Monday, May 2, 2022

'Woe to those who call evil good' Sermon


Leonard V. Johnson

Greetings Everyone! Including our friends in Tampa, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; in Nebraska; over in Khulna, Bangladesh, and there in the Philippines. Welcome. Thank you for joining us today for this holy Sabbath day with the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries here in Spring Hill, Florida. I'm Leonard V. Johnson.
     Well, last September I began writing up and posting onto our website - - a series of Personals, beginning with some prehistory facts – which explain why we have the deteriorating conditions and troubles around the world today. Prehistory facts that took place long before man walked upon the Earth. And I felt that it was imperative that I began at that prehistory point in this series.
     So, in that first of the series, I had spoken of the finite universe. And how I believe, personally, that what may look limitless (as in infinite) to us, relative to our size, doesn’t look that limitless to our great and awesome CREATOR GOD! That the known universe has a certain “volume” to it – a “size” with a boundary. And I found it awe-inspiring that I had come across the heliosphere at the outer edges of our solar system, which had been studied by cosmologists for many years when the New Horizon spacecraft in 2018 confirmed results that were first detected back in 1992 by the two Voyager spacecrafts – those long-term studies came to fuller fruition and understanding! We ARE living in a bubble! A protective bubble! But with this protective bubble, we certainly owe our very existence and protection to our great and awesome God!
     Now, in that first Personal, I had also spoken of the TWO TREES that God had placed in the midst of the garden of Eden. And man (as in mankind) was given an option to choose (for they were created as free moral agents) the tree of Life (which represented God’s Holy Spirit), or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – which meant them taking unto themselves what is good and what is evil.
     I mention the word evil here because I want to focus in this sermon today on: “them taking unto themselves what is good and what is evil.” Mankind has been continuing to do this very thing right up to this very day. I came across the other day while doing some research for my latest sermon on our internet a slurry of religious websites claiming to be “Christian,” stating most emphatically that evil is not necessarily sin. Well, God’s Spirit is moving me to say, one walks a fine line with that type of thinking. And it is so easy to fall off! Those false ministers of Satan the devil’s – and I say this because God tells us that man DOES NOT have the right to rationalize away His living word – the Holy Bible (cf. Proverbs 16:25; Romans 9:20-21) – quote Scripture in their arguments that evil is not necessarily sinful – such as Isaiah 45:7 –
     “ … ‘I make peace and create evil. …’” They are claiming, teaching, and propagating that God created evil! As usual, taking this very verse out of context. By the by: God DID NOT create evil. Even the Jamieson Fausset and Brown Commentary rightly understand that God [gives] ‘form’ to previously existing matter. 1 In this instance – evil. God (Elohim – the family of God) looked upon creation and saw that “it was very good” – Genesis 1:31. Would one claim that evil is - or as they claim, evil can be good!? Because if you do – then you are against God! Because the LORD of hosts says -
     “’ Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!’” – Isaiah 5:20.
     God’s living word is replete with this understanding of evil cf. – “Whoever rewards evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house” – Proverbs 17:13.
     In short – God placed within the garden of Eden Adam and Eve, and the LORD God told them God’s Way and had the “tree of Life” readily available to them. And He certainly wanted them to choose of the tree of Life! Yet, we know the outcome – they chose from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They chose to follow the way of Satan the devil. They rejected the very kingdom of God and willingly placed themselves under the rule of the “god of this present evil age” – 2 Corinthians 4:4. And as I said earlier, people ever since have been following their lead – choosing to follow Satan the devil’s way rather than Almighty God’s.
     God allowed them to choose their own thing! Thus this world runs upon greed, hatred, rebellion, jealousy – and yes, evil. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, …” – and again I might add: they want to have the right to rationalize away with God, “ … God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which ARE NOT FITTING” – Romans 1:28.
     According to God’s living word – the very word in which all mankind must live by – ‘by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4:4) – “good vs. evil” is not a matter of debate! God’s word does not teach that the boundaries of good and evil are interchangeable. Nor does His word teach that evil is neutral. It is God who teaches us just what is good and what is evil by a perfect and unchanging CREATOR. As an example, our dearest apostle Paul says, “ … I would not have known sin [or evil for that matter] except through the Law [summed up with the Ten Commandments]” – Romans 7:7.
     God’s living word teaches us that there is a real and significant difference between good and evil.
     These false ministers point at us in our rightly stating that God created all things (cf. John 1:3). And indeed God did! They reason amongst themselves that if God created all things, then evil must have been created by God. However, evil in and of itself is not a “thing.” You cannot have a safe full of evil. Evil has no existence of its own. It is actually the absence of good. As an example, holes in a donut are real, but they only exist in something else. When God created, all He created was “very good” – Genesis 1:31. Evil, again, is the absence of good. Or rather, evil is the absence of God.
     And God (again, Elohim – the family of God; at this time consisting of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ {1}) has always existed! Recall: He is “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, …” – Hebrews 7:3. God created the heavens and the earth – along with the whole known universe! And since God created all this from His own creative power – having the wisdom to place it all together – to make it function – wouldn’t God also want His creation to know how to live!?
     Now, God’s Way is the right way! It was Satan the devil who introduced rebellion, deception, chaos, hatred – and yes, evil. As stated earlier – evil is everything against God’s perfect and righteous Way. Evil is sin and sin is evil.
     God is not the author of evil, nor is there any evil in God!

