Friday, October 28, 2022

New Wine In Old Skin

Here we are once again and October 31st will soon be here! Just around the corner. Halloween – that strangest of strange “holy day” holiday that this world celebrates yearly! Again, for this year, I remind our brethren around the world – like our dear friends in Brussels, Belgium; Riga, Latvia; Beersheba, Israel; and here in the States that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ expects His followers to be completely committed to His Way of life – for He says to us, ’ If you love [‘if you are loyal’ it can also mean] Me, keep My commandments’ – John 14:15. And for those proclaiming to be Christian and are continuing to celebrate Halloween every year – they ARE NOT completely committed to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who also states emphatically when He was the LORD of the Old Testament, cf. – “Thus says the LORD: ‘Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven [speaking concerning the likes of a horoscope], For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. 3) For the customs of the peoples are futile; …’” – Jeremiah 10:2, 3.

Are you seriously thinking about making some changes in your life – the way you live!?

If you’ve read our articles or listened to our sermons you’ve begun to learn some of God’s glorious and amazing Truth – for we teach the living Word of God, the Truth of God, and the ultimate Plan of God. You have come to see and realize that there is a lot of empty – what our Lord GOD calls ‘futile’ – traditions that have infiltrated into what is known in this world as “Christianity” – and since I just received a message from one of our friends arguing that the name God only be written as YHWH, Judaism too has a tremendous amount of empty or ‘futile’ traditions! The greater majority of Christ Jesus’ teachings are ignored or are ignorant of.

Have you ever read our Lord Jesus’ amazing words which He spoke to those in His day that thought they were all that and a bag of chips –

“ … ‘you have made the commandment [the ‘command’ Greek entolē, – NU-Text reads word] of God of no effect by your tradition. 7) Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8) ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 9) And IN VAIN THEY WORSHIP ME, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’ – Matthew 15:6, 7-9.

So, perhaps you have finally decided that it’s time to make a change in your life! This year you are NOT GOING TO KEEP HALLOWEEN! Of course, it can’t be with just Halloween. This awesome decision to love Christ Jesus and keep His commandments will mean that you MUST change every aspect of your life. Some aspects are small, others are large, but still, others are ginormous! The largest and most difficult one to change is to begin keeping and remembering the true holy day every week – Sabbath – especially here in the Western nations. This world in large part with its Christianity changed this glorious rest day from what we call Saturday to Sunday – the day of the sun. But, since it’s that time of the year again, let’s focus on Halloween.

What is so terrible about Halloween!? After all, as my wife tells me, ‘It’s for the children!’ Halloween, of course, is NOT a Christian holy day. It never has been nor ever will be!

Glaring Facts

Research any reputable encyclopædia and discover that it does not shy away from the fact that Halloween is of the origin of Samhain.
“Halloween had its origins in the festival of Samhain among the Celts of ancient Britain and Ireland. On the day corresponding to November 1 on contemporary calendars, the new year was believed to begin. That date was considered the beginning of the winter period, the date on which the herds were returned from pasture and land tenures were renewed. During the Samhain festival, the souls of those who had died were believed to journey to the other world. People set bonfires on hilltops for relighting their hearth fires for the winter and to frighten away evil spirits, and they sometimes wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the ghosts thought to be present. It was in those ways that beings such as witches, hobgoblins, fairies, and demons came to be associated with the day. The period was also thought to be favorable for divination on matters such as marriage, health, and death. When the Romans conquered the Celts in the 1st century A.D., they added their own festivals of Feralia, commemorating the passing of the dead, and of Pomona, the goddess of the harvest.” 1
So, the modern Western version of Halloween has been spreading like wildfire around the globe. Yet, it is certainly NOT Christian.

The very ‘god of this age’ (2 Corinthians 4:4) Satan the Devil has been successfully spreading this holiday and getting it endorsed by many cultures and even religions around the world.

Again – so you’ve decided once and for all not to keep Halloween this year!

Well, it isn’t going to be easy! Halloween has become so ingrained in our culture. I remember when I was a youth going to school and not celebrating with the rest of my classmates in all the Halloween parties and celebrations – and being ostracized! No bobbing for apples. What will your teacher think!? No trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. No twelve-foot-tall giant skeleton with animated LCD eyes!? You’ll certainly have to keep changing the channel on your television when the classic 1978 Halloween movie is on!

I do remember the very first and only time that I had gone trick-or-treating in my neighborhood in Lakeland, Florida – I was six years old, and it was 1975! I got bit by a dog!

We read in our Bible where the Lord GOD warns the children of Israel –

“Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, 16) lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female, 17) the likeness of any animal that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18) the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth. 19) And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven [outer space], and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the LORD your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage. 20) But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be His people, an inheritance, as you are this day. ... 23) Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image IN THE FORM OF ANYTHING which the LORD your God has forbidden you. 24) For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God” – Deuteronomy 4:15-24.

The LORD God says that it is futile, a pagan custom, and a clear case of the worship of ‘principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places’ – cf. Romans 8:37-39; Colossians 2:15; Ephesians 6:12. Yet, at only six years old, all I knew was that I was being ostracized by my peers for not keeping Halloween! All our neighbors had Halloween decorations galore around their houses – ours was void of all that.

Our Lord and Savior knew this would happen. He explained to His disciples that we would indeed miss some aspects of our old way of life. And that even though we will learn a great many glorious and wonderful truths from Him, we would still look back at nostalgia from time to time.

When our Lord Jesus Christ began His public ministry, immediately He came into conflict with what I have called those that thought of themselves as all of that and a bag of chips. Religious sects who prided themselves on the way they kept the Old Covenant laws. In fact, they had become so fanatical in their self-righteous attempts to be ‘perfect’ that they added some 613 commandments to their Mosaic Law - called mitzvot in Hebrew. They thus made the keeping of the LORD God’s Ten Commandments a burden.

Our Lord Jesus the Christ came to bring God the Father’s Message – the Word, Truth, and Plan of the redemption of all mankind – John 12:49. First to the Jew and then to the Gentile. He, of course, not only understood the letter of the Law, but He also understood the spirit of the Law. He NEVER broke any of Father God’s commandments (John 10:30) in any way – to these religious sects He was an outright heretic! And God forbid, here He was enjoying a simple meal with tax collectors (whom these religious sects viewed as traitors, evil, greedy, and corrupt people – who charged far more than what they believed they owed)! It was just too much for them to handle! And not only did our Lord Jesus do this “blasphemous act” in their view, but He also fasted like they believed He shouldn’t! Their tradition was that they fast twice a week religiously. They equated their fasting to righteousness. And they certainly didn’t have any love for our Lord Jesus Christ’s cousin John the Baptist either. Yet, our Lord Jesus along with His disciples didn’t appear to them to fast at all. Why!?

Our Lord Jesus has explained to us that fasting is a private way to get closer to God. Notice –

“ … ‘Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35) But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days’ – Luke 5:34-35.

While the Word (John 1:1), the Lord God, the very One who would become flesh and dwell among us – who was God in the flesh, was with His disciples, there was no need to privately fast. However, when our Lord and Savior was taken away, His disciples as well as all of us brethren will certainly need to fast privately to get ever-closer to God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ – privately fasting on occasion. And I continue to use the word “private” – because it is a very personal act, one that seems to be done principally in private outside of view from others – cf. Matthew 6:16-18. Again, another reason why we contend that the word “afflict” in Leviticus 23:27 in regard to the Day of Atonement should be translated as humble.

