Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Letter to our Friends - January 14, 2020

Michael C. Garrett
Pastor and Overseer

Greetings from Central Florida:

It is a pure pleasure to speak with you today, and I want to thank you for your continued support and friendship. I had taken a short hiatus from the Letters to our Friends - but am back now.

Do you realize that we are approaching soon the 7th YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ attempting to initiate the Work of the Eternal Jesus Christ and to feed His sheep!? Our goal and our mission and our purpose - and this will be marked on everything we ever put out - is to follow the admonition of Jesus Christ when He stated in the Book of John - "'Feed My sheep!'" And indeed, nothing could have started smaller. 

Jesus said to His twelve original soon-to-be apostles, "'Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel'" - Matthew 10:5-6. Now, this is an end-time prophecy! And, even though the story began in about 30 AD, the story became a prophecy for this end-time. So, 'go you to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.' Now, think about that phrase, 'lost sheep.' Jesus said, 'feed My sheep.' And, in one sense the physical people of Israel are the 'lost sheep.' But in a more spiritual, more heightened, even more intense meaning, Jesus Christ might very well be saying, 'Go to the lost Church of God members.' Go to those people who believed they were in a good organization, they didn't realize that their leaders were corrupt and their teachings were impure - or highly compromised. 'Go to those lost sheep!' It has a double meaning!

So, please FAST AND PRAY for this! Pray for all our friends and brethren in this tremendous Work of Christ! Pray for Mr. Garrett and for me, as we pray for you - DAILY - FERVENTLY! Friends, let's not faint in doing good with great urgency and zeal!

Your prayers are greatly NEEDED
Dear friends,
We ask for your prayers for Don Everly, who is going into the hospital on the 28th for a biopsy and to run tests to determine the full extent.
Please pray for Don, and his entire family. Don is a faithful servant. We need him!
Do we have an idol?

Friends, if you were to flip through the prophecies within the Old Testament, you would see - at first glance - an excessive amount of the sin of idolatry, or rather the worship of other gods. Now, you might wonder - just how could that possibly apply to this 21st century Information Age (cf. Daniel 12:4). Well, worshipping grinning or leering idols are not really a major problem in this "enlightened" Western Christian-professing world - is it!? Yet, I note: I had watched last night What's Love Got To Do With It - and I never knew Anna Mae (better known as Tina Turner) was a Buddhist. So, there are those who worship a bald, overweight, jewel laden, grinning idol!

Now, the biblical definition of idolatry is nowhere near as constrained or narrow as that. If you put ANYTHING BEFORE God you are committing a form of idolatry. And the number one commandment is "you shall have no other gods before me." Number ten being "you shall not covet." The Apostle Paul said in Colossians 3:5 and in Ephesians 5:5 - 'that covetousness of physical things [including people] is a form of spiritual idolatry and is a sin, and unrepented of is worthy of death.' And so yes, the Ten Commandments have a more practical everyday physical meaning, but the Ten Commandments have a mighty powerful secondary spiritual meaning!

Covetousness is perhaps the major form of national idolatry in America. And covetousness rears its head in many ways in the United States of America. Take - as an example - TV shows such as American Idol or I Am A Singer (a Chinese TV-series), or even The Voice. Watch one if you get a chance. The contestants sometimes become so mentally incapacitated with lust that it's so very sad. They gibber, or their eyes bulge out, and gasping, they hug and kiss the shows host; they jump up and down at the prospect of owning a fantastic new sports car just on the other side of the curtain. "Come on down!" The lust, greed, the vanity is certainly palpable.

In the United States today, we worship people, automobiles, money, and the status which money brings - material possessions. The prophet Isaiah, under great inspiration from God's Spirit wrote:
"Their land is also full of idols; They worship the work of their own hands, That which their own fingers have made" - Isaiah 2:8.
In actuality, this grave manifestation of this modern idolatry is perhaps the greatest and most serious sin in the United States of America. We, again - thanks to POTUS Donald Trump - are claiming to be a Christian nation, but our greed, our conduct, belies this claim. Covetousness is eating away at the very inside of our great nation.

