Friday, December 27, 2019

Letter to our Friends - December 24, 2019

Michael C. Garrett
Pastor and Overseer

Greetings dear friends from Central Florida!

20 Facts and Scripture to Consider Concerning Christmas

There are multiple millions who claim that December 25th, 2019 is the date of Jesus of Nazareth’s birthday. Yet, the vast majority do not understand the biblical or historical truth about it.

Here is a list of 20 items to consider for the people who keep the Mass-of-Christ:

1. God lists His festivals – with specific dates in Leviticus 23.
2. God says not to learn and follow ‘the way of the Gentiles,’ such as the custom of cutting a tree and decorating it in the worship of Him – Jeremiah 10.
3. There is nowhere mentioned in the Bible of the actual date of Jesus Christ’s birth date.
4. Scripture actually opposes the idea that Jesus was born in late December because the “census would have been impossible in winter (The Catholic Encyclopedia) and also because the shepherds of the sheep were not spending their nights outside with their flocks at that time.
5. There is nowhere in the Bible that instructs one to observe the date of Jesus’ birth.
6. The Bible indeed does not show that Jesus’ disciples ever observed the date of Jesus’ birth.
7. Apostle Paul wrote that Christians are not to use demonic Gentile practices – 1 Corinthians 10:20.
8. The Mass-of-Christ (or rather Christmas) was NOT part of the “faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” – Jude 3.
9. Very early Church of God writings does not show that any Christian observed date of Jesus' birth.
10. Mithras – a sun god – was allegedly “born” on December 25th as the season was celebrated as a rebirth of the sun.
11. Romans – particularly the Roman military – celebrated a Roman mystery religion involving the sun-god Mithras. Worshippers of Mithras had a complex system of seven grades of initiation and communal ritual meals. Saturn - a god in ancient Roman religion - was especially celebrated during the festival of Saturnalia each December, perhaps the most famous of the Roman festivals, a time of feasting, role reversals, free speech, gift-giving, and revelry.
12. A Roman Catholic supporting Tertullian wrote that people in what we now call the Eastern or Roman Catholic Church used wreaths and lights, and gave gifts, in late December. Pagan worship is actually the “reason for the season.”
13. Even Tertullian condemned those practices as demonic and idolatrous. Writing that those who profess Christ Jesus should not honor pagan gods in their worship.
14. It is a known fact that Emperor Constantine the Great worshiped the sun-god Mithras and celebrated Jesus’ birth on December 25th beginning in A.D. 336.
15. Also, Roman pontiffs followed the emperor’s lead, and in A.D. 354, Bishop Liberius ordered all of Rome to celebrate on December 25th.
16. Also also, Archbishop of Constantinople John Chrysostom was able to adopt this in his area by A.D. 395.
17. It is indeed true that the word for Christmas is Old English for Cristes Maesse – the Mass-of-Christ – was first found in 1038 and 1131.
18. The known “Twelve Days of Christmas” is originally from the 12 days of the yuletide which at sunset on December 20th – known as “Mother Night” – and ended on the night of December 31st – known as the “Night of the Oak King.”
19. Mistletoe came from the ancient Druids.
20. Christmas is NOT a biblical or Christ-centered (be sure to read our seven-part series entitled Christ In You (Unleavened Bread) -2017) holiday. It is a man-made commercialized tradition.

Friends, truly Christmas is a distraction from the gospel of the Kingdom of God. It is not a Christ-centered holiday. Christmas has the wrong emphasis and isn’t based on truth.

Our Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ – taught:
’ And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’” – Mark 7:7; NKJV throughout.
’ God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth [or through the Spirit of God aided by the very mind of Jesus Christ!]” –
John 4:24.
Now, ‘in vain’ would be surely bearing false witness and deceiving small children concerning the veneration of Santa Claus – a mixture of a fourth-century Saint Nicholas and a Germanic god called Wodan.

Friends, there is a right way and a wrong way to worship Almighty God and Jesus Christ – never base this on your own emotional feelings concerning what is right.

God commanded (be sure to read our seven-part article entitled God’s Promises To Abraham):
“’ You shall not at all do as we are doing here today – every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes - … You shall not eat it, that it may go well with you and your children after you, when you do what is right in the sight of the LORD. … Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it’” – Deuteronomy 12:8, 25, 32.
God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ DID NOT command the keeping of a Christmas. It is a man-made tradition.

Let us also consider what Paul has to say:
“You CANNOT drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you CANNOT partake of the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?” – 1 Corinthians 10:21-22.
“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you PUT OFF, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” – Ephesians 4:17-24.
True Christians – followers of Christ Jesus – are to put off the ways of the Gentiles, and live according to the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the ultimate Plan of God – no longer longing for improper man-made traditions.

Let us also consider the Words of our Eternal God and Eldest Brother through John our brother:
“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city [the city of New Jerusalem]. But outside [outside the city of New Jerusalem] are dogs and sorcerers [those who practice sorcery, dark arts, black magic, divination, fortune-telling, etc.] and [whoremongers; people who have gone after false religions] and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie” – Revelation 22:14-15.
Are you any of these!?

Do you keep all of God’s commandments or are you one who prefers to continue keeping and practicing the idolatrous lie of Christmas!?

Michael C. Garrett has written:
“God NEVER instituted Sunday to be the official day of worship! God – in the Bible – NEVER sanctioned the concept of Christ-mass! It’s a Catholic holy day! I understand why Catholics keep Christmas. I don’t understand why Baptists and Methodists and Pentecostals, and all the other people do!
Jesus Christ was not born on or anywhere near December 25th!
Jesus Christ was born in the late Autumn – most likely on the first day of what we call from the Bible, the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus Christ, like I mentioned earlier, was not resurrected on Ishtar – Sunday. He was resurrected on what we call a Saturday afternoon. So, you say you love God, you say you want to obey Him, but in the most important aspects of your religion you don’t!”
(Christ In You (Unleavened Bread - Day 3) - 2017 "VIDEO").

Friends remember – be sure to check out our Flipboard!

 World News Items

There have been many protests throughout the Arab world against various governments (See: ‘Protesters in the Arab world’s newest uprisings face a long haul’). As the Bible truly teaches – ultimately, we will see a reorganization within the Middle East and North Africa which will become known as an Islamic confederation ruled and led by one known as ‘the king of the South’ – Daniel 11:40-43. But this Islamic confederation will not end well – see also Ezekiel 30:1-8.

Also biblically, we can be certain that this end-time final ‘king of the South’ shall be defeated (Daniel 11:40-43), there is something in the works now which will also not end well – genetic experimentation that many scientists are engaged in. Currently, there are some California scientists which are extremely excited that they may be able to edit genetics and make bacteria more susceptible to antibiotics (See: ‘New CRISPR-based system targets amplified antibiotic-resistant genes’). Now, on the surface this sounds great, the reality is that scientists cannot possibly do sufficient tests to “prove” that there are no risks from such experimentation. As an example – last Summer – we learned that a plan to genetically-alter mosquitoes to make them easier to kill resulted in mosquitoes becoming even more difficult to kill (See: ‘BUGGED OUT Deadly ‘super mosquitoes that are even tougher’ accidentally created by scientists after bungled experiment’). Our Master and Elder Brother – Jesus Christ – WARNED of coming famines and pestilences (Luke 21:11). Could genetic engineering help lead to some of that!?

In the United States of America – former Islamic sympathizer and President Barack Hussein Obama II proposed that men should step aside in the run for president and have women rule as a way to make the world a better place (See: ‘Obama Says Women Are "Indisputably Better" Than Men, And Should Lead Every Country’). Friends, let us notice a prophecy from the Book of Isaiah:
“’ The look on their countenance witnesses against them, And they declare their sin as Sodom; They DO NOT HIDE IT. …’”
Recall the ‘landmark civil rights case’ in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marriage under the law – June 26th, 2015.
“’ Woe to their [life]! For they have brought evil upon themselves.
‘Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, For they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, For the reward of his hands shall be given him.
As for My people [the house of Israel], children are their oppressors, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, And destroy the way of your paths.’” – Isaiah 3:9-12; NKJV.
(Be sure to read God's Promises To Abraham - a seven-part series – which explains the physical and more importantly spiritual descendants of Abraham, and God’s blessings upon them).

Barack H. Obama II, when he was president, refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, and eventually supported its removal. He assisted a great many in declaring their sins like that of Sodom and Gomorrah! GOD'S WORD EMPHATICALLY STATES that homosexuality, lesbianism, and cross-dressing are WRONG, and GOD also condemns those who condone all forms of sexual immorality – cf. Deuteronomy 22:5 KJV; Romans 1:24-32.

So, notice also, the Bible WARNS against women ruling. And, it’s not that they cannot help, but God says those who promote such things are causing His people to err and get their way destroyed. God’s living Word – the Holy Bible – does not teach that the world would be a better place if men stepped aside and let women rule! The Bible essentially warns against doing that! The soon-coming kingdom of God is indeed the solution!

