Monday, June 21, 2021

Letter to our Friends - June 18, 2021

P.O. Box 6458

Dear Friends:

Greetings from Spring Hill, Florida.

I would like to remind all that the active and living HEAD of our ministries is Jesus Christ! There are a great number of churches of God that apparently have forgotten that. Well, friends, it can be said – even the leader of the KKK organization claims to be “a Christian organization.” Again, many of these churches of God appear not to be conscious of our LIVING JESUS CHRIST! – “for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” – Acts 4:12.

Friends, there are many who rebuke us for calling out false prophets and false teachers – at least the ones we know of personally. They’ve been offended. Do we as shepherds have the authority of Jesus Christ to say such things!?

Let’s begin with our Master, Savior, and Elder Brother who warns –
’ Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.’ – Matthew 7:15.
The word beware means that every one of us should be alert, but especially shepherds, to identify not just false teachings, but false teachers, whose ways may be very subtle. They’re clothing themselves with the wool of lambs while they are truly wolves.

The apostle Paul speaks the same –
“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, … For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” – Acts 20:28, 29.
Our Lord Jesus speaks of this again –
“ …’ Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees’ – Matthew 16:6.
Truly, the apostle Paul had the same kind of group in mind and the same kind of error in mind when he spoke to the Church in Philippi –
“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! … For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ.” – Philippians 3: 2, 18.
And he said the same to the Church in Rome –
“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned and avoid them” – Romans 16:17.
Now, friends and brethren, to avoid them, you have to know who they are. You can’t avoid somebody if you don’t know who they are. Also, this identifying and avoiding shows up being taught in Corinth as well –
“But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler [one who HATES], or a drunkard, or an extortioner – not even to eat with such a person” – 1 Corinthians 5:11.
In other words, true Christians – and shepherds in particular – should be discerning and be alert to any behavior or teachings that dishonors Jesus Christ and destroys people – and not ever treat it in a casual or harmless way.

In the Book of 1st Timothy the apostle Paul goes beyond just avoiding them – but to rebuking them publicly – speaking of elders who persist in their error –
“Do not receive [or admit] an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear” – 1 Timothy 5:19-20.
Now, mind you, the only false prophets and false teachers of whom I have dissed in the past have been witnessed by two or three others. And I had always tried to explain their error and give reasons for exposing them – setting a tone of truth and love – not just slinging mud. As for those who persist in sin – that can be the sin of false doctrines or evil behavior.

And note – the apostle Paul went on and actually named destructive false teachers –
“having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme” – 1 Timothy 1:19-20.

“This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes – 2 Timothy 1:15.

“And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who are strayed concerning the truth, …” – 2 Timothy 17, 18.

“for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, … Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works” – 2 Timothy 4:10, 14.
He at least named six false teachers that the Church of God should watch out for.

But again, what of exposing publicly these false prophets and false ministers!? In 1st Corinthians, the apostle Paul speaks about how we as true Christians should assess Paul, Cephas, and Apollos – because the people are choosing their favorite ministers and boasting –
“For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. …” – 1 Corinthians 4:4-5.
So, should “judge nothing before the time” keep us from identifying false prophets and false teachers or from even naming them!? No. It means the LORD God is the sole Decider or Dijudicator. Though we may expose them publicly, we do not judge them in their heart (cf. 1 John 4:1) – the LORD God being the Judge! After all, only JESUS CHRIST “will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts.” But for now, our job is indeed to beware, take heed, note, avoid, and if need be expose — but not judge.

Friends and brethren, if I am moved by God’s Spirit to expose a false minister or false teacher I do so only for your benefit – I do it with the pure love of God – for the love of you! – cf. John 13:34-35.

Minister Guy LaMar reminds us in his latest “Think About This…” short article of the very fact that TIME IS GROWING EVER SHORTER! Our Lord Jesus has said, “’ I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work’” – John 9:4. Truly, what lessons are here for us, and what encouragement from our Example!

As I have mentioned many times – it does appear as if God the Father and our Lord Jesus have been holding back the utter destruction of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and her Commonwealth Nations, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand respectively – because there are maybe ten in one-million righteous people within these nations!? It should make us wonder. Is that number depleting as time goes by!? Jesus Christ is soon coming! And like Minister Guy asks, “will it be within this next decade!?”

But for what it is worth – our Lord Jesus Christ clearly WARNED to WATCH
’ But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only’ – Matthew 24:36.

’ But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into’ – vs. 43.

’ Blessed is the servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. … But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ … the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of’ – vss. 46, 48, 50.

’ WATCH therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming’ – Matthew 25:13.

’ But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day [the Day of the LORD] come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the whole earth [after the resurrection of the saints of God] …’

’ WATCH therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man’ – Luke 21:34-36.

’ Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branches has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it [or rather He] is near – at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation [the generation which sees all these things come to pass] will by no means pass away till all these things take place’ – Matthew 24:32-34.
WATCHING we certainly witness that there is every indication that God the Father and Jesus Christ are now speeding up the things which MUST take place before Their coming! Well, friends, ‘summer is near’! – right at the door!

