Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Commentary: X-Mas


by Guy LaMar

I've been told by many people that I interpret the Bible one way, and they interpret the Bible another way.

They say, "you believe one way, and I believe another."

Yet, when I prove to them - with God's living word - just what the Bible truly teaches us, they reject the living TRUTH of God by their own interpretation. They will argue with the Holy Bible to make it say what they want it to say, instead of what it actually says. Certainly, because they want their interpretation to mean more than our LORD God's!

The reason why!? Because they have their own traditions and customs that they have become familiar with and have fully embraced as a lifestyle.

Such as KEEPING CHRISTMAS.

Yet, "HEAR THE WORD WHICH THE LORD SPEAKS TO YOU, ... learn not the way of the heathen, ..." - Jeremiah 10:1, 2, KJV.

The word heathen is the Hebrew word gôy, meaning "regularly in the OT, any people in contrast to [the House of Israel]: the Gentiles, pagan."

Friends, if you do the ways of the heathen - then guess what!? You're a "heathen."

Those who refuse to accept the living TRUTH OF GOD, as well as any reputable secular historical FACTS, are simply people who "' in vain they worship [Him], teaching as doctrines the commandments of men'" - Matthew 15:9.

Of such, our Lord Jesus Christ will say to them, "' I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" - Matthew 7:21-23.

Now, whose people are they!?

None other than followers of Satan the Devil! - cf. Matthew 13:24-30; John 8:44; 1 John 3:10.

Most of whom call themselves a "Christian" - who fully embrace Pagan/Catholicism (most without even realizing it!), even "de-facto idolatry" - are but serving Satan the Devil! NOT ALMIGHTY GOD!

In the eyes of the LORD God, they are but fakes!

God's Spirit has no part with them.

And sadly, showing them what God's living word truly says about it won't make much difference - cf. Matthew 7:6. They fully accept the lying vain traditions and customs of man. They like the fact that their interpretations make them feel good!

Friends, taking up your cross (Mark 8:34), of which our Lord Jesus Christ speaks, is NOT embracing this world's "Christianity" - which is a religion of Satan the Devil's - cf. Genesis 3:4; 2 Corinthians 4:4. It is taking upon yourself the burden of living AGAINST this world for the namesake of Christ Jesus!

Sadly, this present evil world - on the whole - REJECTS the LORD God, and they embrace Satan the Devil!

And, what I have come to witness, the churches of God along with their ministers have become weak (cf. Revelation 3:15-16), they more than often compromise not wanting to offend anyone (especially their members) with the living TRUTH OF GOD!

They want to be welcoming to all - and indeed the Lord our Savior's Church is WELCOMING TO ALL! Yet, the churches of God don't want to offend anyone by calling out the sins that many are embracing so as not to lose members or offend this world -cf. 

Here is something which Minister Michael C. Garrett wrote concerning Revelation 3:14-18 -
"The Message in all of these two chapters [Revelation chapters 2 & 3] is that some of the people who think they are of the members of the churches of God will indeed have to go through the end-time trauma! Some church people are going to go through hell! I mean that in the allegorical sense. 'CHANGE YOUR WAYS!' "MAYBE CHANGE YOUR CHURCH'!? "MAYBE CHANGE YOUR CHURCH LEADERS'!?" 1
God's servants NEED to be bold in speaking the truth of God, and if the truth cuts, then so be it! Whether they reject the truth or defend their sins and continue to live in them - cf. Hebrews 4:12. See also: Ezekiel 2:5; Jeremiah 5:21; Matthew 10:14; Acts 17:30; Romans 1:19-20.

Most times they will attack the true servants of God who are trying to warn them. When judgment comes, it will be accounted for on both sides - cf. Romans 14:12. For the true servant of God who boldly (cf. John 12:24-25) spoke God's living TRUTH, along with the one who defended their sins.

So, to be clear: any honest, astute, and sincere BIBLE STUDENT should understand that X-Mas is pagan - right down to the core! All of its customs and traditions can be traced back to pagan cults, rites, and their deities! Its very origin is from Satan the Devil!

Also, the new year DOES NOT begin in the dead of winter! The LORD God's new year begins in the spring - which represents new life! In fact, more than likely, Mary became conceived with our Lord Jesus in December and was born in the fall - possibly on the Feast of Trumpets!?

In fact, the X-Mas tree is but another heathen custom! Notice -

"For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. 4) They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple. 5) They are upright, like a palm tree, And they cannot speak; ..." - Jeremiah 10:3-4, 5. See also - Isaiah 41:7; 44:9-17; 46:5-7.
"It was akin to the ancient Asherah Pole – which was a sacred tree (or pole) that stood near a Canaanite religious altar as a symbol of honor to the goddess Asherah – hence Semiramis. So, indeed, there are similarities between this world’s modern Christmas tree and what God is telling us through the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah. The Christmas tree is a symbol. The evergreen tree was a symbol of life and fertility and was a custom of – ancient Sumerians – as well as the ancient Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Chinese, as well as other ancient peoples." 2
Our peoples who go to their religious gurus to try and get around the living TRUTH OF GOD will certainly be held accountable for finding new ways to embrace lies - cf. Romans 1:30.

The TRUTH OF GOD is the plain truth that cannot be denied!

The facts are thus: in this world that we are living in - it's either God's Way or Satan the Devil's way.

"' I call heaven and earth as witnesses TODAY against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; THEREFORE CHOOSE LIFE'" - Deuteronomy 30:19.

Sadly, there are far more followers of Satan the Devil in this end-time than true servants of the LORD God.

People that truly love and believe God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. John 14:15), who have gone through the process of being called, learning, and growing in God's grace and knowledge WILL REPENT from their error and OBEY GOD! But our peoples who have been presented the truth of God and REJECT it, are dooming themselves!

Our peoples that continue to keep and celebrate this Satan-made lie which is called "Christmas" need to REPENT and turn away from this pagan custom.

REPENT and seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. □

Bibliography:

2) COJCOM, ChristMas... Its Origin, 2020.

Additional things to think about...

Commentary: Love Does No HarmWe should NEVER neglect to tell someone that we love, that we love them. [...]
Commentary: Familiar TraditionsPeople are used to holding onto their religious traditions over truth and facts because familiar traditions are comfortable to people - but regardless, it doesn't make it truth. [...]
Commentary: Let NOTHING Get In the Way of Jesus!THE point is: that it is a struggle to NOT allow the snares of this world - things that are material - to get in the way of JESUS! [...]

A Morning Bible Study - Water Baptism?


Leonard V Johnson    About



In the last ‘A Morning Bible Study’ we spoke of ‘Just What Is the Holy Spirit?’ Here we will be talking about Water Baptism – and more specifically, proper water baptism. When someone finally comes to recognize and understand that they have been living a life contrary to the holy immutable Law and very purpose of their Creator, what should they then do next!?

On the Day of Pentecost, and when the Day of Pentecost had fully come in the year A.D. 31, the apostle Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, stood with the eleven and raised his voice to the crowd in which many of them had a part in the conviction and murder of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And even though the crowd was amazed and perplexed, saying to each other, “Whatever could this mean?” Many others mocked them, calling them drunks! Still, after the words given by the apostle Peter, many were filled with guilt and shame asking, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

Here is the inspired answer given:

“ …’ 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, New King James Version.

In the last study, we posted Minister Michael C. Garrett’s inspired sermon “A Willingness To Change.” A real repentance necessary for salvation. But the next step, as stated to us in Acts 2:38, is proper baptism. Let us look into the living word of God and learn of real and proper baptism, its purpose, and why it is a REQUIRED step in God’s Master Plan… From the Beginning for salvation.

Sadly, there is much confusion in this religious world concerning baptism. Some churches of this world merely sprinkle, and others merely pour only a small amount of water over someone; still, others practice complete immersion into the water. Yet, what does God’s living word instruct us in regard to this commanded practice!?

