Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Notes Concerning the Day of Atonement (Prophetically the Day of the LORD) I

by Michael C. Garrett

I guess right now I’m speaking to people, that once upon a time, I went to church with. I don’t go to church with these people anymore because they… well quite frankly, they don’t want me around. But, now I’m free to tell the truth of God. Mark 7:6 - the Pharisees and scribes were practitioners of the Old Covenant, they had a major stake holding in the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant WAS their bread and butter, it WAS their income, it WAS their power. Without the Old Covenant the Pharisees and Scribes would not have a job. Verse 5 – “the tradition of the elders” IS the Old Covenant (all of the rigmarole, the temple elite, all the do’s and the don’ts). A very burdensome form of religion. I would have absolutely hated to have lived under the Old Covenant.  And, quite frankly, to the extent that I have been exposed to it in my lifetime, I can look back on those experiences, religious experiences, church experiences, and say, “I have contempt for what was taught,” and for the POWER and the CONTROL that so-called religious leaders tried to exert over people who – in their heart and mind – were trying to follow God. It’s just that they were very, very, badly misled, on so many topics - not everything.

Now, I respect the old Worldwide Church of God in many ways, and yet, in candor, and in all honesty, I’ve come to realize that many of the things which they attempted to teach they just simply didn’t have it down correctly. As an example: The Worldwide Church of God taught (as doctrine) in the early stages of the church that all aborted babies were lost. Had no chance at life. Because, quote, as they said, “They had not received the breath of life.” That theory, that idea, was actually borrowed from Protestant groups. I, of course, don’t believe that. It’s WRONG! It’s NOT correct! Those dead babies will live again!

The great GOD of the universe, if He had the power to resurrect human beings that centuries ago had turned into dust and blown away, if He has that ability, and the Bible says He does, then surely that same great GOD would have the ability to bring back to life a young unborn child.

They reasoned, “Well, how would they live!?” Well, most of the women who had those abortions will be resurrected in the “Great White Throne Judgment” and what would keep GOD from saying, or through His messengers, “Look lady, you aborted this child, or these children once before, we’re going to resurrect these children and put them back into your womb. And you better take very good care of them because your life is in the balance.” “You take care of them, you get to live. You abuse them and murder them again, you will NOT be walking anymore, you will be doomed.” Now, if that’s a problem, the great God Almighty and Jesus Christ could just take that young, unborn infant and just age it a few more months, so that now it would be full-term, nine months. And then it would have a chance to live.

Now, some people are comfortable in that old Cadillac that they’ve got. They think that they’re Cadillac is perfect. They think it runs like a charm. And they DO NOT UNDERSTAND that the car in which they are travelling, is destined to crash and burn, and be destroyed. And, if they’re still in that car they will suffer the same fate. And I know it’s not a message that you’re used to being told. You’re told that your Cadillac is perfect and is going to go on forever. That’s what you’re told. That’s what you hope, that’s what you believe. But, it’s not true. And I tell you, that group down in Tyler, and groups like them, they are almost totally invested in concepts and traditions of the Old Covenant. And, once again, last week, I read the ‘Weekly Update’ out of Tyler. Oh, I read a lot of political stuff, not one time did I see the word JESUS CHRIST! How can you walk through the doors of salvation with Jesus Christ if you are ashamed of the name Jesus Christ!? The Old Covenant ruled every aspect of your life. I don’t know why so many of you voluntarily submit to it!?

Colossians 2:10 – “And you are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power.” Now, if you’re in a group of people or an organization whose leader is ashamed of the name Jesus Christ, where does it leave you!? You’re out in the cold, you’re in that old Cadillac. verse 13b; “…alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,” that is the wonderful thing about the New Covenant! The Old Covenant did not give you forgiveness! verse 14 - not taking a shot at the Ten Commandments.

The Ten Commandments  stands on its own! The Old Covenant was ‘nailed to the cross’ and replaced with the New Covenant, where Jesus Christ is the High Priest!

Colossians 2:16 – the weekly Sabbath and the annual Sabbath days ARE an outline for future events. Especially the fall holy days. verse 17- notice the word is is in italic, meaning it was added. The original meaning is ‘let the Body of Christ (Jesus Christ Himself), let Him be your teacher,’ and in the end He will be your judge. You know, the church that was out in Pasadena, from which I was associated with at one time and other groups, they totally DISTORT the meaning of this day (the Day of Atonement) – in my opinion.