Also, the United States President Donald Trump (as I had posted on our Twitter Page December 19th), on a mainly partisan vote, was impeached by the US House of Representatives (See: ‘Trump is impeached by the House, creating an indelible mark on his presidency’ also ‘House Impeaches Trump For Abuse Of Power & Obstruction Of Congress’). The greater majority of the media in the US wanted this – and now it has happened. Indeed, the US Congress is a ‘house divided’!

Our Lord Jesus Christ warned:
’ Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand’” – Matthew 12:25 (see also Luke 11:17).
The division within the US and her sins are greatly increasing!

Notice this which prophet Isaiah was inspired to write:
“’ Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with [sin], A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! THEY HAVE FORSAKEN THE LORD, They have provoked to anger The Holy One [Jesus Christ] of Israel, They have turned away backward.
Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, And the whole heart faints.
From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no soundness in it, But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, Or soothed with ointment.’”
Indeed, when tragedies occur – we erect a memorial! May I suggest you read ‘Memorials to US Tragedies Often Reinforce a Self-Serving Narrative’ to understand what I mean here.

God warns of coming disaster on the house of Israel:
“’ Your country is desolate, Your cities are burned with fire; Strangers [illegal immigrants (?)] devour your land in your presence; And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.’” – Isaiah 1:4-7.
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 Wake Up and Return To Our GOD! by Herbert W. Armstrong.
● Announcements (if any) and one hymn.
● Sermon. The one suggested is My People Are Destroyed By Fake Truth by 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

The Apostle Paul admonishes us:
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ [our holy Messiah] with Belial [another name for Satan the devil]? Or what part has a believer [a true Christian] with an unbeliever?
And what agreement has the temple of God [the spiritually begotten children of God] WITH IDOLS?”
And I ask the question – can celebrities become an idol to God’s elect!? (See: Matthew 24:24).
“For you are the temple of the living God.
As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.’
Therefore ‘COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM And BE SEPARATE, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.’ ‘I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty’” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
God the Father and Jesus Christ are saying this to us NOW!

Indeed, friends, many celebrities can do great things for their people, their country, and individuals. Yet, it is clear that Christians are NOT to represent God with icons or idols!

The following verses concern Paul and his writings on this subject:
“Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols …”
And indeed an idol can be defined as a worshipping of the gifts in place of the Gift-Giver Himself. An object, a job, our family, a minister, or celebrity, etc.
“ … Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, … ‘God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.’” – Acts 17:16, 22, 24-25.
“Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man …” – Romans 1:22-23.
“But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is … an idolater … - not even to eat with such a person” – 1 Corinthians 5:11.
“Do you not know that … idolaters … will NOT inherit the kingdom of God” – 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10.
“And do not become idolaters as were some of them … Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry” – 1 Corinthians 10:7, 14.
“Therefore put to death your members … covetousness, which is idolatry” – Colossians 3:5.
Friends, Paul is crystal clear, true Christians do not have idols, and there are to be NONE within the Church of God. Idolatry is the work of the flesh, and true Christians are to turn from any idols to the living God.

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

P.S. Also friends, I warn you of the rise of ‘Chrislam’ – the merging of Islam with Christianity – which is emerging on the world scene!

Early true Christians did NOT seek unity with those who are heretical or not Christians – instead, they denounced those views. Those who try any form of Chrislam will be destroyed by Almighty God and Jesus Christ! Islam adamantly rejects the deity of Jesus Christ. The Qur’an declares the very idea that Jesus is God as blasphemy (5:17). The two religions are absolutely not compatible, something all true Christians should vehemently reject!

Indeed, while we are to be nice to all, and to love all men (cf. Colossians 3:14; 1 John 4:7-8) – including Muslims – actual and political Chrislam is not the answer!

Friends, we do truly love Muslims – for whom Jesus Christ also died – and we proclaim to them in no uncertain terms the glorious Word of God, the Truth of God, and the ultimate Plan of God (the gospel of Christ) as Paul did to the Jews – Acts 18:4-5.
Be sure to visit us at our main web site - 

Dimash in NYC - More of the Story (Sermon)

The Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ is proud to announce our latest sermon from our YouTube and Godtube channels:


More of Michael C. Garrett's The Rest of the Story. Michael C. Garrett is a most-listened-to personality. Thousands of listeners have listened to his 'The Rest of the Story' sermon of this miraculous meeting of the great and "best singer ever" from Kazakhstan - Dimash Kudaibergen. Now, in this More of the Story, you'll surely enjoy the continued chronicling of events which led him to a personal meeting with Dimash on December 10th, 2019.

Here is a link to this sermon - More of the Story

Additional items of interest:

End-Time Prophets - a seven-part series (Part 4)Greetings friends. Welcome to Owensboro, Kentucky and the weekly church service of the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ. We are so glad that you have decided to spend some time with us. [...]
Dimash in NYC - The Rest of the StoryJust like Paul Harvey would pause for effect - "Hello Friends, This is Michael C. Garrett! Stand byyy for the Rest of the Storyyy!"
The Work of God's HandWhat if there was no Earth!? What if there was no Moon, no Sun, no planets, no solar system – would time actually exist!? [...]

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Dimash in NYC - The Rest of the Story (Sermon)

Greetings dearest friends, the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ is very pleased to announce our latest sermon via our YouTube and Godtube channels:


Just like Paul Harvey would pause for effect - "Hello Friends, This is Michael C. Garrett! Stand byyy for the Rest of the Storyyy!"

Here is a link to this sermon - Dimash in NYC - The Rest of the Story

Additional items of interest:

Dimash in New York City - our documented trip - Michael C. Garrett and Leonard Johnson documents their journey to the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York to present personally to Dimash Kudaibergen a handcrafted jewelry box as a gift of love from all Dears!
Letter to our Friends - December 17, 2019 - In this letter, I discuss the importance of realizing idolatry in one's life.
Humble Yourselves In The Sight Of The Lord (Sermon)Brother James wrote, "Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." - James 4:10. And on a personal note, this is the very meaning of the Day of Atonement! Here, Minister Michael C. Garrett takes us through dozens of Scriptures teaching this God revealed truth!

Letter to our Friends - December 17, 2019

Michael C. Garrett
Pastor and Overseer

Dear Friends:

Greetings from Central Florida.

We are continuing to reach people, not only within the “’ lost sheep of Israel,’” but also all around the world!

In this letter, I will mention a way in which we at the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ has been doing that.

Dimash In New York

Our posted “documented” trip to go see the famous singer Dimash Quadaibergen at his one-and-only ARNAU TOUR at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on December 10th, 2019 is doing very well! As of this morning, 47k people on our YouTube channel have viewed it! And, in just four days we’ve added 645 new ‘subscribers’ to our OCOJC website.

Do You Have An Idol?

Friends, I feel compelled by God’s Spirit to warn you of any idolatry in the Church. Surely one of the greatest sins in the whole of the Bible is the sin of idolatry. Idolatry is when we violate the first of the Ten Commandments – “’ You shall have no other gods before Me’” – Exodus 20:3. It is indeed when we put something or someone before – in our lives – the living God Almighty and Jesus Christ – and it is a root to breaking the Second Commandment as well as the others.

Friends, the Church of God – the Body of Christ – should never promote an “I,” “me” or a “my” message. Many ministers in this world have fed into the cultural idolatry of the people in order to attract more people into the church. This is indeed something that displeases God Almighty and Jesus Christ! (See cf. Ezekiel 44:10, 12). Many appear to use God when they need Him. I myself am gravely concerned with this “celebrity culture” which has been allowed to permeate into the churches of God, detracting us from Jesus Christ and His Word, His Truth, and His ultimate Plan! It’s possible – if not careful - to undermine the glorious gospel of Christ by focusing too much on “celebrity culture” and even the things we do in church.

Does becoming a worshiper of the One true GOD mean that we no longer have to contend with the grave issue of idolatry!? No, it’s just as prevalent today as ever!

Just as our forefathers, we are very capable of importing false gods – even celebrities – and giving them glory, instead of God Almighty and Jesus Christ – who rightly deserve all glory. A great example of idolatry can be found for us in Exodus 32.

The Prophet Amos was sent to the Kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Jeroboam II. Amos told the people that they were self-righteous and becoming complacent. They were beginning to pride themselves on being religious. They would sing hymns, keep the festivals, and would assure each other that God truly was with them. Yet, it was only an outward show. The whole nation had become complacent, greedy and selfish. Amos told the Israelites that they were no better than idol worshipers. Just making religious-sounding noises. Amos could well have been writing to our great nation who has indeed turned their back – as a whole – on God. And, of course, he was! But, he could have well been writing to spiritual Israel – the children of God today. And, of course, he is!

One of the worst episodes of idolatry for the Kingdom of Israel happened just a few weeks after God – known now as our Savior Jesus Christ – thundered to them His Ten Commandments at the foot of Mount Sinai. Aaron was left in charge as Moses had gone up the mountain for additional information – and was gone more than a month.

