traveling about 50 miles per hour. Certainly, the people died instantly.

You also hear about people who were in an airplane that was flying at about 33,000 feet in the air. And tragically the airplane suddenly falls from the sky and crashes. And, the last thought that goes through those people’s minds is – we are hurdling towards the earth, and we are going to strike the earth, and we are going to die.

I imagine some of the passengers would be screaming, some might be calling out to God, and some might be clutching their loved ones sitting beside them. I suppose, if that is the way you have to go, that’s a good way – you’re with a loved one. But, that’s the last thought that went through their mind.

Think about the horrible tragedy we heard about last week – the sinking of MV Conception. When the 75-foot dive boat caught fire, and tragically 34 people were killed. It is the worst maritime disaster in California since the sinking of the Brother Jonathan in 1865. In the early morning hours, the second galleyhand awoke upon hearing the sound of a pop, discovering an uncontrollable fire on the main deck below, with the passengers asleep in their bunks on the lower deck, with its supposed two exits both blocked by the raging fire! Have you ever slept in a motel, and upon waking quickly, you are confused as to where you are!? But then upon slowly waking you remember that you’re in a hotel. Well, these passengers were in the lower deck of that boat, and upon waking came to realize that their rather small bunkroom was on fire! Conception, at less than 100 Gross tonnage and with fewer than 49 berths, was not covered under federal and international regulations for boats. The boat was constructed of wood covered with fiberglass, and it was built in 1981. And, the inside of the boat apparently caught on fire very quickly. And the two possible ways out of that small bunkroom were blocked by fire and smoke! And they died this horrible death. And, the last thoughts they had on earth was of this conflagration consuming them! Horrible, horrible! Our hearts truly do go out to those people.

Well, someday, all of those people are going to open their eyes, and realize that they are alive – they’re not going to immediately know where they are. Surely, some of them are going to think – wait a minute, I just got smashed by a train! Or, they’ll think – wait a minute, I was in an airplane that was falling to the earth from some 30,000 feet! How did I get here!? Now, certainly, a large majority of them will think – well, I’m in heaven. But, they will soon figure out that doesn’t seem logical. There are trees, mountains, and the blue sky. They’ll think – kind of looks like the earth.

And they will eventually be taught – someone will be sent to them; a representative of the LORD God – and they will be taught, “Well, you were alive at one time and you died. And now, after all these years, you have been brought back to life. And now, for the first time, you’re going to hear the living Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God. Including young Meadow. Who tragically died in the Parkland massacre down in Florida. Yes, even young Meadow is going to live again to learn the living truth of God.

Understand, you don’t learn the living truth of God unless the LORD God opens your mind.

Keep another marker here in 1st Corinthians chapter 2, and turn with us to the Book of John.

This is a very simple statement. A rather quick statement. But it speaks volumes. John 6. This is the living Word of God! Indeed, these are the spoken words of Jesus Christ.

Verse 44 – “’ No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.’”

Last day, the Last Great Day. Do you see the connection there? No man, no woman can just voluntarily join a religion that has been created out of nothingness! Some human tradition – it just doesn’t work.

Returning again to 1st Corinthians chapter 2 –

Verse 7 again, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, …” the living truth of God in a mystery. “ … the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.”

Verse 8 – “which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

If Pontius Pilate had really understood what was happening, he would not have allowed our Lord Jesus to be sacrificed. But you see, it had already been preordained that Jesus had to be sacrificed. So that we would have a sacrifice.

It says in verse 9 – and we absolutely love and adore this verse; from the Book of Isaiah chapter 64 – “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’

That’s the Old Testament comment. Now, notice what the Apostle says in verse 10 – the New Testament, New Covenant, reality. “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. …”

Brethren, for those of us who know the living Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God, who have had our minds opened to understand the living truth of God, we understand these mysteries of God, the wisdom of God, which no one else can understand.

Which is why we say – tread gently when you speak to a family member or a friend, a co-worker, or an acquaintance about the living truth of God. Explain very gently, because if you just start spieling off a bunch of things, this unconverted person to whom you are attempting to communicate, will not have a clue about what you are saying. And they often become agitated, irritated, and angry. And, in the end, you haven’t enlightened them at all. We suggest you ask more questions than you make statements. Such as – why do you believe this? Or, why do you believe that? Or, what do you think is going to happen? Or, how did that come about? Or, where did that doctrine come from – do you know? Well, let’s look it up! As an example – let’s go look up the origin of Christmas.

