Thursday, March 26, 2020

Letter to our Friends - March 24, 2020

Michael C. Garrett
Pastor and Overseer

Greetings from West Central Florida:

I personally have had family and friends visit our home and are completely beside themselves with this COVID-19! Fear, panic, closures of whole cities, great confusion and frustration has set in. It has been tribulation this week around much of the world because of the steps which have been taken concerning the Coronavirus which has gripped the world – known as COVID-19.


Because of widespread fear of this virus, the schools in our five surrounding counties are closed for students through April 15th. There are massive school closures throughout the United States, Africa (including Kenya), and in Europe (including Serbia). And, many countries have declared a “state of emergency.”

This past Sabbath, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held his daily Coronavirus update and had stated that he is considering his most drastic move yet: Moving certain people at risk to isolation shelters. This is already being done in many other states throughout the US. The economic, including debt, and the ramifications of these drastic moves related to COVID-19 are mind-boggling!

In our area here in Hernando County and other parts of Florida, along with much of the US, the grocery store shelves have been pretty bare as my wife discovered the other day when she was trying to buy eggs (it took her four stores to find eggs)!

Friends, real and imagined fear is spreading throughout the world like wildfire! And, in the case of the United States as well as throughout Europe, debt is increasing exponentially. And indeed, as asked in a post on my Facebook Page – Cities of Confusion! - What would bring about this prophesied ‘great tribulation’!? Why is the ‘great tribulation’ going to come upon mankind!? Answer: Because of the collapse of the economy. COVID-19 may be a factor that will help lead to the prophesied final end-time reorganizing of a European ‘beast’ power as foretold in Revelation 17:12-13.
“’ The ten horns [or rather a ten-nation combine or ten combined kingdoms] which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom yet, but they receive authority for one hour [a very short time] as kings with the beast [an end-time final United States of Europe]. 13) These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast’” – the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.
A great many counties throughout the United States of America have placed people under quarantine. And, now, everyone in France is to fill out a form in order to travel outside of their HOMES (See: ‘Covid-19 in France: Declaration form FAQ’).

Friends, although this grave curse is upon the world – COVID-19 – it is not the beginning of the prophesied ‘great tribulation’ to come upon mankind, it is, however, another opportunity for this world as a whole to take a long and serious look at itself and hopefully see the hideous monster that it has become. Maybe, just maybe, this world will repent and turn to Almighty God!

Now, however, as our Lord Jesus Christ said, “do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet” – Mark 13:7.

He also said:
’ These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’” – John 16:33.
’ Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom’” – Luke 12:32.
The Church of God is not lost! We understand that these events are going to come about. But we also understand that we have the greatest hope – we have the greatest faith. We have direct communication to the God of our fathers and to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! And so we don’t have fear. We’re not afraid of what this COVID-19 is going to bring about! Indeed, we are saddened by those who have died from it – yes. But we know it’s not the end – don’t we!?

Now, with all the quarantines and travel restrictions being imposed, what about attendance at weekly Sabbath services? Well, Mr. Garrett received a phone call this past Thursday from the manager of the Logsdon Community Center in Owensboro, Kentucky and stated that the policymakers of the center have determined that “no more meetings will be allowed to take place here until the Coronavirus scare is over.” Of course, our policy has always been, and still remains, if you have a contagious disease, you should not attend church services.

Now, as far as “social distancing” goes, church leaders in their respective countries and local groups should decide the relative safety of holding Sabbath services (though, as in Owensboro, some landlords and/or government officials are placing their own limits – the early Christian Church of God met in houses, and that is one thing which can be done – as Minister Michael C. Garrett is holding services at his home.

While we cooperate with government authorities when we can, we do not believe that government authorities should interfere with the ability to holy convocations or other biblical observances.

As the original apostles said, “We ought to obey God rather than men” – Acts 5:29.

So, indeed, we as Christians should, as an example, keep Passover next month. Though in some areas, it may be wise to have only a small group meeting together.

God’s Spring Holy Days!

Friends, in a few weeks, the Spring Holy Days will begin!

Passover – which is for baptized members of Jesus Christ’s Church – should be observed shortly AFTER sunset on the Gregorian Calendar date of April 7th. Now, many, continue to observe and teach a separate holy day ceremony on April 8th at sunset. Exodus 12:42 should properly be rendered, “it is a night of watching.” It does not establish a separate holy day, or holy ceremony to be observed on the first night of Unleavened Bread (Be sure to read “The Night To Be Much Remembered?”). Then, beginning sunset April 8th is the Days of Unleavened Bread which lasts until sunset April 15th, 2020.

Bud Offutt

Please pray for our dear brother in Christ, Bud Offutt, who has infections in his lungs and in his blood. Please pray for him and his family in this challenging, emotional, and sad time in their life. Father God, let them always be comforted in Your Master Plan of redemption. He has had health struggles for many years now.

World News Items – I’ve doubled up.

First – as has been rampant in world news – is COVID-19. Iran warns that the virus could kill ‘millions’ in the Islamic Republic. And, the Ayatollah Hashem Bathaei is the latest in Iran – on a list of senior Iranian officials – to have caught the virus and has died. Now, while publicly, Iran sounds like they want to reduce the cases of COVID-19, notice the following: “Iranian Official Calls to Deliberately Spread Coronavirus Worldwide to Bring Messiah”. Many Shi’ite Muslims (which is what most Iranians are) believe that a leader called Imam Mahdi will rise from a well after a period of great chaos. And, since this COVID-19 is causing great chaos around the world, some Shi’ites want to increase that chaos. While this supposed leader does NOT truly exist, God’s living Word – the Holy Bible – does indeed tell of a final end-time ‘king of the South’ which will rise to power and lead a confederation of predominantly Muslim lands in the Middle East and North Africa (cf. Daniel 11:40-43; Ezekiel 30:2-8). It could be possible that Iran – the number one terrorist nation in the world – may cause many of the ‘troubles’ our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ prophesied would occur in this 11:59 hour! – see Mark 13:8.