The method most often used throughout the majority of this world’s “Christianity” is sprinkling. The word sprinkle does occur in God’s living word – in the New Testament – but only a couple of times. And only in connection with the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ – never does it refer to baptism. Pouring is also referred to several times – but again, not in regard to baptism.

The very word baptize is not an English word per sē. The word is from the Greek word baptizō. The word means complete immersion. It says in Matthew that Jesus ‘came up out of the water.’ And John the Baptist was baptizing there at the Jordan – because ‘there was much water there.’ There was no sprinkling or dropping water droplets on a child – or something of that nature. They were actually going down into the water waist deep – as I was baptized at the Fort De Soto Park, North Beach in St. Petersburg, Florida in the Gulf in 2013.

Therefore, sprinkling and pouring are not forms of proper baptism. Now, many Protestants would disagree. The Unger’s Bible Dictionary, which was gathered together by Merrill F. Unger, a known Baptist – claims that “baptism is not essential for salvation.” 1 Yes, they “immerse,” but they incorrectly teach “[we] do so as a symbol of having been saved, not as a requirement for salvation” (as well as the fact that they DO NOT keep the LORD God’s commanded holy and immutable Law) – he writes concerning baptism –
“The word “baptism” is the English form of the Gr. baptismos. The verb from which this noun is derived ─baptizo─ is held by some scholars to mean “to dip, immerse. But this meaning is held by others to be not the most exact or common, but rather a meaning that is secondary or derived.” 2
Understand, our Lord Jesus Christ commanded baptism for salvation. It wasn’t just a request! It wasn’t as the Baptists say, “just a symbol of having been saved, not as a requirement for salvation.”!

’ Go therefore and make disciples [meaning, teach] of all the nations, BAPTIZING THEM in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 20) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen” – Matthew 28:19-20; see also Acts 2:36-42.
1) Even though our Lord Jesus Christ had no sins to repent of, was He baptized by John!?
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14) And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’

15) But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus IT IS FITTING for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him” – Matthew 3:13-15.

Why was He baptized?

He was baptized for an example for us to follow. Notice –

“For this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, LEAVING US AN EXAMPLE, that you should follow His steps: 22) ‘Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth.’ – 1 Peter 2:21-22.

How does our Lord Jesus’ baptism prove to us that He was immersed?

“When He had been baptized, Jesus CAME UP immediately FROM THE WATER; …” – Matthew 3:16.
2) When Philip the Evangelist baptized a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority. Did they both go down into the water?
“So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch WENT DOWN INTO THE WATER, and he baptized him” – Acts 8:38.

So, there would have been no reason whatsoever for Philip to “go down into the water,” except that there was no other way to immerse the eunuch into the water.

The above examples plainly show us that complete immersion in water was the method practiced by the living Church which our Lord Jesus Christ founded. And that is the method we are to practice today.
3) What is the purpose of baptism? What does it mean?
The meaning of baptism symbolizes the death and burial of each repentant believer – a spiritual conjoining into the death of Jesus Christ. Through this baptismal death, the believer becomes a partaker of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, and His blood is applied as full payment for his or her sins. Rising up out of the water is symbolic of being conjoined into the resurrection of Jesus Christ. When the believer comes up out of the watery grave of baptism, he or she rises to newness of life. In order to become a new person, each baptized believer must be begotten with the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. The believer is then led by the Holy Spirit to walk in loving obedience to God the Father and faith in Jesus Christ.

It demonstrates to the LORD God one’s willingness and desire to permanently put away his or her old life and begin a new life of OBEDIENCE TO GOD. And, let us make sure we understand this clearly.
4) AFTER our Lord Jesus’ suffering and death FOR OUR SINS, what happened to His dead physical body!?
“And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11) But if the Spirit of Him [God the Father] who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead WILL ALSO GIVE LIFE TO YOUR MORTAL BODIES through His Spirit [which] dwells in you” – Romans 8:10-11.

Only His begotten children who are truly filled and led by the Spirit of God will be in the first resurrection. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, THESE ARE [CHILDREN] OF GOD.” – vs. 14.

PRAISE THE ETERNAL OUR GOD!

If we have the indwelling of God’s Spirit in us when we die, then “in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST TRUMPET” we will be resurrected through the power of that same Spirit which dwells within us – at the second coming of Jesus Christ! Notice, just what happened to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s mortal body will also occur to the begotten children of God! –

“For I [the apostle Paul] delivered to your first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4) and that He was buried, and that He rose again THE THIRD DAY according to the Scriptures” – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

Without getting into this subject here – the majority of this world’s “Christianity” teaches that our Lord Jesus was resurrected on a Sunday morning! No, He wasn’t!

He died on what we call a Wednesday afternoon, and He was resurrected on what we call a Saturday afternoon. And He was in the tomb three days and three nights. Not one-and-a-half days, like the people of this world believe. They keep Friday – they call it Good Friday – and then Easter Sunday – the rising of the sun. Well, Easter is not a part of the religion of the Bible. For more information, please read our articles “The Firstfruits From the Earth,” as well as “Are You But A Traditionalist?”
5) As stated, is baptism symbolic of one’s death, burial and resurrection!?
Notice here what Minister Michael C. Garrett writes – quoting God’s living word –
“There in [Acts] 2:38 – ‘repent and be baptized, for the remission of sin in the name of Jesus Christ. And you shall [not maybe] receive the gift of God’s Spirit.’ And that starts out as a small “seed.” A very small amount of God’s Spirit. But then with time that knowledge starts to grow in you, the understanding starts to grow in you, God’s Spirit starts to grow in you, the fruits of God’s Spirit starts to grow in you – because Christ is in you!

… if we’re doing the things we need to do, Christ lives in us! And He starts to remake us – and I like to say, He starts changing us from the inside out. You know, you can be baptized – in fact, some people get baptized every day, because they take a bath. And you can clean up the outward skin, but unless you have God’s Spirit, you’ll never get the inside cleaned up. And I’m talking about inside your mind – or as we sometimes say, heart. And that’s where you need God’s Spirit, inside of you, changing you – and making you into a new creature. … Destined to become eternal members of the family of GOD and the kingdom of God. That’s the goal! That’s what we all should be striving for. …

[Romans 6:4] “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death …” – and baptism is a symbolic death. Meaning, if you go underwater, you are at risk of dying. And so we are saying when we submit to baptism, “I am submitting to the very thing which happened to Jesus Christ.” Remember verse 3 – “…as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” You coupled yourself, you joined yourself, you joined yourself with Jesus Christ! “…that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory [and the power] of the Father, even so, we …” - if we submit to baptism if we submit to having the laying on of hands and the prayer, and we receive God’s Spirit. “…also should walk in newness of life.” CHRIST IN YOU equals newness of life equals New Covenant equals eventual eternal life! Now, folks, this was a Message which was NEVER taught …

Verse 5 – “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, …” – meaning, we’ve went through the process: 1) Being called. 2) Learning. 3) Repentance. 4) Baptism. We’re making this path, and eventually, we get to the step of baptism. “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death [meaning baptism], certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.” - Folks, that is the ultimate Good News of the New Testament! The Gospel! …

Verse 6 – “knowing this, that our old man …” – the carnal person. What does that mean!? It just means the natural human being. It’s not a bad word, it’s not a cuss word, and it’s not a dirty word. Carnal means you’re just a natural human being. You’re just flesh and blood. Devoid of God’s Spirit and God’s knowledge. Knowing that your old self “…was crucified [or put to death] with Him, that the body of sin might be [destroyed], that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” – we should walk in newness of life, as it says, following the example of Jesus Christ! …

Verse 7 – “For he who has died [meaning baptism, receiving God’s Spirit] has been freed from sin.” – and it doesn’t mean that you’ll never sin again. What it means is that you’re freed from the death penalty of sin. …

Verse 8 – “Now if we died …” - meaning we have been baptized, going through this progression of marching towards the kingdom of God, “…with Christ, we believe [or we know] that we shall also live with Him.” … this is the crux of the promise of the New Covenant! This is the goal that all of us should have!