They’re all hung up on the words WAY BACK in the Book of Leviticus – ‘Afflict your soul!’ There’s a guy who’s an area coordinator, associated with Tyler, and I’ve heard him say with my own ears use the phrase, “God wants you to hurt!” I’ve never read that! I think they totally and completely distort the meaning of this day by their implementation of ‘voluntary’ humility - and Oh my, so many religious leaders are puffed up. Another thing, they obsessed with what’s called the Azazel goat. A word in the Hebrew which is translated into English, meaning, “Scape goat.” I thought it was boring 49-years ago, and it’s infinitely more boring than I’ve ever considered before! It was a very historic item, long, long ago in the priesthood of Aaron, a priesthood which is two-thousand years ago, almost, and was DONE AWAY. And I really don’t understand why people keep obsessing on this idea!? It was a valid event, way, way, thousands of years ago! It was an event which really has not a lot of relevance in the 21st century. I hope you can understand that. They spoke of things that were so distant and so irrelevant to our modern world. It just simply amazed me why are they obsessing on information that has very little practical meaning TODAY!? Especially in this day and age! Jesus Christ talked about the ‘end of the world,’ or the ‘end of the age’ in Matthew 24.

Leviticus 16:9 – Right here there’s a little bit of an allusion to… the NEED to have a Savior, to have a SIN OFFERING. And that ancient ceremony, had a bit of a looking forward to the time when Jesus Christ would be the sin offering for all mankind throughout history – throughout the ages.

Verse 10 – Here you hear the word ATONEMENT. Now, back in the Worldwide days, and I’ve even heard it by leading minister’s here in the last decade, they will actually say, “Well, look at the word atonement, it’s a-t-on-e-m-e-n-t, what does that spell!? At-one-ment.” Now, today, they have been many minister’s and congregations across America and around the globe which have talked about, “The at-one-ment with God!” There is simply NO correlation between the word atonement and the phrase at-one-ment. They have nothing to do with each other! It’s just a freak ‘accident’ of the language that you can divide at, one, and ment. Now, different ministers have attempted to describe this vague, hard to understand ceremony, from millennia ago – thousands of years ago, in an institution which NO LONGER EXISTS – the Aaronic priesthood does not exist anymore! It was replaced by the Priesthood of Jesus Christ! The Priesthood of Jesus Christ NOW supersedes the Levitical priesthood. We don’t live in the Old Covenant anymore! We live in the New Covenant! We don’t live in the Levitical Priesthood anymore, we live under the Priesthood of Jesus Christ. We don’t live under the auspices of the Law of Moses, now we live our lives according to the Ten Commandments. The Law of God. There have been people who have just totally miss… I just don’t think they want to know it. “I just want to hang on to that old-time religion. Well, that’s what was taught 50-some years ago out in Pasadena, that’s what Mr. Armstrong talked about, that’s what Mr. Garner Armstrong talked about, so I’m going to talk about it!” Well, Mr. Armstrong, and Mr. Garner talked about that because that’s all they knew at that time to talk about. That’s not a cut, not a slam, it’s just understanding reality. But the apostle Peter told us to grow in the grace and in knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ! And the MOST IMPORTANT area of growth you could ever have is understanding that Jesus Christ is our High Priest and we NOW live under the New Covenant and we are bound to be loyal to the Ten Commandments. So, this scapegoat was put out into the wilderness. I know that many ministers from the old days have said, “This goat was a type of Satan the devil.” And quite frankly, I don’t have a problem with that analogy. Analogies are analogies. And this is just an analogy. It’s not far away from the concept of the parables of the New Testament. But do I think this could stand for Satan the devil!? Yes, I do. Am I going to worry about it!? No, I’m not, because Leviticus 16 has absolutely NOTHING, NOTHING to do with my salvation or your salvation.

You don’t have to understand Leviticus 16 to have the love of Jesus Christ to be poured out upon you, His grace, His favor, His Spirit, and His promise of eternal life. Yet, back in those old days, three or four decades ago, they made you think that this was the crux of the Gospel. Obviously, it’s not.

And, to this day, there are people who had their upbringing or their early training in the Worldwide Church of God who still try to convey this. Verse 15 of Leviticus 16 – where many people believe represents Jesus Christ for the people. Verse 21, talking about the other goat, the live goat, the scapegoat, the Azazel goat: Now, many ministers of the Worldwide Church of God and different incarnations of it, believe that that might indeed be a symbolic Satan. But we really don’t know, do we!? Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. It’s not worth fighting about!

Verse 29 of Leviticus 16 – “…you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, …” Now, have minister’s made hay out of that! I want to point out right from the get-go, THAT is a very poor translation. The phrase in Hebrew, the root of it, and the meaning of it is “you will HUMBLE yourself before the Lord.” Now, does this mean a fast!? Many people say, “Yes, it does!” Jewish tradition says it does. Jewish tradition, if you’re going to be a ‘Jewish follower,’ and follow their TRADITIONS, on the Day of Atonement, you’re not supposed to eat or drink, not supposed to wear shoes made out of leather, not supposed to bathe, no cologne or perfume, or lotion, no sex – a whole list of things you cannot do! IF you follow ‘Jewish tradition.’ I also know of people who can stand up before you and with their Bible point out that – in the Bible – that there are three different types of fast’s. And their all called fast’s. 1) Situation with Moses up on the Mount waiting for the Ten Commandments, and we’re told he went 40 days without food and water – I don’t know how he did that!? 2) We also read about Jesus Christ having a fast for 40 days. But it is said of Him, at the end of His fast, He was ‘a hungered.’ Didn’t say He was thirsty. And when the angelic helpers came to Him, they brought Him FOOD, it didn’t say they brought Him water. 3) Also, they could show you in the Book of Daniel – the very same word which is here translated “you shall afflict your souls, …” the very same Hebrew word applies to Daniel. And Daniel didn’t abstain from food and water, but he simply radically changed his diet to very plain food. He did not eat the fancy food he could have eaten in the king’s court. But he had like… a bowl of beans.

