Thursday, April 18, 2019

Letter to our Friends - April 18, 2019 Update

Dear Friends:

The Spring Holy Day season is here!

Passover is after sunset on April 18th in 2019. We have an online video for Passover service in areas without a local minister. Here is a link: OCOJC Passover Service - 2017. Also, some of you may like to read the article: Prepare for the Passover 2019; along with Passover In Your Home - 2019 "VIDEO".

The Days of Unleavened Bread begin at sunset on April 19th of 2019 and run through sunset April 26th.

The Night To Be Much Remembered?

Now, the Days of Unleavened Bread begin at sunset on April 19th, however, is there a separate holy day called 'the night to be much remembered'!?

"It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations" - Exodus 12:42; KJV. 

Here is what Minister Michael C. Garrett teaches on this most misunderstood Scripture:

Exodus 12:42 – I want to point something out. And again, I’m not wanting to make anybody angry, and I’m not trying to tell anybody what they can and cannot do. In fact I have power over no one. Nor do I want power over anyone. You are all free moral agents to do whatever you think is best. But I would just implore you, and I would ask you, if you’re gonna do something, know why you’re doing it and use the Word of God as your foundation - as your rulebook. Like a few moment’s ago, I mentioned… it said to burn the meat. Never in the Bible does it say to burn the bread. Now I know that’s shocking to some of you, but that’s what the Bible says. And here is one – I don’t know just how it got started. It got started back in the Worldwide Church of God. And many people who got trained up in that system continue to perpetuate this – and they think they’re doing what the Bible says. But, in my opinion, they’re simply doing what human traditions established four, five, six decades ago. I’m talking about verse 42. It says in my King James English – “It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.” The night when they started to leave Egypt was the beginning of the Days of Unleavened Bread. And over time – and again I’m not trying to make this a major controversy. If you want to do what you want to do – then go do it. Don’t worry about me. But with time the people of the Worldwide Church of God changed that verse to read, “It is a night to be much remembered.” Have you heard that phrase!? Does it say that!? No, it says, “It is a night to be much observed …” Now in my margin – and I looked this up in some other translation’s this afternoon. To the best of my knowledge the meaning of those Hebrew words says, “it is a night of watching.” “The Lord’s vigil.” This verse 42 does not establish a separate holy day, or holy ceremony to be observed on the first night of Unleavened Bread. This verse doesn’t do it. Again, ‘a night to be much observed.’ A night of watching. Well, think about all the things that happened that night! You have this ceremony where you’re putting blood on the front of your house, you’re told don’t go outside. Stay inside and you’re protected. Imagine the cacophony which took place! When the Egyptian people, and the people who did not put blood on their doorway – when they realized that their firstborn children or anything firstborn – animal’s included – started dying! Imagine the agony and the voices. The wailing that took place all over the nation of Egypt! It was a horribly sad moment for the Egyptians. They were gonna see something that had never been seen before and has never been seen since! That’s why it says it’s ‘a night [of watching] …’ Because it was a unique – one of a kind, never before and never again – event! It would be like saying, “Halley’s Comet is coming tomorrow night!” “It will only be there for one night! You better get out and watch it!” Well, it was something spectacular! And He’s saying, “Remember this!” “Watch, think, remember – keep what happened tonight in your hearts and minds. And continue to tell the story.” Now, we don’t know anybody which was a part of this event. I mean that happened so many generations ago, we don’t have a grandfather, or grandmother, or great-grandparent who ever told us the story. But back in the day’s this happened, I’m sure many generation’s – parent’s to children to grandchildren to great-grandchildren – they said, “Hey! I was there when this happened! You won’t believe what we heard, what we saw, and what happened!” But it doesn’t say – go out and have a dinner together! This verse 42 does NOT purport that idea! 

Now, if you want to get together with your Church friends and have a dinner on the first night of Unleavened Bread, is there anything wrong with that!? No.

