Friday, April 30, 2021

Letter to our Friends - April 30, 2021


Leonard V. Johnson

Greetings from Spring Hill, Florida:

The feasts of the LORD – the LORD’S Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread – is barely finished, and next comes the Day of Pentecost! A holy convocation in which you shall do no customary work on. May 16th, 2021.

This is one of the rare days of the year in which we have church services on the first day of the week – Sunday. So, there will be back-to-back Sabbaths!


Most who profess Christ know something about Pentecost. Many properly consider it the beginning of the New Testament Church of God.

The apostles were told to wait in Jerusalem to receive the power of the Holy Spirit:
“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard Me; 5) for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ – Acts 1:4-5; NKJV and hereafter unless otherwise noted.
So, they waited. And:
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” – Acts 2:1.
Notice it was when the Day of Pentecost had fully come. The Bible is clear that the events that follow were directly related to the fact that the Day of Pentecost had fully come. And the apostles were all observing it together.

Here is what happened:
“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven [the sky], as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3) Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4) And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues [languages], as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

38) Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39) For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off [in the generations to come], as many as the Lord our God will call.’ 40) And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.’ 41) Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42) And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 47) [P]raising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:2-4, 38-42, 47.
They received some of the power of God’s Spirit. The Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, the greater majority of Protestants, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Church of God all believe that this was the beginning of the New Testament Church of God. And rightly so. The Holy Spirit (be sure to watch “The Truth Concerning the Trinity Explained” which was banned about a week ago by Facebook (that issue has been resolved) was gifted at a certain time (the same time that many Jews observed Pentecost).

That was not a coincidence.

Many may not realize that Pentecost represented more than just the gifting of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the New Testament Church of God.

Minister Michael C. Garrett has this to say concerning the Day of Pentecost:
Christ In You! … we must have God’s Spirit which is represented by the Feast of Pentecost. And so, individual salvation – that Plan is given to us in the Spring Holy Days. … The Spring Holy Days are a continuum. What happens in Passover and Unleavened Bread, and down as you get into the Feast of Pentecost – a continuous series of events that are all interrelated and intertwined. And the same thing is true with the Fall Holy Days. …

Just a quick perusal, turn to Acts 2 – the account of where we read about the Day of Pentecost – when God for the first time pours out His Spirit in mass on human beings. Now keep in mind there had been multiple times throughout biblical history where God indeed had given His Spirit to servants and prophets of God. But here on this day, on A.D. 31, something very special happened. And, we won’t read every Scripture here, but let’s go to verse 21 of Acts chapter 2 – “’ And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD [the Lord Jesus Christ] Shall be saved.’” Verse 22 – “Men of Israel [and you men of the different organizations which want to be a part of the kingdom of God and wish to pursue the teachings of this Bible], hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know – 23) Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken …” this is Peter speaking to the men, some of which have called for His death. Some of which, just a few days before – a month-and-a-half before – were chanting ‘Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Crucify Him!’ And yet, here, Peter says, “by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24) whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He [Jesus Christ] should be held by it …” - isn’t that a beautiful concept!? Jesus Christ walked out of the tomb! And by that He established a pattern, and an example that someday all of us who is called His sisters and brothers, His friends, will someday have the same opportunity!! If we die before the return of Jesus Christ we too will walk out of our graves! I love that thought!

Verse 38 – listen carefully to what Peter says – this is an extremely well-known and recited verse; this is a foundational Scripture that all of us need to know about, think about and appreciate. And give thanks to Jesus Christ because it’s in the Book! The reality of it – it is true! “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, …’” – what does the word repent mean!? It means simply change your ways. Change your direction. Change your focus. Change your goals. Change your motivation. “…’ Repent, and let every one of you be baptized…’” – and listen to this next part – “…’ in the name of Jesus Christ …’” – no other name. No other name under heaven, on earth, anywhere in the universe by which you could be saved. “’ Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ …’” – that wonderous, glorious name and title! Jesus, the Anointed One! Jesus, the Messiah! Jesus, the Savior! And if you do you will have your sins forgiven “…’ and you shall receive the gift of [God’s] Holy Spirit.’”
Also, looking at other passages provides even more valuable information about this sanctioned and commanded day of the LORD God, and its meaning.

