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 -

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,

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