However, here’s the rub – over the history of the Worldwide Church of God people started keeping what they called “The Night To Be Much Remembered” and before long it became almost identical to the Jewish Passover Seder. The Jewish people have a very special ceremony that they call the Passover. Well, they’re off. What they’re celebrating with their Seder is actually the beginning – the first evening – of the Days of Unleavened Bread. And in the history of the Worldwide Church of God people started becoming, basically, following, the Jewish traditions. It is ‘a night to be much observed’ or ‘it is a night of watching.’ And how the Worldwide people translated that into ‘a night to be much remembered’ – and somehow that became a ceremony!? There are people of the history of the Worldwide Church of God that think it’s a Biblical commandment to go out and meet at a restaurant on the first night of Unleavened Bread. It’s not a commandment. If you want to do it to be sociable and friendly, visit – fine. But I’m just saying, be honest with what the Word of God says. And avoid human traditions.

Here is a link to that article: The Night To Be Much Remembered?

Unleavened Bread

We Christians understand and recognize that Jesus Christ paid the ultimate penalty for our sins on Passover and was murdered smack dab in the Middle of Unleavened Bread. Just what is the main meaning of the Days of Unleavened Bread?

Here, again, is what Minister Michael C. Garrett taught concerning this:

The Worldwide Church of God soiled – and sort-of think what that word connotates, but anyway – the Worldwide Church of God soiled the minds of many people about the true meaning and the teaching points which are associated with the Days of Unleavened Bread. Many of those misconceptions continue to grip many people - many church groups. And, the Worldwide Church of God basically taught, what I call, ritualistic housecleaning. And for most people of the Worldwide Church of God and many descendants from her, the Days of Unleavened Bread was about a campaign to “find leavening.” And they always said that leaven was an equal synonymous term with sin. So, you would normally here the following comment. I’m going to copy now what was said hundred’s of thousands of times – and you would here, “YOU MUST PUT SINNNNN OUT OF YOUR LIFE!” And then they would jump from there to say, “Leavening equals sin.” And so they would jump to the next conclusion, “You MUST go around finding every little particle of nine month old cookies! Wherever they might be!” And they taught that has one of the main meaning’s of the Days of Unleavened Bread.

Well, I think they misinterpreted, and misrepresented what the Days are supposed to mean. The meaning of the Days of Unleavened Bread is powerful! And, it’s not just one meaning – it’s truly like an onion. I think I complied one time about EIGHT different major teaching point’s from the Days of Unleavened Bread – from the Passover through the Days of Unleavened Bread. And each have a powerful Message. And not one of them has to do with – “You MUST find leavening!” … 

I’m just telling you – the Worldwide Church of God missed a lot of points. They missed a lot of things. And they misinterpreted a lot of things. And that’s a long story, but I’m not here to try to defend Worldwide. I have no desire to try and defend Worldwide. All I have a desire to do is to talk about the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God – and the Plan of God in a quick outline is given to us in the holy days. And the Spring holy days is all about individual personal salvation. For you or me on an individual basis for us to have the promise of eternal life. We must have the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We must have the ideas in the words and the presence of Jesus Christ come into us. That’s what the Days of Unleavened Bread are talking about. Christ In You! 

Here are some passages from the living Word of God concerning the Days of Unleavened Bread:

"Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that [life] shall be cut off from Israel. 16) And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. 17) And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by AN ORDINANCE FOR EVER. 18) In the first month on the fourteenth day of the month at even [sundown], ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. 19) Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that [life] shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. 20) Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread" - Exodus 12:15-20; KJV.

And Leviticus 23:6-8 talks about this Feast of Unleavened Bread also. Also, Deuteronomy 16:16, shows us that offerings were expected to be given on the Days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and the Fall Holy Days.

As we eat a little unleavened bread each day, we are to remember the sacrifices which Jesus Christ has done of all of us, and symbolically take CHRIST IN US!!!

The Days of Unleavened Bread was NOT done away!

Early Christians knew that the Days of Unleavened Bread was not done away. The Apostle Paul endorsed properly keeping the Feast with unleavened bread (1 Corinthians 5:7). And, he and others continued to observe it and also to observe it outside of Judea:

"And we sailed away from Philippi AFTER the Days of Unleavened Bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days" - Acts 20:6; KJV.