Let us friends not ignore this biblical admonition - "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. …" - Hebrews 13:5.

What about many of the leaders of the churches which has descended from the now defunct Worldwide Church of God!? Sadly, often, these people are some of the most unsatisfied and unhappy of all. Some of them so deeply desire more and more!

And once a person sinks in the mire of idolatry - unrepented of - they begin to lose contact with the blessings of God, and their sense of direction, and purpose.

Friends, the last verse of the last chapter of Judges states the nadir of idolatry into which a person can descend.
" … everyone did what was right in his own eyes" - Judges 21:21.
In other words, total self-gratification, self-righteousness, "doing your own thing," serving and being concerned only for the self instead of honoring, obeying, and worshiping the Eternal Creator LORD God.

So, idolatry, simply stated, is the glorification of material things (even including a person) and human ideas.

Now, with that definition, do you see idolatry being practiced around you!?

Valentine's Day - February 14th, 2020

While I have it on my mind - let me ask: If you are a Christian, should you celebrate February 14th as Valentine's Day next month!?

Let us be reminded of what the Apostle John was inspired to write:
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If ANYONE loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16) For all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of the Father but is of the world. 17) And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever" - 1 John 2:15-17; New King James Version throughout, unless otherwise noted.
Indeed, Valentine's Day is a worldly holy day (or rather holiday), essentially built upon the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. It will pass away. The true origin of Valentine's Day is outside of God's living Word - the Bible; His instruction manual per se.

Friends, let us ask ourselves - is the origin of Valentine's Day biblical or does it have a pagan origin!?

It's not that difficult to find out.

The online Encyclopaedia Britannica (Valentine's Day) says:
" … the holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine's Day."
Now, concerning this Lupercalia:
" … an ancient, possibly pre-Roman annual festival, observed in the city of Rome between 13-15 February to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. Lupercalia was also called dies Februatus after the instruments of purification called februa, which gave February its name. ... 
At the Lupercal altar, a male goat (or goats) and a dog were sacrificed by one or another of the Luperci, under the supervision of the Flamen dialis - Jupiter's priest. An offering was also made of salted mealcakes. … After the blood sacrifice, two Luperci approached the altar. Their foreheads were anointed with blood from the sacrificial knife, then wiped clean with wool soaked in milk - after which they were expected to smile and laugh.
The sacrificial feast followed, after which the Luperci cut thongs (known as februa) from the flayed skin of the animals, and ran with these, naked or near-naked, along the old Palatine boundary, … 
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
Now, also this pagan being named Cupid (a son of Venus) was also involved. According to a book I have in my library - Bulfinch's Mythology The Complete Texts - it states:
"Cupid. The god of love in Roman mythology (Lat. cupido, desire, passion), identified with the Greek Eros; son of Mercury and Venus. He is represented as a winged boy, carrying a bow and arrows. One legend says that he wets with blood the grindstone on which he sharpens his arrows."
(Bulfinch's Mythology, Bulfinch, T., Cupid - Dictionary and Index, Crown Publishers, Inc., © 1979, pg. 897).
And a very bold source writes:
"The church [speaking of the Roman Catholic Church] replaced elements of various love-gods (Juno Februata, Eros, Cupid, Kama, Priapus) with St. Valentine, an imaginary Christian. … By taking over some of the features of the pagan gods and goddesses, St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. … St. Valentine's Day can be traced back to Lupercalia, the Roman "festival of sexual license."
(; retrieved 1/14/20).
Now, does Valentine's Day sound like a holy festival to Almighty God and our Lord God Jesus Christ!? - or a holiday of lust?

The last source mentioned Juno Februata. Who was Juno?

Again quoting from the free online encyclopedia - Wikipedia:
" … an ancient Roman goddess, the protector and special counselor of the state. A daughter of Saturn, she is the wife of Jupiter and the mother of Mars, … As the patron goddess of Rome and the Roman Empire, Juno was called Regina ("Queen") and was a member of the Capitoline Triad. … The last of her yearly festivals was that of Juno Sospita on February 1. … Hence the community invoked the protection (tutela) of the warlike Juno Sospita, "The Saviour".
A holiday for the queen of heaven!?

