Friday, March 26, 2021

Letter to our Friends - March 23, 2021


Leonard V. Johnson

Dear Friends in Christ:

Greetings from the Central West Coast in Spring Hill, Florida.

As a reminder – the Spring Holy Days begin this month!

For 2021, the LORD’S Passover, or The Passover, Lord’s Supper, or Communion – whatever you wish to call it – is to be observed after sunset on March 26th. And the FIRST DAY of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is to be observed from sunset March 27th through sunset April 3rd.

The LORD’S Passover

Indeed, the children of Israel were specifically told to observe the Old Covenant Passover in the Book of Exodus. I covered this in the sermon “Behold! The Lamb of God!” – in which families were to take a lamb (or a goat), a male of the first year without blemish (Exodus 12:5), for a blood sacrifice (Exodus 12:3-4). The lamb (or goat) was to be sacrificed on the fourteenth at twilight (Exodus 12:6) and some of its blood was to be placed upon the doorpost of the family’s dwelling (Exodus 12:7).

So, those who took these steps instructed by God were ‘passed over’ from the death angel, whereas the Egyptians who did not do this were not (Exodus 12:28-30).

Our Lord Jesus Christ kept the LORD’S Passover annually (Exodus 13:10) – from the time of His youth (Luke 2:41-42), and throughout His entire physical life (Luke 22:15). The LORD’S Passover was (and is) observed on the fourteenth day of the month of the FIRST MONTH (Leviticus 23:5 – called Abib in Deuteronomy 16:1 or called Nisan in Esther 3:7). It occurs in the Spring season of the year.

Our Lord Jesus Christ changed the practices associated with it (Luke 22:19-22; John 13:1-17), and He also told His disciples to observe it (Luke 22:7-13). It is crystal clear in God’s living word that because of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, the killing of animals and placing their blood on an altar or doorposts is not required anymore (cf. Hebrews 7:12-13, 26-27; 9:11-28).

The apostle Paul – under the divine inspiration of God’s Spirit – teaches that true Christians are to keep the LORD’S Passover in accordance with Jesus Christ’s New Covenant instructions (1st Corinthians 5:7-8; 11:23-26).

God’s living word says that Jesus Christ “was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20) to be “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). So then, Almighty God’s ultimate plan of salvation – the redemption of all mankind – is shown to us through His Holy Days and His festivals, including our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ being “the Passover Lamb,” and was planned by God the Father and Jesus Christ before there were ever human beings on earth. This is one reason why the celestial bodies in the universe were placed there – to be able to calculate His feasts! (cf. Genesis 1:14-15).

The greater majority of the churches of the world indeed recognize that God’s living word does show that Jesus Christ fulfilled something associated with the LORD’S Passover when He was sacrificed. We find that His great Sacrifice was referenced in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15). The great LORD God killed an animal and made for them “tunics of skin” – was this animal a lamb or a goat (Genesis 3:21)!? We also see this principle – that a blood sacrifice must be made for sin – when Abel sacrificed a firstborn of his flock, a lamb, (Genesis 4:2-4).

In the Old Testament, the LORD’S Passover pictured the deliverance from the bondage of Egypt per the LORD God’s intervention. Now prophetically this pictured, of course, looking towards the time when Jesus the Christ - the MESSIAH - would come and be the Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7), sacrificed for all mankind for the sins of the world (John 1:29; cf. John 3:16-17).

On our Lord Jesus Christ’s last Passover as a physical human being, He kept the Passover at the time of the late evening and told His disciples to continue observing it (Luke 22:14-19; cf. John 13:2, 12-15) on the 14th of Abib (cf. Luke 22:14; 23:52-54).

Our Lord Jesus Christ indeed changed several of the practices associated with the LORD’S Passover. He made the unleavened bread and the wine an integral part of the Passover (Matthew 26:18, 26-30), and added the practice of foot washing (John 13:12-17).