“Then He spoke a parable to them: ‘No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old’ – Luke 5:36.

Certainly, no new, unshrunk, unfaded, cloth should be used on old cloth. That’s just seamstressing 101!

The second parable here may not make a whole lot of sense to most in this 21st century -

’ And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38) But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved’ – Luke 5:37-38.

Even though in the first-century Roman era glass became much more common – and one of the first types of vessels to be made using a blowing technique is the small, elongated bottle that we call the “tear bottle” – our Lord Jesus Christ used the analogy of a wineskin. Wine needs to be stored in the most air-tight way possible to preserve its quality and flavor. The storage containers of ancient wine were varied in both design and size in the first-century world. Canaanite jars, known better by their Greek name amphorae, were a popular choice. Pithos is the general name for huge, ancient jars found in the Mediterranean region. And, wineskins – they were a way to take your wine on the go. These were made from leather sewn together into a bag, often a goatskin and the seams were sealed with resin. Wineskins came in various sizes, would be tied shut at the neck, and usually, they would have a strap to hang the bag for storage or on the shoulder for travel. 2

New wine that has not yet finished fermenting gives off a gas that will expand the skin. A new wineskin has some give and will allow for this expansion. And even though when the old skin becomes empty and hardens it is then softened by soaking and treating it with oil it may not expand enough – and may indeed burst. But, why did our Lord Jesus use the analogy of wineskins – why tell the people that!? Well, our Lord Jesus Christ’s mission was not to give the multitude helpful hints on how to store new wine. He was using this analogy to teach an aspect of true Christian living.

Longing For That Old Skin

When you first began learning about God’s living word it was a totally new experience – and when you first began to understand His living word you were completely elated! It is unlike anything you have ever known!

Sadly, what most want to do is to try and fit this new TRUTH into our old way of life. To go back into our old skin. But once we are converted brethren as the Apostle Paul tells us, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” – 2 Corinthians 5:17. It’s only natural to long for days gone by, it’s difficult to change, and certainly no one likes to admit that they have been wrong. Our old way of life is familiar to us, comfortable, and we want to hang onto that old way as much as possible.

What about you!? Perhaps you have fond memories of you and your wife cuddling underneath a Christmas tree!? The great fun you experienced at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights!? What about the memory of that moving feeling you experienced when those beautiful Christmas carolers strolled along your neighborhood block singing!? The living TRUTH OF GOD comes smashing into long-inherited religious ideas and ideals. His living truth certainly challenges long-held and comfortable beliefs.

This ‘new creation’ – even though it is right – oftentimes seems like an unwelcome intruder, and you might even find yourself resenting it.

Our Lord Jesus Christ comforts us, brethren when He says, ’ And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better’ – Luke 5:39. He knew that it would be difficult at times brethren. And He is here for us!

If you are beginning to truly understand what it means to be a true Christian, then you must realize that it is going to be demanding at times. We cannot have it both ways. Minister Guy LaMar often says – you cannot hold hands with God while still trying to hold hands with the Devil. You cannot continue to keep and observe this world’s “holy day” holidays and its customs and still expect the glorious blessings of our mighty and powerful God.

’ But why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and DO NOT do the things which I say? 47) Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings AND DOES THEM, I will show you whom he is like: 48) He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the Rock’ – Luke 6:46-48.

As I’ve said before, let us not compromise with “Babylon the great” let us continue to “come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” – Revelation 18:4. The LORD our God expects complete commitment and He demands that we come out of this Babylon of confusion that is so much of the religions of this world.

God is with us, brethren. □


1) Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Halloween". Encyclopedia Britannica, 22 Oct. 2022, Accessed 27 October 2022.
2) Hamel, K.D., Winemaking in First Century Israel, 24 March 2021, Retrieved 27 Oct. 2022.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

A Morning Bible Study - Are You Handling God's Test?

Leonard V Johnson   About

Do you realize that everyone of us is being tested by Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ!? How are you handling God’s test?

The LORD God’s Way of life is based upon Their spiritual Law of love. It is love toward our LORD God – the Elohim; the family of God – which is the first four of the Ten Commandments, and love toward our fellowman – the last six of the Ten Commandments. And one of these is a TEST COMMANDMENT.

There are a few in this generation that will admit that the Ten Commandments should be obeyed. And they say, “Even the fourth commandment.” Yet, the majority of this world has been taught that the Sabbath was changed to either Sunday, or any day you like.

Let us properly understand the living truth of the Eternal God concerning His Sabbath day, and why it is so IMPORTANT that we pass this test commandment.
1) Which day of creation week did God [in Hebrew it’s Elohim] rest?
“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them [meaning, certainly, the entire known universe], were finished. …” – finished in SIX DAYS! “2) And ON THE SEVENTH DAY God ended His work which He had done. 3) Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” – Genesis 2:1-3.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9) Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10) But the SEVENTH DAY is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger [visitor] who is within your gates. 11) For IN SIX DAYS [a period of time from sunset to sunset. A day is not measured by the journey of the earth PLUS our journey ON the earth.] the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, AND RESTED THE SEVENTH DAY. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” – Exodus 20:8-11.

“And He said to them, ‘The Sabbath [the SEVENTH DAY] was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28) Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath’ – Mark 2:27-28.

So, by resting He created, “made,” the Sabbath, whereas all else was created by working. And by resting on the SEVENTH DAY, God set for us an example for mankind to follow.
2) God is a family (cf. Genesis 1:26). Which member of the God family created that first Sabbath?
“He [God the Father] has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love [our Lord Jesus Christ]. 14) in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 15) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16) For BY HIM all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” – Colossians 1:13-16.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is Lord of the Sabbath because He created it. As other Scriptures show us, Our Lord Jesus was the Lord GOD who revealed Himself to the children of Israel throughout the Old Testament. God the Father created all things THROUGH and BY HIM. So, again, by resting on the SEVENTH DAY of the creation week, our Lord GOD set apart a 24-hour period of time for special and holy use.
3) Since creation, has the number of the days of the week ever changed? Has the weekly calendar ever been changed? How can we be sure that the SEVENTH DAY – Saturday – is still the day the LORD God has sanctified for us?
In the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica 11th Edition, Vol. 4 concerning the week –

Week —The week is a period of seven days, having no reference whatever to the celestial motions,—a circumstance to which it owes its unalterable uniformity. Although it did not enter into the calendar of the Greeks, and was not introduced at Rome till after the reign of Theodosius, it has been employed from time immemorial in almost all eastern countries.” 1

Now, to give credence, one can research the online Britannica, which states –

“The seven-day week may owe its origin partly to the four (approximately) seven-day phases of the Moon and partly to the Babylonian belief in the sacredness of the number seven, which was probably related to the seven planets. Moreover, by the 1st century BCE the Jewish seven-day week seems to have been adopted throughout the Roman world, and this influenced Christendom.” 2

The very words “may,” “probably,” and “seems to have been” are not words of assurance. Our SEVENTH DAY has always been what we call today Saturday – even though there have been some adjustments to the modern calendar.

The Julian calendar was instituted in 46 BC by Julius Caesar himself, and was in place in the time of our Lord Jesus Christ. In many languages, the very word Saturday continues to reflect the Hebrew word Shabat.