What does God have to say concerning this!?
"' ... the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger. 19) Do they provoke Me to anger?' says the LORD. 'Do they not provoke themselves to the shame of their own faces?' 20) Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: 'Behold, My anger and My fury will be poured out on this place - on man and on beast, on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground. And it will BURN and not be quenched'" - Jeremiah 7:18-20.
"This says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: 'You and your wives have spoken with your mouths and fulfilled with your hands, saying, 'We will surely keep our vows that we have made to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her.' You will surely keep your vows and perform your vows!'
26) Therefore hear the word of the LORD, all Judah [and might I say all the house of Israel] … 'Behold, I have sworn by My great name,' says the LORD, 'that My name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah [or even in the house of Israel] in the land of Egypt [even spiritual Egypt], saying, 'The Lord GOD lives.' 27) BEHOLD, I will watch over them for adversity and not for good. ... [they] shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end to them'" - Jeremiah 44:25-27.
Indeed, even then, in God's own words, He was not happy with the people who wanted to worship the queen of heaven and He punished them for it! Will He not do the same (see: Hebrews 13:8) in the very near future to those who continue to worship the queen of heaven!?

Friends, no matter if this St. Valentine's Day is from the Feast of Lupercalia/Juno Sospita or even a little of both (which it probably is) it is NOT listed as one of the Lord our GOD's festivals (See: Leviticus 23).

The modern day practice of giving Valentine Day cards or asking someone to "be my Valentine" indeed appears to be a holdover of the ancient sexual lottery.

Modern secular scholars and historians understand this - shouldn't you!?

World News Items

Grave tensions between Iran and the United States have remained for weeks in the news (See: 'Iran Passes Law Labeling America a 'Terrorist Entity' along with 'Iran Fires Missiles at 2 Iraqi Air Bases Housing US Forces'). Indeed, the nation of Iran has escalated the situation! President Donald Trump has announced greater sanctions against Iran:
January 8, 2020
The U.S. military had advance warning of Iran's missile assault on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. forces, attacks that prompted a vow of new economic sanctions Wednesday from President Donald Trump.
Trump, addressing the nation, said no deaths or injuries resulted from the attacks. He said Iran appeared to be "standing down" and announced no military reprisal for the missile attack, but said "powerful sanctions" would be imposed until Iran changed its ways.
"Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism," he said."
(Read More:
The conservative Wall Street Journal reported the following:
January 8, 2020
TEHRAN - Iranian … Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed further retaliation for the U.S.'s targeted killing of an Iranian commander, hours after striking military bases in Iraq that house U.S. forces, but stopped short of threatening more military action."
(Read More:
The majority in Iran appear to have faith in a mythical one called the Mahdi that will be a redeemer of Islam:
"The Mahdi is believed to be a future Muslim world leader who will not only rule the Islamic world, but also the non-Muslim world as well. The Mahdi is said to lead a world revolution that will establish a new Islamic world throughout the entire earth. ...
The Conquering Of Israel
Islamic tradition pictures the Mahdi as joining with the army of Muslim warriors … The Mahdi will then lead this army to Israel and re-conquer it for Islam. The Jews will be slaughtered until very few remain and Jerusalem will become the location of the Mahdi's rule over the Earth."
(Read More: Antichrist Islams Awaited Messiah Endtime Bible Prophecy by Joel Richardson).
In the past, Iran's "Supreme Leader" said he is relying on the 12th Imam:
"Iran's ... leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei … has been heard to say that the coming of the last Islamic Messiah, the Shiites' 12th Imam Mahdi, is near and that specific actions need to be taken to protect the Islamic regime for upcoming events. Mahdi, according to Shiite belief, will reappear at the time of Armageddon. Selected forces within the Revolutionary Guards and Basij reportedly have been trained under a task force called "Soldiers of Imam Mahdi" and they will bear the responsibility of security and protecting the regime against uprisings. Many in the Guards and Basij have been told that the 12th Imam is on earth, facilitated the victory of Hezbollah over Israel in the 2006 war and soon will announce publicly his presence after the needed environment is created."
(Read More:; retrieved 1/14/20).
Iran is relying on a myth!