You can read about this moment of weakness by Aaron in Exodus 32:1-24!

Friends, once we start this path of compromising, becoming crowd-pleasers – and even in not wanting to offend a worldly religion for the prospect of gain – instead of pleasing God, events can oftentimes move faster than we can control. And, suddenly, we have found ourselves being cursed.

The Apostle Paul referred to this golden calf incident in warning the Corinthian Church against idolatry –
“And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.’” – 1 Corinthians 10:7.
This form of idolatry, brought on by a lack of faith, of frustration, of impatience, and compromise, indeed can afflict us all. Even though most of us would never deliberately fashion an idol, we could find that an idol – even in the form of a celebrity – can creep upon us. Satan our enemy places the glittering, appealing idols before us, just as he placed them before the first-century Church of God.

Our Lord Jesus Christ foresaw this end-time. He knew what troubles we as Christians would face and He gave this WARNING:
’ But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, AND CARES OF THIS LIFE, and that Day [the Day of the Lord] come on you unexpected. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth’” – Luke 21:34-35.
Here is God warning the children of God – don’t get too materially-minded, or even too “celebrity” minded! Watch that you do not forget God!

Examine yourself. Have you imbibed the spirit of this world!?

The angel (or messenger) from God warns all within the churches of God – it’s prophetic about certain church people in the end-time!:
’ These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword [that being Jesus Christ!]: ‘I know your works [I know what you’ve gone through], and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is [which is here on the earth]. And you hold fast to My name [‘you’ve not denied My name’], …’
But then Verse 14 – Jesus said, ‘I acknowledge, I understand you’re in a tough spot. You’re in a tough place to be called Christian, however…
“…’ I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, …’” - Revelation 2:12, 13.
It’s the concept of covetousness or greediness.

The Apostle Paul – under a great inspiration of the Spirit of God – says:
“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” – Colossians 3:5.
It says in Revelation 2:16 – “’ Repent, or else I will come to you quickly [an end-time prophecy] and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.’” – thus says the eternal Jesus Christ! You need to think about this folks! Verse 17 – “’ He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit [is attempting to say] to the churches. …’” – and to the individual.

The Church of God – the descendants which have flowed from the Worldwide Church of God – has often called the very core of right doctrine and of sound belief the “trunk of the tree.” Yet, if instead of clinging fast to the “trunk of the tree” as we so often have been admonished to do, we begin to chip off bits of the tree and begin making it look the way we want it, or compromising to the people of the world, we are making a terrible mistake! What we begin to get when we do that is an idol. Even though we think we still know God and His will, we have figured out our own way to do His will and please Him – the way that suits us.

God calls it idolatry! That is why John firmly WARNS the Church of God “Keep yourselves from idols” – 1 John 5:21.

The Second Commandment of the Eternal was not meant for another time or another age. It was given to save us TODAY from making mistakes that could keep us out of God’s Kingdom.

World News Items

Running rampant in the American news media is the impeachment process against the President of the United States, Donald Trump. It’s continuing forward at the same time that a trade deal involving Canada and Mexico is also moving forward (See: ‘US Attorney Durham objects to IG findings on Russia probe origins in stunning statement’ as well as ‘FISA report drops: 7 takeaways from DOJ watchdog's Russia probe review’). Friends the bias and hypocrisy in the American media and the politicians are sickening – to say the least.

NATIONAL repentance is needed. God’s living Word – the Bible – surely shows that the power of the United States (one who has the strongest military) will fall according to Daniel 11:39. Isaiah indicates that hypocrisy and or acting ungodly will be a major part of this great fall. Now, while political hypocrisy is indeed a problem all around the world, in the past decade the bluntness of hypocrisy in America is becoming ever more obvious!

While this nation probably will not repent, you can. Do not wait until it’s too late (cf. Acts 17:30; Zephaniah 2:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 5:3).

Various calls for the reorganization of Europe are going out. Many hope France will leave the European Union (EU) (See: ‘FREXIT – Is France Hurling toward Exiting the EU?’). Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban wants Europe to embrace his type of ‘Christianity’ (See: ‘Hungarian PM Says Only Solution to World's Problems Is Return to Christianity (Orban)’). A recent survey finds that about half of those in Italy are indeed looking for a “strongman” type of leader (See: ‘Von der Leyen in Ethiopia calls for EU 'unity' with Africa’ along with ‘Half of Italians want 'strongman' in power, survey shows’).

The Bible, itself, is crystal clear that EUROPE will indeed reorganize and unit and turn to a powerful leader/dictator once again (Revelation 17:12-13), and will also be connected to a “celebrity” Mother Church of the city with seven hills (Revelation 17:1-9, 18) for a short time (Revelation 17:16-17). Indeed, some version of what Prime Minister Orban has proposed will happen – yet Jesus Christ and His army will later destroy it (Revelation 17:14).

In New Zealand, a volcano that erupted killed several people (See: ‘New Zealand volcano: Five dead and eight missing after eruption’ along with ‘Up to 13 feared dead in volcanic eruption off New Zealand’). All those affected are in our prayers!

Suggested Sabbath Services

Here is a suggested Holy Day service for this week for our scattered brethren and friends:

* 2-3 hymns.
* Opening prayer.
* Sermonette (if you choose). The one suggested for this week is: Become Selfless by Carl McNair.
* Announcements (if any) and one hymn.
* Sermon: The one suggested for this week is: Repent For Salvation by Michael C. Garrett. (an additional article entitled Repent For Salvation is also available). Additional sermons are available at
* Final hymn.
* Closing prayer.


Concluding Comments

Friends, again idolatry. Idolatry is most dangerous when it is practiced in the name of Almighty God and Jesus Christ! Also, idolatry is an offense against the glory of God, because it seeks self-glorification other than Almighty God. Let us NEVER dare think that idolatry is something petty in the eyes of the Eternal.

In truth, God does not want to be represented by things or people. Christians are NOT to defile themselves with idols.

Friends, let us think for a moment – if money, material possessions, sex, self-importance, sports, music, family, or fun, or any combination of these are capturing your interest, your time, talents and energies MORE than anything else, it becomes the god you serve and worship.

Each of us MUST make certain that our time, talents, interests and enthusiasm are wrapped up in God the Father and Jesus Christ – and for Their glory – in our personal Savior Jesus Christ, and in the great purpose of God and Christ in the Work of the Eternal MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE!

Our personal weakness may not be so obvious – to ourselves, at least. But Satan has many devices – many means of getting every single child of God distracted from the great goal of the Kingdom of God.

There are some who are obsessed with money or making it. Or their desire to be important. Some idolize celebrities.

But remember – God is not the God of your life IF He has to step down occasionally to allow another “god” to reign. There is no place in God’s Plan for a second “god” in your life.
’ But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, …’” – Matthew 6:33.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” – Romans 8:5-6.
Indeed, LOOK TO JESUS! Look to Jesus, not any celebrity! LOOK TO JESUS!

Minister Michael C. Garrett writes:
“Galatians 5:19 - “Now the works of the flesh are evident …” - their obvious, they’re plain to see! It’s not a mystery. It’s not hard to figure out who is living the life patterned after Jesus Christ and who is living a life which is inspired by Satan the devil! It’s not a difficult thing to figure out! “…which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20) idolatry, …” – and once again, I probably said this before, but can you make an idol out of a man’s name!?”
(God’s Children are of the Light!).
And I ask and pray that all of you remain close to God the Father and Jesus Christ through prayer, through Bible study, through meditation. And through listening to messages which talk about the Word of God. And, I beg all of you, please examine yourselves – are you worshiping a man or are you worshiping Jesus Christ!? Your eternal life – your eternal fate – hangs in the balance of that decision.

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

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Wisdom From A Bulletin Board (Sermon)

The Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ is very pleased to announce our latest sermon from our YouTube and Godtube channels:


Very inspiring words from a bulletin board helped inspire this week's Sabbath service sermon. Words of wisdom.

Here is a link to this sermon - Wisdom From A Bulletin Board

Additional Items of Interest:

Get Wisdom (Sermon) - Under the divine inspiration of God - with the principle writer being King Solomon and WISDOM TAKING CENTER STAGE - the Book of Proverbs says: "'Get wisdom! Get understanding! [...]
The Treasure of Your Heart - Well, King Solomon was inspired to write many things about the concept we call wisdom. Back in Proverbs chapter 1, verse 1 he said, [...]
False Prophets Preach False Truth (Sermon)Friends, do you know what a false prophet is!? How would you recognize one if you saw one!? Or heard one!? [...]

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Letter to our Friends - December 3, 2019

Michael C. Garrett
Pastor and Overseer

Dear Friends:

Greetings from Central Florida.