And their all called fast’s.  What’s MOST IMPORTANT is that you will HUMBLE yourself before the Lord on the Day of Atonement! Don’t become obsessed with Leviticus 16, learn the teaching point: It’s the SEVENTH DAY OF THE TENTH MONTH, IT IS A HOLY DAY, AND, A COMMANDED CHURCH SERVICE, AND YOU ARE TO HUMBLE YOURSELF BEFORE THE LORD.

James 4:6 – This is the ultimate meaning of the Day of Atonement! HUMBLE yourselves before GOD! And how do you humble yourself before GOD!? Verse 7 - By submitting to the will of GOD. The Way of GOD. The WORD of GOD. The Plan of GOD. Verse 9 – “Lament …” It means, at times, take stock of who you are. Look at yourself in the spiritual mirror. Verse 10: This is the meaning of the Day of Atonement – “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”


What I’m about to say to you has never been taught – was never – in the Churches of God, be it Worldwide, United, Philadelphia, or Intercontinental, or International, or Global, or Living, this concept which I am about to tell you. Most likely if you have a background and history with the remnants of the Worldwide Church of God you have NEVER heard this before.  The Day of Atonement is prophetically linked with an event which the Bible calls the Day of the Lord. You were taught as doctrine, and many of you still believe, … but the official teaching of the Worldwide Church of God was that there were the SEVEN SEALS, and then the SEVEN TRUMPETS, and then the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES, and THEN JESUS CHRIST would return … boom! The RESURRECTION trump … boom! Then… we’re in the Kingdom of God!

Not an accurate rendition according to the Word of God!

Revelation 15:1 – “…seven angels having the seven last plagues, for IN them the wrath of God is complete.” The angry fearsome judgment of God! Verse 7 – The seven last plagues are directly linked with the idea of the Day of the Lord. And the Day of the Lord, prophetically, is linked to the concept of the Day of Atonement.


Revelation 15:2 – Who are these people that have gotten the victory!? Their people, hopefully, like you and me! When the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES BEGIN, THE RESURRECTION OF THE SAINTS HAS ALREADY OCCURRED! The Saints are protected! Because they’re not flesh and blood anymore. Their eternal spirit beings – members of the Family of GOD.

Recall: Matthew 24:40-42 – “’Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41) Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42) Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.’”

The WRATH OF GOD (the Day of the Lord) is prophetically linked with the Day of Atonement. Single most prophesied event in the Bible – bar none.  Not even the Return of Jesus Christ is prophesied as much as the Day of the Lord is prophesied. The Fall Holy Days picture, in a prophetic sense, some of the major events, major stages, major progressions of the end-times. The SEVEN SEALS of the Book of Revelation are the symbolic, prophetically, of the early ‘troubles’ which will befall this world, and in particular, the House of Judah and the House of Israel. And the FIRST SIX of the SEVEN TRUMPETS are a progression of those ‘troubles.’ And the SEVENTH TRUMP of the seven trump’s is indeed, directly related to the concept of the resurrection of the saint’s. The blowing of the SEVENTH TRUMP! And following that, in the Book of Revelation – Chapters 15 & 16 – you read about the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES.

Keep in mind, the SIXTH PLAGUE of the seven last plagues is the so called – that great battle at Tel Megiddo, also known as Armageddon.

In which armies of this world, gathering together to blast each other to oblivion, then turn their sights on this returning “alien from outer space.” The very throne of GOD, Jesus Christ and God the Father and the resurrected saints! Keep in mind, the resurrection occurs on the SEVENTH TRUMP. The seven last plagues follow that. So, we will already be in “low earth orbit” in the clouds, being with Jesus Christ, in preparation for the time He, Jesus Christ, directly engages human kind. In a fierce judgment. The word ATONEMENT, if you look it up in some of the Bible helps, in the Strongest Strong’s Concordance it’s labeled #3722 – it has basically the meaning of reconciliation. Or the “balancing of the books.”

The establishment of harmony. “Making all things finally equal. Well balanced.” In our individual lives – pertaining with our relationship with God - the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, having been applied to our sins, balanced the books. It established harmony between us and GOD.