Now, contrary to the views of some, none of this is related to Ezekiel 38.

Let's look at what God's Word actually teaches:
"Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2) 'Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3) and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I AM against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. 4) I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.
5) Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6) Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops - many people are with you. 7) Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them" - Ezekiel 38:1-7.
Friends, this is speaking of the Millennium.

Minister Michael C. Garrett wrote of this. Revelation 20:7-8 speaks of this same time during the Mellinnium:
"Concerning WHY Satan the devil and his horde is released for a short season Revelation 20:3b … because immediately he goes out to the four corners of the world –  And will be DESTROYED. And dead bodies will be piled high when the “Great White Throne” resurrection occurs. ... Revelation 20 ... Verse 7-8 – to Gog and Magog (Siberia, China, Russia area) to gather them together to battle against the beloved city of God and of the saints. A THOUSAND YEARS OF PEACE WILL BE INSTANTLY SHATTERED WHEN SATAN IS LOOSED! It will demonstrate… people AFTER a thousand years, multiple generations (possibly 25 generations), they may hear people like you and me resurrected, many hundreds of years before, they may hear us say, “Well, you know when Satan lived upon this Earth, it was very difficult for people to obey God, because he caused so many troubles.” And after a while some of those people are going to say, “O’ come on! That’s like saying grandpa said he had to walk 6 miles to school through the snow. I don’t believe he had to walk 6 miles through the snow. It wasn’t that tough. It really wasn’t that bad!” Well, people will have become a little immune, or thick headed in their skull about that Message. And then at the end of the Millennium, when this horrible monster called Satan and his associates called demons are let loose, they INSTANTLY plunge the world into crisis again! It will be like, “See what I mean!?”
(Notes Concerning The Feast of Tabernacles And The Last Great Day).
Also in world news - Australia has been severely struck by a series of what look to be unprecedented fires! (See: 'Australia fires: Strong winds hamper efforts to control flames' along with 'Australia Calls up 3,000 Reservists as Fire Threats Escalate'). Friends, our prayers go out for all those affected by these fires and the extreme heat and smoke. And, also, as with fires, California had a great many lately - too! (See: 'California Fire Map: Easy Fire, Getty Fire, Hill Fire, Fullerton Fire, Riverside Fire, Kincade Fire Update as state battles 10 active blazes'). However, there still is not a national cry for repentance!

God's living Word - the Bible - WARNS that God often uses weather to send a Message. Sometimes its drought, sometimes its mildew, and sometimes its fire - here are some examples:
"'I also withheld rain from you [drought], When there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, And where it did not rain the part withered. 8) So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water, But they were not satisfied; YET YOU HAVE NOT RETURNED TO ME,' Says the LORD.
9) 'I blasted you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased, Your vineyards, Your fig trees, And your olive trees, The locust devoured them; YET YOU HAVE NOT RETURNED TO ME,' Says the LORD" - Amos 4:7-9.
"The LORD said: 'Surely it will be well with your remnant; Surely I will cause the enemy to intercede with you In the time of adversity and in the time of affliction. 12) Can anyone break iron, The northern iron and the bronze? 13) Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder without price, BECAUSE OF ALL YOUR SINS, Throughout your territories. 14) And I will make you cross over with your enemies Into a land which you do not know; FOR A FIRE is kindled in My anger, Which shall burn upon you'" - Jeremiah 15:11-14.
"'O house of David! [the house of Israel] Thus says the LORD: 'Execute judgment in the morning; And deliver him who is plundered Out of the hand of the oppressor, Lest My fury go forth like FIRE And BURN so that no one can quench it, BECAUSE OF THE EVIL OF YOUR DOINGS.
13) Behold, I AM against you, O inhabitants of the valley, And rock of the plain,' says the LORD, 'Who say, 'Who shall come down against us? Or who shall enter our dwellings?' 14) But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings,' says the LORD; 'I WILL KINDLE A FIRE IN ITS FOREST, And I shall devour all things around it'" - Jeremiah 21:12-14.
Let us pray dear friends that those in Australia and elsewhere will repent - as worse 'troubles' are ahead as so many continue to go in an immoral direction away from God Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Friends, very soon this world will experience the 'troubles' of which the LORD our God WARNED; and of which is also consistent with Daniel 11:40 - the 'kingdom of the North,' and the 'kingdom of the South':
"'For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows'" - Mark 13:8.
Suggested Sabbath Service

