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.
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