Verse 9 – “knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.”

Verse 10 – “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.” – He’s not going to have to go through that again. He already did it! And He did it perfectly, you can’t do it any better than that! Verse 11 – “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, …” – meaning, sin will not have the power of death over you. “…but alive to God [through] Christ Jesus our Lord. 12) Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13) And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, …” but rather, here’s the key, “…but [yield] yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, …” – because you’re going to follow the example of Jesus Christ! He walked out of His tomb, became eternal. Someday you’re going to walk out of your grave, be changed for all eternity, or some people might still be alive as physical human beings – and some people will – and be instantly changed. “…and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. Verse 14 – “For sin shall not have dominion over you, …” – that’s the goal!” 3
“buried with Him IN BAPTISM, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13) And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses” – Colossians 2:12-13.

So indeed, getting properly baptized clearly shows that we have come to the grave realization of our own sins, lusts, our own wretchedness. It is an acknowledgment that our old self must die so that we might rise to live a new life of spiritual OBEDIENCE to God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ through Their Spirit. It shows the LORD God our ultimate surrender to Their will.

Have you been baptized? If so, was it done by immersion as God commands? Have you truly repented? Do you know what repentance is?

If you were baptized by immersion, did you fully understand that you were actually being “buried,” and that you were to be a “new you” as you emerged from this watery “grave”?

Did you have hands laid upon you and prayer given for the receipt of the gift of the LORD God – the Holy Spirit?

If you did not properly fulfill all these requirements for baptism that we have covered here in this and other studies, then your baptism was not valid in the eyes of the LORD God!

We certainly cannot cover every major point concerning proper water baptism here. For additional information, be sure to read our articles “Day of Pentecost and Healing – part 1,” “Baptism Is Commanded,” “What do you mean… ‘Born Again’?”

It’s IMPORTANT – no matter your history, you need to check up on yourself to see where you stand with the LORD God. □

Bibliography:

1)  Baptists: Believer’s Baptism, Baptist Distinctives, Retrieved 23 December 2022.
2) Unger’s Bible Dictionary. Unger F. Merrill. Moody Press, 1966, “Baptism” pg. 122.
3) Garrett, M.C., Christ In You (Unleavened Bread) 2017 Day 4, 2019, pgs. 9, 10, 11, 12.


Scriptural Index:

Old Testament - ref. Isaiah 53:9; ref. Psalm 19:13; 119:133.
New Testament - Matthew 3:13-15, 16; ref. Matthew 12:40; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:36-42; 8:38; Romans 6:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10-14; 8:10-11, 14; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; ref. 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Peter 2:21-22.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Letter to our Friends - December 20, 2022


Leonard V. Johnson
Pastor and Founder


Dear friends, greetings from West Central Florida.

Just What Is the Unpardonable Sin?

A great servant of God from Ndhiwa, Nyanza, Kenya, who is a member of the COJCOM, volunteered to translate our online booklet “Just What Is the Unpardonable Sin?” into Kiswahili.


Sasa, napenda kuuliza swali kwa nyote kutafakari - kufikiria, wazo. Ni nini mbaya zaidi - mbaya zaidi - kitu cha kutisha zaidi na cha kutisha ambacho mwanadamu anaweza kufanya!? Sasa, hili ni swali kubwa.
Now, of course, it could always be refined. It could use some grammatical re-wording in some places. But, we feel that he did A GREAT JOB! And we thank the LORD God always for him!


Be a True Lover, Not a Shunner

Some of the religious lawyers – the people who were highly involved in the doctrines of the Jewish Church, way back when – were asking Jesus a question. And they were tempting Him, trying to trick Him.

“’ Teacher, what is the great commandment in the law?’”

And Jesus responded by quoting from the Book of Deuteronomy, ’ You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38) This is the FIRST and GREAT COMMANDMENT.’

Verse 39 – “’ And the SECOND [or principle] is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40) On these TWO COMMANDMENTS hang all the Law and the Prophets.’ – the writings of the Bible. The two great divine principles – ‘love the LORD your God with all your heart, mind, and soul. And ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’

And neighbor here just doesn’t mean the person living next to you – or within your neighborhood, or even just the “members” of your church. It’s referring to all other people.

With this in mind, notice something we published on our website in October 2020:
“ … I dare say the opposite can be said – since Jesus said, ‘By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another’ – ‘by this shall all men know that you are NOT My disciples IF you DO NOT have love for one another.’ The mirror image.

And so, when you – or somebody – shuns; throws away; refuses to converse with someone, for whatever reason, you are demonstrating –

1) You do not have any love.
2) You are NOT a disciple of Jesus Christ.

If you would turn to Romans, chapter 13. There are many places in the New Testament that talk about this principle.

Verse 8 – “Owe no one anything …” – except the FIRST COMMANDMENT – “ … except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” – and in one place he calls it ‘the royal law.’

Verse 9 – “For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 10) Love does no harm to a neighbor; …’”

So, when you bully someone who is trying to keep God’s holy Feast of Tabernacles – and then you even go further and gossip and or tell falsehoods; repeating unsubstantiated lies – becoming a gossipmonger –and God’s living word says, “Love does no harm to a neighbor,” isn’t that working harm to your neighbor – if you try to bully them and spew hate, refuse to socialize, giving them a cold shoulder!?

And he continues, “ … therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

You want to know how to be a Christian – show love, respect, and loyalty – to your fellow human beings.

Verse 11 – “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12) The night is far spent, that Day is at hand…” – referring to the Day of the LORD, what Minister Michael C. has dubbed the ‘end-time trauma.’ “ … Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, …” – and shunning is a work of darkness! “ … and let us put on the armor of light. 13) Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.” – and you can add, ‘not in shunning of those people who should be our Christian brothers and sisters.’

Verse 14 – “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, …”

If you would turn to Galatians, chapter 5. Another place where Paul spoke about this topic. Think about Paul himself as the recipient of shunning. He was shunned by the Jewish religious people who were the majority of the religious people of his day. And when Paul became a follower of Jesus Christ, he was shunned and hated and they tried to murder him, too! Where before they cheered him on when he persecuted the Church of God – now, they were trying to murder him!

Verse 13 – “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; …” – religious freedom.

Now, time out! If you have been called to religious freedom, then why are some of you following the commands and the dictates of your so-called church leaders!? Instead, departmentalizing, and saying such things as, “Well, he’s not from our church!” When, in fact, that organization is one big conglomeration!? I contend that you’re NOT in a form of religious freedom, but you are in a form of bondage.

“ … only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14) For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 15) But if you bite and devour one another, …” – isn’t that what shunning is!? Biting, hurting, harming. “ … beware lest you be consumed [destroyed] by one another!”

Verse 16 – “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

The human nature tendency is for so-called church leaders to lash out with hatred, or contempt, for anyone who doesn’t believe what they believe – either religiously or politically. And then they try to get all of the other congregants – the other church members – to do and feel the same way.

If you would turn back to Matthew, chapter 5. Again, directly the words of Jesus Christ! You can’t argue with the words of Jesus Christ – you either do them, or attempt to follow them, or you walk contrary to them, it’s one or the other. And if you’re walking contrary to the words of Jesus Christ – you have no hope of eternal salvation. That’s just the plain truth of it all.

And sadly, this so-called leader of that organization who had put himself down to speak on the Fifth Day of God's holy Feast of Tabernacles got up at the podium and focused his assault (because it wasn't a godly message) on me! Reading from the Book of Luke, chapter 13, verses 26-30, he looked up directly at me and said, “I could name a name. ...” And then he looked over at his wife, as she was shaking her head, adding, “but I won't.”

