Friday, November 29, 2019

Letter to our Friends - November 26, 2019

Michael C. Garrett
Pastor and Overseer

Dear Friends:

Greetings from Central Florida.

As always there is much going on all around the world.

Going to New York to See Dimash

Filled with great excitement, we are pleased to announce that both Minister Michael C. Garrett and I will be traveling to the Barclays Center in New York on the 10th of December to witness “the phenomenon” of the century! Dimash Kudaibergen’s first-ever solo concert in the United States – the ARNAU TOUR! He’s Asia’s biggest and brightest star with a heavenly six-octave singing range and the ability to sing in multiple languages!

And, before we witness this great wonder of the world, we will be doing some incredible touristy stuff – like visiting The Dakota where John Lennon once lived. Also, of course, paying our respects at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum which commemorates the tragic events which occurred September 11, 2001. Then, we might stop off for a bite to eat at the infamous Patsy’s Italian Restaurant where “Ol’ Blue Eyes” himself hung out! Or, we may adventure over to the Skyline for a “Sully” burger! Or even, possibly, Jack Dempsey’s for some fish & chips! Also, if we have time, our plans include taking in Central Park in urban Manhattan, along with Trump International Hotel & Tower!

We are greatly looking forward to enjoying Dimash with all his other devoted fans (who call themselves “Dears”) - we can only imagine the atmosphere will be buzzing with excitement in New York!

We will be ‘documenting’ this momentous event for all our friends – we are looking forward to sharing this with you!

November 13th, I posted our free online pdf booklet: Proving the Truth! which covers such important topics as the Sabbath, the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, and the concept of the immortal soul.

This free online pdf booklet is in draft form, and while this version can be read and or downloaded online, it is likely that this will not be the finalized version down the line. This booklet helps you to learn ever greater the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the ultimate Plan of God!

The Great Work of the Eternal

Friends, this great WORK OF GOD ALMIGHTY AND JESUS CHRIST, July 13, 2019, in combination with August 10, 2019, entered a new—and possibly its last—phase. The great WORK OF GOD has moved into a “short-work” – Romans 9:28; KJV. This final time includes the time which our Lord Jesus called “the beginnings of sorrows,” a time of great “troubles” – Matthew 24:4-8; Mark 13:5-8. This final end-time trauma will include what our Lord and Savior called ‘great tribulation’ – a reference to Prophet Daniel’s prophecy of Daniel 11:40-12:3; as well as Matthew 24:21-22. A terrible time – the Day of the LORD. Our mission is to teach the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the ultimate Plan of God to the ‘lost sheep of Israel’ and to testify of Jesus Christ, of His forgiveness, of His atoning sacrifice, of the opportunity for all of us to have Jesus Christ as our great High Priest and to live under the promises of the New Covenant, and to someday be a part of the glorious Kingdom of God!

Let us notice something which Mr. Herbert Armstrong wrote concerning this grave time of ‘troubles’ just before the return of our Lord Jesus Christ:
“Our Work in the hands of Christ is NOT YET FINISHED, and He will not allow the Work to stop until it is finished! ... And the abomination that maketh desolate setup. What is this abomination? This refers to Daniel 11:31 and Matthew 24:15 ... From this time (Daniel 12:11) to Christ's coming will be 1290 days. Now, verse 12, 'Blessed is he that waiteth, and comes to the 1335 days." Never before have we understood these periods of 1260, 1290, and 1335 days. But it seems evident, now, a blessing is pronounced on us—GOD'S CHURCH—who wait and endure until the 1335 days—approximately 1335 days prior to Christ's coming. But since no one can know the day or hour of His coming, we probably shall not be able to know the exact day this 1335 days begins. But apparently, that is the time when OUR WORK SHALL END”
(Armstrong, H. W., Personal, Good News, Jan. 1980, pg. 23).
Some great revelations were given to Mr. Herbert Armstrong. Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ did use him mightily at various points in his life to restore and recapture certain major truths of God's Word - however, since 1980, with the enormous growth of God’s grace and knowledge we do indeed understand – as we get closer to the end-time, that we will begin to realize just how close we are. We don’t know when Jesus Christ is going to return. The only advice we have is ‘watch and pray.’ Keep an eye on world news, keep an eye on world events, keep an eye on things that are happening.

