Thursday, October 31, 2019

Letter to our Friends - October 31, 2019



Michael C. Garrett
Minister and Overseer


Dear Friends:
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” – Philemon 3.
It’s been a bit more stressful than usual here in Spring Hill, Florida due to Facebook “unpublishing” and “banning” any posting on our @owensboroCOJC Page. The only reason I can come up with of why they did so (because they do not let you know how you may have violated their “community standards” or didn’t follow their “Facebook Page Policies”) is that when you advertise and promote outside of those who “like” the Page and you get “flagged” – you get banned. You have the option of “appealing” their decision, but it will take a while. It’s not that we don’t have other social media sites and platforms – we have YouTube, we have BitChute, we have SoundCloud Radio, we have Flipboard, we have Godtube, we have Twitter, and we do indeed have our webpage and our blog page. However, unfortunately, Facebook continues to remain – claiming that they had more than 2.3 billion monthly active users as of December 2018 – the most popular social media site.

Facebook Campaign

I promoted our Flipboard platform on Facebook from Oct. 24th to Oct. 29th to the US, AU, NZ, CA, IL, and ZA. And we reached nearly 600 people with 90 engagements.

This is what the ad looked like before we were “banned.” Apparently, there are a great many who are offended by the glorious and powerful name Jesus Christ!


Halloween

Today, as I write this letter, millions – probably tens of millions – of Americans are going to celebrate what is known as Halloween, or ‘all hallows eve.’ I haven’t done yet a sermon or sermonette on Halloween, but I did write up a short article Is Halloween Biblical!? and here is a link to our free online booklet Is Your Belief Biblical? …and can you prove it?

Homosexual Conversion Therapy

Homosexual conversion therapy has actually been banned in several U.S. states and now, too, the United Kingdom is intending to do the same.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported the following:
July 3, 2018: "'Gay conversion therapy' to be banned as part of LGBT equality plan-
Controversial "gay conversion therapies" are to be banned as part of a government plan to improve the lives of gay and transgender people. … 
The prime minister said nobody "should ever have to hide who they are."
A 75-point to improve the lives of LGBT people, costing £4.5m, has been produced in response to the survey. It includes plans to introduce a national LGBT health advisor, tackle discrimination, improve the response to hate crime and to improve diversity in education institutions. …
As part of the plan, it said it would "consider all legislative and non-legislative options to prohibit promoting, offering or conducting conversion therapy."
Equalities minister Penny Mordaunt told BBC Radio 4's Today programme of the practice: "This is very extreme so-called therapy that is there to try and 'cure' someone from being gay - of course you can't cure someone from being gay. In its most extreme form it can involve corrective rape.
"That's very different from psychological services and counselling. It's pretty unpleasant, some of the results we found, and it shows that there's more action to do."
She said the government is consulting on the best way to implement a ban, adding: "It's absolutely right that that abhorrent practice has to go." …
Prime Minister Theresa May said: "We can be proud that the UK is a world leader in advancing LGBT rights, but the overwhelming response to our survey has shone a light on the many areas where we can improve the lives of LGBT people.
"I was struck by just how many respondents said they cannot be open about their sexual orientation or avoid holding hands with their partner in public for fear of a negative reaction.
"No one should ever have to hide who they are or who they love."
(Read More: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44686374; bold for emphasis).
REALLY!? 'No one should ever have to hide who they are!!? What about pedophiles, what about thieves and rapists, sadists, zoophilists!!? Should they continue, too!!? And, to say that gays cannot change is NOT even logical! What if they want to change!?

It is extremely sad that the majority of people no longer want to believe that GOD'S living written Word - the Holy BIBLE - teaches that homosexuals can change, such as the following:
9) "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10) nor thieves, nor covetous nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11) And such WERE some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" - 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; NKJV.
Also, notice this from the BBC:
July 3, 2018: "'Gay conversion therapy' to be banned as part of LGBT equality plan-
Sometimes called "reparative" or "gay cure" therapy, conversion therapy is a term used for any form of so-called treatment which attempts to change sexual orientation or reduce attraction to others of the same sex.
Experts say the word therapy is misleading because there is no scientific basis for it.
All major therapy professional bodies as well as the NHS in the UK disagree with it on logical, ethical and moral grounds."
(Read More: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44686374).
MORAL GROUNDS!!?

HOMOSEXUALITY IS IMMORAL!!

It is also highly immoral to tell people that they cannot seek help to change!

GOD'S written WORD EMPHATICALLY STATES that homosexuality, lesbianism, and cross-dressing are WRONG, and GOD also condemns those who condone all forms of sexual immorality:
5) "'A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all who do so are AN ABOMINATION TO THE LORD YOUR GOD'" - Deuteronomy 22:5; NKJV.
24)"Therefore God also gave them up to UNCLEANNESS, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25) who exchanged the TRUTH OF GOD for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. AMEN.
26) For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the NATURAL USE for what is AGAINST NATURE. 27) Likewise, also the men, leaving the NATURAL USE of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing WHAT IS SHAMEFUL, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a DEBASED MIND , to do those things WHICH ARE NOT FITTING; 29) being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil mindedness; they are whisperers [gossipers], 30) backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31) undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32) who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that THOSE WHO PRACTICE SUCH THINGS ARE DESERVING OF DEATH, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them" - Romans 1:24-32; NKJV.
But what of the erroneous claim that there is "no scientific basis" for gay conversion therapy!?