A change came to the Julian calendar when narcissist Caesar Augustus decided that he wanted to name a month after himself – August. However, the weekly cycle was not affected by this change. After Emperor Augustus’ change, there were no more changes until October 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII introduced upon the world his Gregorian calendar – which is still being used today. 3

Gregory XIII omitted ten days from his calendar by decreeing that the day after Thursday, Oct. 4th, 1582, would be Friday, October 15th, 1582. This change, however, did not affect the order of the days of the week.

“There has been no change in our calendar in past centuries that has affected in any way the cycle of the week.”—James Robertson, Director American Ephemeris, Navy Department, U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C., March 12, 1932.

“It can be said with assurance that not a day has been lost since Creation, and all the calendar changes notwithstanding, there has been no break in the weekly cycle.”—Dr. Frank Jeffries, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and Research Director of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England.

Would the LORD God set apart a certain day, put His blessing on it – Genesis 2:1-3 – make it HOLY TIME, command that it be KEPT HOLY FOREVER, and then let that holy time become so lost we cannot tell when to keep it? No.
4) For whom did our Lord Jesus Christ say the holy Sabbath was created?
Again – Mark 2:27-28 – “ …’The Sabbath [the SEVENTH DAY] was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28) Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath’

The Sabbath was created, or rather “made,” FOR MAN! Every seventh day since creation is to be kept holy and remembered. The Sabbath was to benefit all who would live – if they keep it. So, to be clear, He did not say that the Sabbath was made for the Jew. ‘The Sabbath was made for MAN.’ For all mankind throughout the world. And it was made for a blessing. It was made for you, to help you, to help you live a more enriched and happier life – a more godly life. What I have come to understand through God’s living Spirit and truth is that one of the greatest of blessings that has been bestowed upon mankind is the Lord’s Sabbath. It signifies that God is our Creator and that we are His begotten children. An article “’It is a sign’” is a very informative read. How did the Lord God intend for the Sabbath to benefit mankind?

“’Six days you shall do your work, and on THE SEVENTH DAY you shall rest, that your ox and your [ass] may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger [visitor] may be refreshed’” – Exodus 23:12.

The very word Shabat in Hebrew means “rest.” Physical rest as well as mental relaxation after a full six day week. The LORD God knew that mankind would need periodic rest from work. Turn with me in your Bible to the Book of Isaiah chapter 58. The High and Lofty One, whose name is Holy inspired the prophet Isaiah to write –

“’ If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, NOT DOING YOUR OWN WAYS, NOR FINDING YOUR OWN PLEASURE, NOR SPEAKING YOUR OWN WORDS, 14) Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken’” – Isaiah 58:13-14.

What does the LORD God mean here “not doing your own ways,” “finding our own pleasure,” and “speaking our own words”!? Truly, this means that we should be busy doing good for others, getting ever closer to God in prayer and Bible study. Being happy because we are able to rest, to worship God with peace, and having special time with Him. The answer to it all is, WE KEEP THE DAY WHEN THE DAY COMES TO US.
5) Was the observance of the holy Sabbath day to be a special sign of identification between the LORD God and His begotten children? Notice –
“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 13) ‘Speak also to the children of Israel [recall, his name was Jacob (Genesis 32:28)], saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for IT IS A SIGN BETWEEN ME AND YOU throughout your generations, that you may know that I AM the LORD who sanctifies you’” – Exodus 31:12-13.

Did the LORD our God also make Sabbath observance a separate covenant (agreement) with His people?

“’ Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’” – Exodus 31:16.

The LORD God wanted His people to always remember that God is CREATOR and SUSTAINER and RULER over ALL THINGS! And so They singled out the keeping and the observance of the holy Sabbath as a sign by which the children of Israel would always be reminded of this IMPORTANCE! The LORD God made the Sabbath a separate covenant to the children of Israel, besides the overall covenant with them (commonly called the “Mosaic Covenant,” or the “Old Covenant”). This special and separate covenant is a perpetual covenant – a sign that would identify God’s people throughout all generations.
6) Is a true Christian an individual who has become a spiritual Israelite – one of “Abraham’s seed” through Christ Jesus!? Notice here especially verse 29 ─
“For you are all sons [children] of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27) For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28) There is neither Jew nor Greek [Gentile], there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for YOU ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS. 29) And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” – Galatians 3:26-29.

Notice this – which is gravely misunderstood in this world – chapter 2 of the Book of Ephesians – the Apostle Paul speaking to our converted brethren there in the Church at Ephesus and by extension now to us –

Verse 1 – “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2) in which you once walked [walked in trespasses and sins] according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, …” – in other words, we were right there in this world and was walking and trespassing and sinning along with Satan the devil – with principalities, with powers, with rulers of the darkness of this age (Cf. Ephesians 6:12). “ … the spirit who now works in the [children] of disobedience.”

Verse 3 – “among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as others.” – we were just like the greater majority of this world which is oblivious to the LORD our God – the great Most High God and Creator! Or, like my wife along with a growing number of our peoples who claim, “I believe in a God, but not in religion” – known as Deism.

Verse 4 – “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5) even when we were dead in trespasses [in sins], made us alive together with Christ …” – He, in other words, raised us up from death – the death penalty. “ … (by grace you have been saved), …”

You cannot gain salvation by keeping God’s holy Law for even a hundred lifetimes – perfectly. Because we have already broken His Law when we find out just where we stand in this life. His Law defines just what sin is. When we finally understand that Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed in the upper heavenly realms and that They have a Law! And the very fact that we have already broken this great Law – already being guilty of death! Is was only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ – and this sacrifice came through the grace of Almighty God! HE GAVE THAT TO US! Because we were in a situation we couldn’t get out of. But does this drop God’s Law!? The Ten Commandments!?

Verse 11 – “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh – who are called Uncircumcision [they were called unclean] by what is called the Circumcision [in other words, by the Jewish converts] made in the flesh by hands – 12) that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens [strangers] from the commonwealth of Israel …” – the Apostle Paul is writing here to God’s Church within a Gentile city within a Gentile nation. Paul was dealing with church groups that were being influenced by people who were trying to make them more JEWISH than CHRISTIAN. “ … and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13) But NOW in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

Verse 14 – “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one [speaking of both Jews and Gentiles], and has broken down the middle wall of separation, …” – recall that the Jews were allowed to access the temple, however the Gentiles were only allowed a certain section!?

Verse 15 – “having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from two, thus making peace.”

Now, there are so many ministers which will claim, ‘There it is! God abolished the Law of commandments!’ The question being – what law!? Friends, it is important that you answer the rest of this! God’s living word says that His knowledge within His word – the Holy Bible – is “precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” – Isaiah 28:10 NKJV. One cannot just take one passage and use that only as a proof. You must go to all the places within His living word which He provides on any given subject.

The Apostle Paul would indeed take big issue with this! He would say in Galatians 3 – “What purpose then does the law serve? …” Speaking of the Mosaic law, the law of Moses!? He goes on to say, “… It was added because of transgressions, TILL THE SEED SHOULD COME to whom the promise was made; …”

The LORD God had added this sacrificial system there at Mount Sinai which had to do with the sacrifice of bullocks, goats, lambs and turtle doves. Along with the sacrificial lamb at Passover – these were all a symbol of redemption until the ‘SEED SHOULD COME’ – the one and only true sacrifice! God added this sacrificial system as temporary atonement for His people until - cf. Hebrews 9:10.

