Friday, May 17, 2019

Letter to our Friends - May 16, 2019

Dear Friends:

Greetings once again from Owensboro, Kentucky.

I hope and pray that you had a spiritually productive week. And that you will grow in grace and knowledge this week. Soon (24 more days) the Day of Pentecost will be here! We speak of the Day of Pentecost in our May 9th, 2019 ‘Letter to our Friends.’


Friends, when we speak of ‘the WORK’ just WHAT DO WE MEAN!?

Well … there are TWO Covenants - the "OLD" and the "NEW." Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant. That Covenant set up the race of children descended from Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel, as a kingdom - the Kingdom of Israel - one of this earth's nations. But it was also a MARRIAGE Covenant, by which the physical nation Israel was married to Christ. Jesus brought the Message of the New Covenant – the new contract. And this contract enables us to have the hope of eternal life. Something the old contract never offered. The Old Covenant was ‘nailed to the cross’ and replaced with the New Covenant, where Jesus Christ is the High Priest! The New Covenant emphasizes Jesus Christ and the promises of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, the ministry, the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ.

Friends, I implore you to live in the concepts and precepts of the New Covenant with Jesus Christ as your High Priest and base your life on the LAW of the Ten Commandments. That’s THE FOUNDATION upon which we stand! And, the leadership and the guidance of Jesus Christ! That’s where our focus is. Now we continually speak of the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God. And we focus on what Jesus said, “’Feed My sheep!’”

Mark 1:1 reads: "The BEGINNING of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of GOD." That is THE BEGINNING of the WORK OF GOD!

And, continuing from this - verse 2 states that the ministry of John the Baptist is briefly related - the messenger preparing the way before Christ at His first coming. Verses 2-13 describes John's ministry, Jesus being baptized by John, Jesus' temptation by Satan the devil, in which He QUALIFIED to be the KING of the future KINGDOM OF GOD.

Then, verses 14-15: "Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of GOD, 15) and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of GOD is at hand. Repent, and believe [the] gospel.'"

Jesus' ANNOUNCEMENT of the Kingdom of GOD as the START OF THE WORK.

Now, the Worldwide Church of God, and in truth, many descendants of the WCG, continue to teach that Matthew 24:14 says, “And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a WARNING and a WITNESS unto all nations, and THEN shall the end come.” It DOES NOT say that! Jesus Christ says, “’And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.’” He just said the TRUTH OF GOD will be preached, but human beings incorrectly, I think, came up with the idea that THEY would be the ones doing the preaching! And in TRUTH – in the end-time – that Message will come from JESUS CHRIST and His very few [possibly 12] chosen “end-time prophets.” It’s not referring to printing presses, and radio stations, and T.V., or even the internet, and all of that, which the WCG tried to convince its members. Well, Jesus Christ isn’t going to rely upon the sometimes-half-hearted efforts of human beings! He’s going to take care of that job Himself! (Be sure to read the article - The Two Witnesses).

And, Matthew 28:19-20, though preaching as a witness is included within the scope of the commission – it is actually placing MORE emphasis upon the ENTIRE PROCESS OF CONVERSION, of feeding, of growing, and of overcoming – than merely witnessing. The key word being “process.”

The word “teaching” in verse 19 is the key to this understanding. The New King James English more accurately translates the word “teaching” to “make disciples.” And, this is not that "teach" is wrong as long as you understand that teach means a process. All the teaching required to make a disciples doesn’t take place merely in making a witness. There are huge differences between the two. At best, preaching the gospel of the coming Kingdom begins the process of teaching. Disciples are created through steady ‘feeding,’ a believing response in those who hear, combined with overcoming sin.

Let us also notice in verse 20, where it says: “’Teaching them [the disciples that had been made] to observe all things that I have commanded you.’” The key phrase being “all things.” Now, that cannot be done by merely ‘preaching in all the world as a witness.’ As we are learning – a life-long project requiring the structure of the Church of God. This, friends is the reason why the Church of God – the Body of Christ – exists.

As I stated earlier, we focus on what Jesus admonished us to do, ‘FEED THE FLOCK!’ And, though witnessing is included in it – it’s the feeding of the flock because it is the called, the elect – God’s children – who are God’s greatest concern. These are the ones who are being prepared for the Kingdom of God. And, it takes a lot of feeding and experiences with Almighty God and Jesus Christ, for Them to be formed in us.

Let us consider something that Paul wrote in Romans 1:15 – “So, as much as in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.”

Paul’s letters to the churches, except the pastoral epistles as well as Philemon, were written to well-established congregations, already converted Christians. Rome was no exception.

Why did Paul want to go to them!? For them to be converted!? No. To continue the process of conversion. And how was he going to do this!? By preaching the gospel to them. He was going to preach the gospel to already converted Christians.

So, surely, this shows that is the responsibility of the ministry, the pastors of the Church, and evangelicals and local elders, to continually preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to the Body of Christ – the Church!? Because that, friends, is one source of our spiritual strength and our faith. 

And there are other passages I could quote, like Romans 1:8, 11, 12. Paul is talking about “feeding the flock.” He is talking about preaching “the whole counsel of God” in every detail. The Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God – the gospel.

Friends, the Church of God – those who have made the New Covenant with Jesus Christ – has the same God at the helm – a God who changes not. Yet, He is not going to have us face the same things all the time. The Book of Knowledge is not closed! The truth of God is continuing to be revealed!

Let’s look at another familiar Scripture. Romans 15:4. This needs to be truly pounded into our heads. The things that the people went through, were written down for us so that we – the Church – would understand what we’re going through.