Well, let us consider the following from Focus on the Family:
The Right to Counseling for Unwanted Same-Sex Attractions
Can homosexuals change? Is trying to change sexual orientation harmful? Should counselors work with clients with unwanted same-sex attractions, helping them live out their sexuality in a biblical way? There's been a lot of debate in recent years in the mental health professionals, the media and various state legislations about these questions.
In the past, such help and change was widely considered both desirable and possible. More recently, however, an increased number of mental health practitioners now believe that a homosexual orientation is an intrinsic part of a person's identity that cannot - and should not - be changed. The mental health professions haven't really discovered anything new about human sexuality or homosexuality; they are just more ideologically and politically driven. …
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1998 issued a position statement "rebuking" practices that are broadly referred to as "reparative therapy" or "conversion therapy" for homosexuality. More recently, these practices have been labeled "sexual orientation change efforts" (SOCE). …
In 2007, the American Psychological Association set up a task force, composed exclusively of gay-identified activists and apologists, to study the issue. No practitioners of SOCE or experts on change from homosexuality were included in the task force. The group also threw out myriad accounts and reports of change from homosexuality and of help from SOCE, while at the same time using anecdotal statements of harm. Despite this stacked deck, the task force could not conclude in its 2009 report that SOCE was ineffective or inherently harmful. Nor did the group call for a ban on SOCE. They simply said more research was needed and cautioned therapists about their work.
Both groups claim to be scientifically driven, yet the APA states that homosexuality is a "normal variant of human sexuality." And the American Psychological Association says that homosexuality is a "normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation." But these views are really beyond the power of science to decide, entering into the worlds of philosophy, ethics and religion. Science can only tell us what is, not what is moral, good or ethical. Science also can't describe for us God's views about human sexuality.
Significantly, both groups seem to dismiss that fact that many individuals who experience same-sex attractions or engage in homosexual activity are dissatisfied with the situation and seek professional help to align their thoughts and behaviors with their convictions and faith. Many who experience homosexual temptations and impulses are responding to the Gospel message that unwanted same-sex attractions can be overcome. And as they seek pastoral and professional psychological counseling, they find that change and transformation are, indeed, possible. …
* There are no scientific studies that demonstrate that adolescents have been harmed through SOCE.
* The psychological literature confirms that permanent change from a homosexual orientation is possible.
* In 2007, Dr's. Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse published a study confirming that long-term change away from homosexual orientation can occur through religious mediation. At the end of three years, 67% of men and women who had undergone group discussions, individual counseling, journaling, Scripture reading and prayer either reported a change towards heterosexual orientation or were successfully continuing work towards that goal.
* In 2001, Dr. Robert Spitzer published a report showing that a majority of gay men and lesbians who sought "reorientation" therapy were able to achieve fulfilling heterosexual relationships.
* While acknowledging that change in sexual orientation is both difficult to define and to measure, a bibliographic review of the literature from the past 100 years or more notes the wide variety of treatments that have claimed success.
* There is no valid or replicable research demonstrating the inevitability of homosexual behavior based on biological or genetic circumstances. Studies on twins show that homosexuality is not genetic. (See also: https://dailycitizen.focusonthefamily.com/why-we-support-therapy-for-unwanted-homosexuality/).
(Read More: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/socialissues/sexuality/leaving-homosexuality/the-right-to-counseling-for-unwanted-same-sex-attractions).
(Read also:  https://www.focusonthefamily.com/get-help/leaving-homosexuality/).
Brother Paul, in Romans, also WARNED about those that 'suppress the truth in unrighteousness' - Romans 1:18.

Banning counseling for those who wish to STOP sinning is wrong! It is wrong to tell people that they cannot change, and it is wrong to censor peoples' abilities to help those that want help!

GOD'S WORD WARNS that ever-greater censorship is coming:
11) "'Behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord GOD, 'That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the Words of the LORD. 12) They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; They shall run to and fro, seeking the Word of the LORD, But shall not find it'" - Amos 8:11-12; NKJV.
Do not believe that the United Kingdom is the only place that will be banning this and discounting what God says.

In Canada, quoting parts of Romans chapter 1 is essentially banned.

Notice this from the state of California:
Assembly Bill 2943 would make it an "unlawful business practice" to engage in a "transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer" that either advertises or engages in "sexual orientation change efforts with an individual." In the bill, the phrase "sexual orientations change efforts" is defined as "any practices that seek to change an individual's sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex."
It would appear that this definition would include the Bible, since the Bible explicitly condemns homosexual behavior and defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. That means that if Assembly Bill 2943 is officially signed into law, it could ban the sale of the Bible in the state of California, which, for obvious reasons, would be an assault on not just the Constitution but on the very fabric of America.
First and foremost, the First Amendment guarantees that each citizen is endowed with the inalienable right to freely practice their religion without interference from the government. This includes not only the reading of the Bible, but also the private sale of the Bible from individuals or companies looking to spread the Christian faith. Banning the Bible, which Assembly Bill 2943 would likely do, is a clear violation of the freedom of religion as outlined in the Constitution.
Second, as a matter of free-market economies, since when does the government have the authority to control which products are sold by businesses and which are not? If California can legally declare that the sale of the Bible is prohibited, does this mean that they can ban any book that doesn't subscribe to the progressive ideology?
(Read More: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-04-23-new-california-law-would-criminalize-book-stores-for-selling-the-bible.html).
The State of California already has a law against praying that minors should not be homosexuals. How can that be Constitutional in the United States of America!!!?

The Californication State Assembly PASSED "AB-2943 Unlawful business practices: sexual orientation change efforts" on April 19, 2018!!! While it does not, yet, directly ban the sale of the Holy Bible, it's certainly a step in that direction.

Now, the LGBTQ agenda supporters have published statements such as "the truth about religion in America. It reveals an ugly narrow-mindedness."

Indeed, GOD, through Brother Paul, WARNS against despisers in this final-hour - this end-time:
1) "But know this, that IN THE LAST DAYS perilous times will come: 2) For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, PROUD, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3) unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4) traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5) having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people TURN AWAY!
6) For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7) always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" - 2 Timothy 3:1-7; NKJV.
Friends, those of us who hold to the truth of GOD that sexual relationships are ONLY between a man married to a woman are considered to have 'ugly narrow-mindedness' by the supporters of the LGBTQ movement.

The Work of the Lord NEEDS to be done NOW as He said:
4) "'I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work'" - John 9:4; NKJV.
The time to do the work is NOW, while we still can! We are seeing more signs that 'the night is coming when no one can work.'

The State of California has proposed to have journalists, bloggers, and anyone who has influence to register and to get their 'news' approved before being allowed to put it online (See: Doug Casey Warns: "It's Going To Get Very Disagreeable In The U.S. At Some Level Quickly"). This bill, sponsored by California Senator Richard Pan is called the "Internet: social media: false information: strategic plan," or SB1424. If carried on to its limit, this would virtually cover anyone who ever post's anything on the Internet, and perhaps even those whose emails’ get spread around. A great many people in the U.S. government want to restrict what people tell others on the Internet.

A famine on the living Word of GOD is soon coming!

Until then, let us dear friends go through the doors that CHRIST opens to proclaim the glorious KINGDOM OF GOD (2 Corinthians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 16:8-9; Colossians 4:2-4), and help in proclaiming the Gospel Message which indeed is - the Kingdom of God will be established, and Jesus Christ will be your Savior and great High Priest, and the means by which your life is converted – we might call the New Covenant. That new contract with Jesus Christ.

It is LOVE to properly teach what the Holy BIBLE actually teaches, even if some groups call that 'ugly narrow-mindedness.' It is love to tell those with homosexual tendencies that they can change.