Now, even on the search engine Google, you can type in Christmas, and find out that it’s one hundred percent pagan! Pagan to the core! It has nothing to do with God’s living word.

Yes, our Lord Jesus was born as a baby. But, the story of Christmas, is simply loaded with errors! Riddled with falsehood! Maybe if a person reads up on Christmas on a search engine they’ll begin to question everything they’ve been told since childhood about Christmas!? Now, it’s pretty obvious just by the name – and we’re not trying to make anyone upset here – but Christmas is a creation of the Roman Catholic Church. CHRIST – MASS. The mass of Christ. It’s a Catholic celebration. The Western world just accepts it as being a reality – a truth.

When, in truth, our Lord Jesus Christ was, most likely, born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles! This year, 2023, the Feast of Tabernacles is from sunset on the 29th of SEPTEMBER to sunset on the 6th of OCTOBER. If you really want to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and be accurate, then come join us on the evening of the 29th of SEPTEMBER! Because that will be the true birthday of Jesus Christ!

If you really want to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ – don’t go to a nearby so-called Christian church on Easter, but rather, participate in the activities of the spring Holy Days! Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread! You’ll be much more accurate if you were to!

A Vast Difference Between Animals and Human Mind

But, going back to verse 10 – “ … For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”

Verse 11 – “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? …”

Now, friends, I love my domesticated cats. I have three of them. And they are bright-eyed, fun, and mischievous at times. They are certainly entertaining. They are a great comfort to me. But, the overwhelming majority of the things I think about, my cats cannot understand. The three top priorities that a cat thinks about are – food, shelter, and safety. That is their world.

Obviously, we as human beings think on so many levels higher than that.

Think about the animal world. We, as humans, are completely different than animals. Yes, like warm-blooded animals, we need to breathe. We have physical hearts, and we have blood. We require food. We need freedom from diseases. But, the things that an animal contemplates are nowhere close to what we contemplate.

Because human beings have a portion of something divine in them. Which the living word of God here calls “the spirit of the man which is in him.” So, there is indeed a difference between an animal brain and the human mind. Especially if that human mind has not been polluted and clogged by things like alcohol and illicit drugs. Now, again, we’re not saying that you cannot drink a beer or a glass of wine. We’re talking about people who drink way too much!

You can certainly take a human mind and greatly pollute it with chemicals – alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and you can really mess up that mind! We’ve probably all heard stories about a person who smoked so much marijuana, or different drugs, that they have completely wasted their mind! When people begin using marijuana as teenagers, the drug may impair thinking, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions. 1 In fact, isn’t it odd that the word used for getting drunk or stoned is called “getting wasted”!? There is a little truth in there!

Well, we suggest that you don’t do that to yourselves. The greatest thing that you own is your mind! And, when you lose it – you have nothing. Why would you want to destroy and pollute your own mind!? But people do it. It’s hard to understand.

Continuing, “ … Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” No one knows the things of God without the assistance of the Spirit of God.

Verse 12 – The Apostle Paul writes – “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, …”

If you’re truly baptized into Jesus Christ, and truly connected with Jesus Christ, you will not conduct your life the way the majority of the people in this world conduct their life.

“ … not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit [which] is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”

Verse 13 – “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14) But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Notice at the end of verse 16 – the Apostle Paul says, “But we have the mind of Christ.”

If you have been called of Father God, if you have been granted repentance, gone through the process of baptism and the laying on of hands – of a qualified representative of the LORD God – you have been promised that you have a small portion of God’s Spirit.

And, if you dedicate yourself to serving the LORD God, that small amount of God’s Spirit will grow within you – giving you more spiritual horsepower as it were.

But, remember, we read that phrase, “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Sheperd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, …”

And, ever so often, we have to go back and read this from the Book of Philippians – and we’re going to do it again this day –

This concept is as important to you – to your spiritual health, and to your physical health. As nearly any other concept! PEACE OF MIND.

