Friday, February 10, 2023

Letter to our Friends - February 9, 2023

P.O. Box 6458

Leonard V. Johnson
Pastor and Founder

Greetings Friends this early morning from my desk here in Spring Hill, Florida:

We hope and pray that you have had spiritually uplifting weeks since our last letter.

I’ve been busy working on online booklets translated into Kiswahili, for our brethren and friends located in Tanzania, Kenya, and Mozambique, Africa. We have a few translated: Imani yako ni ya kibiblia? …na unaweza kuthibitisha hilo?, also Je, Mungu Ni UTATU? Along with about three more, along with a few articles. However, remember that on our website, at the sidebar to the right, every article can be translated into 133 different languages using Google translate.

Also, I’ve been busy writing up "A Morning Bible Study." We currently have about 13. You can access these Bible studies at the top of our website by clicking the button at the top─ Bible Study.

Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day 2023

I plan on joining our brethren in Owensboro, Kentucky this year for the LORD God’s holy feast. You are more than welcome to join us this year! Services for the feast are to begin the evening of September 29th and run (which includes the Last Great Day) until sunset on October 7th.

We will more than likely meet together at the Logsdon Community Center, 2400 Friendship Dr. Owensboro, KY. 42303. If this changes, we will be sure to let you know. For more information, you can contact Minister Michael C. Garrett at

Prayer Requests

Please continue to pray for Minister Michael C. Garrett. He has had a foot ulcer for the past six months. It is getting better, however, by the day. Please continue your prayers for him. Also, please pray for Minister Guy Lamar’s sister Deborah. She's been having some issues with her blood pressure and heart rate.

St. Valentine’s Day Not Biblical

February 14th. Multiple millions of our peoples will be observing what is known as St. Valentine’s Day on February the 14th.

Throughout the years, the improperly named Christianity Today─ an evangelical “Christian” media magazine founded by Billy Graham─ has often tried to justify its opinion on this worldly holiday by talking about love. As an example, in their February 1st, 2000, issue, they wrote: “Four centuries before Christ, Romans had a day called Lupercalia. Without going too much into it, I'll sum it up as a sexual lottery. Pull names out of a box at random and couple with a young member of the opposite sex. After a year, you get to pick another name. But apparently, Christians didn't think the practice was all bad.”

What!? All that bad!? Isn’t it nice how this article watered down the sexual perversions which the ancient Romans were engaged in, by saying, “a sexual lottery,” and “without going too much into it”!?

What I have to say to them is what our dearly beloved apostle Paul says─ under the inspiration of God’s Spirit─

“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19) whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame─ …” – Philippians 3:18, 19.

They do not even follow our LORD God’s holy words─

“Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2) Thus says the LORD: ‘Do not learn the way of the Gentiles [or rather heathens]; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. 3) FOR THE CUSTOMS OF THE PEOPLES ARE FUTILE – Jeremiah 10:2, 3.

Apparently, the followers of Billy Graham have selective hearing!?

They will also often use 1 John 4:7 to back up their opinion concerning Valentine’s Day─

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God.”

The implication is that the apostle John was supporting Valentine’s Day. The misuse by them using this passage here is blasphemous!

But, in truth, the love of God is this─

“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. 3) For this is the love of God, that WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. And His commandments are not burdensome” – 1 John 5:2-3.

In all reality Valentine’s Day has more to do with lust than love. This worldly holiday is not from the Father but from this world. God’s living word tells us─

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16) For all that is in the world─ the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life─ is not of the Father but is of the world. 17) And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does THE WILL OF GOD abides forever” – 1 John 2:15-17.

The apostle John by no means is telling true Christians to adopt pagan traditions. Yet this Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, along with its incorrectly named Christianity Today magazine appears to have a direct connection with Catholicism. It is a known fact that when Emperor Constantine the Great in AD 313 made Christianity an official religion of the Roman Empire, the Roman citizens wouldn’t hear of ending this sexual holiday. “Later, the church [meaning, the Catholic Church] attempted to give a Christian meaning to this pagan celebration. As far back as 496, Pope Gelasius changed Lupercalia on February 15th to Saint Valentine's day on February 14th.” 1

Our Lord Jesus Christ has WARNED us─

’ Take heed that no one deceives you. 5) For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many’ – Matthew 24:4-5.

WARNING that many will correctly say that He is the Christ – yet will deceive many!

And just because millions of our peoples use the name of Christ Jesus and are claiming to be Christian, does not mean that they have the Spirit of God dwelling within them─

’ Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom [from] heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22) Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23) And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ - Matthew 7:21-23.

They practice lawlessness because they do not keep the commandments of God!

Unlike that CT article, let’s go into some detail concerning this pagan worldly holiday known as Valentine’s Day─ which is nothing more than a holdover of a spring fertility/fornication Roman holiday:

Notice this from “ ... the Christian church [in other words, the Catholic Church] may have decided to place St. Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or Lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat's hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city's bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman.”