The Feast of Pentecost was kept by true Christians after the initial one, yet, without speaking in different languages. The apostle Paul continued keeping Pentecost decades after the Pentecost mentioned in Acts 2. Notice his inspired words, written about A.D. 55:
“For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits. 8) But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost.” – 1 Corinthians 16:7-8.
This shows us that Paul knew when Pentecost was and that he felt that the Corinthians knew when Pentecost was and that the Ephesians would have known when Pentecost was. So, it was being observed by Paul and the Gentiles in Ephesus and in Corinth.

Here’s another year, the apostle Paul wished to be in Jerusalem for Pentecost, around A.D. 61-64:

“For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.” – Acts 20:16.

So, true Christians in Jerusalem were still observing Pentecost and Paul was observing it too! Otherwise, there would have been no obvious reason why Paul wanted to be in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost.

The Greek term for Pentecost means 50th. And, that term is derived from the following Hebrew description of calculating the correct date:

“’ And you shall count for yourselves from the day AFTER the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16) Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; …’” – Leviticus 23:15-16.

The Day of Pentecost in Scripture goes by different names, and because of that, many have been confused about it. Its other biblical names include the Feast of Harvest, the Feast of Weeks, and the day of first fruits.

We, the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries, and our affiliated churches observe the biblical method.

Christians should remember that our LORD God, Jesus Christ, condemned the Pharisees for relying way too much on their oral law over God’s written Law (Mark 7:5-13). Jesus told them they were ‘making the Word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.’ – Mark 7:13.

Continued Prayer Request

Again - Please Pray for Minister Guy LaMar’s brother-in-law – Terry Tate. He has stage 4 cancer and is in hospice care. The cancer is in his bones, liver, kidneys, and possibly in his brain. Minister LaMar was requested to go and anoint him for healing. He traveled last Monday to do just that. So, please pray for his healing. NOTHING is impossible for God. Thank you!

April 27th Minister Guy LaMar wrote:

My brother N’ law - Terry Tate - is one of my favorite persons in my family. I really love the guy. He’s always been a very good friend to me. He’s an upbeat and positive person. Plus an awesome cook. He greatly loves my sister. I’ve had many many many one on one talks with Terry through the years. We have worked together in several jobs. And in his talks, he expressed to me how much he loves my sister. Yesterday morning (Monday -April 26, 2021) I went to visit him. It was the first time I’ve seen him in person in OVER 10 years. The thing that I love the most about Terry is his love for Jesus. He loves and trusts in Jesus. I had a fantastic meeting with him yesterday.

Please keep praying for my brother n’ law, Terry. He’s really a good guy.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is this weeks suggested Sabbath service:

● 2 hymns. (a free printable “Old Time Gospel” hymn site is “The Old Time Gospel”). Also, note G.C. LaMar’s spiritual songs!
● Opening prayer.
● Announcements (this week I added a short personal audio message).
● Suggested Sermonette: “How to Overcome Bad Thoughts” by Minister Guy LaMar.
● Suggested Sermon: “What Was Jesus Like In Person – God of the Old Testament” by Minister Leonard V. Johnson. Available 4/30/2021 @ 8:00 PM EST on our YouTube channel.
Additional sermons are available at:
● Final hymn.
● Closing prayer.


World News Items

A report from Voice of America says the Chinese Communist Party expects religions in their nation to conform to its requirements. While this is expected from nations that are communist and socialist – similar steps are being taken within the United States of America! We, as a nation, are losing more and more of our religious freedoms (See: ‘New Chinese Decree Tells Religious Leaders to ‘Support the Communist Party’). China is crystal clear that it wants religion in its own image. This new decree goes into effect on May 1st, 2021.

Do not naively think that a government that wants to be equal with or above religion is only a communist or socialist government. It, sadly, is an idea that is growing like a cancer within the United States of America – among her many judges and politicians. And it has been getting noticeably worse since the “savior around the world” was elected – January 20th, 2021. Be sure to read the following articles – WND – Biden agenda: Undermine ‘life, family and religion’ along with Newsmax – Ken Starr Laments, Warns of Decline of Religion in Society’.

Speaking of this self-proclaimed “savior around the world,” President of the United States Pamela Harris Joe Biden - gave a speech yesterday and was touting what he considered the accomplishments of the Harris-Biden Administration and some of its future spending plans; such as getting America addicted to government (See VOA – America ‘Ready for Takeoff,’ Biden Tells Congress’).

His proclamations, decrees, and proposals continue to accelerate his ‘takeoff’ in US debt (which is $28.2 TRILLION! – with a debt per citizen of $84,773! Indeed his ‘takeoff’ is, surely, what the Bilderberg Group proposed for America beginning in 2008, and certainly thought they had enough time to accomplish with the election of their “high priestess” in 2016 – but was shocked to discover that God Almighty had different plans!