In the Book of Revelation a great prophecy of our God in which an angel with a loud voice cries out, ‘Do not harm the earth and the sea, or the trees UNTIL we have completed in sealing God’s servants on their foreheads.’ Friends, when will the sealing of the 144,000 be finished!?

God has also said, and we certainly should read this passage in its entirety -
“Isaiah also cries out concerning ISRAEL: ‘Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved. …’”
The message given by the apostle Paul may appear to differ from what the prophet Isaiah intended, but there is a sameness of sentiment in both messages. This also is a reference to what our Lord Jesus Christ said, “’ And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened’” – here speaking of a remnant of the physical descendants of Israel will indeed be saved.
“’ For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth’” – Romans 9:27-28.
Truly, the ‘cut it short’ means a speedy completion of His work and word, both in cutting off the one portion and saving the other.

And as the apostle Paul continued in his thought –

“ … Isaiah said before: ‘Unless the LORD of [armies] had left us a seed …’”

Note the apostle Paul in verse 24 of chapter 9 stated – “even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles.” ‘a remnant,’ small at first, but in due time, to be a seed of plenty! But for this precious seed – but for us my brethren, God’s chosen people – this whole world would have quickly become like Sodom and Gomorrah! Imagine if there had been no righteous Noah!?

And, while we are here, let us finish the apostle Paul’s message concerning this. But, let’s go down to verse 33 –
“As it is written: ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, …’
He is, of course, referring to Jesus Christ!
“…’ And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’”
As Minister Michael C. Garrett wrote:
“If you believe on the Rock of God, you will not be ashamed. But let’s reverse this. Let’s turn the coin over and realize that this sentence also says, ‘that if you do not believe on Him, and you are ashamed of His name and His Message, then you’re lost.’ You have no hope – you have no attachment to Him. The ONLY source of eternal life you have will come from Jesus Christ! Not even God the Father!”
Here from now on, things may occur VERY SUDDENLY AND RAPIDLY, to finish the great work and word of the Eternal One!

Nevertheless, please PRAY for this work of God as never before!

Suggested Sabbath Day Service

Here is our suggested Sabbath day service for our scattered brethren and friends around the world:

● 2 hymns. (a free printable “Old Time Gospel” hymn site is “The Old Time Gospel”).
● Opening prayer.
● Announcements (if any – a great video for announcements is Deacon Robbie Lamb’s Watchman brief insights of world news in relation to biblical prophecies!).
● Suggested Sermon: “Revelation – A Book of the Past and the Future (Part Two)” by Leonard V. Johnson.
● Final hymn.
● Closing prayer.


World News Items

Long-time Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was replaced last Sunday by a narrow vote of 60 to 59 in Israel’s parliament. The new coalition that ousted him will not last nearly as long as he did (See: NewsMax – Fred Fleitz to Newsmax: Netanyahu ‘May Be Back’ in Charge of Israel’) along with (AP – Israel Oks contentious Jerusalem march, weeks after war’). Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is an Israeli nationalist who opposes a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine and settlements on the West Bank. Again, there was a violent development this week between Gaza and Israel (See: Reuters – Israel Strikes Hamas Sites Over Fire Balloons, Challenging Truce’). Indeed another coalition will one day form that will allow daily and annual sacrifices to resume – consistent with Daniel 9:27; 11:31, and Daniel 12:11. Truly, the fact that a combined right and left-wing collation with an Islamic faction got together helps show us that something so bold can certainly take place – and will.

The G7 nations have agreed to try and counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative – known also as the Silk Road Project (See: Reuters – Germany’s Merkel hopes for G7 infrastructure plans for 2022’). Now, presuming that anything happens along this line, we should expect to see a benefit to EUROPE – as it is destined to dominate world trade soon – consistent with Revelation chapter 18. Truly, the Europeans are taking great strides in propelling their economies greater than that of the USA (See e.g.: ‘Watts Up With That? – General Atomics to ship world’s most powerful magnet to ITER global fusion energy project’).

With a new US administration as well as the post-Brexit UK, we are seeing other trade matters which were announced this week between the US and the EU, as well as between the UK and Australia (See: VOA - the US, EU Reach Truce in Major Trade Battle’). We should continue to expect to see trade arrangements between the descendants of Joseph – the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. See also: DW - Biden meets EU leaders, thaw in aerospace dispute agreed.’

There is much on the move – prophetically speaking.

Concluding Comments

Brother John was inspired by the Lord our God to write the following –
5) "This is the Message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that GOD is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6) If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7) But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" - 1 John 1:5-7; NKJV.
Friends and brethren, let us always walk in the light of truth. Let us NEVER practice darkness. Believe that our Lord Jesus can cleanse us from all sin.
"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31) Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32) And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as GOD in Christ forgave you" - Ephesians 4:29-32; NKJV.
As far as fellowship with one another goes, let us meet with other brethren when we can. And do NOT neglect to try to attend the Feast of Tabernacles.

In deep gratitude and love, in the name of Jesus our Lord and Savior,

Leonard V. Johnson

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