November 28th, 2019 was the American holiday called Thanksgiving. We hope and pray that all our American friends, as well as our Canadian friends - whether they kept it or not – indeed gave thanks to Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is not of pagan origin. Here is an article by David J. Silverman in the Encyclopædia Britannica:
“Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people. … The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “Thanksgivings,” days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought. … Sarah Josepha Hale, campaigned for a national Thanksgiving Day to promote unity. She finally won the support of President Abraham Lincoln. On October 3, 1863, during the Civil War, Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26. The holiday was annually proclaimed by every president thereafter, and the date is chosen, with few exceptions, was the last Thursday in November.”
(Read More:
As Americans living in the United States, we learned early that our Thanksgiving Day comes from the group of people known as Pilgrims. As Christians, we are not required nor commanded to keep this national holiday. However, Jesus Christ Himself appeared to have kept a national Jewish holiday known as the Feast of Dedication – John 10:22-23.

Here is something Herbert Armstrong taught concerning this subject:
“How should we view the American custom of celebrating Thanksgiving Day?
The Thanksgiving holiday was established in comparatively recent years. It is, of course, not mentioned in Scripture — but the principle or attending and celebrating national holidays is made clear in Scripture.
Thanksgiving Day was established by the early colonists, not by any Divine authority. But this in itself does not make it wrong to celebrate with good fellowship. Notice the example of Jesus Christ. In John 10:22 we find that Christ attended the "Feast of Dedication," which was established by the Jews years before to commemorate the purification of the temple at Jerusalem. That day was celebrated on the anniversary of the day that the reestablishment or Divine worship occurred after Antiochus Epiphanes had been vanquished and the temple purified about 165 B.C.
Jesus' attendance at that annual holiday clearly illustrated that it is not wrong to attend or celebrate a national holiday established for an honorable purpose. There was nothing wrong with the Jews' celebrating the dedication of the temple and giving God special gratitude on that day. God led Esther and Mordecai to establish the Feast of Purim in commemoration of the miraculous deliverance or the Jews from bloody Haman (see the last chapter or Esther). …
What God expressly forbids is the observance of pagan festivals which were intended as deliberate substitutes for the plan and program of God. We are not to adopt in God's worship those customs which heathen used in serving their gods. But it is proper and fitting for national leaders to set aside time for the whole nation to give God special thanks for His unique bounty to this nation. …
But in the midst of the Thanksgiving season, let’s not neglect Paul’s command in Ephesians 5:20 to “give thanks always.” Let’s not make a mockery of God’s special blessings to this nation.”
(Letter 930; 1959).
Let us, friends, always give praise and thanks to Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ for blessing us with the understanding of Their Plan of salvation. We should be thankful for being a part of those chosen in this age.
“Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name” – Psalm 30:4.
“Rejoice always, 17) pray without ceasing, 18) in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
Giving thanks to GOD for blessing us physically and spiritually, and having the opportunity to grow in Their grace and knowledge – the purpose of life itself and of God’s Way of life, of the glorious sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and for the opportunity for immortality and of eternal life which They have given to us is certainly very appropriate. Let us, friends, always be thankful for the understanding of GOD’s great Plan of redemption for mankind and the coming establishment of the Kingdom of God upon this earth for peace, abundance, and prosperity.

Friends, despite the very fact that God the Father and Jesus Christ will come along with the myriads of his holy ones [the holy saints of God], “to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him” (Jude 14. See also 1 Enoch 1:9), They do have a Plan to bring peace and prosperity to this planet! (See: Notes Concerning the Day of Atonement – Prophetically the Day of the LORD) and will offer salvation to all (See our sermon Salvation OFFERED To All).

Now, if one has a problem of conscience in celebrating Thanksgiving Day – then don’t. But, always give thanks and praise to Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ!

Mystery of Salvation

Friends, additionally, for this week’s suggested Sabbath service, I suggest downloading our free online pdf article Notes Concerning The Feast of Tabernacles And The Last Great Day.

Here is the main point I am emphasizing which the 29-page article goes into:
“Revelation 10:7 – Now I’ve been saying for a long time. And for many of the times I have said it, the people to whom I have spoken to, simply did not understand what I was saying. Question is: When is the resurrection of the saints!? Now, I want you to understand that the WCG said that the resurrection of the saints would NOT occur until the SEVEN SEALS were over, and the SEVEN TRUMPETS were over, and the SEVEN PLAGUES were over, and sometimes – they weren’t really sure - but sometime in there, the resurrection of the saints would occur. They actually said the seventh of the plagues was somehow the extension of the seventh trump. I don’t know, they really stretched the Scriptures on that one. “...the mystery of God would be finished, ...” And that mystery is that mortal human beings would one day enter into FULL sonship and daughtership into the Kingdom of God, into the Family of GOD. THE SEVENTH TRUMP IS THE MOMENT OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE SAINTS! The FIRST resurrection!”
The short article, itself, is still in a draft form, and while it can be read online, it is likely not going to be the finalized version.

World News Items

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that Europe is unable to defend herself and stated that Germany would spend even more on her military (See: ‘Merkel vows to hit 2% NATO spending target 'by early 2030s'). Now, there are some in the United Kingdom which continue to discourage a united European military (See: ‘Weak EU faces Macron military takeover and NATO split, writes Brigadier Geoffrey Van Orden’). They are claiming that it is more or less impossible to predict how the story will play out. Nein, biblically it is NOT impossible to know how the story will play out. Ultimately it will end with a united European military force entering into ‘the Glorious Land (Jerusalem), and many Islamic countries shall be overthrown’ (See: Daniel 11:40-45).

This is what Minister Michael C. Garrett wrote concerning this:
“Revelation chapter 13 – after the seven heads and ten horns it says in verse 2 – “Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard … feet of a bear, … and his mouth like the mouth of a lion.” … The final installment of the “Holy” Roman Empire, as it were, would be a bit of all of these kingdoms. And then it says Verse 5 – “And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months [again, 3 ½ years].” Verse 7 – “It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8) All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life …”
(Prophecy Series – The Final Empire, Garrett, M.C., 2019, pg. 20).
“[E]arly on in Revelation 13, verse 2 we read about a concept which is called “the beast.” That refers to a reorganized and revitalized concept of the “Holy” Roman Empire. Countries in Europe unifying in the end-times.”
(The Mark of the Beast, Garrett, M.C., 2019, pg. 11).
Friends, Bible prophecy indeed shows us that the soon-coming final ‘king of the North’ (who is called ‘the beast’ in Revelation 13:4 – “…’ Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’”) will be in charge of a massive united European military force – ‘a great army’ – cf. Daniel 8:23-25. Here is a Roman Catholic, a Jewish translation, and a faithful New English translation – along with the New King James Version of this very prophecy:
“When the king of the north comes, he shall set up siegeworks and take the fortified city by storm. The power of the south shall not withstand him, and not even his picked troops shall have the strength to resist. … He shall call of his strength and cleverness to meet the king of the south with a great army; the king of the south shall prepare for battle with a very large and strong army, but he shall not succeed because of the plots devised against him” – Daniel 11:15, 25; Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Version.
“The king of the North will come and pour out a mound * and conquer a fortified city; the arms of the South will not hold out, his chosen warriors will have no strength to withstand [it]. … He will stir up his strength and his heart against the king of the South with a great army. The king of the South will confront him in war with an exceedingly great and powerful army, but he will not withstand, for they will devise plans against him” – Daniel 11:15, 25; The Torah – the Stone Edition.
“So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a siege mound, and take a fortified city. And the forces of the south shall not hold out, nor his chosen people, nor shall there be any strength to withstand. … And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army. And the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army [See: Revelation 9:16]; but he shall not stand, for they shall devise plots against him” – Daniel 11:15, 25; A New English Translation - Faithful Version with Commentary.
“So the king of the North shall come and build a siege mound, and take a fortified city; and the forces of the South shall not withstand him. Even his choice troops shall have no strength to resist. … He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South with a great army [this united European military force]. And the king of the South [a leader of an Islamic military confederation] shall be stirred up to battle [in a counter attack] with a very great and mighty army [200 million soldiers]; but he shall not stand, for they shall devise plans against him” – Daniel 11:15, 25; NKJV.
Friends, Europe will indeed arise soon a strong political leader (will it be Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg? Only time will tell) with great military strength (Revelation 13:1-4; Daniel 11:39-43).

We’ve all heard of the identified forces of nature: gravity, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear. However, a Hungarian scientist is identifying another fundamental force of nature – ‘dark matter.’ (See: ‘A 'no-brainer Nobel Prize': Hungarian scientists may have found a fifth force of nature’). Indeed, the Europeans have been working hard on aspects of dark matter on their Large Hadron Collider (LHC). They also want something even larger than their current LHC (See: ‘CERN Wants to Build a Bigger, Badder Particle Collider’). Could this scientific technology be used – eventually – for military purposes in ‘honoring a god of fortresses’!? (cf. Daniel 11:38).