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” – Romans 15:4.

It’s sad how many who were formerly a part of the fellowship in the Worldwide Church of God has fallen away – lost their hope – because they’ve been unable to understand that the Church needs to ‘grow in the grace and KNOWLEDGE.’ They are confused because the condition the Church is in right now is not conforming to their ideal. Jesus Christ says in Luke 5:39 –

’ And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’” – Luke 5:39.

This makes me think of something Mr. Garrett said in a sermon, “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 traveling, 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.”

And, Jesus is saying that “the principle, or the law of inertia” exists and is in play regarding the very things of God – the acceptance of new truth’s, and the acting upon them. There is a very strong tendency to hold fast to what one feels secure with. I know, I had done that for the last six years. And this, in large part, is what’s driving peoples’ opinions as to what the Church as a whole should be doing, [i.e., “Since we preached the gospel to the world in the past, we, therefore, have to continue to do it.”].

So, “preaching the gospel to the world,” and “feeding the flock,” are more appropriately called “the WORK OF GOD.”

Let’s go to Jesus’ prayer to Father in John 17:4 – “’ I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.’

Father God gave Him an assignment, and He completed that assignment! And God certainly is involved with us in these things that He assigns us to do. And, rightly so, it is called “the Work of God” because He works in us. But they are more similar to duties that He assigns us, just like a parent might assign a duty to be carried out by children which will help their development and make family life go smoother.

The “feeding of the flock” (the care of the Church) is each individual’s responsibility toward God – in the worship of God. In our responses to the “feeding of the flock” – IS the worship of God! And it involves every person directly every moment of the day. In doing that, we are truly involved in the glorious “WORK OF GOD,” which is the creation of Almighty God and Jesus Christ within us. I mean actively, directly, and personally participating with Them in it. 

Facebook Ban

As I had posted in a recent article, “Facebook Banned,” I was surprised to learn that Facebook banned any sharing from their Facebook app. for our blog page, because they claim it violates their "Community Standards." So, I purchased a domain name for the blog site, and this helped – temporarily. Now, apparently, there are still some sharing issues! Indeed, Satan the devil is attacking us! I wrote to them and asked if they could let me know what the issue or issues were so that I could correct it/them. However, they reported that they do not review individual cases. Well, let us not despair, friends, Facebook may be the social media giant of the world, but they are not alone in the field. I am currently looking at several other social media sites which are faith-based. I ask that you pray for this issue to be resolved quickly.

Recent Facebook Campaign

My latest Facebook campaign for the blog page - – (before the Facebook ban) resulted in reaching 52,653 friends, with 1,361 results! And that was only for 2 days!

World News Items

Saudi Arabian oil has been greatly affected by tankers stuck by sabotage (See: Tankers reported damaged off UAE on major oil trade route and U.S. Warns Iran May Attack Oil Tankers In The Persian Gulf) and drones struck some of its refineries. The United States is pointing to Iran or at least Iranian influence in the region. President Trump issued WARNINGS (See: Trump issues World War 3 THREAT to Iran - they ‘WILL suffer greatly’ if they ‘do ANYTHING’). Military action may very well come, which one day we will see grave damage to Jerusalem (cf. Isaiah 22:8-9) as well as Iran and Syria (Isaiah 17:1).

Also to note on military matters, there are various ones in the US government concerned that Europe will spend increasing amounts on military funding concerning European priorities (See: US warns EU over €13-billion defense spending). The US has been encouraging Europe to increase its military spending. Surely, the US will come to regret this – cf. Daniel 11:39.

With a positive note, some US politicians have taken a strong stand in the reduction of abortions (See: Missouri Senate Approves Anti-Abortion Bill). Let us praise Almighty God and Jesus Christ when people realize that unborn babies should not be murdered!

Suggested Sabbath Services:

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week:

* 2-3 hymns.
* Opening prayer.
* Sermonette (if you choose). The one suggested for this week is: Through Faith, God Healed Bud!
* Announcements (if any). One hymn.
* Sermon. The one suggested this week is: Truth Falls In The Streets. Other sermons are also
   available at the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ website.
* Final hymn.
* Closing prayer.

IN CASE YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED A ‘LETTER TO OUR FRIENDS’ FOR ANY WEEK, REMEMBER WE HAVE MANY SERMON MESSAGES ON THE Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ website. Also, there are audio sermons on our Soundcloud Radio channel.

Concluding Comments

Minister Garrett wrote:

“Notice Acts chapter 14, verse 22 – this is a statement by Paul, and this is a profound comment. Sometimes when I have talked about this general subject before, it reminds me of the song that I believe Lynn Anderson sang two or three decades ago – some of you Country and Western fan’s will remember it – “I beg your pardon, (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden”. Well, God maybe could have sung that song to all of us! Nowhere in the Bible does He promise us a ‘rose garden.’ That things would be, just, peaceful and calm, and easy – and just everywhere you go people will be laying down their robes for you, and bowing to you and treating you like royalty. He said just the opposite. Here, through Paul, “…’ We must through many tribulations enter [into] the Kingdom of God.’” “Yes,” he says in 2nd Timothy 3:12, “and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” – it will happen to you sooner or later! And, if it never has… I’ve had some people say, “Well Mike I’ve never had a problem from anybody at any time!” And all I can say is that you must not be doing a very good job of doing what you’re supposed to be doing!”

Apparently, on Facebook, we’re ruffling feathers.

In deep gratitude and love, in Jesus' name,