Also, and it comes to no surprise; for the POTUS has been known to say, “But I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal. And if the economy was good, it was good” the United States’ debt is increasing! President Donald Trump has actually gravely added to the already massive US debt – and the COVID-19 is adding even more! (See: ‘Treasury proposal: Deliver $500B to Americans starting April’ and ‘Americans Could Get Government Money Fast to Soften Coronavirus Blow’). Neither of these articles mentioned the already massive debt of the United States. Spending another trillion dollars we don’t have will only increase the US debt by that much. The Bible indeed teaches that at the appointed time of the end (Habakkuk 2:2-3), the highly indebted nations will be taken over and essentially be made ‘slaves’ (Habakkuk 2:6-8).

And also also, and this too comes as no surprise – the US President Donald Trump has upset the Germans by pushing his isolationism – “America First” agenda even further (See: ‘Trump's attempt to buy a coronavirus vaccine shows why big pharma needs to change’ as well as ‘'Not for sale': Germany has reacted furiously to Trump's attempts to poach German scientists working on a coronavirus vaccine’). Friends, millions of people all around the world are indeed waiting for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Yet, the majority believe that they will know what steps to take at the last minute to prepare (e.g. Christian preppers, which is a wrong and foolish attitude to have as a follower of Christ Jesus!). Notice what Jesus did teach in a parable about some people like that:
’ Then the kingdom [from] heaven shall be likened to ten virgins [meaning, one who is free from false religions] who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2) Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3) Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil [symbolic of God’s Spirit] with them, …’
Let us ask Father God and our Elder Brother to renew within us daily of Their Spirit – cf. Psalm 51:10.
Verse 4 – “’ but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5) But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6) And AT MIDNIGHT a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7) Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8) And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9) But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’
10) And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and THE DOOR WAS SHUT. 11) Afterward the other virgins came also [see Matthew 7:20-23], saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12) But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13) WATCH THEREFORE, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming’” – Matthew 25:1-13.
Surely, we are in the ‘beginning of sorrows’ spoken of by Jesus Christ (cf. Matthew 24:8) – sending a Message to all peoples, and especially end-time Christians to NOT BE COMPLACENT but to ‘WATCH THEREFORE’ – to WAKE UP FROM SLUMBER – and get their spiritual house in order!

Now, is the POTUS pushing his “America First” beyond anything which is proper!? Is trying to purchase a vaccine for the virus COVID-19 effectively telling the Germans that the United States of America doesn’t care if they live or die!? Whether that is true or not – the Germans didn’t like it. And the Germans are grievously angry about this!

And in other related news this week – some United Nations officials believe another major locust plague will strike again soon (See ‘Plague of locusts set to descend upon Middle East in time for Passover’). Let us all keep our brethren around the world in our prayers – many of our friends are in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and elsewhere.

In Turkey – tensions continue between Turkey and the European Union in regards to Turkey pressuring the EU by releasing/pushing out certain Syrian refugees near the Greek border (See ‘Turkey Tears Down Greek Border Fence: Floods EU with Syrians’ also ‘EU and Turkey agree to review 2016 migration deal’). Biblical prophecy is indeed aligning with Turkey prophesied to separate from Europe and align herself with the ‘king of the South’ for a short time (cf. Daniel 11:40-43; Psalm 83:5-7). Yet, it will be disastrous for Turkey – cf. Daniel 11:25-26; 11:41). See also our free no-obligation online booklet “TURKEY is going to betray HIS BROTHERS”

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 “Salvation OFFERED To All” by Leonard V. Johnson.
● Announcements (if any) and one hymn.
● Sermon. The one suggested is “Dimash in NYC – In Everything Give Thanks” 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 to SUBSCRIBE to our BitChute channel.

Concluding Comments

Minister Michael C. Garrett wrote:
1st Corinthians chapter 13 – we’ve read this before! But again, it’s one of those verses where you say, “Can I hear that too often!?” “Is there a point where I just don’t need to hear that anymore!?” Probably not. Verse 1 – “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not [godly] love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2) And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” – and I’ve often thought is there really a good reason for mountains to be thrown into the sea!?
I can’t think of many examples where, “Ah, I just think that mountain needs to go over there into that ocean!” If you had that much faith, and you did not possess godly love, your faith is simply like a wet bag of popcorn! You ever had a wet bag of popcorn!? It’s not very tasty. Verse 4 – “Love suffers long …” – it’s patient. And this is an issue which we in this age – this instant age of just go, go, go - I really think maybe we miss out on just the ability to be patient. “and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6) does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Verse 8 – “Love never fails. …” – well, that’s godly love, from God’s perspective. …
You might have a child that has done some thing’s wrong, but for most parents, they may be disappointed in their child, but they are not rejecting their child. They still love him, or they still love her. They still want to help them. Godly love endures. Think about all the people who say, “I love you!” And then they walk down the aisle at the wedding chapel, and then five-years later, “I hate you!” You get my picture. Human love, sometimes, doesn’t last very long. And any human love that does not last very long, is by its definition, not Godly love. Because, Godly love ‘never fails.’
Friends, let us ask Almighty God and Jesus Christ for His ‘godly love.’

In deep gratitude and love, in Jesus' name,

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