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 Pray Not For This People.
● Announcements (if any) and one hymn.
● Sermon. The one suggested is The Rest Of The Dead by Michael C. Garrett. An accompanying free online pdf booklet is The Confusion About Death! (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

Here are some Scriptures of praise, joy, and thanksgiving to Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ:
“When I remember these things, I pour out my soul [my life] within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With the multitude that kept a pilgrim feast” – Psalm 42:14.
“For the LORD will comfort Zion [New Jerusalem], He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness will be found in it, Thanksgiving and the voice of melody” – Isaiah 51:3.
“The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say:
‘Praise the LORD of hosts,
For the LORD is good,
For His mercy endures forever’
And of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,’ says the LORD” – Jeremiah 33:11.
“For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, 10) night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?” – 1 Thessalonians 3:9-10.
“Rejoice always, 17) pray without ceasing, 18) in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13) although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief” – 1 Timothy 1:12-13.
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” – Colossians 3:17.
Let us, friends, be thankful for our calling! We all should be!

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

Get Wisdom (Sermon)

The Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ is pleased to announce our latest sermon via our YouTube channel and our Godtube channel:


Under the divine inspiration of God - with the principle writer being King Solomon and WISDOM TAKING CENTER STAGE - the Book of Proverbs says:

"'Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. 6) Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you. 7) Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore GET WISDOM. And in all your getting, get understanding. 8) Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. 9) She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you.'" - Proverbs  4:5-9; NKJV.

Here is a link to the sermon - Get Wisdom

Additional items of interest

The Treasure of Your HeartWell, King Solomon was inspired to write many things about the concept we call wisdom [...]
The Song of MosesGood afternoon friends. Welcome to Owensboro, Kentucky and the weekly Church service of the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ. [...]
Christ In You (Unleavened Bread - Day 6) - 2017 "VIDEO"Hello everyone! Wherever you might be, here in America or up north in Canada, or down in the Southern Hemisphere, or maybe over on the other side of the pond, or the other side of the world – wherever [...]

Monday, December 2, 2019

End-Time Prophets - a seven-part series (Part 4)

by Michael C. Garrett

Greetings friends. Welcome to Owensboro, Kentucky and the weekly church service of the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ. We are so glad that you have decided to spend some time with us.

Today is November 26, 2016. And most of us woke up this morning to the news that Fidel Castro, the long-time dictator of Cuba – the Marxist–Leninist – who took power in 1959 in a coup and has ruled that island nation with a strong hand died November 25th, 2016. He had to give up his control in about the year 2006 because of some health issues. Apparently, he underwent surgery for intestinal bleeding, and on 31 July 2006, delegated his presidential duties to his brother Raúl Castro. So, the Castro brothers have been in charge ever since 1959.

The announcement was greeted in so many different ways. Late last night the news spread in Little Havana, down in Miami, Florida. In Little Havana are people who – for the most part – with their families escaped Cuba. Or, came over from Cuba to get away from that island dictatorship. And, the people who were there last night – young and old – were greatly celebrating. And I mean celebrating his death.

And yet, the island nation itself – I saw a few pictures this morning – it was very somber and quiet. And you began hearing reports from different world leaders. And some of the socialist-type leaders were praising Castro – “This great man. This great leader. This epic figure of the 20th century!” And, even our own president (Barack Hussein Obama II) said, “history will record and judge” former Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s impact on the island nation.

Now that seems to me such a foolish comment. And I guess what Donald Trump tweeted out fits more in my opinion. He was not diplomatic. He was very bold and just said, “Fidel Castro is dead!” He was a dictator! He killed people, he put them in jail, he impoverished his nation! He caused untold misery! And, I heard this morning that Fidel Castro was responsible for mass murders. To date, the number of executions carried out by the Cuban government is still unclear but estimates range from 10,000 to 100,000 people. And, isn’t it funny – the people on the Left, they always try to portray themselves as being “open-hearted,” and magnanimous, and caring, and giving. And yet, they are the most intolerant people on the face of the earth! For the Left, you have to agree totally with them or somehow you’re just a terrible human being. And in some situations – not worthy of life!

But, “ding dong, the witch is dead!” And in this case – it’s Fidel Castro! And, all I can say is – good riddance to him. And, I just wish that someday the people of Cuba could live in a true democracy, true freedom, and have normal peaceful profitable lives. And I’m sure all those people in Little Havana wish that for their countrymen also.

But anyway – the world goes on!

Questions & Answers

Another thing I’d like to mention. We received four messages on our Facebook Page this week that I’d like to comment on.
1. November 22, 2016 – “I love this sermon. I have listened to it two times, and I’m listening to it again tonight. Keep up the great work Mike.” – Guy LaMar.
He was speaking of the sermon “End-Time Prophets – Part B.” An accompanying article entitled “End-Time Prophets - a seven-part series (Part 2)” is now available also. And, that was right after the election of President Donald Trump. Guy, we thank you very much. We appreciate those kind words.
2. November 22, 2016 – “End of time?!?!?!? Yeah, Okay! We were told in no uncertain terms that nobody would ever know the day, or the hour, and the return of God on earth!
’ However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows’” – Matthew 24:36; NLT.
Be weary of any talk on this subject.” – Greg.
Now, I don’t know who Greg is, or where he is from. But, my – he really needs to be careful what he says. First thing – ‘End of time’!? Well, the last articles have been entitled “End-Time Prophets.” Not, ‘the end of time.’ It’s not that we’re saying – “The end is near! Run to the hills!” Because, as I have said over and over – even in this series – 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. And, I presume – by that – as we get closer to the end-time, that we will begin to realize just how close we are. But, the whole purpose of this series is to talk about – whenever – the end-time comes. Whether it’s five years, seven years, ten years, twenty or thirty years from now. Before the end-time trauma and before the return of Jesus Christ – the Bible plainly relays that God would raise up a group of people who would have a very specific job. That’s what we’ve been talking about. But he said, ‘we were told in no uncertain terms that nobody would ever know the day, or the hour, and the return of God on earth!’ Well, he sort of got that right. But, let’s be accurate here. If you would turn to Matthew 24:36. Now, this is a verse that I know I have already covered in this series. Now, what is Matthew 24? It’s Matthew’s version of the “Olivet Prophecy” – which has been labeled by Bible students. The “Olivet Prophecy” can be read in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. And they all talk about the events leading up to the return of Jesus Christ.

And, it all begins by the question in verse 3 of Matthew 24 – “And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the [age]?’” And, Jesus Christ begins to give parameters on a time period where these things would take place. So, Jesus Christ is making it more clear when these events will take place.

But then, Jesus says over in verse 36 – “’ But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.’

Verse 37 – “’ But as the days of Nō´- ē were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.’

Now, there’s nothing in this passage – around verse 36 – as he implies, “be weary of any talk on this subject.” No, Greg sort of slipped the tracks – he went from one track to another track. Now, what he’s actually talking about – and I think what he’s attempting to refer to – is what Jesus said in verse 21. “’ For then, shall be great tribulation …’ – terrible problems. “ … ‘such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.’ Verse 22 – “’ And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: …’ and as the Moffett translation says, ‘no flesh saved alive.’ “ … ‘but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.’ 23) Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.’ 24) For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, …’ – so, Jesus Christ is claiming that in the end-time there would be people who say they represent Jesus Christ – and they don’t! They are lying! They’re false prophets! And, He goes on to say that these people in verse 24 – “ … ‘shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect. 25) Behold, I have told you before.’

‘I have WARNED you about this!’

And then, He goes on to say, verse 26 – “’ Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He [Jesus Christ] is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not.’ - and, I think that’s where Greg got the phrase – be wary. He misspelled and mispronounced a word. He used a word that refers to you being “tired” as opposed to a word which means “to be careful.”
3. November 24, 2016 – “Man, you all are so stueid [sic]! It will never happen! This God you all cawl [sic] aliena [sic]. The joke is on all of you!” – Gary.
Now, I really don’t know what he’s trying to say. I think he’s trying to say, “This God you call God is an alien.” Well, you know, Gary, my replay to you is – I guess we all will simply have to wait and find out upon whom the “joke” is being played. Now, as far as me, all I know is what is in the Bible. Now, if the Bible is false – then I’m completely diluted and don’t have a clue of what I’m saying. But on the other hand, if God exists, if Jesus Christ exists – which we believe They indeed do – and if They inspired the Bible – which we believe They did – then They are telling us a completely different story.

Now, I understand that Gary doesn’t want to believe the Bible. Yet, there are so many Scriptures that demonstrate that his statement “it will never happen” is incorrect. And, I’m not quite sure what he means by “it.” Is the “it” that the end-time prophets will never exist!? Or, is he saying that God doesn’t exist, and therefore the return of Jesus Christ doesn’t exist!?