Mr. Armstrong was not given the revelation that God is not and will not be relying on the often half-hearted efforts of humans to fulfill the prophecy of Matthew 24:14. But that Almighty God and Jesus Christ will soon rise upon the scene possibly twelve ‘end-time prophets’ – who will indeed proclaim the gospel Message of the soon-coming Kingdom throughout the world as a WITNESS TO ALL NATIONS – a final WARNING – and they will be ‘delivered before synagogues and prisons, before kings and rulers for Christ’s namesake’ – (cf. Luke 21:12) – and shall be martyred!

Here are a few other things Mr. Armstrong wrote:
“It now appears likely that GOD'S present Work through us will come to an end 1,335 days before the approximate date of Christ's return in supreme POWER and GLORY! It appears the Roman European armies will surround and take half of the city of Jerusalem 45 days later, and the GREAT TRIBULATION will begin 30 days after that. And the GREAT TRIBULATION, running parallel to the worldwide telecast of the TWO WITNESSES (Rev. 11), will last approximately 3½ years”
(Armstrong, H.W. The Time Has Come for Fasting and Prayer! Jan. 1980, pg. 2).
“...the work will continue right on to the Second Coming of Christ”
 (Armstrong, H.W., Letter to the Brethren, Dec. 23, 1985).
Though his order of events are slightly skewed, I truly feel that Mr. Armstrong believed that the Worldwide Church of God would be doing the Work of God right up to the time of Jesus Christ’s return. Yet, that was not in the cards. We believe that Worldwide had its lampstand yanked and thrown away! I’ve heard several people over the years say, “Well, Satan destroyed the Worldwide Church of God!” No, Satan couldn’t have touched the Worldwide Church of God IF God didn’t allow it! But I think God was up to here with the Worldwide Church of God! He was up to here with the hubris, the arrogance, the haughtier, the self-promotion, the self-lining of pockets, the positions and sense of power. The leadership was indeed of the Nicolaitans – which Jesus Christ also hates! They became like the proverbial Humpty Dumpty - the Worldwide Church of God, in this instance, is Humpty Dumpty.

Now, indeed, I found something intriguing. On March 20th, 2013 Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church forged closer ties with the Eastern Orthodox Church embracing ecumenical unity. Is this the ‘white horse’ of Revelation 6:1-2 – which is consistent with the first sorrow (the birth pain) which Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24:4-5? And, while I suspect this could be the case, Minister Michael C. Garrett gave us something to ponder concerning this “white horse of the apocalypse”:
“I guess there could be different interpretations. You could possibly say that this is false religion in the guise of the Mother Church of Europe plunging the world into a world war! That’s a possible explanation. Remember, Paul told us, ‘now we see in a mirror, dimly.’ Now, others might say, that’s Jesus Christ, who’s setting forth the events in which He will return to the earth! Conquering humankind – the rebellious humankind.”
(Day of Atonement – End-Time Trauma, Garrett, M.C., 2019, pg. 18).
Friends, we strive to be careful and teach what God wants (cf. Romans 12:6) and understand that even Prophet Jeremiah hesitated to believe something that he felt God may have told him until a later time – Jeremiah 32:6-8; KJV.