It is a known fact that centuries before the birth of our Savior - Jesus Christ - the Romans celebrated February 15th and the evening of the 14th as an idolatrous and sexual festival in honor of the one they called Lupercus - the “hunter of wolves.” The custom of the young Roman women placing their names in a big urn for the bachelors of the city certainly sounds familiar with what children all over the United States will be participating in on February 14th of this year - does it not? - the exchanging of Valentine's Day cards!? Indeed, the custom of exchanging Valentine's cards from this “name drawing” is from this Lupercalia celebration.

All of that above is part of why these pagan customs, in honor of a false god, became “Christian.”

Also this pagan being named Cupid (a son of Venus) was also involved. According to a book I have in my library - Bulfinch's Mythology The Complete Texts - it states: “Cupid. The god of love in Roman mythology (Lat. cupido, desire, passion), identified with the Greek Eros; son of Mercury and Venus. He is represented as a winged boy, carrying a bow and arrows. One legend says that he wets with blood the grindstone on which he sharpens his arrows.” 2

It should be noted that one Roman Catholic Church source has stated─

“Although the mid-February holiday celebrating love and lovers remains wildly popular, the confusion over its origins led the Catholic Church, in 1969, to drop St. Valentine’s Day from the Roman calendar of official, worldwide Catholic feasts. (Those highly sought-after days are reserved for saints with more clear historical record. After all, the saints are real individuals for us to imitate.) Some parishes, however, observe the feast of St. Valentine.” 3

“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2) And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3) But fornication [Greek: porneia, meaning sexual immoralities] and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints” – Ephesians 5:1-2.

This worldly holiday has both Roman pagan and Roman Catholic roots. 

Suggested Sabbath Day Service

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 are some Instrumental Accompaniment to the Bible Hymnal available on our website).
• Opening prayer.
• Announcements – from the deacon or pastor.
• Sermon – from the pastor or guest speaker. The one suggested for this week is “The Test Commandment.” Available on our YouTube channel Friday @ 6:15 pm est.
• Closing song.
• Closing prayer.

In case you do not receive a ‘Letter to our Friends’ for any week, remember that there are many sermon messages on the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries’ BitChute channel, as well as our Soundcloud Radio channel.

Some World News In Relation To Biblical Prophecy

As nearly everyone is aware of: A Chinese spy balloon─ the size of three full-size school buses─ was allowed to fly over the whole of the continental United States unimpeded. Surely this was no accident. (See: ‘Forbes - Why Chinese Spy Balloon’s Flight Path Was Not An Accident – And What It May Have Been Doing’).

The Gateway Pundit put together a graph to show just how many US military bases were in the path of the Chinese spy balloon.

Here is a list of the US Military bases in the path of the China Spy Balloon.

• Malmstrom Air Force Base – Montana – home of 341st Military Wing.
• Ellsworth Air Force Base – South Dakota – home of 28th bomb wing.
• Joe Foss Field ANG – South Dakota – home of 114th fighter wing.
• Sioux City ANG – Iowa – national guard base.
• Offutt Air Force Base -Nebraska – headquarters US strategic command.
• Camp Ashland – Nebraska.
• Lincoln ANG – Nebraska.
• Whiteman Air Force Base – Missouri – home of B52 bombers.
• Fort Leonard Wood – Missouri – Army training installation.
• St. Louis Army Human Resources – St. Louis, MO.
• Scott Air Force Base – Illinois – home of the Air Mobility Command.
• Fort Campbell – Tennessee – home of Screaming eagles, the 101st Airborne.
• Nashville ANG – Tennessee.
• Smyrna ANG – Tennessee.
• Houston Barracks – Tennessee.
• McGhee Tyson ANG – Tennessee.
• Pope Air Force Base – North Carolina – Air mobility command.
• Fort Bragg – North Carolina – one of the largest military installations in the world.
• MCAS New River – North Carolina.
• Camp Lejeune – North Carolina – military training facility.
• US Coast Guard Station Fort Macon. 4

As their article states, this was “an unprecedented national security threat” at the highest of levels!

Some prominent leaders in the United States of America are continuing to point to China as a major military threat in two years! (See: ‘ZeroHedge - Air Force General Tells His Officers 'War With China' Only 2 Years Away’). There certainly could be military skirmishes between the USA and China. However, God’s living prophecies reveal that it will be a United States of Europe (a final European ‘beast’ power) that will lead to the loss of the USA’s sovereignty. Now, it is possible─ and even probable─ that China will be in support of this final European ‘beast’ power.