Now, despite the very fact that Our Lord Jesus Christ turned water into wine (John 2:3-10), along with the fact that the Greek term used in the New Testament (oinos) refers to fermented wine (cf. 1 Timothy 3:8), there are those which claim that it was grape juice – not fermented wine – that was used for the LORD’S Passover.

Indeed, true Christians are not to be “drunk with wine, in which is dissipation” – in other words, a dissipated living. A descent into drunkenness and sexual depravity – cf. Ephesians 5:18, NKJV. Only a very small amount of wine (preferably red wine) is normally consumed at the LORD’S Passover (I personally use only about 30 – 44 ml. About “a shot”).

Passover – On the 14th. Not the 15th

Sadly, there are a great many people who are confused about the date of the biblical Passover.

A few days ago I was invited by to join them locally for the Passover on the 27th of March. God’s living word teaches us that it was to be kept on the 14th day of the first month of GOD’S CALENDAR at twilight – which is a lunar calendar – (Leviticus 23:5).

In the Book of Exodus chapter 12, verse 6, God’s living word emphatically says that the lamb is to be killed “at twilight.” Now, The Stone Edition Tenach – the Hebrew Bible – of which I have in my library reads, “the afternoon.” The 8th verse says, “they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread …” So, between sunset and midnight the children of Israel ate the flesh of the roasted lamb. And technically, they had until the morning (sunrise) to have eaten it per Exodus 12:10. So, God’s living word is clear that the death angel ‘passed over’ “on that night” – Exodus 12:12 – the very same night of the 14th of Abib.

Our Master, Elder Brother, and Savior Jesus Christ was only to be sacrificed ONCE (1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 9:28; 10:10-14). Jesus Christ kept His final Passover (Luke 22:14-16) and was then sacrificed. He was removed from the cross prior to the 15th. Why!? Well, because the 15th was a ‘high holy day’ – John 19:28-31 – the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6). So, Jesus Christ indeed kept and fulfilled the Old Covenant Passover on the 14th of Abib.

The greater majority of those who profess Christ do keep some version of the Passover – though they have changed the name, the date, the time, the meaning, the symbols – calling it EASTER – after an East Semitic, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex. Hence, Easter eggs and bunny rabbits.

God’s living word is clear that Jesus Christ was (and is) “our Passover” sacrificed for us – “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” – 1 Corinthians 5:7; John 1:29, NKJV. And, that we are to keep the Feast with unleavened bread –
“ … Have you never heard the saying, ‘A little leaven 7) leavens all the dough’? The old leaven of corruption is working among you. Purge it out, and then you will be bread of a new baking. As Christians you are unleavened Passover bread; for indeed our Passover has begun; the sacrifice is offered – Christ 8) Himself. So we who observe the festival must not use the old leaven, the leaven of corruption and wickedness, but only the unleavened bread which is sincerity and truth [Jesus Christ]” – 1 Corinthians 5:6, 7-8, NEB.
Notice – the festival is to be kept with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth!? For the LORD’S Passover this year, I will be posting on our YouTube channel“Passover Service,” for the 14th of Abib. For the FIRST DAY and the SEVENTH-DAY of the Feast of Unleavened Bread this year, I will be posting on our YouTube channel two very wonderful sermons by Michael C. Garrett – “The Unleavened Bread of Sincerity and Truth,” and “The Unleavened Bread of Sincerity and Truth – Part 2.”

The apostle Paul truly understood that Jesus Christ was the Passover Lamb and had replaced and fulfilled the Old Covenant lambs which were sacrificed.

Under the divine inspiration of God’s Spirit, it was documented that our Lord Jesus Christ “took [unleavened] bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it” to His apostles to eat. He also likewise took the cup of ‘the fruit of the vine’ after supper, passed it to His apostles to drink a small amount. We – in the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries and affiliates – ask God the Father and Jesus Christ’s blessings, break and distribute the unleavened bread, and then ask for Their blessings on the fermented wine, distribute to His followers, and consume. Yet, the Roman Catholic Church – along with the daughter churches – no longer breaks unleavened bread. Instead, they use what is called a “sacramental bread” (often leavened; also called a host or wafer) along with (and it is often optional) “sacramental wine” (which the majority of churches, such as the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church, require that sacramental wine should be pure grape wine. Other churches of the world, such as the Methodist Churches, disapprove of the consumption of alcohol, and substitute grape juice for wine).