And, concerning Gary – and the people like Gary. I guess you can approach life in two different directions. One possible direction is to say – “I don’t believe in God, and I don’t believe in the Bible, and I’m going to make fun of and mock those who do.” Or, would you rather be gullible enough to believe that God exists, that Jesus Christ is alive, and that the Bible is Their inspired Word!? And someday you just might – because of your faith and belief – be told – “Welcome to My family! Welcome to My city! Welcome to My kingdom! A place which has been prepared for you, and people like you, from the foundations of the earth!”? I would rather take that chance!

And if God doesn’t exist – you’ll never know the difference anyway! Because, if God doesn’t exist – there won’t be life after death!
Read our free online pdf booklet The Confusion About Death! Today. You’ll be glad you did!

Wouldn’t it be better to live your life and to be able to say, “You know, I believe this is true! And someday I’m going to be allowed to see, to hear, and to feel, this great moment of being resurrected into immortality – into eternal life!”?

And then Gary will have to decide on whom the “joke” has been played.
4. November 25, 2016 – “Amen. Praise the Lord God Jesus!” – Leslie.
I love it! That’s a really good attitude there! Leslie, to you and to your household – to your family – may God bless all of you! You have an attitude which will be remembered by God Almighty and Jesus Christ – and someday, Leslie, you will be rewarded for your positive attitude.

Germany’s Merkel

Now, this article which I would like to read was in the USA Today on November 20th, 2016. The headline reads – Germany’s Merkel will seek a fourth term, face populist tide by Kirsten Grieshaber The Associated Press.

Now, this talks about some of the very things which we here at the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ have been talking about for a long time.
BERLIN — Angela Merkel, who has steered Germany through several global crises as its first female leader, said Sunday she will seek a fourth term as chancellor in elections next year, when she could find herself up against the anti-immigrant populist tide that has swept both Europe and the U.S.
“I literally thought about this decision endlessly … but I am ready to run for office again,” Merkel told reporters after meeting with high-ranking members of her center-right party. “I want to serve Germany.”
Repeatedly named “The World’s Most Powerful Woman” by Forbes magazine, Merkel, 62, has been cast by some as the last powerful defender of liberal values …
As opposed to conservative.
in the West following Donald Trump’s election as the next U.S. president.
The nationalist Alterative for Germany party, or AfD, could prove to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to her re-election. The party, now represented in 10 state parliaments, has aggressively campaigned against Merkel’s decision to welcome an estimated 890,000 migrants into Germany last year, many of them Muslims fleeing the war-torn Middle East and Africa.
Trump’s election and Britain’s vote last June to withdraw from the European Union have reflected, in part, growing populist and anti-immigrant sentiment among voters. Elections next year could also see a far-right politician become president of France, which has been beset by violence by Islamic extremists.
Merkel said she expects strong challenges from the left and right fringes as Germany has become more polarized.
“This election will be difficult — like no other election since the reunification” of West and East Germany in 1990, she said.
A date has not been set for the election, but it will take place sometime between Aug. 23 and Oct. 22.”
(Read More:
So, there are democratic parties – there are movements – inside both Germany and France that want to take a different direction in their countries. They’re not happy with the way that their countries are going. And, we’ve been saying this now – for the past three years – you’re going to see this happen! And in the end, those countries in Europe that are swinging far-Right are going down the road of certain increased militarism. And, sooner or later they are going to look upon the Muslim people of North Africa and the Middle East as enemies – and they will invade those Islamic countries. In what we call The Last Crusade. So, things are heating up! And, biblical prophecy is being fulfilled – and you can even read about it in secular articles.

What does the Bible say about drinking alcohol?

Now, another article comes from - and I am not out to offend anyone – the Jimmy Swaggart outfit. They appear here in Owensboro on the television. Now, the thing you need to ask yourself as you’re tuning into their channel is – will they be singing, shouting, or selling!? Because they do a lot of selling on their network. Now, they’re trying to sell their products and they’re trying to raise money – I do understand. This article is in their monthly magazine The Evangelist called “What does the Bible say about drinking alcohol?” by Dave Smith.

Now, this is the opening paragraph:
“Most Christians who believe that the Bible is the Word of God, agree that it is sinful to get drunk, but some do not know that the Bible teaches against the drinking of any alcohol.”
The article ends with the following statement:
Therefore, the Bible teaches Christians should not drink any alcohol.”
And he lists several Scriptures. One which he lists is Habakkuk 2:15.

And, Habakkuk – one of the so-called “minor prophets” – says:
“’ Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, Pressing him to your bottle, Even to make him drunk, …” – Habakkuk 2:15; NKJV.
Now, in the last article, we spoke of a miracle by Jesus in John 2. There is a huge difference between taking a drink of wine, or drinking a glass of beer, or drinking a margarita, and getting drunk! One beer does not equal drunkenness. Now, I know some people who can slam down about twelve beers, and it doesn’t seem to affect them. Now, I’m not in that category. But this passage is talking about being drunk. Not just having a drink.

And here is what sort of troubles me about the Jimmy Swaggart people. They position themselves on their television programs as they are the ultimate “not to be questioned” authority on what the Bible does and or does not say. That is how they present themselves. And yet, time after time I find them misrepresenting the Word of God they say that they’re representing. And here is a very classic case.

They say: “Some do not know that the Bible teaches against the drinking of any alcohol.” And that’s not what the Bible says.

Another one of the Scriptures he uses as a proof text is Matthew 24:48-51. And it says as follows:
’ But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ 49) and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, …’” – Matthew 24:48-51; NKJV.
Now, friends, it’s pretty clear what is taking place in this parable. You know – if you get to the point where you have lost hope, you say, ‘My Lord delays His coming!’ You really don’t care anymore what the Bible says, and now you just become a wild maniac – ‘beating, abusing your workers, and just eating and drinking with the drunkards’ – you’ve just become a big-time party person. That’s what Jesus Christ here is talking about! It’s about being drunk! It’s not talking about sitting down and having a beer – if you want to have a beer. If you don’t want to drink a beer – you don’t have to. If you don’t want a margarita with your Mexican meal – you don’t order one. But if you do want to have a glass of wine with your Italian meal – don’t feel guilty and that somehow God is condemning you.

And quite frankly, these people who are misrepresenting the Word of God should not be condemning you either.

Well, another verse he uses as a proof text. 1 Timothy 3:2-3. And these are the qualifications of a bishop – or a minister.
“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded [meaning, of sound mind], of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3) not given to wine, …” – 1 Timothy 3:2-3; NKJV.
Now, what does that phrase mean – ‘not given to wine’? Does it mean having a glass of wine is forbidden!? Or, does it mean – don’t sit down and drink the whole bottle!? Because there is a big difference. Having a glass of wine vs drinking a gallon of wine. There’s a really big difference! And, this very obviously means – don’t over drink!

Well, in a very similar passage – if you would turn to the Book of Titus. Chapter 2. Because Paul wrote these qualifications in two different sections. He wrote them in 1 Timothy 3, but he also wrote them in the Book of Titus. And you get some very similar phraseology.

Titus 2:1 – “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2) that the older men be sober [which means, serious minded], reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3) the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, …”

Again, Titus 2 plainly says – it’s not the drinking of a glass of wine which becomes critical, it’s where you sit down and drink the whole bottle! That’s what becomes the whole problem.

So, I saw this article and it irritates me that these people represent themselves as being the only people who know the truth of God. And yet in doing that they misrepresent the truth of God. And, that bothers me.

And The Evangelist reminds me of publications you would have once seen in the Worldwide Church of God. They’re well written, pretty, nice paper, nice color, with different articles. In fact, the Swaggart family reminds me so much of the Armstrong family – of which I have a lot of experience. A family where the father, the son, and now the grandson – acted as though they knew all truth! And that they and only they could give a judgment on what the Bible does or does not say. And again, there is just a tremendous amount of arrogance that’s bound up in that statement!

There’s another thing I would like to say. And I mentioned it earlier. If you would turn back to John 2. In the last article, we were talking about the miracles of Jesus Christ. And the very first recorded miracle which Jesus ever performed in public. And I think He did some miracles in private – can’t prove it, I just believe that.

Remember His mother comes to Him – they were at a wedding. Verse 3 – “And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.’ 4) Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.’ 5) His mother said to the servants, ‘Whatever He says to you, do it.’ 6) Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece.”

Now in the Authorized Version, it reads, ‘containing two or three firkins apiece.’ This is the only place in the Bible that the word firkins appears. The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible says that a firkin is “a measurement (about nine or ten gallons).” 1 Let’s just call it ten gallons.

So, a firkin is a measurement of liquid equal to ten gallons. And, each pot contained two to three firkins. So, to just round it off – each pot contained twenty-five gallons. And there were six pots. So, the amount of wine that Jesus Christ manufactured out of pots of water was equivalent to 150 gallons of wine!

Now, for the Swaggart boys to say, “some do not know that the Bible teaches against the drinking of any alcohol.” Well then, what was Jesus doing making by fiat 150 gallons of what was considered ‘good wine’?

Now, another passage. 1 Timothy 5.