However, even as early as 2009 we have been seeing the Vatican, mainline Protestants, as well as the Eastern Orthodox, as well as the United Nations and other political leaders, embracing and working toward an ecumenical unity – which is NOT actually prophesied in the Bible to happen before the return of Jesus Christ.
“I’ve always been astounded by this concept that they put forth of “one-world religion,” and “one-world government”! And that seems to bring great joy to people of that ilk to talk about it. And if it were true it would be something to be upset about, but THE BIBLE DOES NOT describe that!”
(Mark of the Beast, Garrett, M.C., 2019, page 11).
World News Items

The massive protests in Hong Kong against the government have continued, as well as in France (See: ‘Chinese Troops Join Hong Kong Cleanup as Protesters Retreat’ and ‘Scuffles mar anniversary of birth of yellow vest movement’). Iran’s leader Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei condemns the protests in Iran (See: ‘Mass Protests Erupt Throughout Iran, Central Bank Burned Down (Watch)’ and ‘Iran TV: Supreme Leader Supports Gas Price Increases’). There have also been anti-government protests in Haiti and the Czech Republic. Also, also, there has been a drastic increase in military action involving Israel (known in the Bible in this end-time as Judah) (See: ‘Israel strikes Iranian targets in Syria after rocket attack’ as well as ‘Israel carries out ‘wide-scale strikes’ on Iranian forces in Syria’). We are getting ever closer to the time of the rider of the ‘red horse’ in Revelation 6:3-4.

Also, in other prophetic related world news, we are seeing what looks to be the setting off of the ride of the ‘pale horse of the apocalypse’ - Revelation 6:7-8. We are seeing a grave increase of people resisting antibiotics as well as vaccines – causing illnesses and unclean meat-related DEATHS (See: ‘Major Report Says Drug-Resistant Superbugs Are Already Killing More People Than Feared’ and ‘Biggest Threats and Data 2019 AR Threats Report’). And, governments are actually considering the use of man-made infections to use in warfare (See: DARPA espouses benefits of new program to quickly detect pathogens’). Friends, even greater deaths from pestilences are prophesied in the Bible.

“The US dollar may soon collapse,” so says Russian President Vladimir Putin! (See: ‘Vladimir Putin Sums Up The New World Order In 5 Words’). Russia, Europe (See: ‘Russia Continues De-Dollarisation as Brussels Considers Creating Pan-EU Payment System’), as well as other nations (e.g. ‘BRICS vow to fight for multipolar international order’ and ‘Have the BRICS hit a wall?’), are working hard towards a world without American influence and domination. And, such a world is soon coming (cf. Revelation 13; Daniel 11:39). A time of great ‘trouble’ for the descendants of the house of Israel – the United States of America, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom respectively (cf. Jeremiah 30:7).

Friends, let us, therefore ‘watch, and pray always that we may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man’ – to be a part of the glorious Kingdom of God!

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 Your Belief Biblical? (An accompanying free online pdf booklet entitled Is Your Belief Biblical? …and can you prove it? is available).
● Announcements (if any) and one hymn.
● Sermon. The one suggested is Lady Godiva by Minister Michael C. Garrett. (Many more sermons are available at
● 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

Last Monday, I read the ICG’s “unofficial” leader’s “Weekly Update” of October 25th, 2019 to my wife – who is currently unconverted. After reading it, I asked her what she thought of it. She stated that it was something – whether your religious or not – one could read and understand.

I pondered on that statement for a while.

Then I was reminded of something which Minister Michael C. Garrett wrote concerning ICG’s “unofficial” leader and his “Weekly Report’s”:
“It is a total and complete secular exposition of his thoughts and ideas. And I will say, in conversations I’ve had with different people, it is a fact that an ever-growing number of people – and many of these people at one time were associated with the ICG – are coming to the realization that the leader does not and will not mention Jesus Christ in any of his writings or his speaking. He doesn’t even mention Biblical Scriptures, and now there’s a growing tendency that he will not even mention the name, God. And all that he is preoccupied with is his very radical version of ultra-conservative political thought.”
(Mark of the Beast, Garrett, M.C., 2019, page 5).
Indeed, what he writes seems to be lifted straight from WorldNetDaily or Fox News and can be very relatable to any conservative. Friends, the truth is sometimes painful to hear and it is not always accepted with open arms – however, according to Scripture, the truth will set us free (Titus 1:9). May I suggest you read a very enlightening article by Inspired Walk12 Characteristics of a Cult Leader. When we look closely at the fruits of his life, with honesty and a willingness to face the facts, we begin to see clearly that he does not show the fruit of God’s Spirit.