2 Corinthians 5:17 - I can’t remember this passage ever being read on the Day of Atonement in other church groups of which I have attended. Although Mr. Ted quoted this passage quite often, realized the great POWER of this verse and had great insight into it. “Therefore, if anyone is IN Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; …” When you entered into that baptismal pool, you were saying by that physical act, symbolically, that the life which I once controlled is OVER, the life which I had, including its sins and the promise of eternal death, that those are GONE. That old man, as it were, died in that temporary watery grave. And when you were pulled up out of that pool, totally refreshed, totally made clean in the sight of God, with everything, every evil thought, action, word, deed, that you’ve ever said or done GONE! Wiped clean! You began to become a new creation. And with the laying on of hands by the minister and the prayer of faith, saying, “Give this new creature, the Spirit of God.” Verse 18 – “Now all things are of God, WHO HAS RECONCILED US TO HIMSELF THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, …” God the Father “balanced the books.” The debts were payed. And now the account is in proper balance. He “reconciled us to Himself” by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Verse 19 – We have received that gift of forgiveness. We have received that gift of having our sins forgiven. We have received the gift of having been loosed from the pains of death. And the future of eternal death.

Verse 20 – It was this very verse, read by Mr. Ted when he was a young man, passed on from his father, which encouraged and inspired his father to name the new college out in Pasadena, in about 1947, to be called Ambassador College. A school which I was affiliated with, the college I graduated from - after 4 years. And many of my family members and friends didn’t much care for what I was doing. They feared it. They questioned it. They harassed me and harangued me and persecuted me for it. And I think even now, many of my family member’s still hold me in a questionable light. But as a very young boy Jesus Christ made it clear to me, “I want you to go there, and I want you to learn.” And then, here recently in my life, He said, “OK, I’m now going to clean up some of the mess and show you a more purer, a more proper version of My truth.” And, as of December 2012 Jesus Christ has graciously continued to show me things which I did not learn in the Worldwide Church of God or its descendants. Things that I learned by no man, but I learned by the Spirit of God, teaching me from the Word of God.

We are supposed to be representatives of a future government. And some day we will be a part of that government. If God gives us that great gift. And if we stay close to Christ He will, because that’s His promise. “…We implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” And, that’s sort-of the concept of the word ATONEMENT.  I’ve heard people say, “You’re not good enough to make it into the Kingdom! And you’ll never be good enough!” Well… that’s true! YOU will never be good enough to make it into the Kingdom of God. However, the Jesus Christ who lives in YOU and with YOU through His Spirit is good enough! And that Spirit of Christ living within YOU, it is that new creature that verse 17; 2 Corinthians 5 talks about!

As a whole, this world, the past and the coming future, is NOT presently reconciled to God. The books are NOT “balanced.” A state of harmony does NOT exist. The Day of the Lord - and you can think Day of Atonement - the day of this reconciliation, this day of the “balancing of the books,” begins the process in which God the Father and Jesus Christ becomes RECONCILED with the people of this Earth. And right now they aren’t. Now, before the process is complete, the books need to be “balanced.” The “score” needs to be settled. It MUST be reconciled. And there are a great many passages in His living Word which speaks of what God thinks. In my lifetime I’ve had a lot of people, outside of the Church and even so-called within the Church – and to be honest; I’ve had greater trouble with people so-called within the Church – but, I’ve had a lot of people go out of their way to just give me a hard time, to make life tough on me, to try and drive me away, to make me discouraged, to embarrass me. Sometimes I feel like a punching bag. And the process doesn’t seem to stop. Here recently I had to go through the ignominies of having people that I thought was of God become like enemies. People who said, “O’ I will always be your friend.” And then they end up acting more like enemies, than brother’s in Christ. Ah, that’s a head scratcher. But God says, “Remember, vengeance is mine!” Now I know that these people are going to face a very tough time in the future. And I know it because the Word of God says it.

Romans 12:9 – godly love. Verse 10 – speaking of individuals who are supposedly been given the gift of God’s Spirit. Now, the Worldwide Church of God, at one time, said it was UNIFIED. And you went into a congregation of the Worldwide Church of God and they spent hours telling themselves how much they loved each other. And they use to exclaim, “O’ we are the church of Philadelphia, the church of godly love!” And they spent a lot of time just telling… bloviating about how filled with love they were. Now, there are other denominations in this world that do the same thing. There are some Baptist congregations that talk about love, love, love, “♪♫…all you gotta have is love…♪♫” Well, they say it so often, I think it’s like saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Now, many of us have said the Pledge of Allegiance. And I’ve had to realize at times, well, I’ve stood there in front of the flag and placed my hand over my heart and said the Pledge of Allegiance and said it in a remote way – like a robot – that I didn’t even understand the words which I was saying.  Even though the Worldwide Church of God said that it was a church of ‘brotherly love,’ within a few years that organization split, fractured, schismed, into hundreds of pieces. And now the very people who one time said to the people on their right, “O’ I love you friend! I love you brother! I love you sister!” Now are mortal enemies! And all I can say is, something about that just doesn’t smell right. How can you at one time say you love somebody and down-the-road then you treat them with contempt and disrespect!? How do you do that!? Now, human love is fickle. How many of you can say – and think about this – “I now have with me, in the latter part of my life, friends which I had since my youth!”? How many can honestly say, “I have had this core group of friends, and we’ve never left one another!”? I’m sure some people can. And, wonderful for you. But for most of us, we change to a new job, we forget the old friends.