How, dear Lord Jesus, is this bully “leader” and his cronies going to escape gehenna fire!?

Verse 43 – ’ You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44) But I say to you, love your enemies, …’

Now, doesn’t that go completely against the theme of shunning!?

’ Love your enemies’ – not shun them. “ … ‘bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45) that you may be [children] of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46) For if you love those who love you, …’

And let’s change this a bit – ‘if you only love the people in your particular sub-group, you’re cronies’ … “ …’ what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors [the publicans] do the same?’

Verse 47 – ’ And if you greet your brethren only, …’

Same idea – ‘if you’re only going to show respect towards your so-called church brethren’ … “…’ what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors [the publicans] do so? 48) Therefore you shall be perfect [or complete – spiritually mature is what the word means], just as your Father in heaven is perfect.’

Obviously, Jesus Christ does not support the idea of shunning – or showing hatred and contempt for others!

And then, Matthew, chapter 7, verse 12.

’ Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, …’ – which means ‘to show respect and concern.’ “ …’ do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.’ – and the basic foundation of the Message of God to all human beings!

Shunning is a terrible sin. And many of you are part of church groups that participate in that – and I know this to be true. And, if the other leaders or congregants of these church groups allow one of their own to get away with spewing hate and shunning they are just as guilty in the eyes of Almighty God and Jesus Christ!
Be a true lover of men, not a shunner. And yes, there are times when we just need to grin and bear it. Our Lord Jesus tells us, ’ Therefore, by their fruits you will know them’ – Matthew 7:20. And the apostle Paul lists those “fruits” – both the fruits of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit – Galatians 5:19-23. And certainly, if it warrants “note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them” – Romans 16:17.

We should indeed shun evil. Notice –

“ … ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?’” – Job 1:8.

The word shun here in the King James Version is escheweth (sûr) meaning, to turn away, depart, or leave.

Also, we are to shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness” – 2 Timothy 2:16.

Suggested Sabbath Day Services

Here is our suggested Sabbath day service for our scattered brethren and friends around the world:
• TWO songs of praise. (our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, is suggested, there is some Instrumental Accompaniment to the Bible Hymnal available on our website).
• Opening prayer.
• Announcements, if any – from the deacon or pastor.
• Sermon – from the pastor or a guest speaker. The one suggested for this week is “Did the Thief On the Cross Go To Heaven?” delivered by Minister Leonard Johnson.
• Closing song.
• Closing prayer.
In case you do not receive a ‘Letter to our Friends’ for any week, remember that we have listed on our website all of our published Letters - https://www.owensborocojc.com/search/label/Church%20letters

Some World News In Relation To Biblical Prophecy

The BIGGEST news – at least it should be – is the fact that CHINA moves to buy its oil from Gulf states in yuan instead of US dollars! (See: ‘Business Insider India - China says it's moving to buy oil and gas in the yuan — a move that could threaten the dollar's global dominance in the long run’).

And certainly, a great many of our peoples can see – including many secular experts – that the U.S. dollar will eventually be replaced with the Chinese Yuan as the key reserve currency for international trade and commerce. And a rising foundation that is already being laid by the European Community, will unite ten nations (or rather kingdoms; as God sees kingdoms) in EUROPE which will quickly begin to exert not only a major economic, but a political, religious, and military power upon the Western world. And the very power and strength of this final resurrection of this “Holy” Roman Empire will not only startle the Western hemisphere but will certainly be a catalyst for the Islam nations to unite into an Islamic confederation of nations – known in Scripture as ‘the king of the South’ – cf. Daniel 11:40.

And while we’re talking about Europe – the EU has just made large transactions (any amount which exceeds 10,000 euros) illegal! (See: ‘End Of The American Dream - We Are About To Witness A MAJOR Move Toward A Cashless Society’). We have spoken of this dream of a cashless world before. Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic helped pave the way to a cashless society! (See: ‘The Wall Street Journal, 2020 - China Rolls Out Pilot Test of Digital Currency’ along with ‘NPR, 2020 - Supporters Of Digital Currency Say Pandemic Bolsters Case For A New Approach’). Now, to note, when my wife and I visited Legoland, we discovered they are a cashless theme park!

Yet, be not deceived, friends. People of the Far Right Wing and in the evangelical Christian community put great stock in a series of books which were written about a couple of decades ago called the “Left Behind” series which speaks of an end-time “One World Order.” The Bible actually mentions none of that! Be sure to read our free no-obligation online booklet “The MARK of the BEAST” describing - from the Word of God - what the ‘mark of the beast’ is.

Within the United States of America – and news which is certainly prophetic; which I spoke of in an article “A Dying Nation.” The resident Joe Biden signed into law the improperly titled ‘Respect of Marriage Act’ And, CBS reported the following:
December 13, 2022

President Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that protects interracial and same-sex marriages, into law at a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday. “Marriage is a simple proposition: who do you love and will you be loyal to that person you love? It’s not more complicated than that,” Biden said at the ceremony.
Well, my fellow Americans – it is actually less complicated than that – marriage, according to our CREATOR, is ONLY to be between a male and a female! Truly, anything else is sinful!

This abominable bill will hurt our religious rights and enshrines something that is AGAINST GOD!

Mr. Resident Joe, this bill will not ensure happiness – it will only make sinful misery much more easier and acceptable – because God’s living word tells us “for every matter there is a time and judgment, though the misery of man increases greatly” – Ecclesiastes 8:6. The Lord our God’s holy and immutable LAW is for humanities good –

“’ And now, ISRAEL, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13) and TO KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD and His statutes which I command you TODAY for your good?’” – Deuteronomy 10:12-13.

Minister Michael C. Garrett, in his latest sermon “The MARK of the BEAST”, spoke of the very phrase – ‘which I command you today …’ –
Notice Deuteronomy 30 – “which I command you today.” Verse 18 – “’ I announce to you today …’” We hear that phrase quite a bit. It’s like, all of us come to a point sooner or later where we must make a decision. And when that decision is placed before us, we must decide. Which direction are we going to go!? So many people never go beyond just listening to God’s messages given by us or others. There is a certain responsibility to each of us, that when God places before you His word – “today,” “here,” “now” – you’ve got to make a decision.

Verse 11 – “’ this commandment which I command you today …” it is a sense of urgency.

So, God places before you a choice. “’ I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, …” and you have to make that choice THIS DAY. There’s an old expression: ‘poop, or get off the toilet.” 😄
Despite the living word of God telling us that LGBTQ+ is sinful and that we shouldn’t even condone it – cf. Romans 1:18-32), as we reported in our November 18th Letter, the Mormons – the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – officially endorsed the improperly titled “Respect for Marriage Act.” (See: ‘East Bay Times - Mormon Church voices support for same-sex marriage law’ along with ’14 News - Mormon church supports legislation for gay marriage’).

After Barack Hussein Obama II became a resident of our White House, in violation of his oath of office and an impeachable act, he stated that his Administration would not enforce the Defense of Marriage Act! Furthermore, he fully supported his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s push towards LGBTQ+ matters around the world. As far as resident Joe Biden, he had been a vocal supporter of the Defense of Marriage Act – until the strings from his puppet masters were attached! Notice his flip-flopping –

Truly, for decades the resident Joe Biden opposed same-sex “marriage.”

Resident Joe Biden is falsely claiming that he is the first major leader of the free world to support same-sex “marriage”!

As President Donald J. Trump brings to light – resident Joe Biden has flip-flopped!

The puppet masters who control resident Joe Biden certainly didn’t want that gaffe (and yes – we are “subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities [including resident Joe Biden and Kamala Harris] are appointed by God.” – Romans 13:1. Servants of God are to respect our governing authorities because they exist by the very will of God. Even though the Biden/Harris Administration is implying that it is good and normal to practice perversions and to change marriage into an unholy thing! All because his constituents want it. We continue to pray for our leaders – cf. 1 Timothy 2:1-3.

Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us –

’ But FROM THE BEGINNING OF CREATION, God ‘made them male and female.’ 7) For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8) and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9) Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate’ – Mark 10:6-9.

So, from the very beginning of creation marriage is between a male and a female.

Concluding Comments:

The apostle Paul – under the inspiration of God’s Spirit – wrote, after explaining to us that we are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with all the saints and members of the household of God. For this reason -

“ … I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles ─ 2) if indeed you have heard of THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD which was given to me for you, 3) how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4) by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5) which in OTHER AGES was made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6) THAT THE GENTILES SHOULD BE FELLOW HEIRS OF THE SAME BODY, AND PARTAKERS OF HIS PROMISE IN CHRIST THROUGH THE GOSPEL, 7) of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power” – Ephesians 3:1-7.

Yes, brethren, we, both of the House of Israel and the Gentiles, in the New Covenant, in the DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD which was given to the apostle Paul for us, is truly a gift of the grace of the LORD God! We have an online article in two languages on His Master Plan from the very beginning! (See: “From the Beginning… God’s Master Plan” as well as “Tangu mwanzo… Mpango Mkuu wa Mungu”).

With love and gratitude, in Jesus' Name,

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

God's Promises To Abraham - chapter 4

If you prefer listening to audio? Then click the play button

0:00 - 'I Will Even Appoint Terror Over You!'
4:39 - Turkey in Bible Prophecy!
45:50 - The Word and Melchizedek Was and Is Jesus Christ

Chapter 4

'I Will Even Appoint Terror Over You!'

July 14th, 2016 a 19-tonne cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, resulting in the deaths of 86 people! And, Mohamed Salmene Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian resident of France – a French national – committed this horrific and appalling thing. Tunisia, right across the Mediterranean Sea over North Africa is a long-time Islamic country. And we heard reports of how ISIS was spending a lot of time developing training camps and recruiting young men to come to join their cause. Prosecutor Molins said that Lahouaiej-Bouhlel had a "clear, recent interest in the radical jihadist movement." I had heard reports of how his family members said he was just one of the worst people they had ever known. This is his family! He had been married with three children. And, had been known to beat his wife on a regular basis. Had a long criminal record with different assaults, bar fights, and road rage. He was supposedly Muslim – but his Muslim family members said he ate pork, he drank heavily. He did the things that Muslims are not supposed to do. And, you know, it’s just tragic how many times you hear the story – the people in San Bernardino were having a training event and Christmas party when these terrorists – this married couple - Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik armed with semi-automatic pistols and rifles, fired five shots, killing two people outside the building. Farook then entered a minute later and opened fire on those in attendance, followed quickly by Malik. The people in Orlando were just out for a night of entertainment. The people in Paris were just out enjoying concerts and dinner – just totally innocent activities. And because they’re easy targets – they’re so-called “soft targets” – they are murdered! A true tragedy! And, in addition to the 86 people who died – 434 people had been injured! So, there is a real sadness about all of this.
     And, you know, the first thing I heard commentators say – some of the commentators I heard were from England and the American people who began to comment – how you know within the underbelly of France at the dining room tables, at the bar rooms, the restaurants, the office watercoolers, you know that more and more French people are starting to say, “We have a problem! We opened our arms to these immigrants, and now these immigrants, and some of the children of these immigrants, are trying to destroy us!” And the same thing is happening in other parts of Europe! And you just know that the natural-born native Europeans – and the government leaders aren’t yet willing to say it because they’re very Left-wing Socialist types and we’re all going to hold hands and sing Kumbaya – and we’re all going to be together types – in the privacy of their own homes or with friends are starting to say, “We have a problem! And the problem is the enemy which we have brought into our neighborhoods – we attempted to befriend them and now they are lashing out – some of them are trying to destroy us!” So it’s a growing problem! Not just for Europe, not just for England – but the same thing will happen (and has already started happening) in the United States of America! It’s a very sad story.

Turkey in Bible Prophecy!