Friends, there is an amazing prophecy in the Book of Zachariah. There are some who wonder if this is a prophecy of Garner Ted Armstrong and Mark Armstrong. We read that God told His prophet:
“And the LORD said to me, ‘Next, take for yourself the implements of a foolish shepherd. 16) For indeed I will raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are cut off, nor seek the young, nor heal those that are broken, nor feed those that still stand. But he will eat the flesh of the fat and tear their hooves in pieces.
17) ‘Woe to the worthless shepherd, Who leaves the flock! A sword shall be against his ARM And against his right eye; HIS ARM SHALL COMPLETELY WITHER, And his right eye shall be totally blinded.’” – Zechariah 11:15-17.
Now, could this be a reference to the fact that Ted Armstrong himself would “wither” away spiritually – and that his son is blind to God’s revealed truth? The arm that ought to have defended the flock shall be withered up; the eye that should have watched for their safety shall be blinded. Again, let us recall the words of Minister Michael C. Garrett:
“Well, in the late Summer of 2003, Mr. Ted Armstrong made a public appearance - the last one he would ever make – of which I later viewed on a video. I was shocked to hear him say during this presentation, something to the effect, “You do not have to worry about what the Bible says, all you have to worry about is what I say.” And the moment I heard those words come out of his mouth, I bolted to the front of my chair, and I exclaimed, “O’ no!” “O’ no, Mr. Ted you have just cursed yourself!” Because once again, ‘God is not mocked!’ For what you sow that shall you also reap.”
(What’s In A Name? Garrett, M.C., February 19, 2019).
God’s living Word WARNS us to not place our hope and our trust in mortal men. In fact, God warns, “It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man. 9) It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes” – Psalm 118:8-9. God commands us, “Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help” – Psalm 146:3.

There is no man who can save us or give us salvation. Only God Almighty and Jesus Christ can do that! Peter says, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” – Acts 4:12. And that name is Jesus Christ!

Apostle Paul also wrote, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2) LOOKING UNTO JESUS, THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH; …” – Hebrews 12:1-2.

Let us friends keep our eyes focused on Jesus Christ! We should keep our eyes and mind on Him!

Are your eyes on Jesus Christ!? Or are you looking to men – to ‘princes,’ to ‘a son of man’!? (ref. Psalm 146:3). King David prayed to God, “Show me YOUR ways, O LORD: Teach me in YOUR paths, For You are the God of my salvation; On YOU I wait all the day” – Psalm 25:4-5.

Where are your eyes centered!? “But my eyes are upon YOU, O GOD the Lord; In YOU I take refuge; …” – Psalm 141:8. Isn’t it about time we start putting our trust in God Almighty and Jesus Christ – and not in mortal, sinful man!?

Our LORD God – the very One who became Jesus Christ – inspired Jeremiah to write:
“Thus says the LORD: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD. 6) For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. 8) For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit” – Jeremiah 17:5-8.
God raised up a servant to proclaim this truth in this end-time – enabling him to reach multiple thousands through the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ website and now a blog site. Through Jesus Christ he has also revealed incredible, amazing, and enlightening new prophetic truths – never before revealed by any other man, woman or child on this earth – to my knowledge.

Why has God chosen to do this WARNING through him – a man who in the eyes of the world is insignificant – but one whom He has used and trained – even under the feet of Herbert Armstrong from 1969 to 1978? Why indeed!? It’s because he has faith and obeyed. It’s not for himself, at all – but for the glory of God!

With love and gratitude, in Jesus' Name,
Leonard V. Johnson

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