Jesus Christ can help them. As Brother Paul taught:
13) "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" - 1 Corinthians 10:13; NKJV.
13) "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" - Philippians 4:13; NKJV.
Sadly, too many people do not believe that is true. Jesus can help convert one from a life of sin to a life leading to righteousness.

Friends, we MUST persevere to the end - despite government restrictions and others who do not truly respect God or what His living Word says.

For additional information, Minister Michael C. Garrett teaches on this very subject in the sermon entitled He Will Heal Them.

World News Items (I checked my incoming email this week, here are some things I noticed):

In the United States of America – ‘you see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You think they’re people just like you. You’re wrong. Dead wrong.’ (See: They Live, We Sleep: Beware The Growing Evil In Our Midst). As the article says, “There’s a new, incredible powerful hidden force in our country that basically guarantees this Socialist woman will become U.S. President in 2020 …” However, that ‘new, incredible powerful hidden force” has always been here – it’s our mortal and spiritual enemy Satan the devil and his imps! Is the blessing from God of U.S. President Donald Trump the calm before the storm!? I, personally, see this great nation like the Simon and Garfunkel song – Slip Slidin’ Away! Friends, let us NEVER forget Robert Welch, Jr. and his infamous warnings!

Also in the U.S. and I shared this on our Twitter Page: A mother is unapologetically raising her daughter as an atheist (See: ‘I Am Unapologetically Raising My Daughter Without Religion’). We are reminded of our Lord God’s living Word – “’ As it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, so shall it be at the return of the Son of Man.’” And I personally believe that on June 26th, 2015 the United States of America – as a whole – turned their back on Almighty God!

Iran continues their deadly threats against JUDAH – the nation called Israel (See: ‘Netanyahu says Iran seeking means to attack Israel from Yemen’). And, as I have said before - Surely, just as Japan felt prior to December 7, 1941, Iran is feeling so much pressure that this may accelerate actions that are prophesied to strike Jerusalem (Isaiah 22:6-9), and a retaliatory strike against an Islamic centered collection of nations (cf. Matthew 24:7; Daniel 11).

In Syria and Iraq: Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told a congressional panel, “Despite a consistent U.S.-led campaign to defeat the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria that effectively dismantled its so-called caliphate, the number of fighters in those countries aligned with the group has grown in the last five years from a low point of roughly 1,000 fighters. … As many as 14,000 extremists remain there now, with roughly 2,000 in Syria from foreign countries (See: ‘ISIS Remains Potent, Deadly Despite Baghdadi’s Death, Top Spy Says’). As Minister Michael C. Garrett has written – “Isn’t it interesting, right now, every day in your newspapers, or on the television or the news on your computer, we’re seeing terrible things taking place IN the ancient land of Babylon!? Not far away from what we call BAGDAD. That land has just descended into chaos! And the birth of what they call ISIS! The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria! Nothing but bloodshed and horror’s beyond the abilities to describe. Well, way back then, God used the king of Babylon (think in terms of IRAQ) as a weapon of punishment against the tribe of Judah.” (Notes Regarding the Day of Atonement prophetically the Day of the Lord).

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is this week’s suggested Sabbath service:

● 2-3 hymns. (a free printable “Old Time Gospel” hymn site is The Old Time Gospel).
● Opening prayer.
● Sermonette (if you choose). The one suggested is The Feasts of the LORD (audio).
● Announcements (if any) and one hymn.
● Sermon. The one suggested is The Rest of the Dead by Michael C. Garrett. (Many more sermons are available at http://www.owensborochurchofjesuschrist.com/).
● 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, friends, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to our podcast sermons so that you won't miss our latest podcast distributed via RSS (Rich Site Summary) format!

Concluding Comments

The Book of Daniel has the following statement:
4) "'But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the Book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase'" - Daniel 12:4; NKJV.
When prophet Daniel was told this, they did not have steam engines, petroleum, nuclear, or even electricity.

We do now!

When prophet Daniel was told this, they did not have radios, televisions, computers, cellular telephones, or even the internet.

We do now!

When prophet Daniel was told this, there was no international power known as the United States of America - cf. Daniel 11:39.

There is now!

When prophet Daniel was told this, there was no power in Europe like the European Union, which had unity problems - cf. Daniel 2:41-43.

There is now!

There were also no people known as Christians – followers of Jesus Christ.

There are now!

Friends, we are in the time of the end where we understand more and more of the prophecies that were sealed in the Book of Daniel. Including the soon-coming destruction of the USA (Daniel 11:39), and her Anglo-Saxon descended allies (Daniel 8:24-25), and coming persecution of Christians (Daniel 11:28-35). People, indeed, are turning to and fro, knowledge has been increased, and we do understand more of the Book of Daniel. We are getting closer to the end of this age.

In this age when the love of many waxes cold, endure to the end - Matthew 24:13.

In deep gratitude and love, in Jesus' name,

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Is Halloween Biblical!?


Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening - whatever time you are reading this article. Welcome to the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ.

Tomorrow, the greater majority of Americans will be observing and celebrating what is known as Halloween. Yet, is this holiday - or rather, this world's "holy day" - biblical!?

The short answer is - a resounding no.

Halloween (a contraction of Hallows' Even or Hallows' Evening), is not listed among the LORDs feasts in Leviticus 23.

Halloween, which comes from an old English word, meaning 'all hallows eve' is a holiday just before the Roman Catholic "holy day" known as All Saints Day - known as 'the Day of the Dead' in Mexico. A large portion of Catholic reasoning for the celebration of All Saints Day is because they have so many "saints" that they wish to honor that they lumped it together with 'the Day of the Dead.'