The Apostle Paul also wrote in Hebrews 10 – “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” “then He [our Lord Jesus Christ] said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second [the NEW COVENANT]. By that will we have been sacrificed through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL.”

“For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law [the “Old Covenant”], but through the righteousness of faith” – Romans 4:13.

That promise was made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. And that promise was also made to all of us!

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” – Ephesians 2:19.

Be sure to read TODAY our article “’Under Law’ or ‘Under Grace’?”
7) Did the LORD God command the children of Israel to meet together for worship on the weekly Sabbath? Notice –
“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2) ‘Speak to the children of Israel [and in the New Covenant, the living Church of God], and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy CONVOCATIONS, these are My feasts 3) Six days shall work be done, but the SEVENTH DAY is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. ...’” – Leviticus 23:1-2, 3.

The word “convocations” in the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is defined as –

con-vo-ca-tion \,kän-və-‘kā-shən\ n [ME, fr. MF. fr. L convocation-,convocatio, fr. convocare] (14c) 1 a: an assembly of persons convoked. 4

So, what are New Covenant Christians admonished regarding this convocation – this assembling of themselves!? Let us look into your Bible and find the answers.

Take for an example myself. I currently live about 775 miles (one way) from the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ headquartered in Owensboro, Kentucky. And, there has not yet been a local congregation established - and if you are local and would like to assemble together for the holy Sabbath, please conact me at  There is no place for me to attend services unless I was to attend some other church. It has seemed to many that in this situation, since there are groups with similar doctrines, that it’s perfectly alright to attend one of those churches. It is not, however.

Now, it is NOT COMMANDED as a true Christian, to attend a regular church service every Sabbath.

Now, there is only one passage in all of the New Testament which gives any direct instruction to “assembling together with others.”

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25) not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some [I inject here - the Hebrew Christians at that time were being pressured to return to Judaism with all its rules, rituals, and man-made traditions], but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the Day approaching” – Hebrews 10:24-25.

And here I add - assembling with other brethren of like mind IS IMPORTANT! We are the Body of Christ! All body parts must be connected to the body to survive. It is true that Apostle Paul was speaking to the Hebrew converts, reminding them of the importance of community and fellowshiping. According to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - "'Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I AM there in the midst of them'" - Matthew 18:20. A gathering, an assembly, a congregation needs only two or three participants. And remember, even if you are studying and worshiping alone on the LORD God's holy Sabbath, God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ is with you! Sadly, this world's Churchianity has been misinterpreting God's living word. This world's religious leaders act as though they own God's word. In their carnal minds the Bible was written strickly for them, and they give it to us. This world's Christianity is full of hand-plucked verses claiming that God says this, and that God says that - all men's opinions and traditions. But when we find ourseves free from their control and their corrupting influence, and rely ONLY ON OUR LORD GOD, we come to see that His living word is a glorious and wonderful Message from the LORD God to all mankind!

This world has its churches. This world has its religions, with its false doctrines, false teachings, false prophets, and ministers – and is replete with its man-made traditions. Once – while I was in a doctors waiting room waiting for a friends minor surgery and recovery – I was told by a so-called Christian that one of the primary beliefs of Protestant churchianity is that it is commanded for your salvation to ATTEND CHURCH! And without thinking – they come to believe that this is the teaching of the Bible.

God Almighty and Jesus Christ – when They inspired these words to be written – knew that some would be living where there is no local congregation to attend. Notice, however, the admonishment is – “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” Friends, if there is no local congregation to assemble, how can you be forsaking to assemble!?

Again, from the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, the word “admonish” is defined as –

ad-mon-ish \ad-‘mä-nish\ vt [ME admonesten, fr. MF admonester, fr. (assumed) VL admonestare, alter. of L admonēre to warn, fr. ad. - + monēre to warn – more at MIND] (14c) 1 a: to indicate duties or obligations to b: to express warning or disapproval to esp. in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner 2: to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement to syn see REPROVE. 5

The Greek word for ‘forsaking’ is enkataleipō, meaning “to not abandon.” To not forsake. It implies – not running away from, or refusing to assemble.

If you live close enough to one of GOD’S churches to attend His Sabbath service – and refuse to attend, run away from it, abandon going, or even neglecting to do so – then you are breaking God’s holy command here (Leviticus 23:2-3). However, if you live too far away to attend, then you certainly are not refusing, abandoning, or even deserting attendance – it is out of your power. The LORD God’s Sabbath is indeed a “holy convocation.” But, within the realm of your ability. If you happen to live too far away, are confined to bed because of illness and are unable to attend with regularity – what are you to do!?

“So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily” – Acts 16:5.

“But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches” – 1 Corinthians 7:17.

Now, nothing is said if they had large or ornate buildings. Some merely met in houses of members. (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 2). However, your Bible teaches against brethren assembling together in small groups without a minister to help lead them.

“So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed” – Acts 14:23.

Here, Paul and Barnabas ordained elders in every church. There were no churches without ordained leaders.

Be sure to watch TODAY “Are We To Listen To Others?”

1) Encyclopedia Britannica 11th edition volume 4: 988.
2) Proskouriakoff, Tatiana , Ronan, Colin Alistair , Lin, Chao , Schmidt, John D. , Wiesenberg, E.J. , Ziadeh, Nicola Abdo , Buitenen, J.A.B. van and Bickerman, E.J.. "calendar". Encyclopedia Britannica, 7 Jul. 2022, Accessed 25 October 2022.
3) "The Change from the Julian to the Gregorian Calendar," (© 1997-2009).
4) Webster M. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, convocation, 1996, pp 254.
5) Ibid. admonish, pp. 16.

Scriptural Index:

Old Testament - Genesis 2:1-3; 31:12-13; 32:28; Exodus 20:8-11; 23:12; 31:16; Leviticus 23:1-2, 3; Isaiah 28:10; 58:13-14.
New Testament - Matthew 18:20; Mark 2:27-28; Acts 14:23; 16:5; Romans 4:13; 1 Corinthians 7:17; 16:19; Galatians 3:19, 26-29; Ephesians 2:1-2, 3, 4, 5, 11-12, 13, 14, 15, 19; 6:12; Colossians 1:13-16; 4:15; Philemon 2; Hebrews 9:10; 10:4, 9-10, 24-25.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Letter to our Friends - October 21, 2022

P.O. Box 6458
Spring Hill, Florida 34606

Leonard V Johnson 

Greetings friends from West Central Florida:

The Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day went well here in Spring Hill, Florida. In case you’re not aware, I had traveled to Owensboro, Kentucky to be with the brethren there at the Logsdon Community Center – having arrived there at 8:30 PM EST the night before – but the reservation I had made with for the Wingfield Inn & Suites refused to honor my reservation. I suppose that they can get a higher price for the room on the weekend than the cheaper rate I was going to pay!? Anyhow, they will certainly never get my business again. Also, while staying overnight – having had to pay full price – I received an emergency phone call from my wife saying that her mother had to be rushed to the emergency room – again. Her mother had been having dizzy spells and other issues. My wife wanted me there – if nothing more than comfort – so I returned home that night. After the doctors did what is called a brain angiogram, they detected two ≤12 mm size aneurysms on her brain-please keep her in your prayers. The Feast this year went well in Owensboro, Kentucky. Minister Michael C. Garrett gave sermons for each day – minus two. We have the whole set of sermons available here – Feast of Tabernacles – 2022 (VIDEO SERIES)