So, this article in The Evangelist by Dave Smith, in which he basically says, ‘a true Christian cannot drink wine! – it’s a horrible sin!’ And we’re talking about a glass of wine, or beer, or liquor – whatever you call it. And, we’ve pointed out how Mr. Smith in his article misled the readers of that article as to what the Bible was actually saying. He misleads them! He is being extremely creative and trying to come up with a conclusion that is not substantiated by the Bible.

1 Timothy 5:23 – the Apostle Paul is speaking to this young man Timothy, who is like a son to him. And apparently, Timothy had some stomach problems. And he says – “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.”

Now, keep in mind that this is at an age – the first-century of the year of the Lord – when there wasn’t a lot of medical knowledge. And any remedy that you could get was more of a holistic or home-remedy. And Paul was advising Timothy concerning whatever he had to ‘drink a little wine for your stomach’s sake, and your many physical problems.’ So here, the Apostle Paul (and if anybody should know what they’re talking about, it would be Paul!) says to drink a little wine to help settle your stomach.

Well, Mr. Smith, I didn’t see you quoting this verse! I did not see you quoting the miracle of John 2!

And, I’ve heard so many of these types too, “Well, it wasn’t wine, it was grape-juice!” Which is an utter and complete lie! Again, the word wine in Greek is oinos. 2 And, as I said in the previous article – if you were to get on a plane this afternoon and travel to Athens, Greece and go to a restaurant – and if you ordered oinos – they would bring to you a glass of about 12 percent alcohol-induced wine. Indeed, it was wine! It wasn’t grape juice!

Well, so much for that.

Another thing from the last article – Jesus drives out an evil spirit. Mark 1:21-27; Luke 4:31-36.

If you would turn to the Book of Mark chapter 1. We were reading of another miracle of Jesus Christ. Also, keep in mind – the miracles that Jesus Christ performed we’re told in the Book of John, Jesus Himself speaking – ‘that someday, some of you people, will do even greater miracles than I have done!’ And that’s what we’re talking about in this series – the ‘end-time prophets’!

Mark 1:23 – “Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit.” – an evil spirit. A demon. And this demon cried out, probably was making a loud racket and disturbing everyone. Verse 24 – “saying, ‘Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are – the Holy One of God!’ 25) But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be quiet, and come out of him!’ 26) And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27) Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? What new doctrine [or teaching] is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.’ 28) And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.”

Now, miracles – remember we read in the Book of Acts – that this Jesus who was able to perform miracles, signs, and wonders proved that He was indeed the Son of God – the Servant of God! And so here’s another miracle which astounded the people who saw it. And again, keep in mind – the ‘end-time prophets’ – which are not yet; again are they three years away, seven years away, ten, twenty, or thirty years away!? I don’t know, I can’t tell you. Because we have not yet been told – we, the end-time servants, can look forward to sometime witnessing these people perform great miracles, signs, and wonders!

And, as I said in the last article - if, in your lifetime, you happen to come across a demon-possessed person who is directly confronting you – I suggest strongly that you do not take it upon yourself to tell the demon to “come out” of there. I strongly suggest that you simply say, “The Lord Jesus Christ rebuke you!” And let Jesus do the work. Because if you don’t you may end up in a whole lot of hot water. Because the demon may just really not care about who you are. As there is an example for us in Acts 19.

Acts 19:13 – “Then some of the itinerant [a person who travels from place to place] Jewish exorcists …” 3 - now my margin says, “witch doctors.’ Sort of self-proclaimed spiritualists. “ … took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, ‘We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.’ 14) Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.”

So, these are the sons of a high priest of the temple elite. So, they were impressed with themselves – believing themselves to be temple ‘royalty’ themselves.

Verse 15 – “And the evil spirit answered and said, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?’” – and I got a feeling that in the original conversation there were some added obscene words to that last phrase – like ‘Who the hell are you!?’

Verse 16 – “Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them [all seven of them!?], overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” – this demon-possessed man whipped their ass! He thrashed them, he shredded their clothes, and chased them out of the house – probably in pure terror!

Do not discuss religion or politics?

Now, there’s a very old adage – in our culture – and I guess within the last twenty or thirty years I’ve heard a lot. And, I can’t remember hearing it when I was twenty or thirty, yet, here within the last two or three decades you hear it a lot. It goes, “Do not discuss politics or religion in general company.” 4 And often it is said in the context of, “don’t bring up the subject.”

Now, that’s odd because America was founded by people sitting around – maybe on their job site sipping tea – discussing politics. And finally, enough discussion took place that back in 1775 Edmund Burke presents his 13 articles to the Westminster Parliament! The American colonists decided they no longer wanted to be under the heavy hand of King George III of the United Kingdom. And a movement was started and inflamed, and before it was over, the American Revolutionary War came about! And before it was over America announced her Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776! And, from the miracles of God, the American colonists defeated the greatest military and naval power in the world at that time. Now, it never should have happened! But, with God’s blessing – it did!

But, if everyone just sat around going, “I don’t want to say anything because I might upset somebody!” If everyone had done that, we would be saluting Queen Elizabeth II! Well, quite frankly, the world probably would not have survived the anguish and tyranny of World War I and World War II!

Yet, that’s what we say in our culture today – “Do not discuss politics or religion in general company.”

Well, if you want to know the truth – that phrase is actually a form of what we call now “political correctness.” Do you know what “political correctness” is!? It’s when another group of people, or a mass of people, or a movement of people, decide – ‘we’re going to tell the American people what they can say and what they can think.’ And they must not deviate from what this big mass tells them to. Well, friends, I contend that that is totally un-American! And I think it’s W R O N G! And I do not subscribe to such a situation! And I don’t think the Bible does either!

Now, discussing politics, or discussing religion, is not the problem. The discussion is not the problem – it’s the manner or the style, the approach in which the discussion takes place. And the normal reason why people say, “don’t discuss politics or religion,” is because somebody in the group will become very hostile, or very aggressive, and end-up attacking the other side of the argument. So, it’s not the discussion that’s bad – it’s the manner that people perform the discussion. Now, keep in mind – we are to show respect to the people with whom we are around. And that’s godly.

If you would turn to Matthew 19:17.

So, if you would just follow the Words of Jesus, a discussion of politics or religion would not become a problem. I’ve had many discussions in my life with people who were a part of other religious bodies or doctrines or ideas. And I have never got into an argument with a single one of them. And every time I’ve had this discussion I have tried to be polite, and respectful. And in doing that – I have learned a lot!

Now, several years ago on Christmas Day, I was the one who got invited against his will to the home of a Mormon family where there were roughly thirty-three of them and one of me! And friends, we talked religion – because they wanted to. We spoke about religion for about nine or ten hours!

And I not once became disagreeable or insulting. The only thing I did was take their ammunition away from them early – through the grace of God – and said, “Alright, you want to talk religion!? We’ll talk, but I have one ground rule. The only authority which we can quote is the Word of God! No other books, publications, or ideas. It must come from the Word of God!” And early on – to their great chagrin – they agreed. And once they agreed, I had them!

And Redge – the mother of the family; great woman, fun, spirited, just a great human being, and I look forward to seeing her again at the ‘great white throne judgment’ – leaned over to me in the course of that dinner and said, “Well, Mike, do you feel outnumbered!?” And I played along – she had a little twinkle in her eye – I looked around as if I was counting and said, “Redge, by my quick accounting, there’s about thirty-three of you and one of me. But there’s not a problem. I’ve got you outnumbered!” And she laughed – as if to say, ‘I love your enthusiasm!’

And then, during the halfway mark, she again leaned over and said, “You weren’t kidding were you!?”

“About what!?” I answered.

“You weren’t kidding about having us outnumbered.”

“Oh no, I wasn’t kidding at all!”

I was very serious. Because I had on my side the Word of God! And I knew how to ‘rightly divide’ the Word of God. And I had the help of Jesus Christ, having the mind of Christ with me. And so I took them all on!

And Papa Nelson blew his top! I mean he just flat lost it! And he stood up red-faced and he clenched his giant fist and slams it on the table and said, “I don’t care about the Word of God! I care only about my bishop! And what he says!” - talking about the leader of the Mormon Church – Boyd K. Packer – at that time. “And, as long as I am doing that – that’s all I have to know!” And then he stormed out of the room.

And after about nine or ten hours the house was empty except for me. I shewed the people out of their own houses! Because one by one they left – they couldn’t take it.

You must have respect for the people you are talking to. I have some Catholic friends – and every-so-often we will talk religion. But I’m very respectful of what I say to them. And I try not to say the things which will inflame their passions. And I try to approach it from a very academic and intellectual viewpoint. And again, I will say, “The Word of God says, …” And on several occasions, I’ve had my Catholic friends say, “But, my priest says the following …” “Fine,” I respond, “But that’s not what the Word of God says.” And then I’ll actually quote it and show them. And then they run off to their priest and two or three days later, they say, “Well, we’re gonna do it that way anyway.”