Maybe we call them a few times, then with time we forget who they are. And then we go and form a new group of friends. And so in the course of your life you may have several groupings of what one-time were friends. And so it was with the Worldwide Church of God. People who said they were friends, brothers and sisters in Christ. Because of all of the politics and the animosities and the jealousies, especially among the so-called church leaders, people forget that one-time these were my friends. And then, they seemingly don’t care at all. But the Word of God says in verse 10 of Romans 12, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, …” I wish that happened more.

Verse 16 – “Be of the same mind toward one another.” – He DIDN’T say – IF you’re part of the ABC church, you do that within yourself, and IF you’re part of the XYZ church, you do that within yourself, and if you’re in the MNOP church. No, IF you have entered into the baptismal pool and IF Jesus Christ declared you to be a future member of the Family of GOD, then EVERY ONE OF THESE IS YOUR BROTHER AND YOUR SISTER! No matter how your organized administratively. Verse 18 – “IF it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” – Even Paul seemed to indicate, you might meet some characters down-the-road that are so impossible to get along with, maybe the best way to love them, is to not be around them. So, “’Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” God will recompense, will reconcile the books. He will equal the scales of justice.

Hebrews 10:26 – “For IF we sin willfully AFTER we have received the knowledge of the Truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” – blasphemy against God’s Spirit. For if you drive out God’s Spirit out of you through your coldness of heart, your jealousies and your bitterness and your animosities, if you’re not careful you can quench the Spirit of God. Paul said, “Quench not the Spirit.” And if you do quench it off, at that point you have sinned a terrible sin. A sin by which you cannot recover.  And for those few – relatively few; compared to the great mass of people who will indeed receive eternal life – Verse 27 says, “but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.” It can be said a lot of things about God, but one of the traits of God, one of the very immutable facets of His personality, HE IS A GOD OF PATIENCE, but in the end, He is a God of justice.

Verse 28 – “Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.” – I think it ironic – there are people within the environment of the Churches of God, even among the one I have attended, who are enamored with the law of Moses, they are enamored with the Old Covenant. Like what one man I heard say, “The only things you need to know is the first five books of the Pentateuch!” And I think, what is going on inside his head!? And IF you live under
that law of Moses, IF you truly do, you better be really careful because IF ‘two or three witnesses’ come up against you and make an accusation against you, you might very well find yourself being stoned to death. It was rather an unmerciful law. An unforgiving law. Yet. I know people in the Churches of God – well, they say they’re a part of it – which have in their past a whole lot of problems with sin, alcohol, illicit drugs, sexual indiscretions, and yet, some of those people are  still attracted or sympathetic for the law of Moses. As for me – give me the New Covenant! As for me – let me live under the Priesthood of Jesus Christ. Yes, let me live by the Ten Commandments, but let me know that if I sin, I have a place to go – Jesus Christ, who will forgive me my sin’s, not only the sins of my past, but my ongoing situation’s. Verse 29 – When you drive out God’s Spirit you’re saying, the sacrifice of Christ really didn’t mean anything, and I have no respect for it. Verse 30 – It’s God’s job to reconcile. To “balance the books.” To “settle the score.” To equal the great “panels of justice.” Verse 31 – the implication is, ‘It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God.’ Of a God who is about to disperse judgment. Recompense is the meaning of the word ATONEMENT. God is going to give to us exactly what we deserve. And, if we deserve grace and kindness, He will bestow it upon us. If we deserve – through His graciousness – an opportunity for eternal life He will give that to us. But if we deserve to be punished, or if we deserve to die, He will also recompense that issue. But you can’t understand the Day of Atonement or the Day of the Lord without understanding this principle about God.

Now, there are a lot of people in the world today, have been raised up on the idea of a  “little Lord Jesus,” or a “little baby in a manger,” or a young man wandering through the hills of Judea with his long face and long hair, shaggy clothes and sandals. And they cannot imagine that that Jesus Christ, which they have in their mind, could be as He said, “a God of war!” He said, “I do judge and make war!” They’ve never been exposed to that facet of His personality. And when you attempt to communicate this with them, their mind shuts off, “O’ that just can’t be, the little Lord Jesus just wouldn’t do that.” And it is true, the little Lord Jesus, the first time He came, came as a lamb to be sacrificed for all of mankind’s sin’s. But when He returns, He comes back as a fierce warrior, giving recompense. Making proper payment for the injury, the loss and the damage which has been done to His world and to His Law. Giving back or in kind, in quantity. Returning for something lost or suffered, because of the fault of human beings. Jesus is going to, in the future, reimburse, repay, requite, reciprocate, retaliate, make amends, compensate, redress, reprise, and  restitute. And all of that will take place, initially, with the Day of the Lord, which is also equivalent with the Day of Atonement.