In an October 27th, 2022, article by Voice of America, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin asserted that “the U.S. Government and our Allies and partners around the world, is well positioned to meet the challenges of this decisive decade.” 5

However, I can’t help but think of a prophetic dream I had in 2016. In my dream – a most vivid dream – I was looking into the clearest night sky I had ever seen, crystal clear bright shining stars. And then suddenly I heard a booming voice – what appeared to be a tail-end of a conversation. And the voice said, “They only have 10 years left.” Since it has not been revealed to me just who are they. The question is─ who are “they”!?

Now, to note: Yesterday I watched the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Chinese threat to U.S. National Defense with retired Admiral Harry Harris and Dr. Melanie Sisson, a fellow in the Foreign Policy program's Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology. I got halfway through it─ it's 3 hrs and 30 minutes LONG!─ and I thought we would hear something new and profound. But all I heard was, blah, blah, blah!

Also, as I’m sure you are aware, certain Protestants have been teaching that a massive nuclear war between Russia and the USA is coming. Notice this Italian source – ‘ANSA en - WWIII would come if Russian tanks get to Kyiv says Crosetto’). Also, notice this from Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse
The Nuclear War That We Have Been Relentlessly Warned About Is Now Right On Our Doorstep

On Thursday, Russia responded to news that the U.S. and Germany would be giving highly advanced tanks to the Ukrainians by firing “a barrage of missiles and drones across the country”. The Russians are now so invested in this war that there is no way that they could ever back down. Of course the same thing is true for the Biden administration. Joe Biden has staked his presidency on winning this war, and Congress has already approved approximately 100 billion dollars in total aid for the Ukrainians. We are on a collision course with destiny, and the cataclysmic war with Russia that I have been warning about for many years is now right on our doorstep. …

We must end this war before the nukes start flying.

And actually Joe Biden once warned that we would be facing “World War 3” if we ever sent tanks into Ukraine.

But now the Biden administration is trying to assure us that sending tanks into Ukraine is perfectly fine.

Donald Trump is warning that a worst-case scenario is coming too.

… more escalations are inevitably coming.

It is time for the American people to face the truth. We are at war, and there is no way out.

Now while we have quoted Michael Snyder before, and he is often an interesting writer, his long-term insistence that a “cataclysmic war with Russia that I have been warning about for many years is now right on our doorstep” is wrong.

Our Lord Jesus Christ has warned us – “ …’ you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet’ – Matthew 24:6. Which is consistent with what we have been witnessing between Russia and Ukraine.

Also in the news, the USA and Israel conducted their largest ever joint military exercise, supposedly to send a warning to Iran. (See: ‘Centcom - PRESS RELEASE | Jan. 26, 2023, Completion of Juniper Oak 23.2 Exercise’).

This exercise, combined with statements from the Resident Joe Biden last November in which he sees no hope in making any new nuclear deals with Iran, cannot be going over well with Ali Khamenei! While Iran─ the top state sponsor of terrorism─ was certainly aware of that exercise, it will certainly not stop Iran from one day attempting to do major damage to Israel’s capital – Jerusalem. Let’s turn in our Bible to the Book of Isaiah chapter 22

Verse 6 – “Elam [modern Iran] bore the quiver With chariots of men and horsemen, And Kir [modern Syria] uncovered the shield. 7) It shall come to pass that your choicest valleys Shall be full of chariots, And the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate.”

Continuing with verses 8 & 9 – “He [Almighty God] removed the protection of JUDAH. You looked in that day to the armor of the House of the Forest; 9) You also saw the damage to the city of David, That it was great; …”

Grave death and destruction is coming to the modern nation of Israel. Removing sanctions could be interpreted by Iran or Israel to attack militarily against one another.

A regional war in the Middle East is on the horizon.

Concluding Comments

Here are some Scriptures of praise, joy, and thanksgiving to Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ:

“When I remember these things, I pour out my soul [my life] within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With the multitude that kept a pilgrim feast” – Psalm 42:14.

“For the LORD will comfort Zion [New Jerusalem], He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness will be found in it, Thanksgiving and the voice of melody – Isaiah 51:3.

“The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say:

‘Praise the LORD of hosts, 
For the LORD is good, 
For His mercy endures forever’

And of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,’ says the LORD” – Jeremiah 33:11.

“For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, 10) night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?” – 1 Thessalonians 3:9-10.

Rejoice always, 17) pray without ceasing, 18) in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13) although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief” – 1 Timothy 1:12-13.

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him – Colossians 3:17.

Let us, friends, be thankful for our calling! We all should be!

With love and gratitude, in Jesus' Name,


1) Lavinia Dobler, Customs and Holidays Around the World, p. 172.
2) Bulfinch's Mythology, Bulfinch, T., Cupid - Dictionary and Index, Crown Publishers, Inc., © 1979, pg. 897.
3) Hines-Brigger, S., The Catholic Roots of St. Valentine’s Day, Franciscan media, 14 May 2020. Retrieved 9 Feb. 2023.

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