I turned on the television on July 15th, 2016, and heard about an attempted coup in the nation of Turkey. And, that prompted me to change the first part of this chapter to help accommodate that. I have an internet news story here, it’s from the Reading Eagle. And it reads – “Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdoğan says government working to crush coup attempt.” And I’m not going to read the whole article, just a few highlights.
     “Dateline ANKARA, Turkey - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told the nation Saturday that his government was working to crush a coup attempt after a night of explosions, air battles, and gunfire across the capital that left at least 17 dead and scores wounded.” 
     And I heard on the television at that time that almost one thousand soldiers were arrested – apparently soldiers that were implicated in being a part of that coup d'état attempt.
     “Government officials said the coup appeared to have failed as Turks took to the streets overnight to confront troops attempting to take over the country. However, the sounds of huge blasts continued to ring out in the capital, Ankara, and Istanbul throughout the morning, including a bomb that hit the parliament complex.”
     Turkey is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Turkey is not a member of the European Union. Turkey literally sits at the crossroads of civilizations – and always has. You go north and west of Turkey and you end up in Europe. You go south and east of Turkey and you’re in the Middle East. And you’re right on the edge of the former Soviet Union. Turkey borders Syria and Iraq. All of these major players in the news are located in that area. And Turkey is also mentioned in Bible prophecy – which is why I’m spending a little time talking about it. Turks are not Arabs. Turks are Turks. And we’re going to talk about that. Very quickly, if you would turn to Genesis chapter 16.
     Now there are two progenitors who we have spoken of. One is Ishmael. Ishmael was the first son of Abraham, and he is believed to be the progenitor – the father of the Arab people. And then, a brother of Jacob, who is named Esau (twin brothers) also called in the Bible, Edom, is the progenitor – the father of the Turkish people. And even though they are related, they are not exactly from the same gene pool. And, as it says in Genesis 16 – we covered this – in verse 8 – speaking about Hagar. And Hagar remember – Sarai’s wanted her husband Abram to have a child, and she convinced her husband to have sex with Hagar so that he could have a son. Well, they did, and they did have a son, and as it says in verse 10 – “Then the angel of the LORD said to [Hagar], ...” – this mother-to-be – “...’ I will multiply your descendants exceedingly so that they shall not be counted for multitude.’ 11) And the angel of the LORD said to her: ‘Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has heard your affliction.’” – and we believe that Ishmael is the progenitor of the Arab people.
     And it went on to say – this prophecy – verse 12 – “’ He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, ...’” – saying, things are always going to be stirred up! ‘Wars and rumors of wars’ as Jesus said about the end-time. Always having a hard time getting along with people. “...’ And every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.’” – so, that’s the first time we hear about Ishmael.
     Now, chapter 17, verse 19. Here is the beginning of the announcement that Abraham and Sarah were going to have a child together – the future Isaac – which we’ve been talking about throughout these chapters.
     Verse 18 – “And Abraham said to God, ‘Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!’ 19) Then God said, ‘No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him ...’” – and we’ve been talking about the promises God made to Abraham. And these promises were passed on to Isaac, and Jacob (who had his name changed by God to Israel), and then these promises were passed on to Joseph, and then Joseph’s two sons – Ephraim and Manasseh. And we haven’t gotten all the way through the story – yet. But that’s where we’re going. “...’ I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. 20) And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes [twelve different tribal people], and I will make him a great nation.’” – and I’ve often said – and I don’t really know that much about Arab history and Arab cultures – but if you went through North Africa and the Middle East (just from this prophecy here) you would probably find twelve distinct tribal groups all who claim Ishmael to be their forefather. And so the prophecy was announced and - according to the will of God – the prophecy has come to pass. “...’ and I will make him a great nation. 21) But My covenant ...’” – this very special relationship with these special promises, that, “...’ I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.’” – like 9-months later.
     So here we hear about Ishmael.
     If you would turn to Genesis chapter 25. We talked about this earlier. And I think it’s amazing so much of what is written in the Book of Genesis - the very first Book of the Bible – which literally goes back to approximately 1440 B.C. - and the things which we’re reading about in our newspapers and hearing about on our nightly news, we first find about – we first have hints about the future - concerning the things which we hear about every night on our world news channels, computers, and radios. It says in verse 21 – “Now Isaac pleaded with the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22) But the children [twins] struggled together within her; and she said, ‘If all is well, why am I like this?’ So she went to inquire of the LORD.” - she probably said, ‘Why are these two babies fighting all the time!?’ “Struggling.” They were fighting – in the womb! Verse 23 – “And the LORD said to her: ‘Two nations [two groups of people] are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.’”
     So here we have the introduction of who would become known as Esau – or Edom.
     I just want to give you some hints about the prophecies concerning Esau’s future – or Edom as he is also called.
     If you would turn to the Book of Amos. In the Book of Amos, the first couple of chapters goes into many prophecies about people who live in the Middle East. And the time setting of these prophecies is ‘the latter days,’ the end-times. And in this chapter specifically, I want to turn to chapter 1, verses 11 and 12. “Thus says the LORD: ‘For three transgressions of Edom, and four, I will not turn away its punishment, ...’” – He’s saying EDOM – remember Edom and Esau, they mean the same thing. “...Because he [and we believe that to be the Turkish people] pursued his brother with the sword, And cast off all pity; His anger tore perpetually, And he kept his wrath forever.’” – and God says in verse 12 – “’ But I will send a fire upon Teman, ...’” – now in the Book of Obadiah, we hear the word ‘O Teman.’ Again, referring to the same group of people – Esau, Edom, Teman, and O Teman, or Ottoman. Now some of you who are history buffs or are very well aware that from circa. 1299 to 1923 the Turkish people were a powerful empire – called the Ottoman Empire! The Ottoman Empire officially began in 1299, and it eventually took over the capital of Constantinople. Now, Constantinople was a part of the Eastern Roman Empire. As the Roman Empire gained great strength, and eventually when the West began to decline, a lot of the rulers and the wealth moved to Constantinople and it became known as the Byzantine Empire. And the Byzantine Empire had a powerful grip on world history and world culture for many centuries. But on the 29th of May 1453, the Turkish people overtook Constantinople – named after Constantine the Great – and renamed it Istanbul. And that’s the name it is today. And the Ottoman Empire was at the height of its power from 1453 to 1566. For about a century they were at the zenith of their power! And the Ottoman Empire finally ended with the conclusion – basically of World War I. The Ottomans made the mistake of allying themselves with Germany during World War I. And so when the allied forces – mainly by the United States of America and England, the United Kingdom. Remember, “…’ He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, …’” – saying, things are always going to be stirred up! Well, eventually the British forces – basically freed Jerusalem from the Islamic influence of the Ottoman Empire. And this set the stage – eventually because the British people took over control of Jerusalem – for the reemergence of Jewish people starting to move back into Jerusalem. And following World War II you had the establishment of Israel as an independent nation – or the people of JUDAH – the Jewish people – on May 14th, 1948.
     So, it’s amazing how many of these stories in history intertwine and have a common thread.
     The Ottoman Empire – was destined to be great. And here in the Book of Amos, chapter 1, it’s referring to – “...’ Teman, ...’” – or O Teman, or Ottoman – the Turkish people – “...’ I will send a fire ...’” – basically, ‘I’m going to devour and destroy you!’ And, this prophecy gets more specific if you turn over to Obadiah. Now, this is in a section called the ‘minor prophets.’ That’s what Bible people have called this section of the Bible. And sometimes people think – well because you hear the phrase ‘minor prophets’ it sort of means the prophecies aren’t all that relevant. That would be a mistake to assume that. They’re called the ‘minor prophets’ because the Books are relatively short – as compared to the ‘major prophets’ which are people like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. Those Books are much longer. The Books in the section called the ‘minor prophets’ are short in comparison, but they are jam-packed with information! Quite frankly when I was a student at college many decades ago there was virtually nothing discussed about the ‘minor prophets.’ Quite frankly I don’t think they understood it that well. And the years intervening since then I have discovered that nine out of the twelve ‘minor prophets’ – 75% - deal with material, with events at different moments of the prophecies – of the end-times! So, you’re really not going to understand the ‘minor prophets’ unless you understand the Plan of God. And, as I’ve said here – we here at the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ – our main theme is to understand the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God. And even now – we’re talking about the promises of Abraham and the prophecies of Turkey. The Plan of God as revealed in the Bible. And the only way you can truly make sense of today’s news – including an attempted coup in the nation of Turkey. Which - I think is significant.
     This President Erdoğan was elected by 52% of the vote. And the Turkish people – for over a century – have basically been a secular type of people. Although they’re Muslim – they really haven’t jumped into it very aggressively. And the military – I’ve heard in those reports – has always viewed itself as ‘the keepers of the secular way of life’ in Turkey. Now, this Erdoğan came into power and he has increasingly shown signs of being a dictator. He has cracked down on newspapers and television. He’s tried to blot out social media. He has eliminated a lot of the Turkish military leaders – or retired them – if he didn’t like their attitude. He’s claiming for himself more and more power – all the reports I’ve heard say. And he has started to push a very pro-Islamic agenda. So Turkey whose been so secular – so secular that NATO had no problem allowing Turkey to become a member. But now – under this President Erdoğan – Turkey is apparently becoming more and more Islamic – as in Sharia law and more stringent in its regulations. And most people thought that this attempted coup d'état wasn’t as organized as well as it could have been. But the military personnel was probably objecting to Erdoğan and his policies and his pushing of his Islamic agenda.
     But now that Erdoğan's government managed to reassert effective control in the country – the very next day supposedly – his forces are in control. I had heard some observers at that time suggest that Erdoğan is going to become increasingly more and more Islamic. It’s going to force that nation into more and more of the Islamic corner of the world. Where it has sort of been neutral before, now it’s going to become very much more hardcore Islamic. Which is sort of interesting. The two nations which are ‘pushing’ the Islamic agenda most aggressively in the Middle East are not themselves Arab. And we’re talking about Iran – which biblically speaking is Persia. The Iranian people in the eyes of the Bible are Persian people. Now, they are not Arabs – it’s a different tribe of people. And the Turks – who are related to the Arabs – it appears as if this Erdoğan is now becoming more and more aggressive in his Islamic thought.
     Keep in mind – the Turkish government June 27th, 2016, signed an accord with Israel to restore ties and formalize an agreement for regional stability. And I don’t know all the details – but it looked like maybe Israel and Turkey were going to be sort of ‘friends’ or at least neutral with each other. However, I heard suggestions that Turkey will probably become more and more anti-Israel – anti-Jewish. Now, this is a very important point here! Because in the end-time we are told – Jesus Christ said, “’ But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.’” – Luke 21:20. The ‘time to get out of Dodge,’ to get out of town – He said, “’ Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, ...’” – leave! Don’t even wait, don’t even slow down – just get! Because some really bad things are going to happen in Jerusalem – in the nation we now call Israel. And it will probably be a combination of both Arab and Islamic armies alongside a United States of Europe – which will be making aggressive military inroads into the Middle East! And at the time of the end many of the Jewish people, when they are about to see their country overran by foreign armies – and I hate to say that. I truly hate to acknowledge that, but that’s what the Bible prophecies say - that Jerusalem and the nation we call Israel and the Bible calls Judah will be subjected to a horrible plight during the end time! And many of the Jewish people in an attempt to escape with their lives will travel to the north hoping to get to Europe and some form of safety, but in order to do so, they must make passage through Turkey. Bible prophecies say that Turkey will not accommodate them. But in fact, the implications are that they will round up the Jewish people and turn them over to their enemies. Now, with that in mind – let’s read this prophecy of Edom, Esau, Teman, and O Teman, or rather the Ottoman people in the end time.
     Obadiah 1:1 – “The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom ...” – talking about modern-day Turkey.