the Origins of Halloween

Research any reputable encyclopedia and discover that it does not shy away from the fact that Halloween is of the origin of Samhain.
"Halloween had its origins in the festival of Samhain among the Celts of ancient Britain and Ireland. On the day corresponding to November 1 on contemporary calendars, the new year was believed to begin. That date was considered the beginning of the winter period, the date on which the herds were returned from pasture and land tenures were renewed. During the Samhain festival, the souls of those who had died were believed to journey to the otherworld. People set bonfires on hilltops for relighting their hearth fires for the winter and to frighten away evil spirits, and they sometimes wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the ghosts thought to be present. It was in those ways that beings such as witches, hobgoblins, fairies, and demons came to be associated with the day. The period was also thought to be favorable for divination on matters such as marriage, health, and death. When the Romans conquered the Celts in the 1st century A.D., they added their own festivals of Feralia, commemorating the passing of the dead, and of Pomona, the goddess of the harvest."
(Halloween - https://www.britannica.com/topic/Halloween). 
Also, in Asia, versions of Halloween - like what the Celts celebrated and the pre-Hispanic Mexicans - are celebrated.
"The Chinese celebrate the 'Hungry Ghost Festival' in mid-July when it is customary to float river lanterns to remember those who have died. ... Chinese Christian churches hold religious celebrations. ... Mainland China has been less influenced by Anglo traditions than Hong Kong and Halloween is generally considered "foreign." ...
Halloween arrived in Japan mainly as a result of American pop culture. As recently as 2009, it was not appreciated and only celebrated by expats. ...
            Philippines ...
The period from 31 October through 2 November is a time for remembering dead family members and friends. Many Filipinos travel back to their hometowns for family gatherings of festive remembrance. ...
            Singapore ...
Around mid-July, Singapore Chinese celebrate 'Zhong Yuan Jie / Yu Lan Jie' (Hungry Ghosts Festival), a time when it is believed that the spirits of the dead come back to visit their families."
(Geography of Halloween - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Halloween).
So, the modern Western version of Halloween has been spreading like wildfire around the globe. Yet, it is certainly not Christian.

The 'god of this world' (2 Corinthians 4:4) Satan the devil (who does indeed exist, despite many who falsely claim otherwise - such as a Melanie Cottam, a Dianic leader - See: History of Halloween traditions; lost symbolism, meaning) has been successfully spreading this holiday and getting it endorsed by many cultures and even religions around the world.

Bonfires

Just about everyone has had bonfires - especially connected to Halloween. This had its origins in this ancient Celtic festival. In North Wales, every family would build a bonfire into which each member would throw a stone which was marked with their own identification. Then, the family would recite prayers to their gods while gathered around the fire. Should a stone be missing when they returned to the site the following morning, it was believed that the owner of that particular stone would die within the coming year. Similar traditions were in the Scottish Highlands, and diverse forms of fortune-telling would accompany the festival. Also, on this particular night, all the people would congregate around a great community bonfire consecrated through sacred rites. And, in order to receive fire the following year, it was necessary to engage in pagan rituals, many of which included human and animal sacrifices to the gods.

History and Etymology for bonfire - Middle English bonefire a fire of bones, from bon bone + fire.

Jack-O-Lanterns

The origin of the jack-o-lanterns is rather amusing - also known as a will-o-the-wisp, or foxfire, or fairie fire, also a friar's lantern, or a corpse lantern - was believed to be a wandering soul which could not find any refuge because of a particularly evil deed that was committed in its lifetime. Others believed it was a malignant imp. The Finns believed that it was the soul of a child who was buried in the forest. Today's carving of a face on a pumpkin is symbolic of a mocking spirit - a spirit who chased terrified victims through mud and brambles until confused, and then leaving them stranded with the sound of laughter ringing through their ears. The corpse candle (a modern carved pumpkin) is said to be a small flame moving through the air in the dark and is believed by superstition to be an omen of the observer's imminent death - or the death of a loved one. Only the foolish would follow them.

Now, I could mention many more traditions with this pagan holiday - or rather "holy day" of ancient Samhain - but NONE come from the Holy Bible.

Turn with me if you will to Leviticus 23 - for God Almighty (the very One we now know of as Jesus Christ) had Moses, under the inspiration of God's Spirit list His feasts -
"And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2) 'Speak to the children of Israel [or also the New Covenant Church of God], and say to them: 'The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, THESE ARE MY FEASTS.'" - Leviticus 23:1-2; NKJV throughout.
Friends, Halloween - also known as 'all hallows eve' or even All Saints' Day, IS NOT LISTED! It is not a commanded feast of the LORD - it is a tradition of paganized man. And there is no hint whatsoever of it in the Bible.

GOD WARNS:

"Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, 16) lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female, 17) the likeness of any animal that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18) the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth. 19) And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven [outer space], and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the LORD your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage. 20) But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be His people, an inheritance, as you are this day. ... 23) Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image IN THE FORM OF ANYTHING which the LORD your God has forbidden you. 24) For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God" - Deuteronomy 4:15-24.

We must not, friends, worship Almighty God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ the way the pagans did - Leviticus 18:3; Deuteronomy 12:31; Jeremiah 10:2-3.

God's living WORD repeatedly warns against the practices of witchcraft (Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:10). The Apostle Paul lists sorcery as the 'works of the flesh' (Galatians 5:19-21). And, we are not allowed by our Creator to 'conjure spells,' or be involved whatsoever with 'mediums,' or 'spiritist's' - one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD' - Deuteronomy 18:11. ■


Additional items of possible interest:

Is Your Belief Biblical? online pdf booklet - ... and can you prove it!
The Feasts of the LORD sermonette - Minister Leonard V. Johnson - in Owensboro, Kentucky - covers some of the basics (the FOUNDATION) of the feasts of the LORD, and asks, Why do you keep the Feast of Tabernacles!?
What's In A Name!? - Jesus Christ plainly states to us in the Bible - multiple times - 'you shall know them by their fruit.'

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

End-Time Prophets - a seven-part series

Jerusalem, Israel
by Michael C. Garrett


Good afternoon, good day, good morning, good evening – whatever time it is when you read this article. Welcome to Owensboro, Kentucky, and welcome to the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ!

Today I want to give an in-depth and thorough – encompassing – discussion of the end-time prophets. Everything we’re going to talk about comes from the Bible. And so, if you have the Bible backing you up, then you have a pretty good reason to say, “This is probably true.”

‘now we see in a mirror, dimly’

Now, I want to point out – the “end-time prophets” – The Two Witnesses, it is indeed in the realm of prophecy. And we’re told in the Book of Peter ‘that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation.’ And that prophecy must be interpreted by what other pages in the Bible say. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little” - Isaiah 28:9-10. And you have to sort of glean it from all these different places and try to put it together. And, that is what we’re going to try to do. But like Paul said in 1st Corinthians 13 –It’s a good principle to keep in mind. Anytime you hear some man or woman that claims to be gifted with special knowledge, and they start to tell you that they know what’s going to happen, or you’ll see some of these television evangelists who actually say – and I hear this quite often on different Sunday Morning Comedy Hour shows – they will say, “Well, the Lord spoke to me,” or “the Lord showed this to me,” or “I heard a voice and it came from the Lord.” And, you’ll hear those phrases quite a bit. And then they’ll go on a try and say, “this is gonna happen!”