You Must Believe God!

     Back in 2018, as I was studying God’s living word in relation to the resurrections, I came across the conversation that our Lord Jesus was having with Jairus, a synagogue ruler at the time, concerning his daughter. And I came to the living words of our Lord – which I had read and studied hundreds of times before – “ ’Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.’” And a few days later I was on the phone with a sycophant leader of a church organization in Tampa, Fl., and I had inadvertently mentioned to him that God had spoken to me in regards to this said Scripture. And he stopped me and said, “What do you mean, ‘God spoke’ to you!?” And I said, “In my mind and through His living word.” But I could tell from his reaction over the phone, that he doesn’t believe - in his heart – that God can contact you in your mind and speak with you. But our great and awesome God had. And He had said to me, “You don’t have to understand it, but you MUST believe Me!” – again, in regards to Luke 8:52 and John 5:28-29.
     There are millions upon millions of people who say, “Oh, I believe in God.” My wife says that to me all the time. And I say to her, “But you don’t believe God, do you!?” She then goes on to try and disqualify the Bible as God’s Authorized word, by claiming that it’s been rewritten and rewritten. And, I understand that they don’t understand. Truly, you have to know what God’s living word says before you know whether you believe it or not. Adam and Eve believed in God. They knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that God was their CREATOR. They never questioned that.
     In the New Testament, there were hundreds and hundreds of people who believed in Christ. There were a great number of Jews who believed in Jesus. And to those Jews who believed in Him He says, “ ’If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32) And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’” – John 8:30-32. They too were claiming, as do these false ministers of these slurry of religious websites claiming to be “Christian,” to believe in Him. Jesus went on to tell them that He knows that they are Abraham’s descendants, but that they “ …’ seek to kill’ …” Him because His word has no place in them. And today, these false ministers want to kill His word and rationalize away His word!
     Even today, in this 21st-century world, multiple millions just say, “All you have to do is believe in Jesus!” YES! MILLIONS DO! But, our Lord Jesus says, “ ’And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” And that is what is happening all over the world!
     Yet, these “untaught people” – many who have an M.D. behind their name who insist on falsehoods are determining for themselves what is good and what is evil! But God’s living word states – “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” – Judges 17:6. And that is as good a definition of this 21st Century as I have ever read!
     Well, let’s examine this word evil. As in Isaiah 5:20 – “’ Woe to those who call evil good, …’” In Hebrew it's ra ‘. Notice this from the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary in regards to Isaiah 45:7 – 

[Mr. Johnson reads from the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary page 520]

     I make peace, and create evil. ... This translation has misled some to surmise …” – what a nice word for the word ass-u-me! “that the simple explanation for evil is that God is its source. Exegetes, though, have long noted that the verse is not about the source of evil but rather about divine providence “causing well-being and creating calamity.” 2
     And there is that word – calamity. In fact, in my New King James Version, the translators have properly changed the word evil to calamity, as in – “I form the light and create calamity ... ” {2} After all, in proper context, the LORD God is speaking concerning King Cyrus II of Persia in whom He shall direct.