Isaiah 59:  This is a principle throughout the Bible. You NEED to understand this. If you don’t understand this, you don’t understand God. If you don’t get this, you won’t understand the Plan of God. If you don’t get this, you won’t understand why the world must go through the Day of the Lord. Which is prophetically linked with the Day of Atonement. Therefore you will be confused, and you might very well be bitter. Verse 1 – “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; …” – It’s not that He can’t reach out and grab us and pull us up – Verse 2 – “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you.” Verse 14 – Justice, truth, and equity is very IMPORTANT to God! Verse 17 – “…He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, And was clad with zeal as a cloak.” – there are two sides of God’s personality. One is mercy, forgiveness, love, offering salvation. And the other says IF you will not do what I want you to do, I will offer you justice. And it will come to you in the form of vengeance and anger, and eventual death. This is the “hot and the cold” as it were, the “ying and the yang” of God’s personality. Now, you may say, “Well, I don’t want to hear about that vengeful God!” or “That vengeful God, that’s not the One I worship!” Well, IF you worship Jesus Christ, that’s the One you worship.

Again, we live in a world where THAT isn’t made known to people! They just have a “little Lord Jesus away in a manger.” ♪♫ O holy night ♪♫ and all of those Christmas songs. But the Truth is so much more complex. Here is the principle in Verse 18 and so many other places, “According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, Fury to His adversaries, Recompense to His enemies; …”

Jeremiah 20: You can’t understand the Day of the Lord, the Day of Atonement unless you understand these things. The Day of Atonement DOES NOT mean “at-one-ment.” Verse 11 – Now, in my relatively short life, and with my interaction with the Church, and it doesn’t matter if you’re talking about Worldwide – my teeth were cut in Worldwide – and Intercontinental, all of those fazes of being associated with God’s Church, there has been people who has gone out of their way to persecute, to make trouble. And yet, in the end, they will be cut down to nothingness. “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.”

Jeremiah 23: Here the same principle applied to the “pastors of the flock.” He calls them “My people.” Verse 2 – God says He will repay them the way they deserve to be repaid. Now, people can say, “To whom is He speaking!?” Is He talking about the physical people of Israel, who have been misled by their false religions!? It’s possible. I think that is part of the implication. But I think it is also referring to the Churches of God – the Body of Christ – and there are in these different organizations pastors who seem more concerned about their own needs, their own sense of power, their own sense of control, than worrying about the spiritual health of people who are a part of their organization. And I do believe every human being who thinks he is a leader in the Body of Christ – you need to read these words very soberly, because if you’re not careful you might be on the receiving end.

Verse 8 – At the very end of the end-times, getting close to the beginning of the Millennium, in that interim, one of the first things that God Almighty and Jesus Christ is going to do is to search out the physical people of Israel, the remnant, wherever they might be from the four-corners of the globe and bring them back as a people, as a nation, back to the holy land, where God the Father and Jesus Christ will then reside. And, I think King David will be their leader, and he will lead them in battle. And many of the resurrected saints will be there also, and many of the angelic beings will be there.

And I think this great army of spirit beings, of angelic beings, and physical human beings – all now aligned with God – will exact a terrible toll on the people, especially of the Middle East, of the nations which are consumed with the religious cancer of Islam, especially militant Islam. Verses 9-10 – “For the land is full of adulterers; …” – Now, I’ve tried pointing out before that the word “adultery,” it might, in part, refer to the physical sin of adultery. Sex outside of marriage. Breaking those bonds of loyalty. But, most of the time, not all of the time, when you see words in the Bible such as fornication, adultery, whoring, those types of words, if you read the whole passage, it is God’s pronouncement against people who are engaged in false religion. You see, at one time God married Israel. And when Israel, the people of Israel, leave God and go – in His own terminology – a whoring after other gods and other religions, God looks upon that as the highest form of adultery. Of the betrayal of wedding vows. Verse 11 – “…Yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,’ …” – Now again, this might refer to the physical people of Israel, in part.

But you keep hearing the Words, “My people,” and here, “My house.” The house of God, the house of Israel, the spiritual house of Israel. I think He’s referring to the Body of Christ. Indeed, there are leaders – they say they’re leaders, they have titles – they promenade around like they’re leaders, they strut like a peacock like they’re leaders, and yet, He says, “I have found them to be wicked and they are profaned, the prophet, the religious leaders.” Verse 16 – “…’Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, …’” – We, here-and-now, are to be practitioners, fully involved, in the religion of the New Covenant. The Priesthood of Jesus Christ. And yet, there are people out there on the religious highways and byways within the so-called Churches of God which for all intense and purposes are indeed Old Testament, Old Covenant churches. And when you bring this up to them, they rage, they roar like lions without their food.