Well, keep in mind 1st Corinthians 13. Verse 9 – “For we know in part and we prophesy [or we preach] in part.” Meaning – not with total knowledge. Because none of us – no human being – is imbued with perfect complete total knowledge and understanding of the Word of God. He went on to say, verse 10 – “But when that which is perfect has come, …” – meaning Jesus Christ, His return and the establishment of the Kingdom of God. “ … then that which is in part will be done away.” Then our limited knowledge will be removed and replaced with total knowledge. Verse 11 – “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood [or, I reasoned] as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Unfortunately, I know some men who have not put away childish things. And that’s something completely different, isn’t it!? He says in verse 12 - “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, …” And that’s so very important to keep in mind. Now, in our present human state, we see vague shapes – like someone who has a seeing problem – they don’t see with crystal clarity. My mother – unfortunately – for the last twenty or thirty years of her life suffered from severe vision problems brought on by a horrible disease – known as histoplasmosis. And because of that, the last part of her life – a good third of her life – her vision was deeply restricted. And she could sort of vaguely see you. In fact, for her, she couldn’t see in the center part of her vision. And continuing, Paul says, “ … but then …” – remember verse 10 – “when that which is perfect has come,” when Jesus Christ returns, when we are resurrected from mortal to immortal with the establishment of the Kingdom of God “ … but then face to face. Now I know in part, …” – and that includes prophecy.

If you get somebody saying, “This is exactly what’s gonna happen, and there’s no doubt about it!” be extremely leery! You’re probably hearing a con-artist. You’re probably hearing a charlatan. You’re probably hearing somebody who’s attempting to get your money – by false means and false pretenses. Paul says, “Now I know in part, but then …” with the establishment of the Kingdom of God “ … I shall know just as I also am known.” Then will be complete knowledge. We – who are afforded the great gift of immortality and eternal life, and a complete total establishment of our spiritual bodies living on the same plane as God Almighty and Jesus Christ. Then we will know completely!

But we’re going to talk about these Scriptures, and we’re going to make the best sense we can out of them. And I’ll be the first to say – what I believe and teach today about these prophetic events – who knows, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now, a decade from now – maybe I will come to realize that I didn’t quite understand it as thoroughly as I thought I did. And I am perfectly willing to admit that. I have no problem admitting, “Whoops, that was a mistake.” Well, isn’t repentance just admitting that you made a mistake!? Shouldn’t that also apply to our biblical knowledge – if you find out, “Whoops, I didn’t understand that”? Now, I meet people who are not willing to even accept that their church teaching – that their church doctrine – could be wrong. And so you have all these different people – and I don’t care if you’re talking about the Catholics, or the Baptists, or the Methodists, or the Presbyterians, or the Mormons, no one will concede and say, “Whoops, I was wrong!” And the Intercontinental Church of God (ICG), bless their hearts, they are wedded with whatever Garner Ted Armstrong (GTA) said. Now, GTA has been in the grave for sixteen years. And so, the understanding of the Bible should have progressed over the last sixteen years. But the ICG is stuck in a time-warp. Their understanding is stuck in the year 2003. And I don’t see any indication that they’re going to break forward from that. Now, I tried to show them about the concepts of the New Covenant – when I gave a sermon entitled Look To Jesus, Not Moses. And friends, it was the last time I was ever invited back! And just a few weeks later, I was fired! “Sayōnara, get lost! We loved you, but now we hate you!” Well, what love – notice verse 13 – “And now abide faith, hope, love [godly love], these three [exist and are important principles]; but the greatest of these is love.” And I don’t think loving somebody on day one and hating them on day seven is love. Because love is eternal. If you say you love someone you’re supposed to say that with the idea that, “I love you eternally.” Well, God does. Jesus Christ does. But human beings – and the ones you really have to watch are the church people who say they love you. Because the people who one year are coming up to give you a hug, sometime down the road may come up to give you a hug and place a knife in your back. And that’s sadly the way it is. “It's a sad, sad situation” – to quote Elton John.

What we’ll be discussing

Now, one of the most salient things about the end-time prophets – and we’re going to read this as we get into Matthew 10 – is a promise of future miracle-working power. The end-time prophets – I don’t know who they are and you don’t either. I don’t know how old they are. They could be forty-years-old right now, they could be sixty-years-old right now, or they could be eight-years-old right now. I don’t know – and nobody knows. Because nobody knows when the end of the age is coming. And if anyone tells you they do – WARNING, WARNING, WARNING! They are attempting to manipulate you. Jesus Christ says, “’ But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.’” And at that time when He said it, He didn’t even know. Now I have to surmise that at this point in time God the Father has shared that with Jesus Christ. But again, we don’t know. Is the Kingdom of God three years away!? Probably not. Is it ten years away!? Possibly. Is it twenty years away!? Could be. Is it fifty years away!? Could be. Anyway, we don’t know the time. But we know it’s going to happen. The question is – when?

Now, the work of the end-time prophets has many different levels. One thing that they’re going to do is to provide a powerful witness to this world by being agents of miracles. God the Father and Jesus Christ are going to work through them to perform miracles the like of which the world has never seen before! The end-time prophets are also going to be deliverers of Messages to kings and governors and church leaders. The end-time prophets are also going to be – especially the Two Witnesses – the announcers on behalf of God Almighty and Jesus Christ of horrible plagues which will come upon the earth. The end-time prophets will also have the job – I believe, and we’ll be talking about this, and we can glean this information from the Book of Ezekiel – of going to different church groups who have been put into captivity when the United States of America completely falls. The Two Witnesses will also have the job of directly confronting the ‘two henchmen’ of Satan the devil. The Book of Revelation calls them the ‘beast’ and the ‘false prophet.’ So, these end-time prophets have a lot of different jobs. Again, in full disclosure, you will not find the phrase end-time prophets in the Bible. It’s a phrase that I created to help describe the things we read about in the Bible.

The apostles were ‘agents of miracles’

If you would turn to Acts 4. Verse 29 – now, keep in mind, what just happened – it’s a part of the story. The Book of Acts begins with the disciples being told – as Jesus Christ is being taken up into a cloud and disappears, they’re told in verse 11 of chapter 1 – “ … ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into the [sky – that’s what the word ‘heaven’ there means, the clouds, the atmosphere]? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into [the atmosphere], will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into [the atmosphere].’” And we’re told in verse 15 – ‘altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty’ at that departure. And then at the end of chapter 1, it talks about naming another disciple – because remember Judas obviously lost out. Judas Iscariot. So, they name another disciple, and his name is Matthias – verse 26. And, to the best of my knowledge, this is the first and the last time we read the name, Matthias. And then, chapter 2 begins with the Day of Pentecost. Where the disciples – soon to be called apostles – give testimony so powerful that the people in the crowd think – how can this be!? They must be drunk! They’re up there saying things they don’t even know what they’re saying! Well, they knew exactly what they were saying because God Almighty and Jesus Christ were speaking through them. And the people in the crowd – notice verse 6, chapter 2 – “ …because everyone heard them speak in his own language.” Verse 11 – “ … ‘we hear them speaking in our own [language] the wonderful works of God.’ 12) So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘Whatever could this mean?’ 13) Others mocking said, ‘They are full of new wine.’” 