A Bubble of a World

     Sadly, in this world in which I have lived for some 51 years, I have noticed that a great many people tend to be small-minded and live their lives in a type of individual “world.” They accept their own particular world in attitude and superiority and look with a kind of disdain at anyone outside their bubble of a world. It is a sort of self-centeredness.
     And it was in this kind of world that our Lord Jesus came as the Savior for all mankind. He came to begin an entirely NEW AND COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WORLD! He said, “ ’On this Rock I will build My church.’” And indeed He did! But this world hardly recognizes His living Church. The New Testament Church along with her teachings were suppressed all within 40 years – even as soon as AD 49, cf. Galatians 1:6 – and counterfeit gospels escalated into a great religion that calls itself Christian. And God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ tell us to “ ’Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” – Revelation 18:4.
     Oh, but brethren and friends, it was prophesied! Our peoples have become a curse unto themselves! We are literally destroying ourselves – by varying means!
     Truly in 2 Timothy chapter 3 we read of this end-time –
     “ … in the last days perilous times will come: 2) For men will be lovers of themselves …” Now, what could be more shameful and despicable of self-love than this world and each individual in their own little self-bubble!? It is MY nation, MY property, MY pleasure, MY comforts, MY fish in the seas! – not those of others! And I use “My fish in the seas,” because nations such as China overfish our seas! China is, far and away, the world’s biggest offender when it comes to overfishing! Overfishing isn’t environmental alarmism. It is a demonstrable problem in the world’s food supply that has potentially catastrophic consequences. 3 {3}
     “ … lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3) unloving, …” continues the apostle Paul’s blistering indictment against a gluttonous world – a world in which we are living today. “ … unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, …”
     How terribly accurate was this prophecy! The apostle Paul was inspired by and through God’s Spirit to picture in living color a blood-scattered caricature of this gruesome world. Our rotting morals!
     “ … traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness [such as these false ministers hiding behind their degrees] but denying its power. And from such people TURN AWAY!” – 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
     The LORD of hosts says, “’ Hear the word of the LORD!’ … 8) Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. 9) Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal [and to note: have you ever looked up the true origin of the rabbit at Easter!? What about the colored bulbs on your Christmas tree!?], and walk after other gods whom you do not know 10) and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name [which is FALSELY LABELED!], and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations’?’” – Jeremiah 7:2, 8-10.
     Sadly, the larger majority of our peoples continue in this nightmare of pleasure-seeking, streaming weird and violent movies, nudism and perverted sex, and heinous crimes against mankind. As God has said – this world is MENTALLY SICK! And we’re SPIRITUALLY SICK!
     The LORD our God charges, “ ’Hear, O heavens, and give ear O earth! For the LORD has spoken … Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward. 5) Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. THE WHOLE HEAD IS SICK, And the whole heart faints [our nations and our peoples!]. 6) From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no soundness in it, But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; …” – Isaiah 1:2, 4-6.
     Yes, our rotting and putrefying sores were prophesied!

Are You “Sick”!?