Indeed, if Christians were not keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread, God's Spirit would not have inspired this to have been recorded in this manner. Philippi was a Gentile city. It was ruled by the Roman Empire - and keeping these days was NOT limited to places such as Jerusalem. In at least two different places in the New Testament, we see that the Days of Unleavened Bread were being kept in Gentile locations (1 Corinthians 5:7; Acts 20:6).

Let us also consider the statement, "it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread" in Acts 12:3. Why would the Apostle Luke mentioned these days if they were unknown to the Gentile Christians and had been done away!?

We in the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ do not accept that the Council of Laodicea or the Council of Nicaea, or any other council spoke for the true Christian Church - the Body of Christ - the Church of God, and we continue to keep the Days of Unleavened Bread. We eat some unleavened bread for each of the seven days as God has commanded (Exodus 12:15; 13:6; 23:15; 34:18). Now, this bread can be made from different grains and nuts - the use of wheat is not biblically required.

Let us also remember, other foods can indeed be eaten during this Feast of Unleavened Bread, it is just that no leavened BREAD is to be eaten. It is the Days of Unleavened Bread. Also, unlike the Passover, the first day and the last day of the Days of Unleavened Bread are like the weekly Sabbath - no regular work is to be done.

Apostle Paul wrote, through inspiration of God's Spirit:

27) "Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28) But let a man [or woman] examine himself [or herself], and so let him [or her] eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29) For he [or she] who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself [or herself], not discerning the Lord's body" - 1 Corinthians 11:27-29; NKJV.

Apostle Paul is clearly teaching that to take this bread and wine, one must examine oneself.

While there are a great many in this world which like to allegorize away many portions of God's living Word - the Bible, there are a great many spiritual understanding's to God's Holy Days. The physical observance helps us to better understand the spiritual lessons.

YouTube, and GodTube:

Many of you realize that within a few days of the official formation of the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ, we began to load video sermons onto YouTube.

Now we have a couple more channels which we are using YouTube:

Deacon Trevor Koonce channel: channel with many earlier sermons.
the Leonard Johnson channel: channel mainly for sermons and Biblical subjects.

As many are aware, YouTube is controlled by companies that tend to be antagonistic to Biblical teachings on several aspects of morality, so we are not wishing to be completely dependent upon YouTube.

YouTube has stated that subscribers tend to watch more of the videos of the channels they subscribe to. For us, it is free advertising of the living TRUTH of God through YouTube, and for our subscribers to be notified when new video sermons are loaded to our channels.

As far as the Leonard Johnson channel, I have not actually done anything to specifically attempt to increase YouTube subscribers. I currently have 9 subscribers for this channel. YouTube has substantially dropped our view counts - possibly because of the series given by Minister Michael C. Garrett, the Toxic Philosophy series, in which he had accurately stated that politics to the left-wing is their religion. Afterwards the view counts dropped significantly!
As we have mentioned before, we are now using another platform, other than YouTube, for our video sermons.

Our good friend in Owensboro has been able to load our recent video sermons to our Godtube channel which is publicly available at:'borochurchofjesuschrist/.

Several have asked if there is a way you can help the Work of God. Well, if you would like to assist us with Godtube, please go to: o'borochurchofjesuschrist and, if you wish, watch each of the video sermons there (even if you have seen them before on YouTube). The more views we get, the greater our coverage will be on Godtube.

We know that a 'famine of the Word' is soon coming (Amos 8:11-12), yet we still need to do the Work of God while it is still light, soon darkness shall come (John 9:4) and we must be prudent and wise about it (cf. Matthew 10:16-18).

World News Items:

The Paris cathedral of Notre Dame caught fire and much of it was burned. The French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild it "because it is what the French expect of us, it is what our history deserves, it is, in the deepest sense, our destiny" (See: Fire Causes Massive Damage to Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral). Of course France's "destiny" is to temporarily support the rising church+state Babylonian power of Revelation 17. (Be sure to read: Prophecy Series - End-Time Babylon). President Macon's statement is very consistent with this. Napoleon was crowned (well, technically he crowned himself) Emperor of France in the Notre Dame cathedral December 2, 1804. Is it possible that the future Beast of the Sea will be crowned in a newly renovated Notre Dame cathedral!?