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: Put Away Other God's - by Garner Ted
● Announcements (if any) and one hymn.
● Sermon: The one suggested for this week is: Dimash in NYC - From Whence Come Wars?  - by Michael C.
    Garrett. Additional sermons available at:
● Final hymn.
● Closing prayer.


Concluding Comments

I just got off the phone with our good friend Don in Owensboro, Kentucky, and I had mentioned to him some concerns that I have, and he actually gave me something to think about. And, it truly has to do with Jesus Christ's command: 'And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

Turn with me if you will to Luke 15:7 -
"'I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.'"
Minister Michael C. Garrett wrote concerning this wonderful parable of our Lord - and it should truly give us much to think about:
" ... I started reading this story, and I saw this father in my mind’s eye. I saw his eyes, I saw his face. I heard his voice. And I realized deep emotional involvement he had in this. And I saw those two sons, just as clear as a bell. And it became very, very real to me! And I was deeply impressed by it. ...
I contemplated this for two or three days and thought: well, this may be the thought of mercy. The idea of mercy. Because this story is about a father who bestows mercy. It’s about a younger brother who is very unthankful, but then realizes that he needs mercy. And, it’s a story about an older brother, that was incapable of feeling merciful towards his own brother. The concept of mercy is tied up in all three of these people.
“Then He said: ‘A certain man had two sons. 12) And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me [my inheritance, give me all the money that is going to be due me. I want it now].’ So he divided to them [his wealth]. 13) And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country and there wasted his possessions with [riotous] living.’
14) But when he had spent all, [he wasted everything!] there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.’” – didn’t have food. Didn’t have a place to live. Didn’t have adequate clean clothing anymore. Verse 15 – “’Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.’” – he became a farm worker. Verse 16 – “’And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the [husk] that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. 17) But when he came to himself, …’” – I love that expression. ‘When he came to himself.’ When He finally figured out just how bad he had screwed up his life – ‘when he came to himself.’ We would call that repentance.
He finally began to understand just how corrupt and miserable he really was, and how badly he needed his father’s help. “…’he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger!’” – he said, ‘the servants of my father have it better than I do now!’ And he said, Verse 18 – “’I will arise and go to my father [as you say, with hat in hand], and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19) and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.’” – ‘forget that we even share the same bloodline, just hire me on as a worker!’ Verse 20 – “’And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him …’
“…’his father saw him and had compassion [had mercy], and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him [rejoicing!]. 21) And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22) But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best [clothing] …’
Verse 23 – “’And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; …’” – for he said, Verse 24 – “’for this my son was dead and is alive again; …’” – ‘I thought I would never see him again, but now here he is!’ ‘I’m holding him, I’m looking upon him! I have my son back!’ “…’And they began to be merry.’” ...
[Y]ou know, just a few paragraphs before we have the parable about ‘what man of you, having a hundred sheep, and one goes astray.’ That the shepherd would leave the ninety-nine and go out and venture just to find the one lost sheep. A chance to save him! And that’s what God the Father and Jesus Christ have done with us!! They found us out there in the rocks or in the swine trough, rooting with the hogs trying to get our food. And They had mercy upon us. And we in turn are to have mercy upon others."
(Read More: 
And friends, those others do include Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, Hindus, and even Islamists!  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.

With love and gratitude, in Jesus' Name,

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