     Nearly every Sunday morning with coffee in hand I sit down to watch the news from around the world. But I don’t sit there long before I’m jumping up in disgust, incensed, after seeing and hearing the recent developments of this present evil age! Are you even remotely interested in the utter destruction of our world!? Are you incensed!? Are you enraged!? Filled with disgust, compassion, and a longing for the kingdom of God to soon come and rule this earth!?
     Your day-by-day reaction to the conditions around you, as well as your reaction to this very sermon, is determining your spiritual condition! Minister Garrett has likened it to a “Spirit-O-Meter.” {4} It’s a way of determining your spiritual temperature! This world is not God’s world. He is very soon going to utterly destroy this present evil world, with all its cherished practices, hates, lies, murderers, adulteries – and yes its evil which is being FALSELY LABELED AS GOOD – or not necessarily sin!
     Our great God says that this modern world is filled with a lust for blood! – cf. An estimated 62 MILLION abortions have occurred since Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973! Our peoples delight in iniquity, in SIN, in TORMENT, in TERROR and VIOLENCE!
     Here within the next few years the LORD our God is going to give the greatest show of violence ever displayed since the earliest of beginnings of time!
     The angel who is in charge of the waters says, “ ’For they have shed the blood of the saints and prophets, And You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due’” – Revelation 16:6.
     Keep in mind, Lot, who “sighed and cried” because of the abominations around him, was worthy of escape from the impending doom!
     Most people are spiritually calloused! Surely they see the glaring news reports that violence, homicides and aggravated assaults are occurring at a great ever rate!? The atrocities, the misrepresentation of lies, the religion of politics. Yet, most appear resigned to these growing conditions. And no wonder – they have witnessed and seen within their estimated 37.9 years thousands of atrocious, violent, and horrible acts one after another on television! - an average American youth will witness 200,000 violent acts on television before age 18. 4
     Multiple MILLIONS of our peoples have resigned to this world’s frightening conditions! They seem unable to be really stirred up about important issues! Oh, but the killing of Cecil the lion – as atrocious and terrible as that was – resulted in an absolute frenzy of international media attention, an outrage among millions of people who marched in the streets in protest! But again, what about the MURDER of some estimated 62 MILLION and growing unborn babies since 1973!? Where is their international media attention!? Just sayin’. Sadly, people are far more excitable and stirred up over a football game than about the Russia and Ukrainian war, or the continued starvation and genocide of helpless fellow human beings!
     It is a deep mark of just how sick our societies have become!
     And many people try to convince themselves that our societies, our cities, our countries and nations, are not sick! As an example, the other day I went over to a friends house and noticed for the first time that the community he lives in has put up an entrance gate – as if to say, “Let’s keep all the undesirables on the other side of the fence. As long as we’re safe, the rest of the world can go to hell!” They’re submerged in their bubble of a world!
     But it’s time -  it's OVERTIME - to STOP KIDDING YOURSELF!
     You can – and should – REPENT and COME OUT of this evil world –
     “ ’I tell you, no; but unless you REPENT you will all likewise perish’” – Luke 13:3.
     “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” – Acts 2:38.
     “REPENT therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” – Acts 3:19.
     Or, you can continue living under your bubble of a world, with your own belief that if I just live behind an entrance gate I’ll be safe.
     “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.
     You must admit to yourself the true conditions of this present evil age! STOP living in your own little bubble – believing that “things aren’t really that bad!”
     Look into God’s spiritual mirror of His living word – and let His words reflect every rotting and putrefying sore you have – every evil, every deception, every resentment, every rebellion, or hostility of your mind and heart.
     Then REPENT unto God! It’s the only way of survival for you.
Thank you so very much for listening TODAY to the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries. So, until next time, this is Leonard V. Johnson, saying, good bye for now.

Editor's Notes:

{1} Editor's Note: The Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries gives a whole series of sermons on our Fundamental Beliefs located on our YouTube channel.

{2} Editor's Note: Mr. Johnson was paraphrasing here.

{3} Editor's Note: Mr. Johnson added this statistic concerning China but saw a television show called How America Works Season 1 "Fishing" in which he believes, personally, that America "legally" overfishes the oceans as well.

{4} Editor's Note: In actuality Mr. Garrett phrased this, "your spiritual 'tank'" in the sermon "Day of Pentecost - 2019," which we have transcribed on our website 


1) Jamieson, R., Fausset, A.R., Brown, D., Jamieson Fausset and Brown Commentary of the Whole Bible, Zondervan Publishing House, 1982, 567.

2) Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Brand, C., and Mitchell, E.A., B&H Publishing Group, © 2015, pgs. 520-521.

3) Perry, C., China and Overfishing, American Thinker, 13 May 2021, retrieved 27 April 2022.

4) Violence in the Media and Entertainment (Position Paper),, retrieved 27 April 2022.

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