Just What About … “’ This do, as often as you …’

Just how often should the LORD’S Passover (or, the Passover, the Lord’s Supper, or Communion) be taken!?

I had once attended as a guest a Pentecostal Assemblies of God group which insisted that the Lord’s Supper was to be taken the first Sunday of every month! I’m not sure where they get this from!?

The apostle Paul distinctly says, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” – 1 Corinthians 11:26 NKJV.

So, consider that it is our Lord’s death that this commemorates.

How often is a commemoration, an anniversary!? It is annually. Like, as an example – every year I commemorate and acknowledge the Attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941), as well as D-Day (June 6, 1944), along with V J Day (August 15, 1945), and even January 27th, 1945, the Liberation of Auschwitz! – important dates in the history of the world!

Christ’s death has reconciled us to God the Father (Romans 5:10), and He sacrificed His life for our salvation (John 3:16-17; Hebrews 5:5-11). The New Covenant LORD’S Passover is an annual commemoration of Christ’s death till He comes.

For even more on the LORD’S Passover, see the following:
Please remember – these articles can be translated from English into Arabic, Malay, Chinese, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is this weeks suggested Sabbath service:

● 2 hymns. (a free printable “Old Time Gospel” hymn site is “The Old Time
● Opening prayer.
● Announcements (if any. You may also use this letter).
● Sermon. The one suggested is “You Are The Light of the World” by Michael C. Garrett.
● Final hymn.
● Closing prayer.


Suggested Passover Service

For those without a local minister, the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries is pleased to make available our suggested Passover Service – available on our YouTube channel.

A step-by-step Passover Service for baptized members of the Body of Christ to follow if they are unable to attend a congregation for Passover Service. The LORD’S Passover is to be on the 14th of the month of Abib (March 26th at twilight) of the Hebrew calendar. This Passover Service is by the overseeing pastor of the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ. Leaders of a local Passover Service should indeed have unleavened bread, fermented wine, towels, and water basins available.

Suggested FIRST DAY Service of the Feast of Unleavened Bread

Here is a suggested First Day of Unleavened Bread service for the 27th at sunset:

● 2 hymns. (a free printable “Old Time Gospel” hymn site is “The Old Time
● Opening prayer.
● Sermonette: “First Day – Feast of Unleavened Bread Offertory” by Leonard V. Johnson – available March 27th @ 7:45 p.m. EST. on our YouTube channel.
Announcements (if any).
● Sermon. The one suggested for this week is “The Unleavened Bread of Sincerity and Truth” by Michael C. Garrett – available March 27th @ 7:45 p.m. EST. on our YouTube channel.
● Final hymn.
● Closing prayer.

World News Items

In the United States of America, it has been realized that governmentally mandated shutdowns due to COVID-19 have harmed the mental health of many children (See: ‘As U.S. schools shuttered, student mental health cratered, Reuters survey finds’). Also, many adults in America are gaining weight because of these mandated shutdowns from COVID-19 fears and socialist policies. Indeed, if public health officials – such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) truly cared about an individual's health and safety they should truly be paying attention (See: ‘Most Americans say the pandemic has been bad for their weight’).

Also in the USA – sadly there continues to be mass shootings! One last week in an Atlanta, Georgia spa, in which at least eight people were murdered. Another one this week In Boulder, Colorado where ten people were murdered (See: ‘10 killed in Colorado Grocery Store Shooting’). The Colorado murderer was from Syria (See: ‘FBI Knew About the Boulder Shooter But Failed To Stop Him’).

God’s living word – the Holy Bible – prophesies –
“The sword shall destroy outside; There shall be terror within For the young man and virgin, The nursing child with the man of gray hairs” – Deuteronomy 32:25, NKJV.