In this Letter, I would like to include a small portion of my latest Personal because I feel that it is relevant here – 
October 20, 2022

As I have written and given sermons about – there is a grave increase in Satan the Devil’s persecutions upon God’s chosen begotten children – worldwide – as we get ever closer to the end of this present evil age! … We here at the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries, and this certainly affects our affiliated churches, have been persecuted for Christ Jesus and His living Word, Truth, and Plan for the redemption of all mankind; and I’m certain that we shall continue to be persecuted until our final breath. The most popular and influential social media platform around the world – Facebook – has silenced our Lord Jesus Christ’s voice. The Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries' Facebook page was “disabled” because they say that we went against their “Community Standards.” Having not been given the chance to challenge their decision, we were told, “We have already reviewed this decision and it can’t be reversed.” I can’t even imagine what it was that we did that was so vile and against their “Community Standards” except boldly and confidently preaching the living word of God, the Truth of God, and the ultimate Plan of God!? This shouldn’t come to us as a shock, brethren, we are told by our Lord Jesus – ’ Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17) But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils [even deliver you up to Facebook’s “council”] and scourge you in their synagogues [their churches]. 18) You will be brought before governors and kings [and in this instance, the self-proclaimed “king of social media”] FOR MY SAKE, as a testimony [a witness] to them and to the Gentiles’– Matthew 10:16-18.
     And, as I witness to you this day – if you, dear brethren, do not stand up for your fellow brothers and sisters that are being persecuted by this self-proclaimed “king of social media,” when he comes after you there will be no one who will stand up for you! – Amos 8:11-12. We had been boldly and confidently preaching God’s message without fear on our Facebook page – Philippians 1:14. Are other churches preaching so boldly and confidently on their pages without fear!? It’s possible, but like us, they too will eventually be silenced. However, most churches of this world compromise. They compromise with this “council” and its “king” – going only so far as to not be “locked up” or “deleted” from social media! The righteous are to be as “bold as lions” (Proverbs 28:1), yet, prudent in all things. As I said, this world’s churches are compromising with “Babylon the great”! Did we push the envelope!?
     Well, it doesn’t take much “pushing” in this present evil age – does it!? The Apostle Paul writes – “Yes, and all who desire to live godly IN CHRIST JESUS will suffer persecution.” He goes on to warn us brethren that towards the end of this present evil age – that “evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, ….”
And it appears, at least for the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries and our affiliated churches, this evil that is permeating throughout the whole world is growing worse and worse as we get closer to the end of this age. All one truly needs to do is look upon this Administration we have here in America! I ask the question – why aren’t Truth, Justice, and the American Way-loving Americans pounding on the gates of the White House demanding their resignation or impeachment!? Is it because Satan the Devil’s–the ruler of this present evil age (2 Corinthians 4:4) – evil influence has strengthened exponentially as we are entering into the heart of the storm!? – cf. Matthew 24:8, 21-22 – especially the Anglo-Saxon nations! What the LORD our God calls “the time of Jacob’s trouble” – Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:21-22.

Truly, the Apostle Paul has warned that there would be those who would “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” – Romans 1:18. Our Lord Jesus Christ certainly knew that His Message of His coming kingdom would be silenced – cf. Amos 8:11-12. 

As I said in the sermon “The Calm Is Over!”
Notice again chapter 6 of the Book of Revelation –

Verse 9 – “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10) And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’”
      Verse 11 – “Then a white robe [will be] given to each of them; …” – meaning signs of immortality and eternal life. “ … and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, …” – to wait, be quiet, be easy for a little season. “ … until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.” – speaking of the end-time prophets.
     And as our Lord Jesus Christ spoke privately with His disciples He continued with this end-time prophecy – Matthew chapter 24 – 
      Verse 9 – ’ Then they will deliver you [pertaining to the end-time prophets] up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10) And then many will be offended, will betray one another. 11) Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12) And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13) But he who endures to the end shall be saved.’ 
     They – possibly twelve end-time prophets – will be given power from God Almighty and Jesus Christ to begin prophesying – testifying - to kings, to world rulers, to the captured elect of God, to a great religious leader and political leader – standing before the god of the earth (Satan the devil) – WARNING and proclaiming the kingdom of God soon to come – for 3 ½ years!
     Verse 14 – ‘ And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, AND THEN THE END WILL COME.’
Well, my friends, I don’t mean to alarm you – you know, Minister Guy LaMar recently wrote up an Opinion piece “Satan the Devil and David Pack” in which he says, that this man and others like him “preach hard on the end of the world scenario – it gets them attention and is a money-maker for them and their immediate families.” Which certainly is a truism. We too preach of the grave trouble which is coming to the nations of Israel and to the world as a whole – “ … ‘there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be’ – Matthew 24:21 – though not to the degree, nor the way in which they preach it! We certainly aren’t making any money-we only receive persecutions – our Lord Jesus Christ Himself WARNED 1,992 years ago, that the only ones that are going to be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are coming – and I might inject, things that are even happening now! – are those that are properly watching world events in relation to biblical prophecy, as well as praying always – Luke 21:36. And sadly, there’s a really good chance that not very many people in this world are doing either. You could know what is coming, and you should be excited about it, and you should be terribly concerned about it! Certainly, with the ever-increasing rise in inflation, most are more concerned about their day-to-day activities – in just surviving for another day! – Matthew 6:33-34. Friends, we have been proclaiming the very words of our Savior for over twenty-five years, ’ So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near─at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation [the very generation which will see all these things come to pass] will by no means pass away till all these things take place’ – Matthew 24:33-34. Sadly, the greater majority of this world doesn’t pay us any mind.

But, let me tell you, my friends; as our Lord Jesus Christ tells you, ’ But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For IT WILL COME as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth’ – Luke 21:34-35. And, we certainly are in the preliminary stages of the great tribulation to come, what our Lord has called ’ the beginning of sorrows.’ Very soon the tiny nation in the Middle East called Israel will be viciously and deliberately attacked by the nation of Iran! I warn this with grave WARNING – while these worldly churches compromise with “Babylon the great” – to my chagrin. 

Suggested Sabbath Day Service

Here is this week's suggested Sabbath service:

● 2 hymns. (we have an online The Bible Hymnal, along with many hymns with a Choral Accompaniment on our website
● An opening prayer.
● Announcements, if any.
● Suggested sermonette: “The Love of God” delivered by Minister Leonard V Johnson in Athens, Al. 1/16/21.
● Suggested sermon: “Should Christians Keep Halloween?” by Minister Leonard V Johnson.
Additional sermons are available at: 
● Final hymn.
● A closing prayer.


World News In Relation To Biblical Prophecy

Europe is continuing to increase its military while also training Ukrainian soldiers (See: euronews‘EU countries agree to train Ukrainian soldiers as part of new mission’). In the report, Alice Tidey wrote –
17 October 2022
     European Union foreign ministers signed off on Monday on a military assistance mission to train 15,000 Ukrainian personnel in various member states.
     “Today we step up our support to Ukraine to defend itself from Russia’s illegal aggression. The EU Military Assistance Mission will train the Ukrainian Armed Forces so they can continue their courageous fight,” said the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell in a statement.
     The plans would mean both Ukrainian recruits and specialized personnel would receive training on EU soil over the coming two years. 
God’s living word shows us that a Europe will reorganize (as iron mixes with clay; Daniel 2:33) towards the end of this age –

“’ The ten horns which you saw are ten kings [or rather kingdoms – as God views kingdoms] who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13) These are of ONE MIND, and they will give their power and authority to the beast’” – Revelation 17:12-13.