Well, here’s the one thing – the disciples, and here mainly Peter, he wasn’t speaking in foreign languages. He was speaking in his native language – probably Aramaic. But all of the people in the crowd heard Peter speak in their language. So that the miracle wasn’t what was coming out of Peter’s mouth, the miracle is in the hearing of the people who were in the crowd. And that is one thing that the people from the Pentecostal charismatic movement – I don’t think they’re being very honest with their parishioners about. And so you have some of these people – and I’ve gone through the television channels before and see Jimmy Swaggart in the background babbling – and they’re babbling in some “unknown” tongue. No, it’s just babble. It’s just all for show. And, that’s not what occurred on the Day of Pentecost. The people heard them in their own language.

Well, notice verse 22 – “’ Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know – 23) … you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death.” Well, Peter gives this powerful sermon, and we’re hearing parts of it, and verse 38 is maybe the most powerful part, where he says, “ … ‘Repent, …’ – be willing to change. Be ready to change – be wanting to change! “ … ‘and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39) For the PROMISE is … to all …’” – the promise is that eventually everyone would be given God’s Spirit unto all - (Be sure to read Notes Concerning the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day). Everyone who has ever lived – and anyone who didn’t actively squeeze the Spirit of God out of themselves cf. Matthew 12:31-32; Ephesians 4:30 – will be given another chance to live. And so “ … ‘the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.’” Verse 41 – “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand [lives] were added to them.” Verse 47 – “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Be sure to read for additional information Who Are the 144,000?). Now, remember, God had a goal of 12,000 people from each of the twelve tribes of Israel – the 144,000. Many of those people were added to the rolls back in the 1st century A.D. At the present time, I don’t think they’re that many people left that God is still adding to the Church. Which means – if you’re reading this Message and it is somehow intriguing to you, stimulating to you, and creating curiosity within you, and you’re wanting to learn more – there’s a real good chance that Jesus Christ is attempting to open the door of knowledge to you and is allowing you to become one of these people that knows the truth of God! If you’re in this situation, PLEASE DON’T TURN YOUR BACK ON THIS OPPORTUNITY!

Well, chapter 3 – “Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.” Now, that would be three o'clock. When they talk about in the Bible – six o’clock in the morning would be the first hour. The third hour is nine o’clock. The ninth hour is three o’clock in the afternoon by the way that we reckon time. Verse 2 – “And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple.” So, this is a man who is crippled. And, not in the same way – but with the same effect – like that beautiful young lady that I saw at a Pentatonix concert – who was without hips or legs. And the only thing this man could do to earn a living – to have money to feed himself and buy clothing – was to beg. Verse 3 – “who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.” – an expression of soliciting money. Verse 4 – “And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, ‘Look at us.’” – and I’m sure he said it with a very distinct commanding voice. Verse 5 – “So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6) Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’”

Now, try to put yourself in this situation. And, we read our Bible and say, “Well, this happened one thousand, nine hundred and eighty-eight years ago! And we can’t even imagine what it was like then!” And it’s really hard in our “modern” society with our fancy gadgets, computers and television, and recording devices, and fancy cell phones, it’s hard to imagine what life was like back then. But just try to imagine that you’re a man who has been lame from birth, and the only way that you can survive is to beg for money. And you’re sitting on some sort of mat or pillow, and these two men – who at first you don’t notice, they’re just passing by – and you did your typical ‘alms for the poor’ routine. And then one of them with piercing eyes looks upon you and says, ‘Look at us!’ And then this piercing man says, ‘I don’t have any gold or silver coinage, but the one thing I do have which I can give to you is the knowledge of Jesus Christ and the blessing of Jesus Christ and a miracle from Jesus Christ!’ And then Peter says, “ … ‘rise up and walk.’” Try to put yourself in that man’s position.

Peter put a hand down towards him – verse 7 – “And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.” – he had never walked before. Here’s a man whose legs had never worked – but because of a miracle from Jesus Christ – verse 8 – “So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them – walking, leaping, and praising God.” – sadly, I know some people in the ICG who are offended by that phrase, ‘praising God.’ Well, that sounds too much like the Baptists to them. Well, I’ll tell you, God Almighty and Jesus Christ weren’t ashamed of this phrase and had it inspirationally written in this Book – yeah! This man is PRAISING GOD and giving thanks to – probably - everyone in the neighborhood! He was probably hugging people, kissing, and high fiving!

Verse 9 – “And all the people saw him walking and praising God. 10) Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”

Try to put yourself in that scene! Here is a man that you know has been lame since birth – you’ve walked by him scores of times and possibly even ignoring him. And, what was so distressful to me at that Pentatonix concert concerning this beautiful young lady, is the people who were standing in front of her were not aware enough to know that they were blocking her view as she sat in her wheelchair. At times I saw her get out her cell phone and begin looking at it – she was like in a forest of people. And you would have thought that somebody would have said, “Hey, make a little path here. Give this young girl a couple of feet to be able to see them on stage.” Yes, it’s easy to ignore people who have problems. And these people had probably ignored him many a time. Now, maybe on occasion, they might have reached into their pocket and had thrown him a shekel (one silver shekel was probably worth less than a U.S. dollar in today’s market) or a denarius (a Roman silver coin worth about 15 cents). But most of them had probably ignored him.

Verse 11 – “Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, …” – and I’ll bet he gave them the biggest bear hug that Peter and John had ever received! And, I’ll bet you that Peter – in the final moments of his life when he was facing execution – remembered the day there in Jerusalem when God’s Spirit was poured out, and that lame man, “and we spoke the words of Jesus, and this man was miraculously healed, the great bear hug he gave John and me!” I’m sure that Peter remembered that. And, it might have helped him buoy up his strength and faith. “ … all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. 12) So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people …”

Now, the crowd was starting to look upon Peter and John as if they were some kind of magicians or holy men. Peter immediately sensing what was going through their minds says, “’ Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or [holiness] we had made this man walk? 13) The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant [His Son] Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. 14) But you denied the Holy One and the Just [One], and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15) and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which [you] are witnesses.’” – everyone in that crowd knew that Jesus Christ had been crucified to death – tortured to death. “’ And His name, …’” – and WHAT NAME IS THAT!? The name of JESUS!