Notice this news report:

A photo of a gilded cross gleaming through the smoke and haze after a fire ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has proven to be a symbol of hope following an unspeakable tragedy.
I do know I have been seeing demons (architectural gargoyle's) looking down at the burning Notre Dame in news reports, as in this photo (bottom right) from Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images:

(L) Smoke rises around the alter in front of the cross inside the Notre Dame Cathedral as fire continues to burn. Photo: Reuters.
Since a cross will be at the least a symbol of the Beast, that cross image above may be part of a motivator for people in France and the rest of Europe to want a type of church+state alignment. Indeed, Roman Catholic commentators on secular television programs has stated that the Notre Dame situation, and that bright shining cross, is hope that this would lead to a "reawakening" of the Catholic religion. A version of this will occur per Revelation 17.
Now, as far as the church+state situation goes in Europe, the former presidential advisor to US President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, has tried to tell some Europeans that Pope Francis is the enemy (Steve Bannon 'told Italy's populist leader: Pope Francis is the enemy'). This is not going to endear him or the United States of America to Europe. The burning of Notre Dame may spark even more Catholic interest in Europe.
Other European matters, a new EU internet copyright law became official this week (See: Europe backs copyright overhaul that threatens to hit YouTube and Facebook hard). And, while it has a two year implementation window and supposedly exempts non-profits and small firms, the way that it is written could indeed impact what we proclaim on YouTube and on our Facebook pages. This is another step closer for Europe to control the Internet.
Both the European Union and Russia has indicated a willingness to help broker a peace deal in the Middle East (See: FM: Russia willing to host Palestine-Israel meeting). Even though Russia is not the prophesied future 'King of the North' (Daniel 11:40), it may very well be involved in a future peace deal.
Tensions are still high between China and Australia (See: China tells WTO that Australia's ban on 5G technology is 'obviously discriminative'). Now, while the two do trade a lot with each other, this will not end well with Australia.
Suggested Holy Day Service:
Here is a suggested Holy Day Service for this week.
* 2-3 hymns. 
* Opening prayer. 
* Sermonette (if you choose): The one suggested for this week is Bondage of Armstrong
* Announcements (if any). 
* Sermon: The one suggested for this week is Contract With Christ - Part 1. Other sermons are  available at: Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ.
* Final hymn. 
* Closing prayer.
Concluding Comments:
Minister Michael C. Garrett has said:
Notice 1st Thessalonians chapter 5 – Paul wrote this, and he was talking about the time of the end! He was talking about the days leading up to the ‘Day of the LORD’! He’s talking to us my friends from nearly two-thousand years ago! Verse 2 – “For you yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3) For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4) But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5) You are all [children] of the light and [children] of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6) Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7) For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk [drunk physically and spiritually] are drunk at night. 8) But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.” – and these are wonderful words – Verse 9 – “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, …” – both physical salvation and spiritual salvation. “…10) who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11) Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” – and I don’t think in the Church of God we edify each other as much as we should! We are the only things we’ve got – we are family! You remember that wonderful song a few years ago, back in the ‘80s – “We Are Family!”? Well we are! But sometimes we don’t treat each other like we’re family. I wish we would! I think Jesus Christ wants us to, I know that God would bless us if we would!
We must keep these thoughts in mind, because the only source of protection possible for all of us is the protection which comes from Jesus Christ, God Almighty, and Their angels! I will say to all of you – may God bless you, may He keep you, may He bless the Church of God, may He bless the Work of God. And in the end, I’m just gonna say one more time – remember those photos that you have seen from the devastation of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, without God’s protection that is your future! With God’s protection, that will not be your future. Remember, pray, watch, learn, study, and be thankful to God because He is the Rock of our salvation!
Sincerely, and with great love,

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