     “... (We have heard a report from the LORD, And a messenger has been sent among the nations, saying, ‘Arise, and let us rise up against her for battle’): 2) ‘Behold, I will make you small among the nations; You shall be greatly despised. 3) The pride of your heart has deceived you, You who dwell in the clefts of the rock, Whose habitation is high; You who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’” – ‘Hey, I’m tough! I’m number one! Nobody’s gonna bring me down!’ An attitude of arrogance. Verse 4 – “’ Though you ascend as high as the eagle, And though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down,’ says the LORD. 5) ‘If thieves had come to you, If robbers by night – Oh, how you will be cut off! – Would they not have stolen till they had enough? If grape-gatherers had come to you, Would they not have left some gleanings? 6) ‘Oh, how Esau shall be searched out!’” – meaning, they will be closely examined and pillaged. “...’ How his hidden treasures shall be sought after! 7) All the men in your confederacy Shall force you to the border; The men at peace with you Shall deceive you and prevail against you. Those who eat your bread shall lay a trap for you. No one is aware of it.’” – saying that Turkey – in the end – will receive the same deceit and treachery which they have handed out to other nations.
     And here it really gets powerful – verse 8 – “’ Will I not in that day,’ says the LORD, ‘Even destroy the wise men from Edom, ...’” – the ‘wise men,’ the leaders. Military leaders, political leaders. “...’ And understanding from the mountains of Esau? ...’” – and here you see where Edom and Esau are synonymous terms. And down in verse 9, we hear the next term – “’ Then your mighty men, O Teman [or Ottoman], shall be dismayed, To the end that everyone from the mountains of Esau May be cut off by slaughter.’” – now when God inspired the original Hebrew, I don’t know if ‘everyone’ means every single person – but it seems to me that is what it means! So, does that mean the overwhelming vast majority, or does it mean what it says – everyone!? Verse 10 – “’ For violence against your brother Jacob, Shame shall cover you, And you shall be cut off forever.’” – once again, to me, it sounds like Turkey’s fate is just doomed. Verse 11 – “’ In the day that you stood on the other side – In the day that strangers carried captive his forces, When foreigners entered his gates And cast lots for Jerusalem – Even you were as one of them.’” – it’s pretty clear to me what He’s saying! When the people of Jerusalem were trying to escape, you stood in their way, and you teamed up with their enemies. Even though deep inside you are related to them! Remember – Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau. They were twins. And God has not forgotten that heritage – even though Turkey in the end times will forget it.
     Verse 12, again, a very powerful verse – “’ But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother In the day of his captivity; Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah In the day of their destruction; ...’” – now this is yet to come, folks! This is a prophecy for the near future! “...’ Nor should you have spoken proudly In the day of [their] distress.’” – or ‘their destruction!’ Verse 14 – “’ You should not have stood at the crossroads ...’” – remember, Istanbul – the ancient Constantinople is that gateway between Asia Minor in the East and Europe. And that’s where these Jewish people will be fleeing! They will be trying to leave the area because they know they’re facing death and destruction. “...’ To cut off those [who were attempting to escape]; Nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained In the day of distress.’” – so, not only do they block them. They help round them up and return them to the enemy!
     Now the time setting of this is – the Day of the LORD! I have spent much time talking about the Day of the LORD! The Day of the LORD is that moment of time – in yet future history. Now, how far away is it!? I don’t know. Could it be three or four years away!? Yes, it could! Could it be ten or fifteen years away!? Yes, it could! Could it be twenty-five or thirty!? Yes, it could! It will be a horrible day! A day in which God – with Jesus Christ – directly intervenes in the affairs of humankind. And the days which proceed that – in which just all-out worldwide chaos ensues – all throughout the world! Through North Africa, the Middle East, through Europe. And, you don’t even hear about America at this point anymore! It’s apparent that America and England have already been subdued, tamed, or neutered, by this point in time – where they’re no longer a factor in these end-time events! The Day of the LORD – the single most horrific time in the history of mankind.
     Verse 15 – “’ For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; ...’” – and this is God speaking to TURKEY! “...’ As you have done, it shall be done to you; Your [reward] shall return upon your own head.’” – the way you have treated your brothers – even though you don’t like to acknowledge that – so you will be treated in like manner. Verse 16 – “’ For as you drank on My holy mountain, So shall all the nations drink continually; Yes, they shall drink, and swallow, And they shall be as though they had never been.’” – to me – it once again sounds as though the nation which is known as Turkey simply ceases to exist – and the people of Turkey. The punishment from God is so strong – they cease to exist. Verse 17 – “’ But on Mount Zion [referring to a future Jerusalem and the city of God] there shall be deliverance, And there shall be holiness; The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.’” – and I have talked about this theme before which has very seldom been seen in the Bible – that upon the return of Jesus Christ the people of Jacob (the people of America, the United Kingdom, and the former colonies) who physically survive – who are not a part of the Kingdom of God; they have not been resurrected into the family of God – apparently at the very beginning of the Millennium join forces, led and protected by God Almighty and Jesus Christ and by the resurrected King David, and they regather in the Middle East and they wreak vengeance upon all the nations which have surrounded Israel. And they come back to Zion – to the holy city! To New Jerusalem! And they engage in physical warfare causing mass destruction – under the direct command of God the Father and Jesus Christ and the resurrected King David! This is a tremendous story that very few people have ever heard! Most people don’t have the slightest iota of a clue that this story is contained in your Bible! “’ For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.’” – Isaiah 28:10.
     But it says, verse 18 – “’ The house of Jacob shall be a fire, And the house of Joseph a flame; But the house of Esau [Turkey] shall be stubble; They shall kindle them, And no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,’ For the LORD has spoken.” – and that’s the majority of the Book of Obadiah – and it’s directly pointing to the future of Turkey!
     And I think this failed coup d'état attempt has emboldened Erdoğan to become more and more Islamic, and we have seen a change in Turkey to where it’s sort of pro-West, turning to a more pro-Middle Eastern Islamic type nation. Setting up the stage for the events of the end time.
     If you would turn to Ezekiel 35 – there’s another short prophecy and Esau, Edom, O Teman – Ottoman.
     Verse 1 – “Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2) ‘Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir ...’” – Mount Seir is another name for Esau.
     Keep your place here in Ezekiel, but turn back to Genesis 32, verse 1 – again, isn’t it amazing we’re going back to the Book of Genesis to help get a FOUNDATION of an understanding about prophecies that appeared to have been taking shape before 2016. Folks, understand, we’re not in the end-times – and don’t let anyone fool you about that – but we are perilously close, we’re on the cusp, we’re on the edge of the end-times! Again, how far away – I don’t know! Could it be three or four years away!? Yes, it could! Could it be ten or fifteen years away!? Yes, it could! Could it be twenty-five or thirty!? Yes, it could! If it is, then most of us need to worry about it! If it’s fifty years away – then don’t worry about it! Because you and I aren’t going to be around – most likely. “So Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2) When Jacob saw them, he said, ‘This is God’s camp.’ And he called the name of that place Mahanaim [meaning ‘double camp’]. 3) Then Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.” – just to get the connection. Seir is yet another name for the people of Esau. Esau, Edom, Teman, O Teman, Ottoman. And there’s yet another name we’re going to cover in Ezekiel 35.
     Going back to Ezekiel 35:3 – “’ and say to it, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Behold, O Mount Seir, I AM against you; I will stretch out My hand against you, And make you most desolate; ...’” – remember what we have just previously read!? We read in Obadiah, seemingly, that Turkey is destroyed and apparently just laid waste! And that no one survives! Now, this is just a stunning prophecy! Verse 4 – “’ I shall lay your cities waste, And you shall be desolate. Then you shall know that I AM the [ETERNAL]. 5) Because you have had [a perpetual] hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of
Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end, ...’” – talking about the end-time! Verse 6 – “therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you. 7) Thus I will make Mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it the one who leaves and the one who returns.’” – again, it sounds to me, like a complete and total eradication of the Turkish people!
     God – what one word describes God!? If you had to come up with only one word!? L O V E. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8. A very simple Bible statement. And I’ve often tried to say that another synonym of the word love is loyalty. God is love and God is loyalty. And God highly prizes loyalty. And you can see that He does not take kindly – remember He said to Abraham, one of the promises – ‘I will bless them that bless you, and I will curse them who curse you.’ – Genesis 12:3. And here in this situation, Turkey turns treacherous and vicious and cruel towards the descendants of Isaac and Jacob. And in God’s Book, that’s just about the lowest thing you can do! And He says, ‘I will repay you according to your deeds!’ One of the most consistent principles in the Bible – ‘according to your deeds, you will be repaid.’
     Because of the treachery that Turkey hands out to the Jewish people attempting to flee for their lives, He says, “’ Thus I will make Mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it the one who leaves and the one who returns. 8) And I will fill its mountains with the slain; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those who are slain by the sword shall fall. 9) I will make you perpetually desolate, ...’” – it doesn’t sound like it’s just a battle, and then it’s over. It sounds to me like a permanent curse upon the land that is now known as Turkey. “...’ and your cities shall be uninhabited; then you shall know that I AM the LORD.’” – and that, ‘I have spoken. And that I have exact upon you a terrible punishment for your treachery and for your disloyalness to your brothers.’ And even church people should keep that in mind! This is a powerful WARNING for everyone! If you turn your back on your brothers, you’re not going to be well received by God on the day of judgment. That’s just the plain simple short form of it! Verse 10 – “’ Because you have said, ‘These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess them,’ although the LORD was there, 11) therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I will do according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; ...’” – one again, ‘I’m going to repay you – the anger that you showed, the hatred that you showed to My people – My covenant people – I’m going to show you the same type of anger!’ “...’ and I will make Myself known among them when I judge you. 12) Then you shall know that I AM the LORD. I have heard all your blasphemies which you have spoken against ...’” – against WHO!? “...’ the mountains of Israel, ...’” – now, who is Israel!? Who are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (who had his name changed to Israel), Joseph, and Joseph’s two sons – Ephraim and Manasseh? As he says in the Book of Genesis, ‘upon these two lads shall my name be placed.’ Ephraim – the founding stock of the people of the United Kingdom. Manasseh – the founding stock of the people of the United States of America. ‘Because you have spoken these blasphemous hate-filled things against My people – America and the British people!’ “...’ saying, ‘They are desolate; they are given to us to consume.’” – once again, this an implication that in the end times the United States of America and England are no longer players. That’s the implication throughout all prophecies. That in the end-time, they are not substantial - been reduced basically to nothingness. Verse 13 – “’ Thus with your mouth you have boasted against Me and multiplied your words against Me; I have heard them.’ 14) Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘The whole earth will rejoice when I make you desolate.’” – when will the whole earth rejoice!? At the blowing of the SEVENTH TRUMP at the RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST at the RESURRECTION OF THE SAINTS! At the very beginning of the establishment of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD upon this earth! That’s when the whole earth will rejoice! This is an end-time event! This didn’t happen in the year AD 67 or 68! This is yet to happen! And at that time – at the end time – and in the early days of the Millennium ‘I will make you desolate.’ Verse 15 – “’ As you rejoiced because the inheritance of the House of Israel was desolate, so I will do to you; you shall be desolate, O Mount Seir, as well as ...’” – now, this next name Idumea – another name for EDOM. So, biblically speaking – the people of Turkey in prophecy are referred to as Esau, Edom, and Teman, and O Teman, Seir or Mount Seir, and Idumea. There are six different names, but they all mean one thing – modern-day Turkey. “...’ as well as all of Edom – all of it! Then they shall know that I AM the LORD.’”
     Those are some powerful prophecies folks! And the story which broke on July 15th, 2016, I just felt compelled to share this part of the story with you. It’s a story that most people don’t know. Most people of America just don’t have a clue. If you were to walk up to the average man or woman on the street and go, “Can you tell me who Esau is!? Or Edom!? Or Idumea!? Or Seir!? What does the Bible say about them!? And, who are they!?” Well, people would look at you like you’re drunk! “What are you talkin’ about!? That’s all gibberish to me!” And yet, we have just read it in your Bible!