Jesus is His name – Christos is His title. Christ – meaning the Anointed One. Christ the Anointed One – but His name is Jesus!

Which is why – again I fired up my computer – and went to the ‘Weekly Update’ to the so-called leader of the ICG down in Tyler, Texas, and once again (and I was sort of hoping that maybe something would have happened during the Feast that would have given him an epiphany and would have opened his eyes and allowed him to turn a new leaf) I was saddened to find not one mention of Jesus Christ. And, in over two years I have not seen the name Jesus Christ in his articles.

But, verse 16 – “’ And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him [Jesus Christ] has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. 17) Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers.’” – you didn’t know what you were doing. Verse 18 – “’ But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.’” – the Plan of God worked out! But now, for those of you who had a hand in His torture and in His death – verse 19 – “’ Repent …’” – just like he says in Acts 2:38 – “ … ‘therefore and be converted, …’”

What does the word convert mean!? It means to be changed. It means to be changed from being human-oriented to being godly oriented. Instead of having your life focused on just things of humanity, having your life focused on things of God the Father and Jesus Christ! And so the question we must all ask ourselves – how much of my life is focused on Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God!?

“ … ‘that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come …’” – that’s the SEVENTH TRUMP, the return of Jesus Christ, your change from mortal to immortal. “ … ‘from the presence of the Lord, 20) and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21) whom Heaven [here the third heaven] must receive until the times of restoration of all things [meaning the establishment of the Kingdom of God upon this earth at the blowing of the seventh trump at the return of Jesus Christ], which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.’” This is the one constant refrain from the prophets of God!

The Kingdom of God will be established, and Jesus Christ will be your Savior and great High Priest – that is the Gospel. And the means by which your life is converted – we might call the New Covenant. That new contract with Jesus Christ.

Verse 22 – “’ For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. 23) And it shall be that every [person] who will not hear that Prophet …’” – well, what about those who won’t even write or say His name!? “ … ‘shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ 24) Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who [followed afterward], as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days. 25) You are [the children] of the prophets, …’” – meaning, the tribe of Israel. “ … ‘and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26) To you [Israelites, and to you people of Jerusalem who had an active hand in betraying Jesus Christ and demanding His death. To you people who are partly responsible for His blood] first, God, having raised up His [Son] Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.’” – for giving you a pathway to having your sins forgiven – which is the New Covenant.

Chapter 4 – “Now as they [Peter and John] spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, 2) being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached [that through] Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3) And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.”

So, remember, this all started at 3 o’clock. And, this healing miracle and Peter and John talking about it – pointing the Way to Jesus Christ. And this took – probably – another three hours.

But now, the temple elite! Now, they thought that they had destroyed Jesus, and they thought they had buried this religious movement – but they hadn’t. They did everything within their power to destroy them - but they hadn’t. Because now it’s starting to spread.

Verse 4 – “However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.” – think about that! One man is healed – it in itself is a powerful miracle! But before the afternoon and the evening was over five thousand people had heard the story about Jesus Christ and had been saved – as we often hear that phrase! They heard the word and they believed the word! Verse 5 – “And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, 6) as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7) And when they had set them [Peter and John] in the midst, they asked, ‘By what power or by what name have you done this?’”

And Peter, who was by far the most bombastic, aggressive and forward of all the disciples – verse 8 – “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9) If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10) let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, …” – and I’m sure that must of struck their nerves! Because remember, they’re trying to tell the story that Jesus wasn’t resurrected, someone just came and stole His body away. They even started a rumor to that effect. But they couldn’t stop the truth. Because the truth was greater than them! “ … ‘by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11) This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’

Verse 12. And for you – all of you who think that spiritual leadership comes from someone who will not – or cannot – write or say the name Jesus Christ, and is apparently ashamed of it hear this – “’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must [ or can ] be saved.’

Verse 13 – “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated …” – remember, Peter was a fisherman. They were “blue-collar” workers. They were not highly educated men. “ … and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized …” – they noticed and thought – how could these country bumpkins know all this!? How are they able to speak this way!? “ … And they realized that they had been with Jesus. Verse 14 – “And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.”

The miracle of healing – that lame man – gave Peter and John complete authority to say, “We represent God.” And, keep in mind where we’re going with this series. The end-time prophets – and the final two, the Two Witnesses – they too will have these miraculous powers being granted unto them by Jesus Christ. So that they too will have authority – backed up by miracles. And, you can’t fake miracles – you can’t fake a man who was lame for thirty-eight years - and now he’s dancing around as if he is in a ballet! Leaping, walking, praising, jumping! That’s proof!

Verse 15 – “But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, …” – they had to have a pow-wow – ‘What’s going on here!?’ Verse 16 – “saying, ‘What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.” And, I bet they wished they could have – but too many people had seen it! Remember, at least five thousand people had been converted that afternoon! And who knows how many more people were in the crowd that gathered!? They didn’t have smartphones and social websites – but they had word of mouth. And in those three hours, I’ll bet that spread all across Jerusalem – and many people said, “I gotta go see this!” And went to the temple and saw and heard and witnessed. Verse 17 – “’ But so that it spreads no further among the people, …’” – they’re saying, ‘We’ve got to stop this! We’ve got to do everything within our power to destroy those men!’ “ … ‘let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.’

Verse 18 – “So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” – the sermon entitled “Look To Jesus, Not Moses” was killed and kept from being published. They didn’t want that Message heard. And then, when they discovered that I had reproduced the sermon and published it on our BitChute channel - https://www.bitchute.com/video/S9DugFR66P4d/ - and it’s available to all on the internet, they had a conniption! Are you able to see a similar trait here between the temple elders in Jerusalem and the church elders of the ICG!?

Verse 19 – “But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20) For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.’ 21) So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, …” – they had too many people in what they (Peter and John) were doing. “ … ‘since they all glorified God for what had been done. 22) For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.”

Verse 23 – “And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24) So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: ‘Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25) who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? 26) The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ.’

And, that is yet to happen at the battle of Armageddon.

Verse 27 – “’ For truly against Your holy [Son] Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod [Herod Antipas] and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28) to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. 29) Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, …’”

And that’s a prayer that I ask right now from Jesus Christ and God Almighty.

Verse 30 – “ … ‘by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy [Son] Jesus.’ 31) And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. 32) Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one [mind]; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.” – they became so ecstatic, they just wanted to be a part of one mass family. Verse 33 – “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.”