Now, I read this someplace – have you ever heard of cortisol? A steroid hormone produced by the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex in the adrenal gland. This hormone is released in response to stress, along with low blood-glucose concentration. But, for all intents and purposes, we’re talking about stress here. Cortisol is very useful in short-term applications. Cortisol has a permissive effect on the actions of hormones that increase glucose production, such as glucagon and adrenaline. Now, adrenaline is a hormone. And, the major emotion studied in relation to adrenaline is fear. The major physiological triggers of adrenaline release center upon stresses, such as physical threat, and excitement. But, too much cortisol, if prolonged, can lead to proteolysis (breakdown of proteins) and muscle wasting. High levels can have many detrimental health effects. Prolonged high levels of cortisol can reduce bone formation, favoring the long-term development of osteoporosis. High levels can affect your memory. Cortisol works with adrenaline to create memories of short-term emotional events – such as in the proposed mechanism for the storage of flashbulb memories. Exposure of fetuses to cortisol during gestation can have a variety of developmental outcomes, including alterations in prenatal and postnatal growth patterns. 2 When cortisol levels remain elevated, the following side effects may occur –

weight gain, high blood pressure, changes in mood, irritability, flushed face, thinning skin, difficulty concentrating, and insulin resistance.

When under chronic stress, it may be difficult to maintain healthy eating habits. 3

One of the greatest things you can do for your physical health is to not be under stress. Which causes your body to produce and to pump into your bloodstream high levels of cortisol. Now, we presume that the people who contributed to Wikipedia and the article from Healthline know what they are talking about. It’s not the first time that we have heard of health issues associated with high levels of cortisol. It’s interesting to note that people who have high blood pressure also have high blood sugar, along with high cholesterol – triglycerides. They sort of come as a package. You don’t tend to have just high blood sugar – you tend to have a conglomeration of problems.

But, what we are saying is – that one of the keys to losing weight is having about yourself a PEACE OF MIND. Not only spiritually speaking, but it also has a physical meaning.

In the Book of Philippians chapter 4, reading here from the Authorized King James –

Verse 5 – “Let your moderation …”

The word actually means gentleness. It has nothing to do with the drinking of alcohol. It has to do with an attitude and a spirit.

“Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”

Someone who was reading this in the year 330 could say, “The return of our Lord Jesus was over 300 years since He was alive!” Yes, but one day that person died. And the next thing he knows, our Lord Jesus Christ really will be on the Earth!

Verse 6 – “Be anxious for nothing, …”

Uptight, irritated, worried, demented, for nothing.

Those little aspects of human life, which people get so shaken up over – upset, angry – most of them are not worth worrying about.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with THANKSGIVING, …”

Such an important part of this! You must have a thankful appreciative spirit when you go to God Almighty and Jesus Christ.

“ … let your requests be made known to God; 7) and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Verse 8 – “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true [or rather, truthful], whatever things are noble [or honest and honorable], whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely [pleasant and decent], whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”

Verse 9 – “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Undoubtedly, if you allow the peace of God – which means the Spirit of God – to flow more copiously through you, like going to the LORD God in prayer and Bible study, and prayerful thought – the way you conduct your life, and the way you treat fellow human beings – you will receive a tremendous spiritual benefit. But, we’re telling you – you will also experience a physical benefit.

Now, we’ve said the following before at different times. There are people – apparently a whole lot more people than we can ever conceive of – who do not believe in God. Do not believe in the living word of God. Do not believe in a promise of eternal life. We’re not quite sure what they think about as they go through life. But, let us just say – out of this example – that there isn’t any God.

A human being would still have a better life mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and physically. Physical health, if they lived their life as though there is indeed a God.

Now, understand – there is no doubt in our minds about the existence of God Almighty and Jesus Christ! We know They exist! We know, and we know that we know!

But, even if there weren’t, there are many benefits in living your life as though they truly do exist. And that God’s living word is indeed the Rule Book in which to follow.

Let’s return again to the Book of Hebrews and read again chapter 13, verse 20 –

“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.”

Speaking of the New Covenant.

Again, we know a whole group of people whose church leaders would never mention the concept of the New Covenant. Yes, indeed, their leader won’t even say the name of Jesus Christ. Won’t say it, won’t write it, won’t talk about it, will not acknowledge it, will not honor it, glorify it, or praise it.

Again, we ask the question – why, if you are a member of that group, do you continue and remain in that group!? People who have that process, have a zero chance of making it into the kingdom of God!

What did we just say!? People, who in their minds, have no respect, appreciation, honor, and glory, for the name, the title, the job, the purpose, of Jesus Christ – if that means nothing to you. If you act as if you’re even ashamed of it, deny it, you have zero chance of someday being given eternal life. So why are some of you even a part of that!?


Verse 21 – “make you complete [spiritually] in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

So be it – says Brother Paul. □

2 Wikipedia contributors. "Cortisol." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 20 Aug. 2023. Web. 23 Aug. 2023.
3 Preiato, D. RD, CSCS, Does Cortisol Affect Weight Gain?, healthline, 29, Sept. 2020.

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