Now, on August 13th, 2019 I had written - we have noticed that a great many professing Christians are having problems with many social media platforms shutting down their channels or making it extremely difficult for them. Consider – we believe in the glorious hope of the return of Jesus Christ and the Millennial reign of God’s Kingdom on earth, which is now considered “an extremist view.” Also, consider that believing that this world is being deceived into believing and accepting an ecumenical and interfaith religion is called a “conspiracy theory.” Though I might add, they will not succeed in this idea before the return of our Savior Jesus Christ. Also, consider too that accepting God’s standards – as stated within His ‘instruction manual’ the Holy Bible – of sexual morality is called extremism and knowing and teaching that the LGBTQIA agenda will not end well – cf. Romans 1:18-32 – this is considered now “hate speech.” A “famine of the Word” of the Eternal is indeed coming – Amos 8:11-12. And what governments consider “hate speech” and “conspiracy theories” and the banning of such, will lead to this prophesied ‘famine.’ Also I might add – that naively thinking that well over 150 delegates of nations, political leaders, experts in the field of industry, finance, academia, and media meeting together annually to “foster dialogue” between Europe and North America is but a “conspiracy theory” shows a lack of knowledge on just how powerful and cunning our Adversary Satan the devil truly is!

Continuing within the United States of America – Biden kept a promise that several of his predecessors made. Then he broke it – declaring that what the Turks had done to the Armenians 106 years ago was genocide. (See: AP – Biden recognizes atrocities against Armenians as genocide’). Now of course this pleased the Armenians around the world but displeased the nation of Turkey. (See: VOA – Turkey Summons US Envoy Over Biden’s Armenian Genocide Declaration’). Bible prophecy shows us that Turkey will soon turn against the US as well as Israel, and align with a resurrected United States of Europe (cf. Psalm 83:4-8). Be sure to read our online booklet Turkey is going to Betray His Brothers!

In the nation of Israel in the Middle East, a new religious member of its parliament – called the Knesset – has called for Jewish control of the Temple Mount. This occurred shortly before the release of a report by the Human Rights Watchdog organization declaring that Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians amounted to “apartheid.” (See: DW – Humans Rights Watch: Israel Committing ‘Apartheid’ Crimes Against Palestinians’). I recon the literal hundreds upon hundreds of rockets launched from Palestinian territory at Israel is unnoticed by this watchdog group!? Cf – DW – Israel launches strikes on Gaza after rocket attack.’

Now, there is coming a time very soon when religious Jews will be given Israeli government approval to resume animal sacrifices once again. Yet, it will be short-lived (cf. Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11). In the article “Blow the Trumpet!” I wrote – the prophet Jeremiah saw the condition that the nation of JUDAH was in and how he knew just what God thought about what was occurring in that land and to the people. Friends, it was in a state of disrepair. Now, I grieve in my spirit within my body at what is about to occur to Israel – the tiny nation within the Middle East! So, with much trepidation and reservation under the very work of the Lord our God, I give this dire warning to the nations of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah – cf. Jeremiah 30:3-6; 5:15; 3:1-14; 1:11-15; Isaiah 22:6-8. Destruction is coming!

Concluding Comments

Minister Michael C. Garrett wrote:
2nd Timothy chapter 2, verse 7 – “Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.” – here’s Paul wanting us to have understanding on this. Verse 8 – “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, 9) for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the Word of God is not chained. 10) Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” Verse 11 – “This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. 12) If we endure, We shall also reign with Him.” – but sadly enough, “if we deny Him, He also will deny us.”

2nd Timothy chapter 1, verse 6 – Paul said, ‘Timothy, “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, …” – remember, Paul’s comment about most people spend their entire lives in bondage of the fear of death!? That is not to be our fear! But He has given us instead a spirit “of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – and a part of that soundness comes from the fact that we know that when our eyes close for the last time, our heart stops beating, and our lungs stop – we know that we will live again! Because the power of Jesus Christ will make it so!

Verse 8 – “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9) who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, …” – the calling He has given us is to be eternal members of His eternal Family! “not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before [the world] began.”

But it will soon be obvious – Verse 10 – “…by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through [this Message] …” We are not an immortal soul, but someday, through the gift of God, we will be immortal!
In deep gratitude and love, in Jesus' name,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be sure to leave a comment and tell us what you think.