Because they “walk,” Verse 17 “according to the dictates [imagination] of [their] own heart, …” – their own ideas. And what ARE some of the things which will happen!? Verses 19-20 – “In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.” – In the latter days, when this age is about over, the people who at one time were Old Covenant keepers, who happen to live through the end times, at some point, they will finally understand they should have worshiped Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, the Prince of Israel, and the Priest of the New Covenant. Yet, they clung onto the old ways and the old habits, the old ideas, the old traditions. And in doing that, did absolutely nothing for them. Verses 21-24; 25 – “’I have heard what the [false] prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’” – that’s a very blunt statement! Understand, IF you turn to the Old Covenant mentality, you will NOT have the protection of Jesus Christ! Because the Old Covenant operated without Jesus Christ! Oh there were types and shadows. But the New Covenant operates directly under the Priesthood of Jesus Christ. And in that alignment, you will have access to God. You will have God’s forgiveness, have the blessing of Jesus Christ, you will be protected. But IF you go after those old traditions, you are in serious danger! Verse 30 – God is against the false ministers and religious leaders. Verse 32 – “’… and cause My people to err by their lies …’” – by their religious impurities. By their religious doctrines. If your minister’s or minister is teaching you the principles of the Old Covenant, he’s lying to you! He’s deceiving you! He is misleading you! And, like God states in verse 32, “’they shall not profit this people at all.’”

Verse 36 – Again, you’re going to be judged by what you say, by what you teach, by what you do – and how you react to those words. Verses 39-40 – Well, the people that go around and lie and say, “O’ we will always be your friend,” you need to be very careful, because you run the risk of being on the receiving end where God says, “No. In the end, I AM is not your Friend!” Now, this is a part of the Day of the Lord! This is a part of the meaning of the Day of Atonement. Of “settling the score.” Of “balancing the books.” Of giving to people exactly what they deserve.

Jeremiah 24:10 – Think about the meaning of that phrase, and that secondary Message! About religious people who were dedicated to someone’s father or someone’s grandfather, but to you, you will be consumed in this day of reckoning. So says the Word of GOD!  Now, some may say, “How dare you say such a thing!” Well, IF you get mad at me for saying that, you might just as well get mad at God, because these are God’s Words! It’s His Message! And, if you reject the New Covenant, you reject JESUS CHRIST! If you reject the Priesthood of Jesus, and claim back that Old Covenant way, you will be destroyed! And you will die. There are, throughout the Bible, different places in the Old Testament where God is very explicit about His utter disgust about people who mislead His people ISRAEL – both physical Israel and even more importantly spiritual Israel.

Ezekiel 13: Remember, IF God says something more than one time, it’s worth paying ATTENTION to. But in the Word of God, when you see things repeated over and over and over, you realize that God’s truly trying to get you to wake up and to understand that this thing that He’s saying is VERY IMPORTANT, and so this principle here is VERY IMPORTANT! Verses 1-2 – Once again, is this physical Israel or is it indeed spiritual Israel!? The Church!? The Body of Christ!? I think it probably means a little of both. I actually think it means more about spiritual Israel than it does even physical Israel. I think God is disappointed when He sees His physical people misled, taken out of the path, confused, bamboozled, flimflammed. But I actually believe this is more to do with deceiving the spiritual people of Israel – the Church, the Body of Christ. “’…say to those who prophesy out of their own heart,’” – You see anytime you get behind a lectern you represent – you say you represent God – you have a choice to make, you can either get behind the lectern and you can say the Words of God, or, you can just say your own words, share your own ideas. And you claim to be a religious leader, and you start sharing your own personal thoughts, your confusing people. Because they think you are there to talk about what God really wants, but in the end, you’re talking about what’s important to you. And you’re just talking about, as it says here, “’prophesy [or teach] out of their own hearts.’” And so we have that situation down in Tyler, with those “Updates.” When I’ve read those “Updates,” I’ve never read what I could not have read in a paper, or heard on a radio program, or seen on a television program, or read on a computer site. All representing the far far Right-Wing. God says here, “’…and have seen nothing!” ‘You’re not showing anything new!’ You’re just regurgitating the stuff you hear. But you almost act like you came up with it. Now, if you think that your opinions are so great, then go out into the commercial world and get your own radio show. Or, write your own editorial columns. And see if anyone will buy them. See if anyone will follow you. But to take a closed audience, a “captured audience,” to take people who are simply coming to meet on God’s holy day and in an attempt to show respect to God, and for you to take that “captive audience” and just hammer them with YOUR OWN far political thoughts – ON GOD’S SABBATH – there is something terribly wrong about that!

Verse 5 – These prophets, these teachers, who prophesy ‘out of their own heart’ hasn’t made the House of Israel or the Church of God stronger. They’ve simply confused it. And in the end, they’ve made it weaker. “…’to stand in battle on the Day of the Lord.’” – Again, we see a reference to the Day of the Lord. Verse 8 – Now, think about it a moment: What does spouting RightWing politics have to do with the Word of God!? What does it have to do with God’s Sabbath day!? It is so WRONG! They just think they’re just doing God’s will. Well, I guess all the people on Fox News are doing God’s will. Or, I guess Rush Limbaugh is doing God’s will then. Verses 8-9 – “…’they shall not be in the assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel.’” – speaking of the Kingdom of God!