Now, as Europe increases its military, the Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz has pledged to spend more than any country, other than the United States of America (and even perhaps China)! And, as far as a German-dominated united Europe, notice this report from ReMix earlier this year
January 17, 2022
    A German-controlled Europe is coming
   The idea of a German-dominated Europe is taking shape, columnist Péter G. Fehér writes in daily Magyar Hírlap.
   The essence of a federal Europe was perhaps articulated most strongly by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the Polish ruling party.
  “Germany is working to transform the EU into a federal German fourth empire. If we Poles agreed to such a modern-day surrender, we would actually be degraded,” he declared. Let us add that this applies not only to the Poles, but also to all other EU nations, including us Hungarians.
   It is a utopian and dangerous idea — an attempt that will not hold the European Union together but will shatter it. However, more and more sober voices can be heard in the background of the creation of a German-dominated Europe. …
   The new German government must now face the fact that, after the change of regime, Central Europe, which has its own sphere of interest, has achieved a position of economic interdependence to some degree with Germany. At least a third of the supply capacity of German industry is already in this region, a significant part of which is in Poland, which is the biggest part of the region, and a significant proportion is with us, Hungary.

Yes, friends, more control is coming to Germany!

We, in the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries and our affiliated churches, are expecting a reorganized Germany, as well as a reorganized United Europe – which will result in a “beast” power with such strength and power that only Adolf Hitler could dream about!

Also in the news – there is an ever-increasing concern about food shortages, food insecurities, and food price inflation (See: STAT‘Ensuring food security and health beyond the Covid-19 public health emergency’). Notice –

October 18, 2022
   Households rarely experience food insecurity, poverty, or poor health in isolation. Instead, they are linked in a cycle … The end of the PHE and the program expansions attached to the declaration will significantly affect millions of Americans who continue to struggle to access medical care and afford food.
   Much has been written about the “unwinding” of Medicaid and SNAP. In brief, when the public health emergency ends, program benefits and access will be affected in myriad ways:
   Medicaid: Access will be restricted as states will discontinue continuous coverage … 
The loss of Medicaid will affect access to other food assistance programs, further increasing food insecurity.
Certainly, droughts in various places around the globe, floods, rising fertilizer costs, rising energy costs, and various governmental policies – along with Russia’s “special military operation” into the sovereign nation of Ukraine, are all factors in this crisis. 

Again, going back to the SOURCE – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – He warns us in both the 24th chapter of the Book of Matthew, as well as in the Book of Revealing in chapter 6 – there is a sequence of events which will eventually lead to the prophesied ‘great tribulation’ at the end of this present evil age – another world war, famine, pestilences, and an ever-greater increase of earthquakes (and certainly volcanoes) in various places! Notice –

’ Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ [meaning, that many will be preaching that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ] and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  
For nation will rise against nation, …’ – here speaking about another world war towards the end of this age! “ …’ and kingdom against kingdom. …’ – and as we teach, we believe He is making a reference here to the Prophet Daniel’s ‘king of the South’ and ‘king of the North’ end-time prophecy – see Daniel 11:40-45. Be sure to read today Minister Michael C. Garrett’s THREE-PART prophecy series: “The Final Empire,” “End-Time Babylon,” and “The Last Crusade.” “ …’ And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows’ – Matthew 24:4-8.

My dear friends, the LORD our God’s true servants “have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Morning Star [our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Himself] rises in your hearts” – 1 Peter 1:19. Sadly, there are a growing number of false prophets which are rising up and are proclaiming false prophetic errors! Such as Jack Hibbs. And this takes us to this Letters concluding comments – 

Concluding Comments

The Protestant Harbingers Daily posted a video with the following title - Why There Must Be a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. Well, no friends, there MUST NOT BE a pre-tribulation rapture, as those of us brethren that know God’s living truth and accept this truth, understand – there is no such thing!

The rotten fruit of these false prophets – and there are millions – and their false doctrines are not good! As in the case of the false pre-tribulation rapture, it certainly gets people to think that they need not be concerned about our Lord Jesus Christ’s living WARNING because God will pull them out before the great tribulation begins and fly them off to heaven. Yet, this is FALSE ─and our Lord Jesus Christ Himself says to us ’ And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!’ – Mark 13:37; Luke 21:36. And, as I stated earlier, He lists many of the pre-tribulation things to watch for – which, I guess these “Pre-Tribulation Rapturists” mark out with a felt tip marker!?

Harbingers Daily is not a reliable source for the prophecies of our Lord Jesus Christ!

There is no pre-tribulation rapture for the churches of this world! One of the major flaws in Protestantism is their unwavering allegiance to their Mother Church – the Roman Catholic Church. They have long placed their false hope in her – the MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH! Along with her they too shall be destroyed! – for as the mighty angel crying from heaven warns – “’ Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. … Therefore her plagues will come in one day – death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her’” – Revelation 17:5; 18:4, 8.

In deep gratitude and love, in Jesus' name,

Friday, October 21, 2022

Feast of Tabernacles - 2022 (VIDEO SERIES)

The Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries is pleased to present this year's FEAST OF TABERNACLES and LAST GREAT DAY - 2022 series of sermons!

Day 1 through to Day 8 video series given from October 10th through to October 17th, 2022.

Minister Michael C. Garrett in this set of sermons focuses on the Book of Jeremiah chapter 23 along with Revelation chapter 6, going over a little of the seven seals that are unsealed by our Lord Jesus Christ. Along with, again, explaining to us our concept - because there is no book, chapter or verse that one can turn to and see the phrase "end-time prophets" - however you can take a number of different verses which does allude to this very phrase, the end-time prophets, as revealed to us e.g., Revelation 11.

Here is a link to Day 2 of the Feast of Tabernacles - 2022: 10-11-2022 - Feast of Tabernacles 2022 - Day 2 - YouTube
Here is a link to Day 3 of the Feast of Tabernacles - 2022: 10-12-2022 - Feast of Tabernacles Day 3 - Wage the Good Warfare - YouTube
Here is a link to Day 4 of the Feast of Tabernacles - 2022: 10-13-2022 - Feast of Tabernacles - Day 4 - YouTube
Here is a link to Day 5 of the Feast of Tabernacles - 2022: ..............unavailable..............
Here is a link to Day 6 of the Feast of Tabernacles - 2022: 10-15-2022 - Feast of Tabernacles - Day 6 - YouTube
Here is a link to Day 7 of the Feast of Tabernacles - 2022: 10-16-2022 - Feast of Tabernacles - Day 7 - YouTube
Here is a link to the 8th Day of the Feast - the Last Great Day - 2022: 10-17-2022 - The Last Great Day - 2022 - YouTube

Some items of related interest:

Letter to our Friends - October 8th, 2019Dear Friends: Greetings from Owensboro, Kentucky. We trust that you HUMBLED yourself before God and our Lord Jesus Christ on the Day of Atonement.
Feast of Tabernacles - 2019 (VIDEO SERIES)The Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ is very pleased to announce this year's FEAST OF TABERNACLES series of sermons!
A Morning Bible Study - What the Feast of Tabernacles PicturesThe LORD our God’s seven annual festivals picture the steps in which He is bringing about His Master Plan for the redemption of all mankind.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Personal From... What Is True Spirituality?