And, that’s a marvelous account! And yes, this happened in approximately A.D. 31! And the Church of God then – the representatives of Jesus Christ, the Body of Christ – had twelve main spokesmen. We call them the apostles. And I believe that by that example that we might very well in the end-time – at the end of the age – have twelve people raised up and granted the mission and the job of representing the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God – and of speaking boldly the truth of God! And in doing so also being given the gift of healing.

The end-time prophets are going to shake the world like it’s never been shaken before! We’re going to read later in the Book of John where Jesus says of these people, ’the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do.’ And He raised people from the dead! I can’t imagine how exciting, thrilling and powerful, and amazing this is going to be! ■



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Feast of Trumpets - 'Thy Kingdom Come'Hello everyone! Welcome to Owensboro, Kentucky. Welcome to NOT a weekly church service of the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ – but rather – welcome to an annual Holy Day! We’re here today celebrating and commemorating, and trying to learn, the Feast of Trumpets! [...]
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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Letter to our Friends - October 22, 2019



Michael C. Garrett
Minister and Overseer


Dear Friends:

Post Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day greetings from Owensboro, Kentucky, USA.

We truly enjoyed fellowshipping with those we could in Owensboro, Ky. this year.

Post Feast of Tabernacles Trials

Friends, the Fall Holy Days’ season is now past. We now must again face the issues in this world (such as work, school, relatives, financial issues, etc.) which was not the same when we were enjoying and rejoicing at the LORD’s feast – the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day.

Minister Michael C. Garrett wrote the following:
“Well, regardless as to the source of your problems, troubles, and afflictions, if you suffer for righteousness sake, and if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed. But understand that God the Father and Jesus Christ will be with you and they will reward you! Notice 1st Peter – there are several passages throughout the Book of Peter, where he talks about this concept. 1st Peter chapter 1, verse 3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4) to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in Heaven for you, …” – and eventually, Heaven will come to the Earth. Verse 6 – “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7) that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the [appearing] of Jesus Christ, …” – so when Jesus Christ returns He will reward you for your faithfulness and your diligence, and for the battles which you fought. 1st Peter chapter 2, verse 19 – “For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. 20) For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.” …
Verse 21, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22) ‘Who committed no sin, Nor was [guile] found in His mouth’; 23) who, when He was reviled, …” – and this is tough as a human being. This is not easy – “…did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him [God the Father] who judges righteously; …” – that’s the example He set for us!”
(Suffering for Righteousness Sake).
Friends, while it is very difficult to rejoice in trials, God’s living Word says that we should (cf. 1 Peter 4:13; Matthew 5:11-12). Yet we, as the faithful did in the past are looking far beyond anything in this world – we are looking to the glorious coming of the Kingdom of God (cf. Hebrews 11:4-40).

Let us dear friends rejoice in God Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ!

World News Items – here are some news items I found in my email after arriving home from the Feast

In the United States of America – the ‘In God We Trust’ nation – despite a grievous fight against by the boy’s father, the court decides that his son can now be a girl (See: ‘Unthinkable happens: Mom can FORCE ‘son’ into transgender life, court rules’). Friends, we know that our loving CREATOR emphatically says, “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are AN ABOMINATION TO THE LORD your God” – Deuteronomy 22:5. As well as Leviticus 18:22 – “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. IT IS AN ABOMINATION.” These God-given laws are not antiquated. They are not outdated! They are still very much valid for the nations of Israel as well as the Gentile nations.

In Germany – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted that German multiculturalism has utterly failed (See: ‘Merkel Admits German Multiculturalism Has "Utterly Failed"’). As we have been proclaiming, according to biblical prophecy, Europe will one day unite and reorganize – the rising of the final ‘beast’ power.
“Well, two factors are going to cause this seventh resurrection of the “Holy” Roman Empire.
1) I think it’s the threat of Islamic militarism.
Make no mistake my friends, the leaders of that Islamic strain of Islam, their greatest goal is to conquer you or to kill you! Don’t be confused about that! I have to say I’m embarrassed by some of our political leaders in this country that wanna make nice. “O’ these are nice people!” they say. “It’s a religion of love!” And every time I hear it I wanna say, “It twernt Lutherans that flew the planes into the Towers!” It was Islamic terrorists! And that movement is growing!
2) A revitalized Roman Catholic Church and a pope of magnificent stature.
These two factors will be the tipping point that causes Europe to say, “We must have strong leaders again! We must have a strong military again! We must protect our borders! We must protect ourselves! We must unite! Even though we have differences!”
(Prophecy Series – The Final Empire).
Also, around the world – countries that had been relatively peaceful are now a powder keg waiting to explode! (See: ‘6 Warning Signs That Civil Unrest Is Imminent’). This civil unrest has been brewing for some time. I personally have been witness to many of these warning ‘signs’:
1. Bad looks when you walk on the street.
2. People that normally would be polite or indifferent, as a minimum, start to look at you in a sort of aggressive manner.
3. People disappearing off the streets.
4. Law Enforcement Officials (LEOs) presence in massive amounts in the streets.
5. Drones flying too close to LEOs control points.
6. People wearing a single color.
Indeed, our Lord and Savior say, “’ Every kingdom [nation, government, institution] divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand’” – Matthew 12:25; Mark 3:24-26; Luke 11:17. And, He also WARNS that in the end-time, “’ And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man [at His return to this earth]. … Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven [from space] and destroyed them all.’” – Luke 17:26-30. The Apostle Peter admonishes us in saying that the Almighty “turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly” – 2 Peter 2:6.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week:

● 2-3 hymns. (another free printable “Old Time Gospel” hymn site is The Old Time Gospel). To NOTE: Brother Roger is working on a hymnal songbook that will be available soon, which I will be putting into pdf for easy printing.
● Opening prayer.
● Sermonette (if you choose). The one suggested is Is There A ‘Secret Rapture’?
● Announcements (if any) and one hymn.
● Sermon. The one suggested is Our Earthly Tabernacles by Michael C. Garrett. (Many more sermons are available at http://www.owensborochurchofjesuschrist.com/.
● 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

Brother John was inspired by the Lord our God to write the following:
5) "This is the Message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that GOD is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6) If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7) But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" - 1 John 1:5-7; NKJV.
Friends, let us always walk in the light of truth. Let us NEVER practice darkness. Believe that our Lord Jesus can cleanse us from all sin.
"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31) Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32) And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as GOD in Christ forgave you" - Ephesians 4:29-32; NKJV.
As far as fellowship with one another goes, let us meet with other brethren when we can.

In deep gratitude and love, in Jesus' name,