The Word and Melchizedek Was and Is Jesus Christ

Turn with me, if you will, to John chapter 1. And I’m saying this because there are some Protestant people who I don’t think know the difference. I don’t think they’ve ever been taught or ever been shown. Now, some Protestants understand this, but a lot of Protestants think that Jesus Christ didn’t exist until He was conceived in the womb of Mary. But it says here – John 1:1 – “In the beginning was the Word, ...” – a Greek word, which is Logos, which means Spokesman. “...and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – He’s the God of the Old Testament. Verse 2 – “He was in the beginning
with God. 3) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4) In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6) There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” – we call him John the Baptist. Verse 7 – “This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light [Jesus Christ], that all through him might believe. 8) He was not that Light [John was not the Messiah], but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9) That was the true Light [Jesus Christ] which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10) He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.” – except for just a handful of people. Maybe after His entire life as a human – only 120 people truly believed in Him and about Him. Verse 11 – “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.” – Jesus Christ was born of the tribe of Judah. And yet the Jewish people – by enlarge – rejected Him when He was a physical human being, and almost two thousand years later, the Jewish people still reject Him. I have asked the question – and I have nothing against the Jewish people and I wish them no ill will. But there are people within the environment of the churches of God who actually have this idea that if they become more Jewish they’re somehow more pleasing to God!? Now they could not be further from the truth! You cannot please God by being Jewish, or by being Jewish-like. And the very last sermon I gave in Tyler, Texas on March 9th, 2013, was one entitled “Look To Jesus, Not Moses.”
     Jesus Christ is the God that Abraham spoke with. And you say, ‘O’ Mike, how can you prove that!?’ ‘How do you know that!?’ Well – for one we just read it in the Book of John. But out of curiosity, let’s turn back to the Book of Genesis, chapter 14. This is after Abraham rescues his nephew Lot. Verse 17 – “And the king of Sodom went out to meet him ...” – because he rescued a lot of people. Verse 18 – “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; ...” – almost like a little Passover ceremony. “...[H]e was the priest of God Most High. 19) And [H]e blessed him and said: ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20) And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’ And he gave [H]im a tithe of all.” – Abraham presented tithes.
     And then I think we pick up the story in Hebrews 7. You read about Melchizedek – just what we read in Genesis. Verse 1 – “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2) to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, ...” – remember Abraham gave an offering. “...first being translated ‘king of righteousness,’ and then also king of Salem, meaning ‘king of peace,’ ...” And now notice verse 3 – this Being – “without father, without mother, ...” So, how can you be a being and not have a father or a mother!? Well, there are only two such Beings – and I guess you could throw in angels and demonic spirits – but in this case, we’re talking about Jesus Christ. “...without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, ...” – and even angelic beings and demonic spirits have a beginning. At one point they didn’t exist, and at one point they were created. “...but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.” And then it goes on to say, in verse 4 – “Now consider how great this [M]an [really] was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.” Melchizedek, king of Salam, without mother, without father, without beginning or end of days – the One we now call Jesus Christ! ‘One made like unto the Son of God.’ Abraham knew Jesus Christ! Abraham was taught by the One we now call Jesus Christ! Abraham believed the One we now call Jesus Christ! And Abraham was the first person to understand the concept of the New Covenant.
     Abraham inherited the promise of eternal life!



Michael C. Garrett    About
Publication Date 2022



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