Leonard V Johnson    About

As I have written and given sermons about – there is a grave increase in Satan the Devil’s persecutions upon God’s chosen begotten children – worldwide – as we get ever closer to the end of this present evil age! In this Personal I’d like to speak about just what is true spirituality? But first: We here at the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries, and this certainly affects our affiliated churches, have been persecuted for Christ Jesus and His living Word, Truth, and Plan for the redemption of all mankind; and I’m certain that we shall continue to be persecuted until our final breath. The most popular and influential social media platform around the world – Facebook – has silenced our Lord Jesus Christ’s voice. The Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries' Facebook page was “disabled” because they say that we went against their “Community Standards.” Having not been given the chance to challenge their decision, we were told, “We have already reviewed this decision and it can’t be reversed.” I can’t even imagine what it was that we did that was so vile and against their “Community Standards” except boldly and confidently preaching the living word of God, the Truth of God, and the ultimate Plan of God!? This shouldn’t come to us as a shock, brethren, we are told by our Lord Jesus –
     ’ Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17) But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils [even deliver you up to Facebook’s “council”] and scourge you in their synagogues [their churches]. 18) You will be brought before governors and kings [and in this instance, the self-proclaimed “king of social media”] FOR MY SAKE, as a testimony [a witness] to them and to the Gentiles’ – Matthew 10:16-18.
     And, as I witness to you this day – if you, dear brethren, do not stand up for your fellow brothers and sisters that are being persecuted by this self-proclaimed “king of social media,” when he comes after you there will be no one who will stand up for you! – Amos 8:11-12. We had been boldly and confidently preaching God’s message without fear on our Facebook page – Philippians 1:14. Are other churches preaching so boldly and confidently on their pages without fear!? It’s possible, but like us, they too will eventually be silenced. However, most churches of this world compromise. They compromise with this “council” and its “king” – going only so far as to not be “locked-up” or “deleted” from social media! The righteous are to be as “bold as lions” (Proverbs 28:1), yet, prudent in all things. As I said, this world’s churches are compromising with “Babylon the great”! Did we push the envelope!?
     Well, it doesn’t take much “pushing” in this present evil age – does it!? The Apostle Paul writes – “Yes, and all who desire to live godly IN CHRIST JESUS will suffer persecution.” He goes on to warn us brethren that towards the end of this present evil age – that “evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse …” And this would include imposters for Truth, Justice, and the American Way – a time when Americans believed in America. As Robert Turner writes in the American Thinker, Americans who “saw it, flaws and all, as a source of truth and justice in its distinctly American Way. In schools public and private students daily pledged ‘allegiance to the American Flag and to the republic for which it stands.’ In history and government classes a sense of pride was instilled and the American Way was seen as valuable, meaningful and absolutely worth defending. America was to them the difference maker that had for the second time in a half century defended the world against unspeakable tyranny and oppression. Americans were rightfully proud of their country.” And, might I add, an America which proudly pledged “one nation under God”! But this new generation of Americans – and a growing (exponentially because of our southern border is open) number of illegal immigrants – do not have pride in the uniqueness and greatness of this nation. Instead, many holding onto and dwelling on early flaws that America has overcome to a great degree. “ … deceiving and being deceived. 14) But you [you and me brethren] MUST CONTINUE in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them” – 2 Timothy 3:12-14.
     A new generation with a Woke movement which has crept into a large part of the Black communities – and which has become entwined with the terrorist organization Black Lives Matter, and still yet being intertwined with the term Cancel Culture, which is not so much a racial term but an ideological one.
     But, getting to the very subject of this Personal – what is true spirituality!? I hear frequently, and I’m certain you do as well brethren, the phrase “You aren’t very spiritual! Are you!?” or “So, you think your spiritual, huh!?”
     We need to be warned against being deceived into a false standard of “spirituality.” Let us examine God’s living word – let us see our LORD God’s true Scriptural standard.

 Four Things Accepted As Being A Spiritual Person

My wife and I have had over at our home, several times, a woman who calls herself a Christian – and as I have stated before; if she was outside in a monsoon rain she would drown because her nose is so far into the air – has cultivated spiritual-sounding words and phrases which makes her appear to be spiritual. Like, “Oh, I can’t come by this Sunday, because we’ll be going to church!” Now, that may not sound that “spiritual” – but with her arrogantly marked conspicuous religiosity, it is.
     There are FOUR THINGS normally regarded as a sure sign of a spiritual person –
  • Their speech. According to what each individual considers is righteous speech.
  • Their knowledge of God’s living word. According to what each individual considers is the truth of God.
  • Their “faith.” According to what each individual considers is faith.
  • Their rigid standard of “righteousness.” According to what each individual considers is righteous.
     And I say “According to what each individual considers” because like what occurred to ancient Israel, in this present evil age it is growing that everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes – Judges 21:25. And our LORD God warns us, through the Prophet Isaiah, “’ Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!’” – Isaiah 5:21.
     A great many think that a church service – or for that matter, a sermon – is boring unless there is entertainment. My own wife admitted to me that unless there is “entertainment” like in the Black churches, she would be bored. I asked, “So, you find my sermons boring!?” I knew she couldn’t answer – she’s never watched or heard my sermons. Yet, they would certainly be boring to her, no matter how edifying, unless she was being entertained – unless I was entertaining her and full of a certain emotional enthusiasm, which is fluent in this world’s accepted spiritual phraseology – like constantly screaming, “Praise the LORD!” If such things such as 75% entertainment, a choir and an organist is present then they enjoy themselves immensely, whether they learn anything worthwhile or not.
     Of course it’s true that some people are naturally emotional. Let us see from God’s living word that emotion along with spiritual phrases are – of themselves – not the essence of true spirituality. Now, they may be a natural result, an honest and spontaneous expression of it; yet, if deliberately generated and “worked up,” it is counterfeit. And those who deal in this counterfeit spirituality insist that they are genuine! We are told by our Lord Jesus Christ, ’ You will know them by their fruits’ – Matthew 7:16; Galatians 5:19-21.
     Sadly, there are also those who do not believe in much of anything, even of the entertainment I spoke of earlier, or any spiritual manifestations. Yet, they could quote you a chapter and verse in God’s living word without missing a beat. They often have queer religious habits or hobbies resulting from their misapplied and wrongly understood living word of God. They like to try and corner others with their quotation of Scripture. Arguing Scripture is one of their favorite hobbies. Their misguided belief in arguing Scripture is what they believe will win them eternal salvation – without true repentance, or obeying God or doing His will – living a life IN CHRIST JESUS, showing before others the fruits of God’s Spirit – cf. Galatians 5:22-23.

Are You Saved By Faith Alone?