Now, everyone is entitled to their thoughts – especially in this country. We do have freedom of religion. If you have a Baptist friend – they have a right to be a Baptist. And, if you have a Pentecostal friend – they have a right to be Pentecostal. If they’re Catholic – they have the right to be Catholic. If they’re a republican - they have the right to be a republican. And, if they’re a democrat - they have the right to be a democrat. Or a libertarian or whatever else. And, they need to be shown that respect.

So, have your discussion based upon respect and logic.

“So He said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.’ – now, I guess, Jesus as He was a human being felt a little inferior to God the Father. He says, ‘there’s only One ultimate holy Being right now, and that’s God the Father.’ “ … ‘But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.’

Verse 18 – “He said to Him, ‘Which ones?’ Jesus said, ‘‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19) ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’’ – so, what is He quoting here!? He’s quoting the Ten Commandments as we find back in the Books of Deuteronomy and Exodus!

Have the Ten Commandments been replaced by some new commandment? Have they been "nailed to the cross"? Have only part of the Ten Commandments been approved in the New Testament? Have some been altered or changed? Here is the surprising answer from God's inspired Scriptures. 

Minister Michael C. Garrett's 20-part series - The Eternal Relevancy of the Ten Commandments.
Matthew 22:35 – again a very similar passage. “Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36) ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ 37) Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38) This is the first and great commandment.’ – or, rather, divine principle. Verse 39 – “’ And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ – RESPECT! Verse 40 – “’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’

He’s saying that the totality of the Bible can be summarized in these two ideas. ‘Love the LORD with all your heart, mind, and soul. And, love your neighbor as yourself.’ Again, RESPECT!

If you would, Matthew 7 – we see where this idea is represented by Jesus Christ Himself. Verse 12 – “’ Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.’ – this is the so-called ‘Golden Rule.’

Now, keep in mind – what are we talking about!? Can you discuss religion and politics in public? Sure you can. But you have to do it in a spirit of respect. You can’t just start making fun of people and tearing their ideas down and then embarrassing them and trying to intimidate them. You’re nothing more than a bully – if you do that. But if you have a respectful discussion, and an intellectual academic discussion – sure you can talk about those things.

Matthew 5:44 – “’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.’

So, what Jesus is saying – I’m going to paraphrase it – when others are disrespectful to you, try to be respectful to them. Even in the face of their disrespect.

Romans 13 – Paul gets in on this subject. Verse 8 – “Owe no one anything except to love one another, …” – to be respectful to one another. “ … for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9) For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in the saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 10) Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Yes, we are to be very respectful.

Now, I guess that’s why I have a little trouble with that “unofficial” leader of the ICG down in Tyler, Texas. Anytime a person or a group of people disagrees with him or his idea he can become just violently disrespectful. He will trash them, and mock them, and make fun of them. He is the antithesis of someone who is supposed to ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ He has very little respect for anyone – other than himself.

Galatians 5:13 – “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; …” – religious freedom. “ … only do not use liberty …” – or that freedom “ … as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14) For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [one phrase], even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Indeed, these are powerful thoughts! And, these are thoughts we need to think about – at all times!

Also, Romans 14:13 – “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, …” – and the word judge has the connotation of condemning. “ … but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.”

Now, I would contend that when you are on the telephone and you tell somebody, “I’m going to do everything within my power to destroy you and the church in Owensboro!” I have a feeling that you have not read this verse nor have you understood it – and you are not living by it! It’s not our job to go out and to destroy a Baptist, a Pentecostal, a Methodist, a Catholic. As I said, I’ve had many conversations with people of various religions. And, I normally approach it from a curiosity standpoint – I’m trying to figure out what they believe and why. I want to know the why. Why do you teach that!? Why do you believe that!? Where does it come from!? And here’s what I have found so many times – most people don’t know how to explain their own religion.

Well, people can disagree, without being disagreeable. And here – in our days following the US presidential election – our nation is just all torn up! The liberals are all just having crying fits! They’re angry, they’re lashing out, protesting, yelling, and calling people names. It’s really difficult to understand. Well, if you have a friend or a family member who voted for the other person – don’t be disrespectful. I would ask – why did you vote for that person.

Ephesians 6:18 – “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all saints – 19) and for me …” – Paul is saying, ‘pray for me.’ “ …that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.”

That was Paul’s attitude. He wasn’t going to be a shaking little rabbit – he was going to be bold like a lion roaring it out!

If you would turn to Acts 4 – and I believe we’ve covered some of these verses in earlier articles. Acts 4:13 – “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”

Verse 29 – “’ Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30) by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy [Son] Jesus.’”

And that’s what the end-time prophets are going to do.

Verse 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.”

Not timid. Not scared. Not intimidated. Boldness – and I believe that God’s servants should be that way!

And, as far as getting an answer. You should not go around knocking on people's doors. However, if somebody asks you a question, don’t curl up into the corner in a fetal position like you’re afraid to talk. Stand up tall, throw your shoulders back and look them in the eye and tell them exactly what needs to be said – with kindness, love, and respect. But don’t be ashamed of the Word of God. Don’t be ashamed of Jesus Christ – of the very Plan of God.

1 Peter 3:15 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear [and respect].”

Always be ready to give an answer! Don’t go, “Well, that’s private, and I just don’t want to talk about it.”

Look at Revelation 3. As far as people who can’t make up their minds, what did Jesus say to a church group in the first century A.D.?

Revelation 3:15 – “’ I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16) So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.’

And what Jesus is saying – ‘I wish you had some boldness to you!’ ‘I wish you had some courage!’ Remember, courage is nothing more than another word for faith.

Matthew 12. You’ve got to be aware of what you stand for and at some point, you’ve got to be willing to stand up and make a stand! So, keep this in mind – Matthew 12:36 – “’ But I say to you that for every idle word [every act or thought] men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37) For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.’

And if you are ashamed of the Words of Jesus Christ, He says that He will be ashamed of you! And yet if you are bold – I have a feeling that Jesus will stand with you and by you forever! You have to be ready to stand up for what you believe.

Again, I’m not speaking about being hostile, or disrespectful. But you have to be able to stand your ground and say, “This is what I believe!”

Romans 14:10 – “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? …”

Woe “unofficial” leader of the ICG – you need to hear these words! “I’m going to do everything within my power to destroy you and the church in Owensboro!” Why did you do that!? Why was that your approach!?

“ … For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 12) So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” – and who you are and what you believe and the courage that you have to do that!

2 Corinthians 5:10 – “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body [in their life], according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

I would rather stand before the judgment seat of Christ and have Him say, “Mike, you were bold. You were a warrior. You didn’t back down, but you didn’t do it with meanness or hatred. You simply stood by My Word and My record and My Truth! And for that, I AM proud of you! Well done My good and faithful servant!” That’s what I would like to hear someday. But for some – remember Peter, after Jesus was arrested, Peter goes all scaredy-cat. Remember he was asked, “Well, weren’t you with Jesus!?” And he says, “Oh no, I never knew the man!” And, he even went into this torrid of cursing! Peter wasn’t nearly as brave as he thought he was. Now, later, after he has God’s Spirit he was brave, and he was bold.

But friends, when it comes to discussing politics or religion always be respectful to the people to whom you are speaking. Don’t try to denigrate them or rub them into the ground. But at the same time – stand up for what you believe and boldly speak the truth. We should not be ashamed of what we believe! And, I hope all of you know what you believe. And I hope that you’re willing to stand up and fight for it – if you have to. Be bold. Be brave.

Be S T R O N G in the Lord your God! ■


1 #3355 metrētēs, n. GK: 3583 [→ 3358]: measure (about nine or ten gallons):-firkins [1]. The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Strong, James. Zondervan. © 2001. Pages 399, 3412.
2 In The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible “#3631 οἶνος, oinos, n. GK: 3885[→ 3630, 3632, 3943], wine.” Strong, James. Zondervan. 2001, pg. 3594.
3 The men belonged to a lower section of the class … representatives in Simon of Samaria or Elymas of Cyprus. They practiced exorcisms as a profession, and went from city to city, pretending with charms and spells to cure those who were looked on as possessed with demons. Many of these were said to have come down from Solomon. Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers. Exorcists - ἐξορκιστῶν exorkistōn. This word properly denotes "those who went about pretending to be able to expel evil spirits, or to cure diseases by charms, incantations," etc. The word is derived from ὁρκίζω horkizō, "to bind with an oath." It was applied in this sense, because those who pretended to be able to expel demons used the formula of an oath, or adjured them, to compel them to leave the possessed persons. Compare Matthew 12:27. Barnes’ Notes on the Bible.
4 “Do not discuss politics or religion in general company” is from 1879. The saying was further popularized by the Peanuts comic strip in 1961. The character Linus said, “There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people...religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.” Popik, Barry. “Never talk about religion or politics” (etiquette rule). 17 July 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2019.