“The Lord sent a word against Jacob, And it has fallen on Israel. 9) All the people will know – Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria – Who say in pride and arrogance of heart … 11) Therefore the LORD shall set up The adversaries of Rezin against him, And spur his enemies on, 12) The Syrians before and the Philistines behind; And they shall devour Israel [the house of Israel] with an open mouth” – Isaiah 9:8-9, 11-12, NKJV.

“Make a chain, For the land is filled with crimes of blood, And the city is full of violence. 24) Therefore I will bring the worst of the Gentiles, And they will possess their houses; I will cause the pomp of the strong to cease, And their holy places [this world’s churches, synagogues, and mosques] shall be defiled. 25) Destruction comes; They will seek peace, but there shall be none” – Ezekiel 7:23-25, NKJV.
Now, as far as the Syrian connection from the prophet Isaiah does this mean that all or most of the Syrian refugees are terrorists!?

Of course not.

Yet, as I posted last February, there has been an egregious amount of ‘pestilences’ and TERRORISM since September 1, 2001! The United States of America and our British brethren should expect even more deadly terrorist attacks from Syrians – and others!

All around the world, there has been a grave uptick of massive earthquakes as well as volcanic activity (See: ‘Iceland Volcano Erupts After Thousands Of Earthquakes’). As previously posted, New Zealand had an 8.1 earthquake as well as some other major ones!! (See: ‘2021! The highest number of major quakes ever recorded in the first 65 days of a year! In all 42 major quakes, mag 6 or higher have rocked the planet: Astonishingly 26 have rocked the eastern margin of the Australia plate since the first day of 2021’). Australia has been having terrible trouble with extreme flooding (See: ‘Parts of Australia declare natural disaster during ‘one in 100 years’ floods’). Indeed, Jesus Christ WARNED for this end-time, “’ there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows’” – Mark 13:8, NKJV.

Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul in Titus wrote:
“This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. 9) But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. 10) Reject a divisive man [a person who tends to cause disagreement or hostility between others] after the first and second admonition, 11) knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.” – Titus 3:8-11; NKJV.
Minister Garrett wrote:
“ [A] … man who actually claimed to be a member of the Church of God was claiming that abortion was a “good thing.” And he was just incensed that anyone would be against abortion. And obviously, there were people on the other side. And I guess it almost went to a bare-knuckle brawl!? Now imagine - At a church, holy festival people are getting so animated to the point of hatred, to the point of just intense rancor, and displeasure, that they almost got into a fistfight over something they can’t control. … And then, somewhere else there was a heated argument over discussions of political candidates! … And even today, I’m sure that there are church groups where people get into major disagreements over politics. And they do it on the Sabbath day while they’re attending church. And folks, it’s just not good! It’s not good! My suggestion is – stay off the topic. Now I think you can discuss politics in a calm manner. I think I’ve done it many times in my life. But when all of a sudden that becomes your team, and that becomes your player, your star, your captain, your coach, and you’re not about to let anybody disparage your side, your team – then you have a problem! Folks, LOOK TO JESUS! And, how many times have I said that!? Look to Jesus! And especially on the Sabbath day! If you’re gonna get together, talk about something that Jesus Christ would talk about. Talk about something about Jesus Christ or the New Covenant, or blessings that have come about in your life or challenges which are coming in the future. And you wish for people’s good thoughts and prayers to be on your behalf. But to dive down into the ugly sewer of politics is just unbecoming and unacceptable – if you wanna know the truth. It’s just unacceptable.”

The lack of the ‘fruits of the Spirit’ of those insisting on being improperly divisive should be crystal clear. Yet, those who do such things do not properly see their ‘luke warm’ work – cf. Revelation 3:14-16. They need their eyes properly anointed to see and to repent (change) – cf. Revelation 3:18.

Friends, “’ He who [truly] believes in Me [in Jesus Christ]…’” will surely believe what the living Bible says and teaches and will continue to support the Work of God and be careful in maintaining good works unto God.

In deep gratitude and love, in Jesus' name,