What about this whole group of people that claim that one is saved “by FAITH, and FAITH ALONE!?” They are not too concerned about obedience to the LORD God, or about the glorious Spirit of God, and they seldom mention such things as the elementary principles of Christ – such as repentance from dead works, true baptism, the laying on of hands and the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. Instead they solely teach, “Just give your heart to the Lord and your saved, and upon death you will go off to heaven to be with the Lord.”
     And if you are so bold to ask such a “convert” what happened – what happened when they “gave their heart to the Lord” they usually say something to the effect of – when the preacher laid his finger on my forehead, I felt the power of God come upon me. My legs collapsed from under me and I crumbled to the ground. I could feel the power of God radiating from one end of my body to the other.
     Their religion never truly works any miracles in their lives – as they proudly announce, “Jesus died for my sins,” and we do not have to obey, just BELIEVE in the Lord, and we shall be saved. These types of churches should be called “entertainment clubs” – they are not the Church of Jesus Christ which helps save lives.

Surrounded By Self-Righteous Wannabes
Then there are also those who are spiritually so rigid in their standard of righteousness. I recall a story that a friend had told me about him driving down the road, having had stopped at a red light, and a homeless looking man walks up to his window screaming, “Are you a rock, unmovable!?” Apparently trying to quote the Apostle Paul!? – cf. 1 Corinthians 15:58. In fact, a great many of them are so strict in following God’s commandments that they fall into the error of following the Judeo-Christian – the Old Covenant “letter of the law” way. They consider themselves scrupulously honest, severely punctual, and critically exact. But as the Apostle Paul said of these types of people of his day, they are “ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness.” – Romans 10:3. They are usually extremely harsh, stern, and intolerant to those who do not live up to their ideas or ideals of their righteousness.

God’s Righteousness – as defined by Him

Let us learn from God’s living word and learn what is God’s standard of spirituality. Of a true spiritual mind, the Apostle Paul writes – inspired by the Spirit of God – “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 2:5. No one will come to understand the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God except by receiving the Spirit of God. This is also the meaning of the Days of Unleavened Bread – “Let this mind be in you.” For seven days practice this imbibing Jesus Christ – “…which was also in Christ Jesus.” – and tragically and unfortunately a great many DO NOT teach this! And quite frankly they don’t teach this because they don’t know! That’s what the Days of Unleavened Bread are all about! If you take on these seven days with this understanding, the Days of Unleavened Bread will become one of the most spectacular periods of your life – a yearly reminder that you need Jesus Christ! In you, through you, over you – all of you! In all of you!
     Our Lord Jesus tells us, ’ Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me’ – Revelation 3:20.
     And He means exactly what He says! He will literally come in, through His Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17) and LIVE IN YOU – if only you will surrender all of yourself unto Him and let Him in.
     “For to be carnally minded is death, …” – and all carnal means is “meaty,” or “of the flesh.” We were born carnal. “but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the Law of God, nor indeed can be.” Without God’s Spirit people are hostile towards God!
     Verse 8 – “So then, …” – and I want you to catch this – “ … those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Those people who do not have God’s Spirit – those people who have not been symbolically imbibing daily – like the Days of Unleavened Bread – the Spirit of God, the Words of Jesus, the mind of Jesus – “…cannot please God.”
     Verse 9 – “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” So, unless His Spirit abides within you – CHRIST IN YOU! – living. His life of true righteousness in you, you are not a true Christian.
     Verse 10 – “And if Christ is in you the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit [the Spirit of God, the mind of Jesus Christ which lives in you if you’re a converted member of the family of GOD] is life because of righteousness.” – and that righteousness is not yours, it’s the righteousness which comes from Jesus Christ and Him living in you!
     Verse 11 - “But IF the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, …” – remember the IF! IF the Spirit of Jesus resides within you, and the Spirit of God the Father, “…He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies [by, and through, and with, and because of] His Spirit who dwells in you.”
     When Father God first calls us and takes us as His begotten child, He takes us who had been worldly, filled with sin, lustful, disobedient. His ultimate aim is to make us like Him. This transformation is truly a tremendous undertaking. It truly is a miracle. Last night in prayer I was reminded of the time when our Lord Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” And as tears was streaming down my face – the eureka moment when it was revealed to me that I was born with transposition of the great arteries so that – like He tells His disciples in this instance, “ … ‘that the works of God should be revealed in him.’ That the LORD God would gift me with sight! For He says, ’ For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind’ – John 9:3, 39.
     We must commit, brethren, to real and true repentance. And you have to be willing to accept correction and repeated chastisements from the LORD God – ’ My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6) For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every [child] whom He receives’ – Hebrews 12:5-6. Let us, brethren, completely surrender ourselves unto JESUS CHRIST. It is the mind that has to give up all of its own way. It is the mind that must completely surrender its rebellion against God, and henceforth is willing to obey the LORD God – no matter what the cost. A mind FILLED to overflowing with real love for the LORD God (the first four of the Ten Commandments) and real love and concern for our fellow human beings (the last six of the Ten Commandments) – including our enemies.

True Spirituality

The true spiritual individual can confidently say, as the Apostle Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” – Galatians 2:20. When you can honestly and sincerely say this, then you truly have the mind of our Lord Jesus Christ within you!
     A true spiritual individual does not flip-flop on doctrines or spiritual issues – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of A SOUND MIND” – 2 Timothy 1:7. We are not, brethren, one of those carried away with every false pseudo-spiritual or occultism, in which false manifestations of God’s divine Spirit is being counterfeited by demonstrations of self in nothing more than a fanatical emotionalism. The Apostle Paul writes – through the very Spirit of our great and powerful God – “ … we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” – Ephesians 4:14. And, as the Apostle Paul said to the Church in Corinth – “ … in understanding be mature [spiritually] – 1 Corinthians 14:20.
     “’ By their FRUITS,’” not by their fanatical emotionalism – such as their supposed ability to babble in an “unknown tongue.” Or their empty profession of faith, their self-righteousness. It’s by their “ … love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” These are the things which expresses – in living character – and witnesses to others true spirituality. These things are the expression of God’s love “poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit [which] was given to us” - Romans 5:5. Truly, the Holy Spirit within us is GOD’S LAW in action in our lives! “ …love is the fulfillment of the Law” – Romans 13:10. And this is true spirituality.
     “Though I speak with the [languages] of men and of angels, but have not love [agape love; Godly love], I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal” – 1 Corinthians 13:1.
     There were pompous and self-righteous people there in ancient Corinth – as there are even today in this world – who spoke with eloquence. And there were those who spoke in various languages which they abused to purposes of mere ostentation.
     “And though I have the gift of prophecy [also, inspired speaking], 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” – 1 Corinthians 13:2. 
     “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned [cf. Daniel 3:28], but have not love, it profits me nothing” – 1 Corinthians 13:3.
     What is it to have Godly love!? Notice –
     Love suffers long [is patient] …” – under the provocation of evil. “ … and is kind; love does not envy [also the Greek includes jealousy]; love does not parade itself [in words; such as those who use words and languages as mere display], is not puffed up [as with entertainment zeal]; 5) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked [easily], thinks no evil [basically, imputeth not evil]; 6) does not rejoice in evil, but rejoices in the TRUTH; 7) bears all things [as in – we should endure without divulging to the world our personal distresses], believes all things [as in – unsuspiciously believes all that is not palpably false], hopes all things [what is good of another, even when others have ceased to hope], endures all things [as in – persecutions in Christ Jesus in a patient and loving spirit] – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
     Read those four verses again, this time substituted your name for the word love – do you measure up to the gift of God’s Holy Spirit!? □

1) Turner, R., Truth, Justice and the American Way, American Thinker, 12 May 2019, Retrieved 19 Oct. 2022.