Ezekiel 34:1-2 – Now again, is it physical Israel or is it spiritual Israel!? A case, I think, can be made for both. But I think the bigger weight is a Message to spiritual Israel. And secondarily, I think it applies to physical Israel. Remember, this becomes ever-clearer in the Day of the Lord. This is ENDTIME! This is talking about the spiritual health of the spiritual people of God, the Church, the Body of Christ. “’Should not the shepherds feed the flock?’” – And yet, when you go on about far Right-Wing politics YOU ARE NOT FEEDING THE FLOCK!

Verse 4 – Matthew 20:25; this line’s up perfectly with prophet Ezekiel here. Gentiles who when they are Gentiles are alienated from God. Not talking about Gentiles who convert to true Christianity. Verses 26-28, Matthew 20 – And yet, within this organization down in Tyler, and many of the organizations which descended from the Worldwide Church of God, it’s so-called leaders are the most haughty, vain, arrogant, self-possessed, self-opinionated people you could ever meet. And they are a law unto themselves.

Revelation 2:6 – He’s talking to a church group that existed way back in the first century, a congregation, in Ephesus. And He says in Verse 4, “’Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.’” – That first flush of enthusiasm has become tarnished and corroded and corrupted. And, quite frankly, your light produced by the Spirit of God doesn’t shine very brightly anymore. Verse 5 – “’Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent [change] and do the first works [go back to the way you use to be], or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place – unless you repent.’” – when Jesus says, ‘I will remove your lampstand,’ meaning you simply will cease to be a representative of Jesus Christ.  And you say, “Well, will God ever take a church group and just disband it!?” Strike it down!? Do away with it!? Well, I know of one such church group that He did that to. The Worldwide Church of God. Yes, Worldwide was a very unique outfit, and it flourished for a long time, but eventually it’s leaders started to think of themselves as being MORE IMPORTANT than God. And it’s leaders were fascinated with power and control. And I think that Worldwide had its lampstand yanked and thrown away! I’ve heard several people over the years say, “Well, Satan destroyed the Worldwide Church of God!” No, Satan couldn’t have touched the Worldwide Church of God IF God didn’t allow it! But I think God is up to here with the Worldwide Church of God! He was up to here with the hubris, the arrogance, the haughtier, the self-promotion, the self-lining of pockets, the positions and sense of power. Verse 6 – “’But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.’” – The Nicolaitans – Oh people have pondered what that means. I think it has a very simple meaning, think about the context. The word Nicolaitans comes from two Greek words: the first part Nicoli or Nicolas, means “to rule with authority, with power.” And the word laitans is the same root word or the root of that word is the same word we call laity. Every day, normal mom and pop church people. The very meaning of that word is contained in the word.

The deeds of the Nicolaitans are those people who rule with authority, with cruelty, over the laity – the normal church members. And THAT took place within the Church of God – the Worldwide Church of God, and it takes place within most of the organizations which proceeded or evolved from it. And it takes place down in Tyler, Texas. Verse 15 - Again, IF God says something more than one time, it’s worth paying ATTENTION to. But in the Word of God, when you see things repeated over and over and over, you realize that God’s truly trying to get you to wake up and to understand that this thing that He’s saying is VERY IMPORTANT! “’Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.’” – there’s no equivocation about that. Jesus says He hates it. The Book of Revelation says He hates it. The prophet Isaiah says He hates it. The prophet Ezekiel says He hates it.

Ezekiel 34:4-11 – Again, over and over in the Word of God, He’s going to deal with people exactly the way they deserve to be treated. And that judgment will first begin on the Church of God, upon the people of God – the Body of Christ, the “flock.” And there have been some very despicable characters within the leadership of the Churches of God. And, sooner or later that judgment from God will rain down upon them. Again, the Worldwide Church of God and the descendants which have flowed from it, have been woefully ignorant of the meaning of the Day of Atonement. They have spent their years talking about, “Well, we will be at-one-ment with God!” As I’ve said, the fact that you can take the word atonement, that English word, and divide it is just a sheer freak accident of the language. It means basically, reconciliation – the “balancing of the books.”

Luke 21:22 – “’For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.’” – meaning all of the prophecies may be fulfilled. And we are on the edge of that time. Are we there right now!? No, I don’t think so, because world conditions do not yet comply with the things we read of in the Bible. Jesus was very specific – when you see armies surrounding Jerusalem. And then we’re told when you see that great false religious leader stand in the temple of God in Jerusalem, proclaiming that he is God. That’s when you know! The ‘abomination of desolation’ has taken place, and that’s really the big explosion that starts everything rolling. But leading up to that we know there will be a number of ‘troubles.’ Remember Jesus listed a number of things in Matthew 24, and said ‘these are the beginnings of sorrows.’

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Leonard from the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ


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